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Is a Compact Crankset Better Than Standard for Tough Climbs ?

The Mortirolo. Lance Armstrong called it the hardest climb in Europe. That makes it the perfect for finding out which is better for climbing; a compact or a standard chainring.

Bike tech has come on a lot in recent years. Climbs like the Mortirolo in the Giro, the Angliru in the Vuelta and the Hautacam in the Tour will always be tough. But, have compact gears made them both easier, and faster?

It sounds counter-intuiitive – compact gears give you a lower gear, which is generally thought of as slower, so, surely, 39×25 will be faster than 34×32?

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