Top Apps for Cyclist in 2018

January 18, 2018

Looking in the rear view mirror – there are the holidays.  Sure, it was fun. The festive spirit of the holidays, time off from the bike, spending time relaxing and enjoying are all good things.  

But now, as we look towards the future, we are well into the New Year and many are greeted with a few extra pounds, poor weather, and perhaps a lingering feeling of dread to get back into cycling shape.  

Motivation can be hard this time of year, but with smart phones and technology, motivation is only a finger tip or two away.  Apps that is – and not the type that you eat! Following are our picks for fitness apps  and cycling apps to help you stay the course.

The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App lists the top indoor training apps including Zwift, Rouvy, and the Sufferfest.  It’s a  great read and we suggest taking a look at it for the pros and cons each app has to offer for indoor riding.  Off the bike, there are apps to support your training goals as well.  Whether your goals are to drop a few pounds, stay hydrated, get more sleep, there’s an app for that.  Following are our favorites from our post, Top 5 Apps for Cyclists for Off Season Fitness Gains

Lose It! What It Is: Want to drop some pounds? Lose It! users get a customized weight loss plan and then use the app to track food, measure activity levels, and connect with peers for group support to reach their goals.Why It’s Cool: Lose It! can sync up with most of the popular fitness tracking devices and wireless scales on the market. It also has a large food database for easy reference.

Pumping Weight What It Is: Weight training can get complicated, but Pumping Weight helps to make tracking workouts simple with an easy to follow, smooth interface. View your workouts in calendar mode to see the weekly sweat schedule, and record individual reps and sets with their intuitive tracking system.  Why It’s Cool: While Pumping Weight keeps things looking simple, the app gives users access to a goldmine of data on their progress. The app graphs strength gains over time and can remind you what muscle groups you’ve been neglecting.

Strava  What It Is: Track bike rides and runs without lifting a finger. Strava lets users upload data from their iPhone, Android, or Garmin, and the app automatically logs workouts in its personal system. Users can then compare their workouts to previous runs and bike rides or see how they fare against other users.  Why It’s Cool: This hugely popular app makes it easy to track progress in biking or running, with the option to get a little competitive. Other fancy features include the ability to find the most popular routes in a new location and to record the age of gear and equipment to know when it’s time to get some new stuff.

Sleep Cycle  What It Is: Waking up is hard enough, but this app makes it a little less traumatic by analyzing users’ sleep patterns and rousing them when they’re in the lightest phase of sleep. Plus users get to go through troves of data showing how well (or poorly) they slept during the night.  Why It’s Cool: Most sleep-tracking devices are pretty pricey and involve some fancy headgear. But Sleep Cycle’s just about the app. Users place their smartphones in their beds and the app senses what phase of sleep they’re in based on how much or little they’re moving.

Cardiio  What It Is: Cardiio gives users insight into their health and fitness via one simple tool: heart rate monitoring. The app’s dashboard allows viewers to track their heart rate throughout the day, before and during various activities, and across the course of weeks, months, and years.  Why It’s Cool: The app works by what can only be described as “magic” (or, you know, advanced technology). To measure their heart rates, users simply look straight into the front camera of their iPhone (4 or higher) — no chest straps or finger clips involved. The app also analyzes users’ heart rate data, assigns them a fitness level rating, allows them to set personal goals for their resting heart rate, and even estimates potential life expectancy.

iDrated  What it Is: A hydration monitor, water log, drink alarm designed to keep users hydrated.  The app is easy and simple to use. Thanks to a built-in tutorial, users don’t have to waste their time trying to figure out how to use it. Once launched, users must select either male or female. With the tap and press of a finger anywhere on the screen, users can then begin filling bottles with water to the appropriate amount of water that they just consumed by sliding up or down. Water may be measured in either liters or ounces.   Why It’s Cool: The app then tells users how much more they need to drink along with an actual time estimate for when they should drink more water. iDrated keeps track of the current week’s hydration levels, and users earn medals for staying hydrated.

BikeFit App and Bike Fast Fit  What are they? Apps to help you with a bike fit.  The BikeFit app is designed more for professional bike fitters; however, the Bike Fast Fit app is a bit more useful in that it enables you to capture a video clip, measure key riding position angles and distances use video analysis tools to find the ideal riding position that’s both powerful and comfortable.  Keep in mind, if you are using these apps, most likely to get the best fit, you’ll need to replace bike parts and cycling accessories. For all your cycling needs, check out our online store BikeParts.com.

