The Importance of Having the Right Bike Parts for Cycling

October 18, 2018

Cyclists generally subscribe to the idea that having more than one bike matters.  Who couldn’t agree with that?! But on the flip side, have you ever wondered if bike parts matter? Sure, bike parts make are part of a complete bicycle but does one particular bike part matter than another?  

When you think about it, bike parts do contribute to your riding comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable, safe, or in control of the bike you are riding, chances are you aren’t going to ride it very often.  Also, bike parts do make a difference in injury prevention.  In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is having a proper saddle with aligned seat position, height, and angle – not to mention a few other important factors like handlebarsstems, and the correct bike position.  All of these factor in to a comfortable riding position as well as a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. 

But what other bike parts are important?  First and foremost would be the bike frame itself.  Whether it is a road bike, mountain bike, or cyclocross bike, the frame provides strength and rigidity and largely determines the handling.  In fact, Triathlete magazine provided the following advice to one of its readers: “When it comes to how your bike fits, rides, handles and reacts, the frame is the most important physical part of the bike. The frame is also usually the most expensive part of the bike and the most involved to replace. Buying a bike with the right frame the first time can not only help you enjoy the benefits of a better riding and performing bike now, but can also save significant money down the road as you will only need to buy some new parts, instead of buying a whole new bike, to upgrade.”  At the end of the day, it all comes down to fit. The frame needs to be the right size for you. 

Following the frame, other considerations include bike components and wheels.  Regarding cycling components, we’re talking about the drivetrain, gearing, and braking systems.  Focus on getting bike parts of a level that are designed for your riding style and frequency.  And wheels – they matter! They can make a basic bike ride a lot better while sub-par wheels can make an otherwise exceptional bike feel mediocre.  There are different wheel types, a variety of options for tube or tubeless wheels, and ideas to consider in tubular wheels, rim shape, spoke count, and hub options. While wheel options may seem overwhelming, it’s really straightforward. To make it easier to understand, check out our post and video, Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know

All in all, bike parts do matter. They keep you safe and comfortable and out riding your bike.  Fortunately, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we believe that there is much more to fitting a cyclist to his/her bicycle than just the physical dimensions of a bike. Each cyclist has a different history, experience, comfort level, and goal on the bike.  Stop in to see our road and mountain bikes. Check out any bike parts you want to upgrade or replace. Better yet, schedule a bike fit and dial in your optimum riding position.  Happy Riding! 

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5 Uncommon Bike Buying Questions

October 4, 2018
So you want to buy a bike?  Who wouldn’t want to get a new bike?! Actually, now is the best time of year to purchase a new road bike or mountain bike because this year’s bikes are on sale and we’re clearing the way for next year’s models.  With so many bike choices available, there are quite a few questions to dial in when considering purchasing a new bike.  In fact, we’ve written about many of those questions in the following blog posts and you can check them out here:  
But, what about the uncommon questions?  You know, the ones you might be a bit shy to ask the salesperson.  No need to hesitate with your questions, we’ve got you covered.  
 
Question #1 Let’s get the first question out of the way.  Do you need to buy your bike at a bike shop?  You can buy anything on the internet these days including bike parts, cycling accessories, and complete bicycles from us at BikeParts.com.  However, we do encourage you to purchase your bicycle at a bike shop.  Here’s why. Bicycle Magazine sums it up best, “When you buy a bike from an authorized retailer, you know that the bike was assembled by a professional mechanic, and you begin to build a rapport with that shop—a great way to find out about new routes or group rides or maintenance clinics and events. You also ensure you’re not getting a counterfeit product, which is a continuing problem in the bike industry.” 
Question # 2 How do you know if a bike fits you? Test ride it!  Bring your cycling apparel with you, including your cycling shoes and helmet, when test riding a bike.  Before heading out on your test ride, take time to visit with your salesperson about shifting, brakes, and any particular feature of the bike you are testing out.  A bike that feels good and is comfortable to ride is one you will ride often.  So, go with feel. And then, after your purchase, schedule a bike fit with us to dial in the specific bike parts you may need to achieve optimum comfort, power, cadence, and fit for you.  
Question #3. Do I have to dress like a cyclist like the riders you see on the Tour de France?  Well, you can if you want to!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a wide variety of cycling apparel to match your style.  Some prefer jerseys and lycra shorts and other prefer a more casual ride style.  Again, go with what is comfortable to you. We have cycling apparel on sale and new items coming in for the winter months. Stop by and see what works best for you. 
Question #4 Should I use clipless or flat pedals? Note, clipless pedals are the ones you clip into with cycling shoes with cleats on the bottom.  Flat pedals are simply pedals, like you would have on a BMX or kids bike. They are not popular with many racers or road riders because clipless pedals help improve your performance in racing, especially for road disciplines. But don’t rush to use clipless or exclude flat pedals from your practice completely. Start with what you are most comfortable and make changes as you see fit. 
Question #5 How do I maintain my bike?  Bike maintenance may seem overwhelming to the new rider and even to veteran riders too.  Some cyclist really enjoy doing their own bike maintenance and others prefer for our shop mechanics to do it for them.  Again, do what is best in your comfort zone.  As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to follow some of these guidelines that we’ve written about in our post, 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road.
 
