What to Look For When Buying a New Bike 

May 3, 2018
Bikes at BikeParts.comIt’s getting warmer outside, there’s a change in the air, and chances are you’re feeling the itch to ride your bike. As the new road bike and mountain bike models make their way into the shop, it’s tempting to purchase a new bike.  And why not?
The pleasure of buying a new bike includes a process of joy, smiling, and endless thoughts that stimulates your pleasure receptors that leaves you tingling with anticipation of the adventure ahead.  Making sure you up your giggle factor, here’s our guide to help you make the best of your new bike purchase.
First off, build your bike profile.  Decide what type of riding you will be doing, how often, and the types of terrain you plan to ride. Because there are so many bike parts to build a new mountain bike or road bike, it’s important to get clear on what you are looking to do.  Here are some questions you need to get you started:
  • What type of bicycle do I want?  Will I be mountain biking, road cycling, or is comfort my biggest factor in a bike?
  • Am I interested in casual riding? Entry level competitive cycling? Full on racing?
  • How many miles might I log per week, or year?
  • What type of tires should my bike have?
  • What size bike do I need?
  • Do I want a bike with gears? If so, How many?
  • What kind of seat do I want?
  • Cycling accessories – what matters to me most: high-tech gadgets or are simpler designs?
  • What kind of handlebars do I want? Straight or curved?
  • Am I interested in the highest quality bike parts?  Or, can I get by with industry standard bicycle accessories?
  • Most importantly, how much am I willing to spend on a bike? This will determine alot of the questions asked above.

Next, consider the bike fit and how the bike feels when you ride it.  Following are the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride.

  1. Get the correct bike for your needs.  Getting a bike whose frame matches your body is the most important part of bike fit . If the frame size is wrong, you probably won’t be able to adjust the seat and handlebars enough to compensate. Some adjustments can be made easily with the bike’s existing components (seat height, angle, etc.) and some may require swapping out a component (as in, a new stem can change the location of the handlebars for a more comfortable riding position).
  2. Seat height. When you’re pedaling and your leg is all the way down, your knee should be slightly bent. If your leg is straight (knee locked), your seat is too high. If your knee is very bent,  your seat is too low. Either problem can hurt your knees, and a seat height that’s too short robs you of power and makes it harder to ride.  To get the proper seat height, you want the saddle to be high enough that your heel barely touches the pedal at the bottom of the pedal rotation, but not so high that your heel comes above your toes at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
  3. Seat position. Saddle setback another important measurement to get right. The front of your kneecap should be directly over your pedal spindle when you’re mid-pedal stroke. Most bike fitters dangle a piece of string with a small weight at the bottom (a plumb line) from the side of the rider’s kneecap to see if it lines up directly with the spindle—you may need to enlist a friend to help get this exactly right.  Or better yet, schedule a bike fit at our shop and we’ll help you do it!
  4. Reach to your handlebars.  Handlebar reach is simply the distance you reach from your saddle to your handlebars. Aim for a riding position that gives you a modest amount of shock-absorbing bend in your arms without forcing you to reach too far to apply the brakes.
  5. Handlebar height. Your handlebars should be at least as high as your seat.

Fortunately, now is the best time to shop for a new bike. There are so many options available today. Visit us at Peak Cycles in Golden or online at bikeparts.com.  We can help with your decision making and offer advice you need to get you rolling on your new bike just in time for summer riding.

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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!


Cycling Inspiration for Earth Day

April 19, 2018

April 22nd is Earth Day! Yay! And, you might be wondering how bicycles benefit the environment? Or why ride them on this special day?

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are big supporters in our local community and race teams, and as such, we know bike commuting is a win-win for our local community. Basically, for anyone looking to save money, embrace a green or sustainable lifestyle, and promote healthy, livable cities, cycling is important.

To kick off your Earth Day preparations, you will want to read our post, Pedal Power for Earth Day, to explore the many benefits of bike commuting. As a next step, you will want to decide how you want to celebrate the day and keep the Earth Day mojo going thereafter. The magic in Earth Day is making every day Earth Day. Bike riding is a natural fit! The key is inspiring others to keep riding.