Overall, apps will never replace the joy of cycling and training outside; however, they can help you stay on track with your fitness goals and give you data driven feedback to keep you motivated. Do you have any favorite apps you would add to the list?  Let us know! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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5 Motivational Strategies to Keep You Riding in the New Year

January 11, 2018

Motivation  is the foundation all athletic effort and accomplishment. Without your desire and determination to improve your sports performances, all of the other mental factors, confidence, intensity, focus, and emotions, are meaningless. To become the best athlete you can be, you must be motivated to do what it takes to maximize your ability and achieve your goals.

But when the weather is poor, sunlight is at a minimum, and riding conditions are less than ideal, what do you do? Keeping up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult. Sometimes lack of motivation rears its ugly head during these challenging times despite our best efforts to press on. Following are 5 different strategies to help you stay motivated to ride.

Set your goals. This seems obvious but ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish in 2018? And when? How do you know you’ve reached your goals? Making SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) goals not only boosts your chances of attaining your goals, but you also become a better cyclist in the process. The trick is to really dial those goals in. As in, a goal to consistently hitting heart rate zones or power zones for specific workout. Use cycling accessories that are available to you – as in power meters and /or heart rate monitors to provide objective feedback. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. You may also want to check out our post, Heart Rate Training – What You Need to Know for our staff picks at Peak Cycles Bike Shop. Based on your goals, you can then get an action plan together by defining your training objectives.

Make the most of your time. It all begins with time management. Scheduling your workouts in your calendar; shifting meetings and family obligations to early morning, late afternoon and early evening; and optimizing your lunch hour as ride time, are three areas that can assist in getting your scheduled training in during the daylight hours. Again, the idea here is to create a plan and stick to it. If you plan a ride during the daylight hours and miss it, then it creates stress on how to make that ride up. So, if you do, then night riding or riding on the trainer becomes your options. Be prepared in advance with a light system to ride at night and a trainer setup that works for you. If you are prepared, you are more likely to get your workout in rather than pass on it.

Dial in your bike. Consider getting a bike fit. Yes, a bike fit. We’ve heard about them, talked about them, but somehow, most of us don’t get one. And why not? They say the quickest way to get faster on the bike is with a bike fit. Sure, fit impacts comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how you ride. Meaning it directly affects how much power you can efficiently deliver to the pedals. Dialing in your body and your bike parts will keep you motivated as you discover how the new changes positively affect your time on the bike.

Train your brain. We think of discipline as a form of training or exercising the brain but why not use the power of visualization to motivate yourself and accomplish you 2018 season goals? The post, The Power of Mental Suffering, offers key insights as to how thought creates a powerful reality.

Commit to consistently cross training. Trade saddle time for gym time to gain core strength. The primary focus when it comes to strength exercises for cyclists is to train in a similar motion to cycling with lower and upper body, while increasing overall core strength and muscular endurance. Check out The Best Strength Exercises for Cyclists to get you started and also – to keep you motivated through the winter months.

If after reading these suggestions you still find yourself unmotivated to ride during the Winter months, then consider doing a cycling year end review. How you reflect upon the past year has some bearing as to how you plan for the coming year. A cycling year end review offers insights to truly optimize your training and racing regimen. Some of those insights might spark a new level of motivation with you. Here’s to a rewarding cycling year in 2018!


2017 Year in Review: The Best of Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com Blog

January 4, 2018

Happy 2018 from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com

As the New Year unfolds and before we fully embrace 2018, reflecting and reviewing upon the previous year is a great way to close out and move forward.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com, we’re delighted to look back at the year’s most succesfful blog post and what we’re looking forward to in 2018. 2017 Year in review: What our readers enjoyed most!

Training Indoors
Trainer Techniques for Winter Training

Motivation
How to Stick with Your 2017 Training Plan

Strategy
How to Develop a Winning Mindset for Early Season Races
Managing Early Season Race Day Jitters
Effective Training Techniques for Cycling in the Heat
3 Essential Cycling Training Tips for Winter Training
How To do a Cycling Year End Review

Fat Bike
Fat Bike Essentials for First Time Fat Bike Riders

Cyclocross
Cyclocross Newbies – Tips to Prep for Your First Cyclocross Race
Prepare for a Great Cyclocross Season with These Tips

Cross training
5 Ways to Cross Train for Fitness Gains in 2017

Training Aids
Fitter, Faster, Stronger – with Power Meters

Race Checklists
Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing
What Do You Carry With You When You Ride?

Bikes!
What mountain bike should you buy?
Answering the unanswerable: What wheel size should I buy? (And what’s the difference, anyway?)
Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips?

So, what’s ahead for 2018? We’re looking forward to helping our customers get fitter and faster on the bike! Whether that is outfitting others with the best cycling apparel or improving bike efficiency with new bike parts or a bike fit, at Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we’re all about creating the ultimate ride experience. Happy 2018 to all!


