Fall Cycling: 10 Must-Have Items You Need

November 7, 2019

It’s Cold. No. Now it’s warm. Nope. It is definitely chilly. And where is that breeze coming from?  Does this sound like you? 

Fall riding can be great with the cooler temperatures, the hint of crispness in the air and the beautiful foliage. Yet, riding in the fall has its challenges from a temperature perspective.  One minute you may feel warm, followed by feeling chilled, and then warm again. When your focus shifts from enjoying your ride to your increasingly cold and numb hands and feet, then you either cut your ride short or just suffer.  Given you have the right cycling apparel and you know how to dress for winter riding, you don’t have to do either.   The trick is having the right cycling apparel with you for modulating your body’s temperature while riding.

With that said, the following are the must-have items to have in your cycling wardrobe for fall riding.  

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. 

5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclists 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.  

9. Lights – Daylight Savings Time has ended and if you have noticed, the days have gotten 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 – Nothing is worse than experiencing a mechanical issue with your bike when the weather is cold, wet, windy or a combination of all three.  Make sure you have handy bicycle tools or a multi-tool to have on hand in inclement weather.  

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.  Or, you may find a long-sleeved jersey sans a base layer works. Do your best with the weather and be sure to stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up any cycling accessoriesbike parts, or cycling apparel you may need.  And lucky for you, we have some great sales on winter tops right now. Up to 60% off jackets. https://bit.ly/2WLkYFT Stay warm and see you soon! 


Cycling Will Help You Manage Diabetes

October 24, 2019

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, our passion for cycling and bikes is fueled by the joyful experiences shared while riding a bike. Whether that is riding with friends and family, participating in a community event, or pushing personal limits in training or a race.  Yet, underneath that is a deep appreciation for what cycling and bike riding does to support health, longevity, and preserve the quality of life as we age.  

Previously we’ve written about The Benefits Of Cycling For Seniors Living with Arthritis, Cycling when Pregnant, How to Remain Injury-Free with Cycling, and Why Cycling is so Good For You in Later Life. Today, our focus is on how cycling can help you manage diabetes.

If you are unaware, America is facing a healthcare crisis with levels of diabetes, and Colorado is no different, having 9.8% of the adult population diagnosed with some form of the disease according to Diabetes.org. A complex condition that is never healed, it requires lifelong lifestyle changes to keep in check. A big part of this is exercise, and cycling can be one of the best ways to keep diabetes under control.

How cycling helps – physically
All exercise is beneficial for keeping diabetes in check, but there is evidence that cycling may be particularly effective and especially so in terms of prevention. A 2016 study published in PLOS found that cycling – whether recreational or commuter – significantly reduced the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, and also aided pregnant women with avoiding gestational diabetes. Apart from the inherent accessibility and effectiveness of cycling, associated lifestyle changes were marked as indicators for why cycling is so effective.

Cyclists make it routine
By cycling to and from work and home or running errands via bike commuting the semi-vigorous exercise is introduced to the daily routine. More so than even walking, this means that the body is more regularly engaged in exercise and that hormone levels are kept in check. This, in turn, influences diet and blood sugar. For both preventing and mitigating the symptoms of diabetes, this is an invaluable factor. Being on the road makes it less tempting to be sedentary and eat unhealthy snacks, too.

Changing nutrition
In addition to being generally more active, cyclists are more likely to eat a well-balanced diet. This was the findings of an influential 2001 study that outlined how cyclists will typically eat a well-balanced plate every day with a good mix of macro and micronutrients. A good diet is an incredibly important part of diabetes control and likely the most important singular factor. The introduction of a good diet as a by-product of the cycling culture and exertion can only be seen as a positive contributory factor.

In many ways, the benefits that those diagnosed with diabetes generate from cycling are formed in a holistic way. While the physical activity of cycling is absolutely beneficial for mitigating a diagnosis of diabetes, it’s the lifestyle that many cyclists pick up that ends up being the defining factor. If you’re looking for the perfect undertaking to help you manage your diagnosis of diabetes, consider cycling – you’ll more than likely be feeling better without even knowing it. 

As we’re transitioning into the fall and winter climates, maintaining motivation to ride in inclement weather can be a factor.  Those dedicated to bike commuting and managing diabetes know that wearing base layers for warmth, combined with a wind jacket or rain jacket can keep their core warm while they ride comfortably. In addition, long fingered gloves and knee warmers keep the fingers and knees toasty warm contributing to a comfortable commuting or training experience. 

