I recently had the gears ratios on my road bike changed in preparation for the Bealach Beag cycling event that’s coming up. The route features a climb over the highest mountain pass in Britain and the concensus was that it’d be exceptionally tough to make it up the climb and have anything left in the tank using the 25 tooth climbing cog that came with the bike. So in it went to Helensburgh Cycles to have a new spread of gears with a larger 28 tooth cog.
On the weekend I picked the bike up I set off on a training ride using a new route that would include some of the steepest climbs in the area. Taking me past Shantron Farm, the first climb on the road from Loch Lomond over to Garelochhead was the first time I used the 28 and it really made a difference. I knew within a couple of hundred yards that there was no way I would have made it up that hill with the 25 tooth cog driving the back wheel. It’s rare that you have an equipement decision like that validated so immediately, but as each brutal climb came on the route I was really glad I had the 28 to shift into if I needed it.