Try New Things in the New Year – 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Cyclists

December 28, 2017

Wishing you a Bright New Year of Successful Rides in 2018 from BikeParts.com

We are only days away from the year end. What is the best way to say good bye to 2017 and hello to 2018? On your bike of course! Cycling is all about fun and what better way to bring in the New Year than to set some new cycling resolutions. At the turn of the year, many cyclist vow to ride more miles, train more consistently, or they may choose one or two new events to challenge their fitness and performance in the coming months, but at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re thinking of some alternative resolutions.

One of the biggest complaints cyclist have is about missing their rides. Whether due to time, weather, illness or injury, or work and family obligations, riding seems to take a back seat to it all. This year, consider taking on one or more of these cycling resolutions to ensure you get all the ride time you want!

New Year Resolution of Time Management – It all begins with time management. Scheduling your workouts in your calendar; shifting meetings and family obligations to early morning, late afternoon and early evening; and optimizing your lunch hour as ride time. These are three areas that can assist in getting your scheduled training in during the daylight hours. Again, the idea here is to create a plan and stick to it. If you plan a ride during the daylight hours and miss it, then it creates stress on how to make that ride up. So, if you do, then night
riding becomes your option.

New Year Resolution of Night Riding – To begin, don’t be afraid of the dark! Get the right bike parts and cycling apparel to ride and you’ll be inspired to do it. Remember, visibility is crucial – for you and your bike. Outfit your bike with a good light system. You will want lights for the front of your bike. Consider having multiple lights for the front of your bike. One on your helmet so you can shine side roads and traffic and have a second light on your handlebars so you can see at least 10 ft. or more in front of you. For the rear of your bike, opt
for a rear red light-particularly one that blinks. A blinking red light is much more likely to get the attention of a passing motorist who might otherwise not notice you. While we do have snowy days here in Colorado, there are quite a few days and evenings in which night riding is possible. So, be on the lookout in 2018 for night riding opportunities.

New Year Resolution of Indoor Riding – Maybe you just can’t swing riding during the day and night riding isn’t your thing. You can maintain fitness with indoor training on the trainer. Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer. Yet, there are ways to make it work. Check out our post, Trainer Techniques for Winter Training, for tips and suggestions on getting the best out of your indoor rides.

New Year Resolution to Cross Train – Maintaining fitness and peak performance isn’t just about riding endurance, it’s also about your body’s overall physical conditioning, especially your core. Resolve to cross train in 2018 and commit to running, hiking, yoga, or strength training. There are countless benefits to cross training and we give you ideas on how to do it in our post, 5 Ways to Cross Train for Fitness Gains in 2017.

New Year Resolution to Dial in your Cycling Gear. This is a big one. If your bike doesn’t comfortable to ride, then you are less likely to ride it. If you are cold or too hot on the bike, you are more likely to shorten your ride or blow it off all together. Resolve to dial in your cycling apparel and your bike parts. It is important to dial in your cycling apparel for the type of riding you will be doing. Start by taking an inventory of the type of cycling apparel you have in your existing wardrobe and identify the clothing you need purchase to enable you to ride in a variety of weather conditions. Do the same for your bike by replacing worn bike parts with new cycling accessories.

The New Year is all about out with the old and in with the new. Maybe last year’s cycling resolutions were to get in shape, build fitness, or get stronger on the bike. This year, branch out! Create new resolutions. Happy New Year to you and may it be the best cycling year for you yet!


Santa’s Checklist – Gifts for Your Bike

December 21, 2017

There’s Still Time to Get Your Bike Parts Delivered for Christmas! http://www.BikeParts.com

As the “Santa Season” is in full swing it’s time to make and double check your checklist. Certainly you’ve purchased gifts for your family and friends, but what about your bicycle?   

The holidays are for sharing gifts celebrating the special relationships you have with others.  Doesn’t your bike create fun, fitness, and basically, the greatest feeling in the world for you?  Show some love to your bike this holiday season.  Get it some presents!

Your bike’s #1 holiday wish would be to drop the weight – on bike parts that is!  You might be wondering where to start, well, since you already feel bad about forgetting your bike on your holiday list, you might as well opt for the best weight reductions you can get for your bike.  Consider getting a high quality wheel set.  A good wheel set impacts ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  So, get the best you can afford.  Add some new, lighter tires on your wheels and your bike will thank you for the bling!

Speaking of bling, your bike’s #2 wish would be to be festive. Light it up! The trick to capturing the benefits is to outfit your bike with a good light system.  Whether you are bike commuting, going for a holiday stroll, or getting in base miles, being visible is critical. Here are some tips to getting the right bike parts. You will want lights for the front of your bike.  Consider having multiple lights for the front of your bike.  One on your helmet so you can shine side roads and traffic and have a second light on your handlebars so you can see at least 10 ft. or more in front of you.  For the rear of your bike, opt for a rear red light- particularly one that blinks. A blinking red light is much more likely to get the attention of a passing motorist who might otherwise not notice you.

