Is Your Bike Haunted? How to Rid Your Bike of Scary Squeaks and Creaks this Halloween 

October 31, 2019

Do you hear squeaks and creaks, clanks and clatters, or rattles and clicks coming from your bike? Are you in fear that your bike is haunted? That perhaps a competitor has put a curse on you? Or quite possibly your bike is possessed?  It is Halloween after all! And frightful things can happen! Take it from our bike mechanics here at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, a frightful terror we have seen is the use of WD-40 as chain lubrication!  The horror!

Given our bike maintenance experience, we can help you expel the frightful sounds originating from your bike. Granted, our tips and tricks won’t cover a full exorcism but you’ll be well on your way to fixing those annoying noises and back to peaceful pedaling.

Squeaks and CreeksThese super common sounds are usually due to dirty or dry bearings. You’ll often find that after riding your bike for a while or in harsh conditions these noises start to creep in. Areas to check if you’re hearing these noises would be:
Crankset/ Bottom Bracket
Headset
Pivots (MTB)
Derailleur jockey wheels or chain guide pulleys
Chain
Derailleur “clutch” or lockout area
Saddle rail clamp bolt
Clipless pedals

Clunks and ClattersAnother common noise that sounds a bit scarier is a clunk or clatter. This noise should scare you because it generally means something on your bike is loose! Here are some important bolts to check if you hear this noise:
Headset
Front/Rear wheel axles
Pivots (MTB)
Derailleur bolt
Water bottle cage (ok, this one’s not that scary… but super common!)

Rattles and Clicks – While there are countless recommendations on keeping your road bike or mountain bike in good, working order, try these tips to help with rattles, clicks, and the like.
Pay Attention to Your Chain. If you’ve been training regularly then no doubt your chain is showing some wear and tear. Take time to actually clean your chain. For an easy-clean, scrub your drivetrain parts with a brush and eco-friendly degreaser and re-lubricate the chain when you are done. For something more thorough, you could buy a chain cleaner like Park Tool’s Cyclone Chain Scrubber, fill it with a non-aerosol degreaser like Pedros Oranj Peelzturn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you. As for the best chain lube, check out our post, Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush, and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? for options.

Check your Wheels and Tires. Both your wheels and tires are essential for bike safety.  Accompanying the snow and wet riding conditions are salt, debris, and miscellaneous items found in the cycling lanes and roads. Have you checked your tires lately? They may actually need replacing. Begin by cleaning the wheels with rubbing alcohol and dry with a cloth. Check the rims for damage and examine for loose spokes. Your wheel should run smoothly without any side-to-side wobble. Next, replace your tires. If you aren’t up for doing this yourself, let us help you.

Inspect Your Brakes. Nothing is more frightening than shredding down a long, winding road and not having brakes! Bike brakes use brake pads to stop your wheels from turning. Brake pads wear down over time and especially so under wet and grimy conditions. Be mindful to examine your brake pads for any uneven or extensive wear. If you do find uneven abrasions, you probably need to get your brakes adjusted and/or replaced.

Replace old bike parts! Don’t wait until you hear odd little noises or you notice that your bike is taking too long for the brakes to engage before investigating.  Some parts of a bike have a set “wear life”. As you put in the miles, they gradually wear out and need to be replaced. Typically, this includes chainscassetteschainringsbrake pads, and cleats.

Finally, if you can’t find the cause of the annoying noises, bring your bike into Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado. We’ll be able to zero in on the source and type of noise fast and efficiently and get you back to riding in peace and quiet in no time. See you soon and Happy Halloween Friends!


Sloppy Weather – Easy Tips to Show Your Bike Some TLC  

March 7, 2019

Peak Cycles / BikeParts.com Training Ride up Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado

It’s that time of the year when road rides alternate between dry pavement and sloppy slush.  And, with the warmer temperatures gracing the Front Range, riding MTB trails is a treat but there is the complication of dealing with mud, slush and a mixture of dry trail. What does this mean to cyclists? it means your bike needs some TLC. Bike maintenance isn’t always fun to do, but obviously, it is a necessity. 

While there are countless recommendations on keeping your road bike or mountain bike in good, working order, these are our top 3 picks for bike maintenance during this transitional season. 

