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mont ventoux

exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
edited June 2011 in Road beginners
hi all.
am doing mont ventoux in june. am fairly fit and cycle about 50-70 miles aweek.

what i need to know is 30x26(13 to 26 cassette) a low enough gear to take on this monster?
or should i get the cassette changed to a 13 to 29?

any advice would be welcome.
Van Nicholas Ventus
Rose Xeon RS

Posts

  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,121 Lives Here
    Either.

    It'll hurt whatever happens.

    For what it's worth - I went in with a 28 on the front, 21 on the back in the pyrenees and i was mashing like mad.

    Still got up them though.
  • Mister WMister W Posts: 853
    How good a climber are you? 30 x 29 might not be low enough if you're a rubbish climber (however fit your are) but 30 x 26 might be more than low enough if you're good.
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
    good on small climbs, but never climbed anything that big before! :D
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 2,058
    You are looking at approx 2 hours climbing so you may wish for the lower gearing by the end. Part of the section in the forest averages 9-10% for over 3km, so be prepared to suffer.

    On a practical note, whatever the weather at the bottom, take an extra layer for the descent, cos it can be freezing on the way down (I rode it in July).
  • 1_reaper1_reaper Posts: 322
    If you can have a go at it on a Tacx fortius . If it's anything like the real thing in the RLV it's going to hurt. I struggled up it on a compact with a 25/12 rear and a 50/34 chainring. I'm a censored climber though :oops:
  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,139
    I did it about 5yrs ago on my 39x29. Hadn't put many miles in at all that year.
    Made it up without stopping but it was torture.

    I'd spent 2 weeks in the Alps a couple of years earlier but Ventoux is the hardest I've done.
    I'm sure more miles in the legs would've helped but the other guys we met while staying at VeloVentoux were using triples.

    I swore then that I'd fit a compact if heading abroad again.

    Going to the Pyrenees in June........and I'm going with a 34x29 being my lowest gear.

    It's better to have than have not :)
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    I rode Ventoux last year on a hired bike with a triple chainset and 30 x 27 bottom gear. I started off thinking I'd keep it in reserve but I was in that bottom gear right from the bottom of the forest until I got past Chalet Reynard where the gradient "eases off" to 7%. You should be OK with 20 x 26 however low gears only make it possible not easy. I saw plenty of people with mountain bikes getting off and pushing so you need decent fitness as well. Even so accept that you will have 2 hrs of suffering especially through the forest. At the time I was doing between 100 and 150 miles a week with the occasional century sportive. I suggest you up your weekly mileage and throw in some sessions where you ride flat out for an hour- its the only way in this country to duplicate the type of sustained effort needed for Ventoux.

    If during the ride you feel like stopping for a break don't do it until you reach Chalet Reynard because if you stop in the forest you'll never get going again. Oh and if you have any weight to lose then lose it. Take some carbs with you to eat at the summit as your body will be craving sugar by then. I recommend you take the descent to Malaucene, passing as many cars as you can on the way down and then back to Bedoin in time for tea and medals.
  • cakewalkcakewalk Posts: 220
    Did the Cingles last year on a 27*34.

    had only ridden 300 miles that year.

    It was hard. However the main climb (Bedoin) is a 7% average. So find your groove and stick to it. Water available next to the hotel as you pop out the woods.


    Have a go at the Cingles. If you can do one - you'll have a got at 2 - and the last one's easy!
    "I thought of it while riding my bicycle."
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    I did it on 34 x 27 with a flat back tyre (didn't realise until I tried to descend!). I was 45 years old, 90 odd kilos and it was a hot day.

    It is the hardest climb I have ever done, but I made it.

    30 x 26 sounds plenty. 29 Might even be too much to have in reserve. That might sound odd, but when I climbed other things in the Alps on the tourer, which has very low gears available, I found myself throwing the gears down to the smallest I had. All that means is that you go slower and it takes longer. I'd recommend you do it in the highest one you can turn for two hours in full sun. :D


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • CrispybugCrispybug Posts: 71
    Just as an aside, but I'm going on holiday to Southern France later this year and I've just discovered that the company I've hire the mini-bus from won't let me fix a bike rack to it, which has buggered up my plans as me and my son fancy a drive a Bedoin and thereafter an assult on Mont Ventoux.
    Is there anywhere nearby where we could hire a road bike for the day to have a go at Ventoux?
    Mad as a box of badgers
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 2,058
    Crispybug wrote:
    Is there anywhere nearby where we could hire a road bike for the day to have a go at Ventoux?

    Get in touch with Craig at http://www.veloventoux.com/ he sould be able to sort you out, or will know someone who can.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    For bike hire I used these guys

    http://www.francebikerentals.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

    They are based in Bedoin on the road to Ventoux- in fact the name of their shop is La Route du Ventoux. Good choice of bikes. One of the owners is American/Canadian so language not a problem. They will also deliver the bike if you want.
  • Butterd2Butterd2 Posts: 937
    exlaser wrote:
    hi all.
    am doing mont ventoux in june. am fairly fit and cycle about 50-70 miles aweek.

    what i need to know is 30x26(13 to 26 cassette) a low enough gear to take on this monster?
    or should i get the cassette changed to a 13 to 29?

    any advice would be welcome.