What other questions might you have that we missed? Don’t be shy! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to test ride a bike, check out our winter cycling apparel, and get all of your questions answered.  

Wheel Upgrades 101 – What You Need to Know

July 19, 2018

Wheel Sets at BikeParts.com / Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop

Wheel upgrades – they are one of the biggest differences you can make in your bikes performance. Obviously, wheels matter!  They impact ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  

The question is, once you’ve decided it’s time for a wheel upgrade, how do you know how to select the best ones?  There are different wheel types, a variety of options for tube or tubeless wheels, and ideas to consider in tubular wheels, rim shape, spoke count, and hub options. And for mountain bike wheel upgrades, there is the added question of what wheel size should you buy?  Since mountain bikes now have three wheels sizes to choose from – 26er, 27.5 and 29er – what makes sense for you?  Decisions! Decisions!

Before diving into any bike parts upgrades, you need to make sure you have a comfortable bike setup. No amount of money invested anywhere else on you bike will make a difference if you don’t feel comfortable and confident. With that said, bike fit comes first. Check out our post, Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips? to get an idea of the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride. And if you need help with your fit, look no further than Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. We have a private, dedicated room designated for bike fits. We offer Specialize’s branded fit system, Body Geometry, accompanied by the newest technologies to give you a comfortable and professional bike fit experience. Not only can we help you with your fit, but we carry all the bike parts you may require to get your bike in the very best setup for your riding needs. Give us a call at (303) 216-1616 to schedule.

Now, back to the topic at hand. Aside from a bike fit, the single most effective upgrade you can make is the wheels you ride. A new wheel set will transform your current ride.  Specifically, upgrading the stock, entry-level wheels your bike came with can provide huge performance gains on the road. Rotational weight and aerodynamic design of a wheel set can make a huge difference in your ability to accelerate, your overall climbing speed and the ability to hold high speeds on flats. If you decide later to get a new bike, they will be transferable to your next bike. Definitely a good worthwhile investment.

So the question remains – which wheel set and what wheel size is right for you?  We have two great resources to help you decide.  Read our post, Answering the unanswerable: What wheel size should I buy? (And what’s the difference, anyway?) and check out our Wheel set Buyer Guide video.  The wheel sets demonstrated in the video are available in our shop or on the bikeparts.com website.  

If you need more help figuring out which wheel set is right for you, let us help! We answer these questions on a day to day basis in our Peak Cycles Bike Shop in Golden, Colorado.  Whether you are thinking about road bike wheel sets, mountain bike wheel sets or just getting some thoughts together on wheel buying parameters and how your wheel set will affect your overall ride and other bike parts, we’re here to help! 


Cycling Health: How to Remain Injury Free 

July 5, 2018

Staying healthy is important to our overall well being and happiness. Everyone knows this, but cycling health is a matter of staying healthy and injury free so that continuous fitness gains can be made and basically, you can just do more of what you love! Ride that is!   Fortunately, with some simple, routine actions, it’s easy to remain healthy and injury free. 

Bike fit: In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. Whether you’re just starting to ride or you’ve been cycling for a long time, consider the benefits of a professional bike fit.  Fit impacts comfort but also technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries.  If you aren’t sure what to look for, you may want to 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. Handlebars, stems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety.

Bike Inspection:  Just because your bike may not be making noises or shifting poorly doesn’t mean it doesn’t need some TLC.  Noises are obvious signals for inspection yet, regular bike maintenance is a necessity.  As you ride more through the summer season, some things that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection earlier in the year may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential.  There are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order.  For starters, wipe down and inspect the frame. Remember to lube your chain and cables.  As unglamorous as chain lube is, it is a necessity.  It will keep your bike parts in working order and squeak free! There are many lubes to choose – wet vs dry lube.  As conditions vary, you may want to have a couple of different choices on hand.  Finally, inspect your brake pads. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. And, remember to inspect where the brake pads hit the rim; they should contact the rim evenly on both sides and not rub the tire in any way that may cause a flat.

Wheel Inspection: Obvious inspections includes tires, rims, and spokes. Check that there is adequate air pressure in the tires. Check that there aren’t any cuts or nicks in the sidewall or tread of the tires.  But maybe you’re considering a new wheel set?  Or perhaps going tubeless on your mountain bike.  Sometimes making changes to your current setup can inspire motivation to get out there and ride.  Check out our video on Wheelset Buyer Guide for What You Need to Know.  Whether you are thinking about road bike wheel sets, mountain bike wheel sets or just getting some thoughts together on wheel buying parameters and how your wheel set will affect your overall ride and other bicycle parts, this video will guide your way.

Biofeedback: Remember, it’s not all about the bike!  Be mindful of bio feedback.  What is your body telling you? Have you recovered from your last training ride or training block? Do you need rest? Or, are you ready to get out there and put some major miles and efforts in?  If you’re not sure of the messages your body is telling you, read our post, Overtraining? How Nutrition and Sleep Play a Role in Recovery for insights as to the stages of training and what to do about them for best performance.  Fortunately, due to the advancement of technology, there are countless apps available to help dial in bio feedback measurements and evaluations on the fly. 

In a nutshell, if you take care of your bike and yourself, then you will remain healthy and injury free. Sounds simple, and it is, but you have to remember to do it. Safe pedals friends! 


Make the Most of Your Ride Time This Memorial Day Weekend 

May 24, 2018

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Riding from BikeParts.com

Wondering what to do with your day off this upcoming Memorial Day weekend? Ride, of course! Get ready for a fun weekend of riding by swinging by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to stock up on all things cycling related! 

You can ride in style this Memorial Day weekend by getting a new road or mountain bike.  One option is to shop our latest mountain bike and road bike close out items and our discounted collections of bike parts online.  Or better yet, have one of our expert crew help you select the best bike for you.  Stop by the shop and we can help you identify what to look for in buying a new bike and get you scheduled for a bike fit in the process.  

Making the most of the holiday weekend, you’ll want to stock up on essential items to carry with you. Make a note to stock up on: Food, gels, and on the bike nutrition; Tubes, lube, a pump or C02; chain and multi toolRain jacketSunscreenHydration pack and extra bottles for fluids. 

And don’t forget bike maintenance! With a little extra time off from work, many cyclist enjoy performing much needed bike maintenance over the holiday weekend.  Replacing worn bike parts and cycling accessories without the stress of added work and family pressures makes bike maintenance a pleasure and not a chore.  If the kids are around, engage them in the process and teach them a thing or two about bicycles.  Who knows? You might inspire them to ride too! 

And, as a little teaser to whet your appetite for Colorado’s finest, enjoy the cycling videos, pics, and trail reviews. 

Happy Memorial Day to All! We look forward to seeing you at the shop or visit us at bikeparts.com to get all of your cycling apparel, accessories, and bike parts.  


The Best Bike Part Upgrades For a Better Ride

April 26, 2018
Upgrade your bicycle components at BikeParts.com

Upgrade your bicycle components at BikeParts.com

Riding a proper fitting bike is especially important for people who cycle on a regular basis or ride longer distances. Without it, cycling can be uncomfortable, and even downright painful.

When the aches begin or when new and unusual creeks and noises arise from the bike are too loud to ignore, the first thought is to purchase a new road or mountain bike.

Granted, purchasing a new bike is awesome! But if the 2018 road and mountain bikes that are out are not within your budget., what are the best bike part upgrades that can make your ride more comfortable?

Before diving into any bike parts upgrades, you need to make sure you have a comfortable bike setup. No amount of money invested anywhere else on you bike will make a difference if you don’t feel comfortable and confident. With that said, bike fit comes first. Check out our post, Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips? to get an idea of the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride. And if you need help with your fit, look no further than Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. We have a private, dedicated room designated for bike fits. We offer Specialize’s branded fit system, Body Geometry, accompanied by the newest technologies to give you a comfortable and professional bike fit experience. Not only can we help you with your fit, but we carry all the bike parts you may require to get your bike in the very best setup for your riding needs. Give us a call at (303) 216-1616 to schedule.