  1. Pay Attention to Your Chain. If you’ve been training regularly then no doubt your chain is showing some wear and tear. Take time to actually clean your chain. For an easy clean, scrub your drivetrain parts with a brush and eco-friendly degreaser and re-lubricate the chain when you are done. For something more thorough, you could buy a chain cleaner like Park Tool’s Cyclone Chain Scrubber, fill it with a non-aerosol degreaser like Pedros Oranj Peelzturn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you. As for the best chain lube, check out our post, Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush, and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? for options.
  2. Check your Wheels and Tires. Both your wheels and tires are essential for bike safety.  Accompanying the snow and wet riding conditions are salt, debris, and miscellaneous items found in the cycling lanes and roads. Have you checked your tires lately? They may actually need replacing. Begin by cleaning the wheels with rubbing alcohol and dry with a cloth. Check the rims for damage and examine for loose spokes. Your wheel should run smoothly without any side-to-side wobble. Next, replace your tires. If you aren’t up for doing this yourself, let us help you. For the month of March, receive 20% off any tire with the purchase of installation in the shop! 
  3. Inspect Your Brakes. When you are shredding down a long, winding road or a steep trail grade, what’s going to stop you? Your brakes! Bike brakes use brake pads to stop your wheels from turning. Brake pads wear down over time and especially so under wet and grimy conditions. Be mindful to examine your brake pads for any uneven or extensive wear. If you do find uneven abrasions, you probably need to get your brakes adjusted and/or replaced.

As you ride more through the early season, some worn bike parts that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential. Preseason bike maintenance and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the cycling accessories you need to maintain your bike or let us help you!


The Do’s and Don’ts to Completing Your First Big Charity Ride

June 8, 2017

Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com Riding

If you are a casual bike rider and have opted to push your personal limits and go for a big event, have you found yourself perplexed about preparations?

Oftentimes, those making the jump from one level of fitness to another find themselves wondering about what to expect.  Most riders just want to make it to the end of the ride.

Yet, we are here to offer our tips to help you to not only finish your big charity ride – but also, enjoying every pedal stroke of it.  Enjoy our do’s and don’ts of mastering your charity ride.

Do prepare your bike in advance.  This is an obvious but overlooked first step. Give your road bike a once over.   Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  As an example, your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Consider replacing worn bike parts and purchasing new cycling accessories you may need. 

Do know the course and aid stations.  Review the course.  Identify aid station sand watch the weather.  Primarily, you want to anticipate your needs as you tick off each mile.  For instance, learn or write down on a card to put in your jersey the mile markers for the aid stations.  You may also make note of the mileage between aid stations.  You may end up passing through the earlier aid stations only to stop more frequently at the the aid stations later in the event.  Having this knowledge is helpful mentally and helps you gauge your energy during the ride.

Do pack extra cycling accessoriesIf the event offers drop bags, you may consider placing extra gloves, a rain jacket, lube, and maybe even a small towel in your drop bag.  Pack your nutritional and clothing needs to pair with the aid stations so that you ride with the items you need and can gather extra when needed.  These necessary items can make all the difference in avoiding discomfort in poor weather and /or poor riding conditions.

Don’t forget the basic essentials. Lay everything out the night before. Basic essentials include your every day cycling apparel: helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottles, food, and sunscreen.

Don’t go out too fast.  Pace yourself. It’s tempting to go out too hard when you are feeling fresh and the enthusiasm is high.  You’re going to be in the saddle for a long day; so be mindful of your pace, as well as, your ongoing nutrition needs.  Eat and drink as needed and avoid consuming too much at the aid stations.

Don’t compare yourself with other riders. If this is your first big event, most likely, you won’t be in the front group.  Sometimes that can be discouraging; other times that can be comforting. Regardless, it is important to benchmark your success based on your own achievements.  Be inspired by fitter and faster riders and celebrate in your achievement of finishing your big event at your pace and in your way.

Most of all, enjoy the ride!  Take these do’s and don’ts and create your own guidelines to successfully master all of your big, epic rides!


Wet Weather? No Problem! 5 Essentials for Riding in the Rain

March 30, 2017

Waterproof Jackets for Spring Cycling @ BikeParts.com

There is no such thing as “bad biking weather”, just ask those happy folks cycling around the Front Range every day of the year. Most cyclist have experienced a sprinkle, shower, or torrential downpour at some point during their cycling career—but with the right gear and attitude, riding in wet weather can be acceptable, and maybe even fun. Here’s what you need.

