When Should You Replace Bike Tires?

November 17, 2021

Knowing when it’s time to replace bicycle tires can puzzle even the seasoned cyclist. While there is no short answer for when it’s time to change them out, there are several signs to look for that indicate it’s time for fresh rubber. Keeping tires in good shape is important for a variety of factors including safety, traction, and reliability. Plus, a worn tire is more likely to flat or puncture and who likes that?   

Worn Tire Tread

This is the most obvious way to tell if it’s time for a new tire. Missing tread from the center of the tire is a good indicator that it’s time to replace it. This is more obvious on mountain bike tires which have big knobby tread that will turn smooth over time. Road bike tires on the other hand might feature a wear indicator, which makes it easy to know when it’s time to replace them. Oftentimes, the rear tire first will wear out first. If that’s the case, you can get away with replacing only one tire. We recommend moving the front tire to the back, so long as it’s still in good shape. Then put your new tire on the front wheel and call it good until the rear tire wears out again!

Flat Spots

Flat spots are more of an issue with road bike tires, which are smooth all the way around. This usually happens from locking the brakes and skidding the tire. We know you would never do that, but your friend might have! Flat spots can cause issues at higher speeds or in corners. If a tire has noticeable flat spots, it’s worth replacing. 

Gashes, Cuts, and Holes

You may notice holes and gashes in your tires, especially on a road bike. This is due to all the crud and debris on roadways. Naturally will happen slowly break down the tire over time. This type of wear is harder to see on mountain bike tires but usually results in a flat tire. Lots of visible gashes, cuts, or holes in a tire are a good sign that it’s time for a new tire. Any gashes or cuts in the sidewall of the tire should be replaced with a new tire immediately!

Cracked Rubber

Most tire wear usually comes from normal wear and tear, but cracked rubber is usually a sign of a tire that’s too old. If a bike is left out for years in the garage it is probably a good idea to replace the tires. Cracked rubber is bound to fail eventually and present a safety hazard. Get it replaced! 

Worn Casing and Constant Flats

The casing of a tire is what holds it all together, sort of like rebar in concrete. A tire that’s past its shelf life will start to show the casing. Depending on the type of tire, this can look like white threads or wires. Another tell-tale sign of worn casing can be constant flats caused by wires poking through the tube. Time for new tires!

We hope this article was useful in helping you determine whether or not it’s time for new tires on your bike. Browse our selection online or visit us in-store at Peak Cycles to shop for the latest tire technology on the market.


Brand Spotlight: Oveja Negra

November 12, 2021

Oveja Negra is a Colorado-based company that manufactures top-of-the-line bike bags with fun colors and bomber USA sourced materials. They are a rider-owned and operated business with a total of 16 employees, 20 sewing machines, and all of the manufacturing happening right in Salida, Colorado. 

The company started making bags in 2012 in a 300 square foot shop up in Leadville but has since moved its operations down to Salida. They are committed to supporting US manufacturing and reducing their environmental impact, sourcing over 90% of raw materials from domestic suppliers. If you have never seen one of their bags, they are fun, functional, and designed to last a long time. The quality and attention to detail in every bag are obvious!

Who is Oveja Negra for? While they are most certainly designed with the bikepacker in mind, these bags are useful for anyone who wants to carry stuff on their bike. Bike commuters, townie bikes, kids, mountain bikers, etc can all benefit from an Oveja Negra bag. Some of our favorite bags here at Peak Cycles are the Snack Pack and the Super Wedgie frame bag. Whether it’s a mission to ride the continental divide or a daily commute on the Cherry Creek bike path, Oveja Negra makes a bike bag for the job. 


Specialized Riprock | The Ultimate MTB for Kids

November 8, 2021

The Specialized Riprock is by far one of the most popular kids mountain bikes we sell at Peak Cycles. It was introduced to the Specialized lineup in 2018, comes in 20-inch and 24-inch wheel sizes, and is geared for kids ages 5 through 12. What makes the Riprock different from other kids mountain bikes are the big beefy 2.8-inch tires which give plenty of traction and an added level of cushion to the ride. 

Specialized designed the frame to have a very low standover height. This makes it easy for kids to put their feet on the ground! Mountain bikes for kids have traditionally been heavy and hard for kids to ride. The Specialized Riprock changes the game by tailoring the bike with younger riders in mind! 

Just like the rest of the Specialized lineup, there is no boys or girls version. The Riprock is designed to work for everyone and it comes in some sweet colorways, too. The 20-inch version is great for kids 5-9 years old who are just under 4 feet tall. The 24-inch version will work for kids 8-12 years old over 4 feet tall. 

The Riprock comes loaded with features found on most adult mountain bikes. Hydraulic disk brakes give added safety and more breaking power than traditional rim brakes. They make it easier to squeeze the brakes and will cause less fatigue. This means more riding! Many of the components including the saddle, handlebars, and cranks were engineered specifically for kids. The reason was to make the bike more comfortable and let kids progress faster with more confidence. 

