Bike Repair Stands

November 21, 2020

A Great Gift For the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner which has all of us thinking about great gifts for our loved ones. One item that comes to mind is a bike repair stand. Bike Repair Stands are great for avid cyclists who enjoy working on or fixing up bikes. A good bike stand will keep that garage full of bikes running smoothly and makes most repair jobs that much easier. Whether you’re looking for a full-on mechanic stand or one that mounts to the wall, there’s something out there for your needs.

PARK TOOL PRS-4W-1 DELUXE WALL MOUNT REPAIR STAND AND 100-3C CLAMP

Why are Bike Stands Awesome?

Why are bike stands such a great thing to have? Think about something as simple as fixing a flat tire. The bike is held in place as you’re doing it. No more trying to balance the bike upside down on the handlebars. How about trying to align a derailleur? A bike stand allows you to wrench on the bike while it’s hanging in the stand. Trying to do this on the ground is much more tedious and time-consuming. In a bike stand, the job can be done in a matter of minutes.

FEEDBACK SPORTS PRO-ELITE WORK STAND

Our Favorite Stands

Bike stands cost anywhere from $150 and up, and as you go up in price, you will usually be getting sturdier materials and a heavier weight capacity. The benefit of this is being able to work on e-bikes, which can weigh over 50 pounds. Bikeparts.com carries stands from two of the most popular brands, Park Tool and Feedback Sports. Some of our favorites are the 10.2 Home Mechanic Stand and the Pro-Elite Work Stand.

PARK PCS-10.2 HOME MECHANIC REPAIR STAND

Back in Stock Soon

Due to COVID-19 and the surge in demand for bike-related products, most stands are completely sold out. Luckily, our suppliers are showing bike stands coming back into stock in early December. Keep your eyes peeled on Bikeparts.com for them! If you need ideas for tools to go along with your new bike stand, check out our article on the best bike tools for your at-home kit. 


Riding in the Fall

November 12, 2020
Learn the essentials of riding during the fall. We’ll cover pre-ride preparation, proper layering, staying warm and dry, and a hack for finding weather windows!

The leaves are turning and temperatures are dropping. Yes, Fall is certainly in the air but don’t put those bikes away just yet. The cooler temps can make for a comfortable outing and you may find it to be less crowded. At the same time, you also run the chance of being caught in a freak snow/hail/rain/sleet storm. Especially here in Colorado! But with a bit of preparation, you can prepare yourself for the elements. Bringing along the proper layers will help keep you warm, dry, and hopefully smiling on your fall bike ride.

Grand Teton National Park on a Fall Day. Featuring the 2020 Specialized Tarmac Sport.
📸 Hunter Swanson

Pre Ride Preparation

It’s best to check the weather before you head out. Using an app like MyRadar can be invaluable for seeing what the weather is doing. We’ve been able to sneak in some rides on days where calling it quits looks like the only option. If you plan things right, you might be able to find a weather window and enjoy your ride with minimal crowds. It’s also worth noting the type of riding you’ll be doing. You might need fewer layers when mountain biking, since your moving speed is typically slower. Road biking, on the other hand, can feel colder since you’re moving quickly. Know the type of riding and know your own tolerance for cold and wet conditions.

Layering Up

What type of person are you? Be bold, start cold? Bundle up at first then shed layers? There isn’t a right or wrong answer here but you’ll often hear that it’s best to not sweat, as this will make you colder in the long run. For that reason, it’s best to wear breathable, wicking layers that will keep you dry when you’re putting down the watts. We recommend avoiding cotton as it’s not known for quick-drying properties. Being prepared for precipitation is important too, so bringing along a packable windbreaker often does the trick. Keep in mind windbreakers won’t keep you completely dry if it really starts coming down. The plus side is, they’re often lighter weight and more compact than a full-on rain jacket. You make the call!

The S-Phyre booties from Shimano are fire! Note the Patagonia Houdini jacket stuffed in the water bottle cage! 📸 Hunter Swanson

Staying Warm and Dry

Stay warm but avoid sweating! Good areas to layer up include your head, hands, and feet. Something as simple as a buff under your helmet or long finger gloves can make all the difference if the weather turns south. As you’re riding try to shed layers as necessary. This is where apparel like arm and leg warmers, booties, or overshoes can come in handy. They don’t take up much space and if it gets too warm, you can easily stash these in your jersey, saddlebag, or SWAT tube. Look for fabrics that dry quickly like polyester, rayon, or Lycra.

Get Out For a Ride!

Fall is a great time to ride and enjoy the cool weather. Doing a pre-ride preparation by analyzing the weather goes a long way. Bringing along the right layers that will keep you warm and dry. Remember to bring layers that are breathable and packable while keeping in mind your personal tolerance for cold weather and plan accordingly. Happy fall everyone! 


Best Bicycle Tools

September 22, 2020

We polled our mechanics and asked them which tools are essential for your at-home workshop. Here are their top picks!

Tool Kit or Mix and Match?

When it comes to putting together a bike toolkit, you can make it easy with something premade like this one from Park Tool. It will come with a variety of tools to get you started like a pedal wrench, hex keys, and a chain breaker. You can also piece together a tool kit over time if you’re not trying to break the bank. If that sounds like you, our mechanics have curated a list of our most used tools at Peak Cycles.

Hex and Torx Wrenches

The most used tool our shop has to be hex wrenches. Some of the most common sizes you’ll find on a bike are 4,5, and 6mm. We really like using the Park Tool AWS-1 Three-Way 4,5,6mm Hex. It’s easy to use, feels good in your hand, and has the most common sizes all in one tool. Park Tool also makes a Torx version that is a must-have in your home tool kit. This comes in handy for cockpit related items that use a Torx bolt!

Cassette and Bottom Bracket

Want to take your cassette or bottom bracket off? You’ll need a few specialty tools to pull off these jobs. They don’t take up to much space and don’t break the bank either. The Park Tool BBT-9 and BBT-22 are two of the most common bottom bracket tools we use in the shop. In addition to these BB tools, you’ll need a chain whip. We really like the SR-12.2 because it can be used on a wide variety of cassettes including 12 speed. You will also need a cassette lockring tool. When shopping for a bottom bracket tool, it’s important to verify that the tool will work with your bottom bracket. 

