I went from an Ultegra 50/34 12-25 setup on my SLT, to a 52/36 11-26 SRAM Red on my R3 replacement frame, and I’m very happy I did. I didn’t even know SRAM made a 52/36 mid-compact until I stumbled upon one on ebay. Before I bought it, I did the gear calculator math and it made perfect sense. In the 52/11 combo, I gain 4 mph @ 90 rpm and 13 gear inches over the 50/12. However, on the climbing side the 36/26 combo nets just 0.1 mph, or 0.7 gear inches over the 34/25. So the bottom line is that I get huge gains up top, with essentially the same climbing gear at the low end (especially since I dropped 2 lbs going from my SLT to the R3). I can climb hills up to 3-4% in my 52/23 without too much trouble. Anything over 5% and I need to drop to the small ring. Cross chaining big/small with the SRAM doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue as it was/is with Shimano. With the 52/36 setup, I typically cruise the flats in in the big ring and somewhere in the 17,19, or 21 range on the cassette depending on wind, road pitch, etc. Overall I really like this setup. I don’t race, and I’m old enough and not quite in good enough shape anymore to pull a 53/39, however I always wished for more top end with the 50/34. Now I have the best of both worlds.