We have several Riprock models in stock at Peak Cycles but they are also available on Bikeparts.com! Come on in and check them out for yourself.


2021 Red Bull Rampage Recap

October 27, 2021

Setting The Stage for the 20th Anniversary

Earlier this month, riders from around the world competed in the 2021 Red Bull Rampage. This year’s roster included long-time veteran riders Kyle Strait, Kurt Sorge, and Brandon Semenuk along with first-time riders Brage Vestavik and Jaxson Riddle. After a few riders took some hard crashes during the practice day, so the field was whittled down to 12 riders who battled it out on the 20th anniversary of Red Bull Rampage. This year’s venue took place at the 2017 Rampage site, where many of the rider’s lines still exist. 

Red Bull Rampage Ends a COVID Hiatus

The first-ever Red Bull Rampage took place back in 2001, and since then, there have been 14 different events and 9 different winners, according to Red Bull. The level of riding has skyrocketed, tricks have gotten crazier, lines are steeper, and jumps are over the top. Aside from being the 20th anniversary, this year was special because last year’s Rampage was postponed due to COVID, so riders were eager to return back to Virgin after a two-year hiatus. 

Brandon Semenuk Breaks The Internet 

The defending champion Brandon Semenuk ended up taking the number one spot on the podium, being the first rider to win Red Bull Rampage 4 times. His winning run started off with a massive double stager drop but what followed is what set him apart. Deciding to ride with a single crown fork, he was able to do tricks that are impossible with a double crown fork like a bar spin, the first-ever tail whip off of a flat drop, and a backflip tailwhip to finish off the run. Semenuk came prepared with a bag of tricks that was both hard and impossible for most of the competition to top. We certainly enjoyed watching this year’s Red Bull Rampage. Let us know what you thought of the contest in the comments below.  


The Joys Of Cycling

October 15, 2021

Whether it’s road, singletrack, or gravel country road: there is something about the feeling of riding a bike that is liberating. There are many reasons and influences that draw us into cycling, but this feeling is what keeps us coming back. It can be the antidote for challenging life situations, like kids screaming at home or a micro manager boss that keeps breathing down your neck. Cycling can be a blank canvas, with every ride being a new adventure to create and explore. Other times it can be comforting to go back to what we know, riding the same trail over and over, like watching a child hood movie for nostalgia.

Cycling can be something to enjoy on your own and a time to go inward and reflect. For introverts, this can be one of the few times in our busy world to recharge the battery. Cycling forces us to focus on what’s in front of us and be in the moment. Phone calls and text messages can wait, and Strava times probably don’t matter much either.

It can also be a time for connection with friends and family. Bring people together outdoors and sharing the adventure is something that stays in the memory, rather than being a fleeting cheap thrill. Cycling bring us to different destinations, to explore new places and different environments that would be hard to see if not for bikes. It can be hard to meet new people and make friends, but cycling creates a common thread to bring strangers together into a community.

There are many reasons we got into cycling, but the same common thread is what keeps us riding. It doesn’t matter the form, skill level, or intent, it’s the spirit and joy that matters the most. Here is to cycling!


The Best Mountain Bike Trails in Golden, Colorado

October 8, 2021

It’s no secret that Golden has some amazing places to ride. It’s one of the main reasons that we’re based here! Nestled between the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the west and Table Mountains to the east, Golden is completely surrounded by mountain bike trails in every direction. While there are many to choose from, there are some stand-out trails worth checking out. In no particular order, here are some of our favorite trails to ride in the area.

Apex – Enchanted Forest

The Apex trail system is one of the crown jewels of the Golden area. It attracts mostly advanced riders and rightly so. The trails are fast, rocky, and rooty. Apex operates on an alternating schedule between bikes and hikers. Uphill traffic is allowed every day, but downhill traffic is allowed only on even-numbered days. Make sure you’re heading out there on the correct day if you want to ride down Apex! Our favorite trail in the Apex trail system is Enchanted Forest. From fast and straight sections, to steep and technical, it has a little bit of everything. At 1.3 miles long and just over 500 vertical feet, it makes for a great section of trail to hot lap!

Riding up to Enchanted Forest in Apex Park on a cold Fall morning.

White Ranch – Maverick to Longhorn

White Ranch features some of the most technical and difficult terrain around. The chunky 1300 foot slog up Belcher Hill will have your lungs gasping and legs screaming, but reaching the top is only half the battle. Don’t let the smooth and flowy descent down Maverick fool you, a white knuckle descent awaits. Longhorn makes up the majority of the descent in White Ranch and you’ll be peeling your fingers off the handlebars by the bottom. It’s the type of trail that gets better and better the more you ride it. It’s fast, rocky, technical, and possibly the most “anti-flow” trail in the area. For those of you who don’t like flow trails, we recommend checking out White Ranch. 

