BikeParts.com Guide to the Colorado Classic – Stage 3 in Golden, Colorado 

August 15, 2019

We are just days away from the start of the 2019 Colorado Classic.  This fabulous, three-day invitation-only event is sanctioned by USA Cycling and will kick off in Breckenridge on August 21 and conclude in Golden on August 23, prior to the start of the last day of racing for the USA Pro Challenge. It is the first time since 1988 that some of the best men and women in the world will be sharing courses at a major, international stage race in Colorado.  And, Colorado sports enthusiasts and cycling fans around the world wait with anticipation of yet another phenomenal pro race.  With stunning Colorado backdrops, high adrenaline, high altitude thrills of pro cycling, what’s more to like? 

Anticipation.  The Colorado Classic is the only women’s stand-alone stage race in the Western Hemisphere on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar and USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour and we are thrilled to watch it play out! The women competing in the Women’s USA Pro Challenge will include top national riders and Olympians. The women will race for the same prize money as the men and it will help lead the way for future equal winnings in races.  More than a race, the Colorado Classic will act as a movement to inspire women, challenge and redefine female professional cycling, and ultimately, empower women of all ages to break the mold, and fight for their goals.

Given that BikeParts.com / Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is located on Washington Street in the heart of downtown Golden, Colorado, we’re poised to give you the rundown on the best ways to experience this fantastic event. 

The Stage
First, take a look at what Stage 3 in Golden, Colorado is all about. On paper, Stage 3 in Golden looks like a sprinter’s delight with seven swift laps of a nine-mile circuit that starts and finishes under the iconic Golden arch downtown. But don’t be fooled as the short steep climb up the historic Washington St. is enough for a mini-QOM on the last lap, combined with additional rollers, add up to over 4,000’ of vertical. Look for breakaway attempts and sprint trains after the non-climbers have waited for two days to get on terrain that suits them.

Highlights of the stage include 3 intermediate sprints and time bonuses; QOM up Washington Street at the start of the last lap; Short steep hill on Washingtons Street right after the Start/Finish

And a great place to spectate is at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop! Of course, there are many other great course-side viewing options as well.  Yet, you’ll want to swing by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop because we have a dazzling display of road bikesmountain bikescycling accessories, and cycling apparel.  It’s enough to make your head spin! It’s the delightful appeal that only a local, mountain town bicycle shop can provide.  

Where to watch
Stage 3 will include three Fan Zones where you will get the best view of the racing. This includes the Start/Finish area; 15th and Washington and the Expo at Parfet Park. 

There are other events as well! 

Golden Women’s Community Ride – August 23rd, 5:30pm, a community ride, and everyone is invited. The ride will start under the Arch and make a quick trip to the Lions Park Ballfields where Movies and Music in the Park will start at 7 pm.  Activities celebrating women athletes will take place before the movie. Come celebrate the city’s deep commitment to women on bikes!

Golden Movie Night  – August 23, free in Lion’s Park, starting at 7 pm with music from the Sweet Lillies followed by a showing of Mary Poppins Returns at dusk under the stars, around 8:30 p.m.  Also, expect some updates on the race — in person!  

The Golden Farmer’s Market  – August 24th, 8 am – 1 pm.  Get some shopping done before the race starts!

Colorado Classic 5k presented by Altra — August 24, free fun run for anyone, any age starting at 9:00 am in Parfet Park and ending at the race finish line under the Golden Arch.

Shopping: Make good use of your day and stop by the shop. Browse through our road bikes and mountain bikes like Giant, and Specialized and check out our specialty bike parts.  Our highly-rated bike parts and components have become favorites among many. You may want to make the day memorable and pick up a select few bike partscycling accessories, or cycling apparel. Or, ask us for details on what to do near Golden and the best local places to ride in Golden. We know the best road rides and mountain bike trails for every type of rider.  Call ahead or visit us at BikeParts.com

We’re loving the good vibe the Colorado Classic brings to the sport of cycling!  Wishing all racers the very best!  