Finally, your bike’s #3 wish is to replace worn bike parts.  Your bike wants to start 2018 of fresh! So, don’t wait until you hear odd little noises or cycling accessories fail.  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.  If you plan to ride through the winter months, stay one step ahead of the game by purchasing these types of bike parts on sale and have them on hand when you need them. 

Go ahead and gift your bike will some holiday presents and your bike will gift you right back with another season of joyful riding.  Here’s to sharing the holiday spirit with our two wheeled friend! Happy Holidays!


Surviving the Holidays with Tips from BikeParts.com

December 14, 2017

Stress Free Gift Giving for Cyclists at BikeParts.com

While the holiday season brings times of joy and celebration, it is often tainted with juggling holiday parties, kids events, family gatherings, and travel.  While all fun activities, they can contribute to a stressful experience.  

As athletes, we all know that there is only an infinite amount of stress the body can handle.  Holiday stresses of staying up too late, eating tempting treats, and overall training fatigue can create a loss of training motivation or just plain not riding.  Not fun, given exercise can aid in reducing stress.  So, what is the balance during the holidays to reduce stress, maintain fitness, and still hit all the holiday parties and complete those endless shopping lists?  Have a strategy! No different than approaching a race or ride with a strategy, it’s best to have some “go to” plans to navigate the holiday season.  

Strategy 1: Eat well.  The holidays offer irresistible food temptations adding extra pounds to our waste lines and robbing us of precious energy.  Instead of reaching for the holiday goodies, opt for nutritious snacks. Eating poorly during the holidays can affect mood and motivation towards training.  Focus on good nutrition and choose your bike nutrition when you need it most- on the bike.  Being mindful of your food choices can positively affect your energy levels and help maintain your ability to ride and perform better. You might enjoy reading our post Battle of the Bulge – How to Fight the End of Season Weight Gain for more ideas on developing a plan to keep you on track during your most tempting moments. 

Strategy 2: Plan your time.  Primarily, maintain focus and control.  The flurry of holiday activities makes time precious.  You may not have time for a lengthy ride, so make the most of the time you do have. Increase your focus.  Focus on what you can control and let go of things beyond your control.  What can you control? The intensity, duration, and consistencies of your workouts.  You can also control the elements surrounding your training, as in, your bike parts, bike functioning, and being well prepared nutritionally to get the best out of your workouts.  If you find yourself pulled from ride time to do last minute shopping, consider shopping online.  Our post, Stress Free Holiday Shopping for Cyclists, offers tips to minimize stress and optimize gift giving.  

Strategy 3: Relax: If you just can’t find the time or motivation to ride during the holiday season, at least feed your velo passion with pictures of new road bikes , new mountain bikes, and cool bike parts.  It will feed your spirit and breathe life into next year’s bike season.  In fact, the post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, reminds us, “ It’s easy to beat yourself up over missed training, but if you have been steady with training, give yourself a break. Gaining fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days and losing fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days. It takes months of steady training to gain good fitness. A few days missed or logging a fewer less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”  And if you are still feeling a tad guilty, read more – 3 Cycling Strategies to Manage Stress During the Holidays 

Surviving the holidays doesn’t take much but it does take a plan.  Be flexible, mix it up, and enjoy!  Happy Holidays from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com


Stress Free Holiday Shopping for Cyclists

December 7, 2017

Cycling Gifts at BikeParts.com

Imagine this: Your heart rate increases. Your blood pressure spikes. You hit a sudden wall of fatigue. Are you racing at the front of the pack? Trying to close the gap on the rider in front of you? Sprinting to the finish line? Actually, no. You are holiday shopping!

While this may seem not possible, according to the post, From Our President: ‘Tis the Season for Stress-Free Shopping, a study conducted last year found that holiday shopping stress can increase your heart rate the same way that vigorous physical activity does. And as cyclist, the only time we want our heart rate rising is when we are on the bike.

Is there a solution? Can holiday shopping really be stress free?  Yes -shop online! At BikeParts.com, we offer a huge selection of road bikes, mountain bikes, bike parts, BMX bike parts and more – all at your fingertips.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy stress free holiday shopping for your self, riding buddies, and friends. The only time you will find your heart rate rising in on the killer deals you will find at BikeParts.com

Remember, if you need it for your bike, then we have it! Because we sell our bike parts online, we are able to help customers all over the world. Happy Holidays!