BikeParts.com: Our Tips on Bleeding Brakes

April 18, 2013

How important are brakes?  When you don’t have them, or they aren’t working properly, then you know the importance of well maintained brakes for your mountain bike.  Sure, brakes help stop your bike but they also aid in redirecting the bike, navigating technical terrain, cornering, and overall balance.  As the cycling season starts up, bike maintenance for mountain bike parts becomes essential.

Demonstrated by our staff, at Peak Cycles Bike Shop, using the Avid Professional Bleed Kit  are step by step instructions on how to bleed your brakes for strong and reliable stopping power.

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BikeParts.Com – Our Guide to The Buffalo Creek Trail System

April 4, 2013

Mountain bike riders this time of year start hearing the call of the trails as the temps get warmer and the days get longer.  Not quite dry yet, but soon to be, is one of the Front Range’s best trail system: Buffalo Creek.

Located an hour west of Denver, or about 45 minutes from our Peak Cycles Bike Shop in Golden, the Buffalo Creek trail system is a hands down favorite trail in the greater-Denver region. Why? With a diverse trail system consisting of 20 plus miles of sweet single track and 2,700 feet in elevation gain, you’ll enjoy mountain views, majestic rock formations, great downhills, smooth roller coasters, and almost ALL single track.  Here’s what you need to know.

Where it’s located:  Buffalo Creek Trails, Pine, Colorado

Directions: From the Denver foothills, drive west up Highway 285 past Conifer to Pine Junction. Take a left (southeast) onto County Road 126 (Pine Valley Road) and continue 5.5 miles toward the town of Pine. Take a right onto Crystal Lake Road and follow it to the parking lot.

Trail Map:  There are literally dozens of trail combinations in the buffalo creek area.  Meaning, you can make this a short or long ride covering 30 or 40 miles in an afternoon. The two long downhill trails are arguably the best in the Buffalo Creek trail system: Sandy Wash Trial and the Strawberry Jack Trial.  Like most of the trails in the system, you will find a lot of gravel and sand under your tires, not too many rocks, not too bad of a killer technical ride, but your legs will most likely feel it on the climbs.  Because there are many possible loops in this area, it is easy for it to be confusing.  Be sure to stop by the shop to get a map  of the system before heading out.

Trail Ratings: The trails are good for beginner, intermediate, and advanced riders. All of them fun and several can be challenging. Note, The Black Jack Trails are advanced trails and require advanced skills and bike control.  Getting through this section of trail might call for a dropper seat post and maybe a full faced helmet.

Bike Parts and Components:  As always, you are going to want to have your basic essentials: full fingered gloves, a hydration pack, sunscreen, and dialed in bike components.  The last thing you want to be doing on this trail is fixing your bike.   Wondering what type of bike is best suited for the Buffalo Creek Trail system?  You have several options and you can’t go wrong with any of them.  A full suspension bike, like the Specialized Stump Jumper 29er, might be best for longer or more casual rides; however, opt for a hardtail  like the Specialized Carve Expert 29 for a good workout and speed.  Singlespeed bikes are a good option as well.

When to Ride: The trail system is mostly isolated from storms and the trails tend to dry quick after Summer rains.  Spring can be wet but Summer and Fall are a must.

There you have it!  Make a point to get out and ride the Buffalo Creek Trail System – you won’t regret it!


Go Big or Go Home: The EPIC Bike for an Epic Adventure

March 14, 2013

2013 Specialized EpicPowering your fitness goals matter. Motivation doesn’t happen by accident.  Sure, warmer temps and the calling of seasonal races beckon us, but it is going for BIG that really gets the blood flowing.  How BIG are you thinking this cycling season?  “If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough.” There is magic in thinking big: it moves us past limitations, sparks expansion, and delivers on new results. As cyclist, most are gunning for improvement so thinking BIG can serve us well.

How do you think big?  At BikeParts.com we think of BIG in terms of bikes, bike parts, and epic rides.  One of our favorite bikes, the Specialized EPIC, sets the standard for thinking BIG.  It’s a powerhouse and because it’s a bona fide winner, you ride like a champ whether you are one or not.

Here is why you want it:  A three-time XC World Championship winner, the EPIC was the first full-suspension XC bike to capture the coveted Rainbow Jersey. Available in both carbon fiber and alloy models, the Epic features Specialize’s proven 29er geometry, 100mm of FSR suspension, and is equipped with the unique Brain suspension which reads the terrain to provide the perfect ride—whether sprinting uphill or descending at speed on rocky trails.  It offers unrivaled control, speed, and efficiency.  We find one of its best features to be an all carbon wheelset.  And….it’s hot!