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Cross is Coming – Get Ready with Our Sale of Bike Parts and Omnium Portable Trainer 

August 8, 2019

Omnium Portable Trainer at BikeParts.comIn late summer and early fall, a new slogan can be heard on repeat: “Cross is coming.” Meaning another cyclocross season will soon be underway.   And sure enough, late August is usually when the first cyclocross race is held in Golden, Colorado.  

So, what does this mean? It means, in preparation for the upcoming cyclocross season, now is the time to cash in on all the bike part deals we have!  

An all-time favorite of cross racers is the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer.  It’s on sale now for $399.  Folks love this trainer for warming up and cooling down for cross races. The Omnium trainer utilizes Internal Progressive Resistance (IPR) delivering a real-road feel with minimal noise. Added benefits are: 

  • Progressive magnetic resistance
  • No assembly required–simply unfold and mount bike
  • Bearings are greased and sealed, requiring no maintenance
  • Includes heavy-duty tote bag for transport and storage

Adding to your savings are the sales we have going on for cycling apparel.  As mentioned in our post, Race Prep: What to Bring to a Cyclocross Race, the list is long for cyclocross packing. There is gear for warming up, gear for racing, gear for cooling down, gear for the bikes and gear for creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. In addition, it is often not enough to have a single piece of equipment or clothing; several may be needed for the day. Take advantage of the specials we have to stock up on much-needed cycling accessories and cycling apparel.  

Remember, cross is coming!! Plan your cyclocross season now, order your bike parts at bikeparts.com and grab your cowbell! 


Peak Cycles Best Bike Routes to Cross of Your Summer Riding Bucket List 

August 1, 2019

While the temps are soaring and the days are still long, soon – summer will come to an end.  Now is the time to get rolling.  All of the rides, races, and cycling adventures you hoped to complete this summer need to have a checkmark next to them.  Who wants to look back on the season with regret? No one!  So get out your planner and make August your best month yet. 

Take a look at our list of some of the best road and mountain bike routes in the Golden, Colorado and Front Range area. See which ones you have done and plan to mark them all complete before season end. 

Mountain bike trails:

  1. White Ranch Trail
  2. Dakota Ridge and Red Rocks Trail 
  3. North Table Mountain 
  4. Green Mountain Park
  5. South Table Mountain 
  6. Chimney Gulch Trail 
  7. Apex Park Trail 
  8. Golden Gate Canyon State Park 
  9. Lair O’ the Bear 
  10. Buffalo Creek 
  11. Centennial Cone 
  12. Hall Ranch  

Road Rides:

  1. Historic Lariat Loop 
  2. Deer Creek Canyon 
  3. Bergen Park or Idaho Springs to Guanella Pass 
  4. Red Rocks Park Loop 
  5. Bergen Park or Idaho Springs to St. Mary’s Glacier (Alice) 
  6. Idaho Springs to Loveland Pass 
  7. Golden to Cold Springs Campground via Golden Gate Canyon 
  8. Bergen Park to Echo Lake 
  9. Idaho Springs to Juniper Pass 
  10. Manitou Springs to Pike Peak Summit Parking Lot (Pikes Peak Hill Climb) 
  11. Morgul-Bismark Route 
  12. Jamestown Canyon Ride 
  13. Flagstaff Hill Climb 
  14. NCAR Hill Climb 
  15. Lookout Mountain Hill Climb 
  16. Sunshine Hill Climb 
  17. Magnolia Hill Climb 
  18. Mt. Evans Hill Climb 
  19. Pikes Peak 
  20. Trail Ridge Road 

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve found the best way to make the most of your bucket list rides is be prepared: mentally, physically, and have fully inspected your bike parts.  You want to make the most of your rides, don’t you? Of course! No one wants a mechanical during training or racing.  Obviously, functioning brakes are essential on the long, fast descents.  Proper gearing can make or break your chance of making a climb.  And, having the right bike toolscycling accessories, and extra bike parts on hand make a difference between a stellar ride and a bailout. 