Inspire others with bike education programs. No one likes riding a poor fitting bike. Having the right bike setup, cycling accessories and gear makes all the difference. Consider hosting a get together of friends and review bike safety. Or, participate in a bike maintenance class. Bicycle tools are different than regular tools and all tools aren’t created equal – some are good for mountain bike parts while others are designed for road bike parts. Knowing which tools to use on the appropriate bike components can make all the difference in making bike maintenance easy inspiring others to enjoy bike maintenance in addition to riding.

Inspire your friends with a list of rides and events. Colorado has some of the greatest road bike rides in the country. Some are shorter, convenient rides whereas others offer steeper, longer climbs and extended distances. Certainly you have your favorite list. Invite your friends for a special Earth Day ride and make it an annual celebration.

Inspire others with a bike-friendly shopping program. Everyone likes to shop, right? Inspire friends with bike parts bling! Many aspiring bike riding enthusiast appreciate a shop that offers quality bike components along with solid advice on bike parts and cycling apparel. Stop by the shop to check out our specials, discounts, and new cycling accessories for the season. Who says you can’t ride in style for Earth Day?

Inspire through reading. Maybe you just can’t make it out on Earth Day for a ride. No worries. Check out our posts for inspiration:
– Get Your Kids Bike Commuting – Here’s How!
– Summer Bike Commuting – Making it Work For You
– The Smart Cyclist’s Guide to Preventing Bike Theft

All in all, the most important thing to remember for Earth Day is that bike riding is fun. Fun includes enjoying the adventure of cycling solo and with friends. Fun also means riding a well fitting bike and feeling confident in riding the bike paths and the roads. This way, your Earth Day bike ride becomes an environmentally friendly activity you can do every day!


How to Choose the Best Bike Computer for Your Rides

April 5, 2018

There’s a funny joke among cyclist and it goes like this: “What do you call extreme cycling? Riding without a cycling computer.”
Cyclist like their data. They like their bikes, their bike parts, and they like knowing they are performing their best.

While the use of a smartphone to collect ride data is increasingly popular, a bike computer can still make sense for any rider, especially if you’re a data-hungry enthusiast. Given that, know that all cycling computers are not created equal. So how can you select the best one for you?

Determining the best computer for you starts with self awareness. What kind of rider are you? Casual? Weekend warrior? Competitive? If you are a casual rider, you may just need the basics. If you just want to know how far you rode and how fast, a basic unit may be appropriate. It will be smaller, lighter and usually have a longer battery life than a pricier option. You will want to look for computers sans GPS and data transfer.

However, cycling enthusiast and competitive cyclists may be looking for more features. On the upper end of the cycling computer spectrum are units that are both ANT+ enabled and have a built-in GPS receiver. These computers can receive data from ANT+ sensors, including power, speed, heart rate, and cadence. They also track your position using GPS, allowing you not only to see a map of your ride once transferred to a companion app, smartphone, or computer but also to compare your time on established segments using a service such as Strava.

When evaluating cycling computer features, you also have to have a clear picture of how much are you willing to spend? You will need to prioritize the functionality that is most important to you. Maybe it is computer connectivity or multi-bike options.  Regardless, the best thing you can do before purchasing or upgrading your cycling computer, is to have a clear idea of what you want to use it for. This will make your wallet happy and your riding experience all you want it to be.

Technology is improving all the time with more and more features to consider in your selection. Check out the cycling computers we have online or stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and let us help you select the best computer for your type of riding. While you’re at it, check out our bike parts, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel. There’s nothing like launching into the cycling season than with fresh gear and bike parts!


Avoid Early Season Training Injuries with Rest and Recovery

March 29, 2018

Physiophyx for recovery

With the great weather we’ve been having in Golden, Colorado, it’s hard to keep yourself off the bike!  Do you find yourself overtraining? Riding too many long miles? Or simply, skimping on your regular self care? How do you know if you’re pushing the limits too far? Are you recovering enough?

Now that the temperature is getting warmer, the days are growing longer, and the weather is improving, Colorado cyclists are beckoned to ride their bikes. While some may have trained through the winter months, many have not.  And the alluring call of gorgeous spring days lures many unprepared cyclist to ride too hard, too fast which can lead to injuries.  Whether you are planning to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2018, monitoring your early season training sets the stage for a successful year ahead.  

