I’ve recently been asked a few times about “What gears should I use when cycling in the Pyrenees”?
Tough to answer because there are many factors to consider – person’s ability/fitness level (number 1 factor), high mountain riding experience, any injuries to knees or back, what gear ratio are they currently using (if they know) and where do they normally ride (flats, rolling hills etc…), do they spin or push a big gear? Have they tried a compact or a triple?
I guess the main factor is, what works for you? Most guests that come here with a 25 rear cassette (25 teeth) end up after day one at the local bike shop looking for a 27 or lower to enjoy what they are doing. It doesn’t make any difference if you climb a Col in a 25 or a 28… what makes the difference is that you enjoy yourself and that you’re able to ride the next day without any pain!
For the record – I use a 12 – 27 and Di uses a 13 – 29 (she also mentions sometimes about wishing she had a motor…)
Cycling In The Pyrenees – Make it easier on yourself (it’s never easy)!