3 Ways to Enjoy Fall via Your Bicycle 

September 20, 2018

Each season has its own ups and downs.  Spring and summer seasons are marked with event registrations, travel, and enjoying the cycling lifestyle.  The winter season is the least exciting if you are inside riding on your trainer; yet winter can be fun if you are experiencing the joys of riding a fat bike. However, the fall season is somewhat of a mixture of all this.  As Saturday is the first day of fall, many cyclists are wondering how best to enjoy the season on their bicycles.  What are our suggestions?  Read on! 

If you haven’t noticed yet, the leaves on the trees are beginning to change colors.  One of the very best ways to enjoy the changing landscape is riding your mountain bike.  Consider making a bucket list of mountain bike trails to ride before winter comes.  Some of our favorite mountain bike trails include: 

  1. Buffalo Creek
  2. Centennial Cone
  3. White Ranch
  4. Mount Falcon
  5. Lair O’ the Bear
  6. Green Mountain
  7. Apex + trails
  8. Golden Gate Canyon 
  9. Hall Ranch 

Another great option for enjoying the fall season, while also maintaining fitness, is to bike commute.  Fall bike commuting offers the chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and reinvigorate our spirits with the freedom riding a bike inspires. If you’re new to bike commuting, you’ll enjoy our post, What Are The Best Bike Parts for Fall Commuting and 15 Tips for Bike Commuting in Cooler Months.  Both posts offer tips and suggestions for route selections, necessary bike parts, and cycling apparel to make fall bike commuting fun and enjoyable.

If you still have some competitive energy left in you after the summer race season, then a third option to enjoying fall on your bicycle is to try a cyclocross race.  Last week we wrote about Why Race Cyclocross, and this week, we’re encouraging you to do it. It’s fun! It’s addicting! And we have all the bike parts and cycling accessories you need to get you into this cycling discipline.  

When you really think of it, fall is a transitional season. From a cycling perspective, fall isn’t the end of the summer cycling season, it is the beginning of next season.  Keep in mind that just as much as the spring cycling season inspires us to get in shape, tackle new challenges, and reach new cycling heights, the fall season can inspire us too. Discovering new ways to nurture our bodies, maintain the gains we’ve made during the season, and re-energize for the season ahead.  Celebrate the fall season by riding your bike! 

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Why Race Cyclocross? 

September 13, 2018

You may be asking, “What’s with all the hype?” or “Why would I want to race in the mud?” or “What makes cyclocross the best kind of bike racing?”

Cyclocross is one of the fastest growing sections of cycling – it’s an all-out mad dash through the dirt, pavement, grass, mud, sand, snow and/or ice that will leave you sucking wind, barely able to see straight…and excited to do it again. It’s held on a relatively short track (2 miles or less) making it spectator-friendly as well. Cyclocross is also one of the few sports where heckling is not only carried on by the spectators but encouraged, even by the top-level touring elites. Sounds fun, right?  And it is!  

Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  As the season is just now getting underway, what do you need to know?  

Transition: If you’ve been racing throughout the summer season, recognize that there is going to be a transition phase.  Moving from one form of racing to another takes a bit of adjustment.  This generally takes 4 – 6 weeks to fully adjust to a new cycling position, frame geometry, gear ratios, and race tactic specific strength.  

Running and Drills: You’ll want to plan time for running and cyclocross specific skills training.  Running prepares your body to handle the stress of runs and dismounts at the beginning of cross season.   Skill training is essential for safe riding and also, efficiency during the race!  The better your skills are, the faster you will go!  Skills to focus on include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor is racing efficiently.

Training: As for training for cyclocross, the best approach is a comprehensive one.  Meaning, now is the time to begin planning your season  using goals, monthly progressions, and setting a weekly schedule. For those athletes who want to focus their efforts and manage their time, a good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week. While training time, heart rate and power zones vary, a typical training week usually includes a variety of focused activity. As an example, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan.

