Mountain Biking In Golden, Colorado | Our Favorite Trails

August 6, 2022

Golden Colorado is known for many things including Coors Beer, Colorado School of Mines, and well cycling of course. Separated from the urban sprawl of Denver by North and South Table mountains and flanked by the foothills of the Rockies to the west, there are mountains in every direction. For mountain bikers, Golden has a little bit of everything to offer. While the majority of the trails lend themselves better to intermediate and advanced riders, there are certainly beginner-friendly options out there.

From downtown Golden, you’re only a few miles away from several riding zones including Lookout Mountain, Apex, White Ranch, Green Mountain, Dakota Ridge, and North Table Mountain. Did we mention that Golden is a cycling Mecca?

For Beginners | Bear Creek Lake Park

For beginner riders, your best bet is going over to Bear Creek Lake Park. There are over 32 trails to choose from, 27 of them being rated for beginners. The majority of the trails in Bear Creek Lake Park are single track, with the longest trail clocking in at 7 miles with 645 feet of climbing. Getting to the park is easy from Golden but you do have to pay to park. Aside from mountain biking, there are other activities to do in Bear Creek including swimming, paddle boarding, hiking, and picnics.

Bear Creek Lake Park, source: https://www.lakewood.org/

For Intermediate Riders | North Table Mountain & Green Mountain

For intermediate riders, we recommend checking out North Table Mountain, which has a challenging trail that goes around the perimeter of the mountain. At the top of North Table Mountain, there is a fun trail called Rim Rock that is worth checking out too (Rim Rock is closed from February 1 through July 31 2020 to protect raptor nesting territory and ground-nesting bird habitat). On the east side of North table mountain, you will find New Terrain Brewing and the Golden Bike Park which has a fun jump progression line to work on your skills. There is even an area where young kids can work on skills with their strider bikes.

Another great area well suited for intermediate riders is Green Mountain, which is just south of Golden. One of our favorite trails in this area is Rooney Valley, which was newly constructed in within the past few years. It is a multi-directional trail, but if you ask us it’s best ridden down. The trail is smooth and flowy, featuring swooping berms over a couple miles of mellow single track. There are plenty of options for advanced riders too, including the Box o’ Rocks Trail which was built by the Colorado Mountain Bike Association. It’s a short rock garden trail that is fun to hot-lap over and over!

Green Mountain, source: https://www.lakewood.org/

Advanced Riders | Lookout Mountain, Apex Park, & White Ranch

For advanced riders check out Lookout Mountain, Apex Park, and White Ranch Park. These three areas have some of the most technical and difficult mountain biking that Golden has to offer. On Lookout Mountain, Chimney Gulch is a fantastic descent that goes from the top of the mountain all the way to the town of Golden. It offers 1,800 vertical feet of chunky and fast single track, but note that this trail is very busy on the weekends with hikers. In White Ranch, Connecting Maverick with Longhorn Trail is another challenging and technical descent. Steep, rocky, and fast, you will be peeling your hands off the bars by the bottom. Lastly, Apex Park is home to Enchanted Forest which is arguably the most popular trail in the area. Unlike the rest of Golden, Enchanted Forest provides some shade and woodsy type riding. It is a classic!

White Ranch Park, source: https://www.jeffco.us/

Whether you are visiting Colorado or live in the front range, Golden is definitely a mountain biking destination worth checking out. Much like the rest of Colorado, the trails here are both dry and rocky. Having a full suspension bike is definitely an advantage, but you can certainly get away with a hardtail too. If you’re used to riding in wetter and more foresty terrain, the dry and loose single track will certainly be a noticeable difference. We hope you found this article helpful. If you’re coming out here to ride, swing by the shop and say hello!


SRAM Eagle | SX vs NX vs GX vs X01 vs XX1

July 25, 2022

What is the difference between SRAM Eagle SX, NX, GX, X01, and XX1? All of these drivetrains offer a wide gearing range of 12 speeds, while increasing in performance and decreasing in weight as the price goes up. Let’s go through each groupset and talk about the pros and cons, what they offer, and why they may be the right fit for you.

SRAM SX

SRAM SX is the lowest entry point in the SRAM Eagle ecosystem. Rather than offering SX as a groupset, SRAM has designed it with the intent of riders making incremental upgrades to their drivetrain. It is also designed to be compatible with all groupset levels from NX to XX1. The 11-50T cassette works with low-cost wheels that have splined 8/9/10sp driver bodies. This makes upgrading to Eagle much more reasonable for low-end bikes that likely don’t have an XD driver.

Weight:

SX Eagle Shifter: 129 grams

SX Eagle Rear Derailleur: 337 grams

SX Eagle Crankset: 694 grams

– SX Eagle Cassette: 615 grams

– SX Eagle Chain: 278 grams

Total Weight: 2,053 grams

SRAM NX

SRAM NX is a newer option and is the most affordable offering you will find as a complete 12-speed groupset. It is on the heavier side at over 2000 grams and features an 11-50T cassette, which offers less range than GX. Like the SX, NX will work on a splined Shimano hub. If you’re looking for an affordable 12-speed option, don’t care about weight, and are ok with having slightly less range than GX then the NX drivetrain is a good option for you.

