Ronan Mc Laughlin, Everesting Record, 6 Hrs 40 Mins, March 2021

Really nice video. Hard thing to approach these Everesting videos because actual footage is extremely dull looking on film hence they’ve padded the most of it with his background and commentary.

Would like to see more actual riding but you’d need some clever dramatisation to make it feel exciting. I like the idea of a few secs of the downhill repeated with a counter every once in a while throughout it with the last minute of the last few laps uphill shown. Someone will find a way to do these videos and that will become the template eventually.

Anyhow, amazing effort, and there will be a lot of eyes on this now. I think we’ll see it broken this year and I think Ronan has a better time in him too. That hill is amazing, but it’s unlikely to be the best, there will be a better hill in better wind conditions on a rider slightly lighter and slightly stronger. Ronan himself in just incrementally better form would be that man. He doesn’t say if this is him at his best w/kg for example.


So many fascinating elements of this ride including his preparation, family support, bike customization, and wind factor. Not mentioned so far (I think) that he discussed is the perfect road profile and how it helped him. This will likely affect future record attempts and even regular Everest attempts.

  • Bottom - shallow. allowed him to get up to speed quickly
  • Top - steep. while difficult to complete the lap (we have all been there), he reached 45-50mph quickly

Of course, his execution looks like perfection. If you haven’t done so already, I would suggest looking on Strava in “Analysis” to see his individual segments looking at power and heart rate.

Phil and Ronan did a follow up too. Phil seems to think 6:30 is the target now


Good points. I’d like to see how he handled the turn at the bottom.

i’ve ridden that road. believe me the downhill is bumpy and sketchy as hell, at speed.

In the video it looks like he’s being handed up two water bottles at the top of the climb, I presume to weight the bike for the descent.
That coupled with a stonking tailwind being funnelled through the valley (again on the video), makes a mockery of the whole thing in my opinion. It’s like Strava; good to begin with then meaningless over time as rules and conditions are stretched further and further.

Don’t agree with this. It’s simply working with physics to get the best result. Cycling has always been about this and nothing about his attempt tactics is extraordinary. The weight weeny tactics are common in the UK hill climb scene and almost every KOM has a strong tailwind (because let’s face it, what idiot doesn’t understand the advantage/disadvantage of air resistance).

Anyone can go out and replicate Ronan’s attempt. Anyone can use MyWindsock or the local weather app to pick a suitably windy day for an attempt. Anyone can work and buy some aero bars or faring, or have their family of friends help them with the effort.

That stuff is easy.

The hard bit is getting your w/kg to the level these guys do. That takes years of discipline and that’s what criticism about road records or KOMs seeks to belittle.


Taken to the extreme though, what if there was an 80mph tailwind? Not unheard of in Ireland. Use a faired recumbent with big extendable air chutes. Wouldn’t even have to peddle. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Or just wear a jacket with batwing sleeves and sit up with your arms out on the climb.
Support crews, pace setters etc gets too far from man, machine, hill, for my taste.

Would love to see it, extremes are more interesting that middling around with barely interesting conditions.

What we do need is an easy to use Everesting calculator that also accounts for wind. Just too tedious to research multiple hills in various wind conditions otherwise. It’s fine if you have a nice local hill and you run the numbers on that. I do wonder what the sweet spot is for tailwind up / headwind down… it’ll depend on gradient & total system weight no doubt too.

Then there’s an 80mph headwind on the descent. I dunno, but it doesn’t matter how fast you get up if you can’t get back down again. :wink:

I did think of that too. That’s where the faired recumbent came in.

It all starts to get a bit silly from now on I reckon, followed by stricter rules being laid down.
It’s why speed records have to be done in both directions then averaged out. Only way to remove the variables.
Looks like virtual Everesting is the future :laughing:

I dunno, I think you’d lose a lot of time packing the chutes away at the top each time.

Airbrakes. Simple flap system operated from the cockpit.
Maybe I like this direction after all. Everesting records beaten by bearded old men with sheds.

Yeah, becase it is so much different than hour record and choosing suitable velodrome with fast surface and optimal barometric pressure. There is cycling purity and there is setting the records. I have nothing against what people are doing because it is part of the game. If you want to be purist every record should be done on the same climb with similar conditions - but where is the fun? I think that choosing the climb and conditions makes it interesting.


Thing I don’t get is why we even have comments about wind conditions in KOMs and road record. It’s always a part of road racing and TT’ing. Always. Since the first ride in history it was understood.

Purists are drawn more to track cycling, where conditions are more consistent. Though even there like you pointed out they’ll squeeze aerodynamics, tech and air pressure to the max where possible…

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That is why I am not a huge fan of hour record - I get the “equality” and comparison only by power of the rider but on the other hand I would like to see how you can “squeeze” everything you can form the effort. BIke racing is extremely regulated by very strange limitations and I think that it needs something liberating, where you can use whatever you want to squeeze another second and move the boundaries, not only physical but technological.

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e-Bikes might be our saviour. If they get popular I think people will want to see e-Bike racing which would hopefully not be handled by the UCI and also outside UCI rules.

That could open up an unregulated bike design era again.

We really need it. UCI have strangled innovation for decades now.

Speed bullet batwing recumbent with instaload 1 ton water ballast system coming from a shed near you…