Average gradient: 4.0%
Elevation gain: 274m
The 1 in 20 is Melbourne’s most popular cycling climb. Winding its way up Mountain Highway from The Basin to Sassafras this gentle climb provides a fantastic way for cyclists of all abilities to test themselves.
The climb gets its name from the average gradient with which it climbs up into the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Like so many of the roads running through the Dandenongs, this section of Mountain Highway is truly breathtaking with its wide variety of native flora and fauna.
The 1 in 20 climb begins at the traffic lights at the top end of the shops in The Basin. The start line is marked on the road.
The climb finishes at the 50km/h speed signs just before the township of Sassafras. The finish is also marked on the road.
At a glance
- A gentle, picturesque climb with a generous false-flat section.
- The first 3.3km of the climb are gentle with only a few slight changes in gradient.
- The false-flat begins roughly 3.3km from the start of the climb and is about 1.1km long.
- The climbing in the final 2.4km is gentle with few changes of gradient.
Due to its reasonably gentle gradient, the 1 in 20 isn’t an overly challenging climb if you are just trying to reach the top. The real challenge here lies in posting a new best time.
From the get-go at the 60km/h signs the road tilts gently upward and maintains a fairly steady gradient of around 4-5% for the entirety of it’s 6.8km length. Distance markers have been painted on the road every kilometre, giving you an indication of how much further you have to climb.
Roughly 3.3km from the start of the climb (500m after the 4km-to-go marker) the road settles into a false-flat for roughly 1.1km. If you are looking to set a new PB up here you can’t afford to sit up and rest on this flat section and speeds in the realm of 40km/h are set along here by A-grade riders.
After tilting upwards again for the last couple kilometres, the road emerges from the Dandenong Ranges National Park before one last left turn into the finish.
A time of under 14 minutes up here will put you among the very best to have ridden this climb, but any time under 20 minutes is also respectable.
The 1 in 20 climb starts in the suburb of The Basin, around 30km east of Melbourne’s CBD. The climb is best accessed by following Mountain Highway from Bayswater.
To see how your best time compares with other members of the cycling community, head over to the Strava segment for this climb.