15 Tips for Bike Commuting in the Cooler Months

October 12, 2017

Stay Warm all Winter Long with Cycling Apparel from BikeParts.com

Autumn is upon us. And while the weather is still looking similar to our old friend summer, it is bound to drop in temperature very soon.

Many cyclist grieve the loss of summer; yet, fall bike riding offers the chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and enjoy the fitness gains achieved over the summer months.

Many cyclist commit to bike commuting through the cooler months as a new goal. Yet, when faced with shorter days and cold, unpleasant weather, they find their motivation waning. Following are our tips to riding your bike the whole winter season through. 

  1. Have a good route.  Learn how to pick a route you like. Google maps for cycling is a good option.
  2. Invest in a good set of lights. A set of small, modern LED lights is sufficient.
  3. Consider getting a specific helmet for bike commuting.  A brighter color and one that is easy to place a helmet light on top is a good choice.
  4. A repair kit.  It’s good to carry a small multi-tool, a patch kit, a small pump, and a spare tube for those inevitable roadside repairs.
  5. A lock. You should always carry a secure lock whenever you plan to leave your bicycle unattended. The U-locks have proven to be most effective, but like all locks they can be defeated. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have bicycle locks, U locks, and U lock combination kits.  Depending on your bike parts and components, you may opt for one lock or multiple ones.
  6. Make sure you have a secure and safe way to carry things. This could be as simple as a messenger bag or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers.
  7. Be visible. Think Bright colors and reflective materials on your person and on your bike. In fact, staying warm, dry, and comfortable is key to riding during the fall and winter season. Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs. 
  8. 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.
  9. Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.
  14. 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. 
  15. Last but not least – you need to have motivation!  Stay motivated and keep after it! The more you do it, the more you love it!

If you are looking for great fall and winter gear that is super durable, then stop by the shop and check out all of the Endura cycling apparel we have in stock.  And remember, Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop has the ability to special order items. Come and ask if you want something! We’re here to support your riding all the way through Spring! 

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The Smart Cyclist’s Guide to Preventing Bike Theft

March 2, 2017

Bikes are Safe and Secure at BikeParts.com

About 15,000 bicycles have been reported stolen to the Denver police since 2011. That’s about seven bikes a day taken by bike thieves.  

In fact, Denver consistently ranks in the top ten cities nationwide for bike theft. More so, over a million bikes are stolen every year across the United States. Bike theft is on the rise.  Beyond the financial cost of the crime, it’s heartbreaking to find out someone stole your bike.  Cyclist love their bikes.

As much time as cyclist invest in selecting their road and mountain bikes, and choosing the perfect bike parts and cycling accessories, it’s imperative to protect the bikes we love.  Here’s how.

Make it hard to steal
This is obvious and a no brainer; however, how many times have you been on a ride to find yourself dismounting from your bike to quickly run into a corner store for food or water?  Most times, your bike is left without supervision.  Do not leave your bike unattended. For even safer keeping, do not store bikes unlocked inside home garages.  Leave your bicycle in a visible, well lit area.  When commuting, if possible, avoid leaving your bike locked overnight.

Location
There are numerous bike racks strategically located around coffee shops, stores, and workplaces.  These bike racks are typically in public locations where theft is obvious and rarely occurs. If, however, a bike is parked or locked at a location other than these racks—for instance, attached to a tree or street sign—theft is more likely to occur.   Be mindful as to where you leave your bike.

Lock it
You should always carry a secure lock whenever you plan to leave your bicycle unattended. The U-locks have proven to be most effective, but like all locks they can be defeated. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have bicycle locksU locks, and U lock combination kits.  Depending on your bicycle components, you may opt for one lock or multiple ones. 

Lock it correctly
Yes, there is a right way to lock your bike!  When locking any bike on the street, secure both the wheels and frame. (hint – that is why you may want more than one lock and opt for a combination kit.) Remove, or take with you, any easily removed bike parts. Specifically, remove cycling accessories, your helmet, locking skewers on wheels, locking saddle rings and  lights.  If you bike commute regularly, you may consider installing fixed baskets and panniers vs having removable ones.  It’s a good idea to have a messenger bag or something similar to use on a regular basis as well.  These are the basic necessities needed to secure your road or mountain bike while you’re away at work or running errands.  

Register it
No different than a car, it’s important to register your bike.  Start with documenting ownership of your bike(s): take photos and document the bike’s serial number and all bike parts. Retain all purchase receipts.  Next, register your bike with the National Bike Registry.  If you live in Denver you can register your bike at the Denver Bike Registry.   

What if your bike is stolen?
If your bike is stolen, act fast!  File a police report. Bike Denver offers more information including filing a police report.  You may be hesitant, but have an officer come and take down the report.  Alternatively, if you can, or go to the station with your information, including the bike’s serial number, make, model, and photos of the bike for the report. If you have any video surveillance of the incident—or know there were cameras in the area—include that information with the report.  Take action! Spread news about your stolen bike far and wide throughout your social networks. Post a photo of your bike on Facebook and Twitter and get your friends to repost. The more eyes you have on the streets looking for your bike, the far more likely you are to uncover it.

Prevent bike theft by adhering to the above tips. Of course, no one is guaranteed that their bike will be safe, but these tips will help keep you and your bike safe.