Dressing Successfully To Ride in Transitional Weather 

March 14, 2019

How about these spring cycling conditions? In under one week, we’ve seen rain, snow, wind, warm and cold temperatures.  One question is, what’s rideable? The more important question is, how to dress for a ride? Transitioning weather and riding conditions calls for ninja-like skills in navigating the weather to gear up appropriately for an outdoor cycling workout.  

The goal is to ride comfortably  Yet dressing to balance warmth and comfort is tricky.  If you are really bundled up when you start riding, you will likely want to start shedding layers. If you start out with minimal clothing and a front comes in or you experience windy conditions, then you’re left feeling cold and your muscles may ache. Not ideal for spring training. Is there a way to dress successfully for transitional weather? Fortunately, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve been asked all of these questions.  Here is what we have found works, and works best! 

Take inventory of your cycling wardrobe.  It’s a given that you’ll want to have clothing that is versatile, lightweight, and easy to pack down.  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 in the early season. That will help you to avoid making unnecessary purchases. Depending on whether you are riding the road, gravel, and maybe a mountain bike trail, your clothing options make the difference between a suffer fest or a great ride.  

Take it a step further. 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? Scullcap? What about your base layers?  Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing?  These items are easy to layer and easy to carry with you while riding. Make sure you have enough. 

Finally, try on the old grade school song for dressing appropriately. It’s the one that goes like this, “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes”…  When gearing up for your ride and deciding on what to wear for your ride, use this song as your motto. Keep those digits nimble! Cold hands make it hard to maneuver the bike.  Definitely go for long-figured gloves or lack liner gloves with thicker gloves in your jersey pockets. Referring to shoulders, think your core or your upper body. The key with upper body warmth and comfort in the winter is layering. Consider a  light, long-sleeved jersey that has pockets in the back is a good base layer and gives you the opportunity to put extra clothes in the back pockets. Next, put another thermal layer on top of the long-sleeved jersey. You want something fairly light, warm, and breathable. As a final option, you want to top your upper body layering with a wind-stopper jacket that deflects wind and preferably is also waterproof.  It’s super easy to keep your knees and legs covered with warmers.  And, last but not least, cover your head!  The relative amount of heat you lose from your head will vary, but it’s been historically said that you lose half of your body heat through your head. You can wear a buff or a cap and headgear to stay warm.  

Ultimately, dressing successfully boils down to experimenting with what works for you. You may find you it’s important to keep your head and core warm for a productive ride rather than dressing full out and including knee and leg warmers.  An important element to keep in mind is that transitional weather is just that. Transitional. It’s not here forever and the spring and summer cycling season is just around the corner.  Do your best with the weather and be sure to stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up any cycling accessories, bike parts, or cycling apparel you may need. 

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Essential Cycling Apparel for Fall Riding 

September 27, 2018

While we welcome cooler temps and colorful foliage that fall cycling offers, the shorter days and fatigue of the cycling season can beckon cyclist to cut their rides short – or skip them all together.  Perhaps missing a day or two of riding doesn’t seem like much but it does.  

According to the post, What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Riding, within a relatively short period of time, undesirable consequences result.  As in, your metabolism stagnates. Your blood pressure rises. Your blood sugar surges. Fitness declines.  And, inevitable wait gain surfaces.  Not fun!

Fall is actually the best time to transition from peak cycling form to a relaxed one.  Doing so doesn’t include missing rides.  It means shifting your mindset to embrace fall cycling while actually boosting your cycling performance for next year. The trick is making sure you are comfortable during transitional weather.  If you feel comfortable riding, then you will do it.  

Ask yourself, what clothing do you need to wear in different weather conditions to remain comfortable?  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?  Staying warm, dry, and comfortable is key to riding during the fall season.  

Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs.  In fact, we’ve got a great end of the year sale on 2018 bikes and cycling apparel in store right now!  At a minimum, these are the essential fall riding clothes you need to have on hand.

1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.

2. Wind / Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.

3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.

4. Full Finger / Windproof Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to get cold are the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and / or windproof gloves. A popular item to consider are the Endure gloves. 

5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – 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.

6. Head Band or Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet

7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.

8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.  If you’re not a fan of shoe covers, opt for a warmer shoe all together! 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.  

9. Lights – At the end of this month, the days will be much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.

10. Tool kit – The bicycle tools needed to have on hand in inclement weather matter.  Discover what the best bike parts for fall commuting and build a tool kit that meets your needs.

Which essential items are missing from the list? Let us know! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.  Better yet, stop in the shop to say hi and browse our fall cycling apparel. 


