I am now debating this question since many of my friends use a single ring at 39 or 42. I have 36/46 and 38/46. Can some of the veterans let me know if there are pros/cons to that set-up. I am a strong climber and find myself passing people in that area but floundering in the long flat fast sections. I may keep my set-up, but was thinking about changing the crank and running something different. 2 rings is definitely better for other types of riding.
It sounds to me like you should stick with 2 rings but maybe bump up to a 48 instead of the 46, maybe even an 11 in the rear. Then you can keep your climing prowess, and have a little more oomph in the flats.
After watching guys smoke the rest of the field on single speeds I felt that I could at least go with a 42 up front and a 12-27 in back. I haven't raced it yet but so far training it feels really good. I replaced brake/shift levers with old aero shimano 600 levers and put on a 9 speed bar end shifter. This lightened up the bike significantly. I think it will be a nice change because I felt like I lost time when shifting/dealing with a front derailleur. I seemed to be in the big ring much of the time anyway. One ring up front will help me focus more on racing...we shall see.
Somebody mentioned to me that if you can't ride it in a 42X27 then you would probably be running
I switch to a single 42 ring will never go back. Run double guards if you have the clearance on the inside, otherwise 1 guard (outside) and a chain catcher on the inside. A standard 12/25 or 26 cassette will be fine. A 42*12 is plenty big enought, i even commute on it and do the local tuesday nite crit practice and have now problems staying in with the fastest guys. The 42*25 or 26 should be small enought to ride anything, unless you could just run faster than that.