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Information for cyclists

Information for cyclists

This year’s climb for cyclists starts in Sault. It will take place on Friday 31 August. Please make sure that both you and your bike are in excellent condition.

The Bike

There are many different types of bikes, they could differ in size, inches and brands. Each will have their own specification. Every bike is suitable, as long as it will meet your personal preferences. The most important thing is that it will be comfortable during your training as well as during the climb. This will avoid injuries and makes the challenge more fun.

If you are not in the possession of a bike, or if you are not sure if your bike is the right size, please visit a bicycle mechanic. He will be able to advise you. To find the perfect fit, the mechanic will measure your body. With this information, the bike mechanic will be able to adjust your bike to perfection. Even with the bike you already own, small and relatively cheap adjustments can make a big difference in comfort and this will make cycling more enjoyable.

For more information regarding bikes and training, we would like to direct you to the very informative website wielersportinfo.nl. Their useful training schedule can be found on the same website. Click here to go to the schedule.

Bicycle Gearing

Do not overestimate yourself! During the climb of the Mount Ventoux the type of gearing determines how enjoyable this will be. If your gear is to high it will be too exhausting and will cause you to continue by foot. The Mont Ventoux is merciless!

During your training and during the climb you need to have the correct bicycle gearing. This will prevent unpleasant injuries.

A mountain bike has a triple gear at the front with 24, 38 and 48 teeth and at the rear it has 9 or 10 gears, with 15 to 30 teeth per gear. If you are still in doubt, we advise you to have your bicycle mechanic install a 32 teeth gear at the rear.
Normally a mountain bike is equipped with large knobby tires. You’ll do yourself a huge favour to swap them with slimmer road tires before heading to France. This will reduce the rolling friction considerably (the costs of new inner tubes are approximately 2x € 30,00).

A standard racing bike has a double or a triple gear at the front. The double gear has normally 50 and 39 teeth, or in case of a so called “compact” version, 48 and 36 and the triple gear is normally equipped with 50, 38 and 30 teeth.
At the rear the standard number of gears is 9 or 10 with 12 to 25 teeth. Even in combination with a triple gear at the front this combination might be too heavy for climbing the Mont Ventoux.

Advice

Our advice is, before you leave for France, to see your local bike store and let them install a gear at the rear, as large as possible (27, or preferably, one with 29 or 30 teeth).
You will do yourself a huge favour. But be aware, don’t let people tell you, especially when you have no experience with the Mont Ventoux, that it is easily possible to do it with a 39 gear at the front and a 25 gear at the rear. Not even if your bike mechanic, other competitors or friends and family say so.

Have your bike serviced before leaving for France!

Check your own bike, or even better, bring it for a service check-up at your bicycle mechanic. Don’t wait too long, because you might not be the only one that needs their bike checked.

Please check for yourself

  • Brake pads and their adjustment. Check is there is enough profile on your brake pads and these are correctly installed.
  • The outer tubes. Check if there are no scuffs on the upper layer. Worn out tyres could cause a puncture
  • Quality of the chain in combination with the gears. If you have a worn out chain, the back blades have to be replaced. A slippery chain at the climb could be a disaster
  • Check if you see any breakage or bending at the gears
  • Adjustment of your acceleration, at the front as well as at the back
  • Clean your bike, chain and tooth blades thorough and grease the chain with silicone spray
  • Try every acceleration on your bike in the Netherlands before you are going to Ventoux. Try your bike on a hill, viaduct or any place with an incline

Safety

  • Make sure you bike is in excellent condition. Especially the brakes, brake pads and the tyres
  • Always wear a safety helmet. Also during the climb!
  • Wear cycling gloves for the protection of your hands
  • During bad weather conditions, please wear a yellow or orange safety jacket
  • Use sun lotion at sunny and hot weather (skin cancer)
  • Put Deet repellent on in the morning, also on your clothes and in particular on your back and buttocks (Protection of hornets and wasps in the woods)

What do you need for the climb of the Ventoux?

  • 2x a drinking bottle with water and maybe 1 with sports drink
  • Food: E.g. a sandwich, ginger bread or a banana. Please be careful with food you are not used to, like energy bars.
  • After bite/anti-histamine cream, in case you have been bitten by insects
  • 1x an extra inner tube
  • 2x tyre levers and a repair kit
  • A small bicycle pump
  • Arm, leg parts and, if possible, a wind jacket. The wind can be very strong at the Ventoux and it can become very cold. You can buy arm and leg parts in the Bioracer Web shop, which will be open at the start of May (Keep an eye out for a post at this website) Gloves in case the forecast at the summit is cold. You won’t need them directly at the climb, but at the descent the gloves will be very useful