Coming down Longhorn Trail in White Ranch Park.

Green Mountain – Rooney Valley Trail

Green Mountain is an area just south of Golden and it has some amazing beginner and intermediate riding. Despite this, most of the trails on Green Mountain still have elements of technicality and difficulty, but Rooney Valley Trail is an exception. This recently built trail is smooth and flowy with tons of berms as far as the eye can see. It’s arguably one of the best beginner/intermediate mountain bike trails in the Golden area, and yes, we recommend riding this trail downhill. Looking for a challenge after a smooth flowy descent down the Rooney Valley Trail? COMBA built a short but fun trail called the Box O Rox extension. Tack this onto your ride if there is still gas in the tank for some extra credit! 

Looking down Rooney Valley Trail on Green Mountain from the Top.

Before taking your mountain bike for a spin, it’s important to be prepared. Having plenty of water, food and nutrition, extra tire tubes, and repair kits, as well as the right tires and maps will ensure you have an enjoyable and stress free experience.If you need a bike, we have a large selection of rental bikes at our store – Peak Cycles in downtown Golden. Don’t hesitate to stop in to ask questions, take a bike for a spin, or peruse our array of bikes, bike parts, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel.


How Often Should You Lube Your Bike Chain?

October 1, 2021

If you ask us, you would be doing yourself a favor by lubing your chain every ride. Yes, every ride! Lubing your chain is a low cost but effective way of maintaining your bike. Even better, it takes a couple minutes to do without much mess. In addition to improving the performance of shifting, many lubes are designed to actually clean your drive train. If your bike is continually left dirty, the grit will wear away at components faster. This is why lubing your chain regularly will helps prolong the life of your chain and cassette. Most lube costs around $15 while a new drive train costs, well, a lot more than that!

We recommend doing this at the end of every ride rather than before. This sounds counter intuitive but here is why. Doing this at the end of your ride will allow for any liquid to dry overnight. A dry chain helps keep excess grime and dirt from accumulating on the chain. Inevitably dirt and grim do accumulate which is completely normal, but letting it dry out can only help. When you are done squirting lube on the chain make sure to give it a good wipe to remove any excess residue when you’re done.

Depending on the type of riding you are doing like road biking or mountain biking and where you live, like in Colorado versus the rainy Pacific Northwest, there are specific lubes you should be using. We have another article here that dives into different types of lubes and the climates that are best suited for them. Now if it’s been a while, go lube that chain and give your bike the love it deserves! And by all means don’t use WD-40!


2021 Giant Trance X 29 3 | Mountain Bike

September 23, 2021

2021 Giant Trance X 29 3

Over the past few years, Giant has been stepping up its game in the mountain bike category with some exciting new bikes. We are talking about the Trance X 29. This bike has made waves in the industry, winning the 2020 Pink Bike Trail and Enduro efficiency test for climbing, with the help of Fox Live Valve Suspension. Fitting comfortably into the trail bike category, the Trance X 29 3 is an aluminum hard charger that makes for a very nice entry level mountain bike coming in at a price tag of $2550. A price point that is very competitive when you factor in the features that come with this bike.

Key Features

The Trance x 29 3 uses the same Maestro suspension design that you’ll find on Giant’s $10,000 bikes. This tried and true suspension design has been used by Giant for over 15 years! The Trance X utilizes a trunnion mount shock, which gives the bike a longer stroke and smoother feel. It also features a two-position adjustable Advanced Forged Composite flip-chip equipped upper rocker arm for increased stiffness and strength plus lower overall frame weight. For the drivetrain, it is sporting a 12 speed SRAM SX cassette, derailleur, shifter, and Shimano 4 piston hydraulic brakes. The wheels are laced with a great tire setup from Maxxis featuring a DHF up front and a Dissector in the rear.

Our Take

The Giant Trance X 29 3 makes a great bike for the front range. Why? The 150mm of travel in the front paired with 130mm in the rear gives you just enough travel while helping keep the weight of the bike down, making it easy to pedal uphill and nimble on the descents. It also features everything we want to see in a modern mountain bike including a dropper post, 12 speed drivetrain, and wide 800mm handlebars for stability. It would make for a very nice first mountain bike or great upgrade from a hardtail. Come test ride one at Peak Cycles, today!


Balance Bikes | Strider Bikes

September 17, 2021

Is it time to test out the training wheels? Think again. Balance bikes are becoming the new way for kids to learn how to ride. There are several reasons balance bikes, like the Strider, have an edge over pedal bikes and training wheels. Let’s go over a few of the biggest reasons to choose a balance bike!

Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike Pink

Better Fit

Balance bikes, like the Strider 12 Classic, are made to fit kids who are as young as 18 months! The adjustable seat allows for years of height adjustment. Strider, for example, recommends the 12 Classic for kids 1-5 years old and hold up to 60 pounds. Having a good fit on a bike is everything. Just ask our in house bike fitter, George Mullen!

Lighter Weight

The lighter weight of balance bikes bike makes it much easier for kids to handle. This is means they will be able to ride for longer with less fatigue. A Strider 12 Classic weighs less than 7 pounds! Compare this with the weight of your average kids bike at 24 pounds!

Less Awkward

Balance bikes are less awkward for kids to ride, especially over uneven surfaces. Kids have the confidence of their feet on the ground and the ability to glide and balance when they feel ready. Rather than wobbling back and forth on training wheels, using their legs for balance creates a much smoother experience.

Start Younger

Balance bikes are an option for kids as young as 18 months! Plus, the Strider 12 Classic will last them up until roughly 5 years old or 60 pounds. Starting with a pedal bike and training wheels usually doesn’t happen until 3 years old.

Won’t Need Training Wheels

The feeling of being balanced on a balance bike will translate almost immediately to a pedal bike. By the time they are ready to transition to a pedal bike, they will be able to handle the weight and sizing of a regular kids bike, too!

We hope this article has you convinced to jump on the balance bike train! We have plenty of Strider Bikes in stock here at Peak Cycles, or shop online at bikeparts.com!


How Often Should You Refresh Sealant?

September 11, 2021

Tire sealant makes the whole tubeless thing possible and in order to keep the system running smoothly, refreshing sealant is essential. But how often should you do it? There is no clear answer and after spending an hour researching various sources like GMBN, Stans, and Park Tool, we’ve boiled it down to make answering this question easier Here is what the experts have to say.

GMBN

According to the YouTube channel, Global Mountain Bike Network, if you are using the bike a few times a week, the sealant should last the life of the tire. If you are leaving the bike in storage for a while, the sealant will dry up in about 4 months. We think this might be a stretch, especially living in a hot/dry climate like Colorado.

Stans

Stans recommends refreshing your sealant several times per year, about every 2-7 months depending on the climate you live in. Drier and hotter climates, like ours in Colorado, means refreshing sealant more often. Stans also recommends removing the tire once per year to inspect rim tape/wheel condition and clean out old sealant.

Park Tool

While Park Tool didn’t have a recommended time frame for changing sealant, they do have a nifty way for checking sealant level without removing the tire. Simply use a small zip tie, cut the tip off, and insert it through the valve stem. The ridges on the zip tie will hold sealant and you’ll be able to quickly check the sealant level without the hassle of taking off your tire!


Benefits of a 1x Drivetrain

September 5, 2021

First off, what is a 1x drivetrain? A 1x drivetrains is comprised of a single chain ring in the front and typically 10-12 speeds on the rear cassette. For example, a bike with a single gear in the front and 12 speeds on the back is called a 1x 12. They have been featured on mountain bikes for a number of years, but innovations in derailleurs have made 1x drivetrains a fairly common feature nowadays. Despite having less gears than a 2x or 3x setup, 1x drivetrains offer nearly the same amount of range. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your bike or purchase a new one, let’s go over key benefits to a 1x drivetrain. 

Simplicity

1x drivetrains are more simple to use. Rather than shifting gears in the front and the rear, you only have to focus on changing gears in one place. This makes things easier. There’s no more worrying about cross chaining, which is when your chain is positioned diagonally across the front and rear gears. This also makes things more tidy on your handlebars, since you only have one shifter instead of two. Modern 1x drivetrains are typically 10, 11, or 12 speeds, which is plenty of gears for mountain biking and gravel bike purposes. 1x drivetrains are even coming stock on commuter bikes like the Specialized Sirrus X.

Reliability

There’s nothing worse than having your chain slip off when trying to shift gears, climbing a hill, or going through a bumpy descent. 1x drivetrains utilize a special feature in the derailleur called a clutch. This keeps tension on the chain and helps prevent it from bouncing off. This is super useful for both mountain biking and the gravel bike, but will also give you confidence that the chain is going to stay in place when commuting through the city.

Weight

1x drivetrains are typically lighter than a 2x or 3x setup. This is because there’s no front derailleur, extra chain rings, or front shifter. For some riders, weight is a concern, so a 1x drivetrain helps to cut down on precious ounces. 

Final Words

1x drivetrains are a great great way to simplify your bike, make for a smoother ride, and potentially save on some weight. The top manufactures of 1x drivetrains are SRAM and Shimano but there are low-cost options from companies like Box. If you’re planning on upgrading your bike to a 1x, there are certain things to consider like rear spacing, bottom bracket size, and minimum /maximum chain ring diameter. We recommend talking with your local bike shop before taking on this project by yourself. If you’re in the market for a new mountain bike, we highly recommend looking for one with a 1x drivetrain.


