Plan Ahead! Small Business Day is Coming – Why it Matters to You and to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop 

November 14, 2019

The holidays are coming! And much like a stage race, there are three days of holiday shopping worth noting. An important one might be missed. And that is Small Business Saturday. Nestled in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is one day every year set aside to support small businesses across the entire United States. The event was started by American Express in 2010 and is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

There may be some obvious reasons why Small Business Saturday is important, as in personalized customer service, product diversity, and overall just supporting a local business.  But the reasons to support small, local businesses goes beyond that. Specific to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, your purchases go a long way from just keeping the mechanics busy and the shop bringing in bike parts, and cycling gear.  Your support enables us to host community events like the Bike Safety Talk with the Cycling Lawyer, offer Bicycle Demo Days, and contribute to the national races that come through Golden like the Colorado Classic.  Your purchases encourage us to give back to the community as in co-hosting the Staunton Blizzard Fat Bike Race each year. More so, your purchasing dollars extend to our youth through Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop’s support of a variety of race teams. Over the years we have been proud sponsors of The School of Mines cycling team, Golden High School cycling team, Twin Peaks Racing, The Colorado Collective, and Tough Girl Cycling Team. Not to mention the BikeParts.com Racing team too! 

With all that said, our customers benefit too. Sure you have access to new road bikes, mountain bikes, fat bikes, and cyclocross bikes.  And yes, you can even take bikes out for demos and we’re happy to share where the best road and mountain bike trails are for dialing in trialing the demo bikes.  But most importantly, by investing in our local shop, you are investing in a cycling community.  A community in which you ride, live and play in. One that supports healthy, active living for people of all ages.  

The holidays are about expressing our appreciation of others and the meaning they bring to our lives.  We’re grateful for our wonderful customers. And, we invite you to join us to Shop Small on November 30th for Small Business Saturday. Your purchases make a huge difference to us and our community.  


Fall Cycling: 10 Must-Have Items You Need

November 7, 2019

It’s Cold. No. Now it’s warm. Nope. It is definitely chilly. And where is that breeze coming from?  Does this sound like you? 

Fall riding can be great with the cooler temperatures, the hint of crispness in the air and the beautiful foliage. Yet, riding in the fall has its challenges from a temperature perspective.  One minute you may feel warm, followed by feeling chilled, and then warm again. When your focus shifts from enjoying your ride to your increasingly cold and numb hands and feet, then you either cut your ride short or just suffer.  Given you have the right cycling apparel and you know how to dress for winter riding, you don’t have to do either.   The trick is having the right cycling apparel with you for modulating your body’s temperature while riding.

With that said, the following are the must-have items to have in your cycling wardrobe for fall riding.  

1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.

2. Wind / Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water-resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.

3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.

4. Full Finger / Windproof Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to get cold are the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and/or windproof gloves. 

5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclists prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers.  There are also knickers which allow more airflow over the legs, and they are good for those in-between days. Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.

6. Head Band or Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet

7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.

8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.  

9. Lights – Daylight Savings Time has ended and if you have noticed, the days have gotten much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.

10. Tool kit – Nothing is worse than experiencing a mechanical issue with your bike when the weather is cold, wet, windy or a combination of all three.  Make sure you have handy bicycle tools or a multi-tool to have on hand in inclement weather.  

Ultimately, dressing successfully boils down to experimenting with what works for you. You may find you it’s important to keep your head and core warm for a productive ride rather than dressing full out and including knee and leg warmers.  Or, you may find a long-sleeved jersey sans a base layer works. Do your best with the weather and be sure to stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up any cycling accessoriesbike parts, or cycling apparel you may need.  And lucky for you, we have some great sales on winter tops right now. Up to 60% off jackets. https://bit.ly/2WLkYFT Stay warm and see you soon! 


Is Your Bike Haunted? How to Rid Your Bike of Scary Squeaks and Creaks this Halloween 

October 31, 2019

Do you hear squeaks and creaks, clanks and clatters, or rattles and clicks coming from your bike? Are you in fear that your bike is haunted? That perhaps a competitor has put a curse on you? Or quite possibly your bike is possessed?  It is Halloween after all! And frightful things can happen! Take it from our bike mechanics here at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, a frightful terror we have seen is the use of WD-40 as chain lubrication!  The horror!

Given our bike maintenance experience, we can help you expel the frightful sounds originating from your bike. Granted, our tips and tricks won’t cover a full exorcism but you’ll be well on your way to fixing those annoying noises and back to peaceful pedaling.

