My current Mt. Sufferlandria is an actual mountain. Specifically, it’s the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hill Climb, a 7.6-mile climb with average grade of 12%. Here’s a link to the site from last month’s event: http://www.mwarbh.org/ .
I have two road bikes: my beloved 2012 Surly Long Haul Trucker and my trusty 1994 Raleigh Super Course. The LHT is out of the question for this event, though it has a granny gear that’s out of this world. Thanks to SUFF, I’m at my target weight - so I’m thinking this is the excuse I’ve been looking for to replace my Super Course with a light carbon bike.
I’m thinking of something in the $5k range, give or take. Used is fine. I’m not a gear head, but I don’t want simply to wander down to my LBS, cash in hand, and say “Hook me up.” This brings me to my question: what’s the best bike for me? Given that I expect to take this bike on group rides for years after the Mt. Washington event, what kind of gearing should I get? Is the extra expense of electronic shifters worth it? Which questions am I too ignorant to ask, and what are the answers to those questions? Speaking of gears, should I forget about a new bike and just put a new drive train on my Raleigh - and if so, what?
Basically, help. I could really use your advice.