Other Tools

Many pedals today can be installed or removed with a hex wrench. Despite this, we recommend having a good pedal wrench on hand. We’ve even used them to press pistons back into a hydraulic caliper. Another great tool to eventually add to your tool kit is cable cutters? These are essential for cutting down brake or derailleur cables and housing. Check out the CN-10 from Park Tool. While messing around with spokes takes attention and a bit of know-how, a spoke wrench is a great tool worth having in the kit. Last but not least, a chain tool! Having a tool like this will allow you to remove, replace, or install a new chain on your bike. 

Working on Your Bike

Working on your bike is fun and rewarding to learn. There are great resources out there on YouTube from Park Tool, GMBN Tech, GCN Tech, and Berm Peak. Just to name a few. But if you aren’t the fix it yourself type or you’re in over your head, we are here for you. If you would like to service your bike at Peak Cycle, give us a call at (303) 216-1616.

The Full List

  • Park Tool PW-5 Pedal Wrench – Buy Now
  • Park Tool AWS-1 Three-Way 4,5,6mm Hex – Buy Now
  • Park Tool TWS-3 Three-Way 10,25,30 Torx – Buy Now
  • Park Tool CT-5 Chain Tool – Buy Now
  • Park Tool BBT-9 Bottom Bracket Tool – Buy Now
  • Park Tool BBT-22 Bottom Bracket Tool – Buy Now
  • Park Tool FR-5.2 Cassette Lockring Tool – Buy Now
  • Park Tool CN-10 Cable Cutter – Buy Now
  • Park Tool SW-0 Spoke Wrench – Buy Now
  • Park Tool SR-12.2 Chain Whip – Buy Now

Tubeless Tire Essentials

September 22, 2020

We’ll get you up and running with tubeless tires before you can say sealant!

Tubeless Tires Overview

Tubeless tires are an awesome innovation in cycling. Going tubeless means you can run lower tire pressures, offering more traction, a lower rolling resistance, and reducing the frequency of flats. There are some essential items and things you need to know about going tubeless, starting with the setup. We will walk you through the process of setting up your tires and go over a few tools to carry on the trail.  We recommend watching this video from Park Tool which covers the complete installation of tubeless tires. 

How To Set Up Tubeless Tires

To start, you’ll need a tubeless-ready tire and taped rim. Can all rims or wheels go tubeless? Any clincher rim or wheel can be used for a tubeless setup. This is the most common type of rim you will find today. The rim must be taped to seal the spoke holes, which can be done with Stan’s Rim Tape or Guerilla tape. We recommend using Stan’s Tape which is much easier to clean up and doesn’t leave behind a residue like Guerilla Tape! How do you know if your tires are Tubeless Ready? The tire will often say so on the sidewall or packaging it came in. When in doubt, check the manufacturer’s website. You can’t just use any tire for a tubeless setup. Tubeless tires have a special bead that hooks onto the rim that keeps the tire from blowing off the rim when inflated! This is a great way to spray sealant everywhere and damage your eardrums from a loud explosion! Note: you can still blow a tubeless specific tire off the rim from over inflation!

We’ve made it easy for you to shop for tubeless tires on Bikeparts.com. Just filter for Tubeless Compatible tires under the special features tab. Be sure to pick add some tubeless valve stems and tire sealant to your cart too. We have a wide variety of valve stems to choose from brands like Stans and Industry Nine. Our favorite sealants are the Race Sealant from Stans and Endurance Sealant from Orange Seal. For a smooth installation, we recommend an air compressor, but with a bit of elbow grease and will power you can do it with a floor pump. 

How To Fix A Tubeless Puncture

Once you’ve gone through the tubeless setup process you’re up and rolling! Tubeless tires do mean you will get flats less often, but they do happen from time to time. Especially if you ride somewhere very rocky like Golden. If you puncture your tire having tire plugs can be the difference between a quick fix and a long day on the trail. You’ll know you’ve punctured your tire when you hear a dreaded hiss and see sealant spraying. Grab your tubeless patch kit like this one from Lezyne. Thread the plug through the insertion device and push it in the puncture. Note, it might take multiple plugs to completely seal a puncture.

Once the hole is completely sealed, pump it back up to the desired pressure. This is where a digital pressure gauge comes in handy! In some instances, you might have lost enough air that the tire bead broke away from the rim. You can use a CO2 inflator for a quick blast of pressure to reseat the tire bead. How long with a tubeless plug last? We’ve seen tubeless plugs will last the life of the tire if installed correctly. 

Went Tubeless!

Having tubeless tires is awesome and we highly recommend it. Making sure you’re prepared with the right tools and supplies will keep you feeling confident about taking care of issues when they pop up. Have fun exploring different tire pressures and seeing what feels best. The right pressure is different for everyone and depends on a variety of factors including wheel size, tire size, riding style, and terrain. We hope this article helped guide you towards being more knowledgable and prepared when it comes to tubeless tires. Shop now at bikeparts.com for everything you need!


Sale Sale Sale!

September 22, 2020

We have a few bikes on sale right now at Peak Cycles. With bike sales going through the roof, they won’t be around much longer. If you’re looking for a new road bike we’ve got you covered. How about an e-bike? We’ve got a great deal on one of those too! We have three bikes, all size large or 56c, that are built up and ready to ride! Keep reading to learn more about this selection of sale bikes or to purchase, get in touch with us at Peak Cycles. You can reach us by phone at (303)216-1616 or shoot an email to contact@bikeparts.com!

Turbo Vado 2.0 

Originally $2850. Now $2565.

The Vado features a lightweight alloy frame that’s been designed with a comfortable Fitness/Transportation Geometry. The Vado’s Specialized 1.2 motor is fully integrated with the frame, and it’s also been custom-tuned for city riding. It intuitively reacts to the force of your pedaling, so the harder you pedal, the more power it delivers. And with an internal belt drive design, it does this without added vibration for the smoothest and most silent ride possible.

Custom Specialized U1-460 battery is fully integrated with the frame, removable for easy charging, and lockable for added security. It communicates with the display and has multiple modes to maximize the overall efficiency and range.