Bike Rentals | Demo Bikes | Golden, CO

July 27, 2021

Peak Cycles offers bike rentals on a daily basis in Golden, Colorado. Our rental fleet includes demo mountain bikes, e mountain bikes, performance road bikes, and hybrids. We have a full-size run for adults, but do not offer kids bikes! 24 Hour Bike rentals can be returned the next day within the 24-hour window. If you demo a bike on Saturday you can return it on Monday morning before noon at no additional cost (since we are closed on Sundays). All rentals include a helmet. We do not accept reservations but are happy to let you know what is available over the phone or via email.

Mountain Bike Demos

We have a selection of mountain bikes from Giant and Specialized. We carry the Trance and Stumpjumper in both a 27.5″ and 29″ wheel option. These bikes have 1x drivetrains, wide bars, and droppers posts. We also offer e mountain bike demos and have a medium, large, and XL Specialized Levo available. Once you are ready to ride, there are plenty of great trails in the area which our staff will happily point you towards.

Mountain Bike Rates

  • Full Day (24 Hours) – $100
  • Half Day (4 Hours)/ Extra Day – $60

E Mountain Bike Rates

  • Full Day (24 Hours) – $125
  • Half Day (4 Hours)/ Extra Day – $80

Road Bike Rentals

We also offer road bike rentals. We carry Specialized Tarmacs and have a 54cm, 56cm, and 58cm on hand. There are plenty of bike paths in the area to explore, or for those looking to take to the streets, there are some epic rides including the famous Lookout Mountain.

Road Bike Rental Rates

  • Full Day (24 Hours) – $75
  • Half Day (4 Hours)/ Extra Day – $50

Hybrid Bike Rental

Looking for a bike to get around town and see the sights of Golden? We offer hybrid bike rentals that are perfect for riding along Clear Creek or over to the Coors Brewery for a tour. There are plenty of great bike paths in the area to explore on a bike!

Hybrid Bike Rental Rates

  • Full Day (24 Hours) – $40
  • Half Day (4 Hours)/ Extra Day – $30


What You Need To Go Tubeless

July 12, 2021

If you are ready to go tubeless, there are a few things to check off before saying goodbye to tubes forever. Running a tubeless system requires specific wheels, tires, and valve stems. These all work together to form a good seal and prevent the tire from slipping off the wheel. Installing tubeless tires with the help of a tire lever and an air compressor will help speed up the process, but fear not, it is still possible with a floor pump! This article will cover everything you need to go tubeless, so keep reading and you will be riding tube-free before you know it!

Necessary Items

  • Tubeless Ready Wheels
  • Tubeless Ready Tires
  • Tubeless Valve Stems
  • Sealant
  • Tire Levers
  • Air Compressor (ideal) or Floor Pump (not ideal)

Tubeless Ready Wheels

Tubeless-ready wheels are a must-have for going tubeless. These are standard on most mountain bikes these days, and even some road and gravel bikes. If you have a newer bike you should be ok, but here is how you can identify a tubeless-ready wheel just in case.

“The most reliable tubeless systems are those marked UST (Uniform System Tubeless standard). Rims and tires must meet a certified standard to use the UST label. UST rims will have either no nipple holes in the rim tire bead or these holes will be completely sealed. The UST rim bead seat is designed to accept and hold the beads of the UST tires. UST tires can be used on a UST rim without tire sealants.

Another option is commonly known as “tubeless ready” or “tubeless compatible”. There is no set standard that a product must meet in order to use these labels. Each company decides what it considers to be “TR” or “TC”. The various “tubeless ready” components may or may not match between manufacturers.” – Park Tool

Another way to tell if your wheels are tubeless ready is if they came stock with rim tape. If for some reason the wheel wasn’t sealed with rim tape, it can need to be done using Guerilla Tape or a tubeless specific rim tape.

Tubeless-Ready Tires

Similar to tubeless-ready wheels, tires will be marked with UST, TR, or TC labels. Tubeless-ready tires are designed to hook into the wheel and form a good seal. In addition to forming a good seal, tubeless tires are constructed with different materials. They are made with a thicker, nonpermeable casing whereas non-tubeless tires are made with different materials that will actually seep air and sealant over time. If your bike has tubeless-ready wheels, it almost certainly has tubeless-ready tires. If you are upgrading to a tubeless system, make sure the tires and wheels are both tubeless-ready!

Tubeless Valve Stems

Tubeless valve stems form an airtight seal around the valve hole. Airtight is the name of the game when it comes to a tubeless system. Valve stems come in a variety of colors and sizes. 35-44mm is the standard range for mountain biking, and road bike valve stems come even longer for those deep carbon wheels. Valve stems can be a creative way to match your bike’s color scheme, too! 