Aside from a bike fit, the single most effective upgrade you can make is the wheels you ride. A new wheel set will transform your current ride and if you decide later to get a new bike, they will be transferable to your next bike. Definitely a good worthwhile investment. Wheels impact ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality. The question is, once you’ve decided it’s time for a wheel upgrade, how do you know how to select the best ones? There are different wheel types, a variety of options for tube or tubeless wheels, and ideas to consider in tubular wheels, rim shape, spoke count, and hub options. Our video offers pointers or stop by the shop and we can help answer your questions.

There’s little point in spending money on a lighter wheel set only to ride them with cheap rubber. Invest in descent tires. One option is to go tubeless. To do this, you do need tubeless-compatible wheels to make this upgrade a reality. Most riders that have tried it never go back, so it’s an upgrade that’s well worth your attention. If you’re up for doing this yourself, you’ll want to watch our video: Going Tubeless? How to use Stans NoTubes.

Maybe upgrading your bike parts isn’t in the cards. Maybe you prefer to upgrade your cycling accessories or cycling apparel. Having a new jersey or new cycling shoes may be just what you need to bring a fresh approach and enthusiasm to the season. Whatever your needs may be, we have all the bike parts and cycling apparel you need. Just stop into Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado to see what you might find. See you soon!


Optimization: Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Spring Cycling 

March 1, 2018

Early Season Training for Peak Cycles Race Team

The winter months aren’t very conducive to maintaining a solid level of fitness and keeping in shape.  Yet spring is right around the corner and with the warming temperatures and the start of daylight savings time it’s fair to say we’re seeing the first signs of spring.  This can be both hugely exciting, and also slightly nerve racking for cyclists who have spent the winter months working towards spring or summer goals. So, what are the best ways to optimize your cycling to prepare best for the upcoming season? Rest assured, we’ve got you covered.  Read on. 

Optimize your fitness with a power meter:
Whether you plan to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2018, monitoring your early season training and racing sets the stage for a successful year ahead.  Key points to keep in mind include training intensity, duration, and frequency.  Our tip to do this? Use power meters and heart rate monitors to guide you. Given that 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 2018 cycling season goals.  Check out our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, to dial in which training aid is best for you. 

Optimize biological feedback with a heart rate monitor:
Speaking of heart rate, heart rate monitors are a funny thing – they can be completely useless or extremely valuable depending on how you use them. Heart rate training has been viewed in many ways over the years, from very precise to not so precise. Now, a growing number of coaches and exercise physiologists support the use of heart rates as an important part of biological feedback, as heart rates are a direct reflection of what is happening internally.  If you’re new to training with heart rate monitors, the post, The Variables and Trends of Heart Rate Training,  walks you through the steps of learning your “threshold” heart rate range, setting up heart rate training zones, and identifying the daily variables that affect heart rate.  But before you begin to analyze data, you actually have to have a heart rate monitor to get started!  Visit us at Peak Cycles Bike Shop or BikeParts.com to check out the heart rate monitors for the 2018 cycling season. 

Optimize your riding position with a 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.

Optimize bike mechanics with regular inspection:
Bike maintenance can be a chore, but a necessity.  As you ride more through the early season, some things that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential.  There are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order for the early season cycling months.  For starters, wipe down and inspect the frame.  Rain, snow, mud, and road elements pose different cleaning challenges to your frame and bicycle parts.  Consider using a stiff, soft-bristled brush to knock off any chunks of dried-on mud that may be on your frame or wheels. Then, follow that up by taking a rag to your bike, wiping it down generally all over to get off any remaining dust or dirt.  If you are concerned about how to maintain and clean carbon frames, check out this video for best suggestions.  Don’t forget to lube your chain and cables.  As unglamorous as chain lube is, it is a necessity.  It will keep your bike parts in working order and squeak free! There are many lubes to choose – wet vs dry lube.  As conditions vary, you may want to have a couple of different choices on hand.  Finally, inspect your brake pads. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. And, remember to inspect where the brake pads hit the rim; they should contact the rim evenly on both sides and not rub the tire in any way that may cause a flat.  Remember, pre season bike maintenance and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.

There you have it! Plan for a successful cycling season by training right early season.  A good bike fit, steady riding, and the use of training tools paves the way for a healthy, injury free 2018.