Labor Day – 20 Labor of Love Bike Rides 

August 31, 2017

Happy Labor Day from Peak Cycles / BikeParts.com

Ah, Labor Day! Time off from work. Time to kick back, enjoy time with friends and family.  Time to really have fun on the bike!  Earlier in the season, the focus is on improving fitness or achieving goals.  Now is the time to enjoy the gains of all your hard work. 

With fitness levels high, late season rides offer a chance to experiment with ride routes, different bikes, and even different cycling accessories. Without the pressure of training or getting into shape, the freedom of late season riding brings a fresh approach and a relaxed casual ride attitude.  So, why not have an adventurous Labor Day? Following are our top 20 Front Range bike rides to celebrate Labor Day on your bike. 

  1. Historic Lariat Loop
  2. Deer Creek Canyon
  3. Bergen Park or Idaho Springs to Guanella Pass
  4. Red Rocks Park Loop
  5. Bergen Park or Idaho Springs to St. Mary’s Glacier (Alice)
  6. Idaho Springs to Loveland Pass
  7. Golden to Cold Springs Campground via Golden Gate Canyon
  8. Bergen Park to Echo Lake
  9. Idaho Springs to Juniper Pass
  10. Manitou Springs to Pike Peak Summit Parking Lot (Pikes Peak Hill Climb)
  11. Morgul-Bismark Route
  12. Jamestown Canyon Ride
  13. Flagstaff Hill Climb
  14. NCAR Hill Climb
  15. Lookout Mountain Hill Climb
  16. Sunshine Hill Climb
  17. Magnolia Hill Climb
  18. Mt. Evans Hill Climb
  19. Pikes Peak
  20. Trail Ridge Road

As a reminder, our shop BikeParts.com offers a huge selection of road bike partsmountain bike partsBMX bike parts and more. If you need it for your bike, then we have it! Because we sell our bicycle parts online, we are able to help customers all over the world. Stop by our Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick up the cycling accessories you’ll need for your Labor Day ride adventures or visit us online at BikeParts.com.  Happy Labor Day friends! 

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Tips to Mastering the Golden Gran Fondo

August 24, 2017

This Saturday, the Golden Gran Fondo kicks off at 8:00AM sharp! Departing right near Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in beautiful downtown Golden, CO, the Golden Gran Fondo will take racers on a historic circuit through the Rocky Mountains. In fact, the start of the event traces the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

The event offers 3 distances to choose from: Gran Route (81 mi), Medio Route (53mi), Piccolo Route (18 mi). Whether riding or racing the event – riding long or short – you’ll want to do your best. Given our support in both the Golden cycling community and the USA Pro Cycling challenge, we’ve got some proven tips to help you to not only finish the Golden Grand Fondo – but also, enjoying every pedal stroke of it.  Following are our tips to master the Gran Fondo in style!

  • Prepare your bike in advance. This is an obvious but overlooked first step. Give your road bike a once over. Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. As an example, your saddle may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving. Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible. Consider replacing worn bike parts and purchasing new cycling accessories you may need.
  • Know the course and aid stations. Review the course. Identify aid station sand watch the weather. Primarily, you want to anticipate your needs as you tick off each mile. For instance, learn or write down on a card to put in your jersey the mile markers for the aid stations. You may also make note of the mileage between aid stations. You may end up passing through the earlier aid stations only to stop more frequently at the the aid stations later in the event. Having this knowledge is helpful mentally and helps you gauge your energy during the ride.
  • Pack extra cycling accessories. Consider taking a rain jacket and extra chain lube in your jersey pocket or seat bag. Pack your nutritional and clothing needs to pair with the aid stations so that you ride with the items you need and can gather extra when needed. These necessary items can make all the difference in avoiding discomfort in poor weather and /or poor riding conditions.
  • Don’t forget the basic essentials. Lay everything out the night before. Basic essentials include your every day cycling apparel: helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottles, food, and sunscreen.
  • Always a good rule of thumb to remember – don’t go out too fast. Pace yourself. It’s tempting to go out too hard when you are feeling fresh and the enthusiasm is high. You’re going to be in the saddle for a while; so be mindful of your pace, as well as, your ongoing nutrition needs. Eat and drink as needed and avoid consuming too much at the aid stations.

If you need a more comprensive list of prep items, check out our post, Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing.

