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Gearing used Mt Evans

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Gearing used Mt Evans

Old 07-12-20, 12:09 PM
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deacon mark
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Gearing used Mt Evans

My guess is someone in the forum has climbed Mt Evans in Colorado, supposed to be a 6500 feet climb. It is long but essentially no a steep as some in the Alps. I wondered what gear you used. For a reasonably fit cyclist what cassette would you run. I run a compact now with 11-28 and I live in the flatlands. I never actually have to have the 28 around here for sure but have used if tired and I just want to spin.

My guess is an 11-28 with the 34 front would be ok but probably better to be 11-30. But I have no idea maybe I would want an 11-34 so I had a 34-34 gear. I am fairly strong cyclist for almost 59 but it would be a shame to walk right?
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Old 07-12-20, 12:43 PM
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I ride a compact with a 12-28 (on 28mm tires). The Cascades are lower than the Rockies, but steeper. Our biggest climbs are around 5k. Based on all my experience and the way fatigue sneaks up on me a little quicker than when I was 20, I'd want an 11-34 for Evans.

Hope it's a great ride, and I'd love to see some pics when you get back. 🙂
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Old 07-12-20, 12:47 PM
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I've done it with both a 39/28 and a 34/28. The steeps are at the top, and you'll appreciate whichever gearing you choose, be it those, or more on the rear. It's not the leg strength, it's the nonsense that goes on above 12,000 feet elevation. Air, general feeling of being not well, all of it.
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Old 07-12-20, 02:15 PM
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The elevation may be a bigger problem than the steepness of the slopes. I've rode it twice a year at ages 51-53, weighing in at 135 lbs. My best time was 2:35, which would most often get you a top 10 finish on race day, but probably 15 minutes behind the fastest in the age group. I always had a triple with a 28/25 low gear, that was more than sufficient. A 34/30 is the same gear ratio. The other problem for most people is they have no way to train for climbing continuously for 2-3 hours. At the time, I lived at about 6000 foot elevation and rode 25 miles into the foothills with over 10 miles of continuous climbing on my 50 mile rides, 3 times a week.

At age 67, I'm riding much steeper, but shorter climbs on my 40-50 mile routes. I've thought about driving the 1.5 hours to Idaho springs and doing it again, but it would surely take over 3 hours and then you've got the long descent. Prepare for temps in the 40's at the top.

These days, I use a 48/32 crank and 11-34 12 speed cassette. I've done at least 12% grades with it. I still weigh 135.
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Old 07-12-20, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
My guess is someone in the forum has climbed Mt Evans in Colorado, supposed to be a 6500 feet climb. It is long but essentially no a steep as some in the Alps. I wondered what gear you used. For a reasonably fit cyclist what cassette would you run. I run a compact now with 11-28 and I live in the flatlands. I never actually have to have the 28 around here for sure but have used if tired and I just want to spin.

My guess is an 11-28 with the 34 front would be ok but probably better to be 11-30. But I have no idea maybe I would want an 11-34 so I had a 34-34 gear. I am fairly strong cyclist for almost 59 but it would be a shame to walk right?
It's not very steep, so your 11-28 should be fine.
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Old 07-12-20, 02:26 PM
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Based on the altitude, allowing adequate time to adapt to higher elevation is a bigger issue than gearing.
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Old 07-12-20, 03:04 PM
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A couple more comments. Strength is certainly needed, but low weight is important too. It's all about power to weight ratio, when you're climbing. This year there will be no cars on the road. There's also no water available at the top.
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Old 07-12-20, 03:20 PM
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Running more gear than you need isn't going to hurt you any

11-34
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Old 07-12-20, 03:33 PM
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I'd much rather have lower gearing on the chance you won't need it than have higher gearing wishing you had another cog or two lower. Don't underestimate the effect that 14,000'+ can have if you aren't acclimated. If you are riding up from Idaho Springs you might want stash some water off to the side of the road somewhere up around Echo Lake before starting your ride so you can refill your bottles. And be prepared for just about any weather at the summit. Conditions can be drastically different than down below.
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