Buy Now

Tarmac SL5 Expert

Originally $4000. Now $2850.

The Tarmac Expert with Shimano Dura-Ace finds the optimal blend of value and performance and ups the ante.

The FACT 10r carbon frame combines the lightweight performance and compliance of our top-end carbon production methods with our Rider-First Engineered™ design that ensures every frame size has the same legendary climbing responsiveness and descending prowess you’d expect from a Tarmac.

The 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 shifting offers the smoothest, crispest shifts, while keeping overall bike weights extremely low.

Buy Now

Tarmac SL6 Expert

Originally $4000. Now $2850.

This new Tarmac comes ready to race out of the box, featuring a crisp Shimano Ultegra 8000 groupset, resplendent Roval SLX 24 alloy rims laced to DT Swiss hubs, our fastest S-Works Turbo 26mm tires, and a sublime Toupé Expert Gel saddle.

S-Works full FACT carbon fork with a tapered construction provides incredible front end stiffness and steering response for instantaneous accelerations and high-speed descents.

The 11-speed Shimano Ultegra 8000 shifting is extremely reliable, lightweight, and precise.

Buy Now


Reign Advanced 29 Pro 1 Review

September 22, 2020

The updated 2020 Reign features a steep seat tube angle and great component package. Look to the Giant Reign for a bike that’s ready to rip!

Originally $5000. Now $4500.

The Skinny

The Reign is an all-around fun bike that climbs super well and is a blast on the descent! We think it’s best suited for riders who want an aggressive one quiver bike that has a modern geometry and high-end components. Compared to similar bikes in the same category, there is a ton of value for the price!

ProsCons
An overall fun aggressive ride
Modern geometry
Capable climber 
Fox Suspension package
SRAM Code Brakes
125mm dropper post
Problematic saddle

The Components

Right out of the gate this bike impressed us on many levels. For a bike at this price point, it comes spec’d with some impressive components. The Fox Performance Elite fork and X2 rear shock feel plush and well-matched. The SRAM code brakes are powerful 4 piston brakes that can stop on a dime with ease. We can’t talk enough about the modern geometry and steep seat tube angle making this bike a capable climber. Don’t let the long reach fool you. The steep seat tube angle brings you closer to the bars than other bikes with far shorter reaches. 

Giant did fall short with the dropper post 125mm dropper post on the medium and 150mm on the Large and XL. We swapped out the stock post for a OneUp Components 180 which let us slam the post down to the collar when in the dropped position. The stock saddle also gave us issues because of a plastic serrated edge, which scraped up our legs when cornering. We changed this saddle out with an Ergon SM Comp saddle. Which, if you’re looking for a new mountain bike saddle, we highly recommend! 

The Ride

Overall, we love the feel and ride quality of this bike. The modern geometry makes it a very capable climber and total beast on the descent. We will start to see other bikes adopting the slack headtube/steep seat tube moving forward and for good reason. It really makes a difference. So, who will like this bike? Aggressive enduro type riders Someone who wants a bike that can climb to the top but doesn’t want to be under-biked when the trail gets rowdy. This would be an awesome bike if you like trails like White Ranch or Enchanted Forrest. It would crush the Whole Enchilada and would have no problem ripping up the downhill trails at Trestle

Sound Like You?

Want to get your hands on this bike? Get in touch with us at Peak Cycles. You can reach out to us via phone (303)216-1616 or email contact@bikeparts.com!


When Insuring Your Bike Makes Sense and How to Maintain It

August 27, 2020

Bike sales have surged by as much as 300% across the country as suppliers struggle to keep up with newfound demand. With more Americans than ever before looking to keep fit and travel by bicycle, the situation presents a number of incredible opportunities and a couple of risks. Many of the millions of new cyclists across America may be unfamiliar with proper maintenance of their bike and bike parts,making it more important than ever that awareness is raised for the sake of safety. 

When to insure your bike
The value proposition of bicycle insurance relies heavily on your circumstances. Bike insurance typically covers a wide range of eventualities, including theft, crash or accidental damage, and even damage in transit. For competing athletes, those who routinely put their bike through its paces or travel regularly insurance may make a lot of sense. In these cases, you are at a much higher risk of damaging your bicycle, bike parts, and cycling accessories and have likely invested a lot of money in it. 

Perhaps the most common use case for a bicycle is the daily commute. Cities are notorious for bike theft and their busy roads are often dangerous to cyclists. This is probably the riskiest environment for any bicycle and insurance might mitigate what would otherwise be a difficult situation should the unfortunate occur. Homeowners may find that their bicycle is already covered by their home insurance plan. Many plans allow you to cover additional items so if your bike isn’t explicitly covered already, you may be able to add it to your plan. 

Maintaining your bicycle
Understanding bicycle maintenance is crucial to the long-term viability of your cycling career. While millions of Americans are buying bikes, without proper maintenance those bikes will quickly fall into disrepair and turn to scrap. The most important place to start is likely the drivetrain. Keeping your drivetrain clean and lubricated will ensure the smooth, quiet running of your bike. It’s expensive to replace, but takes very little effort to maintain meaning there’s no excuse for letting it rust.

Tire pressure is something you should check every couple of days and top up when necessary. Punctures and flats are inevitable so make an effort to learn how to replace or repair tires. This way you won’t be stumped when it finally happens. Finally and perhaps most importantly for safety, check your brakes before each journey and adjust them as necessary. Keeping the pads clean will reduce wear and tear while ensuring they perform optimally.

Bicycling is undergoing a renaissance in the US as millions seek a new form of exercise. While it’s an exciting time for the community, we must ensure new cyclists understand the importance of maintaining and protecting their investment. The industry’s growth won’t last if new cyclists let them rust and lose motivation when the repair bill grows too high.


Top Tips for Cycling In The August Heat 

August 20, 2020
Everywhere across the Front Range of Colorado, cyclists are feeling the heat. Record heat continues and given the need to exercise and reduce stress levels caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to get out of the house and maintain wellness through cycling.

The problem with hot weather is that the heat is the ultimate enemy for a cyclist because after a point, the hotter you get, the slower you’ll go.  Unfortunately, to generate pedal power means your body exerts itself and generates heat. With the temperatures climbing, is there a way to beat the heat and still make gains with effective training? You bet! Read on for our strategies to beat the heat.

