My trusty old CF racer was stolen the other day, and I'm looking for a replacement. I saw this bike at PlanetX and was intrigued. It's a full carbon bike with (last years) Ultegra components for a very reasonable price ( < $2k). It comes with a compact crankset and a short-cage dérailleur. The largest cassette it can accommodate is 11-28, which would give me a lowest gear of 34-28.
Not bad, and the same as I had before. But I live in the Alps and I frequently find myself in the lowest gear well before I hit the steepest parts of the hills, so I would like to have a lower gear, if at all possible.
I spoke to the vendor, and they said that it would (at least in theory) be possible to put on a medium-cage dérailleur and an 11-30 cassette. But I was wondering if it would be possible to have a smaller chainring in front instead. Can you get smaller than 34? Or would that not fit?
At some level I'm contemplating putting on a triple instead, but that seems like going back to the 20th century...