Here is where you want to ride it:  Epic rides are the ones that push the limits.  They take a monumental effort to complete.

So think about it.  Do your goals thrill you? Or scare you? Or both?  What will it take for you to step up your game?  Thinking big challenges your confidence and abilities to make your goals come true. Stop by Peak Cycles bike shop or visit us online at BikeParts.com to get the mtb parts you need to set up your 2013 cycling season to be BIG.


Sneak Peak Into the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series (RME)

February 21, 2013

MTB parts for racing the RME series A favorite to endurance mountain bike cyclist in Colorado and the surrounding areas is the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series, aka RME.  A race series consisting of 6 races, the Ridgeline Rampage, Battle the Bear, PV Cycle Derby, Snake River, Indian Creek, and Breckenridge 100, offers new and experienced racers a fun race series spanning from late April to mid July.  Peak Cycles Race Team members have raced this series in the past.  Here is a sneak peak as to what to expect from the series.

Pros:

  • The race venues are mostly local to the Front Range.
  • The trails are accessible to all skill levels.
  • The series offers a range of races: cross country, half marathon, and marathon.
  • Each race venue offers a diversity of terrain.
  • It’s fun to get to go to different places around the state.
  • Compared to other big races, the series is cost effective.
  • Pre-Race organization is well done.
  • Race starts go off on time.

Cons:

  • Due to overlapping start/ finish of different disciplines, there can be some overlap on the course with different groups going off.  For instance, faster cross country racers starting as marathon racers are finishing or overlapping age groups in the same discipline.
  • Unfortunately, as in all racing, there are some inconsiderate racers.
  • From years past, it appears the race promoters focus results on the pros and the men’s field and not those of the age groups.
  • There is a tendency for the aid stations to close down while slower riders are out there on the course.

What to ride?

For faster but maybe not quite as comfortable riding, one option is a hard tail Stump Jumper or Giant XTC Composite  hard tail.  If you don’t mind a little extra weight but want a more comfortable ride, the Epic Carbon Expert is a good choice or the Giant Anthem. Both are full suspension bikes.  Whether you go the hard tail option or with a full suspension bike, having the right bike parts and mtb parts is going to make a difference over the long haul in terms of performance and comfort.  Because these are lap races, there are a few bike components you will want to have on hand.

Some like to race on bottles while others prefer a hydration pack.  If you are new to racing or don’t plan to pre-ride the race course, a hydration pack is your best bet.  It allows you to focus on the trail  without concern as to trail conditions and timing when to drink.  Also, you have the option to refill as you pass through on your remaining laps.  Keep in mind, these races are going to take some time – as in, a few hours.  Comfort is a consideration.  Consider good grips like those made by ESI  or Ergon and new, good fitting shoes to avoid hot spots.

What other things might you keep in mind?  Basic necessities.  Make sure you have a good helmet, confirm your bike is tuned up, have on hand plenty of C02 cartridges, and tool kit.

Other than that, you are good to go!  Online registration for the series opens March 1, 2013.  See you there!


Valentine’s Day: Chocolate? Flowers? Or Bike Parts!

February 14, 2013
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Valentine’s Day Bike Love: Giant TCR Advanced 1 and Giant TCR SL 2

Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate what you love.  Sure, the traditional Valentine’s Day expression includes flowers, chocolate, and a card, but why not ride something HOT this Valentine’s Day! Bikes that is. And hot bikes we’ve got!   Sharing the Valentine’s Day love we offer the Giant TCR Advanced 1 and SL2.

Here’s what they have in common:

  • Both are manufactured by Giant.
  • Both have a race aggressive geometry.
  • Both have a lifetime warranty on the frame and a year for bike parts.

Here’s where they differ:

Giant TCR Advanced 1  Because the frame is made of carbon fiber, it is light weight, stiff, and capable of epic climbs and descents.  Notably, it is very responsive and absorbs vibration.  What type of rider is this hot bike best suited for?  It is ideal for established racers and competitive cyclists. Or, someone who rides a lot, as in 4-5 times a week.  A special feature about the Giant TCR Advanced 1 is that it

includes an integrated sensor compatible with any ANT Heart rate monitor, power meter, or cadence sensor.