The Golden Gran Fondo course is challenging, fun, and packed with breath taking views. Have a great ride!


Sizzling Hot Savings on Bike Parts

August 17, 2017

You and your bike have worked hard this past season.  Think of all the training miles, epic rides, races, and events you have done.  Don’t you think it might be time for a little rest and relaxation?  If not that, at least it’s time to replenish and restore from all the hard efforts.  

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we think of this time of year as the time to make continued gains – gains in bike parts that is!  It’s that time of the year when bikes, cycling apparel bike parts, and cycling gear all go on sale and it’s the time to take advantage of closeouts and sales.  Investing in your cycling regimen is an investment in you, your health, and wellbeing.  Here’s how to make the most of the sizzling hot bike deals we’ve got going. 

Get a new bike!
Newer bikes are rolling out so stop by the shop and check out the 2016 bike closeouts featuring Specialized and Giant bikes. If you aren’t in the market for a new bike, then guess what?  Our daily deals offer ongoing specials for your to cash in on.  Specials range from deals on bike parts, tires, shoes, pedals, lights, and all kinds of cycling accessories.  To cash in on these deals, visit our daily closeout and sale section.    

Get New Bike Parts!
If you’ve wanted to try something new, now is the time to do it.  Buy it at a discount and experiment with your bike set up.  With so many bike parts – the question is what to purchase?  Consider getting a high quality wheel set.  A good wheel set impacts ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  Maybe purchase some new, lighter tires for your wheels. Another option is to reconsider the current crank set and pedals setup.  Again, you’ll need to stop by or call the shop for details but you never know what is available unless you ask! 

Replace old bike parts!
Replace bike parts regularly.  Don’t wait until you hear odd little noises or you notice that your bike is taking too long for the brakes to engage before investigating.  Some parts of a bike have a set “wear life”. As you put in the miles, they gradually wear out and need to be replaced. Typically, this includes chainscassetteschainringsbrake pads, and cleats.  If you plan to ride through the winter months, stay one step ahead of the game by purchasing these types of bike parts on sale and have them on hand when you need them. 

If these bikes tantalize your bike senses, stop into Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado to see what you might find at our sale. We’re confident you’ll like what you see!  

Note on bike sale: Bikes must be picked up at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado.  Bike cannot and will not be shipped. No exceptions. This applies to all Specialized, S-Works, Praxis Works and MSW products.  


Late Season Rally – Tips to Maintain Your Fitness and Motivation

August 10, 2017

BikeParts.com Team Rider Racing in Colorado

With school starting and only about a month and half left of the Colorado cycling racing and touring season, many are filling up their calendars with the last big events of the season hoping to capitalize on the fitness gains made during the season.

Some of the popular Colorado races and tours on tap for August include:

Yet, as we transition from summer to fall, many cyclist find their enthusiasm for riding dwindling.  Have you noticed that at the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers and cyclist. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation just plain lacking.  With that in mind, what are the ways to maintain motivation while also capture added gains towards next year’s goals? 

The key to late season racing and bike events is really to have fun! Try new events, ride routes, and races. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work.  With fitness levels high, late season bike events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and new cycling accessories. Venture out of your comfort zone and try racing a new road bike or mountain bike for one of the events mentioned above.

If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close outsbike parts and components. Stock up on cycling apparel for the fall and winter months to keep motivation high through the transitioning season.

Or, maybe training is too grueling for you this time of year. Switch from training to riding to work.  Bike commuting helps get in the miles while offering up time for other fun activities. Other fun activities include strength training and yoga.  Both of these activities help to extend the fitness gains you’ve made through the current year.

Another option for fun is adding in some skill training. During peak training periods, bike skills and technique is often overlooked.  Why not spend some time improving your bike skills? The video: Five key skills to improve your bike handling offers great visuals and the post, Body Position on the MTB, dials in where you need to be on the bike to ride your best.  Experimenting late season avoids the risk of injury during peak races but also can offer a new challenge – like learning how to do a track stand.

Enjoy the fitness gains you have made through the season. Have fun!  Having a fun, relaxed attitude combined with a celebratory bike event is a great way to finish your season.


5 Tips for Cycling in Hot August Weather 

August 3, 2017

Team Rider at BikeParts.com Riding in Moab

Here in Colorado, we’re now into super warm temps and managing the heat while riding and racing is critical not only to comfort, but also performance. Many cyclist, whether recreational or competitive, find dealing with the heat an issue.

Think about it. Heat is the ultimate enemy for a cyclist, because after a point, the hotter you get, the slower you’ll go.  If the weather won’t cooperate to be cooler, then what can you do about it? 

When it is hot, especially when temps are in the 90-100F (36-40C) range, your body needs to work harder to keep your core temperatures in a safe range to allow the organs to function normally.  There are numerous heat–coping strategies to consider when planning a high-intensity workout or doing a race in hot weather.

Tip#1
If you haven’t exposed yourself to the warmer temps, you should.  One tip is to acclimate.  It takes about 10 to 14 days of frequent exposure to heat for your body to adapt. During this period of time workout daily in hot conditions at a lower-than-normal intensity. After a couple of weeks of near-daily exposure to hot conditions you will begin perform better in the heat than prior although performance will still likely be diminished from what you might have done in cooler conditions.

Tip #2
This is obvious, but an often overlooked component. Hydrate. Water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list. For both performance and health, the importance of your water intake exceeds that of your vitamin, calorie, and electrolyte consumption. For your road racing needs, be sure to carry the water bottles and containers that you need on your road bike but have extras available for bottles that are tossed and extras for immediate refueling post race. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you know tricky descents can bump a bottle right out of its cage.  This time of year, it’s best to wear a full hydration pack as well as have extra bottles on hand.

Tip #3
Protect yourself from the sun.  While some enjoy exposure to the sun, a sunburn does more than fry your skin – it contributes to fatigue and increases your metabolism. Always wear sunscreen; choose jerseys, shorts, and arm skins with built-in sun protection; and wear a cap under your helmet to shield your head. 

Tip #4
Plan ahead. Planning your route in advance and knowing where the nearest sources of water can be handy in case you find yourself running low at any point. Also, planning a route with options to shorten the ride or take a shortcut back to your starting point in case you start to struggle is also a good plan.  If possible with your schedule, consider riding during the cooler times of the day.  

Tip#5
Recover. This seems like another overlooked strategy but after a long day in the saddle and the heat, you really do need to cool off. Get your legs up. Stay in the shade or AC. It is important to get your core body temperature down so you can recover. We all know that recovery is a critical element of preparing for the next bout of exercise.  One of our favorite recovery products at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is PhysioPhyx.  PhysioPhyx LPR takes recovery nutrition to a new level of support and performance by delivering a powerful, evidence-based blend of Carbohydrates + Protein + Leucine.  In fact, recent studies have shown the nutrient trio of Carbs +Protein + Leucine taken after exercise creates an absolute ideal environment for your body to quickly go into recovery overdrive. 

With that said, training and riding in the heat doesn’t have to be so bad.  Wear cooling cycling apparel.  Ride a bike with proper functioning bike parts to avoid over excretion. Need more tips?  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to chat with our racers, mechanics, and other cyclist to see what works for them.


What Do You Carry With You When You Ride?  

July 27, 2017

Bike tools at BikeParts.com

When riders head out for their rides, most cyclist think luck is on their side.  Good luck with weather, riding conditions, and a lack of mechanical issues.  But sometimes, luck is not on your side.  Then what do you do?

Basically, there’s just no chance in risking it – it’s best to be prepared. Before you start on your ride you should think about a few things that will make your ride a much more pleasurable experience even if something goes wrong.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, following are our staff suggestions to bring along on your rides.  

Basic repair and maintenance kit
There are a few items you should bring with you for bicycle mechanical emergencies. All these items can fit in a small seat bag.  The basic supplies you should have in your kit include a spare inner tube, tire levers, patch kit, mini-pump, and a folding multi-tool.  In case of a chain break bring a chain master link. A small paper clip or zip tie can help keep the chain together to limp the bike home. While not considered essential items, some cyclist take their basic kit a bit further and include other items like a small amount of duck tape, zip ties or rubber bands. 

Water and/or sports drink and a light snack
Staying hydrated is a necessity on a ride of any length, even in cooler weather. You might think that on a shorter ride, a snack is not necessary, but a breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances might put you out on the road or trail longer than you expected. Given that gels and bars are small, just slip a few in your jersey pocket to have on hand. 

