Tire Compounds Explained

July 13, 2022

Shopping for road or mountain bike tires? It may come as a surprise to you the sheer number of options there are. Tires come in a variety of compounds that aim to address different riding styles and needs. We’re here to help break it down for you and explain some of the most common aspects of tire compounds.

Rubber Hardness

Harder rubbers offer more strength and durability, resulting in a longer lasting tire. Dry and rocky areas can benefit from a hard rubber compounds for added lifespan and durability. Hard tire compoinds include the Specialized T5 and Maxxis Single Compound. Tires that are designed to be extra grippy, have a softer rubber to provide maximum traction. Wet and loamy riding areas are often better suited with a grip your tire and don’t need the added durability due to the more forgiving surface. Soft compounds can be found on Specialized T9 and Maxxis Maxx Grip tires.

Single, Dual, & Triple Compounds

Most low end tires will use a single compound throughout the tire. This helps keep the cost low due to a much simpler manufacturing process. Higher end tires will use multiple compounds placed on different parts of the tire for added performance. For example, Maxxis has long offered a “3C” (i.e., triple compound) rubber option, which features a harder-rubber base to stiffen the knobs and reduce deflection, with a medium-stiff rubber over the center knobs, and a softer rubber over the side knobs for increased grip. The same goes for road bike tires, harder rubber will be placed along the center of the tire for faster rolling speeds with softer rubber on the sides for increased grip in the corners.

Ride Feel

Rubber compounds also affect ride feel. Harder rubbers will feel more of the vibrations on the road or trail, while softer rubbers will create a more comfortable ride. For this reason many beach cruisers and townie bikes or use a softer rubber compound for added comfort and reduced vibration. Tire compounds also affect the speed of the bike. Hard rubber has less rolling resistance and will feel faster than softer compounds.

Still have more questions? Give us a call or shoot us an email and we will be happy to walk you through selecting your new set of tires!

Everything You Need To Know About RAGBRAI

June 22, 2022


RAGBRAI is an annual week-long bike ride across the state of Iowa that has been taking place since 1973. It was started by a group of writers from the Des Moines Register, the major newspaper in the area, who wanted to see what the small towns across the state were like. Their goal was to write about the experience and publish it in the paper. What started as an idea for an interesting newspaper article has become a moving city of bicycles with nearly 20,000 participants. If the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t caused disruptions, 2022 would have marked RAGBRAI’s 50th year.

How Long Is RAGBRAI?

The RAGBRAI route averages 468 miles and is not necessarily flat. This averages out to about 67 miles each day. This might sound like a lot, but he reality is you have all day to do it. You don’t need to be a serious athlete or cyclist to pull it off, but the more in shape you are the more enjoyable it will be. Each day there will be a number of smaller towns along the way offering snacks and water bottle refills. The lunch stop, which is usually about mid-way through each day, will have plenty of food and drink options to choose from. The overnight town is where you grab dinner, see live music, and sleep each night. As long as you generally enjoy being on a bike, riding these long distances is completely doable by the average person!

What’s The Best Part About RAGBRAI?

Between the food, beautiful Iowa scenery, amazing people, and surreal experience of traveling by bicycle with 20,000 other people, it is hard to pick one thing. What truly makes RAGBRAI a special event, are the friendly people of Iowa who open up their towns and homes every year to the participants. “Midwest nice” rings true in Iowa. The friendly people along the way make the experience possible. Having said that, a close runner-up might be a warm slice of Amish baked pie and freshly churned ice cream. If you know, you know.


RAGBRAI is not a race.

Ragbrai Logistics

You have several options for organizing your RAGBRAI experience. The most common is to use a charter service. Charter services will transport you, your luggage, and bike from West Des Moines or Ames to the starting location, & back at the end. During the week they will transport your luggage to each overnight town, where there is selected a campground for the charter guests to enjoy. The cost for this is usually around $500. RAGBRAI veterans usually go a different route. Many form teams with comical names, matching kits, and often a converted school bus for moving gear. People go to great lengths to make the ultimate team bus, fitted with showers, racks for 40+ bikes, sound systems, and more. A third option is to coordinate with hosts at overnight towns through Facebook groups and hire a private shuttle river. This is challenging but gives you more flexibility.

How Do I Sign Up?

To sign up for RAGBRAI, get more details on what to pack, or see a list of frequently asked questions click here. We hope that we’ve convinced you to try RAGRABI. Drop us a message on Instagram or Facebook if you plan on going or have been before!

What Is A Belt Drive?

May 25, 2022

Belt-driven bicycles use a carbon-reinforced nylon belt, similar to the ones in your car, in place of a chain. The belt has teeth that grab onto a sprocket, powering the bike as you pedal. Unlike chains, which are snapped together using a master link or quick link, belts are one piece. This means that belt drives can only be used on certain bikes, which can break open at the rear axle on the drive side. That is because the belt must be slipped through the rear triangle and onto the rear sprocket. 

What Are The Benefits Of A Belt Drive?

There are many benefits to a belt-driven bicycle, the first being low maintenance. They last substantially longer than chains due to the fact they don’t stretch and have no moving components. The belt doesn’t need to be lubed, cleaned, or degreased. This is a great benefit if you’re looking for reliability and low maintenance. Since belt drives don’t have any grease or grime, they aren’t going to leave any on your body or clothing, either. Since the belt is nylon, you don’t need to worry about rusty chains, which is a common problem if you live near the coast. 

What Are The Downsides Of A Belt Drive?

A belt drive is an excellent option for many reasons, but here are a few downsides to them. Getting a new belt in a pinch might not be as easy as a chain. With online shopping and fast shipping, this isn’t too much of an issue. If you are planning on bike packing across the country, though, it is something to consider. The other issue with belt drives is the need for a specific frame. You can’t just convert your existing bike into a belt-drive, so you will need to go out and buy one. Lastly, belt drive only works as a single speed or with an internal hub shifter. While we are huge advocates for internal hub shifters and single speeds, the fact that you are limited to only these options is a knock on belt drives. 

Who Makes Belt Driven Bikes?

Gates Carbon Drive™ is offered on over 400 bike models, across leading brands & in many styles. You can find belt drive systems on major brands like Trek, Cannonade, Canyon, and more. If you are looking for belt drive parts, we have plenty at bikeparts.com

Cannibal Grid Gravity | Brand New DH Tire From Specialized

May 22, 2022

Gone are the days that the Specialized Gravity team runs Maxxis tires with the logos sharpied out. Having steered away from developing a true downhill tire for years, Specialized took advice from Loïc Bruni, Finn Iles, and Chris Grice to re-develop the Cannibal, which first hit the market in the 90’s . According to bikerumor.com, though the official launch just happened, the tire was seen on the Specialized Demos of all of the abovementioned racers at Lourdes back in March, where Finn and Loic placed 2nd and 3rd respectively – not bad for a first outing. 

Specialized completely redesigned the Cannibal tread pattern, integrating the super-sticky GRIPTON® T9 compound with a high-volume casing that makes for a damp and tacky ride, while providing maximum grip and control. Staggered shoulder blocks maximize cornering stability, and large center braking blocks bite aggressively into the ground for enhanced braking performance. Engineered to the design specifications of Specialized Gravity riders, the Cannibal balances weight and durability with GRID Gravity casing for Enduro, Downhill, and Park riding.

  • High-volume casing and staggered shoulder blocks for predictable high-speed cornering.
  • Re-designed center knobs and siping form strong surface connections.
  • Wide braking edges and massive center blocks cut in for maximum deceleration.
  • GRIPTON® T9 compound reduces terrain-induced chatter, enhancing confidence at warp speeds.
  • Compliant and adaptable GRID GRAVITY 2-ply casing construction is ideal for Enduro, Park, and Downhill riding.
  • 2Bliss Ready technology protects against pinch flats, cuts, and punctures.

From what we have read in the reviews, the Cannibal performs best a high speeds and aggressive riding conditions. Unless you are an aggressive rider, downhill racer, or fit somewhere on that end of the spectrum, it is probably best to stick with the Specialized Butcher!

Buy One Get One Tires

May 22, 2022

It’s been a number of years since Specialized has offered “buy one get one” on tires. So if it’s time for some new rubber on your mountain bike. be sure to take advantage of this deal!

The Specialized Purgatory is the standard bearer for light trail tire performance. The new, completely redesigned tread features square lugs that bite in on soft soil, while still providing support on hard-packed ground. Additionally, flexible center sipes fold out under braking force for increased ground contact and adhesion. Choose from the CONTROL or GRID casing in the T5 or T7 compound.

Ready to shop? Click here! This deal will expire on May 31st, 2022.

Should You Support Your Local Bike Shop?

April 26, 2022

“The bike shop “stink eye” is what keeps me away from most local shops. I just love feeling uncomfortable and looked down on when I walk into your establishment. Somehow this is NOT a rare thing. The shops that treat people right will always win, because we will always need them!”

This was the most liked comment on a video about Local Bike Shops from Berm Peak (formerly known as Set’s Bike Hacks). Comments like these ring true for many, even those that work in the bike industry. It is a stereotype that has stuck with bike shops at large. It will be hard to shake. This “stink eye” is actually what sparked John to start Peak Cycles in the first place.


Friendliness goes a long way these days. If you have enjoyed coming into our shop, we would love to hear about it. You can do so by leaving us a review on our Google Profile here! In the mean time, we hope you enjoy this video from Berm Peak.

Golden’s Best Bike Shop | Peak Cycles

April 26, 2022

One of the Front Range’s friendliest bike shops lives right in the shadow of an iconic trail

The service at Peak Cycles in Golden is excellent, but it’s also just feet away from the popular Lookout Mountain ride.

Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems). 

One of the things I value in a bike, ski or mountaineering shop is the way its salespeople and maintenance technicians treat customers.

When John Polli was treated rudely at a local bike shop two decades ago, he saw a market opportunity and decided to give the offending shop some competition. It was one of the reasons he started Peak Cycles in Golden, my favorite bike shop.

“I have always been annoyed when you go into a shop and someone gives you attitude,” Polli said. “I was like, ‘That’s ridiculous, I’m going to open a bike shop. Those guys are total (jerks).’ Three months later, I had my own bike shop.”

Over the years, I have bought two bikes at Peak Cycles. I have all my maintenance and repair work done there, and I’ve always been impressed by the respect and patience its technicians show customers. It’s clear they understand that friendly, helpful service builds customer loyalty.

“We have kind of a family atmosphere,” said Dan Dwyer, who has worked there for 12 years. “When somebody comes in the door, it’s not about us, it’s about them.”

Location is part of why I like Peak so much, too. It’s situated in the heart of downtown Golden on a corner at 13th and Washington. The headquarters of Denver-based Icelantic skis is situated on another corner. Bentgate Mountaineering, my favorite shop for backcountry skiing, is half a block away, and there are all sorts of cool shops and restaurants nearby that make downtown Golden vibrant.

That intersection is also a crossroads for Denver cyclists heading to Lookout Mountain, the metro area’s most iconic ride, along with other great rides and trails nearby.

“Having access to a climb like Lookout Mountain is very, very unique,” Polli said. “That’s one thing I love about Golden, having Lookout Mountain and all the trails right there. It’s a cyclist’s paradise, for sure.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostJake Wade, a salesman and bike mechanic at Peak Cycles in downtown Golden, works on bikes at the store on March 28, 2022.

The Peak Cycles story is pretty unique, too. The business started in 1998 after Polli graduated from Colorado State University. He was a competitive mountain biker back then, and he got interested in the sales potential of the internet just as the dot.com boom was starting. Driving back to Fort Collins from Englewood one night after a dot.com presentation, he decided he wanted to create a website to sell bike parts. The next day, he registered the domain name bikeparts.com, which is still going strong today.

In 2003, he opened a small bike shop on Old Golden Road to support the website. Three years later, Peak Cycles moved to downtown Golden next to the Higher Grounds Cafe, a favorite coffee shop for Golden locals, and then to its current location in 2009. The Great Recession was in progress, but business was good for the bike shop and bikeparts.com.


“People were riding their bikes,” Polli said. “It was a bike boom. Every time there’s something weird going on in the world, people turn to bicycles, whether it’s gas prices or COVID; it’s weird. I don’t want to say it’s recession-proof, but it is what people turn to because it’s a cheaper form of staying healthy.”

Today, about a third of his revenue comes from bikeparts.com, while the bike shop accounts for the remainder. During the height of the pandemic, it was about 50-50.

“We’re the brick and mortar for bikeparts.com,” Dwyer said. “It’s a symbiotic relationship. A lot of the parts somebody orders on bikeparts.com might be here in the store, and they can stop by to pick them up. At the same time, (bikeparts.com) reaches out to the whole country (and even) internationally.”

Article originally published by the Denver Post.

Why Do People Spend So Much Money On Bikes?

April 26, 2022

The short answer is, that it really depends. There are some people who just want the best bike possible. There are others who need certain performance qualities out of their bikes. There are also people who have outgrown less expensive bikes and want to have something nicer. They have realized the limitations of their bike and see the value in something more expensive. It could also be any combination of these three groups.

As bikes go up in price, there is a noticeable difference in ride quality and performance. As with anything, though, returns start to diminish as you approach the upper price points. These differences are most noticeable as you jump from lower price points to mid-level. For example, a sub $1000 bike with rim brakes, basic components, and cheap tires is going to feel clunky, sluggish, and might not stand the test of time. A $2000 bike with better components like hydraulic disk brakes and a lightweight carbon frame will feel all-around better than the latter. The hydraulic brakes will be easier to handle and provide more stopping power, the carbon frame will be lighter and more responsive, and the upgraded drivetrain will shift smoothly compared to the sub $1000 bike.

People spend a lot of money on bikes depending on their needs. If it is just a bike to get around town, there isn’t a real need for spending thousands of dollars. Unless we are talking about e-bikes, which are in a category of their own, a bike for getting around town is probably better off being on the cheaper side, to be honest. That is since bikes left outside do run the risk of getting stolen. On the other hand, if someone is looking for a road bike that they plan on riding multiple times a week up and down Lookout Mountain, then there is some serious value in spending money on a road bike that can perform.

On the surface level, spending thousands of dollars on a bike is shocking to most people. You can get a bike at Walmart for a couple hundred dollars. Won’t those work fine? It’s just a bike, right? Yes, it is just a bike and it will work, but after hours in the saddle, you will start to notice things.

What will you notice? The shifting might not feel right. The seat is probably terribly uncomfortable. The tires are starting to fall apart after a couple months. In some cases, like with department store bikes, you can’t really make upgrades to the bike. But even if you can, after getting a new saddle, drivetrain, and better tires you might be close to the cost of that brand new nicer bike that was initially out of your budget. The most common components that will hinder your performance are suspension, brakes, and drivetrain. The better the performance of these items, the more expensive they get. When you start to notice the limitations of your bike, it’s natural to want something that won’t hold you back. After hours in the saddle, you will notice. Or you can take our word for it.

With most things in life, once we get accustomed to something it is hard to go back. With bikes, it is the same way. Ask any mountain biker who currently rides with a dropper post if they would buy a bike without a dropper post. 99.99% of them will tell you absolutely not. In 2022, a full-suspension mountain bike with a dropper post is going to cost you at least $1500. The same goes for road cyclists who use carbon wheels. It is this “I need to have it” mentality that gets people to spend thousands of dollars on a bike. It is worth noting that the bike should fit properly. The most expensive bike in the world isn’t worth much if it doesn’t fit you right. Here is an article on that!

When it comes to spending this kind of money on a bike, it certainly sounds crazy to most people. Unfortunately, unless you have spent countless hours on a bike saddle, it is hard to justify the cost. Once you do start to ride more often, however, you will notice how the bike could be better. Through time and experience, you just might find yourself driving around in a car worth less than the bike that is hanging off the back.

Bike Tools To Bring To The Trailhead

April 17, 2022

Before you load up the car and head over to the trailhead, here is our list of tools we won’t leave the house without!

Floor Pump

This is an absolute must for the trailhead. There is nothing worse than having to pump up your tires with a hand pump which is both tedious and tiring. You might be asking, why not just pump up your tires at home? Well, you might be prepared but your friends might not be. It’s good to have a floor pump to get your pressures dialed before you head out for a ride. Throw it in the car so you have it on hand. You might be able to help out someone in the parking lot and earn some karma points, too.

Chain Lube and Rag

We advocate for lubing up your chain at the end of each ride. This helps any extra lube dry off, which keeps dirt and grime from building up. It is worth keeping a bottle on hand for your friend that has a squeaky drivetrain and questionable shifting. The rag can wipe off any last-minute crud before you hit the trails.

Hex Wrenches

Sure you have a multi-tool on you, but it’s probably buried in your backpack or neatly stowed on your bike with a strap. Having some hex wrenches on hand will make your life easier. We like the 3-way hexes from Park Tool.


While not exactly a tool, this is a “nice to have” for relaxing, socializing, taking off your shoes, and enjoying a post-ride libation.

Best Budget Bike Rack | Kuat V2 Transfer

April 17, 2022

Here at Peak Cycles/Bikeparts.com, 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 Anthem Advanced Pro 29 Rated Top-5 XC Bikes for 2022

March 6, 2022

BikeRadar has selected the all-new Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 as one of their top-5 XC Bikes for 2022! With revamped suspension and a modified bottom bracket for increased stiffness, the Advanced Pro 29 is lighter, stiffer, and more capable than its predecessors. The Anthem is an amazing bike for those racing XC of course, but also those who want to go uphill just as fast as they go down.

FlexPoint Pro Suspension

Developed as a superlight rear suspension setup for XC bikes that demand efficiency, control and responsive handling, FlexPoint Pro is a linkage-driven, single-pivot system that delivers 100mm of rear-wheel travel. It’s engineered with a full-composite swingarm that significantly reduces overall frame weight.

Redesigned XC Machine

Engineered with a full composite frameset, this 29er has 100mm of rear suspension travel and 110mm up front. The linkage-driven, single-pivot FlexPoint Pro rear suspension makes room for shorter chainstays to improve climbing capabilities and overall agility. Other updates include new 29er-specific XC race geometry with a longer reach and a slacker headtube angle plus a lightweight, stiff composite wheelset for quick, precise handling.

Correct Body Position For Cornering | Tips From Aaron Gwin

March 6, 2022

Looking to enhance your cornering game? That makes two of us! Whether you are trying to shave seconds off your PR or just looking to feel more confident in the corners, these tips from 5 Time World Cup Champion Aaron Gwin will help take your cornering confidence to the next level. Be sure to take it slow and build on these foundational elements over time. Using the correct body position when cornering may feel awkward at first but will pay dividends in the long run.

Keeping Your Head and Chest Square Over the Bike

Imagine sliding across a hardwood floor in socks. You can do this by being light on your feet. The harder you press into the ground the less you glide, right? The same goes for mountain biking. Being light on your tires is how you wash out, downward pressure is how you get traction. So how do you generate downward pressure in a corner? Keeping your head and chest square over the bike will generate the maximum amount of downward pressure on your tires. This is how you can prevent the bike from washing out from under you.

Dropping The Outside Foot

Again, this is all about traction. When you drop the outside foot, it shifts your weight to the outside pedal. Doing this increases the downward pressure you are putting on the bike the same way your square body positioning does. The outside pedal keeps the weight on top of the bike, while the inside pedal pushes the weight laterally. Dropping your outside foot in flat corners is extremely helpful, but is less necessary in a berm or rut.

Cornering Drills

Later in the video, Aaron provides a few cornering drills to help practice body positioning techniques. Luckily, you don’t need to drive over to a trail to practice these drills, just a parking lot or patch of dirt will do fine! Good luck out there and let us know in the comments below if you found these tips and drills helpful for your cornering abilities.

Brand New 29″ Version of Liv Embolden

February 22, 2022

29″ Liv Embolden

The Liv Embolden has been one of the most popular mountain bikes in the lineup since it launched in 2016. Until recently, this bike was only available with 27.5″ wheels but now Liv has added a 29″ wheel option to the mix.

This brand new 29″ version of the Embolden has 120mm of rear travel using a FlexPoint Suspension design with a 130mm fork up front. The 27.5-inch wheel models are available in XS, S and M, and 29-inch wheel models are available in S, M, and L. This bike packs a ton of value and performance at its price point. The Embolden 1 is $2,250 USD and the Embolden 2 is $1,800 USD.


• 120mm (rear) / 130mm (front)

• 67-degree head tube angle (29″)

• 27.5 and 29″ options

• ALUXX-Grade Aluminum frame

• FlexPoint Suspension design

• Sizes: XS, S, M (27.5″) + S, M, L (29)

• MSRP: $1,800 – $2,250 USD

All models come with dropper posts, tubeless-ready wheels, a Liv Sylvia trail saddle, 1x drivetrain, and a 35mm handlebar and stem setup. Stay tuned for when we will be getting these in stock at Peak Cycles!

Building Brandon Semenuk’s Rampage Bike

February 18, 2022

Thinking about tinkering with your bike? Check out this video from Trek and SRAM where they show master mechanic, Sean Murphy, of Fluid Function in Squamish, B.C. assembling one of the two builds Brandon Semenuk used during Red Bull Rampage where he was crowned with a 4th championship title.

Single crown fork at Rampage?

With big travel and big trick potential, his custom 27.5 / 26 mulleted Trek Session was set up with a one-of-a-kind BlackBox AXS drivetrain, and a 190mm single crown RockShox ZEB Ultimate. Master mechanic, Sean Murphy, of Fluid Function in Squamish, B.C. assembled one of his two builds that he rode at Red Bull Rampage. The use of the single crown fork gave Semenuk the competitive advantage to unlock tricks that are impossible with a double crown fork.

  • Frame: Custom built Trek Session 27.5″ / 26″ Mullet
  • Derailleur: BlackBox XX1 Eagle AXS short cage
  • Controller: SRAM AXS
  • Cassette: SRAM X01 DH
  • Chain: SRAM Eagle 
  • Crankset: SRAM X01 DH DUB | 165mm, with custom crank damper
  • Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate | 190mm, 44m offset, 3 Tokens, 63.5 PSI, HSC open, LSC 9 clicks to closed
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate DH with MegNeg air can | 270 PSI, 4.5 tokens in Positive, 2 Bands in Negative, Rebound 5 clicks to closed, LSC 9 clicks to closed.
  • Front Brake: SRAM Code RSC | Routed through Zeb steerer tube.
  • Rear Brake: SRAM Code RSC | Extra long brake hose for 3 full rotations of handlebars.
  • Rotors: SRAM HS2 200mm (front & rear)
  • Wheels: Industry Nine 27.5″ / 26″
  • Handlebar: Chromag 
  • Stem: Chromag 
  • Seatpost: Truvativ Noir T40
  • Tire Front: Maxxis Assegai 27.5 x 2.5″ EXO+ Maxx Grip
  • Tire Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR2 26 x 2.4″ DH Casing Maxx Grip
  • Saddle: Chromag 
  • Grips: Chromag 
  • Pedals: Chromag 

What do you think of Brandon’s Red Bull Rampage build for 2021? It worked well enough for him to take an unprecedented 4th win at Rampage. Will we see other riders make the switch to single crown forks next year? Only time will tell. 

Bike Commuting Tips

February 17, 2022

Commuting by bike can be a big step towards a healthier lifestyle that’s better for the environment and friendly on your wallet. With a bike, you can commute distances that would be totally impractical on foot. You aren’t constrained to bus or train schedules, and there are no fees or tolls to get you where you want to go. A bike is obviously much cheaper to purchase than a car, but a bike’s only required fuel is burned calories.

The hardest part about bike commuting is just getting started, so with the help of a few ideas from Liv Cycling, here are 5 tips to help you begin the journey of bike commuting.

1. You Can Commute On Any Bike

Fear not, whatever bike you have will likely do the trick for commuting. Often times it is better to have a cheaper bike that wouldn’t be a huge loss if it was stolen. But, if you’re looking to purchase a new bike specifically for commuting there are a few things to consider.

  • How far will you be riding and how fast do you want/need to get there?
  • Will you have to lift your bike or carry it up stairs?
  • Will you be riding on rough roads or off-roading?
  • Are you going to be climbing hills or is your commute relatively flat?
  • Will you be riding in rain and snow?
  • Are you a confident cyclist?
  • What is your current fitness level?

Road/ Hybrid bikes: For long-distance commutes that might involve lifting your bike and carrying it up stairs, road or hybrid bikes are a great option if you are riding on paved surfaces.

Gravel or Mountain bikes: Bikes with wider, knobby tires can be beneficial for commutes that involve rough roads, unpaved bike paths, or nasty weather conditions. Sometimes, a suspension fork can make your commute more comfortable.

E-bikes: If you’re looking to get where you’re going faster and have the ability to choose how much of a workout you’re in for, E-bikes are a great option. They are also a great option if you will be hauling a heavy load, such as doing grocery shopping or towing the kids in a trailer. An E-bike might not be the best option if you must carry your bike at any point in your commute (up stairs at the office or to your apartment).

Used Bikes: You don’t have to purchase a new bike to start commuting. Check out the local used bike listings and secondhand stores, chances are there is a bike that can get you from A to B. If buying used, do make sure the bike fits you and is in decent working condition. An ill-fitting bike that is constantly breaking down isn’t very motivating and it could make you late for work!

2. Be safe and prepared.

Any time you jump on a bike, make sure you and your bike can be seen and you’re equipped for what could go wrong.

  • Be aware of the local laws in your community. Bikes are sometimes required to have front and rear lights to ride on the road. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to have lights if you are riding on the road with cars.
  • Know the rules of the road and practice safe bike handling techniques, like using hand signals.
  • Use a bell when riding in the city and on multi-use bike paths.
  • Carry a spare tube, patch kit, pump, multi tool, and the knowledge of how to use them. Gettin a flat tires is always a possibility.
  • With regular maintenance, you can keep your bike running great for your daily commute. Plan a trip to your Peak Cycles for a service.

3. Any clothes can be biking clothes.

You don’t have to look like you’re riding the Tour De France on your bike commute. If you feel comfortable and your clothing is not impairing your ability to ride a bike, you’re good to go. That said, there are a couple things you might want to consider when preparing for bike commuting.

  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing near any part of the bike that moves (like the gears and wheels). Secure wide-leg pants with a strap or by rolling up the pant leg. Watch out for loose scarves or long jackets.
  • Dress in layers. Sometimes the temperature when you arrive to where you are going can be different than when you left, plus you may work up a sweat!
  • If you plan on commuting by bike in wet conditions, rain pants, waterproof shoes, rain jacket, and waterproof bags would be a smart investment.
  • When biking to work, consider bringing a change of clothes or even stashing some work-appropriate attire at the office.

4. Find a way to carry your stuff.

When commuting by bike, you can pack your gear on your bike, your body, or both. It all depends on how much you’re hauling and what kind of bike you have. Some bikes, like gravel bikes and hybrids, have mounts for racks that can help you haul your bags. Other bikes may not have as many options. When choosing a way to carry your gear, make sure any bag you carry on your body fits snug and does not move around while riding. Waterproof bags are a good choice if you plan on commuting in a variety of weather conditions.

5. Lock your bike.

You can never 100 percent prevent your bike from being stolen. However, you can take steps to help reduce the risk of it being stolen.

  • Be thoughtful about the location. Lock your bike to an object that cannot be cut or moved and make sure the area is well-lit.
  • Remove all accessories from your bike that are not locked to it.
  • Get a good lock. Most bike locks have ratings, check them out and get something you are comfortable with.
  • If your wheels and seat post are quick release, get a locking skewer and collar or lock your wheels separately with a cable lock and remove your saddle.
  • If your bike cannot be easily replaced, don’t leave it out of your sight.

Hybrid Rental Bikes On Sale

February 3, 2022

We are selling a select number of our hybrid bikes rental bikes for $175 each. On the Men’s side, we have the Giant Escape 2 in size Large and XL. On the Women’s side, we have the LIV Alight 2 in Extra Small, Small, and Medium. While supplies last!