Weight:

NX Eagle Shifter: 101 grams

NX Eagle Rear Derailleur: 337 grams

NX Eagle Crankset: 700 grams

NX Eagle Cassette: 629 grams

NX Eagle Chain: 271 grams

Total Weight: 2,038 grams

SRAM GX

SRAM GX has been in the lineup for a number of years and has benefited from multiple iterations of redesigns and subsequent improvements. It is currently offered in alloy and carbon options. You will find the GX drivetrain on bikes at the mid-level price point. GX offers a great balance between performance, weight, and price. It also has an increased range compared to SX and NX with a 10-52T cassette.

Weight:

GX Eagle Shifter: 122 grams

GX Eagle Rear Derailleur: 300 grams

GX Eagle Crankset Alloy: 649 grams

GX Eagle Crankset Carbon: 555 grams

GX Eagle Cassette: 451 grams

GX Eagle Chain: 271 grams

Total Weight: 1,699g (carbon), 1,793g (alloy)

SRAM XO1

SRAM XO1 is a high-end option featuring a single body cassette construction, carbon cranks, and a lightweight derailleur and shifter assembly. The weight is reduced by 300 grams compared to the alloy GX and over 500 grams compared to SX. Because of the single-body construction, shifting is crisper and more reliable than a GX and NX drivetrain. You will find this drivetrain on mid to upper-level builds from brands like Specialized and Giant. If you are looking to make the jump from alloy to carbon and want to shave some weight, this could be a good option for you.

Weight:

X01 Eagle Shifter: 117 grams

X01 Eagle Rear Derailleur: 285 grams

X01 Eagle Crankset: 463 grams

X01 Eagle Cassette: 372 grams

X01 Eagle Chain: 262 grams

Total Weight: 1,499 grams

SRAM XX1

SRAM XX1 is the upper tier of the SRAM drivetrain hierarchy. Weighing 61 grams less than XO1 361 g less than GX and 561 g less than SX. The XX1 cranks are laid up in a special configuration making them the stiffest and lightest option available. If you want the absolute latest and best performance out of your drivetrain, then there is no comparison to XX1.

Weight:

XX1 Eagle Shifter: 112 grams

XX1 Eagle Rear Derailleur: 269 grams

XX1 Eagle Crankset: 424 grams

XX1 Eagle Cassette: 371 grams

XX1 Eagle Chain: 262 grams

Total Weight: 1,438g

If it’s time to upgrade your drivetrain or you’re in the market for a new mountain bike, looking at the level you’re getting is worth the research. For beginner mountain bikers or those looking to make their first purchase, SX/NX is a good option to get the benefit of 12 speeds. GX will work for most riders who want to improve shifting performance and weight reduction without the higher costs of upper-level drivetrains. XX1 and X01 are both great options for those who want additional weight savings, stiffer cranks, and crisper shifting. 


Hydraulic Verse Mechanical Disc Brakes

July 13, 2022

Disc brakes help bikes have consistent stopping power in a variety of weather conditions. While rim brakes and disc brakes perform about the same and dry in normal conditions, anyone that’s ridden in the rain knows that rim brakes lose stopping power when conditions get wet. This can be especially terrifying when you’re going fast. For mountain bikes, wet conditions are par for the course. And so having brakes that work well in these conditions is vital to safety. helps with fatigue, and makes the experience more enjoyable overall. But what is the difference between mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes?

Mechanical Disk Brakes

Mechanical disc brakes use a physical brake cable attached to actuate the brakes. This cable pulls the caliper, squeezes the brake pads on the rotor, and causes you to slow down. Most entry-level bikes with disc brakes will have a mechanical disc brake system.

Hydraulic Disk Brakes

Hydraulic disc brakes, on the other hand, use a hollow brake line that is filled with brake fluid, much like your car, to activate the caliper. You will find hydraulic brakes on most mid to upper-level bikes.

The Difference

The analogy that all used to compare these two systems is running in the sand versus running on concrete. Running in the sand is more difficult because you’re losing energy every time you take a step. The same is true for hydraulic mechanical disc brakes. When you pull the cable, you’re losing energy due to the stretch of the cable. This means you have to squeeze the brake harder to achieve the same stopping distance. Over the course of a long ride, this can cause significant fatigue especially when you’re riding in steeper terrain. Hydraulic disc brakes transfer virtually all of your force into the brake pad. This is why you only need to use one finger to squeeze the brakes and a hydraulic brake system. For those that have ridden with hydraulic brakes, you know the feeling.


Best Ways To Carry Tools and Accessories On Your Bike

July 13, 2022

There are many benefits to carrying tools and accessories on your bike. It can help lighten the load in your pack and possibly eliminate the need to carry one at all. While we are certainly advocates of being prepared every time you venture out for a ride and are digging the comeback of the fanny pack, it sure does feel good to move freely without the extra weight of accessories strapped to your back or stuffed in your jersey pockets. Moving these vital accessories off of your body and onto the bike drops your center of gravity, making for a more stable ride too. Without further adieu, here is a list of our favorite products for stashing stuff on your bike.

Saddle Bags

For road bikes, a saddle bag is a great way to stash tubes, CO2, tire levers, and a multi-tool. They come in a variety of sizes and features, but they all pretty much do the same thing. Secure stuff to your saddle. Pick out a saddle bag that matches the amount of stuff you are looking to stash. It really helps to see it in person, so we recommend swinging by your LBS to check them out. Some of our favorites are the Micro Two from Ortleib or the Specialized Road Bandit for a minimal ultralightweight option. For mountain bikes, we recommend steering clear of saddle bags unless you are riding a hardtail.

