I'm building a bike to tour Europe this spring and summer, so I'm going to need a wide range of gears. I travel very light, so I'll only use rear panniers and a messenger bag (<25lbs.). However, I'm currently stuck in between the wider range of a road triple(52/42/30), versus the more appropriate chainrings for a compact double (50/34). I've decided to use a 32-11 MTB cassette. I intend to use the bike for CX when I get back.
I really, really prefer doubles, as I'm strong and young and can stay in the big ring for all but the steepest climbing. Moreover, the 34 is very low, whereas a 30 would be too small to be useable. Even the 52 would be a little too big for carrying loads. Basically, I stay would stay in the 50 as much as possible and use the 34 as a bailout if I'm approaching my lactic threshold or if I have to climb a bloody mountain.
I bring this question to you guys because I'm from a fairly flat part of the world. I have a feeling that those with more experience in the mountains have a better idea of ideal gearing for the more varied terrain of continental Europe. However, I intend to avoid the mountains to the south until after a few months of touring.
Secondary question: how well do regular double compact derailleurs work for compacts chainrings? They do seem too big for the rings.
Any help is greatly, greatly appreciated.