It’s easy to catch the cyclocross vibe! If you are new to cyclocross, check out our  cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Equipment choices matter! Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts is important, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.  

Why not discover YOUR reason for racing cyclocross this season?!  Check out the many resources we have at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to inspire and motivate you to race cyclocross this season:

So why wait? Join in the cyclocross fun! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick out your bike parts and cycling accessories for your cross season!


Creative Ways to Get Your Cycling Fix

September 6, 2018

With school starting and only about a month and half left of the Colorado cycling racing and touring season, many are filling up their calendars with the last big events of the season hoping to capitalize on the fitness gains made during the season.Many cyclist are also looking for ways to get their cycling fix as the days come to an end. With less time to ride, what are the ways to get the cycling endorphins flowing?  We have some creative suggestions for you. 

Podcast
How do you stay motivated and stoked to get out and ride? Podcasts can be a great resource because you can listen to them anytime, anywhere. If you haven’t already jumped on the podcast train, it may be time.  The post, The Best Cycling Podcast, offers 7 great podcasts to listen to on your commute or while cleaning, cooking, doing maintenance, lazing around and pretty much anything else.  Who knows, after listening to a favorite episode, you may find yourself inspired to try something new! 

Apps
Whether you are striving for peak performance or to shed a few pounds, apps are a great way to inspire positive behavior and keep you on track towards your goals.  Check out our post, Top Apps for Cyclist in 2018, for cycling and health related apps. You will also want to read The Best Motivation Apps of the Year for inspirational quotes, motivational videos, or everyday reminders.  These apps are fun and engaging way to help you become a better version of yourself.

Bikes and Bike Parts
The easiest way to get your cycling fix is to get a new bike. Or, expand your horizons and try a fat bike. Experiment! Play! Embrace your inner child and let it ride!!!  Okay, maybe you are not be in the market for a new bike but end of season is a great time to experiment with new bike parts and replace worn cycling components.  Our cycling accessory closeouts  has everything from gloves, jerseys, bike parts, hydration packs, bicycle tools – you name it!  Think about it.  There aren’t many better upgrades for your road bike than a new set of wheels. Now is the time to get them.  Do you wear a helmet every time that you ride? Probably. Well, now’s the time to replace that helmet. Replace worn out pedals, chain rings, and saddles without spending a ton of money.  

Bike Commute
Fall bike commuting offers the chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and reinvigorate our spirits with the freedom riding a bike inspires. You can even listen to your podcast while riding your new bike when bike commuting! If you are curious as to the best bike parts for fall bike commuting, check out our post, 15 Tips for Bike Commuting in the Cooler Months, for route ideas, bike suggestions, and preferred cycling apparel.  

During the racing and cycling season, the focus is on riding; whereas at the end of the season, there’s more time for mental wanderings, experimentation, and fun! Get creative and enjoy those endorphins! 


Great Ways to Celebrate Labor Day on Your Bike 

August 30, 2018

Labor Day weekend is the last chance to enjoy summer for the year.  Most celebrate the holiday with cookouts, family get to gathers, and parties.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we encourage you to get the most out of your Labor Day by riding your bike!  

With fitness levels high, late season rides offer a chance to experiment with ride routes, different bikes, and even different cycling accessories. Without the pressure of training or getting into shape, the freedom of late season riding brings a fresh approach and a relaxed casual ride attitude.  So, why not have an adventurous Labor Day?  

The obvious way to experience adventure is to ride a new route or trail. Our post,  Labor Day – 20 Labor of Love Bike Rides offers the top 20 Front Range bike rides to celebrate Labor Day on your bike.  Another option is to check out 303 Cycling Calendar for events and rides or investigate some Front Range Cycling groups on Facebook to explore new ways of engaging with others.  