Squeaks and CreeksThese super common sounds are usually due to dirty or dry bearings. You’ll often find that after riding your bike for a while or in harsh conditions these noises start to creep in. Areas to check if you’re hearing these noises would be:
Crankset/ Bottom Bracket
Headset
Pivots (MTB)
Derailleur jockey wheels or chain guide pulleys
Chain
Derailleur “clutch” or lockout area
Saddle rail clamp bolt
Clipless pedals

Clunks and ClattersAnother common noise that sounds a bit scarier is a clunk or clatter. This noise should scare you because it generally means something on your bike is loose! Here are some important bolts to check if you hear this noise:
Headset
Front/Rear wheel axles
Pivots (MTB)
Derailleur bolt
Water bottle cage (ok, this one’s not that scary… but super common!)

Rattles and Clicks – While there are countless recommendations on keeping your road bike or mountain bike in good, working order, try these tips to help with rattles, clicks, and the like.
Pay Attention to Your Chain. If you’ve been training regularly then no doubt your chain is showing some wear and tear. Take time to actually clean your chain. For an easy-clean, scrub your drivetrain parts with a brush and eco-friendly degreaser and re-lubricate the chain when you are done. For something more thorough, you could buy a chain cleaner like Park Tool’s Cyclone Chain Scrubber, fill it with a non-aerosol degreaser like Pedros Oranj Peelzturn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you. As for the best chain lube, check out our post, Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush, and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? for options.

Check your Wheels and Tires. Both your wheels and tires are essential for bike safety.  Accompanying the snow and wet riding conditions are salt, debris, and miscellaneous items found in the cycling lanes and roads. Have you checked your tires lately? They may actually need replacing. Begin by cleaning the wheels with rubbing alcohol and dry with a cloth. Check the rims for damage and examine for loose spokes. Your wheel should run smoothly without any side-to-side wobble. Next, replace your tires. If you aren’t up for doing this yourself, let us help you.

Inspect Your Brakes. Nothing is more frightening than shredding down a long, winding road and not having brakes! Bike brakes use brake pads to stop your wheels from turning. Brake pads wear down over time and especially so under wet and grimy conditions. Be mindful to examine your brake pads for any uneven or extensive wear. If you do find uneven abrasions, you probably need to get your brakes adjusted and/or replaced.

Replace old bike parts! 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.

Finally, if you can’t find the cause of the annoying noises, bring your bike into Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado. We’ll be able to zero in on the source and type of noise fast and efficiently and get you back to riding in peace and quiet in no time. See you soon and Happy Halloween Friends!


Cycling Will Help You Manage Diabetes

October 24, 2019

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, our passion for cycling and bikes is fueled by the joyful experiences shared while riding a bike. Whether that is riding with friends and family, participating in a community event, or pushing personal limits in training or a race.  Yet, underneath that is a deep appreciation for what cycling and bike riding does to support health, longevity, and preserve the quality of life as we age.  

Previously we’ve written about The Benefits Of Cycling For Seniors Living with Arthritis, Cycling when Pregnant, How to Remain Injury-Free with Cycling, and Why Cycling is so Good For You in Later Life. Today, our focus is on how cycling can help you manage diabetes.

If you are unaware, America is facing a healthcare crisis with levels of diabetes, and Colorado is no different, having 9.8% of the adult population diagnosed with some form of the disease according to Diabetes.org. A complex condition that is never healed, it requires lifelong lifestyle changes to keep in check. A big part of this is exercise, and cycling can be one of the best ways to keep diabetes under control.

How cycling helps – physically
All exercise is beneficial for keeping diabetes in check, but there is evidence that cycling may be particularly effective and especially so in terms of prevention. A 2016 study published in PLOS found that cycling – whether recreational or commuter – significantly reduced the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, and also aided pregnant women with avoiding gestational diabetes. Apart from the inherent accessibility and effectiveness of cycling, associated lifestyle changes were marked as indicators for why cycling is so effective.

Cyclists make it routine
By cycling to and from work and home or running errands via bike commuting the semi-vigorous exercise is introduced to the daily routine. More so than even walking, this means that the body is more regularly engaged in exercise and that hormone levels are kept in check. This, in turn, influences diet and blood sugar. For both preventing and mitigating the symptoms of diabetes, this is an invaluable factor. Being on the road makes it less tempting to be sedentary and eat unhealthy snacks, too.

