Gearing for Everesting challenge

Anyone here tried the Kingdom Come Eversting Challenge in KY? It looks like a 1.2m climb at 12% average grade. I currently run 52/36 with a 11-28 cassette 105 11-speed groupset. If i swap for a 105 shadow long cage RD and an 11-34 cassette is this doable? Are there any other cheap/easy gearing changes that would make this doable?

I have a 268 ftp and just completed SSBHV1 and 2 no problem. Ive done Mt Evans in CO and a few other big climbs, but nothing like this before.

At 12% I’d get the smallest front and biggest rear you can. You’re gonna want to ride at between .5 and .6 IF, around 130-140 watts and being able to spin comfortably at that wattage output is tough. Based on a .5IF (uphill only), your weight (sniped from your tr page), and a bike weight of 17lbs, that puts you at a climbing speed of 3mph. Whipped this up on with a 24t up front, and 10-50 rear mtb setup.

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This has the rough strava segment and some data put in already, mess around with it for estimates on time and stuff.


Wow, that is very informative. Thank you

I’m not going to do this if i have to change my whole drivetrain, so unless i can bodge something together I will just forget it. That, or just try it and fail spectacularly.


Going in with a ‘whatever happens happens’ mentality isn’t the worst. Thrash yourself for a while and if it’s too much dip out, change into some comfy clothes, and cheer everybody else on!

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Inner rings are relatively cheap (compared with outer rings), so you could replace that with a 34t - your front shifting may suffer, but on an everesting where you will be in the inner ring climbing, and coasting on the descent, this probably doesn’t matter).

The 7000 RD’s officially support 34t, but I have heard of people pushing this to 36t.

This would give you better than 1:1 gearing.

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I have put on a 11-40 with a 50/34 and R8000 long cage set up for my Everesting. I think you can possibly try a set up like that.

I think .5 or .6 IF is a bit pessimistic for pacing. Perhaps that’s a good target for overall pacing, but that would take into account the descents which you can just freewheel, and breaks for food etc, and look at more like .7 or even .75 for the actual climbing.

Mine averaged 13% and I used a 34/30, it was fine, but as you approach the 6000-7000 meter mark an extra gear wouldn’t be a bad option, something like 34:32.

Find a climb of similar gradient and ride up it a couple of times, then decide if you can do that for a full day.


Shimano says this RD supports 34t, and it seems to unofficially work for 36t. Are you using a hanger extender? how does this work?

WWED. What would Eddy do?

Just signed up for an Everesting event in mid May in MD (no DK for me) and I’ll be trying to see how going up to 34 in the rear works out ahead of time.

I actually just made it work without an extended hanger. B screw wasn’t even all the way in. Of course you probably don’t want to go 50-40 haha! Also probably need to find a good mechanic!

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This is definitely an option. Of course you loose a bunch of gearing options, but if you’re only going to be going through 3 or 4 gears on a climb it’s a perfect solution.

Just need the extender if you can’t fit your derailleur under the cassette with the b screw all the way out.

The MD ride looks really appealing. A 7% average grade, so lots and lots of repeats to get to 29,000 feet… A bunch of my audax/rando friends will be there too since it’s in our wheelhouse for sure. :slight_smile:

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Right on! I’m going to scout the climb out a bit if I can find a weekend where I’m home, I definitely want to try it out with my 28 and see how bad it is for a couple laps.

Hello everyone! @joetats how did the gearing work for you?
I’m planning my everesting on an average 9,3% climb. My FTP is 286 with 64kg, so based on recommendations found online (average uphill power for everesting 75% of FTP) the target watts would be around 214. My current setup is shimano 12 speed 52/36 front and 11-30 rear. I drove up a comparable hill twice the other day and it was around 240 watts and felt easy, but 26 times?! The 36/30 combo might be too hard to meet the 214 watt target and I might overcook after some rounds. So I’m very interested in what your gearing choices were. Thanks a lot and have a great day!

I’m using this same setup without any issues. Ultegra R8000 shifters, Stages Ultegra R8000 50/34 crank with an Ultegra RX rear derailleur, and an 11-40 cassette. Very happy with it overall, and it’s been great on all but the absolute craziest hill.


My power and w/kg numbers are very comparable to yours, and I have done a fair amount of everestings to have some useful input:

Riding at 200-240w in the segment makes sense. It feels silly easy the first few times, then you get into it, and by the end it will feel closer to 260-300w. Perhaps a way of considering the ideal gear ratio is to see what rpm you would use at an all out effort on the same climb, and then calculate what gearing you would need to ride the same climb, with the same rpm, but at 200-220w?

On the face of it, 36x30 as your lightest gear should be good enough unless you really spin fast. I usually climb with an rpm of 65-75, and I have everested a 10% climb with 36x30 without (unnecessary) suffering.

A 9-10% hill is of course harder than 6-8% climbs, but the benefit is that you are much closer to 200 than 250 km of riding in total. That helps to know, at least mentally, as you get to the end of the ride.

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@sykkelerik thank you very much for the very helpful answer and the interesting insights!

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