The Trails Are Calling  – Steps to Transitioning from Road to Trails 

July 20, 2017

Peak Cycles/ enjoys the evening views off Lookout Mountain

Do you hear the call of the mountain bike trails? Maybe you’re a bike commuter or you mostly ride the road and are curious about riding some of the popular mountain bike trails on the Front Range.  

Oftentimes, those making the transition from concrete to dirt experience a little trepidation in knowing what to expect and how to make the move with ease. However, with our tips, you’ll be shredding trails in no time!

First and foremost, you need to decide what mountain bike to ride.  Our post, Which Mountain Bike Should You Buy, walks you through all the options available, the pros and cons of each and help dial that in for you. Granted, you’ll need a mountain bike but what size wheel, bike components, hard tail or full suspension, and all the bike parts associated with your mountain bike of choice is up to you. Obviously, we’re here to help you so stop in Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to test ride some mountain bikes, as well as, get all of your questions answered.

Notably, after you have your bike – or get a rental bike – you’ll need to get the right cycling apparel.  If you’re a road cyclist or a commuter, you can wear some of the same clothing.  For instance, your helmet, jersey, and shorts will work. However, you may consider full finger gloves to protect your hands.  Also, mountain bike shoes are helpful.  Unlike road riding, when riding trails it isn’t uncommon to jump off the bike, walk or jog through a section, and then jump back on. Surprisingly, you may also want to swap out your road sunglasses for transition lenses. Mountain bike trails are exposed and also heavily covered with negation and trees making visibility different than when riding the road.  Protecting your eyes is one thing but being able to see the trails and ride comfortably is another. 

The next question is, where to ride? Trail difficulty ranges from easy to hard. The best part about harder trails is that if it seems to challenging to ride, you can walk that section. On the plus side, seeing challenging terrain gives you something to aim to achieve later. All of Golden’s trails can be found on the City of Golden website. For your convenience, however, we thought we would highlight some of our favorite cycling trails.

Chimney Gulch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Not too far away from downtown Golden, Chimney Gulch is a visitor and local favorite because it ascends the well-known Golden landmark — Lookout Mountain. Chimney Gulch is mostly an uphill climb which winds through the Golden foothills and emerges at the top of Lookout Mountain. At the summit, you can park your bike to enjoy gorgeous mountain and city overlooks or visit the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. And the way down is all downhill!

Apex Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Similar to (but less popular than) the Chimney Gulch Trail, the Apex Trail winds up and up into Golden’s western foothills. For much of the way, the track is surrounded by pine forests, giving you a feeling that you are far away from the bustle of city life. The Chimney Gulch and Apex trails can actually be connected for an extended ride up one and down the other. If you are combining the trails, you may want to consider stopping at Buffalo Bill’s grave at the top of Lookout Mountain.

North and South Table Mountain – Skill Level: Easy – Moderate
Both North and South Table Mountain (located on the east side of Golden) offer a unique mountain biking experience. The flat-top mesa makes for relatively easy cycling, which gives riders the chance to enjoy the open prairie. Both mesas have multiple access points and extensive trails that weave on top and along the side of the mountains, just out of reach of urban Golden. We find that morning and evening light glancing off the prairies make for an especially special ride on these trails.

White Ranch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Difficult
If you are looking for solitude, this is one of your best bets. On the north end of Golden, the White Ranch Park offers a different type of beauty from the rest of town and encompasses meadows, pine forests, views of buttes, and unique rock formations. It has about 20 miles of trails that wind through both rugged and gentle terrain.

With all this in mind, it’s important to note that before taking your mountain bike for a spin, it’s important to be prepared. Having plenty of waterfood 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. So what are you waiting for?  Answer the calling of the trails – ride them! 

Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips?

July 13, 2017

Get the Right Bike for You at

If you’re riding for an hour or less at a time on a properly-fitted bike, you probably won’t be riding for long enough for that to matter. A bike that fits well and is right for your height, flexibility and riding style is a bike you’ll love riding and you will find yourself looking for reasons to ride your bike.  