Experimenting with new bike parts is fun and doesn’t have to be expensive.  You can Save Big with Peak Cycles Summer Bike Blowout Event.  Whether you need a new bike, cycling clothing, bike parts or cycling components, you’ll find the best deals at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. Maybe you don’t need anything “new” per se, but you need to stock up on bike parts that wear out with regular use.  Don’t wait until you hear odd little noises or you notice that your bike is taking too long for the brakes to engage before replacing worn parts. 

Speaking of replacing bike parts, the long weekend provides some extra time to do bike maintenance.  Our post, Spring Cleaning! 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road, offers tips for bike maintenance.  When in doubt, stop in the shop and ask one of our bike mechanics for maintenance suggestions or schedule time to service your bike.

If you are too spent from the season to ride, then take the time to do some 2019 goal planning.  Consider doing a year end review and plan for the year ahead.  This may inspire you to dig a little deeper at the end of this season and prepare you better for next year.  

As a reminder, our shop BikeParts.com offers a huge selection of road bike partsmountain bike partsBMX bike parts and more. If you need it for your bike, then we have it! Because we sell our bicycle parts online, we are able to help customers all over the world. Stop by our Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick up the cycling accessories you’ll need for your Labor Day ride adventures or visit us online at BikeParts.com.  Happy Labor Day friends! 


Save Big with Peak Cycles Summer Bike Blowout Event

August 23, 2018

The summer riding season is nearing its end.  While there is still lots of riding to do, you and your bike may be feeling a tad worn down. Think of all the training miles, epic rides, races, and events you have done. Your wallet has had a workout too this season!

Add up all the bike parts, cycling accessories, and money spent towards bicycle maintenance.  Don’t you think it might be time for a little rest and relaxation?  If not that, at least it’s time to replenish and restore from all the hard efforts. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we think of this time of year as the time to make continued gains – gains in bike parts that is!  It’s that time of the year when bikes, cycling apparel,  bike parts, and cycling gear all go on sale.  You can ride into savings with our Summer Bike Blowout Event.  

Whether you need a new bikecycling clothing, bike parts or cycling components, you’ll find the best deals at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. Maybe you don’t need anything “new” per se, but you need to stock up on bike parts that wear out with regular use.  Don’t wait until you hear odd little noises or you notice that your bike is taking too long for the brakes to engage before investigating.  Some parts of a bike have a set “wear life”. As you put in the miles, they gradually wear out and need to be replaced. Typically, this includes chainscassetteschainringsbrake pads, and cleats.  Take advantage of the Summer Bike Blowout event and our close out and sale items to restock and save money at the same time. 

It’s easy to do. Just stop by the shop to find out how you can save up to 30% on select bikes, and an additional 10% off ALL CLEARANCE ITEMS! Another option, click here for our close out and sale items that are up to 70% off! See you soon! 


What to Know Before Buying a Hybrid Bike

August 16, 2018

Image Source: Depositphotos.com

Hybrid bikes are a combination of road and mountain bikes which is ideal for regular commuting to school or work. These environmentally-friendly vehicles can be used on both city roads and different types of terrain. Buying a hybrid bike is not much different than the purchase of a regular one, but you should focus on your needs more.

Hybrid bike models vary depending on the resemblance to the road or mountain bikes. While the latter focus on speed, the former offers comfort while riding on an uneven off-road terrain. Tires, disc brakes, and handlebars are adjusted to ensure both speed and comfort depending on your needs. Here’s what every cyclist enthusiast should know before buying a hybrid bike.

Tires

Tires can have a diameter ranging from 11 to 16.5 inches. Hybrid or city bikes take the 700c tire standard from road bikes, but also come with extra acceleration on uneven terrain and are compatible with road climbing.

As there is no rule with no exception, the best such bike is equipped with 8-inch wheels for easy speeding. You might notice that these bikes’ tires have high air pressure for extra speed and long rides. Seats are sleek and soft to make you feel comfortable during long-distance cycling.

If you don’t know where to start, you can take a look at this list of the top hybrid bikes 2018. There you will find the description, pros and cons, and standout features of five of the highest-rated hybrid bikes this year, according user and expert reviews.

