This time of year I'm heading the other way. One more mountain ride next weekend then the 12-27 goes back in its box to be replaced by a nice 11-23 for the next 3 months (compact crank). Best years behind me and I hide from the cold too....
started with 52/39 and 11/25 in the West of Tokyo, then switched to 11/27 in the rear; if I remember correctly, 27T rear cog and 29T capacity were maximum for Shimano Ultegra 6600. Then I switched to compact crank 50/34 with 12/28
Did you think about the 50/34 with an 11/27? Curious as to why you chose the 12/28.
Now that does sound more like the way to go!14-28 -> My favorite with 36-52 (14,15,16,18,20,22,24,25,26,27,28) custom cut Ti cassette
well if you can hold 40-45kmph for 15km then you will have absolutely no problems keeping with the guys in Chiba on Sunday ( I read you were worried about keeping up with them in another post). In fact they will have trouble keeping up with you.Oh don't get too impressed - only 15km with no wind against! (and a couple of others to keep the drafting switched)
I decided to take the path of least effort, figuratively and literally, in my quest to find a gear that will best suit my now reduced ability to climb. I bought a 11-32 SRAM 1070 and will install a new chain and a 38T inner ring on my otherwise standard Force crank. I will, for now, leave my short cage rear mech in place and fiddle with the B-screw to fine tune. I will most likely experiment some or all the pros and cons you guys have listed and I will see if I can adapt or experiment with a different setup.
I'll post my feedback after I have a chance to test it on some decent climbs.