Tip#1

If you haven’t exposed yourself to the warmer temps, you should.  One tip is to acclimate.  It takes about 10 to 14 days of frequent exposure to heat for your body to adapt. During this period of time workout daily in hot conditions at a lower-than-normal intensity. After a couple of weeks of near-daily exposure to hot conditions, you will begin to perform better in the heat than prior although performance will still likely be diminished from what you might have done in cooler conditions.

Tip #2

This is obvious, but an often overlooked component. Hydrate. Water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list. For both performance and health, the importance of your water intake exceeds that of your vitamin, calorie, and electrolyte consumption. For your road racing needs, be sure to carry the water bottles and containers that you need on your road bike but have extras available. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you know tricky descents can bump a bottle right out of its cage.  This time of year, it’s best to wear a full hydration pack as well as have extra bottles on hand.

Tip #3

Protect yourself from the sun.  While some enjoy exposure to the sun, a sunburn does more than fry your skin – it contributes to fatigue and increases your metabolism. Always wear sunscreen; choose jerseys, shorts, and arm skins with built-in sun protection; and wear a cap under your helmet to shield your head. 

Tip #4

Plan ahead. Planning your route in advance and knowing where the nearest sources of water can be handy in case you find yourself running low at any point. Also, planning a route with options to shorten the ride or take a shortcut back to your starting point in case you start to struggle is also a good plan.  If possible with your schedule, consider riding during the cooler times of the day.

Tip#5

Recover. This seems like another overlooked strategy but after a long day in the saddle and the heat, you really do need to cool off. Get your legs up. Stay in the shade or AC. It is important to get your core body temperature down so you can recover. We all know that recovery is a critical element of preparing for the next bout of exercise.  One of our favorite recovery products at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is PhysioPhyx.  PhysioPhyx LPR takes recovery nutrition to a new level of support and performance by delivering a powerful, evidence-based blend of Carbohydrates + Protein + Leucine.  In fact, recent studies have shown the nutrient trio of Carbs +Protein + Leucine taken after exercise creates an absolutely ideal environment for your body to quickly go into recovery overdrive. 

With that said, training in the heat doesn’t have to be so bad.  Wear cooling cycling apparel.  Ride a bike with proper functioning bike parts to avoid over excretion. Stay hydrated and recover. Ride on friends! 


Tricks for Staying Safe on a Long Cycling Tour 

August 13, 2020

Cycling has soared in popularity this year, with sales of bikes up 75%. For many, this new hobby has inspired them to take longer road trips and tours. The key to a successful long cycling tour is preparation, you need to make sure that both you and your bike are in good condition.

If you are cycling in unfamiliar territory, plan your route carefully, making sure you take note of advice from other cyclists about the best routes to take, or where it is safe to stopover or camp. You should also look into the local traffic laws and make sure that you wear a helmet. A cycling tour is a great way to see the world at a pace that suits you, but safety is paramount when you are on the road.

Keeping fit and healthy

If you are on a tour, you may be tempted to cover long distances without a break but it is important that you stop regularly. Drinking plenty of water is essential, but if you are in another country, it is worth checking first that it is safe to drink the water, as not all countries have a clean water recycling system. Drinking contaminated water is the most common cause of diarrhea, and this is the last thing you need on a cycling tour. Eat regularly, making sure that you get a well-balanced diet.
High carbohydrate snacks may be convenient, but they will leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Cycling supplement drinks are a good idea on a long trip as they contain a burst of electrolytes to keep you alert when you’re on the road. Many also contain minerals to help support your muscles like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. If you are traveling in another country, make sure that you arrange sufficient insurance and get any vaccinations that are necessary. You should also make sure that your travel insurance covers any accidental damage to your bike.

General road safety

When you are out on the road, wear bright, reflective colors, especially if you are cycling at night. If you are riding through a town or city, beware of parked cars as drivers do not always check when they open doors. Good road positioning is essential in built-up areas, don’t ride too close to the curb, because if someone needs to overtake, you will have space to your left to move into. It will also make it easier to avoid gutters, drains, and potholes by the side of the road. Many cyclists recommend riding in the middle of a lane so that motorists aren’t tempted to squeeze past you when it is unsafe to do so. Always ride single-file if you are with a group and make sure that you use hand signals when you are turning. Don’t be tempted to wear headphones and never use your cell phone when you are riding.

Looking after your bike

Regular bike maintenance is essential if you are on a long tour. Every day check over your bike and make sure that your tires have enough pressure. The wheels should go round easily with no wobbles and the mudguards shouldn’t rub against anything.  If you are fairly new to cycling, it would be a good idea to do a bike maintenance course before you go, learning to deal with basic issues, like repairing a puncture and oiling chains and cogs. You should also check that all the bolts on your bike are tight, in particular the rear rack bolts that can often work their way loose over time.

When you are going on a long road tour, staying safe on the road is imperative. Look after your body, your bike, bike parts, and your cycling accessories and you can enjoy seeing the world with confidence and ease.


Boost Your Cycling Performance With A Power Meter

August 6, 2020

FSA (FULL SPEED AHEAD) POWERBOX ALLOY POWER METER CRANKSET

Every hour of cycling adds an hour to your life, according to a study at Cambridge University. The benefits of cycling are indisputable; cycling can protect you from heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers, and even depression.

The next question is how to make the most of your cycling experience. Many people use nutrition and supplements to give their bodies extra power to muscle up a hill or go that extra mile. Yet, have you considered using a power meter to boost your cycling performance? 

 
According to the post, The Power of Power Meters, power meters help monitor your workouts, adds context to your heart rate data, and helps dial in your nutrition. Sounds good enough but why train with power?  
 