Brakes

Hybrid bikes from reputed brands come with linear or direct-pull brakes that integrate into the front and sometimes rear wheel hubs. There are models with disc brakes if you look for more control when descending and riding on muddy trails. Disc or hub brakes ensure quick braking even in extreme conditions and require little maintenance.

Frequent users usually prefer linear-pulls as they are powerful and adapted to challenging weather conditions. You can find the breaks at the ends of flat handlebars to allow you a straight back position.

If you haven’t picked up cycling as a hobby yet, consider all its health benefits. According to a study, regular cyclers stay very healthy well into old age.

Suspension

The suspension fork is quite standard in hybrid bikes to minimize the impact of road obstacles and give you a comfortable ride. Whenever you ride on rough terrain or uneven roads, you will have more control over your bicycle.

Even if your favorite bike doesn’t come with suspension in the seat post, you can independently ask for one to be added in a repair shop.

Weight

The bike’s weight is linked to the material that the frame is made of. Typically, hybrid bikes have either corrosion-resistant but heavy aluminum frames or light carbon-fiber which ensures a smooth ride and higher costs. There also are aluminum-carbon mixes.

Hybrid bikes are lighter than mountain bikes and heavier than road bicycles. They are designed to handle most obstacles, but you should choose a mountain bike if you plan many off-road rides and little city commuting.

Gears

You can get 1 to 27 gears in an average hybrid bike. Choosing the number of gears depends on your desired fitness level and the most commonly used terrain. More gears mean more climbing. Fewer gears gives you a smooth ride on flat ground. Bikes with a single speed usually have a freewheel mechanism in the rear hub for coast cycling. 

Gears are, however, easy to change thanks to the standard button-style levers with screens that show you the speed.

Seats

The most comfortable features that hybrid bikes borrowed from road bikes are the seats. Hybrids’ seats are versatile and optimized to support weight distribution when you are climbing. There are countless anatomical shapes, flexible frames, cutouts, and gel padding or cushioning springs to choose from. All of them are meant to keep you comfortable and safe.

Deciding on a type of seat is a personal choice that you can make after testing the bike. Highly-reputed manufacturers design seats for general purpose with additional equipment to make them fit for off-road circumstances as well. So, if you don’t truly enjoy a position at first, give it a few more days. You might change your mind.

Handlebars

The size and shape of handlebars are versatile and aerodynamic so that you can add more pressure onto the pedals for faster riding. You can choose from:

  • Drop bars from road bikes which are the most popular ones as they are lightweight and allow the largest number of hand positions.
  • Mustache bars are similar to drop bars but also feature a little drop model. They let you sit upright on most types of terrain.
  • Raiser bars are quite standard as they extend up and backward. By sitting both upright and on the back, you have more vision of the road ahead.
  • Flat bars are quite common and a bit heavier than drop bars. You sit in relaxed positions to see the road and reduce hand and wrist strains.

What to Consider when Buying a Hybrid Bike

  • Budget: Money is critical. However, any model below $500 might not offer long-term quality. But for most bikes, you will spend two-thirds of the total bike budget on the product itself and the rest on the accessories.
  • Fit: The bike should fit your weight and height. You can adjust seat and handlebar height. However, you’ll never know if a bike fits you unless you test it.
  • Look: You will need to be pleased with your bike in order to use it. No one wants a bicycle in color or model he or she get distracted by. See what you like about your current bike and look for those features in the hybrid one. 
  • Service: Any reliable brand should provide you with personal service options and warranty. Notice how the brand communicates with its clients and even observe if they organize events for the local cycling community.

Buying a Hybrid Bike

Hybrid bikes are excellent choices for both weekday use and leisure cycling. Having such a bike means commuting to work and going to the woods or a national park while saving big on transport and staying healthy. Just find the right hybrid bike for your needs and ride it whenever you have the chance!

