Best Budget Bike Rack | Kuat V2 Transfer

April 17, 2022

Here at Peak Cycles/, we love the new Kuat V2 Transfer bike rack. Why? This wallet-friendly rack has many of the features found on high-end bike racks including:

  • Tray style bike mounts
  • Semi-integrated cable lock
  • Flatlock hitch cam for stability
  • Tamperproof screws for added security
  • Ability to add on an additional bike
  • Foot lever for ease of use

The Kuat V2 Transfer comes in a 2 bike and 3 bike version, both of which can add on an extra should the time and place come. Considering that most 4 bike tray racks cost well over $1000, the Kuat V2 transfer is a bargain at just over $700 for the 4 bike configuration.

The V2 Transfer has many upgrades from its predecessor, most notably the Flatlock hitch cam for stability. This lets you tighten down the rack so there is zero wiggle. When you have thousands of dollars of bikes hanging off the back of your car, having all of the peace of mind is a big bonus. Kuat added in a tamperproof screw with the Flatlock hitch cam, which should help thwart any opportunistic thieves out there.

The semi-integrated bike lock was another feature they added to the V2. Your new rack will come with a long cable lock that can fit around 4 bikes (frame and wheels). The built-in lock makes the whole process of securing bikes lightning fast. No more carrying around a separate cable and padlock!

Having the option to add on extra bikes to your rack used to only be an option with high-end racks and they would cost you an arm and leg. That’s not the case anymore! The Transfer V2 can add on an extra bike for an extra $159. While there certainly are cheaper racks out there, it is worth spending more to get a platform/tray style rack. They are more stable, easier to load, and will help protect your bikes from damage during transport.

We hope you will consider the Transfer V2 for your next bike rack. You will be smiling on the way to ride knowing that your bikes are safe and secure on the back of your vehicle.

Giant Trance 29 3 Review

January 21, 2022

One of the most trusted gear review sites on the internet, Outdoor Gear Lab, had great things to say about the Giant Trance 29 3.

“The Giant Trance 29 3 is an excellent trail bike, and our Top Pick for Short Travel in this price range. This 29er may only have 115mm of rear-wheel travel paired with a 130mm fork, but that doesn’t slow this bike down. In fact, this playful and lively ripper is a quick climber and downhill shredder. The Trance 29 is a new breed of shorter travel bikes with modern geometries, this bike is only limited by its modest travel numbers. This quick-witted ride is reasonably lightweight with a nice build for the price. If you’re looking for a versatile and well-rounded short travel rig for ripping the local trails, consider the Trance 29 3.”

How It Stacked Up Against The Competition

The Trance 29 3 scored an 83/100 on Outdoor Gear Lab’s overall score. Compared to other bikes in the same category and price range, it ranked number two falling just shy of the Polygon Siskiu T8. We were impressed to see the Trance 29 3 scored higher than other brand-name bikes like the Kona Process 134 29 and Trek Fuel EX5. It also seemed to impress the reviewers. They described the bike as having an “energetic playful feel, lighter weight, 12-speed drivetrain, and modern trail bike geometry.” Giant has come a long way in recent years in terms of its high-performance bikes, and the Trance 29 3 is no exception.

Test Ride The Giant Trance 29 3

At Peak Cycles, we know it’s hard to decide on the right bike. That is why we offer test rides at our shop in Golden Colorado. Take the bike out for a spin to test out the suspension, the fit, and overall feel. A test ride goes a long way to making sure it’s the right bike for you. When you know, you know! We have the Trance 29 3 in stock in a variety of sizes and colors, but inventory is starting to dry up. Come check one out now before they are gone for good.

27.5 Guy Switches to 29er

July 29, 2019

By Hunter Swanson. Peak Cycles. July 2019.

If you asked me a few weeks ago about choosing between wheel sizes, I would have said something like this. “If you are shorter or more into downhill choose the 650B, and if you’re taller and more about the up go 29er.” Honestly, I was pretty sold on this idea. I passed the same message along to many people. How many times had I actually ridden a 29’er though? Embarrassingly, only once. And from that one experience, I pretty much wrote off the 29er and assumed everything I’d heard about them was correct. The 29er wasn’t suited for my riding style and since I’m 5’8″ it wouldn’t work for my height either. That is, until a few weeks ago.

One day after work I decided to take out a 29er from the Peak Cycles demo fleet. One of the mechanics in the shop warned me, “you might end up buying one after this.” I laughed, unconvinced that this would change my mind. I grabbed a Stumpy Expert 29er and headed to Green Mountain outside of Golden. Right when I hopped on the saddle, I was reminded of the 29er’s ability to climb. It’s very capable at smoothing out rocks, bumps, and trail irregularities. Much more so than the 650B, in my opinion. Because it’s not getting caught up, it makes the climb more enjoyable and a bit easier overall. I experienced this the first time I rode one, but this isn’t news to anyone, so let’s cut to the chase.

When it came time to descend my mind was blown almost immediately. I was on a trail I’d ridden many times before. I knew how it normally felt punchy and rough on my 650b. But this time around I knew something felt different. It felt oddly smooth. Almost as if I was on a huge boat cutting through rough ocean chop. Like a freshly sharpened knife effortlessly slicing through a cut of meat. I was in a state of pure bliss as I rolled over the loose rocks and bumps with ease. Then came a few tight corners. I was able to take them with just as much speed as usual. I felt the added traction of the bigger wheel. It just wanted to stay planted. But wait? I thought this wasn’t supposed to corner well?

Unsure of whether or not this was due to the bike being different or just the wheel size, I went back to Green Mountain the next day. This time on the 650b version of the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert. After riding the exact same trail on the 650b version, I arrived at my conclusion. The 29er was, in fact, better at descending than the 650B. I continued to ride the 29er over the next few weeks. I took it to different trails all around Golden, ones that I had ridden many times. The most astonishing results I had were on Chimney Gulch. As my go to ride in town, I had recorded over 40 different rides on this trail. But when I descended on the 29er, I shaved 30 seconds off my fastest descent time. Now that is saying something.

After years of holding a false belief, my attitude towards 29ers changed instantly. It was obvious to me. Aside from going straight into “I want a new bike mode,” I learned something along the way too. Despite whatever a spec sheet, a friend, or your local bike shop employee is saying, the ultimate test is to ride as many bikes as you can. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget the fact that no two people, or wheel sizes for that matter, are alike. It’s easy for us to put people in boxes. Short people ride 650b’s and tall people ride 29ers. Downhill riders need the 27.5 and XC riders would be fools not to ride a 29er. Try out both wheel sizes and see which one feels right for you. That is the beauty of doing a demo before making a purchase.

Is one wheel size better than the other? Is there a right answer to that question? I don’t know. All I know is that I felt the advantages of the 29er both on the ascent and descent. Faster ups, faster downs, more traction. It can be as playful as the 650b, it just requires more effort and strength. I did notice the turning radius of the 29er to be wider than the 27.5. It doesn’t love super tight turns, but neither do I. All in all I’ve made the switch over to the…darkside? I’m all aboard the 29er train until the next best thing comes along. Maybe a 30.5. Time will tell. 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.

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 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 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


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


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


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