Riding in the Snow – 5 Ways to Make it Work for You

December 17, 2015
BikeParts.com Rider Enjoying Winter Cycling
The snow is here! And lots of it!  Many cyclist wonder, can I ride in the snow?  And the answer: of course you can!
The important thing to remember about riding in the snow isn’t whether it’s possible—everything is possible.  It’s simply a matter of being smart about riding in uncertain weather conditions. Here’s how to make snow riding work for you.
  1. The more tread on your tires, the better. You can ride in snow on slicks, but we wouldn’t recommend it.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a large selection of tires for road bikes, mountain bikes, and cyclocross bikes.  Stop in and pick up a new set of tires just for your winter cycling adventures.  Speaking of tires, let some air out of your them, whatever sort they are. Ride them soft: you’ll get more grip.
  1. Focus on a relaxed and responsive riding position.  Sure, it’s natural to tense up with icy or snowy conditions, but if you focus on relaxing your hands and arms, while keeping your weight back on the bike, you may find it easier to steer the bike from your hips and less from your upper body. This makes directional changes smoother and easier with your whole mass on the bike, rather than by sudden sharp steering inputs at the handlebars.
  1. Don’t be a speed demon! Slow down and enjoy the views! Celebrate the adventure of riding in different weather conditions.  A good rule of thumb to remember is to keep your bike in good working order, maintain care of your bike parts and don’t be too ambitious about your speed.  All this allows you to truly enjoy the experience.
  1. Go fat! Fat bike that is!  Fat bikes are wonderful for riding in the snow.  Many fat bike models today are similar to “normal” mountain bikes, which have slacker head tube angles, lower stand-over heights, thru axles, and tapered head tubes. The main difference is the tires. The wider tires have more traction in both dirt and snow. They climb better than almost any mountain bike. If you’re new to fat bikes, you may enjoy reading about some Top Fat Bike FAQ’s or Why Go Fat. Or, stop by the shop and demo a fat bike!
  1. Dress for the occasion.  Because it’s cold out, it is tempting to overdress.  Avoid that temptation! Depending on the type of ride, the duration of your ride, and the elements, your cycling apparel options make the difference between a suffer fest or a great ride. Take an inventory of your cycling clothing and ask yourself, what clothing do you need to wear in different weather conditions?  Do you have waterproof and wind resistant clothing? Do you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers?  Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing?  Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs! In fact, we’ve got quite a lot of new cycling clothing in store right now!  Or, check out our How to Dress for Winter Cycling –Video for ideas dressing warmly for your winter rides.
Your experience will correlate directly to your level of preparation.  It’s true, winter riding requires more diligence and commitment; but the flip side is a sense of wonder and adventure that accompanies the wintertime cycling scene.
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Avoid a Clothing Crisis! New Threads to Keep you Warm for Fall and Winter Cycling

October 8, 2015

Specialized Defroster Cycling Shoe at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop

You know you’re experiencing a clothing crisis when your focus shifts from the trail, the traffic or your route sheet to your increasingly cold and numb hands and feet.  Fall and winter cycling poses some challenges yet it can be equally as fun as summer riding given you have the right cycling apparel, you know how to dress for winter riding, and you have the right bike parts in your winter toolkit.  The trick is having a plan for staying warm on the bike and avoiding a cycling wardrobe emergency this fall and winter.

So, what’s in your cycling wardrobe? It’s a given that you’ll want to have clothing that is versatile, lightweight, and easy to pack down.  As we’re just now transitioning to cooler temperatures, now is the time to take inventory of the cycling apparel you currently have and purchase additional items that are missing from your cycling wardrobe.  With this in mind, you might want to consider what type of cycling you plan to do this fall and winter. That will help you to avoid making unnecessary purchases. Depending on the type of ride, the duration of your ride, and the elements, your clothing options make the difference between a suffer fest or a great ride.  

Ask yourself, what clothing do you need to wear in different weather conditions?  Do you have waterproof and wind resistant clothing? Do you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers?  Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing?  Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs! In fact, we’ve got quite a lot of new cycling clothing in store right now! Here are the favorites you might want to check out.

  • Great for keeping the digits warm, the Endura gloves are our most popular wind chill gloves. 
  • As for the keeping your toes warm, we have two favorite options.  The Giant Sojourn cycling shoes have a stiff and grippy bottom which are good for walking.  A great option for bike commuters.  The other favorite is the Defroster cycling shoe.  It’s a great option for fall and winter riding and especially on the cold days because these shoes doesn’t require shoe covers.  
  • We have a variety of knickers, knee warmers, and pants.  These are essential items to have on hand because as the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclist prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers.  There are also knickers which allow more airflow over the legs, and they are good for those in-between days. Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.
  • If you are looking for great fall gear that is super durable, then stop by the shop and check out all of the Endura cycling apparel we have in stock. You might want to check out the POC apparel too – it’s on sale! 

Last but not least, Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop has the ability to special order items. Come and ask if you want something!   Avoid a clothing crisis!  Get on the bike this fall and ride! 


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.