Tools Bottles

Have an extra bottle cage to spare? Using a tool bottle puts the weight of your accessories even lower in the bike, keeping the center of gravity close to the ground and your tools out of your jersey pocket. Using a tool bottle is a great option for shorter rides where you only need to bring one full water bottle. This way you can use your second cage (if you have one) for tool storage. On mountain bikes, a tool bottle can be a good alternative to the SWAT box found on Specialized bikes. Just make sure to ride with a friend who can spare some water.

EDC Lite Tool

The EDC Lite stashes a multi tool in your steer tube. This nifty gadget makes pulling your multi tool out super fast. It free’s up space that your OG multi tool otherwise would’ve taken up in the saddle bag or other storage spot. The EDC Lite has almost everything you need for a quick fix, other than a chain breaker. The biggest benefit of the EDC Lite is how fast you can access your tool. By the time your friend is done asking to borrow it, you’ll have it in your hand.

Bike Frame Straps

Straps from brands like RaceFace, Backcountry Research, and All Mountain Style offer a lightweight and effective solution for strapping whatever you need to your bike. These straps can handle everything from a spare tube, CO2 canisters, a multi tool, and tire plugs. They help keep the weight low in on your bike and free up space that a bulky item like a tube would normally take up in your pack. To help keep the strap from scratching up your frame we recommend using a bit of frame protection like these from All Mountain Style.

As you can see there are several ways to stash accessories and tools on your bike. Most of these options cost less than 50 bucks and can help reduce the weight in your pack or eliminate the need for one on shorter rides! Happy riding!


Tire Compounds Explained

July 13, 2022

Shopping for road or mountain bike tires? It may come as a surprise to you the sheer number of options there are. Tires come in a variety of compounds that aim to address different riding styles and needs. We’re here to help break it down for you and explain some of the most common aspects of tire compounds.

Rubber Hardness

Harder rubbers offer more strength and durability, resulting in a longer lasting tire. Dry and rocky areas can benefit from a hard rubber compounds for added lifespan and durability. Hard tire compoinds include the Specialized T5 and Maxxis Single Compound. Tires that are designed to be extra grippy, have a softer rubber to provide maximum traction. Wet and loamy riding areas are often better suited with a grip your tire and don’t need the added durability due to the more forgiving surface. Soft compounds can be found on Specialized T9 and Maxxis Maxx Grip tires.

Single, Dual, & Triple Compounds

Most low end tires will use a single compound throughout the tire. This helps keep the cost low due to a much simpler manufacturing process. Higher end tires will use multiple compounds placed on different parts of the tire for added performance. For example, Maxxis has long offered a “3C” (i.e., triple compound) rubber option, which features a harder-rubber base to stiffen the knobs and reduce deflection, with a medium-stiff rubber over the center knobs, and a softer rubber over the side knobs for increased grip. The same goes for road bike tires, harder rubber will be placed along the center of the tire for faster rolling speeds with softer rubber on the sides for increased grip in the corners.

Ride Feel

Rubber compounds also affect ride feel. Harder rubbers will feel more of the vibrations on the road or trail, while softer rubbers will create a more comfortable ride. For this reason many beach cruisers and townie bikes or use a softer rubber compound for added comfort and reduced vibration. Tire compounds also affect the speed of the bike. Hard rubber has less rolling resistance and will feel faster than softer compounds.

Still have more questions? Give us a call or shoot us an email and we will be happy to walk you through selecting your new set of tires!


Everything You Need To Know About RAGBRAI

June 22, 2022

What Is RAGBRAI?

RAGBRAI is an annual week-long bike ride across the state of Iowa that has been taking place since 1973. It was started by a group of writers from the Des Moines Register, the major newspaper in the area, who wanted to see what the small towns across the state were like. Their goal was to write about the experience and publish it in the paper. What started as an idea for an interesting newspaper article has become a moving city of bicycles with nearly 20,000 participants. If the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t caused disruptions, 2022 would have marked RAGBRAI’s 50th year.

How Long Is RAGBRAI?

The RAGBRAI route averages 468 miles and is not necessarily flat. This averages out to about 67 miles each day. This might sound like a lot, but he reality is you have all day to do it. You don’t need to be a serious athlete or cyclist to pull it off, but the more in shape you are the more enjoyable it will be. Each day there will be a number of smaller towns along the way offering snacks and water bottle refills. The lunch stop, which is usually about mid-way through each day, will have plenty of food and drink options to choose from. The overnight town is where you grab dinner, see live music, and sleep each night. As long as you generally enjoy being on a bike, riding these long distances is completely doable by the average person!

What’s The Best Part About RAGBRAI?

Between the food, beautiful Iowa scenery, amazing people, and surreal experience of traveling by bicycle with 20,000 other people, it is hard to pick one thing. What truly makes RAGBRAI a special event, are the friendly people of Iowa who open up their towns and homes every year to the participants. “Midwest nice” rings true in Iowa. The friendly people along the way make the experience possible. Having said that, a close runner-up might be a warm slice of Amish baked pie and freshly churned ice cream. If you know, you know.

Is RAGBRAI A Race?

RAGBRAI is not a race.