So make sure your bike is in proper order and while you’re at it, stop in and check out the new rides we have in the shop. Riding a new road bike or mountain bike while marking your bucket list rides complete will totally up the fun factor! We’ve got some great deals on bikes and cycling accessories, so stop by the Peak Cycling Bike Shop for help or visit us at bikeparts.com for all your cycling needs. 


27.5 Guy Switches to 29er

July 29, 2019

By Hunter Swanson. Peak Cycles. July 2019.

If you asked me a few weeks ago about choosing between wheel sizes, I would have said something like this. “If you are shorter or more into downhill choose the 650B, and if you’re taller and more about the up go 29er.” Honestly, I was pretty sold on this idea. I passed the same message along to many people. How many times had I actually ridden a 29’er though? Embarrassingly, only once. And from that one experience, I pretty much wrote off the 29er and assumed everything I’d heard about them was correct. The 29er wasn’t suited for my riding style and since I’m 5’8″ it wouldn’t work for my height either. That is, until a few weeks ago.

One day after work I decided to take out a 29er from the Peak Cycles demo fleet. One of the mechanics in the shop warned me, “you might end up buying one after this.” I laughed, unconvinced that this would change my mind. I grabbed a Stumpy Expert 29er and headed to Green Mountain outside of Golden. Right when I hopped on the saddle, I was reminded of the 29er’s ability to climb. It’s very capable at smoothing out rocks, bumps, and trail irregularities. Much more so than the 650B, in my opinion. Because it’s not getting caught up, it makes the climb more enjoyable and a bit easier overall. I experienced this the first time I rode one, but this isn’t news to anyone, so let’s cut to the chase.

When it came time to descend my mind was blown almost immediately. I was on a trail I’d ridden many times before. I knew how it normally felt punchy and rough on my 650b. But this time around I knew something felt different. It felt oddly smooth. Almost as if I was on a huge boat cutting through rough ocean chop. Like a freshly sharpened knife effortlessly slicing through a cut of meat. I was in a state of pure bliss as I rolled over the loose rocks and bumps with ease. Then came a few tight corners. I was able to take them with just as much speed as usual. I felt the added traction of the bigger wheel. It just wanted to stay planted. But wait? I thought this wasn’t supposed to corner well?

Unsure of whether or not this was due to the bike being different or just the wheel size, I went back to Green Mountain the next day. This time on the 650b version of the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert. After riding the exact same trail on the 650b version, I arrived at my conclusion. The 29er was, in fact, better at descending than the 650B. I continued to ride the 29er over the next few weeks. I took it to different trails all around Golden, ones that I had ridden many times. The most astonishing results I had were on Chimney Gulch. As my go to ride in town, I had recorded over 40 different rides on this trail. But when I descended on the 29er, I shaved 30 seconds off my fastest descent time. Now that is saying something.

After years of holding a false belief, my attitude towards 29ers changed instantly. It was obvious to me. Aside from going straight into “I want a new bike mode,” I learned something along the way too. Despite whatever a spec sheet, a friend, or your local bike shop employee is saying, the ultimate test is to ride as many bikes as you can. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget the fact that no two people, or wheel sizes for that matter, are alike. It’s easy for us to put people in boxes. Short people ride 650b’s and tall people ride 29ers. Downhill riders need the 27.5 and XC riders would be fools not to ride a 29er. Try out both wheel sizes and see which one feels right for you. That is the beauty of doing a demo before making a purchase.

Is one wheel size better than the other? Is there a right answer to that question? I don’t know. All I know is that I felt the advantages of the 29er both on the ascent and descent. Faster ups, faster downs, more traction. It can be as playful as the 650b, it just requires more effort and strength. I did notice the turning radius of the 29er to be wider than the 27.5. It doesn’t love super tight turns, but neither do I. All in all I’ve made the switch over to the…darkside? I’m all aboard the 29er train until the next best thing comes along. Maybe a 30.5. Time will tell.


