Sinan Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

20.7
FIETS
8.3 mi
DISTANCE
5,277 ft
GAINED
12.2 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Ties Arts, Bussum, Netherlands

INTRO

Another of the great Asir Mountain bike climbs. This ascent is ranked #13 in the world and the third most difficult in Saudi Arabia.  There are 5 Asir Mountain climbs in the World Top 100 and 5 in the Top 25. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
The roadway as with all Asir Mountain climbs we have documented is in excellent condition. 
A small chain ring (e.g. 34) and large rear cassette cog (e.g. 40-42) is a must. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - PJAMM Cyclist rides up roadway near roadsign that warns, "Slow Down: Dangerous Curves Ahead"

Cycling Sinan Road, Saudi Arabia

Ride 8.3 miles gaining 5,287’ at 12.2% average grade.

Climb summary by PJAMM founder John Johnson.

This is the third most difficult climb in Saudi Arabia and #3 in the world.  It was an absolute bear and ranks as one of the hardest climbs I have ever done, yet only the fourth hardest in Saudi by my subjective estimation - ranking ahead in terms of difficulty are Al Jaadah (world #2), Baniamr Aquabah (world #4), and Rdom (world #18 but only because a 1.1 mile at 13% descent unfairly knocks it down on the Fiets Index).

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage, PJAMM Cyclists stand with their bikes at climb's start, goats can be seen on rocky hillsides

This climb begins in a fairly remote area in the middle of the Asir Mountains.  On our ride up in November 2021, the temperature was in the low 90s at the bottom, decreasing to 80s by midpoint, and low 80s at the top - in other words, not a problem.

STEEP

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows just how steep the pitch of the road is

Well, that’s what makes the Asir Mountains the greatest cycling climbing area in the world - extreme grades! A quarter-mile at 20.9%, a half-mile at 19.7%, and a full one mile at 17.4%

STEEP . . .

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - Garmin device reads 25%

and . . .  STEEPER!!

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - Garmin device reads 26%

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson working his way up incredibly steep grade of roadway

I struggled on this climb.  It was my ninth top 100 world climb in nine days, beginning on the day I landed in Saudi. I used a 34 chainring with a 42t rear cassette.  Others on the trip had rear cassettes ranging from 40 to 50t.  I would not attempt this or any of the Asir Mountain climbs without at least a 34t chainring and 42t rear cassette.

HAIRPINS

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage, PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson rides up steep mountain roadway, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson cycling up hairpins in roadway

30 hairpins over the last 3.9 miles at average grade of 15.5%.

 

EPIC

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows views along the roadway, PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson cycling up steep hairpin along roadway

There is no question this and most (if not all) Asir Mountain climbs we document on this website fit the definition of “epic” - unique, challenging, and scenic.  Add to this the mystique of these climbs being wholly undocumented and unrecorded in any cycling app, website, or book, and you have a profoundly exceptional epic experience in the works.

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows views along the roadway as two PJAMM Cyclists climb this epic cycling climb

There is surprisingly abundant water in the Asir Mountains.  They get a fair amount of rain (including hail, which we experienced one evening) and what they don’t get naturally is pumped in from desalination plants.

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows views looking down the climb route

I am sad and somewhat embarrassed to admit that much of my ride up this mountain was with my head down, as I struggled mightily against gravity and cruelly steep gradients.

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - bike parked against large white rock on side of roadway, bright blue sky, 20% grade

It is always hard to capture “steep” in photos, but my bike is leaning against a rock on a 20% grade.

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows views along climb, looking down roadway, jagged rocks, high desert landscape

HAVING FUN

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - white rocks line hillside along extremely sharp hairpin turn

This climb was type 1 (during) and type 2 (at the finish) fun. 😊

I AM BLESSED TO HAVE HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson sits on large rock overlooking the mountain range at the top of climb, his bike next to him

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclists enjoying the views at the top of the climb, posing for photos on retaining wall with police officer, and sitting on rock overlooking the mountains beyond

I soooo enjoyed my Asir Mountain trip - the greatest adventure of my life.  The people of the mountains were so kind and gracious, even law enforcement stopped to pose for photos with us.

BABOONS

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - baboons play on rock retaining wall on roadside

I encountered the Asir Mountain baboons on my first ride in the mountains as well as on the majority of my 11 climbs (in 11 days 😓).

OTHER WILDLIFE

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows brightly colored lizards and birds along the climb

FINISH

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage at climb finish shows two PJAMM Cyclists and baboons

Yep - they were there to great us . . . 😉

MUSEUM AT THE TOP

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - panoramic photo shows the mountain range spread out before you at the beginning of the climb

It’s a bit demoralizing starting out knowing you have (a) some of the steepest grades in the world ahead, and (b) you can see the fortress standing between you and the top most of the way.

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows museum at the top of the climb

If you squint, you’ll see the private museum (which we visited) at the very top of the climb as you inch your way up the road.

Cycling Sinan Road (Al Meger), Saudi Arabia - bright colors and intricately painted tiles inside museum

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