Sealant

There are plenty of options when it comes to sealant and there is no right or wrong answer. The most popular sealants we use and sell at Peak Cycles are Orange Seal Endurance and Stans Race. Both of these sealants work very well and are designed to last longer than most. It is still recommended that you refresh your sealant every 6 months or so! 

Tire Levers

For the installation process, having tire levers will make it easier to get the tires on. Tire levers can also be used to set the bead, making it easier to inflate the tires if you are using a floor pump!

Air Compressor or Pump

This is the final piece of the puzzle and will determine how easy the installation goes for you! An air compressor will fill the tire with air rapidly and snap the bead into place before air can escape. With a floor pump, this isn’t the case. It’s still possible to make it happen though! Check out this great hack for setting the bead with a tire lever.

Final Checklist

  • Tubeless Ready Wheels
  • Tubeless Ready Tires
  • Tubeless Valve Stems
  • Sealant
  • Tire Levers
  • Air Compressor or Floor Pump

There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will walk you through a tubeless tire installation, but here are a few tips from us. When adding sealant, we recommend pouring sealant directly into the tire. We find this works better than going in through the valve stem because it makes less of a mess and prevents clogging. When inflating the tire, we recommend removing the valve core and positioning the valve stem at either 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock. This will give you a better shot at setting the bead quickly and keep sealant from trying to escape through the valve stem! Give the tires a good spin after and you should be good to go! 


Mitch Westall | 2021 XC National Champion

July 12, 2021

Congratulations to Mitch Westall for bringing home the trophy on day four of the 2021 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. This year’s National Championship took place at Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado with men’s masters category taking to the course in the late afternoon of the final day of cross-country races . “After sitting in third on the first lap, Mitch Westall (Littleton, Colo.; BikeParts.com) cranked out a solid second, third, and fourth lap to go on to be crowned the Master Men 50-54 XC national champion,” Tom Mahoney from USA Cycling reported

Congrats again, Mitch!


Original Article: https://usacycling.org/article/cross-country-riders-duke-it-out-for-the-stars-and-stripes


Dropper Seat Post | How To Buy The Right One

July 6, 2021

If you want to put a dropper post on your bike, we don’t blame you. The seamless transitions between the ups and downs completely change the experience of mountain biking. Dropper posts mean never having to drop your seat post before a big downhill again. As it goes with pretty much anything bike-related, finding a dropper post that will work is sort of complicated. From the diameter of the seat post to insertion length, amount of drop, and the type of routing, there is plenty to consider when purchasing a dropper post. Let’s walk through all the steps to selecting the right dropper post that will work for your bike.

Internal or External Dropper

It’s becoming common practice for mountain bikes to have internal routing. This means the cables go inside the frame of the bike and lead to the derailer, brake caliper, and seat post. If your bike has internal routing and then go with an internally routed dropper post. This is the most common post out there. An internally routed dropper post will keep things looking clean. If your bike doesn’t have internal routing then you’ll need an externally routed dropper post. This will likely be the case if you have an older bike.

Dropper Length

Figuring out how much drop you need/want is the next step. Ideally, you want to be able to drop the seat all the way down to the seat post collar. You can figure out this length by measuring the distance from the seat post collar to the saddle rails when your seat is set to the correct height. Most dropper posts will come in lengths of 125, 150, 175, and even 210 mm. The number you measured should be somewhere in that range.  PNW and other dropper post brands make it easy to find the perfect length with adjustable shims of 5 to 10 mm increments.

Insert Length

In some cases, you might not be able to stick the dropper post all the way into the seat post. If the seat tube bends or curves, it limits how far the post can be inserted. Figure out the maximum insert length on your bike by seeing how far you can push your current seat post in or using a measuring tape. If the seat tube is 450mm long, and the dropper post insertion length is 500mm long, the post will stick out 50mm. If your ideal seat post height is 150mm from the collar, you’ll need a 100mm dropper since the post is sticking out by 50mm. Most manufacturers will list what the minimum insert length is. OneUp has one of the shortest insertion lengths, making it compatible with a lot of bikes. Posts like the RockShox Reverb run longer making it more difficult for a perfect fit. 

Seat Post Diameter

The next piece of the puzzle is finding a post with the right diameter. The three most common sizes are 30.9, 31.6, and 34.9. You can put a smaller post in a wider diameter seat tube by using a shim that fills the empty space. You can’t put a bigger post in a smaller tube.

Final check list

Do you need an internal or external post?

Does the dropper post length match your current setup?

Can the dropper be inserted all the way into the seat post?

Is the seat post diameter the right size?


Specialized Diverge | The Ultimate Do It All Road Bike?

