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Lower gears for Shimano 9 speed?

Folks, a friend is struggling with the hills and is looking for some lower gears to help. He is running 9 speed Tiagra with a 50/34. He currently has 11-25. I was thinking something like 12-27 but am beginning to think that might not be low enough for him. There are a few hg50 options like 11-30 but I am not sure if a 30 will fit...and 11-30 is a big range for 9 speed. Any thoughts on a cost effective way forward?? Thanks.

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