Changing nutrition
In addition to being generally more active, cyclists are more likely to eat a well-balanced diet. This was the findings of an influential 2001 study that outlined how cyclists will typically eat a well-balanced plate every day with a good mix of macro and micronutrients. A good diet is an incredibly important part of diabetes control and likely the most important singular factor. The introduction of a good diet as a by-product of the cycling culture and exertion can only be seen as a positive contributory factor.

In many ways, the benefits that those diagnosed with diabetes generate from cycling are formed in a holistic way. While the physical activity of cycling is absolutely beneficial for mitigating a diagnosis of diabetes, it’s the lifestyle that many cyclists pick up that ends up being the defining factor. If you’re looking for the perfect undertaking to help you manage your diagnosis of diabetes, consider cycling – you’ll more than likely be feeling better without even knowing it. 

As we’re transitioning into the fall and winter climates, maintaining motivation to ride in inclement weather can be a factor.  Those dedicated to bike commuting and managing diabetes know that wearing base layers for warmth, combined with a wind jacket or rain jacket can keep their core warm while they ride comfortably. In addition, long fingered gloves and knee warmers keep the fingers and knees toasty warm contributing to a comfortable commuting or training experience. 

When you have the right bike parts and cycling accessories, it’s easy to ride no matter what the conditions.  Cycling consistently supports overall health and well being. So when your motivation is wavering, remember that cycling supports your health well beyond the thrill of a great bike ride.


Training Secrets: How to Use the Fall Transition Phase for Fun and Fitness Gains 

October 17, 2019

While some cyclists are continuing to race cyclocross, many have ended their cycling season.  The epic rides have been replaced with shorter rides. Weekday rides may be exercised on the trainer or supplemented with gym workouts or yoga. The transition from all the summer fun to the end of season experience may have you asking yourself, what to do now?

As we wrote about in our post, Fall isn’t the end of a season, it’s the beginning of a new one, fall is actually the best time to transition from peak cycling form to a relaxed one.  Doing so doesn’t include missing rides.  It means shifting your mindset to embrace fall cycling while actually boosting your cycling performance for next year.  

The relaxed mindset includes maintaining your training regimen, but with a relaxed focus. One that includes fun and experimentation. 

Focus on Fun!
The key to late-season riding, racing and bike events is really to have fun! Earlier in the season, the focus is on improving fitness or achieving goals. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work. With fitness levels high, late-season bike riding and events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and try out new cycling accessories. Consider checking out that new wheelset or a dropper post on your mountain bike. You have nothing to lose by experimenting this late in the season. And, if you like the bike parts you experiment with, you have the winter months to dial in your cycling position and bike fit.  If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close-outs, bike parts, and components. Having a fun, relaxed attitude is a great way to finish your season.

Focus on Fat! Fat bikes that is!
Instead of missing rides and potentially getting fat, just get a fat bike! Fat bikes are the hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now and not surprisingly now is the time to get on board with them. This year there is more competition in the fat bike market than ever which means lower price tags. In addition to more complete bikes, there is a huge selection of fat bike parts available which makes it easy to customize your ride with wheels, tires, and other components that fit your riding style. Better yet, you can keep motivation high and up your giggle factor by participating in fat bike races through the winter months. 

Focus on Night Riding!
Riding at night can bring a fresh sense of adventure to your riding and fall is the time to do it. It’s not too cold and the weather is more cooperative. The trick is to have a There are benefits to night riding too. Riding in the dark heightens your senses, improves your skills and builds awareness.  Switching up the training regime can freshen your attitude, spark some fun, and maintain fitness while transitioning to the winter season. As luck would have it, we have lights on sale right now! LED, rechargeable, and affordable. Check out BikeParts.com for our wide variety of light options.  Or, stop by the shop and see which ones are best for your bike setup and type of riding.

The transition from summer riding to fall riding can actually be fun, interesting, and offer some unique opportunities that the spring and summer months don’t.  With fitness levels high and cooperative weather conditions, the fall season is a great time for experimentation.  Ride new routes! Explore different trials before winter weather arrives!  Test new bike parts.  During the racing and cycling season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Use this time to spark renewed interest in your cycling program and begin dreaming of your 2020 cycling goals.  


Indoor Cycling Made Easy 

October 10, 2019
Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

The cold is here! It’s our first really cold day of the fall season.  There may be some hardcore cyclists cycling outside; however, most cyclists are either skipping their regular training ride or pushing their workout off a day.  Either way, trainer season is officially beginning!  And by trainer season, we mean, training and cycling indoors. 

