How to Optimize Your Pre-Season Cycling Training

March 9, 2017

Peak Cycles Race TeamThe weather has been amazing in Colorado!  The warmer temps are beckoning recreational and competitive cyclist to ride!  Enthusiasm is high;  but, caution should be in order!  Athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long, or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.  

Whether you are planning to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2017, monitoring your early season training sets the stage for a successful year ahead.

Train right:
From a training perspective, key points to keep in mind include training intensity, duration, and frequency.  There are coaches and coaching plans to assist with specific and customized training.  Or, you can create your own training program.

Regardless of your approach, for precise bio feedback to align your training plan, you’ll need to use cycling accessories available to you – as in power meters and /or heart rate monitors.  Early season training lends itself to “false” feedback.  Meaning, because you may be fresh, your perceived effort on the bike may be low causing you to push too hard, too soon, and then training suffers later due to increased recovery time or even injury.  By monitoring your efforts with specific data, you objectively know when you are pushing beyond your targeted indictors, as well as, when you aren’t pushing hard enough.  This allows your body to adjust to increased training load over time and in a manner that meets your 2017 cycling season goals.

Optimize Your Bike Fit:
An often overlooked, yet incredibly powerful tool for improved cycling is a bike fit.   If you haven’t ridden much through the winter, now is the best time for a bike fit.  Why?  Because your body is unaccustomed to the riding position.  You have an opportunity to optimize your position and make needed upgrades to your road bike or mountain bike.  Think of it this way – leg strength, endurance, and fitness are at the heart of cycling speed, but without a proper bike fit, you are sabotaging your training efforts.  In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit.  And, a bike fit goes beyond just setting saddle height and bar reach. To get the most enjoyment and reward from your training programs it’s critical to dial in the fit and confirm you have the right bike parts for optimal performance.

Perform Bike Inspections:
Does your bike have cobwebs on it from non use during the winter months?  Now is the time to dust it off, put some air in those tires, and do a thorough bike inspection.  It seems simple enough but there are some critical areas to pay attention.

What do you look for? Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebarsstems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. Make sure all is well before embarking on longer rides which could lead to lasting discomfort.

How important are brakes?  Obviously, a lot!  When you don’t have them, or they aren’t working properly, then you know the importance of well maintained brakes for your road or mountain bike.  Another important component to spring riding is checking out your wheels.  Unquestionably, wheels matter!  They impact ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  Spring is a great time to upgrade bicycle components. 

With a little preparation and planning, your pre season bike maintenance and training can pave the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable 2017 cycling season.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the bike parts you need to launch your best cycling season ever!


4 Cycling Experience Gifts Worth Giving  

December 15, 2016
Demo a Fat Bike at BikeParts.com

Demo a Fat Bike at BikeParts.com

Many holiday shoppers are looking to gift a different type of gift this year.  Moving from purchasing products to gifting experiences.  But what does that mean for the shopper who’s favorite cyclist has everything?  it means, instead of purchasing more cycling apparel and cycling accessories, purchase gifts that offer an experience.  When you think about it, bike riding is a joyous adventure in and of itself. Following are our favorite cycling experiential gifts worth giving.  

Gift a Bike fit.  Does your cyclist complain of hands falling asleep while riding? Or shoulder or neck pain after a long ride? A bike fit isn’t just for professional riders – they are for anyone who rides whether they are a beginner or advanced rider. A bike fit helps ensure riding comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how an athlete rides. Consider the gift of giving your favorite cyclist a bike fit for Christmas. This will aid your cyclist in pain free and enjoyable riding all year long.  The bonus on this is that , not only can we help them with the fit, but we carry all the bike parts required to get the bike in the very best setup for their riding needs.  Give us a call (303) 216-1616 or stop by the shop in Golden to schedule your bike fit.

Demo a fat bike!  That’s right! Fat bikes are all the rage – they thrive in snow, sand, desert, bogs and mud as well as riding what is considered normal mountain biking.  In fact, fat bikes are the fastest growing segment in the bike industry.  Book a fat bike demo for your favorite cyclist that will up the giggle factor to their normal winter riding program.  Who can’t smile while riding a fat bike?

Power Up! Is your cyclist a data junkie?  Then, this is the ideal gift for your favorite cyclist!  The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in training to optimize performance as it relates to specific goals and objectives. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. As for which power meter to purchase, consider our most popular one, Stages Power Meters, beginning at $1000. Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third option is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.  Using power data elevates the cycling experience offering new challenges unavailable without one.