10 Things You Need for Fall Biking 

October 20, 2016
Fall Colors along the Front Range

Fall Colors along the Front Range

Have you noticed the leaves changing on the trees lately?

The Front Range tree leaves are exploding with a vibrant mix of autumn hues.  What better way to enjoy the brisk temperatures and vibrant colors of the leaves turning than from the view of mountain bike or road bike? The added bonus is maintaining fitness through the fall and even building it well into the winter months.  

True, we love fall rides, but it does take a little extra planning.  The days are shorter and the weather is becoming more unpredictable.  That’s why it’s more important during the fall season to have the right cycling apparel for the type of riding you are doing.

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?  

Staying warm, dry, and comfortable is key to riding during the fall season.  Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs.  In fact, we’ve got a great end of the year sale on 2016 bikes and cycling apparel in store right now!  At a minimum, these are the essential fall riding clothes you need to have on hand.

1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.

2. Wind / Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.

3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.

4. Full Finger / Windproof Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to get cold are the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and / or windproof gloves. A popular item to consider are the Endure gloves. 

5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – 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.

6. Head Band or Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet

7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.

8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.  If you’re not a fan of shoe covers, opt for a warmer shoe all together! 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.  

9. Lights – At the end of this month, the days will be much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.

10. Tool kit – The bicycle tools needed to have on hand in inclement weather matter.  Discover what the best bike parts for fall commuting and build a tool kit that meets your needs.

Which essential items are missing from the list?  Make note of it and stop by the shop to check out all of the cycling apparel we have in stock and on sale. Whether you are enjoying the vibrant mix of autumn hues from a scenic country road, a bike path, or a cyclocross race course, fall bike rides in Colorado are the best way to get up close and personal with the season’s colors – enjoy! 


Sloppy Cycling — How to Prepare for Muddy Conditions

April 28, 2016

11262324_844053215632107_7239650244783883829_nIt’s inevitable, if you are riding your bike on trails in the spring you are going to hit mud. But a muddy trail shouldn’t be the doom of your ride. Knowing how to prepare for and ride in muddy conditions will help you be a successful wet-weather cyclist.

Preparation

Start by doing your research before a ride to get a sense of what the trails will look like. Ask a friend who has ridden recently, read online forums or social media updates, or scope out the trail yourself (this is especially important if you are racing on a potentially muddy course).

Know which bikesbike partscycling accessories, and cycling apparel are appropriate for the trail and weather conditions. Some important considerations include:

    • Extra Wheels — Cyclists will often have multiple sets of wheels in preparation for mud and grime. Riding in poor conditions can be disastrous to your bike! It’s not fun to have to deal with broken spokes, loose skewers, and cemented mud, especially while racing. If you have a set of wheels in the pit, you can make a change and be underway pretty quickly.
    • Tires with Traction — Choosing the right tires really hinges on you doing your homework before your ride. Really muddy conditions sometimes warrant extra grippy bike tires with aggressive edges and sticky rubber. But these kinds of tires usually also add some extra weight. For less severe wet-weather conditions, you might want to choose something a little less aggressive. If you’re unsure about which tire is best for your upcoming event, stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and we’ll help you dial it in.
    • Chain Lube — As on any ride, taking care of your drive chain is one of the most important considerations for your bike. Using a wet lubricant during soggy and muddy conditions is ideal because it is thick enough to stay on the chain and thin enough to penetrate all of the small moving parts.
    • Wet-Weather Apparel — If mud is on the ground, then there is a chance that you might face wet weather on your ride. Keeping warm and staying dry, especially in a race, is key. Layering with base layers and jackets that won’t absorb water is your best option.

Knowledge

Now that you have your bikesbike partscycling accessories, and cycling apparel in gear, you should make sure that you know how to ride in mud. During your ride or race, mud threatens to slow you down or topple you over. Your ability to (1) select a good line and (2) pedal smoothly through mud will likely keep you moving and maybe even give you an edge over other riders. See Bike Radar’s article, “Technique: Winter Skills — Mud Master” for more tips.

Cleaning

After your bike ride, it’s very important to TAKE CARE OF YOUR BIKE. If you like your bike and want to keep it for a while, giving it a good cleaning is of upmost importance. This doesn’t have to be a laborious process but we recommend being thorough. Grab a good brush and do some scrubbing. See How To Clean Your Mountain Bike in 10 Easy Steps from Singletracks for a more thorough explanation.

For more information, or to get a bike check-up after a sloppy ride, stop into our store – Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado. We have tons of advice, as well as bikesbike partscycling accessories, and cycling apparel.