It’s all about “balancing how much work you do with your body’s response.” It’s the best way to measure work and intensity, as in, Power (watts) = Torque (how hard you pedal) x Cadence (how fast you pedal).  “Doing too much work means injury and overtraining risk. Too little means you’re not getting the maximum benefits you want. When power is measured your training becomes that much more effective.”  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve found the benefits of training with power include:

•Establishing your baseline fitness

•Accurately measuring even the smallest fitness gains

•Quantifying intensity, duration, and frequency – instead of guessing

•Prevention of overtraining

•Accurately measuring energy use for nutrition planning

•Proper pacing for time trials 

Overall, if you’ve been looking to get faster on the bike, then most likely you have explored cycling training tools, as in heart rate monitors and the like. No doubt, today’s technology provides instant biofeedback and structure to workouts.  And over time, this aggregated training data offers visibility to your training program and progress.

The ultimate goal of using training tools is to get faster, stronger, fitter, and optimize athletic performance. If you haven’t already, now is the time to invest in the tools that will help you the most. Our suggestions? Consider investing in a power meter. The right training tools will keep you motivated through the pandemic and into the next season.  

With so many bike parts and cycling accessories available, choosing the power meter for your training and fitness goals is important. Fortunately, we can answer all the questions you might have on which power meter fits your fitness needs or budget. Stop by or call Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to dial in your specific needs.
 

Buying a Bike and Bike Upgrades During COVID19

July 30, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the ways in which we exercise, work, socialize, and live daily life. Because of stay safer at home orders, many have explored hiking, walking, and camping. Inspired by the desire to get outside and focus on health, many non-cyclists are now investing in bicycles. People are buying new bikes, fixing up old ones, and riding more than before.  If you find yourself in one of those camps, then you’ll enjoy our guide to get you riding and exploring the world from two wheels. Here’s what you need to know. 

 
First Time Bike Owners
Buying a new bike is exciting. While you may be inspired to buy a new road bike, mountain bike, or electric bike to help you manage through the pandemic, consider the fact that you may really enjoy cycling once you get into it. Begin your bike selection based on your current and future needs. You’ll want to start your purchasing decisions but building your bike profile. Decide what type of riding you will be doing, how often, and the types of terrain you plan to ride. Because there are so many bike parts to build a new mountain bike or road bike, it’s important to get clear on what you are looking to do.  Here are some questions you need to get you started:
  • What type of bicycle do I want?  Will I be mountain biking, road cycling, or is comfort my biggest factor in a bike?
  • Am I interested in casual riding? Entry-level competitive cycling? Full-on racing?
  • How many miles might I log per week or year?
  • What type of tires should my bike have?
  • What size bike do I need?
  • Do I want a bike with gears? If so, How many?
  • What kind of seat do I want?
  • Cycling accessories – what matters to me most: high-tech gadgets or are simpler designs?
  • What kind of handlebars do I want? Straight or curved?
  • Am I interested in the highest quality bike parts?  Or, can I get by with industry-standard bicycle accessories?
  • Most importantly, how much am I willing to spend on a bike? This will determine a lot of the questions asked above.
Next, consider the bike fit and how the bike feels when you ride it.  The following are the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride.
  • Get the correct bike for your needs.  Getting a bike whose frame matches your body is the most important part of bike fit . If the frame size is wrong, you probably won’t be able to adjust the seat and handlebars enough to compensate. Some adjustments can be made easier with the bike’s existing components (seat height, angle, etc.) and some may require swapping out a component (as in, a new stem can change the location of the handlebars for a more comfortable riding position).
  • Seat height. When you’re pedaling and your leg is all the way down, your knee should be slightly bent. If your leg is straight (knee locked), your seat is too high. If your knee is very bent,  your seat is too low. Either problem can hurt your knees, and a seat height that’s too short robs you of power and makes it harder to ride.  To get the proper seat height, you want the saddle to be high enough that your heel barely touches the pedal at the bottom of the pedal rotation, but not so high that your heel comes above your toes at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
  • Seat position. Saddle setback another important measurement to get right. The front of your kneecap should be directly over your pedal spindle when you’re mid-pedal stroke. Most bike fitters dangle a piece of string with a small weight at the bottom (a plumb line) from the side of the rider’s kneecap to see if it lines up directly with the spindle—you may need to enlist a friend to help get this exactly right.
  • Reach to your handlebars.  Handlebar reach is simply the distance you reach from your saddle to your handlebars. Aim for a riding position that gives you a modest amount of shock-absorbing bend in your arms without forcing you to reach too far to apply the brakes.
  • Handlebar height. Your handlebars should be at least as high as your seat.
Existing Bike Owners
Like many existing bike owners, you may find yourself missing your group rides, events, and races. Perhaps you have turned to Swift as an alternative to get your competitive fix. Yet, there are additional ways to fuel your cycling inspiration.
  • Consider upgrading your bike or bike parts.  Sure, it may sound like an excuse to purchase much-desired bike parts or a new bike, but the truth is if new technology is available to support you riding faster and stronger, then isn’t it holding you back? 
  • If you are training consistently and putting forth the effort, then support your goals by having the cycling components you need. 
  • One component that is nearly always worth upgrading is the wheelset. Or, maybe upgrading your bike parts isn’t in the cards. 
  • Maybe you prefer to upgrade your cycling accessories or cycling apparel. Having a new jersey or new cycling shoes may be just what you need to bring a fresh approach and enthusiasm to the current challenges we are all facing.  
To make it easier on you, we have a Specialized Sale going on right now. Check out the sale items and get what you need to fuel your cycling goals.  Get ideas on bike upgrades in our post, The Best Bike Part Upgrades For a Better Ride.
Fortunately, now is the best time to shop for a new bike. There are so many options available today. Visit us at Peak Cycles in Golden or online at bikeparts.com.  We can help with your decision making and offer advice you need to get you rolling on your new bike just in time to enjoy the end of summer and early fall riding.

How to Properly Clean and Detail Your Bike in Less Than an Hour

July 23, 2020

Owning a bike puts you in a pretty enviable position right now; it’s a safe way to get around as it involves minimal contact, can be incredibly fun, and with many gyms still closed, riding is a great way to maintain your fitness. But, one key responsibility that comes with owning a bike is keeping it clean. With so many moving bike parts, prolonged exposure to mud, grime, and debris can affect the ride quality and promote faster deterioration of such parts. Cleaning your road bike or mountain bike properly takes just a few minutes, but doing so regularly will save you from expensive repairs and replacements later down the line and prolong the life of the bike.