Ragbrai Logistics

You have several options for organizing your RAGBRAI experience. The most common is to use a charter service. Charter services will transport you, your luggage, and bike from West Des Moines or Ames to the starting location, & back at the end. During the week they will transport your luggage to each overnight town, where there is selected a campground for the charter guests to enjoy. The cost for this is usually around $500. RAGBRAI veterans usually go a different route. Many form teams with comical names, matching kits, and often a converted school bus for moving gear. People go to great lengths to make the ultimate team bus, fitted with showers, racks for 40+ bikes, sound systems, and more. A third option is to coordinate with hosts at overnight towns through Facebook groups and hire a private shuttle river. This is challenging but gives you more flexibility.

How Do I Sign Up?

To sign up for RAGBRAI, get more details on what to pack, or see a list of frequently asked questions click here. We hope that we’ve convinced you to try RAGRABI. Drop us a message on Instagram or Facebook if you plan on going or have been before!


What Is A Belt Drive?

May 25, 2022

Belt-driven bicycles use a carbon-reinforced nylon belt, similar to the ones in your car, in place of a chain. The belt has teeth that grab onto a sprocket, powering the bike as you pedal. Unlike chains, which are snapped together using a master link or quick link, belts are one piece. This means that belt drives can only be used on certain bikes, which can break open at the rear axle on the drive side. That is because the belt must be slipped through the rear triangle and onto the rear sprocket. 

What Are The Benefits Of A Belt Drive?

There are many benefits to a belt-driven bicycle, the first being low maintenance. They last substantially longer than chains due to the fact they don’t stretch and have no moving components. The belt doesn’t need to be lubed, cleaned, or degreased. This is a great benefit if you’re looking for reliability and low maintenance. Since belt drives don’t have any grease or grime, they aren’t going to leave any on your body or clothing, either. Since the belt is nylon, you don’t need to worry about rusty chains, which is a common problem if you live near the coast. 

What Are The Downsides Of A Belt Drive?

A belt drive is an excellent option for many reasons, but here are a few downsides to them. Getting a new belt in a pinch might not be as easy as a chain. With online shopping and fast shipping, this isn’t too much of an issue. If you are planning on bike packing across the country, though, it is something to consider. The other issue with belt drives is the need for a specific frame. You can’t just convert your existing bike into a belt-drive, so you will need to go out and buy one. Lastly, belt drive only works as a single speed or with an internal hub shifter. While we are huge advocates for internal hub shifters and single speeds, the fact that you are limited to only these options is a knock on belt drives. 

Who Makes Belt Driven Bikes?

Gates Carbon Drive™ is offered on over 400 bike models, across leading brands & in many styles. You can find belt drive systems on major brands like Trek, Cannonade, Canyon, and more. If you are looking for belt drive parts, we have plenty at bikeparts.com


Cannibal Grid Gravity | Brand New DH Tire From Specialized

May 22, 2022

Gone are the days that the Specialized Gravity team runs Maxxis tires with the logos sharpied out. Having steered away from developing a true downhill tire for years, Specialized took advice from Loïc Bruni, Finn Iles, and Chris Grice to re-develop the Cannibal, which first hit the market in the 90’s . According to bikerumor.com, though the official launch just happened, the tire was seen on the Specialized Demos of all of the abovementioned racers at Lourdes back in March, where Finn and Loic placed 2nd and 3rd respectively – not bad for a first outing. 

Specialized completely redesigned the Cannibal tread pattern, integrating the super-sticky GRIPTON® T9 compound with a high-volume casing that makes for a damp and tacky ride, while providing maximum grip and control. Staggered shoulder blocks maximize cornering stability, and large center braking blocks bite aggressively into the ground for enhanced braking performance. Engineered to the design specifications of Specialized Gravity riders, the Cannibal balances weight and durability with GRID Gravity casing for Enduro, Downhill, and Park riding.

  • High-volume casing and staggered shoulder blocks for predictable high-speed cornering.
  • Re-designed center knobs and siping form strong surface connections.
  • Wide braking edges and massive center blocks cut in for maximum deceleration.
  • GRIPTON® T9 compound reduces terrain-induced chatter, enhancing confidence at warp speeds.
  • Compliant and adaptable GRID GRAVITY 2-ply casing construction is ideal for Enduro, Park, and Downhill riding.
  • 2Bliss Ready technology protects against pinch flats, cuts, and punctures.

From what we have read in the reviews, the Cannibal performs best a high speeds and aggressive riding conditions. Unless you are an aggressive rider, downhill racer, or fit somewhere on that end of the spectrum, it is probably best to stick with the Specialized Butcher!


Buy One Get One Tires

May 22, 2022

It’s been a number of years since Specialized has offered “buy one get one” on tires. So if it’s time for some new rubber on your mountain bike. be sure to take advantage of this deal!

The Specialized Purgatory is the standard bearer for light trail tire performance. The new, completely redesigned tread features square lugs that bite in on soft soil, while still providing support on hard-packed ground. Additionally, flexible center sipes fold out under braking force for increased ground contact and adhesion. Choose from the CONTROL or GRID casing in the T5 or T7 compound.

Ready to shop? Click here! This deal will expire on May 31st, 2022.


Should You Support Your Local Bike Shop?

April 26, 2022

“The bike shop “stink eye” is what keeps me away from most local shops. I just love feeling uncomfortable and looked down on when I walk into your establishment. Somehow this is NOT a rare thing. The shops that treat people right will always win, because we will always need them!”