Post Author: Frankie Lawrence


Tips for Racing Your First Leadville 100 MTB Race 

August 9, 2018

The legendary Leadville 100 mountain bike race is this Saturday.  This race is tough!  It starts and finishes in the heart of Leadville at 10,200’. With more than 90 percent dirt or double track dirt roads, steep climbs, serious descents and a seven-mile climb to the 50-mile turnaround at 12,600’, there is approximately 14,000’ elevation gain. That makes for a long and grueling day on the bike!  For non professional athletes, what are successful race strategies to help conquer this demon of a race? 

Plan Right!  Start off on the right foot by getting your bike parts  in order, lubing your chain, checking your tires, etc.  Basically, the goal here is to have everything you’ll need for race day morning packed up and ready to go by Thursday evening.  Not only does this relieve stressful day before packing but if you forget something, then you have time to pack it. But, what happens out on the course?  Crazy stuff can happen out there too!  Plan ahead and be sure to carry an extra tube or C02  with you, have extras in your drop bag along with some tires , bike nutrition, and extra clothing.  Lube is good to carry on hand too if the course is dry. If you are unsure if a certain bike part will hold up during the race, then have an extra one handy with some bike tools  in your drop bag to keep you in the race.

Fuel Right! Proper nutrition leading into a race is critical.  Yet, staying properly hydrated and taking in appropriate levels of protein and carbs during your race will not only help keep your energy up, but it will help keep your mind fresh and alert for those technical sections.  Consider stocking up with bars, gels, and an assortment of nutrition requirements to have in your jersey and in your drop bags.  Also, consider how you are getting your fluids: bottles or hydration pack?  It’s important to plan your water intake between aid stations so if you think it will be a while between them, opt for a hydration pack.  Regarding the frequency of eating and drinking,  prepare a food/ drink schedule so you stick to it. Our post, Dialing in your Race Day Nutrition, may help.  The main point here is to eat and drink on a regular schedule so you avoid bonking, cramping, and ensure you have enough fuel in the tank to finish the race. 

Pace Yourself! While the nerves are high and the muscles and energy are fresh, it’s easy at the start of the race to get after it and go out too hard and too fast.  Keep in mind, the more you spike your heart rate at the beginning of the race, the less you have available to pull from at the end of the race.  The trick to finishing this race is to ride a steady ride keeping your heart rate in check and knowing when to back off.  Use your cycling computer to keep yourself in check. Another helpful hint is to write down all of the aid station mile markers and cutoff times to help pace yourself and stay on schedule. Tape this list to your top tube so you can see it while you ride

Dress for Success! It’s chilly first thing in the morning at altitude! There is quiet a bit of time that passes between lining up for the start and the actual time of the gun going off at the start.  If you are cold and shivering waiting for the start, you are going to lose precious body heat and energy.  Stand around with warm clothes that are easy to take off just minutes before the race start.  Also, consider wearing warm clothes at the start of the race. As in, arm warmers, possibly knee warmers, and even a light weight head cover.  Due to rain showers and storms, you may want to have a lightweight rain jacket in your jersey pocket of pack to take on and off as needed.  With all cycling apparel on race day, it’s a good idea to have the zipper unzipped and the jacket easily accessible so you don’t waste valuable time.  This is even more important it you are bumping up against cut off times.  

Get Your Mental Game On!  Check in with your mental attitude, preparation, and willingness to “get after it.”  The level of digging deep and mental suffering for this race exceeds that of training rides or even shorter (60 miles or so) races.  Your thoughts, emotions, and self talk are components of your mental state, so take during the event, periodically take inventory of your mental state. It’s easy during a race this tough and long to compare your training and fitness to others.  Don’t compare!  Be prepared with mantras or mini goals to keep yourself going when the going gets tough.  

What other tips would you add?  Share them on Facebook and Twitter! And finally, good luck to all racers at the Leadville 100 this weekend!