I just finished weenieing up by bike for tomorrow's hillclimb. One compromise: a Red steel 11-26 cassette instead of my Recon Al 12-23. This costs me around 90 grams. Worth it, I think: those three extra teeth are going to be very precious on that last section of Pine Flat Road to the summit. A nice thing about training with a power meter: it really shows how my power falls off quickly, even at increased perceived exertion, as cadence drops below 60. No need for Armstrong-esque 100 rpm: 70-75 is probably my sweet spot. But get down into the mud in the 50's or even lower and the legs start to really burn without doing much useful work. Yes, that 26 cog is easily worth those 90 grams.
I also moved the 34 ring from my Ritchey, replacing the 36 I had on the Fuji. 36-50 is a great combination, especially when combined with an 11-23, and one you can't get with the Vumaquad or with Extralight. Just not tomorrow. Not on this climb. They don't come much nastier than the top of Pine Flat Road, especially with legs softened up with the preceding 2500 feet of climbing.
See you there, I hope.