This was the most liked comment on a video about Local Bike Shops from Berm Peak (formerly known as Set’s Bike Hacks). Comments like these ring true for many, even those that work in the bike industry. It is a stereotype that has stuck with bike shops at large. It will be hard to shake. This “stink eye” is actually what sparked John to start Peak Cycles in the first place.

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Friendliness goes a long way these days. If you have enjoyed coming into our shop, we would love to hear about it. You can do so by leaving us a review on our Google Profile here! In the mean time, we hope you enjoy this video from Berm Peak.


Golden’s Best Bike Shop | Peak Cycles

April 26, 2022

One of the Front Range’s friendliest bike shops lives right in the shadow of an iconic trail

The service at Peak Cycles in Golden is excellent, but it’s also just feet away from the popular Lookout Mountain ride.

Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems). 

One of the things I value in a bike, ski or mountaineering shop is the way its salespeople and maintenance technicians treat customers.

When John Polli was treated rudely at a local bike shop two decades ago, he saw a market opportunity and decided to give the offending shop some competition. It was one of the reasons he started Peak Cycles in Golden, my favorite bike shop.

“I have always been annoyed when you go into a shop and someone gives you attitude,” Polli said. “I was like, ‘That’s ridiculous, I’m going to open a bike shop. Those guys are total (jerks).’ Three months later, I had my own bike shop.”

Over the years, I have bought two bikes at Peak Cycles. I have all my maintenance and repair work done there, and I’ve always been impressed by the respect and patience its technicians show customers. It’s clear they understand that friendly, helpful service builds customer loyalty.

“We have kind of a family atmosphere,” said Dan Dwyer, who has worked there for 12 years. “When somebody comes in the door, it’s not about us, it’s about them.”

Location is part of why I like Peak so much, too. It’s situated in the heart of downtown Golden on a corner at 13th and Washington. The headquarters of Denver-based Icelantic skis is situated on another corner. Bentgate Mountaineering, my favorite shop for backcountry skiing, is half a block away, and there are all sorts of cool shops and restaurants nearby that make downtown Golden vibrant.

That intersection is also a crossroads for Denver cyclists heading to Lookout Mountain, the metro area’s most iconic ride, along with other great rides and trails nearby.

“Having access to a climb like Lookout Mountain is very, very unique,” Polli said. “That’s one thing I love about Golden, having Lookout Mountain and all the trails right there. It’s a cyclist’s paradise, for sure.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostJake Wade, a salesman and bike mechanic at Peak Cycles in downtown Golden, works on bikes at the store on March 28, 2022.

The Peak Cycles story is pretty unique, too. The business started in 1998 after Polli graduated from Colorado State University. He was a competitive mountain biker back then, and he got interested in the sales potential of the internet just as the dot.com boom was starting. Driving back to Fort Collins from Englewood one night after a dot.com presentation, he decided he wanted to create a website to sell bike parts. The next day, he registered the domain name bikeparts.com, which is still going strong today.

In 2003, he opened a small bike shop on Old Golden Road to support the website. Three years later, Peak Cycles moved to downtown Golden next to the Higher Grounds Cafe, a favorite coffee shop for Golden locals, and then to its current location in 2009. The Great Recession was in progress, but business was good for the bike shop and bikeparts.com.

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“People were riding their bikes,” Polli said. “It was a bike boom. Every time there’s something weird going on in the world, people turn to bicycles, whether it’s gas prices or COVID; it’s weird. I don’t want to say it’s recession-proof, but it is what people turn to because it’s a cheaper form of staying healthy.”

Today, about a third of his revenue comes from bikeparts.com, while the bike shop accounts for the remainder. During the height of the pandemic, it was about 50-50.

“We’re the brick and mortar for bikeparts.com,” Dwyer said. “It’s a symbiotic relationship. A lot of the parts somebody orders on bikeparts.com might be here in the store, and they can stop by to pick them up. At the same time, (bikeparts.com) reaches out to the whole country (and even) internationally.”

Article originally published by the Denver Post.


Why Do People Spend So Much Money On Bikes?

April 26, 2022

The short answer is, that it really depends. There are some people who just want the best bike possible. There are others who need certain performance qualities out of their bikes. There are also people who have outgrown less expensive bikes and want to have something nicer. They have realized the limitations of their bike and see the value in something more expensive. It could also be any combination of these three groups.

As bikes go up in price, there is a noticeable difference in ride quality and performance. As with anything, though, returns start to diminish as you approach the upper price points. These differences are most noticeable as you jump from lower price points to mid-level. For example, a sub $1000 bike with rim brakes, basic components, and cheap tires is going to feel clunky, sluggish, and might not stand the test of time. A $2000 bike with better components like hydraulic disk brakes and a lightweight carbon frame will feel all-around better than the latter. The hydraulic brakes will be easier to handle and provide more stopping power, the carbon frame will be lighter and more responsive, and the upgraded drivetrain will shift smoothly compared to the sub $1000 bike.

People spend a lot of money on bikes depending on their needs. If it is just a bike to get around town, there isn’t a real need for spending thousands of dollars. Unless we are talking about e-bikes, which are in a category of their own, a bike for getting around town is probably better off being on the cheaper side, to be honest. That is since bikes left outside do run the risk of getting stolen. On the other hand, if someone is looking for a road bike that they plan on riding multiple times a week up and down Lookout Mountain, then there is some serious value in spending money on a road bike that can perform.