Get In On All Our Shop Deals With New Bikes, New Rides, and New Adventures

July 25, 2019

The summer riding season is in full swing here in Golden, Colorado! While there is still lots of riding to do, your bike may be feeling a tad worn down. Think of all the training miles, epic rides, races, and events you have done so far this season. Is it time to replace worn bike parts? Maybe upgrade your bike? Or even purchase a new road bike or mountain bike? Lucky for you, we have a ton of options to make the most of your summer riding. 

In fact, right now, Bikeparts.com, has some epic deals on new and used bikes! The sale includes bikes from Specialized, Liv Cycling, and Giant. Check now because they are going fast!

 



Speaking of new bikes, this new Specialized Turbo Creo SL is sure to turn some heads on the road and make your Strava PR’s envious. Stop by the shop to check it out and take it for a test ride.


 

If you’re happy with your bike but you are hearing some creaks or feel it may need some TLC, then schedule a bike service with us.  Head on down to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in downtown Golden and have our mechanics take a look at it. A midsummer Standard to Tune will get your bike back in tip-top shape.


 

And don’t forget the kiddos! Did you know? We have a huge selection of kids cycling apparel, helmets, and bikes at PeakCycles? Family riding is fun and gets your kids in on the cycling action.


 

Hmmmm….Back to new bikes again. Are you thinking about upgrading your bike to an #sworks? Maybe thinking about switching from 27.5 to a #29er? We’ve got you covered on that too! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to discover the difference for your self.


 

Last but not least – whether you purchase a new bike or ride your current mountain bike, join on on Wednesday evenings for our shop ride at 6PM.


 

Don’t miss out on a great summer of riding! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and check out our deals, get info on questions you have, and up the fun factor for your rides! 


Tips for Safer Solo Backcountry Mountain Biking

July 18, 2019

Adventure – we love it!  That’s why we ride bikes, right? The feeling of freedom riding a bike gives us is intoxicating and liberating.  Seeking adventure on our bikes just ups the game!  

The thrill of riding uncharted territory and exploring new rides and routes is exhilarating.  But sometimes, riding into the unknown can also be stressful – especially if you are doing it solo.   Concerns about changing weather conditions, coupled with the fear of a possible crash or getting disoriented or lost, all contribute to less than the ideal ride.  There are some considerations to take on longer rides and recommended gear to carry, whether it’s just for a big one-day adventure or a much longer bikepacking expedition.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve discovered that by taking just a few extra precautions, you can increase the likelihood of having a great riding experience, as well as,  coming home safe and in one piece to tell your friends and family all about it.  

Prepare your route and know the profile – How much climbing and descending should you expect?  Have you trained appropriately? Plan within your limits. 

Know the route – where is the trailhead?  How long is the route?  What is the technical difficulty? What type of terrain will you be riding?  And, what are the current trail conditions?  All these factors influence your experience and safety while riding in teh backcountry.  An additional consideration is water. Is water available? No doubt, you will definitely want to bring along hydration options. Think water bottles and hydration packs and consider filter options for epic days or routes.  

Know the weather conditions before, during, and soon after you expect to ride.  Colorado weather changes quickly and sometimes, radically.  Be prepared. Plan ahead. Think through what you will do when faced with challenging weather conditions. 

Be mindful of the cycling apparel to wear.  Being over or underdressed makes for an uncomfortable ride. You’ll want to have a rain jacket, maybe a wind vest, and several layering options available to you depending on the length and location of your ride.

Before you head out on your adventure, know which bike components are best for the terrain type and the right mountain bike tire to use.  

In addition to preparing for your ride, you will want a checklist of essential items to carry with you.  By no means is this a complete list but it’s a good starting place for essentials: 

Plan for problems.  Not every ride goes as planned. Think ahead and work through any potential problems you may encounter and prepare in advance accordingly. If you need additional clothes, plan to pack them. If you need spare bike parts, or extra lube, or other cycling accessories, add them to your list to purchase and have available for your adventure. 

