Recommended Reading: Standard or Compact Chainrings?

I think I may be in the market for a “semi-compact chainring: 52/36″ before my race season begins.

My triathlon bike came with the standard 53/39 chainring and an 11-25 cassette. I live in a very hilly region and for the longest time suffered on the hill climbs. I think I could walk faster than I was pedaling on uphill climbs. Over time and through discussion with local cyclists and shops, I came to realize that maybe was I under-geared. Late last season I purchased an 11-28 cassette and had that switched out with my stock 11-25 cassette. I could already feel the difference. Now I’m considering a compact chainring to further improve my uphill climbing.

There are pros and cons to standard and compact chainrings. Learn more about the difference between all three in this article: