The 2015 Training Guide for Cyclist

March 12, 2015
BikeParts.com Gearing Up for 2015 Cycling Season

BikeParts.com Gearing Up for 2015 Cycling Season

March 20th at 4:45 PM MDT marks the beginning of spring.  While  we have a few days to go and the warmer temps may not quite be here yet, cyclist are getting ready for the 2015 season.  

You can feel it – enthusiasm is high!  But, enthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long, or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury. Understanding how to pace yourself while getting fit is crucial.

Yet, having the right bike setup, cycling accessories and gear makes all the difference too.  Especially so if you have taken it easier over the winter months. Transitioning to more time in the saddle and longer rides on the bike can be either a pleasurable experience or a painful one!  Here’s your guide to getting your bike and training in order for spring cycling.

Bike Inspections:
Does your bike have cobwebs on it from non use during the winter months?  Now’s the time to dust it off, put some air in those tires and do a thorough bike inspection.  It seems simple enough but there are some critical areas to pay attention.

What do you look for? Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebarsstems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. Make sure all is well before embarking on longer rides which could lead to lasting discomfort.

How important are brakes?  Obviously, a lot!  When you don’t have them, or they aren’t working properly, then you know the importance of well maintained brakes for your road or 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 is essential.  We’re happy to help you at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop so bring your bike in for a spring tune up, or you can do bike maintenance at home.  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 mountain bike brakes for strong and reliable stopping power: Our Tips on Bleeding Brakes

Another important component to spring riding is checking out your wheels.  Unquestionably, wheels matter!  They impact ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  Spring is a great time to upgrade bicycle components.  The question is, once you’ve decided it’s time for a wheel upgrade, how do you know how to select the best ones? Check our our video, Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know.  

As for mountain bike riders, you may be thinking about going tubeless. For anyone who wants higher performance and less flats but doesn’t mind a little extra installation time and maintenance, going tubeless is the best choice.  The trick is having the right set up and knowing which bike parts or products to use.  Again, stop by the shop to ask any questions or watch our video for help. GoingTubeless? How to use Stans NoTubes by BikeParts.com  

Training and Racing:
Now that you have your bike dialed in, the next part of the equation is training.  Do you have your 2015 goals in mind?  Aside from the traditional goals to ride more, to lose weight, and to explore new rides, consider being a little more ambitious!  Stretch yourself to reach new heights!  Maybe create your own Spring training camp with friends or challenge yourself to 20 Colorado Front Range Bucket List Rides.  

If you are a competitive cyclist, determine if you are race ready.  The post, 5 Steps to Being Race Ready, reinforces the need for mental and physical preparation, as well as nutrition and bike parts checks, but part of racing is using your energy effectively – on and off the bike.  Preparing mentally, physically, and being bike ready will ensure a successful start to the season.  Our post, 5 Race Day Strategies for Spring Races in Colorado walks you step by step through the process of race preparation. 

Nutrition:
As you approach your first race or long ride of the season, you may want to read the post, A Guide to Race Day Nutrition.  While riding, many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. However, oftentimes, a course may dictate other options.  As in, for mountain bike riders, a technical course may present obstacles in taking solid food while riding versus taking fluids.   Our post, Solving the Bike Nutrition Mystery and Training Peak’s post, Strategies For Optimum Recovery offer great suggestions to getting you on track for the nutritional demands of training and racing.

With a little preparation and planning, your pre season bike maintenance and training can pave the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable 2015 cycling season.

Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the bike parts you need to launch your best cycling season ever!


Winter Cycling: How to Enjoy It with Winter Layering Basics

February 5, 2015
Jesse of BikeParts.com all bundled up in his winter cycling apparel

Jesse of BikeParts.com all bundled up in his winter cycling apparel

Cyclist ride in all weather conditions – from hot sun to cold and snowy conditions.  Now that winter is officially here, staying warm on the bike is crucial.   But how?  What is the best way to layer clothing for winter riding?