Relax and Recover.  Many cyclist push themselves relentlessly without a break or even listening to their bodies until their bodies are injured.  Gift an experience of relaxation.  Consider a gift certificate for a message or a yoga class.  Another option is the ongoing gift of recovery using compression. Medical compression stockings have been used to treat poor blood flow for many years.  Recently, the technology has been made available to cyclist of all levels.  While the many claim it is difficult to prove that an immediate performance gain from wearing compression garments, many do claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike and they can reduce the swelling of legs after prolonged sitting.

Finally, if all else fails, gift your cyclist with bike parts! Experimenting with new cycling accessories and parts has a way of increasing the enjoyment felt when riding a bike. So, indulge this holiday season and give a gift that keeps on giving! 


A Cocktail for Cyclist? Cherry Juice, Beet Juice, and Supplements

October 27, 2016
PhysioPhyx LPR available at BikeParts.com

PhysioPhyx LPR available at BikeParts.com

As athletes, we all want to get fitter, leaner, stronger, and faster!  Regardless of age or athletic ability, inherent in every cyclist wish list is a secret weapon to get faster without expending more effort.  As such, many turn to nutritional supplements.  And, there’s good reason to do so too! As it turns out, many products, including beet and cherry juice, are proving to aid in recovery and providing performance-enhancing benefits for endurance athletes.  Here’s an overview of what you need to know.  

The benefits of tart cherry juice for endurance athletes includes better sleep, ability to fight inflammation, reduced muscle pain, and immunity boosting. Sounds great, right! And drinking tart cherry juice tastes great and is a nice bedtime snack. To maximize its effects, Coach Lynda Wallenfels suggest mixing in 20g of the slow digesting protein casein to boost protein synthesis while you sleep. Also, consider taking another dose of tart cherry juice the following morning to maximize the performance-enhancing benefits it has to offer.

Another natural food worth investigating is beet juice.  A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests adding some nitrate-rich beetroot juice to our workout plan can enhance our stamina, strength, and endurance.   How does it work?  According to the post, Using Beet Juice to Improve Performance, “Beets contain a large amount of inorganic nitrates. These compounds are the precursor to a very important signalling molecule that our body needs to function- Nitric Oxide2. NO is made naturally within our bodies but we can dramatically increase its availability by eating nitrate rich food. Among other roles, NO acts as a vasodilator in functioning skeletal muscle, increasing the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen flow. “ Granted, beets are not going to make you fast on their own, but for the athlete that cares about marginal gains, they could provide the race winning boost.   

In addition to food based nutrition for enhanced performance, there are cycling specific supplements too.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, a favorite nutritional product available post ride is PhysioPhyx.  Here’s what we like about this product.  PhysioPhyx LPR takes recovery nutrition to a new level of support and performance by delivering a powerful, evidence-based blend of Carbohydrates + Protein + Leucine. This potent combination of nutrients has been precisely formulated to help ensure you rapidly and effectively restore muscle energy (glycogen), minimize muscle soreness, stimulate muscle repair and speed training adaptations after moderate, intense and exhaustive exercise or competition. 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.  Who doesn’t like “overdrive”?!

Overall, a solid training program combined with a healthy lifestyle provide the greatest platform for sustained and improved performance.  Adding supporting elements like these mentioned can help. While you are at it, you can make improvements to your bike too!  Improve bike performance with lighter bike parts. Minimize mechanicals by replacing old drivetrain parts with new ones. Support your body with a bike fit or cycling apparel like compression gear for recovery.  Again, there may not be a single best option for fitness gains but every little bit helps! 


12 Reasons Why You Want to Race Cross This Season

September 22, 2016

Cyclocross at BikeParts.comCross season begins in the early fall and runs through the end of December. You know, the time of year that those of us who live in places that get real, bona fide winters want to hang up our bikes and hibernate under down blankets. But In Colorado, we don’t do that because it’s cross season and cross is worth going out in the cold for.  Fortunately, the cooler temps and bad weather has escaped us so far; however soon on the horizon, cyclocross racers will be greeted with mud, cold, and nastier racing conditions.  Makes for more fun, right?  Absolutely! 

Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  

  1. Cyclocross promotes silky smooth pedaling 
  2. Cyclocross develops your strength and power 
  3. Cyclocross improves your bike handling skills 
  4. Cyclocross teaches you race techniques
  5. Cyclocross reduces off-season weight gain 
  6. Cyclocross toughens you up to fair better in inclement riding conditions
  7. Cyclocross improves seasonal motivation 
  8. Cyclocross offers a full body workout
  9. Cyclocross maintains current fitness and can improve fitness 
  10. Cyclocross offers a mental break from your current cycling regimen and training focus
  11. Cyclocross provides high intensity training 
  12. Cyclocross means getting to purchase a new cyclocross bike, cyclocross tires, and an assortment of new bike parts

A final reason to race cyclocross is because it is exhilarating FUN! Whether you are a veteran of cyclocross or a newbie, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial in the best bike parts and cycling accessories.  Get help with your bike fit and setup and be sure to have all the right cycling apparel you need for a successful cyclocross season.  


How to Train Like an Olympic Cyclist 

August 11, 2016
Training Consistency is Key for Podium Performances

Training Consistency is Key for Podium Performances

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games kicked off this past weekend and already the mens’ and women’s road races and time trial medal winners have captured the heart’s of cycling fans.  Watching the Olympic performances can inspire you to get slimmer, faster, and stronger.  More so, you can find inspiration in the Olympics to take your health and fitness goals to new heights.  Here’s what Olympic cyclists are doing that you can too. 

Olympic cyclists take nutrition seriously – on and off the bike.  Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel while riding – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. Regardless, Olympic cyclist dial in their race day nutrition needs and execute their strategy accordingly. 

Olympic cyclists train with power and heart rate.  Some mistakingly think that technology takes away the “riding experience” or that it is too costly for their level of riding.  However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable.  They offer objective bio feedback to help you perform your best.  Our most popular are Stages Power Meters beginning at $1000.  Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.

Olympic cyclist master race day jitters.  They set clearly defined goals; establish race day success rituals; have a bike that fits; have the right bike parts, and wear the appropriate cycling accessories for the event.  These may seem obvious but the small things add up to bigger gains. 

Olympic cyclist recover smart.  Included in the recovery process is quality sleep.  According to the post, This Is Your Body On Sleep, reduced sleep negatively impacts your HGH production, and your body’s ability to restore its muscle glycogen supply.  May pro cyclists add rolling or massage, stretching, compression, and low intensity activity to aid in recovery and getting a good night’s rest. As a bonus, many cyclist sleep in compression garments because they claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike.

With envy, many fans watch the Olympic cyclists and wonder how they can mimic the fitness and performance of such talented athletes.  It seems that pro cyclists are often thought to be blessed with nature’s special gifts – a huge heart, enormous lungs and infinite leg power.  That may very well be the case; yet, the truth is that most of us have the physiology to be a decent racer – if we trained as much as they do and if we adopted their training habits.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to unleash your inner Olympian! We have all the bike parts and cycling accessories to help you take your fitness to new heights! 


Spin Worthy Father’s Day Gifts for Cyclists

June 16, 2016
Get Your Dad A New Bike from BikeParts.com for Father's Day!

Get Your Dad A New Bike from BikeParts.com for Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is almost here, and it’s the perfect opportunity to show dad how much you care. Nothing says “I care about you” more than showing interest in someone’s life – especially their passions.  

So, if  you’re stuck wondering what to get your cycling Dad for Father’s day, then look no further!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve put together a list of spin worthy Father’s day gift suggestions.  

Super Plush Gifts:
For those going all our for their cycling Dad, nothing beats a new bike! You might think, he already has one – maybe two- or even three bikes…how could he need another? Truth is, you can’t ever have enough bikes. Consider a new road bicycle or mountain bike for your Dad.  Even better, opt for a fat bike!  

Maybe a new bike is a bit of a stretch, but you really want to treat your Dad to something he might not purchase for himself.  Give him power – a power meter that is!  If your Dad is a data junkie, then this is the ideal gift for him!  The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in training to optimize performance as it relates to specific goals and objectives. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. As for which power meter to purchase, consider our most popular one, Stages Power Meters, beginning at $1000. Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third option is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter. 

Plush Gifts that Don’t Break the Bank:
Does your Dad complain of hands falling asleep while riding? Or shoulder or neck pain after a long ride? Ease your Dad’s discomfort with a bike fit. A bike fit isn’t just for professional riders – they are for anyone who rides whether they are a beginner or advanced rider. A bike fit helps ensure riding comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how an athlete rides. Give us a call (303) 216-1616 or stop by the shop in Golden to schedule your Dad’s bike fit. Not only can we help him with the fit, but we carry all the bike parts required to get the bike in the very best setup for his riding needs.