Start with the frame 

Start by hosing gently hosing down the frame to get rid of any loose dirt. Avoid using a pressure washer for this as it could force water into the bearings, which could damage your bike. Next, spray your bike with a bike cleaning product and check the label to see how much time you should leave it on. If you don’t have a dedicated bike cleaning product, do a test patch before using any other product. Some cleaners have chemicals that can color fade your frame or, even worse, damage the protective layer on the anodized aluminum used to make bike parts. After letting your cleaner sit for a few minutes, use a bucket of warm soapy water and a soft brush to scrub off all dirt and grime, working from the top down. Finish by rinsing all the parts in the order you cleaned them with a bucket of clean water.

Focus on the drivetrain

You must give your drivetrain — front chainrings, rear derailleur, rear cassette, and chain — special attention to prolong its life. Start by spraying it all down with an eco-friendly degreaser and let it sit for the recommended amount of time. Using a gear brush, give it a good scrub while making sure that you get into the cassette cogs. If your drivetrain had too much grime or still looks dirty after a scrub, you might want to use a chain cleaning device, which will be more thorough and less messy. Once the drivetrain is clean, give the entire bike one last rinse and use clean rags to dry it.

Finishing touches 

Once everything is dry, it’s time to do some finishing touches for both aesthetic and durability reasons. Start by giving your frame a proper spray wax to get that optimal level of shine you’re looking for. When done, you should be able to see your own reflection or the sun glimmering off the frame. Next, apply some drops of lubricant to every moving part starting with the chain then the brakes and pivot points on the dérailleurs. Lubrication is vital to maintain good performance and to protect your bike from excessive wear caused by friction and rust. Remember to wipe off the excess lubricant as it could attract dirt.

Keeping your bike clean is crucial not only for good performance but also to prevent excessive deterioration of key parts. A regular cleaning schedule is important — it could be monthly, weekly, or even daily if you love riding in muddy areas. Check out our great selection of bike maintenance tools including degreasers, cleaners, and brushes, as well as, lube, and polish and protectants.


Preparing for Your First Solo Backcountry Cycling Trip

July 16, 2020

So you want to do epic rides, great! And you want to ride them solo. Also great! But, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Riding alone in the backcountry is unquestionably riskier than riding with a friend. Sure, 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.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic and the increasing strain placed on front line workers, it’s more important than ever to ride responsibly. Given that, there are extra 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 planning ahead and 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.  Here’s what you need to know.

  • 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 – How long is it?  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 the 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. Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick up the bike parts and cycling accessories you need for your trip and safe riding to you!

Safe Habits for Cycling in a Post-Pandemic World

July 9, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the ways in which we exercise and travel. Whereas there was never before a real need to overthink your next cycling outing, the emergence of the coronavirus has forced avid cyclists to prepare extensively prior to taking to the road. Although lockdown regulations have been eased in most parts of the USA, the highly-contagious virus continues to pose an immense threat. For this reason, very strict health and safety precautions need to be adhered to by all cyclists for the foreseeable future.

Stay on top of your personal hygiene

Although the coronavirus is not spread through perspiration, items touched by an infected person could post a risk according to scientists at Johns Hopkins University. Upon your return home from your ride, be sure to wash your cycling apparel, bicycles, and other cycling accessories thoroughly. Also, remember to wash your hair when you have a shower and disinfect the soles of your shoes before entering your home. While these precautions may seem somewhat over the top it is always better to be over-cautious than reckless. The National Institute of Health (NIH) does, after all, also warn that the Covid-19 virus can live for more than 3 days on certain materials including fabric, plastic, and metal.

Keep your premises clean

It is not only your personal hygiene that should be a priority when cycling amidst the pandemic. If you make use of short-term bike rentals, it is imperative to ensure that you only make use of a trusted rental agency. Disinfection is crucial in slowing down the spread of the virus and it is well within your rights to enquire whether a business has all the necessary precautionary measures in place. Apart from regular disinfection, general cleaning should continue on a daily basis to improve the overall cleanliness of the premises. Even if you are happy with the effort being made to keep the premises virus-free, be sure to carry disinfectant wipes with you to wipe down bike parts including the handlebars, seat, brakes, and other areas of the bike you may come into contact with. Remember to wash your hands right after your ride and follow the standard protocol upon returning home.

Be kind to your immune system

If you want to keep safe and healthy while cycling it is important to ensure that your immune system is as robust as possible. While the physical exercise associated with cycling is undoubtedly good for you, it is important to note that your immune system may not be functioning at its best after a hard ride. During this time, when your body’s defenses are not operating at their best, you may be increasingly at risk to contract an illness. While it is necessary to remain physically active, it is not worth risking your health by over-exerting yourself and falling ill. Instead, opt for shorter, less-intense rides and make sure you fuel your body with plenty of immune-boosting nutrients.

Although it has been months since the first Covid-19 case was reported in the USA, there is no indication of how long the pandemic will continue. For now, the best any avid cyclist can do is adhere to all the necessary safety precautions while continuing to engage in their sport of choice.


Sizzling Hot 4th of July Cycling Deals 

July 2, 2020

While most Americans celebrate the 4th by grilling, outfitting themselves in the American flag, and watch fireworks, cyclists around the country seem to agree with the notion that July 4th should be celebrated on a bike.

Even with the coronavirus pandemic, most cyclists are planning bike rides and safe outings to celebrate the holiday.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re celebrating by offering great sales on bike parts and cycling accessories.  What’s better than saving a little money AND getting new bike parts? Not much! See if any of these specials don’t spark your interest! 

For more savings check out our bike closeouts and shop our catalog of over 45,000 bike parts, cycling accessories, and bike maintenance tools. 
 
As a reminder this 4th of July, 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 – even if you don’t celebrate the 4th.
The shop will be closed July 3rd – 6th so we can get some celebratory riding in too! Visit us online at BikeParts.com.  
Happy 4th of July friends! 

How Cycling Can Help Children With Autism 

June 25, 2020

As part of our cycling for health series, we’ve written a few posts including Cycling With a Bump – Is Cycling Safe During Pregnancy; How to Ride During the Coronavirus; The Benefits of Cycling for Seniors with Arthritis; and Cycling Will Help You Manage Diabetes. Today we’re continuing with our cycling for health focus with our attention on autism.