Giant TCR SL 2  This bike is an aluminum frame.  With this bike you get the benefits of the stiffness of the frame but at a lower price point.  It is great for the budget minded cyclist looking to get into a high end feel. Or, if you are an entry level cyclist, weekend warrior, or entry level racer, this may be the bike for you.  The Giant TCR SL 2 is an option if you are considering  criterium racing yet have a fear of crashing.  The aluminum frame may be the way to go.

So, what is the main difference between the two?  Of course, they are offered at two different prices.  Aside from the material difference of carbon and aluminum, the biggest difference is in the crank. With the Giant TCR Advanced 1 you get upgraded drive train components which are stronger, more responsive, and they stay in adjustment longer.

Now that you’ve got a hot bike to ride, you need bike parts  to woo the Valentine’s day love.   For starters, you’ll need to track that beating heart – with a monitor of course.  For the Giant TCR Advanced 1, because it has a sensor, you might consider the Garmin without cadence  but you will need this if heart rate is needed.  For the Giant TCR SL 2 you may opt for the Garmin with cadence & heart rate.

Next, you’ll need a way to pedal your love around.  Opt for the Look Keo Plus Pedals Black/White  for the Giant TCR Advanced 1 or the Look Keo Easy Pedal 2012    for the Giant TCR SL 2.

Finally, if chocolate is a must for Valentine’s day, you can carry it around in a saddle bag made just for him  or one especially for her.

It’s your Valentine’s Day. Are you going to make it hot? or Not!

Giant TCR Advanced 1 and Giant TCR SL 2

Giant TCR Advanced 1 and Giant TCR SL 2

 

 


Review – Specialized Deviant Helmet

June 11, 2009

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Product: Specialized Devaint Helmet – Full Face Free Ride/Bmx Helmet

MSRP: $140

Link: Deviant Helmet

Details: Twenty-one vents, full face protection and a tough fiberglass shell manage your toughest assaults with ease.

  • Complies with one or more of the following safety standards for bicycle helmets: CPSC, SNELL B-95, CE and ASTM 1952 (standard for downhill mountain bike racing helmets)
  • EPS foam with fiberglass shell
  • Pro Fit 2 rear vertical adjust retention system is secure and easy to adjust on the fly
  • Removable washable liner and cheek pads
  • New increased travel adjustable visor
  • Carrying bag included
  • Size chart

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Thoughts: I used the Deviant Helmet to increase my confidence dirt jumping.  Its one thing to hit jumps wearing a little skate board helmet and another when you have a nice full face brain bucket on your head to make that decision to hit “the big line” a little easier!

Eager to get to the local jump spot, I grabbed the helmet out of the box and threw it on my head.  I noticed my ears folded over as I squeezed my little head in, and my ears didn’t unfold once the helmet was on and I felt a lot of pressure on my cheeks.  A little disappointed, I took the helmet off and started looking at the inside.  Inside there is a nice sweat liner that is held on by a bunch of little velcro tabs that definitely increases the comfort on top of your head when in the helmet.  Then I looked at the ‘mouth guard’ and saw that the cheek pads were held on by similar velcro tabs.  I pulled the two individaul cheek pads out of the helmet, and then put the helmet on again… my head slid in easily, no problems with my ears and no pressure on my cheeks.  Happy with my little helmet mod, I got my bike and headed to Sunset Park.  While jumping, the retention system on the back comfortably held the Deviant in place. I never felt like the helmet was too tight or too loose.  Like Goldilocks said when she found that last bowl of porridge, the helmet fit “just right!”  The vents on the top kept the black helmet cool on my head and the visor did a good job blocking the evening sun from my eyes.  The helmet was also nicely weighted and didn’t give my neck a work out like some bulkier full face helmets do.
All in all, I was really impressed with the helmets fit and comfort AFTER I took out the thick cheek pads.  I would be nice if the helmet were to come with a couple different thickness of pads.  For the price, I think its a great buy for a great quality helmet!  Its definitely going to hold up to those slams in the dirt while keeping your head nice and cozy.  The Specialized Deviant helmet is product you will rely and count on to help you hit those big  jumps!

Side Note: If you are looking for that “bling’d out brain bucket”  The Deviant also comes in a full carbon version for more then twice as much money…  I think thats a lot for something that is made to hit the dirt but it may tickle some one elses fancy.

Pros: Pro Fit Head retention device works very well, easy to tighten and easy to loosen.  Helmet is light weight and doesn’t restrict line of sight.

Cons: Cheek pads were too thick.

Reviewer: Jesse Swift
Rating: 4 Peaks 4 out 5 Peaks


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