Everything you need to know to conquer the hills of the Victorian Alps.
Top bike set-up tips for the 7 Peaks ride
Gearing – The steep sections of the 7 Peaks climbs, especially on Mt Baw Baw and Mt Hotham, require a very small gear to ride ‘comfortably’. Choosing a compact or even ‘super’ compact front chain ring with a 34t or 32t small ring will help you tackle the steep sections and keep your cadence high enough to not be grinding your knees apart. Pairing the compact front with a 28t+ rear cassette should get you over most climbs.
Brake pads – There will be massive climbs in the 7 Peaks, which means massive descents. So, make sure you have enough brake pad left to tackle the downhill sections and check your brake tracks on your rims for excessive wear before you go. If you’re running disc brakes, make sure your pads can handle the heat build-up on brake-heavy descents like Mt Baw Baw.
Position – The 7 Peaks are very demanding on bike and body so make sure the two are working well together. If you have had a bike fit recently, make sure the new position works for you before slugging it out up a one-hour climb. Any small niggles at the bottom can become major pains by the top. If you have not had a bike fit, it may be worth your time and money to get one now to make sure you can make it through all 7 Peaks injury free.
The isolated location of some climbs lend themselves to a support vehicle to help with water, food or mechanical needs. Most of the climbs have patchy phone reception, which also encourages the use of a support vehicle. We were loaned an Isuzu D-Max and put a set of Yakima racks above the tray which made the trip home at the end of some long days much more comfortable!