June 23, 2021

Is the Specialized Diverge a great one-quiver road bike that can do it all? That’s a tough question to answer. But we think it might be. The Specialized Diverge has all the capabilities and versatility that most people want today. Let’s face it. The majority of us aren’t out there to break records or win races. We want a bike that can handle a variety of situations and won’t hold us back. Here are a few reasons we think the Diverge checks off the most boxes for people.

Versatility

Whether you’re road biking, on a long-distance endurance ride, bike packing across the US, or hitting some country roads for a nice gravel ride, the Diverge can handle it all. Not only that but it can be configured to excel in any one of these areas with the right components and accessories. If you’re gonna be mostly on road, stick with slick tires for low rolling resistance. If you’ll mostly be on gravel, go with a tried and true tire like the Panracer Gravel King. The options are endless.

Performance

The Diverge comes in a wide variety of models. Starting with the $1300 Base E5 and going all the way up to the $10,500 S-Works version. Depending on your budget and needs, there is a model that will work for you. The base model creates a good entry point for anybody looking to get a Diverge. With every model upgrade, the components become better and more refined. By the $4200 Comp Carbon level, the frames come with SWAT storage integration which is a great feature on any bike!

Conclusion

The Specialized Diverge can suit a wide variety of needs from the road, to gravel, bike packing, and more. If you’re in the market for a bike like this that can handle it all, consider the Diverge!


What To Bring On A Bike Ride

June 17, 2021

There’s nothing worse than having your bike or body break down on a ride and being unprepared to deal with it. Sometimes it takes learning the hard way or years of experience under your belt to be prepared for whatever situation comes your way. Let us share our years of experience here with you to help flatten the learning curve.

Food And Water

If you’ve ever bonked before you know what a terrible feeling it can be. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s essentially one your body starts to shut down because you don’t have enough food or water in your system. Always make sure to bring a couple snacks and enough water on your ride. Even if it’s just a short one. Sometimes it can be hotter than you expected, or the ride can end up longer than anticipated. Sometimes having extra water and food can come in handy if you have a friend who is thirsty or hungry, or helping someone out on the trail in a similar situation.

Multi Tool

Having a multi-tool it’s like the Swiss Army knife of the bike world. A multi-tool comes in many different shapes sizes and combinations. The most important things to look for in a tool are hex wrenches, chain breaker, and torx. It seems like almost every group ride we go on someone needs a multi-tool for something whether it’s lowering their seat, tightening up a loose bolt, or making a quick adjustment. There are tons of creative ways to stash multi-tools on or in your bike. Check out one of our favorite stashable tools here.

Air

Being able to pump up your tires is crucial on the trail or road and will help save you from a long walk home. Whether it’s having a small hand pump attached to your bike or CO2 cartridges stashed in your jersey, you’ll want to be able to fix a flat when it happens. There are pros and cons for both pumps and CO2 canisters, but either will work fine. The plus side to having a pump is that it can give you an infinite amount of air, while CO2 cartridges are sort of one and done. CO2 cartridges work really well with road bikes which require super high psi that will give you an arm workout with a hand pump.

Tubes and Patches

Being able to fix your flat is going to require a new tube or a patch kit. We recommend always carrying a tube as a fail-safe option for fixing a flat. Make sure to get the right size tube that will work with your tire. It’s worth bringing along a patch kit to try and fix punctured tubes. Being able to fix a tube on the trail will give you more of a safety net in case you get another flat. If you’re running tubeless tires, grab a tubeless plug kit. These work the same way as a plug for your car tire and will save you the next you get a puncture!

Extras

Other items worth bringing along that don’t take up a lot of space are a quick link, extra valve core, derailleur hanger, light, and tire levers. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!


Things To Look For In A Mountain Bike

June 15, 2021

When it comes to buying a mountain bike, it can get overwhelming pretty fast. This is especially true if you are new to the sport and not sure what to look for in the first place. We’ve broken down into 3 easy steps to check off during the shopping or research process.

Full Suspension or Hard Tail

The most common first question is whether to buy a full-suspension or hardtail. If you are new to mountain biking, a hardtail can be a great option for a few reasons. Hardtails are less expensive making the entry point into mountain biking more accessible. It’s a good way to get your feet wet without dropping too much money on a sport you’ve never done! Hardtails are usually less expensive because they are less complicated to build, design, and assemble than full-suspension bikes. Bikes like the Giant Fathom or the Specialized Rockhopper are great entry-level hardtail bikes.

If you are a more advanced rider you might be considering a full suspension bike. Short of being a total masochist or minimalist, the vast majority of mountain bikers eventually switch over to full suspension bikes. They are more comfortable, make it easier to get through rough terrain, and help absorb the shocks and impacts that are inevitable with mountain biking. Full suspension bikes can start at around $1500 and go up from there. They are a bit more complicated than hardtails due to the addition of rear suspension and creative frame designs that make it all possible.