Cash, ATM card, Personal Identification
You don’t need a lot of cash but a little cash, say $5 or $10 just in case you want to stop for food or water.  Also, it’s important to bring some sort of identification.  A drivers license works best; others prefer to wear a RoadID. If you don’t wear a RoadID, you will want to carry something that has contact information in case of an emergency.  

Despite the fact that most rides go well, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a ride and the chances are they’ll go wrong when you’re at your farthest point from home. Make it easy on yourself and have the right bike parts, cycling accessories, and bicycle tools with you. 


The Trails Are Calling  – Steps to Transitioning from Road to Trails 

July 20, 2017

Peak Cycles/Bikeparts.com enjoys the evening views off Lookout Mountain

Do you hear the call of the mountain bike trails? Maybe you’re a bike commuter or you mostly ride the road and are curious about riding some of the popular mountain bike trails on the Front Range.  

Oftentimes, those making the transition from concrete to dirt experience a little trepidation in knowing what to expect and how to make the move with ease. However, with our tips, you’ll be shredding trails in no time!

First and foremost, you need to decide what mountain bike to ride.  Our post, Which Mountain Bike Should You Buy, walks you through all the options available, the pros and cons of each and help dial that in for you. Granted, you’ll need a mountain bike but what size wheel, bike components, hard tail or full suspension, and all the bike parts associated with your mountain bike of choice is up to you. Obviously, we’re here to help you so stop in Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to test ride some mountain bikes, as well as, get all of your questions answered.

Notably, after you have your bike – or get a rental bike – you’ll need to get the right cycling apparel.  If you’re a road cyclist or a commuter, you can wear some of the same clothing.  For instance, your helmet, jersey, and shorts will work. However, you may consider full finger gloves to protect your hands.  Also, mountain bike shoes are helpful.  Unlike road riding, when riding trails it isn’t uncommon to jump off the bike, walk or jog through a section, and then jump back on. Surprisingly, you may also want to swap out your road sunglasses for transition lenses. Mountain bike trails are exposed and also heavily covered with negation and trees making visibility different than when riding the road.  Protecting your eyes is one thing but being able to see the trails and ride comfortably is another. 

The next question is, where to ride? Trail difficulty ranges from easy to hard. The best part about harder trails is that if it seems to challenging to ride, you can walk that section. On the plus side, seeing challenging terrain gives you something to aim to achieve later. All of Golden’s trails can be found on the City of Golden website. For your convenience, however, we thought we would highlight some of our favorite cycling trails.

Chimney Gulch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Not too far away from downtown Golden, Chimney Gulch is a visitor and local favorite because it ascends the well-known Golden landmark — Lookout Mountain. Chimney Gulch is mostly an uphill climb which winds through the Golden foothills and emerges at the top of Lookout Mountain. At the summit, you can park your bike to enjoy gorgeous mountain and city overlooks or visit the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. And the way down is all downhill!

Apex Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Similar to (but less popular than) the Chimney Gulch Trail, the Apex Trail winds up and up into Golden’s western foothills. For much of the way, the track is surrounded by pine forests, giving you a feeling that you are far away from the bustle of city life. The Chimney Gulch and Apex trails can actually be connected for an extended ride up one and down the other. If you are combining the trails, you may want to consider stopping at Buffalo Bill’s grave at the top of Lookout Mountain.

North and South Table Mountain – Skill Level: Easy – Moderate
Both North and South Table Mountain (located on the east side of Golden) offer a unique mountain biking experience. The flat-top mesa makes for relatively easy cycling, which gives riders the chance to enjoy the open prairie. Both mesas have multiple access points and extensive trails that weave on top and along the side of the mountains, just out of reach of urban Golden. We find that morning and evening light glancing off the prairies make for an especially special ride on these trails.

White Ranch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Difficult
If you are looking for solitude, this is one of your best bets. On the north end of Golden, the White Ranch Park offers a different type of beauty from the rest of town and encompasses meadows, pine forests, views of buttes, and unique rock formations. It has about 20 miles of trails that wind through both rugged and gentle terrain.

With all this in mind, it’s important to note that before taking your mountain bike for a spin, it’s important to be prepared. Having plenty of waterfood and nutrition, extra tire tubes, and repair kits, as well as the right tires and maps will ensure you have an enjoyable and stress free experience. So what are you waiting for?  Answer the calling of the trails – ride them!