However, a bike that fits poorly can lead to inefficient riding, muscle aches and pains, and general discomfort that might discourage you from riding as long or as far as you want.  Whether you are buying a new bike, switching between bikes, or simply installing a new saddle, bike fit is important.  

As you know, bikes come in all sizes and shapes, and there are endless bike parts and cycling accessories that can be added or swapped to make bikes a better fit for you. When considering a bike that will actually fit you, most bike experts consider things like frame size, frame dimensions, saddle height, top tube and stem dimensions, knee and cleat position, handle bar size, crank length and body angle.  Following are the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride. 

  1. 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 easily 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).
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.  Or better yet, schedule a bike fit at our shop and we’ll help you do it! 
  4. 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.
  5. Handlebar height. Your handlebars should be at least as high as your seat.  

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we believe that there is much more to fitting a cyclist to his/her bicycle than just the physical dimensions of a bike. Each cyclist has a different history, experience, comfort level, and goal on the bike; each of these variables are important to the bike-fit process. 

If you’re still struggling to nail these three measurements, you may want to consider a bike fit. With eleven years of fitting experience and over over two-thousand fits, George Mullen at has the experience, the tools and the advanced training to handle any fit scenario. Stop by the Peak Cycles bike fitting studio to schedule a fit.  Also, order any bike parts you need from a recent fit online at  We offer a  huge selection of road bike parts, mountain bike parts, BMX bike parts and more. If you need it for your bike, then we have it!

How to Get Faster with Cycling Lessons from the Pros

July 6, 2017

Train to Win like a Pro Cyclist

Watching the pros battle it out daily during the Tour de France can inspire you to emulate whatever it is that makes them go so fast! You may wonder, how many miles a week are they riding? What are they doing on and off the bike that aids in strength, speed, and recovery?  

As amateur cyclists, are there lessons to be learned from pro cyclists that can be applied to non pro riders?  Absolutely – here’s how! 

  • Pro cyclist set goals.  What you can do is personalize your training and narrow the focus of your training to get the best results.  
  • To aid with goal setting and performance reviews, pro riders train with power and heart rate.  Some mistakingly think that technology takes away the “riding experience” or that it is too costly for their level of riding.  However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable.  They offer objective bio feedback to help you perform your best.  Our most popular are Stages Power Meters beginning at $1000.  Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.
  • Obviously, pro cyclists ride really nice bikes!  That’s a given. Great road bicycles don’t have to come at a hefty price tag either.  Check out our road bikes online at bike to find a new bike for you.  
  • Pro cyclist have have a bike that fits, they have the right bike parts, and they wear the appropriate cycling accessories. It may seem obvious but the small things add up to bigger gains. Easy fixes for an amateur rider! 
  • Pro cyclists take nutrition seriously – on and off the bike.  Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel while riding – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. However, oftentimes, the course may dictate other options. Regardless, proper on bike nutrition is critical.
  • Pro cyclists focus on R&R or active recovery is good too.  Some of the most elite cyclists use yoga as part of a successful training program, including 2012 Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins’ benefits from the focus it brings to his cycling, while others, such as pro mountain biker and Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, use yoga to gain strength. From power to endurance, athletes at all levels are incorporating yoga to gain an edge over the competition, and prevent injury.

While you may not be a pro cyclist, you can certainly benefit from the training elements of a Tour rider lifestyle.  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for more training tips and cycling information to make the best of your summer cycling season.

6 Ways Cyclist Are Celebrating the 4th of July on Their Bike 

June 29, 2017

Happy 4th of July from

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.