If you’re new to the sport or on a limited budget, maybe try a hardtail. If you are looking to upgrade or know that you’ll eventually want a full suspension bike, dive in!

27.5 or 29

Look at any mountain bike forum whether it’s pinkbike.com, Reddit, or a Facebook group, and you will find a debate about which wheel size is better, 27.5 or 29. At the end of the day, it’s all personal preference. Well, that doesn’t help you much if you’ve never mountain biked before! Here are the common pros and cons associated with each wheel size.

Work down the list and see what matters most to you and choose from there. Overall 27.5 inch wheels are going to be more nimble, lighter, and easy to maneuver. 29-inch wheels are going to be slower and heavier, but give better grip, traction, and help smooth out rough terrain. What sounds more like you?

Dropper Posts and 1X

If you ask us, this is more of a requirement than a decision. A dropper post makes riding a mountain bike 1000x more enjoyable. You get the benefit of having an adjustable seat on the fly. This allows you to maximize your climbing by having the seat up high and then quickly getting it out of the way before descending. Even entry-level bikes are coming with them nowadays, but if they don’t, you can usually get one that will work with your bike for a couple hundred bucks. Trust us, you’ll want one.

1X refers to having one chainring in the front and 10, 11, or 12 speeds in the back. Here is to guessing that every year after the time of this article being written, there’s a higher chance of that number being in bigger. 1X drive trains simplify shifting, reduce the chance of your chain flying off, and free up space on your handlebars since you’ll only have one shifter. It works really well for mountain biking and is even starting to creep over into the road bike world. Look for a bike with a 1X drivetrain.

The Final Checklist

  • Full-Suspension or Hardtail?
  • 27.5 or 29-inch Wheels?
  • Does it have a dropper post and 1x?

Hopefully, our quick and dirty checklist will help you navigate your next bike purchase! If you are interested in learning what bikes we have available at the moment, come visit us at Peak Cycles or give us a ring.


Types Of Chain Lube

June 9, 2021

Depending on what type of riding you do and which part of the country you live in, there’s a chain lube best suited for your bike. Who would have thought you would need different types of chain lube? If you didn’t know that, we’ve got you covered. For the most part, road bikes do best with a dry lube while mountain bikes will perform best with an all-around lube or wet lube. Let’s talk about the difference between each kind. Keeping your chain lubed will help cut down on wear and improve shifting over the life of your ride.

Dry Lube

Dry chain lubes are just that. Dry. They do a great job minimizing the dirt and grime build-up on the chain and working really well in dry climates like Colorado. The downside to dry lube is that it washes away easily, so puddles, rain, and other general wetness don’t mix well with it. We recommend using dry lube on your road bike to help keep your chain clean and shifting well.

Wet Lube

Wet lube has considerably more wax, and or other lubricating properties to it. The reason is to hold up to the elements like rain and muck. Wet lube will hold onto your chain for longer and keep it shifting well in wet conditions. If you live somewhere like the PNW, wet lube is the choice for you.

All Around

Then there is the all-around lube. If you’re not sure where you fit in the mix, this is a good option for you. Lubes like Rock N Roll Gold, Squirt, and Pro Gold all work great for general purposes. At the end of the day, keeping your chain lubed up will make you and your bike happy!


Colorado Cycling Groups

May 26, 2021

Cycling groups are a great way to stay psychically motivated and socialize. In a world before COVID, we would host weekly shop rides from Peak Cycles for both mountain biking and road. As things return to normal, we are excited to get back into the groove of things and reconnect with fellow cyclists. If you are looking to join a group ride, be sure to follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates! We will likely start-up group rides from the shop sooner than later!

A ladies only, COVID friendly group ride in August 2020!

Finding A Cycling Group Near You

There are tons of great resources online for finding a cycling group that suits your needs. Take for example Pedal and pints which has over 6,000 members that ride to new breweries and enjoy Colorado craft beer. What’s not to like about that? We found this group on Meetup.com. From our research, it looks like there are over 60 cycling groups within a 20-mile radius of Denver for varying ages, abilities, and intentions. Facebook on the other hand, has hundreds of cycling groups worth checking out. You can search by city and narrow down search results to ones close to you. For the more serious road cyclist, we are a partner of Twin Peaks Racing. Check them out if you are interested in the race scene or in their words, “smashin watts and grillin brats.”

Stay Safe Out There

With the recent tragedy of Gwen Inglis being killed by a DUI driver in Lakewood, we want to remind everyone to stay safe on the roads. Not only when you are cycling, but also behind the wheel. We are looking forward to reconnecting with our fellow cycling community now more than ever. If you are looking for some great local rides in the meantime, check out an article we did with the Denver Post in 2019, Five classic bike rides in Colorado that every cyclist should do. Stay safe out there!