On average, 1 in 59 children in America are living with autism. It is a developmental disability that can affect how a person perceives and interacts with the world around them. Autism affects social skills, speech, language, and behavior. It is not a disease or an illness and so cannot be “cured,” in fact people living with autism can in fact have an extremely fulfilling life and cycling can be part of this. Cycling is proven to be extremely beneficial to children with autism for improving their physical coordination and also as a valuable way of socializing with others and practicing communication skills.

Balance and coordination
One of the earliest and initial signs of autism is a lack of physical control over the body. Many children struggle, particularly when they are younger, with stability and coordination. One of the best ways that occupational therapists help children with autism overcome this is by providing them with learning strategies through play. Riding a bike, whether it is a balance bike, road bike, or mountain bike,  can be a great help as it addresses the difficulties like balance and coordination. In fact, a 2015 study found that a group of children living with autism significantly improved their physical stability after only five weeks of training with a balance bike.

Improving motor skills
Research done by the autism group Generation Rescue found that cycling strengthened weakened muscle groups and improved both motor skills and sensory integration. This in turn improved children’s self-confidence. Many autistic children benefit from learning to ride using a Buddy Bike – a kind of tandem, where the child sits in front of the adult. This can help them to learn steering, pedaling and control in a graduated way. From there they will conquer riding an ordinary bike with far more confidence in their abilities.

Boosting happiness
Patrick McCallister is a keen cyclist who also is living with autism. In his blog he describes how autism and cycling go hand-in-hand. He describes how the repetitive motions are extremely soothing, the rotation and spinning are completely absorbing. The repetitive motion helps to release a lot of built up sensory stress. He also talks about how cycling puts him into a wonderful dream world. The fact is that cycling releases endorphins, including serotonin and dopamine which make you happy. That in itself is a wonderful thing.

To capture the gains of cycling, there are a few secrets to success.  The first of course is having the right size bike. We mean it! This means having a bike that fits. If purchasing a new toddler or youth bike, make sure you avoid the common mistake of buying a bike that they’ll “grow into.” Doing so can set your child back a couple of years. When shopping, be aware that children’s bikes are measured by their wheel size (not frame size). The right size is one where your child can comfortably get on the bike and stand with his or her feet on the ground. If you have questions on the right size bike for your child, visit our staff at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. We’re more than happy to help you select the right size bike for your child.

Additionally, get the right cycling clothes. Kids love clothes, gear, and bike parts too! Dress your kids for cycling success. Investing in a well-fitting helmet, along with a jersey, cycling shorts, and a good pair of gloves inspires your kids and affects enjoyment levels and performance. If your child is comfortable, they are going to want to ride. We have bike parts and cycling accessories that include windbreakers, gloves, shorts, jersey’s, chamois, pedals, hats, backpacks, and bikes that kids love. Most importantly, we have reflective materials to put on your child’s bike to make sure they are visible.

Cycling brings joy to us all. Given that, learning to ride a bike can be an enormous boost for children with autism. Cycling regularly can help to improve coordination, balance and provide a wonderful outlet and a new way to see the world.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado for your children’s cycling apparel and bikes. 


Last Minute Cycling Gifts for Father’s Day

June 18, 2020

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21. That’s just 3 days from now.

If you haven’t found the perfect gift for your cycling Dad, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered with gift ideas. From upgrading your Dad’s man cave to purchasing spin worthy gifts, you’ll be sure to find what you need at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. Read on.

New bike
For those going all out for their cycling Dad, nothing beats a new bike! You might think, he already has one – maybe two- or even three bikes…how could he need another? Truth is, you can’t ever have enough bikes. Consider a new road bicycle or mountain bike for your Dad.  Even better, opt for a fat bike or try an electric bike!

Bike parts
A no brainer for Father’s day is bike parts! Think new drivetrain parts, brakes, saddle, and wheelset.  Or, check out our post, Father’s Day Gift Guide for Cyclists, Road Bikers, and Mountain Bikers for more ideas.

Cycling accessories
There are so many options and choices available if you opt to gift your Dad cycling accessories. Easy picks include:
Tubes: This is one gift you absolutely positively will get used. Make sure you get the right size of tube. If you aren’t sure, stop in the Peaks Cycling Store and ask one of our friendly staff to help you. Or, visit us online at bikeparts.com
A good bottle: Every cyclist has a ton of bottles, but that’s not the same as having good bottles. Buy a good bottle and stuff it with other goodies.
Socks: Did you know Dad likes to wear their cycling socks even when he isn’t riding?  Why? Because they are so comfortable.  Pick out a pair of socks you like for your Dad and maybe even get a pair for yourself!
Tires: Treat yourself to Dad to some new rubber! We have a ton of tires for road and mountain bikes.

Cycling apparel
What do you get a Dad that has everything? Clothes! You can’t have too many jerseys, shorts, tights, jacket, sunglasses, and cycling shoes!  Cycling apparel is much better than just getting another tie!

Gift certificates
Gift certificates can be used for purchasing bike parts and cycling accessories.  Also consider a variety of gift certificates, as in, those to Starbucks for after ride coffee.  Or, even a trial membership for yoga.  If your cycling Dad complains of tight muscles, yoga helps ease the tightness, creating core strength, and aligning the spine.

Bonus gift – Ride with your Dad
Riding together with your Dad on Father’s day could be one of his most favorite and memorable shared activities to do.  Consider selecting one of the 20 Colorado Front Range Bucket List Rides or keep it local and ride some of the best mountain bike trails Golden, Colorado has to offer.

Make your Father’s Day memorable!  Gift him with bike parts and cycling accessories that tap into his cycling passion.  Happy Father’s Day!


Upgrade The Man Cave – Father’s Day Gift Guide for Cycling Dads

June 11, 2020

While this year’s Father’s Day proves to be strikingly different than previous years due to safer at home orders and social distancing, that doesn’t mean you can’t spoil your favorite cycling dad with bike-related gifts for Father’s Day.  

No doubt, events, and races have been put on hold, but bike riding isn’t!  