On the surface level, spending thousands of dollars on a bike is shocking to most people. You can get a bike at Walmart for a couple hundred dollars. Won’t those work fine? It’s just a bike, right? Yes, it is just a bike and it will work, but after hours in the saddle, you will start to notice things.

What will you notice? The shifting might not feel right. The seat is probably terribly uncomfortable. The tires are starting to fall apart after a couple months. In some cases, like with department store bikes, you can’t really make upgrades to the bike. But even if you can, after getting a new saddle, drivetrain, and better tires you might be close to the cost of that brand new nicer bike that was initially out of your budget. The most common components that will hinder your performance are suspension, brakes, and drivetrain. The better the performance of these items, the more expensive they get. When you start to notice the limitations of your bike, it’s natural to want something that won’t hold you back. After hours in the saddle, you will notice. Or you can take our word for it.

With most things in life, once we get accustomed to something it is hard to go back. With bikes, it is the same way. Ask any mountain biker who currently rides with a dropper post if they would buy a bike without a dropper post. 99.99% of them will tell you absolutely not. In 2022, a full-suspension mountain bike with a dropper post is going to cost you at least $1500. The same goes for road cyclists who use carbon wheels. It is this “I need to have it” mentality that gets people to spend thousands of dollars on a bike. It is worth noting that the bike should fit properly. The most expensive bike in the world isn’t worth much if it doesn’t fit you right. Here is an article on that!

When it comes to spending this kind of money on a bike, it certainly sounds crazy to most people. Unfortunately, unless you have spent countless hours on a bike saddle, it is hard to justify the cost. Once you do start to ride more often, however, you will notice how the bike could be better. Through time and experience, you just might find yourself driving around in a car worth less than the bike that is hanging off the back.


Bike Tools To Bring To The Trailhead

April 17, 2022

Before you load up the car and head over to the trailhead, here is our list of tools we won’t leave the house without!

Floor Pump

This is an absolute must for the trailhead. There is nothing worse than having to pump up your tires with a hand pump which is both tedious and tiring. You might be asking, why not just pump up your tires at home? Well, you might be prepared but your friends might not be. It’s good to have a floor pump to get your pressures dialed before you head out for a ride. Throw it in the car so you have it on hand. You might be able to help out someone in the parking lot and earn some karma points, too.

Chain Lube and Rag

We advocate for lubing up your chain at the end of each ride. This helps any extra lube dry off, which keeps dirt and grime from building up. It is worth keeping a bottle on hand for your friend that has a squeaky drivetrain and questionable shifting. The rag can wipe off any last-minute crud before you hit the trails.

Hex Wrenches

Sure you have a multi-tool on you, but it’s probably buried in your backpack or neatly stowed on your bike with a strap. Having some hex wrenches on hand will make your life easier. We like the 3-way hexes from Park Tool.

Chair

While not exactly a tool, this is a “nice to have” for relaxing, socializing, taking off your shoes, and enjoying a post-ride libation.


Best Budget Bike Rack | Kuat V2 Transfer

April 17, 2022

Here at Peak Cycles/Bikeparts.com, we love the new Kuat V2 Transfer bike rack. Why? This wallet-friendly rack has many of the features found on high-end bike racks including:

  • Tray style bike mounts
  • Semi-integrated cable lock
  • Flatlock hitch cam for stability
  • Tamperproof screws for added security
  • Ability to add on an additional bike
  • Foot lever for ease of use

The Kuat V2 Transfer comes in a 2 bike and 3 bike version, both of which can add on an extra should the time and place come. Considering that most 4 bike tray racks cost well over $1000, the Kuat V2 transfer is a bargain at just over $700 for the 4 bike configuration.

The V2 Transfer has many upgrades from its predecessor, most notably the Flatlock hitch cam for stability. This lets you tighten down the rack so there is zero wiggle. When you have thousands of dollars of bikes hanging off the back of your car, having all of the peace of mind is a big bonus. Kuat added in a tamperproof screw with the Flatlock hitch cam, which should help thwart any opportunistic thieves out there.

The semi-integrated bike lock was another feature they added to the V2. Your new rack will come with a long cable lock that can fit around 4 bikes (frame and wheels). The built-in lock makes the whole process of securing bikes lightning fast. No more carrying around a separate cable and padlock!

Having the option to add on extra bikes to your rack used to only be an option with high-end racks and they would cost you an arm and leg. That’s not the case anymore! The Transfer V2 can add on an extra bike for an extra $159. While there certainly are cheaper racks out there, it is worth spending more to get a platform/tray style rack. They are more stable, easier to load, and will help protect your bikes from damage during transport.

We hope you will consider the Transfer V2 for your next bike rack. You will be smiling on the way to ride knowing that your bikes are safe and secure on the back of your vehicle.


Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 Rated Top-5 XC Bikes for 2022

March 6, 2022

BikeRadar has selected the all-new Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 as one of their top-5 XC Bikes for 2022! With revamped suspension and a modified bottom bracket for increased stiffness, the Advanced Pro 29 is lighter, stiffer, and more capable than its predecessors. The Anthem is an amazing bike for those racing XC of course, but also those who want to go uphill just as fast as they go down.

FlexPoint Pro Suspension

Developed as a superlight rear suspension setup for XC bikes that demand efficiency, control and responsive handling, FlexPoint Pro is a linkage-driven, single-pivot system that delivers 100mm of rear-wheel travel. It’s engineered with a full-composite swingarm that significantly reduces overall frame weight.