When you are riding, you want to balance your warmth and comfort with the intensity of your bike ride. If you are really bundled up when you start riding, you will likely want to start shedding layers. It may feel good to sweat in 25 degree weather, but you want clothes that are both breathable, wind-stopping, and sometimes waterproof. You also want to evaluate the type of ride you are doing? Is this a training ride? Will you be working really hard? Or are you just going to work?  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado, we’ve been asked all of these questions.  Here is what we have found works, and works best!

Head: You can wear a buff or a cap. Buffs are really good for neck protection as well. Another option are balaclavas – especially so if you want to keep almost your entire face warm.

Eyewear: Sunglasses with yellow or orange lenses help to reduce the undulating motion of the snow surface. You can also get a solution to put on the lens to reduce moisture build up and prevent fogging.  While not as stylish as some of the cycling eyewear we carry on BikeParts.com, you could consider wearing goggles to help protect our eyes and face in snowy conditions.

Upper Body: The key with upper body warmth and comfort in the winter is layering.  Here in Colorado, as in other parts of the country as well, temperatures can change pretty quickly.  It’s best to plan ahead based on varying conditions, as well as, plan for your workout requirements.  You might find that you are either over dressed when you start working hard. Suggestions we make to customers include:

First: A light, long-sleeved jersey that has pockets in the back is a good base layer and gives you the opportunity to put extra cloths in the back pockets. Second: Put another thermal layer on top of the long-sleeved jersey. You want something fairly light, warm, and breathable. Finally, third: You want to top your upper body layering with a wind-stopper jacket that deflects wind and preferably is also waterproof.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle shop and see which brand fits you best: Endura, Mavic, or Pearl Izumi.

Hands: Cold hands makes it hard to maneuver the bike.  Definitely go for long-figured gloves or liner gloves with thicker gloves.  Fatbike riders may opt for porgies.

Lower Body: In the winter you want to have something covering your entire legs.  Fleece lined chamois are often a good choice. Many bikers also use cross country ski tights under their biking shorts.  Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop has Endura and Mavoc pants, chamois, which will all be good down to about 10 degrees.  There are also waterproof pants to keep the wet off your legs. This is important if you are riding in snowy conditions.

Feet: Who likes cold toes? Nobody!  It’s really important to keep the feet warm on winter rides.  Road and mountain bike cyclist may opt for thick wool socks.  Fatbike riders will want to go with insulated shoes with thick socks. If you can get waterproof shoes, that is even better. There are a number of options out there depending on if fatbike riders  want to ride with flat pedals or clip less pedals. Riding your fat bike in the winter, you can ride with winter snow boots which will keep your feet warm. If you are riding with clipless pedals, Specialized and other companies make insulated biking boots.  Regardless of what type of bicycle you are riding, polypropelene shoe covers are a must when keeping your feet warm because they deflect wind. You can also carry chemical toe warmers in case your feet get really cold.

Seeing is believing.  See for yourself how to layer for winter cycling. Check out our very own video – a great resource outlining when to add certain layers at certain temperatures.


Bike Inspections: A Guide for Injury Free, Enjoyable Spring Cycling

March 27, 2014

2013 S-Works Demo 8-7 at Peak Cycles Bicycle ShopEnthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.  Understanding how to pace yourself while getting fit is crucial.

Yet, having the right bike setup, bike accessories and gear makes all the difference too.  Especially so if you have taken it easier over the winter months. Transitioning to more time in the saddle and longer rides on the bike can be either a pleasurable experience or a painful one!  Here’s what you need to know to get your bike in order for spring cycling.

Bike Inspection:  Does your bike have cobwebs on it from non use during the winter months?  Now’s the time to dust it off, put some air in those tires and do a thorough bike inspection.  It seems simple enough  But there are some critical areas to pay attention.  What do you look for? Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebarsstems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. Make sure all is well before embarking on longer rides which could lead to lasting discomfort.

