Fat Bike Essentials for First Time Fat Bike Riders 

February 2, 2017

Demo a Fat Bike at BikeParts.comLess daylight, cold weather and difficulty planning winter workouts all contribute to less time on the bike.  But, if you want to get fitter, faster, and more efficient on the bike, then guess what? You got to put your time in.  So what do you do? Ride a fat bike!  First time fat bike riders may question the bike parts and cycling apparel needed to ride comfortably, so below are our fat bike essentials to make fat biking work for you. 

PEDALS & SHOES 

Many new fat bike riders wonder if they should use clipless or flat pedals on a fat bike?  Guess what? It’s your choice! The biggest problems people have making this decision is deciding how to best keep their feet warm. Having flat pedals will allow you to wear thick winter boots, which are more conducive to keeping your feet warm. However you can buy clipless boots that are designed to handle colder temperatures. Using a clipless pedal could prove annoying in snowy terrain if you have to dismount and remount frequently during your ride.

SMART CLOTHING CHOICES AND POGIES & GLOVES

Obviously, if you are going to be riding out in the cold, you’ll want to dress warm and dress appropriately.  But what does that mean exactly? You have to think a little bit harder before and during your fat bike rides in the cold. Generally the most important tip for keeping warm is to layer, and to carry a pack to put your extra layers away. Some people prefer to wear ski goggles and a ski helmet, and lots of people wear winter boots.  Poagies, insulated hand covers that slip over your handle bars, are also very useful for keeping your hands warm.   Keeping your feet warm is key. Wearing boots, preferably water proof, with thick socks on flat pedals or clipless boots with multiple pairs of socks works.

FACE AND EYE PROTECTION 

Obviously, cover your head!  You can wear a buff or a cap and headgear. 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.  Remember to wear appropriate eye protection too! The glare from the snow can be blinding.  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.

TIRES AND TIRE PRESSURE

Hmmmm, decisions here – What kind of tires should I use? How wide? What pressure do I run? Tube vs. Tubeless?  Here’s what we suggest. You have to match tire pressure with conditions. Softer snow conditions: 6psi. Harder conditions: 8-10psi. (much lower than the normal bike). Fat-bike tires are typically marked as 26 x 4.0 though most are really more like 26 x 3.7 or 3.8. The actual size of the mounted tire will vary depending on the rim width used for the wheel.  Many riders prefer tubeless because they reduce over a point of rotation weight and they provide better traction.

A FAT BIKE 

You have to have a fat bike to ride one!  Finding the fat bike that works for you will depend on the type of riding that you do and, more importantly, your budget.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are all big fans of fat bike riding. Stop by to buy a fat bike or demo one.  And if you want even more fat bike ideas, or need for cycling apparelbike parts, and cycling accessories, stop in the shop for that too! We’ve got all the gear and cycling accessories for you riding needs! 

Get in on the fat bike action!  Take your cycling to another level of fun and sign up for one of the upcoming fat bike races. Check out our  2017 Colorado Fat Bike Racing Calendar.  Stop by the shop for bike parts, cycling apparel, and get all your fat bike questions answered!   


How to Stick with Your 2017 Training Plan 

January 26, 2017

Out with the old – in with the new.  That’s pretty much the motto of the New Year. Many cyclists, both competitive and recreational, commit to New Year cycling resolutions; but, it’s right about now, late January, when those resolutions begin to fade.  Whether is is general fatigue, lack of time, seasonal illness or just plain boredom, many find the resolutions of the New Year in the rear view mirror.  Is there a way to make resolution stick?  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we think so! Following are the 4 components to making your resolutions stick.

#1 ENJOYABLE: Plain and simple.  If you enjoy what you are doing, you’ll do more of it.  So, make winter riding more fun.  Get the right clothing, winterize your bike, and get going!  Check out the post,  21 Ways to Have More Fun on Your Bike, for more fun ideas including singing, testing new bike parts, experimenting with new cycling apps, and opt for new cycling accessories

#2 CONSISTENT: Consistency in training helps you physical body prepare for the physical stresses of  the upcoming season.  According to the post, Nine Golden Rules for Training, consistency is key. That means consistently training but also, consistently racing builds fitness too.  Consistency in racing builds all kinds of fitness: mental, physical, and psychological fitness.  The post, 4 Habits to Increase Your Consistency, offers more suggestions on increasing consistency, such as, being purposeful, following your plan as best as possible, and getting in shorter rides when you have less time to train.