Giant Escape 2 – Size Large and XL
LIV Alight 2 – XS, Small, and Medium
LIV Alight 2 – XS, Small, and Medium

Virginia Canyon Mountain Park – Idaho Springs

February 3, 2022

This just in from COMBA, construction has begun on Phase 1 of the Virginia Canyon Mountain Park in Idaho Springs. With an expected opening in Spring 2022, Phase 1 will establish the main multi-use trail and a hiking spur to one of the Peak Overlooks at 8,400′ feet. This multi-use trail will be for ascending only, while the next two phases will bring the top-to-bottom mountain bike descents. Nearly 4-miles of trails will be built during this Phase, creating access from the Argo Mine and allowing riders to connect directly to the Clear Creek Greenway Trail.

The Virginia Canyon Mountain Park encompasses 400 acres and is located just north of Idaho Springs, above the iconic Argo Mine and Mill which can be seen from I-70. The terrain is steep and rugged, providing a great landscape for this new trail network. COMBA has approximately 12 miles of trail planned, with a combination of multi-use, hiker-only, and bike-only directional options. Most of the trails will be rated blue and black, with some double-black technical trail features on the more advanced lines.

The fundraising process is ongoing for phases two and three. Funds raised by the community will help not only with construction but also assist the City of Idaho Springs in acquiring matching grants.  You can learn more about this project, here. Looking for some mountain bike trails locally in Golden? Check out this article here.

How To: Lowers Fork Service

January 26, 2022

Are you the DIY type and looking to take care of your own lower-leg fork service? While this job isn’t easy by any standard, if you have the right tools it is doable. Keeping up on this service will keep your fork feeling good and help prolong the life and overall performance. This video from Pinkbike does a great job of breaking down how to do get the job done and check out our list of essential items you will need to tackle this job at home. Let us know if you decide to take on this job yourself in the comment section below! If you decide that leaving it to a professional is for the best, we don’t blame you. Check out Dirtlabs for all of your suspension and dropper post-service needs, and just in case you didn’t know, we are an Authorized Dirtlabs Drop Off Location.

Neccesary Tools

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.

3 Tips For Finding The Perfect Saddle

January 21, 2022

If you are like most of us, you know what it feels like to have a saddle that just doesn’t sit right with you. You know, one that rubs you the wrong way? Maybe you don’t like the one that came on your bike or maybe you might just be curious as to what goes into picking a saddle. While there is no straightforward answer to this question, there are a few guidelines to help get you there. Here are our three tips for finding the perfect saddle. 

Shop for saddles from brands like Prologo, WTB, and Ergon here.

What Type Of Bike Is It For?

Most saddles are designed for a specific type of bike because each riding discipline has a varying set of demands. Road cyclists might want a saddle that is stiff and lightweight while a bike commuter might want one that is cushy and comfortable. The difference between saddles can be so different that some brands focus on only one type of riding. Take WTB for example, which only makes saddles for mountain biking. So, start with the type of bike and discipline you are going to be doing and then go from there. 

Find The Right Shape

Often the shape of the saddle is determined by the type of riding it was intended for. Mountain bike saddles are designed with a flatter profile, which makes it’s easy to slide on and off the back. Also, most mountain bikers sit in an upright position, so the padding and cutouts are placed with that in mind. As for road biking, riders are usually bent forward so the cutouts and padding are placed to better support that type of position. Road saddles also have a slightly curved profile which helps keep you from sliding back and forth. We won’t lie. The best way to find the right saddle is by sitting on it, but it’s possible to find the right one online. Use your imagination when looking at each saddle and visualize if the shape will work for you.

Sit Bones Width Measurement and Bike Saddle Selection - BikeFit

Know Your Sit Bone Measurement

Most people don’t know that saddles actually come in different widths. The width of your saddle might come in a standard measurement like medium or large. Often times though, the saddle width will be measured in millimeters. The right saddle width for you depends on the distance between the points of your sit bones. These are the bones that support you on the saddle. Generally speaking, men have sit bones between 100mm – 140mm wide and women range between 110mm – 150mm. You can measure your sit bones at home or come visit us at Peak Cycles and we can do it for you. By knowing your sit bone measurement, you can really start to hone in on the perfect saddle for you.

Hopefully, these tips will help guide you to a more comfortable ride. For those riders who really want to get into the finer details, a bike fitter is the next best step for maximizing your comfort and performance on the bike. To learn more about our in-house bike fitter, click here.