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Your goal is to beat the hill, so use every tool at your disposal to achieve it; there is no shame or dishonor in using small gears.

FYI, some of the pros used triples in the grand tours this year when the road got really steep. If Cippolini would have made it to the mountains in the Giro, he was supposed to climb on a special mountain bike with associated gear ratios.

If using a 39 x 26 is too high for you, by all means go to the triple. With easier gears you will find yourself able to upshift near the top and blow past the other guys.

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