Mauna Kea Climb tire choice and logistics

Looking good so far for next week.


Never trust a forecast from a non-Hawaiian source for weather.

Also never trust a forecast more than 3 days in advance.

Hawaii weather is notoriously hard to forecast, but it doesn’t look like there is any major systems moving through in the next week, so thats good!


Also be sure to check this source for summit weather!


Monday or Tuesday will be D day.


Good Luck!

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Yes have fun and hope for no earthquakes.

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Good luck with the climb OaF.

Just spent a week in Kona doing less strenuous things than you are planning. Nice weather, nice visit. Be sure to spend some time staring out at the ocean. Lots of whales to be seen this time of year.

While road cycling, did note there was a lot of glass and other debris on the shoulders along the Queen’s Highway in and around town.

We hiked in Volcanoes Park a day before the earthquake. Wife joked today that it would have been fun to be walking across a crater and have the ground start shaking.


Having ridden on 3 of the 4 major islands(Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai), Hawaii has the most glass on the road(and burn scars for car fires) Kauai had the least, but the infrastructure was as good. Maui is the best riding of the Hawaiian Islands IMO. Tubeless is a must though!


Y’all that don’t live in earthquake country have some strange ideas about ‘em. Not saying you in particular… I’m from the Midwest and upon moving here almost all my friends and family gave me a hard time about it.

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I said she was joking right?

We’ve actually felt four good earthquakes / tremors. Three while living in California and one here on the east coast. The good shakers are definitely interesting to experience. We’ll meet someday and I’ll tell you a funny story about circumstances during a pretty good shaker in the Bay Area circa 2001 :slight_smile:

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Looking like Mother Nature isn’t playing nice. Road is currently closed due to winds and the forecast looks to keep the high winds around through tomorrow :cry: a possibility it’s low enough to open the road tomorrow afternoon, but still gonna be over 30 mph.

Hopefully @oldandfast can make it work on a different day.


32mm slicks ended up being ok for 70% of the gravel section. But you MUST air down, the last section was washboardy and deep. Happy with the choice overall.

The top of Maunakea is one of the most remarkable spots on earth I’ve been to.


We need a bit more of a ride report than that.


Here are the main points:

  • Lots of uncertainty around the weather. I only found out road was open at 6am.
  • Since I’m staying in Kona, after the 105min drive I ended up starting very late.
  • Somehow I forgot my jersey, so I rode with a cotton tshirt, at least was tight fitting.
  • it got really hot during the highway portion, my left foot was bothering me.
  • Felt really good all day, good pace, sea level legs and HR. Good nutrition, but hydration was a miss due to the extra heat of the first half.
  • The ranger was kind and only wasted my time for 20 mins or so.
  • The gravel section was punctuated by some bad cramping in the right leg. I paid my hydration mistakes of earlier in the day.
  • The last paved portion is absolutely epic, a road to the sky. I had to put 210-220w just to chug along, 34 in the front and 40 in the back.
  • It was very cold and windy at the top.

This is the best climb in the world. The variety of conditions, gravel, steepness, views at the top. Will do it again for sure.


That is epic! Well done sir and thanks for the report!


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Congrats on the achievement. The greatest climb there is for road/ gravel cyclists.


Phil went and set the KOM Today from Waikoloa.


Congrats on the climb. When we go back next time might just put this on the list of “to-dos”.

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@oldandfast I’ll be on the big island in a couple weeks and am considering attempting this. My main concern is the altitude, as a sea level dweller. We’ll see.

Logistical Qs: Is water available at the visitor center at ~9k’? And, did you have cell service high on the mountain? I may be coordinating a pickup to avoid riding all the way down, and wondering if I need to bring an InReach.

Yes and yes. Don’t bother with the inReach.

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