Family barbecues, warm weather, and a feeling of freedom convert flawlessly into an invigorating, fun cycle. What are the most common ways cyclist are celebrating the 4th with their two wheeled friends? Following are the top ideas we’ve heard at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop: 

  • Race – Celebrate the 4th of July by racing!  Whether it is racing on a road bike or a mountain bike, you’ll want to check out the races that are going on this holiday weekend on 303 Cycling’s Race Calendar.
  • R&R – If you are up for some “active” rest and relaxation, then sit back and watch the Tour de France! Beginning July 1 – 23rd, the daily stage races offer your daily fix of cycling drama! No doubt, watching the tour will get your adrenaline will be pumping!
  • Drink – and it’s not what you think!  While you might think of the 4th of July as an opportunity to consume adult beverages, we’re actually talking about water and other nutritional products. It’s hot out there folks -hydration and proper fueling for riding is important! Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel while riding – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids.  Some of our favorite nutritional products for summer are: Oslo nutrition ,  Scratch Labs, and Honey Stinger products. Stock up now and be ready to roll for the entire month of July. 
  • Bike commute – Maybe hanging out with friends and your family is your thing for the 4th of July.  That doesn’t mean you have to forgo your bike ride.  Bike commute to the farmer’s market, to see fireworks, to see a music festival, or a local restaurant.  A casual stroll on the bike is enjoyable for everyone. Plus, you get to see the local sites without the heavy breathing and fatigued legs you may experience when doing a full blown ride. 
  • Bike maintenance – With a little extra time off from work, many cyclist enjoy performing much needed bike maintenance over the holiday weekend.  Replacing worn bike parts and cycling accessories without the stress of added work and family pressures makes bike maintenance a pleasure and not a chore.  If the kids are around, engage them in the process and teach them a thing or two about bicycles.  Who knows? You might inspire them to ride too! 
  • Last but not least, if you are looking for additional ideas on celebrating the 4th with your two wheeled friend, check out our post, Red, White, and Blue: 5 Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July on Your Bike

As a reminder this 4th of July, our shop 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!  Visit us in in Golden, Colorado to pick up your 4th of July cycling accessories or visit us online at  

Happy 4th of July friends! 

Effective Training Techniques for Cycling in the Heat

June 22, 2017

Peak Cycles/ Team Rider cooling off after a ride

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.

Exposure: According to the post, 4 Keys to Effective Training in Hot Weather, states that exposing yourself to warmer temperatures on a consistent basis is key to acclimating to hot temperatures.  Also, “Acclimating typically takes two weeks of consistent heat riding. While you don’t need to ride every day in high temperatures, when you’re trying to acclimate, don’t go more than two or three days between hot training sessions.”

Hydration: 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 bike but have extras available for bottles that are tossed and extras for immediate refueling post race. 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 camelback as well as have extra bottles on hand.

Recover: After a long day in the saddle and the heat. 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. This potent combination of nutrients has been precisely formulated to help ensure you rapidly and effectively restore muscle energy (glycogen), minimize muscle soreness, stimulate muscle repair ands peed training adaptations after moderate, intense and exhaustive exercise or competition. In fact, recent studies have shown the nutrient trio of Carbs +Protein + Leucine taken after exercise creates an absolute 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! 

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Cycling Dads 

June 15, 2017

Father’s Day cycling gifts at

Are you a last minute Father’s Day shopper looking to give your Dad a different kind of Father’s Day gift this year?   If  you’re stuck wondering what to get your cycling Dad for Father’s day, then look no further!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have all the  cycling apparel and cycling accessories, your Dad wants. 

A no brainer for Father’s day are bike parts! Think new drivetrain parts, brakes, saddle, and wheel set.  We have it all!  Top that off with some extra water bottles, nutrition items like gels and waffles and your Dad is all set.  Granted, you might not know the precise bike parts your Dad wants, so opt for a gift certificate. He can pick out his favorite items and you get the credit for being a great kid! 

Next up – gift a Bike fit.  Does your Dad complain of hands falling asleep while riding? Or shoulder or neck pain after a long ride? A bike fit isn’t just for professional riders – they are for anyone who rides whether they are a beginner or advanced rider. A bike fit helps ensure riding comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how an athlete rides. Consider giving your Dad with a bike fit for Father’s Day. This will your Dad ride pain free all year long.  Give us a call (303) 216-1616 or stop by the shop in Golden to schedule your bike fit.

