Inspired by the previous achievement (antics?) of Claudio Caluori, two riders have taken on the challenge of beating his ebike everesting world record. OK, so write up reads a bit ‘sponsored’, but the pics are nice – which is no surprise since they’re by our latest cover photographer, Martin Bissig.
We wondered whether an ebike challenge is any easier than any other endurance challenge – or whether it’s just that different bits hurt. Ralph gave us some answers:
It’s hard to imagine what would hurt most on a ride like this – bum, legs, arms? The descents or the climbs?! Can you tell us a bit about how it felt?
Different things during the day hurts. In the morning, I had problems with cramps in the legs. Than around midday, we both had back and bud pains. Max had back pain till the end. My beck pains stopped after a few hours. In the end, I had massive problems with the hands. And now, one day later, the hands hurt most. After 10 hours, the uphill part was more fun than the downhill.
It can be hard to keep eating on a long endurance challenge – is it the same on an ebike, or does the lack of max heart rate help keep the stomach settled?
Eating was difficult. On the one hand, we had to eat for the power and I also took some magnesium against the cramps, but on the other hand, after 8h, my stomach started to hurt and feel not so good. In the afternoon we mostly just ate/drank bouillon soup and some crackers. We really drink a lot. I drank more than 8 litres. (Water, Isostar, Cola)
You’ve now done an ebike and ‘acoustic’ world record – are the physical challenges really that different when you add a motor into the mix?
The Ebike world record was harder. With the uphill part, the time in the saddle was longer. And in the downhill, you have the heavier e bike.
For the first world record the was organisation really difficult, because we could only ride every trail once and we had to organise the timing with the gondolas.
But the second world record with the E Bike was physically harder.
Did you turbo all the way?!
Yes all turbo. Our Specialized Levos work really good and we had no problems the whole day.
How many battery changes did you go through for this record?
Thanks Ralph! Here’s the original press release and story:
New e-bike world record in Davos Klosters
- Photos: Martin Bissig
- Text: Franz Thomas Balmer
Ralph van den Berg and Max Chapuis have set a new world record for ascent in Davos Klosters. Inspired by the ‘Keneveresting Challenge’, the pair covered a total of 14,623 metres of altitude, travelling uphill on forest roads and downhill on biking trails in a 16-hour feat of strength.
Ralph van den Berg and Max Chapuis set out to claim their world record at four o’clock in the morning. To ensure they had the maximum amount of daylight, they chose 21 June – the longest day of the year. Everything went to plan, with no breakdowns along the way. Chapuis and van den Berg managed a total of 14,623 metres of vertical ascent within the allotted period of 16 hours. A new world record. And biking destination Davos Klosters was the ideal place to do it.
‘We wanted to cover as much altitude in as short a distance as possible, so we didn’t waste too much time,’ explains van den Berg. Claudio Caluori’s ‘Keneveresting Challenge’ was the inspiration behind this world record attempt. Back in 2020, the former downhill professional covered 13,500 metres of altitude on the ‘Specialized Kenevo’ e-bike – which helped inspire the challenge’s name. ‘Everesting’ is a trend where bikers tackle 8,848 metres of altitude – the height of Mount Everest.
Returning to the world record: ‘We cycled the whole day on the same “Specialized Turbo Levo”. We were able to climb over 1,500 metres of altitude with a 700 Wh battery in power mode,’ says van den Berg. But they still needed proper battery planning. According to the rules, the service team was not permitted to accompany the cyclists as they went in pursuit of their world record. Instead, the team had to wait at a fixed location: down in Klosters at the Gotschnabahn. This was the only place where batteries could be replaced or repairs could be made. In addition, only commercially available electric mountain bikes using normal batteries and capped at 25 km/h were permitted for use in the world record attempt.
Ralph van den Berg was already no stranger to world records in mountain biking. He broke the singletrack world record in Davos Klosters with Christoph Fässler back in summer 2021. Together, the pair covered 20,100 metres of altitude downhill in 16 hours, beating the previous singletrack world record by 516 metres. And best of all: they never covered the same trail twice. ‘I wanted to show that a father with a demanding job can still enjoy a quick adventure now and again,’ explained the 38-year-old. With its 700-kilometre singletrack network, biking destination Davis Klosters was the perfect stage for this feat – living up to its slogan ‘Sports Unlimited’.
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