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Old 08-08-21, 11:03 AM
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I would go for the 34:34 low gear for any prolonged climbing. It helps to keep your cadence up and can make the difference between climbing comfortably at sweetspot or being forced to go over threshold on the steeper gradients. The longer the climb, or the more tired you are, the more benefit it is. I did a 9 hour endurance event last month with 4000 m of brutal climbing at up to 25% gradient and I was absolutely glad of a 34T front and rear, just to keep moving! But even on the easier slopes, often it is just more efficient to spin a higher cadence. It's very rare that you find yourself spinning out above a 5% gradient and definitely not once you approach 10%. Note that 2nd gear on an 11-34T cassette is 30T. So you would have both gear options when climbing. For me the slight downside of larger gear spacing on the 11-34T cassette is far outweighed by having a lower climbing gear.
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