The trainer can be a love/hate relationship.  As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months.  Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle-specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding.  Ugh. Is there a way to make it work?  Yes!  There is!  With a mixture of planning and dose of discipline, you can motivate yourself to get in quality trainer rides.  Here’s how. 

Get the equipment you need
The right equipment and bike parts can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but it makes all the difference in the world. 

Set up your environment
Aside from the actual cycling components, it’s critical to create an inviting cycling environment. Why? Well, you need an environment that limits excuses and supports your fitness goals.  What do you need to inspire you?  As in, do you need bright lights to keep you motivated?  An upbeat playlist? Is there a time of day that works best for you?  Then, schedule your trainer training time then.  Your primary objective in creating a support structure is to foster an environment in which you are supported and held accountable.

Motivation
Sometimes seeing is believing!  Keep your motivation strong with visual effects.  Pop in a DVD training video or select a few YouTube clips to get your mind in the game.  Posters, a vision board, books, maps, apps, or pictures of upcoming races can trigger your motivation to not only get on the bike but maybe even dig a little deeper than you would have otherwise. Growing popular platforms make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App, offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you.  Some of our favorites from the list include ZwiftCycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.  Try one or a few to dial in which best suits your riding style and aids with motivation. 

Vary your workouts
One way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride and add strength training to your workouts.  One way to do this is to avoid long rides on the trainer altogether. Year-round strength training for cyclists matters and substituting your indoor rides with strength training will do more for your cycling later on in the season than doing another trainer session.  In fact, a one-hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer accordingly and substitute ride time for strength training time. 

It may seem obvious, but scheduling workouts on the same day every week will help with consistency.  By creating a repeating schedule that you know works for you you minimize the chances of missing a workout. The post, 4 Habits to Increase Your Consistency, offers more suggestions on increasing consistency, such as, being purposeful, following your plan as best as possible, and getting in shorter rides when you have less time to train.

Granted, trainer rides will never replace the joy of cycling outside. However, you can take pride in that you are getting your rides in and building your cycling base for the season ahead. 


Cycling with a Bump – Is Cycling Safe During Pregnancy?

October 3, 2019

If you are an avid cyclist then you missing a ride here or there is fine. Yet, missing a season of riding isn’t okay! Many women love the sport of cycling and often wonder what to do when pregnant. Ride? Not ride? Maybe a little in between?

Most healthy pregnant women can benefit from twenty to thirty minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week, guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state. If you’re an avid cyclist, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to cycle during pregnancy. There are just a few things you should do to stay safe, comfortable, and healthy

Support your body with nutrition
A healthy and balanced diet is important during pregnancy. Make sure you eat enough calories to sustain your cycling — roughly 1,800 calories per day in the first trimester; 2,200 calories per day in the second trimester; and 2,400 calories per day in the third trimester. However, your appetite may not always be normal. Supplementing with prenatal vitamins can make nutrition manageable during pregnancy and provide the nutrients needed to support prenatal development. They’re even associated with lower risk of autism in children. In one study, 14.1% of children whose mothers took prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy developed autism, compared with 32.7% of children whose mothers did not.

Be ready to make adjustments
Your bike will probably be comfortable enough during your first trimester, but you may need to make some adjustments once you enter your second. As your bump grows, try adjusting the height of your handlebars and saddle. If you raise the handlebars, you’ll be forced to sit in a more upright position with your shoulders back — a position more comfortable for your stomach. Moreover, if sitting on your saddle becomes uncomfortable, consider changing it. Saddles designed specifically for women often come with comfy extra padding. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help fit you to your bike and we also have a variety of bike parts in the store and online to make the adjustments to your bike and cycling position as often as needed. 

Take it easy
Some people caution against cycling during pregnancy due to risk of falling. While many women continue to cycle safely during pregnancy, it’s important to take caution. Tiredness may become an issue in your first trimester, so avoid long routes. While it’s okay to get your heart rate up, don’t let yourself overheat. Additionally, your lung capacity decreases during pregnancy, so you’ll get out of breath quicker than normal. If this happens, slow down or stop and have a rest. 

Ultimately, you should get advice from your doctor about cycling at the beginning of your pregnancy. There may be a medical reason preventing you from cycling. And that’s okay. Do something else and resume cycling after pregnancy. The key is to do what’s best for you and the baby for the next nine months.