#3 CONVENIENT: The winter months make riding outdoors less desirable. So, riding outside may not be the most convenient option.  Instead, schedule your workouts inside on the trainer.  Before you groan, read our posts  Don’t Be a Hater! Overcoming Trainer Woes for great suggestions on making trainer workouts work for you.  Additionally, shared in the post, 3 Indoor Cycling Workouts Under 1 Hour, are effective workouts to pair technology with your over/ under intervals, power intervals, and speed intervals.  Without the distractions of outdoor scenery, using these tools aids in motivation by setting time goals or power goals to engage your brain.  Another motivation technique includes using the technology tools as valuable feedback for precise and strategic cycling in specific zones which adds to up to greater gains later in your cycling season.

#4 REWARD: There is true satisfaction to be gained by following your fitness routine.  Whether that is increased fitness, a sense of well being, or making progress towards your 2017 cycling goals.  But rewarding yourself can take on other pleasures as well.  Consider purchasing new bike parts or new cycling apparel as a reward for your hard efforts. Treating yourself to these pleasures invites more motivation to stick with your training plan through the cold, winter months.  

It’s easy to keep your resolutions when you focus on having fun.  When you love what you are doing, you’ll keep doing it.  Here’s to your best year yet!


Trainer Techniques for Winter Training

January 19, 2017

Trainers at BikeParts.comAs a cyclist, you can either hate the winter, or make the best of it. Some bundle up and dress to embrace the winter chill while others opt for the dreaded trainer. 

Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer.  As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months.  Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle- specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding.  Ugh. Is there a way to make it work?  Yes!  Fortunately, there are now many apps that make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. Additionally, these apps record your workout so you can analyze your effort and get your best bang for the buck workout wise. 

The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App, offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you.  Some of our favorites from the list include ZwiftCycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.  

Granted, apps can make your ride more enjoyable; yet, having the right equipment can make a difference too. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, and indoor riding clothes.  If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories  add up to a great trainer workout, but  if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency.  

If you find yourself really averse from riding the trainer.  Break your workout in half.  Spend half as much time on the trainer and the other half running, hiking, or doing another sport. One way to do this is to avoid long rides on the trainer all together. Year round strength training for cyclists matters and substituting your indoor rides with strength training will do more for your cycling later on in the season than doing another trainer session.  In fact, a one hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer accordingly.

Indoor rides are not a replacement for outdoor rides but with the right bike parts, cycling apparel, and equipment, indoor rides can be fun and beneficial. 


Cross Train for Extra Gains in 2017 

January 12, 2017
Yoga and Stretching at Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com

Yoga and Stretching at Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com

 We all know that cycling is the best sport out there, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of good reasons to mix it up with a few others.

In fact, when the weather is cold and the days are long, many cyclist are more apt to consider cross training to maintain fitness while minimizing those cold, bone chilling rides outside.

There are ways that cross training can help you to improve your fitness.  Not only can cross-training flat-out make you a better cyclist through core support and enhanced focus, but it can also help your body in tons of ways cycling can’t—like building up bone density and strengthening underused muscle groups. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, here are two of our favorites. 

Yoga – Some of the most elite cyclists use yoga as part of a successful training program, including 2012 Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins’ benefits from the focus it brings to his cycling, while others, such as pro mountain biker and Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, use yoga to gain strength. From power to endurance, athletes at all levels are incorporating yoga to gain an edge over the competition, and prevent injury.  The next question – how to get started? Check out our post, Yoga and Cycling: What’s In It For You? for ideas and inspiration. 

Strength training – For some cyclists, strength training is a welcomed part of the training process; however, for others, it is a necessary evil. Many cyclist wonder if they should train year round?  Answering these questions, the post, Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists  states , “one of the main goals with sport-specific strength training is to target your prime movers as well as the assistance muscles that support your prime movers. With proper strength training, each time you press on the pedal, your primary group of muscles (those that take on the majority of the load) will be stronger and have a stronger group of assisting muscles to help produce power. Since you are only as strong as your weakest link, the stronger system you build as a whole, the more potential you have for cycling specific gains.  For ideas and inspiration on strength training, read our post, Why Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists Matters.  

Bike parts – Hmmm? You might be wondering, how does cross training apply to bike parts? Well, consider doing different types of workouts and rides on different bikes.  Use your road bike for intervals, your mountain bike in the nastier weather and to do drills to improve bike handling, and race your fat bike on the snowy days.  Mixing it up keeps it fresh! So, get started cross training to make 2017 one of your best years yet! 