Redesigned XC Machine

Engineered with a full composite frameset, this 29er has 100mm of rear suspension travel and 110mm up front. The linkage-driven, single-pivot FlexPoint Pro rear suspension makes room for shorter chainstays to improve climbing capabilities and overall agility. Other updates include new 29er-specific XC race geometry with a longer reach and a slacker headtube angle plus a lightweight, stiff composite wheelset for quick, precise handling.


Correct Body Position For Cornering | Tips From Aaron Gwin

March 6, 2022

Looking to enhance your cornering game? That makes two of us! Whether you are trying to shave seconds off your PR or just looking to feel more confident in the corners, these tips from 5 Time World Cup Champion Aaron Gwin will help take your cornering confidence to the next level. Be sure to take it slow and build on these foundational elements over time. Using the correct body position when cornering may feel awkward at first but will pay dividends in the long run.

Keeping Your Head and Chest Square Over the Bike

Imagine sliding across a hardwood floor in socks. You can do this by being light on your feet. The harder you press into the ground the less you glide, right? The same goes for mountain biking. Being light on your tires is how you wash out, downward pressure is how you get traction. So how do you generate downward pressure in a corner? Keeping your head and chest square over the bike will generate the maximum amount of downward pressure on your tires. This is how you can prevent the bike from washing out from under you.

Dropping The Outside Foot

Again, this is all about traction. When you drop the outside foot, it shifts your weight to the outside pedal. Doing this increases the downward pressure you are putting on the bike the same way your square body positioning does. The outside pedal keeps the weight on top of the bike, while the inside pedal pushes the weight laterally. Dropping your outside foot in flat corners is extremely helpful, but is less necessary in a berm or rut.

Cornering Drills

Later in the video, Aaron provides a few cornering drills to help practice body positioning techniques. Luckily, you don’t need to drive over to a trail to practice these drills, just a parking lot or patch of dirt will do fine! Good luck out there and let us know in the comments below if you found these tips and drills helpful for your cornering abilities.


Brand New 29″ Version of Liv Embolden

February 22, 2022

29″ Liv Embolden

The Liv Embolden has been one of the most popular mountain bikes in the lineup since it launched in 2016. Until recently, this bike was only available with 27.5″ wheels but now Liv has added a 29″ wheel option to the mix.

This brand new 29″ version of the Embolden has 120mm of rear travel using a FlexPoint Suspension design with a 130mm fork up front. The 27.5-inch wheel models are available in XS, S and M, and 29-inch wheel models are available in S, M, and L. This bike packs a ton of value and performance at its price point. The Embolden 1 is $2,250 USD and the Embolden 2 is $1,800 USD.

Details

• 120mm (rear) / 130mm (front)

• 67-degree head tube angle (29″)

• 27.5 and 29″ options

• ALUXX-Grade Aluminum frame

• FlexPoint Suspension design

• Sizes: XS, S, M (27.5″) + S, M, L (29)

• MSRP: $1,800 – $2,250 USD

All models come with dropper posts, tubeless-ready wheels, a Liv Sylvia trail saddle, 1x drivetrain, and a 35mm handlebar and stem setup. Stay tuned for when we will be getting these in stock at Peak Cycles!


Building Brandon Semenuk’s Rampage Bike

February 18, 2022

Thinking about tinkering with your bike? Check out this video from Trek and SRAM where they show master mechanic, Sean Murphy, of Fluid Function in Squamish, B.C. assembling one of the two builds Brandon Semenuk used during Red Bull Rampage where he was crowned with a 4th championship title.

Single crown fork at Rampage?

With big travel and big trick potential, his custom 27.5 / 26 mulleted Trek Session was set up with a one-of-a-kind BlackBox AXS drivetrain, and a 190mm single crown RockShox ZEB Ultimate. Master mechanic, Sean Murphy, of Fluid Function in Squamish, B.C. assembled one of his two builds that he rode at Red Bull Rampage. The use of the single crown fork gave Semenuk the competitive advantage to unlock tricks that are impossible with a double crown fork.

  • Frame: Custom built Trek Session 27.5″ / 26″ Mullet
  • Derailleur: BlackBox XX1 Eagle AXS short cage
  • Controller: SRAM AXS
  • Cassette: SRAM X01 DH
  • Chain: SRAM Eagle 
  • Crankset: SRAM X01 DH DUB | 165mm, with custom crank damper
  • Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate | 190mm, 44m offset, 3 Tokens, 63.5 PSI, HSC open, LSC 9 clicks to closed
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate DH with MegNeg air can | 270 PSI, 4.5 tokens in Positive, 2 Bands in Negative, Rebound 5 clicks to closed, LSC 9 clicks to closed.
  • Front Brake: SRAM Code RSC | Routed through Zeb steerer tube.
  • Rear Brake: SRAM Code RSC | Extra long brake hose for 3 full rotations of handlebars.
  • Rotors: SRAM HS2 200mm (front & rear)
  • Wheels: Industry Nine 27.5″ / 26″
  • Handlebar: Chromag 
  • Stem: Chromag 
  • Seatpost: Truvativ Noir T40
  • Tire Front: Maxxis Assegai 27.5 x 2.5″ EXO+ Maxx Grip
  • Tire Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR2 26 x 2.4″ DH Casing Maxx Grip
  • Saddle: Chromag 
  • Grips: Chromag 
  • Pedals: Chromag 

What do you think of Brandon’s Red Bull Rampage build for 2021? It worked well enough for him to take an unprecedented 4th win at Rampage. Will we see other riders make the switch to single crown forks next year? Only time will tell. 