Wheel Inspection: Obvious inspection includes tires, rims, and spokes. Check that there is adequate air pressure in the tires. Check that there aren’t any cuts or nicks in the sidewall or tread of the tires.  But maybe you’re considering a new wheel set?  Or perhaps going tubeless on your mountain bike.  Sometimes making changes to your current setup can inspire motivation to get out there and ride.  Check out our video on Wheelset Buyer Guide for What You Need to Know.  Whether you are thinking about road bike wheel sets, mountain bike wheel sets or just getting some thoughts together on wheel buying parameters and how your wheel set will affect your overall ride and other bicycle parts, this video will guide your way.

Regular inspection: Bike maintenance can be a chore, but a necessity.  As you ride more through the early season, some things that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential.  There are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order for the early season cycling months.  For starters, wipe down and inspect the frame.  Rain, snow, mud, and road elements pose different cleaning challenges to your frame and bicycle parts.  Consider using a stiff, soft-bristled brush to knock off any chunks of dried-on mud that may be on your frame or wheels. Then, follow that up by taking a rag to your bike, wiping it down generally all over to get off any remaining dust or dirt.  If you are concerned about how to maintain and clean carbon frames, check out this video for best suggestions.  Don’t forget to lube your chain and cables.  As unglamorous as chain lube is, it is a necessity.  It will keep your bike parts in working order and squeak free! There are many lubes to choose – wet vs dry lube.  As conditions vary, you may want to have a couple of different choices on hand.  Finally, inspect your brake pads. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. And, remember to inspect where the brake pads hit the rim; they should contact the rim evenly on both sides and not rub the tire in any way that may cause a flat.

Pre season bike maintenance and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the bike accessories you need to maintain your bike or let us help you!


Enchanted Forest – A BikeParts.com Favorite – See Why

July 11, 2013

What is every mountain bike riders dream?

Endless trails, a variety of terrain, scenic views of wildlife and bike parts that make a ride seem effortless.

Golden’s Apex Park – Enchanted Forest mountain bike ride contains 11+ miles of trails of stellar single track and a delightful surprise with the Enchanted Forest trail.  True to its name, the Enchanted Forest provides lush tree cover and is considered a favorite among local riders.  Watch the video to see why!


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.


Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know

March 28, 2013

Unquestionably, wheels matter!  They impact ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  The question is, once you’ve decided it’s time for a wheel upgrade, how do you know how to select the best ones?  There are different wheel types, a variety of options for tube or tubeless wheels, and ideas to consider in tubular wheels, rim shape, spoke count, and hub options.

While it seems like it can get overwhelming, it’s really straightforward.  We answer these questions on a day to day basis in our  Peak Cycles Bike Shop in Golden, Colorado.  Whether you are thinking about road bike wheel sets, mountain bike wheel sets or just getting some thoughts together on wheel buying parameters and how your wheel set will affect your overall ride and other bicycle parts, this video will guide your way.

Wheelsets demonstrated in the video are available in our shop or on the bikeparts.com website.  For your convenience, here are some suggestions to consider in your wheel set upgrade.

Ride on!


5 Training Tips to Get You Through the Holiday Season

December 6, 2012

Healthy Holidays! Holiday parties, shorter days, cooler temps, all temptations pulling us away from time on our bikes.  While this time of year poses unique challenges, there are ways to maintain fitness, reduce the holiday stress levels, and prepare for next year’s riding season.

  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 to 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.
  2. Buddy Up: Shorter days creates less motivation and time to ride.  Combat the winter woes by asking a friend to join you for a trainer session. Committing to a time, place, and a friend creates structure and accountability.
  3. Get Visual: Trying something new like a training video or dvd can add a new dimension to your riding schedule keeping it fresh and inspiring you to get on the bike even during the hectic holidays.
  4. Shop Ride: Join us on Sunday mornings at Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado at 9:00 AM for our shop rides.  Nothing is more fun that joining a group of passionate cyclist out for a morning ride.
  5. 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.

Maintaining a holiday fitness plan doesn’t have be hard.  Be flexible, mix it up, and enjoy!