Finally, ride conservatively, especially when riding solo. Ride within your limits.  New ride routes and trails have a way of invoking cycling superpowers!  That is, they inspire us to ride fast and get after it! That is all fine and dandy but when riding solo in remote or uncharted territory, it may be a good idea to pull back just a bit. Keep some reserves in your energy stores in case you do get lost or the ride takes you further from your final, planned destination.  Be mindful of changing weather conditions that may tax your energy reserves and be proactive in eating timely and adding/ removing cycling apparel to make sure you keep your energy steady.  Nothing adds more stress to a ride than getting lost and/or being too cold and not knowing if you can even get to your final destination. 

Riding solo in the backcountry can be a fun adventure. Yet remember, it’s safer to ride with a buddy and safer still to ride the backcountry with a group. If you’re going out solo, take extra time to prepare and be conservative. Safe riding! 


Improve Your Cycling Performance with Proper Hydration 

July 11, 2019

Summer weather means more time to ride bikes, but the increased temperatures can bring on the challenge of remaining hydrated.  Any cyclist that has suffered from a muscle cramp or a post-ride exploding headache can appreciate the need to properly hydrate. A proper hydration strategy can have a big impact on your cycling performance, as well, as your recovery. 

One aspect of a hydration strategy that is commonly overlooked is how much fluid you drink before and after your workouts.  Because many cyclists are busy at work, or home, or enjoying other summer activities, it’s easy to fall behind on water intake. To help eliminate that problem is an app iDrated.  iDrated is a hydration monitor, water log, drink alarm designed to keep users hydrated.  The app is easy and simple to use. Thanks to a built-in tutorial, users don’t have to waste their time trying to figure out how to use it. What’s most helpful is that the app informs users how much more they need to drink along with an actual time estimate for when they should drink more water. As a bonus, iDrated keeps track of the current week’s hydration levels, and users earn medals for staying hydrated.  This is a great tool to help you stay properly hydrated in between rides. 

The other aspect of a hydration strategy is your water and fluid intake prior to, during, and post-training on the bike.  Some suggest consuming at least 300 to 500 ml of fluid, water 1 to 2 hours before your cycling workout to get a head start.   This is particularly important on hotter days. Yet, there are many contributing factors that determine your hydration needs.  From our perspective at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can’t dial in your specific needs but we do know that water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list for both performance and health.  With that in mind, we focus on offering a variety of ways to get your hydration needs to be met while riding.  

The first and most obvious way cyclist carry their water is with bottles. They are plentiful, easy to clean, and at BikeParts.com we have a huge variety including insulated water bottles that are great for keeping liquids cool in the hot temperatures. In addition, we have Camelbak eddy+ Water Bottles, Camelbak Kids Insulated Eddy Bottle, and Camelbak Podium bottles.  A good rule of thumb is to have a variety of bottles on hand for different types of rides. This is especially true when bottles get lost by bouncing out of their cages. 

Speaking of that, most mountain bike riders are all too familiar with the bottles bouncing out on tricky descents.  As a result,  having a bottle and wearing a hydration pack can be helpful. Again, there are many variables to selecting the best pack for the ride. Do you need a 50 oz? 70 oz? Or 100 oz bladder? Is the option to carry extra clothing, like a rain jacket needed?  Fortunately, we have a large assortment of sizes and manufacturers to choose from including CamelBakAurora, and Deuter Packs.  We even wrote our own review on the Camelbak Chase Vest. 

To train and compete at your best during this summer, it is important to understand how your body copes with heat, and what you can do to stay hydrated.  Everyone adapts differently to heat stress.  Need more tips?  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to chat with our racers, mechanics, and other cyclists to see what works for them. Maybe you’ll learn some new hydrating strategies and you can check out our huge selection of hydration options and bike parts too!