Finally, gift your Dad with some super powers!  Well, not exactly super powers but you can gift your Dad the gift of power – power meter that is! The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in training to optimize performance as it relates to specific goals and objectives. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. As for which power meter to purchase, consider our most popular one, Stages Power Meters, beginning at $1000. Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third option is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.  

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!

Answering the unanswerable: What wheel size should I buy? (And what’s the difference, anyway?)

June 11, 2017
Wheel Size Post-4

Former Specialized Racing rider Todd Wells competes in the short track race at USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Championships in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, in July 2013. Wells rode an S-Works Epic 29 full-suspension in the cross-country race and an S-Works Stumpjumper 29 hardtail in short track. 

Recent events in the 2017 UCI Downhill World Cup series have once again thrust the never-ending debate over mountain bike wheel sizes into the spotlight: Greg Minnar won the Fort William Downhill World Cup on a 29er.

It’s up to downhill purists and park rats in chairlift lines to decide what it all means for downhill racing, but one thing is certain – the limitations of big wheels might not be where the industry thinks they are. And if 29ers can race World Cup downhill, what can’t they do? Well, for one, 29ers probably won’t make an appearance at Red Bull Rampage anytime soon, nor will they feature in slopestyle or dirtjumping. But then again, people said the same about 29ers and downhill racing until just a few weeks ago, when images of prototype 29er race bikes appeared on top downhill riders’ Instagram feeds.

So, now that there are three wheels sizes – 26er, 27.5 and 29er – to choose from, what makes sense for you?

There is no “best wheel size” or “right wheel size,” but, like the genre of mountain bike you ride, there is a wheel size that’s best for you and for what you do.

Wheel Size Post-2

This 2013 Giant Reign 1 is an example of one of the company’s last 26-inch bikes before switching almost exclusively to 27.5. The Reign remained 26-inch though 2014, but went 27.5 the following year. 

For starters, let’s review some technical details. The wheels and tires referred to as 26, 27.5 and 29 inches do not actually measure those dimensions. Although the outer diameters of the tires, when mounted and inflated, are roughly those sizes, the rims and tire beads are smaller. According to the website of the late, great cycling expert Sheldon Brown, which still serves as a definitive source for mechanics today, ISO measurement, the technical standard for categorizing rims, is the diameter of a rim from bead seat to bead seat. In other words, ISO is the rim diameter in millimeters from where the tire bead rests within the rim. Due to varying rim wall heights, the overall outer diameter of a rim is generally 5-10 millimeters greater than ISO diameter.

Wheels referred to as 26 inch are ISO 559, meaning the rim is actually 22 inches across from bead seat to bead seat and, correspondingly, the tires are 22 inches across from bead to bead. Wheels called 27.5 inch, also called 650b, are ISO 584, or 22.99 inches. Wheels called 29 inch are ISO 622, or 24.48 inches.

But, of course, that’s the diameters of the rims and tires where the tire bead interfaces with the rim – the outer diameter of tires mounted and inflated on those rims is much closer to the common names of 26, 27.5 and 29 inches.

One of the few things more difficult than picking a wheel size in 2017 is trying to find a 26er bike on the floor of a bike shop. Just like punk, 26 isn’t dead, but it’s not what it was in the ’80s and ’90s. For the purpose of this piece, we’ll stick to the two sizes found on nearly all mountain bikes today: 27.5 and 29.

In the mid-2000s, 29-inch wheels began showing up on ungainly cross-country hardtails, and the size didn’t make too much of a splash until almost 2010, when hardtail 29ers began dominating U.S. cross-country races. Full-suspension 29ers soon became the norm, and in 2011, Jaroslav Kulhavy was the first rider to win the UCI Elite Men Cross-Country World Championships on a 29er, blasting to a commanding victory on an S-Works Epic 29.