If you aren’t in the market for purchasing a new bike for your Dad, then gift him with a bike demo. One of our most popular demos is a fat bike! Riding a fat bike is a great new adventure. Renew your Dad’s cycling enthusiasm by trying out a new bike.  Or, try out some new bike parts! What cyclist doesn’t love bike parts? Whether it’s a new saddle, shifters, brakes, seatpost, fork, pedals, hubs or wheels, your Dad probably wants it.  The usual problem is how to know exactly what to get. Our answer, get a gift certificate.  

Plush Gifts on a Budget:
If Dad taught you to be thrifty, you may be looking for Father’s Day deals so you can get gifts for Dad that don’t break the bank

Tubes: This is one gift you absolutely positively will get used. Make sure you get the right size of tube. If you aren’t sure, stop in the Peaks Cycling Store and ask one of our friendly staff to help you. Or, visit us online at bikeparts.com

A good bottle: Every cyclist has a ton of bottles, but that’s not the same as having good bottles. Buy a good bottle and stuff it with other goodies.

Socks: Did you know Dad likes to wear their cycling socks even when he isn’t riding?  Why? Because they are so comfortable.  Pick out a pair of socks you like for your Dad and maybe even get a pair for yourself!

Tires: Treat yourself to Dad to some new rubber! We have a ton of tires for road and mountain bikes. 

Lube: Every Dad goes through it and we’ve got tons of it.

See how easy it is to get your cycling Dad a great gift for Father’s Day? If by chance you are still in need of ideas for creative Father’s Day gifts, stop by the shop in Golden, Colorado or give us a call at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop (303) 216-1616 and we’ll gladly help you out!  Happy Father’s Day!


5 Cycling Activities to do this Memorial Day Weekend 

May 26, 2016

BikeParts.com Racer in ActionWondering what to do with your day off this upcoming Memorial Day weekend? Ride, of course!  As the cycling season kicks off, there are plenty of casual and competitive cycling activities to do.

Rescheduled from a previous date, the infamous Koppenberg Race leads the weekend actives for competitive road bike athletes. The Koppenberg Race featuring a 17% grade climb and is considered the queen of the spring time cycling events in Colorado.  This event jump starts the cycling season with an impressive 5.5 mile road race circuit, with 300ft of elevation gain per lap, and includes 2 miles on a packed dirt road.  Join in the fun if you are ready for a lung burning, leg twitching feast! More information can be found here. And, while you’re at it, you can prepare to recover well from this race with our compression gear and nutritional recovery supplements- specifically bars, gels, and recovery drinks.  You have to get ready for the next ride, right?

Speaking of next rides, the 2016 – Cafe Velo Gran Fondo is on Sunday.  This event starts and finishes in Monument, Colorado at the Pikes Peak Brewery.  What’s great about this ride is that you have the option to choose from 1, 2, 3, 4 or up to 5 loops (110 miles, 9110 foot elevation gain) making it a great recovery ride from the Koppenberg Race or a great season starter if you are just now getting back on the bike. The ride covers a scenic 22 mile loop with an 1822 foot elevation gain through scenic Northern El Paso County; so plan according to your level of fitness.

While not local to the Front Range, this weekend also hosts the famous Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in Durango, Colorado.  The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is one of the oldest cycling events in the country (since 1972) and is a multi-event bicycling weekend for cyclists of all levels.  Beautiful 10,000-foot mountain passes on the ride or race to Silverton on Saturday. Wonderful Sunday events in downtown Durango including kid races, the costume ride, road circuit race and mountain bike race. Monday completes the weekend with an individual time trial.
You’ll want to visit their website for more information.

If road riding isn’t your thing, consider making the trip to Gunnison, Colorado for The Original Growler endurance mountain bike race. This popular event usually fills up so fast you generally can’t get in to the event. Fortunately, this year’s Sunday’s Full – Growler and Half Growler are still open for registration.  Keep in mind, the course takes place in rugged, isolated backcountry terrain. That means, check your bike for the right bike parts, have your hydration pack full, bring your nutritional items, and have all your necessary cycling apparel on hand.  Why? Because the event is remote, organizers responding to mechanicals or an injured rider could be time consuming and difficult on this course.  Plan accordingly.

Finally, maybe traveling this weekend isn’t your thing.  No worries – we’ve got you covered!  Check out Our Guide to The Best Bike Trails in Golden, Colorado to create an adventurous day of trail riding.  Or spend some time preparing for the upcoming season.  Consider performing bike maintenance, schedule a bike fit, or shop for new cycling apparel. We bet Our New POC Cycling Gear Makes You a Better Rider.

Whichever rides or races you opt to do, Happy Memorial Day weekend to you!