Rain jacket – Cycling rain jackets are optimized to be fully waterproof and breathable while allowing for a range of movement, and they often have subtle (or unsubtle) reflective accents. The thing to be mindful of when choosing one is the hood. If you ride in a helmet, is the hood big enough to fit over it? If not, opt for a head cap. A cycling cap, worn underneath your helmet, will help keep the rain from running into your eyes while you ride, and help shield your face from the rain.

Shoe covers or waterproof shoes – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from wet, cold, and wind. There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Sometimes, even shoe covers aren’t enough protection. Waterproof cycling shoes and boots can be a very smart investment, especially if you’re determined to ride in the rain frequently.

Gloves – Perched out on your handlebars your hands face the brunt of the weather. As your hands become numb from the constant rain, their temperature quickly cools, and before too long you can have some very frozen fingers to deal with. Frozen fingers aren’t much good at changing gear, braking or clinging to the handlebars, and they’re extremely uncomfortable. Opt for full finger / windproof gloves and waterproof gloves.

Lights – Even if it’s daylight out, you should ride with lights—for the same reason cars turn their lights on in the rain.  The sky is darker, rain can obscure your outline, and drivers are already distracted. Using lights will make you more visible, and help you stay safe.

Maintenance – Experiencing mechanical difficulties in wet conditions is not fun!  A well maintained bike is a fun bike to ride – even in the rain. While bike maintenance can be a chore, having the right set of bike components and bicycle tools can make all the difference.  Good reminders for riding in wet conditions is to wipe down and inspect the frame.  Then, follow that up by applying lube your chain and pivot points.  

Finally, adjust your attitude!  Learn to love riding in the rain.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop or visit us at BikeParts.com to select the cycling apparel that matches your riding style and wet riding needs. 


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!


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.


Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best?

February 18, 2016

14681_824120950998623_5531880712172245275_nIt’s that time of the year when road rides alternate between dry pavement and sloppy slush.  And, with the warmer temperatures gracing the Front Range, riding trails is a treat but there is the complication of dealing with mud, slush and a mixture of dry trail. What does this mean to cyclists?  Choose your chain lube wisely!

Picking the right chain lubricant can be one of the more frustrating things you’ll do as a cyclist. There’s a million different types to pick: wet lubes, dry lubes, waxes, spray ons, drop ons, biolubes, and others.  Scratching your head, you might think, can’t just one chain lube do the trick? Well, when you consider that different chain lubricants are designed for different environments, the answer is a maybe.  Think of it this way, what may protect a chain or drivetrain component in one climate may actually do harm in another.  There’s an assortment of manufactures from Pedro’s, Finish Line, Pro Gold, Bike Medicine, Squirt, and White Lightning, how do you choose?   Start with the basics in understanding bike chain lubricants.  

Wet Lubes – A wet lube is thick enough to stay on the chain, thin enough to penetrate all of the small moving parts, and will remain wet (to the feel) till it is cleaned off or washes away. This lube cleans, lubricates and protects the chain from corrosion. The best time to use this type of lube is in wet or muddy conditions and areas where there is not a lot of dust.  The down side to using a wet lube is that because they stay wet on the chain they collect a lot of dirt and debris.

Dry Lubes – A dry lube, on the other hand, is a lube that has an alcohol base and dries on the chain leaving a waxy film that protects and lubricates the chain. Most dry lubes take about 3-4 hours to dry and should be applied with enough time to dry before the ride. The major advantage to a dry lube is that it does not collect much, if any dirt. The down side is dry lubes wear off quickly, especially in wet or muddy conditions.

Wax Lubes – Wax lubes are essentially very dry lubes and, as the name suggests, are very waxy. In addition to lubricating your drivetrain, wax lubes also help keep your chain clean. Part of the reason it is so clean, however, is the number of applications that are required. Wax lube will either need to be washed off or it will have the ability to flake away on its own. This kind of lube does not last long when used in wet or muddy conditions, but it also leaves the least amount of messy residue – which is nice for your surrounding bike parts

Bike maintenance isn’t always fun to do, but obviously necessary.  So, what about which bike lubricant to use in different conditions?  Basically, wet lubes are ideal for rainy, wet conditions.  Dry lubrication is perfect for dry conditions.  In varying conditions, many cyclist prefer dry lube over wet, despite the fact that it requires more application and drying time.

An interesting little-known fact about chain lubricants, is that at Peaks Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have the largest assortment of chain lubricants available.  Stop by the shop in Golden, Colorado to check out our display and while you’re at it, be sure to view our 2016 cycling apparel and accessories.  Nothing pairs better with chain lube than new bike parts or cycling apparel, right?