This year, gift your cycling Dad with bike parts and tools to keep his fleet of bikes rolling!

For the DIY bike maintenance Dad, boost your Dad’s talent for bike maintenance by gifting him with a work stand and the right bike maintenance tools.  Our favorite work stands are the Feedback Sports work stands. You can choose between the Classic, Sports, or Pro-Elite models and you can’t go wrong with any of them.  Pair the work stand with a bike parts tool kit. Options to consider are Feedback Sports Ride Prep Toolkit which is great pre and post-ride bike maintenance. Or, step it up and go for the Feedback Sports Team Edition Tool Kit. And don’t forget much-needed basics like bike lube! If you’re not sure which bike chain lubrication to get, check out our post Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? for suggestions.

 
Add some room to your Dad’s man cave by gifting him with bike storage options. Whether your Dad has one bike or several bikes, bike storage options like the Velo Wall Rack or the Velo Hinge Pivoting Wall Hook are innovative and affordable options for creating more space in the garage. 
 
Top it all off with a favorite pump at Peak Cycles, the Specialized Air Tool Pro is full metal construction that is durable and stylish. This will work great for road and mountain bikes and your Dad will appreciate it for years to come. 
 
See how easy it is to get your cycling Dad a great gift for Father’s Day? If by chance you are still in need of ideas for creative Father’s Day gifts, stop by the shop in Golden, Colorado or give us a call at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop (303) 216-1616 and we’ll gladly help you out!  Happy Father’s Day!

Fine Tuning Your Protein Intake For Maximum On-Road Performance

June 4, 2020

Cycling is a form of exercise that, while generally easier on the joints, still gets the muscles pumping. As a result, certain studies, including one influential study conducted at the International Center for Sports Nutrition, have concluded that cyclists need a greater protein intake to deal with the endurance factor needed by many rides. However, with carbohydrates equally important for the long road, it can be easy to overeat if bulking up on both. As a result, those looking to really boost their performance need to fine-tune their intake and search for smart nutrition.

Protein building blocks

Understanding amino acids is key in getting your performance plan right. At their base, proteins are amino acids strung together with polymer bands. The essential amino acids include lysine, threonine, and valine. Perhaps most crucial for cyclists is isoleucine, which is influential in terms of endurance and power. The impact of selecting the right amino acids in your protein cannot be underestimated. One study, published in the European Nutricion Hospitalaria journal, concluded that the use of the correct amino acids in endurance athletes lessened muscle pain, lowered perceived fatigue, and encouraged a better anabolic response.

The right foods

What can contribute to these amino acids? All of your common protein sources will be doing something right: meat, fish, legumes, pulses, and meat substitutes. However, certain sources are better than others. When it comes to isoleucine, tuna, soy, nuts, and whole grains are rich, and will provide that endurance-boosting impact.

What about supplementation?

Supplementation can be controversial, but when it comes to amino acids there isn’t much to be worried about. It can be beneficial for those who have a restrictive diet, whether for health reasons or for personal beliefs. For instance, many vegetarians have a sensitivity to soy but cannot get isoleucine from fish; therefore, having a whole-grain diet supplemented with extra isoleucine can help to give a rounded view of nutrition. This is where fine-tuning comes in – look at your foods and your meal plan, and isolate or add the foods that can add the most beneficial forms of protein for your performance.

Protein is beneficial for all athletes, but not all proteins are equal. When it comes to cycling, identifying which amino acids your protein source will provide is important to boosting your performance. Tailor your diet plan to your goals, and you will feel the positive effects.

And while we’re on the topic of building blocks, having the proper bike fit, bike parts, and cycling components makes a difference too. Fueling your body for your workouts is one component of a successful cycling regime. Having the right bike parts and bikes is the other. Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop for all of your nutritional and cycling needs.


Unmotivated? Stressed? How to Maintain Cycling Fitness During COVID 19 

May 28, 2020

The weather is warm and inviting. The days are longer. It’s almost June – the beginning of another season of cycling along the Front Range.

Yet, do you find yourself lacking the motivation to ride? Could it be you miss your riding buddies? Or that the trails are packed with people making it hard to ride and ride with social distancing in place?  

No doubt these unprecedented times have taken their toll on motivation to get out and ride. Without races and events and group rides to inspire training, it makes it a little harder to reach that upper range in high-intensity workouts. Even if you are getting out for rides, maybe you’re cutting them short or worse, beating yourself up for losing fitness.  

The aim during these challenging times is to find a healthy balance between riding and managing other factors like stress and anxieties of the day. So, how do you find that balance?  A good first step is to give up beating yourself up for missed rides.  The post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, suggest a few options for recalibrating your weekly training schedule.  The big take away is the mindset. “Often remind yourself of the big picture. It’s easy to beat yourself up over missed training, but if you have been steady with training, give yourself a break. Gaining fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days and losing fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days. It takes months of steady training to gain good fitness. A few days missed or logging a few less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”  

Another piece of encouragement comes from the post, Will I Lose Fitness During Quarantine? which emphasizes that doing something is infinitely better than doing nothing and that while many athletes have been facing limitations on their training, your fitness might not be as dire as you think.  That’s encouraging, right?

A way to spark that hope and re-ignite your motivation for riding might be to Experiment With Different Bike Parts to Keep Training Motivation HighMix up your routine and ride different bikes on different days. Mondays might be your mountain bike. Tuesdays your cross bike. Wednesdays you ride your road bike and so on.  Experiment with new bike parts. Swap out your saddle or add some new grips. If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close-outsbike parts and components. Or, maybe training just isn’t in the cards for you right now.  That’s okay. You can still ride! Swap your car ride for an easy bike commute. Any of these activities help to extend the fitness gains you’ve made and will also help reduce the anxieties and stress accompanied by the pandemic.  

Given all that is occurring in our world right now, it’s natural to feel frustrated, anxious, confused, and even well. What’s not needed is more self-imposed judgment for not riding or not riding as frequently as you would like. Let that go. Instead, use this time to reconnect with your bikes and the love of cycling that you have. Let that fuel your motivation for training and hopefully soon we’ll all be able to ride together and cherish more profoundly our cycling events and races and group rides.