VIDEO: My Haute Route Compact Bike

My Haute Route Compact Bike

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  • Use a compact crank. Heck, the pros do!
  • Use the largest rear cassette you need for long, steep climbs
  • Wheels need to be stiff for both climbing AND descending confidence
[/content_box] [dropcap style=”default”]My bike[/dropcap]

for the upcoming compact edition of the Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps is the same bike I’ve been training and racing on for 2 seasons: a 2010 Pinarello FP7.

I’ve just made a few significant changes to deal with the long, long, long slogs of climbing, and the equally long, fast descents.

If I was dripping cash, I’d have a climbing-specific bike and a flat-landers race bike. But I’m not. That means I have a frame I love, a couple cassettes, a couple cranks, and a couple pairs of wheels.

I’ve been fortunate to have the means to spring for DuraAce, but Ultegra is significantly cheaper and NOT significantly heavier. In fact, in order to get Shimano’s widest climbing gears, I had no choice but to go to Ultegra for my rear derailleur and cassette.

It all swaps and meshes very well.

Here’s the thing: during all my Mt. Mitchell rehearsals for the Alps, I never had more than a 28 tooth. Now, I have a 32. And my goodness, what a difference 4 teeth makes…

See you on the road…

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Sam Lowe

I've been a road cyclist with a penchant for speed ever since my first-ever paycheck holiday. I blew the whole wad on a turquoise Schwinn Tempo with then-new Shimano 105 indexed shifting way back in 1985. I've been a voracious consumer of racing-oriented information ever since. Training, nutrition, bike fit, racing techniques, and all manner of "kit." Between nearly 30 years of riding, racing, and reading about racing, I'm ready to help you get ready to race.