Prendrefeu, you are correct- there is a genetic determinant to altitude adaptation (and increased susceptibility to altitude related illnesses). The genetics are actually incredibly complex, as the molecular mechanisms are not all the same for different ailments or adaptive mechanisms. For example, the genetic adaptations to high altitude living among the natives of the Tibetan plateau and the high Andes are not the same. There are also epigenetic factors in play, and some good evidence that patent foramen ovale (a persistent potential passageway between the right and left upper chambers of the heart that usually closes in infancy but may remain partially open in up to 30% of adults) may be a factor, too.
Bottom line- there are good adapters and poor adapters, and rapid adapters and slow adapters. You've got to be lucky!
A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.
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