When you have the right bike parts and cycling accessories, it’s easy to ride no matter what the conditions.  Cycling consistently supports overall health and well being. So when your motivation is wavering, remember that cycling supports your health well beyond the thrill of a great bike ride.


Training Secrets: How to Use the Fall Transition Phase for Fun and Fitness Gains 

October 17, 2019

While some cyclists are continuing to race cyclocross, many have ended their cycling season.  The epic rides have been replaced with shorter rides. Weekday rides may be exercised on the trainer or supplemented with gym workouts or yoga. The transition from all the summer fun to the end of season experience may have you asking yourself, what to do now?

As we wrote about in our post, Fall isn’t the end of a season, it’s the beginning of a new one, 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 relaxed mindset includes maintaining your training regimen, but with a relaxed focus. One that includes fun and experimentation. 

Focus on Fun!
The key to late-season riding, racing and bike events is really to have fun! Earlier in the season, the focus is on improving fitness or achieving goals. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work. With fitness levels high, late-season bike riding and events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and try out new cycling accessories. Consider checking out that new wheelset or a dropper post on your mountain bike. You have nothing to lose by experimenting this late in the season. And, if you like the bike parts you experiment with, you have the winter months to dial in your cycling position and bike fit.  If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close-outs, bike parts, and components. Having a fun, relaxed attitude is a great way to finish your season.

Focus on Fat! Fat bikes that is!
Instead of missing rides and potentially getting fat, just get a fat bike! Fat bikes are the hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now and not surprisingly now is the time to get on board with them. This year there is more competition in the fat bike market than ever which means lower price tags. In addition to more complete bikes, there is a huge selection of fat bike parts available which makes it easy to customize your ride with wheels, tires, and other components that fit your riding style. Better yet, you can keep motivation high and up your giggle factor by participating in fat bike races through the winter months. 

Focus on Night Riding!
Riding at night can bring a fresh sense of adventure to your riding and fall is the time to do it. It’s not too cold and the weather is more cooperative. The trick is to have a There are benefits to night riding too. Riding in the dark heightens your senses, improves your skills and builds awareness.  Switching up the training regime can freshen your attitude, spark some fun, and maintain fitness while transitioning to the winter season. As luck would have it, we have lights on sale right now! LED, rechargeable, and affordable. Check out BikeParts.com for our wide variety of light options.  Or, stop by the shop and see which ones are best for your bike setup and type of riding.

The transition from summer riding to fall riding can actually be fun, interesting, and offer some unique opportunities that the spring and summer months don’t.  With fitness levels high and cooperative weather conditions, the fall season is a great time for experimentation.  Ride new routes! Explore different trials before winter weather arrives!  Test new bike parts.  During the racing and cycling season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Use this time to spark renewed interest in your cycling program and begin dreaming of your 2020 cycling goals.  


Indoor Cycling Made Easy 

October 10, 2019
Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

The cold is here! It’s our first really cold day of the fall season.  There may be some hardcore cyclists cycling outside; however, most cyclists are either skipping their regular training ride or pushing their workout off a day.  Either way, trainer season is officially beginning!  And by trainer season, we mean, training and cycling indoors. 

The trainer can be a love/hate relationship.  As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months.  Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle-specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding.  Ugh. Is there a way to make it work?  Yes!  There is!  With a mixture of planning and dose of discipline, you can motivate yourself to get in quality trainer rides.  Here’s how. 

Get the equipment you need
The right equipment and bike parts can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but it makes all the difference in the world. 

Set up your environment
Aside from the actual cycling components, it’s critical to create an inviting cycling environment. Why? Well, you need an environment that limits excuses and supports your fitness goals.  What do you need to inspire you?  As in, do you need bright lights to keep you motivated?  An upbeat playlist? Is there a time of day that works best for you?  Then, schedule your trainer training time then.  Your primary objective in creating a support structure is to foster an environment in which you are supported and held accountable.

Motivation
Sometimes seeing is believing!  Keep your motivation strong with visual effects.  Pop in a DVD training video or select a few YouTube clips to get your mind in the game.  Posters, a vision board, books, maps, apps, or pictures of upcoming races can trigger your motivation to not only get on the bike but maybe even dig a little deeper than you would have otherwise. Growing popular platforms make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App, offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you.  Some of our favorites from the list include ZwiftCycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.  Try one or a few to dial in which best suits your riding style and aids with motivation. 

Vary your workouts
One way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride and add strength training to your workouts.  One way to do this is to avoid long rides on the trainer altogether. Year-round strength training for cyclists matters and substituting your indoor rides with strength training will do more for your cycling later on in the season than doing another trainer session.  In fact, a one-hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer accordingly and substitute ride time for strength training time. 

It may seem obvious, but scheduling workouts on the same day every week will help with consistency.  By creating a repeating schedule that you know works for you you minimize the chances of missing a workout. The post, 4 Habits to Increase Your Consistency, offers more suggestions on increasing consistency, such as, being purposeful, following your plan as best as possible, and getting in shorter rides when you have less time to train.

Granted, trainer rides will never replace the joy of cycling outside. However, you can take pride in that you are getting your rides in and building your cycling base for the season ahead. 


Get Ready For The Golden Giddyup

September 12, 2019

Only 2 days until the Golden Giddyup! Wait, what? Haven’t you heard of the Golden Giddyup?  Well, it’s a mountain bike community-sponsored bike event and trail stewardship program held in Golden, Colorado and it’s THIS weekend! All of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop are excited about the event. You’re invited to learn all about the GoldenGiddyup and encouraged to take part!

The History: The Golden Giddyup is a 501c3 nonprofit originally created to support Jefferson County Open Space with competent volunteer trail builders who help maintain some of the most loved and heavily used Open Space Parks. Each year in September, the partners at Jeffco Open Space close Apex, Windy Saddle and North Table Mountain Parks to host the annual Golden Giddyup race and there is a party, the Giddyup Get-Down, in downtown Golden. All of the proceeds from the event go back to supporting the Giddyup Trail Team and the stewardship efforts on the trail and off.

What is it? The Golden Giddyup is an all-day mountain bike event.  Part of the day is racing and all of the day is pure fun! As for the racing part, the Golden Giddyup features an enduro-style format, with three timed descents and three timed climbs.  As for course and race descriptions, there’s the Classic, the Chimpex, and the Lite. Each course option offers stiff climbs and bomb worthy descents.  As for the fun part, well, that’s an all-day thing.  The Giddyup Expo is from 10 AM – 5 PM in Lions Park. There is a free concert from noon until 5 PM. And the best part? Family fun and bike activities throughout the day!  There is a skills course for strider riders on up, a climbing wall, face painting and a variety of family fun activities.

Get involved!  If you’re a Golden Giddyup first-timer, then show up and enjoy the festivities! If you’re registered to race, then plan ahead and purchase any bike parts or cycling accessories to be prepared. Get your bike maintenance tools and prep your mountain bike for a great day in the saddle. 

The Golden Giddyup is a wonderful event and more so, an opportunity to really thank all those that make our mountain bike trails great. We’ll see you at the Golden Giddyup! 


BikeParts.com Guide to the Colorado Classic – Stage 3 in Golden, Colorado 

August 15, 2019

We are just days away from the start of the 2019 Colorado Classic.  This fabulous, three-day invitation-only event is sanctioned by USA Cycling and will kick off in Breckenridge on August 21 and conclude in Golden on August 23, prior to the start of the last day of racing for the USA Pro Challenge. It is the first time since 1988 that some of the best men and women in the world will be sharing courses at a major, international stage race in Colorado.  And, Colorado sports enthusiasts and cycling fans around the world wait with anticipation of yet another phenomenal pro race.  With stunning Colorado backdrops, high adrenaline, high altitude thrills of pro cycling, what’s more to like? 

Anticipation.  The Colorado Classic is the only women’s stand-alone stage race in the Western Hemisphere on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar and USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour and we are thrilled to watch it play out! The women competing in the Women’s USA Pro Challenge will include top national riders and Olympians. The women will race for the same prize money as the men and it will help lead the way for future equal winnings in races.  More than a race, the Colorado Classic will act as a movement to inspire women, challenge and redefine female professional cycling, and ultimately, empower women of all ages to break the mold, and fight for their goals.