    I'm assuming you running a triple. If so another option (cheaper) is to swap the 30 for a 26 tooth ring. You can get the chain length right so most gears are available though small/small probably would not work but you shouldn't be using that anyway.

    With this I am fine in the mountains with a 12-25 rear and don't tend to use first so most of my climbing is in 26/23 but it's nice to have an almost 1:1 gear there as a bail out should I blow up.
    Scott CR-1 (FCN 4)
    Pace RC200 FG Conversion (FCN 5)
    Giant Trance X

    My collection of Cols
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    i rode it last year with a friend. i used 39/25, made it to the top in just under 1hr 30. i didn't have any real issues with this gearing, which was fine for alpe d'huez as well, managed that in 57 minutes.

    however, i'm pretty light. and quite fast, on a good day.

    none of which helps, other than to say yes - gear down, spin to win, and unless you're really big and not fit i can't see why anything other than fairly standard compact chainset wouldn't suffice.

    certainly 30x26 should be fine, anything else is just more bale out gears for no real reason.

    enjoy it, it's certainly one of the more amazing experiences you can have on a bicycle.

    4503681196_4f391af6cf_z.jpg
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
    thanks for all the advice folks,
    .
    my mind is now put to rest. a little anyway!!!!!!
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
    changed my mind!

    bike now fitted with a 13 to 28 cassette.

    thanks for the advice again.
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
  • screebsscreebs Posts: 178
    Aged 40, I took up cycling 2 years ago with the sole purpose of climbing Ventoux - I didn't even have a bike when I set myself the challenge!

    I did it on a hybrid bike and would love to try it again in the carbon road bike I ended up buying last summer.

    One piece of advice, 2 actually, get up early in the morning and set out before the sun is at it's hottest and take a long sleeved top or jacket for at the top and the descent - even at the height of summer it's cold up there.

    There is a photo of me below cycling up Ventoux.

    Enjoy your celebratory beer back in Bedoin.
    Me struggling up Mont Ventoux for the first time! Done it 3 times since (each way up) without stopping. This seems like a lifetime ago! http://img208.imageshack.us/i/snapshot2 ... 45552.tif/
  • PretrePretre Posts: 355
    twotyred wrote:
    For bike hire I used these guys

    http://www.francebikerentals.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

    They are based in Bedoin on the road to Ventoux- in fact the name of their shop is La Route du Ventoux. Good choice of bikes. One of the owners is American/Canadian so language not a problem. They will also deliver the bike if you want.

    One thing to think about if you hire a bike - the brakes are likely to be the other way round! Friend of mine hired one in Malucene a few years ago & he almost crashed because of the barkes as he was riding round the bottom of the Ventoux to start from Bedoin
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
    now the bike is sorted.

    could anyone recomend a good place to stay other than veloventoux that i already know about.

    any advice is welcome.
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    exlaser wrote:
    now the bike is sorted.

    could anyone recomend a good place to stay other than veloventoux that i already know about.

    any advice is welcome.

    What's your budget?
  • SDF64SDF64 Posts: 34
    Regardless of what gearing you eventually go with, make sure you start off early enough to avoid the hottest part of the day.

    I'm not sure how hot it gets in June but when I rode it in July '09, the day before the tour came through, it was the heat that did for me. As soon as I hit the treeline it was as if all the oxygen had been sucked out of the air.

    As others have said though, no matter how hot it feels at the bottom, it can still be pretty nippy at the top and on the way down.

    Good luck and enjoy.
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
    budget is open at the moment.

    only going for a few days, so would be willing to push the boat out a little for the right place.
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
  • cakewalkcakewalk Posts: 220
    exlaser wrote:
    budget is open at the moment.

    only going for a few days, so would be willing to push the boat out a little for the right place.


    Ditto. Any information in where to stay would be useful.
    "I thought of it while riding my bicycle."
  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,139
    If that's the case, I'd go with Craig at VeloVentoux. Not expensive anyway but pick you up from the airport, great guide and give you support up Ventoux.

    I know you said you know about them but there's no need to look elsewhere IMO.
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    go with craig! he's the man!

    then do a 3-up time trial up gorge de la nesque in under 36 minutes. or not.
  • Gavin CookGavin Cook Posts: 307
    Hi
    The municipal camp site is very nice and cheap. The site is shaded in a forest. You can take a tent or caravan as I always do but they also have holiday homes for rent. By the way for your celebration beer etc the food is excelent at http://www.lescapade.eu/ and if you book early for a room it would be a very nice stay also.
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
    did it last week!!!!!!!
    stayed at veloventoux.
    weather was spot on.

    the worst and best day i have ever had on my bike!

    thanks to everybody who gave me advice. :D
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
  • chiarkchiark Posts: 335
    Sounds fantastic, and something I am now aiming for... Pics? :D
    Synapse Alloy 105 / Rock Lobster Tig Team Sl
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 212
    sorry, have got pictures. but cannot see anyway to post them as i do not have a flicker( or similar) account!
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
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