Bike Commuting Tips

February 17, 2022

Commuting by bike can be a big step towards a healthier lifestyle that’s better for the environment and friendly on your wallet. With a bike, you can commute distances that would be totally impractical on foot. You aren’t constrained to bus or train schedules, and there are no fees or tolls to get you where you want to go. A bike is obviously much cheaper to purchase than a car, but a bike’s only required fuel is burned calories.

The hardest part about bike commuting is just getting started, so with the help of a few ideas from Liv Cycling, here are 5 tips to help you begin the journey of bike commuting.

1. You Can Commute On Any Bike

Fear not, whatever bike you have will likely do the trick for commuting. Often times it is better to have a cheaper bike that wouldn’t be a huge loss if it was stolen. But, if you’re looking to purchase a new bike specifically for commuting there are a few things to consider.

  • How far will you be riding and how fast do you want/need to get there?
  • Will you have to lift your bike or carry it up stairs?
  • Will you be riding on rough roads or off-roading?
  • Are you going to be climbing hills or is your commute relatively flat?
  • Will you be riding in rain and snow?
  • Are you a confident cyclist?
  • What is your current fitness level?

Road/ Hybrid bikes: For long-distance commutes that might involve lifting your bike and carrying it up stairs, road or hybrid bikes are a great option if you are riding on paved surfaces.

Gravel or Mountain bikes: Bikes with wider, knobby tires can be beneficial for commutes that involve rough roads, unpaved bike paths, or nasty weather conditions. Sometimes, a suspension fork can make your commute more comfortable.

E-bikes: If you’re looking to get where you’re going faster and have the ability to choose how much of a workout you’re in for, E-bikes are a great option. They are also a great option if you will be hauling a heavy load, such as doing grocery shopping or towing the kids in a trailer. An E-bike might not be the best option if you must carry your bike at any point in your commute (up stairs at the office or to your apartment).

Used Bikes: You don’t have to purchase a new bike to start commuting. Check out the local used bike listings and secondhand stores, chances are there is a bike that can get you from A to B. If buying used, do make sure the bike fits you and is in decent working condition. An ill-fitting bike that is constantly breaking down isn’t very motivating and it could make you late for work!

2. Be safe and prepared.

Any time you jump on a bike, make sure you and your bike can be seen and you’re equipped for what could go wrong.

  • Be aware of the local laws in your community. Bikes are sometimes required to have front and rear lights to ride on the road. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to have lights if you are riding on the road with cars.
  • Know the rules of the road and practice safe bike handling techniques, like using hand signals.
  • Use a bell when riding in the city and on multi-use bike paths.
  • Carry a spare tube, patch kit, pump, multi tool, and the knowledge of how to use them. Gettin a flat tires is always a possibility.
  • With regular maintenance, you can keep your bike running great for your daily commute. Plan a trip to your Peak Cycles for a service.

3. Any clothes can be biking clothes.

You don’t have to look like you’re riding the Tour De France on your bike commute. If you feel comfortable and your clothing is not impairing your ability to ride a bike, you’re good to go. That said, there are a couple things you might want to consider when preparing for bike commuting.

  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing near any part of the bike that moves (like the gears and wheels). Secure wide-leg pants with a strap or by rolling up the pant leg. Watch out for loose scarves or long jackets.
  • Dress in layers. Sometimes the temperature when you arrive to where you are going can be different than when you left, plus you may work up a sweat!
  • If you plan on commuting by bike in wet conditions, rain pants, waterproof shoes, rain jacket, and waterproof bags would be a smart investment.
  • When biking to work, consider bringing a change of clothes or even stashing some work-appropriate attire at the office.

4. Find a way to carry your stuff.

When commuting by bike, you can pack your gear on your bike, your body, or both. It all depends on how much you’re hauling and what kind of bike you have. Some bikes, like gravel bikes and hybrids, have mounts for racks that can help you haul your bags. Other bikes may not have as many options. When choosing a way to carry your gear, make sure any bag you carry on your body fits snug and does not move around while riding. Waterproof bags are a good choice if you plan on commuting in a variety of weather conditions.

5. Lock your bike.

You can never 100 percent prevent your bike from being stolen. However, you can take steps to help reduce the risk of it being stolen.

  • Be thoughtful about the location. Lock your bike to an object that cannot be cut or moved and make sure the area is well-lit.
  • Remove all accessories from your bike that are not locked to it.
  • Get a good lock. Most bike locks have ratings, check them out and get something you are comfortable with.
  • If your wheels and seat post are quick release, get a locking skewer and collar or lock your wheels separately with a cable lock and remove your saddle.
  • If your bike cannot be easily replaced, don’t leave it out of your sight.

Hybrid Rental Bikes On Sale

February 3, 2022

We are selling a select number of our hybrid bikes rental bikes for $175 each. On the Men’s side, we have the Giant Escape 2 in size Large and XL. On the Women’s side, we have the LIV Alight 2 in Extra Small, Small, and Medium. While supplies last!

Giant Escape 2 – Size Large and XL
LIV Alight 2 – XS, Small, and Medium
LIV Alight 2 – XS, Small, and Medium