Wheel Size Post-3

Lea Davidson of Specialized Racing rides a (likely final prototype) 2014 S-Works Epic 29 at USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Championships in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, in July 2013

But as 29ers quickly grew to be the dominant wheel size on 4- and 5-inch travel mountain bikes, many riders contended that big wheels and big suspension didn’t mix – at least not yet. Companies satiated the demand for slightly  larger wheels on longer-travel bikes by fully supporting what used to be an oddball wheel size: 27.5 inch.

At 22.99 inches in ISO diameter, 27.5-inch rims are just 0.99 inches larger in ISO diameter than 26-inch rims and a full 1.49 inches smaller than 29er rims. So, despite the name, 27.5-inch wheels are not halfway between 26- and 29-inch wheels; they’re closer to 26 and further from 29. They provide a slight traction and angle-of-attack advantage over 26ers while accelerating quicker and being more easily maneuvered than 29ers.

Wheel Size Post-5

The 2014 Giant Trance Advanced 1 is an example of a 5-inch-travel, 27.5-inch-wheeled trail bike, a common combination of suspension travel and wheel size. 


If you’re a rider who charges straight through rough terrain, preferring to ride over obstacles rather than around, then 29-inch wheels will better suit your riding style than their smaller counterpart. It comes down to angle of attack, or how easily a wheel can ride over an obstacle. Think of it this way, just like a bicycle rolls over a pebble better than a skateboard does – because the bicycle’s wheels are bigger – a bicycle with bigger wheels will roll over an obstacle better than a bicycle with smaller wheels.

The larger wheels also provide a longer contact patch of tread on the ground as the bike rolls forward, creating more traction. More traction is good, well, everywhere: climbing, cornering and descending.

Wheel Size Post-1

With 29-inch wheels and 4 inches of suspension travel front and rear, the S-Works Epic was the first 29er (and first full-suspension) to establish itself atop cross-country race podiums at the UCI World Cup level. Pictured here is the 2014 model.

But some riders would rather pick lines through technical sections and between obstacles, rather than over them. And some riders don’t like the marginally larger turning radius 29ers have, or that they can be a bit more to handle in the air. For riders who want supreme flickability and snappy acceleration over all else in a bike, 27.5-inch wheels provide all that while still giving a small rollover and traction advantage over 26ers.

Also, some riders’ belief is that big suspension and big wheels together are simply too much bike.

Aside from handling, another decision point between 29 and 27.5 is rider height. Just like kids bikes have progressively larger wheels for taller kids, starting with 12-inch wheels and progressing to 24 inch, adult bikes can now be tailored the same way. Many shorter adults find that 27.5-inch-wheel bikes fit them naturally, while 29ers feel too big. For many taller riders, 29ers are a godsend – finally they have a bike that fits!

Wheel Size Post-6

Sina Solouksaran races an extra-small Giant XTC carbon hardtail with 27.5-inch wheels in Golden, Colorado, in the fall of 2015. A shorter rider, Solouksaran sticks to 27.5-inch wheels. 

And these trends are common in what we see on the market today. Cross country bikes, like the  Specialized Epic hardtails and full-suspensions, come with 29-inch wheels. Enduro bikes with 6 inches of travel, such as the Specialized Enduro and Giant Reign, come with 27.5-inch wheels.

But brands get creative, too, often pushing the limits and providing options.

The five-inch travel Specialized Stumpjumper FSR is offered with both wheel sizes, as is the Enduro. Giant, arguably the brand most committed to 27.5, offers models with options of 27.5 or 29, such as the XTC hardtail and Anthem cross-county full-suspension.

There’s no right answer to the wheel size debate. Some riders have different wheel-size bikes for different applications, such as a 29er for cross-country and a 27.5 for trail. The only way to discover which wheel size is right for you, given the riding you intend to do, is to head to your local shop, tell the guys and girls there how you ride and what kind of bike you’re seeking, and take a few bikes out for a spin.

Peak Cycles bike shop has demo bikes with 29- and 27.5-inch wheels, both trail and cross-country. We also have dozens more on the sales floor.

Not even sure what kind of bike you want – full-suspension or hardtail, cross-county, trail or enduro? All of that is broken down in this post: What mountain bike should you buy?