The 2017 Colorado Fat Bike Racing Calendar

January 5, 2017
Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com Teem Rider enjoying a Fat Bike

Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com Teem Rider enjoying a Fat Bike

Fat biking is abuzz in Colorado! Colorado is already a favorite state for cyclists due to the mountainous terrain, rugged trails, scenic views, and outdoorsy population. But now, Colorado is a hot destination for a new phenomenon in the cycling world: Fat Biking.  

If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy riding during the colder months or if you are looking to jump start your 2017 training, then consider starting the year off right by racing a fat bike.  Following is the 2017 Fat Bike Race Calendar

January 2017  

February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

Granted, racing implies you actually have a fat bike.  But if you don’t,  you can demo one of our Specialized FatBoys at our store! And if you want even more fat bike ideas, or need for cycling apparelbike parts, and cycling accessories, stop into Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. We would love to help you! 


5 ways to Celebrate the Year End on Your Bicycle

December 29, 2016
Happy 2017 from BikeParts.com

Happy 2017 from BikeParts.com

What is the best way to say good bye to 2016 and hello to 2017?  On your bike of course!

Cycling is all about fun and what better way to review the year and plan for the year ahead than riding your bike. Following are ideas to help you do just that. 

  • Ride the year in miles.  It may be too late to ride the year 2016 in but you can get a head start of 2017!  Or, go out and ride 16 miles or 20 miles for a year end celebration of 2016. Regardless, this is a great way to get in the last few rides of the year and to engage friends and other cyclist for a spirited group ride. 
  • Ride with your kids or better half.  Celebrate the end of the year with casual fun rides and include those you don’t generally ride with.  Consider inviting your significant other, kids, and neighbors on a cruiser ride.  This is about spending valuable time with loved ones while doing something you really enjoy.  
  • Sign up for adventure.  Maybe 2016 you didn’t stretch yourself enough. Sit down before the year end and make a list of goals for 2017. Consider doing races and rides that you haven’t done before.  They don’t have to be epic – they just have to be meaningful to you. You may want to check out our post, The Year End Review: Not Just for Work But for Your Cycling Program Too, for great goal setting ideas for 2017. 
  • Schedule a New Year breakfast/ lunch/ or beer ride. Be social! Have fun! That’s what celebrating the year end is about!  So why not combine all that fun with riding your bike.  Gather your cycling buddies for a quick breakfast, lunch ride or post-work beer ride.  Chat about bike parts, your favorite cycling gifts, or your big plans for 2017.  
  • Get Your 2017 Bike. Maybe you need to replace bike parts. Or, maybe you need to get a brand new bike for 2017.  The year end is a great time to dial in your needs for a successful 2017 season.  If not now, then when…right?! 

The New Year is all about out with the old and in with the new.  Maybe last year’s cycling resolutions were to get in shape, build fitness, or get stronger on the bike.  This year, branch out! Create new resolutions. But before you do that, celebrate the year past. Reward yourself with a pat on the back for a great season.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re grateful for 2016 and wishing you a great year ahead that is filled with all the joys, personal rewards, and the grand adventure that cycling brings.  Happy 2017!


Cycling Holiday Gifts in Pictures – You Know You Want ‘Em!

December 22, 2016

The holidays can be just plain hectic, and some gifts may fall through the cracks until the very end.  With Christmas Day just a few days away, we thought we would entice you with some last minute cycling gifts. Purchase some as stocking stuffers or buy bike parts and other goodies as gifts to put under the tree.  You can’t go wrong – unless you just don’t get anything!  

Just a few of the many choices for small items that can be used as stocking stuffers. These small items make great gifts for your cyclist friends or family.

Waffles, lube, tires, and bike parts

Cygolite Expilion 720 lumen light! USB rechargeable, water resistant, and 8 different light modes. Come get the perfect light for night riding season.

Peak Cycles is your stop for Colorado gear! These make great stocking stuffers or gifts for the holiday season!

A new road bike! A beautiful shot of a custom S-Works Tarmac. 15.4 lbs of pure speed.

A Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5.  What’s not to love?  Carbon frame, carbon wheels, SRAM XO 1×11 drivetrain, SRAM Guide RS brakes, a dropper post, and rockshox suspension. Stop in the store for pricing. 

Here at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we feel that the true Christmas spirit of cycling is the love of the bike.  It’s the adventure cycling brings – the challenge of a new ride, the experimentation with new or different bike parts, the joy of connecting with friends in meaningful ways, and the building of camaraderie with teammates.  

These are all the very blessings we wish for you and your family this holiday season.  Merry Christmas from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and BikeParts.com!