Given that BikeParts.com / Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is located on Washington Street in the heart of downtown Golden, Colorado, we’re poised to give you the rundown on the best ways to experience this fantastic event. 

The Stage
First, take a look at what Stage 3 in Golden, Colorado is all about. On paper, Stage 3 in Golden looks like a sprinter’s delight with seven swift laps of a nine-mile circuit that starts and finishes under the iconic Golden arch downtown. But don’t be fooled as the short steep climb up the historic Washington St. is enough for a mini-QOM on the last lap, combined with additional rollers, add up to over 4,000’ of vertical. Look for breakaway attempts and sprint trains after the non-climbers have waited for two days to get on terrain that suits them.

Highlights of the stage include 3 intermediate sprints and time bonuses; QOM up Washington Street at the start of the last lap; Short steep hill on Washingtons Street right after the Start/Finish

And a great place to spectate is at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop! Of course, there are many other great course-side viewing options as well.  Yet, you’ll want to swing by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop because we have a dazzling display of road bikesmountain bikescycling accessories, and cycling apparel.  It’s enough to make your head spin! It’s the delightful appeal that only a local, mountain town bicycle shop can provide.  

Where to watch
Stage 3 will include three Fan Zones where you will get the best view of the racing. This includes the Start/Finish area; 15th and Washington and the Expo at Parfet Park. 

There are other events as well! 

Golden Women’s Community Ride – August 23rd, 5:30pm, a community ride, and everyone is invited. The ride will start under the Arch and make a quick trip to the Lions Park Ballfields where Movies and Music in the Park will start at 7 pm.  Activities celebrating women athletes will take place before the movie. Come celebrate the city’s deep commitment to women on bikes!

Golden Movie Night  – August 23, free in Lion’s Park, starting at 7 pm with music from the Sweet Lillies followed by a showing of Mary Poppins Returns at dusk under the stars, around 8:30 p.m.  Also, expect some updates on the race — in person!  

The Golden Farmer’s Market  – August 24th, 8 am – 1 pm.  Get some shopping done before the race starts!

Colorado Classic 5k presented by Altra — August 24, free fun run for anyone, any age starting at 9:00 am in Parfet Park and ending at the race finish line under the Golden Arch.

Shopping: Make good use of your day and stop by the shop. Browse through our road bikes and mountain bikes like Giant, and Specialized and check out our specialty bike parts.  Our highly-rated bike parts and components have become favorites among many. You may want to make the day memorable and pick up a select few bike partscycling accessories, or cycling apparel. Or, ask us for details on what to do near Golden and the best local places to ride in Golden. We know the best road rides and mountain bike trails for every type of rider.  Call ahead or visit us at BikeParts.com

We’re loving the good vibe the Colorado Classic brings to the sport of cycling!  Wishing all racers the very best!  


Cross is Coming – Get Ready with Our Sale of Bike Parts and Omnium Portable Trainer 

August 8, 2019

Omnium Portable Trainer at BikeParts.comIn late summer and early fall, a new slogan can be heard on repeat: “Cross is coming.” Meaning another cyclocross season will soon be underway.   And sure enough, late August is usually when the first cyclocross race is held in Golden, Colorado.  

So, what does this mean? It means, in preparation for the upcoming cyclocross season, now is the time to cash in on all the bike part deals we have!  

An all-time favorite of cross racers is the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer.  It’s on sale now for $399.  Folks love this trainer for warming up and cooling down for cross races. The Omnium trainer utilizes Internal Progressive Resistance (IPR) delivering a real-road feel with minimal noise. Added benefits are: 

  • Progressive magnetic resistance
  • No assembly required–simply unfold and mount bike
  • Bearings are greased and sealed, requiring no maintenance
  • Includes heavy-duty tote bag for transport and storage

Adding to your savings are the sales we have going on for cycling apparel.  As mentioned in our post, Race Prep: What to Bring to a Cyclocross Race, the list is long for cyclocross packing. There is gear for warming up, gear for racing, gear for cooling down, gear for the bikes and gear for creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. In addition, it is often not enough to have a single piece of equipment or clothing; several may be needed for the day. Take advantage of the specials we have to stock up on much-needed cycling accessories and cycling apparel.  

Remember, cross is coming!! Plan your cyclocross season now, order your bike parts at bikeparts.com and grab your cowbell!