Appreciate the advice;that is what I was thinking and the exact conclusion I came too. I do NOT want to get a new bike as I really like the Defy, but being new didn't know how much "entry level" really was sorted to carrying my girth to the next level. I figure it is stupid to spend more money to finish in the back of the pack!! I stopped by the shop today and he said the stock Sora stuff will support up to a 32 on the rear. I am going to order a new cassette in a few weeks. Not too sure if I'll go 30 or 32, but I have never heard anybody complain, "I had too low a gear!!" I'll probably switch to the 32 for the event, and then the 30 for everyday stuff so I can push my rides out a bit farther. I live in the foothills, so there are plenty of opportunities to climb and work on my fitness and technique.