Recently, we wrote about Optimizing Your Spring Training and suggested training right, getting a bike fit, dialing in your bike parts and cycling accessories, and also, performing regular bike inspections.  Yet, there are two other relevant factors that play a role in optimizing your spring training.  That is – recovery and sleep. Whether recovering from a hard training effort or as part of your training cycle, there are quite a few actions you can take to facilitate quicker adaptations beginning with your ride style.  

At the completion of your ride, be mindful to cool down appropriately. Spin your legs out and get your heart rate down. Immediately following your ride, Carrie McCusker, an endurance coach, recommends to “restore fluid and electrolyte balance, to replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores, and to stimulate protein synthesis. You can accomplish this by consuming carbohydrates, protein and fluids within thirty to sixty minutes of finishing your workout. Based on research data, athletes are encouraged to utilize this “glycogen window” to restore the muscles. It is particularly important for glycogen-depleting workouts, those that are longer than two hours or those with high intensity efforts, or if the day involves two or three workouts.”

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, a favorite nutritional product available for recovery 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.  

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.  Ensure you are going quality of sleep by using the Sleep Cycle App.  This cool app analyzing users’ sleep patterns and displays data showing how well (or poorly) you slept during the night.  You might also add rolling or massage, stretching, compression, and low intensity activity to aid in getting a better night’s sleep. Many cyclist sleep in compression garments because they 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, put your mind at ease.  As mentioned, sometimes cyclist train harder in the spring thinking they are behind on training.  The combination of perceived effort versus actual effort can be inaccurate.  This false bio feedback can cause a cyclist to push too hard.  With that said, we suggest taking the subjective aspect out of your cycling performance evaluation.  We have cycling accessories to help you get precise bio feedback to remove the guess work out of your training – specifically power meters and /or heart rate monitors. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power.

So, take your time. Ease into spring. Enjoy quality training now that paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.


Your Spring Riding Survival Kit

March 22, 2018
BikeParts.com Team Riders Training in Spring Weather

BikeParts.com Team Riders Training in Spring Weather

One thing’s for sure, spring can be unpredictable. Balmy blue skies can quickly transform into rain and then, just as you’re shouting from the rooftops, “It’s tank top weather!” a merciless return of snow.  Here’s our survival guide to make the most of spring cycling.

Basic repair and maintenance kit
There are a few items you should bring with you for bicycle mechanical emergencies. All these items can fit in a small seat bag. The basic supplies you should have in your kit include a spare inner tube, tire levers, patch kit, mini-pump, and a folding multi-tool. In case of a chain break bring a chain master link. A small paper clip or zip tie can help keep the chain together to limp the bike home. While not considered essential items, some cyclist take their basic kit a bit further and include other items like a small amount of duck tape, zip ties or rubber bands.

Water and/or sports drink and a light snack
Staying hydrated is a necessity on a ride of any length, even in cooler weather. You might think that on a shorter ride, a snack is not necessary, but a breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances might put you out on the road or trail longer than you expected. Given that gels and bars are small, just slip a few in your jersey pocket to have on hand.

Cash, ATM card, Personal Identification
You don’t need a lot of cash but a little cash, say $5 or $10 just in case you want to stop for food or water. Also, it’s important to bring some sort of identification. A drivers license works best; others prefer to wear a RoadID. If you don’t wear a RoadID, you will want to carry something that has contact information in case of an emergency.

The right cycling apparel
Whether you want to ride in the new spring cycling styles or spin in your usual cycling gear, the main point to remember is to have clothing options available to you while riding. The weather turns quick and a rain shower or quick drop in temperature can make the best of rides turn sour quickly. Consider having a standby bike ready bag available. Pack it with arm and leg warmers, a headband or cap, rain jacket, and lube.

Despite the fact that most rides go well, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a ride and the chances are they’ll go wrong when you’re at your farthest point from home. Make it easy on yourself and have the right bike parts, cycling accessories, and bicycle tools with you.


Get in on the Fat Bike Action: Register for the Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy! 

March 15, 2018
Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy: A fat bike celebration

Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy: A fat bike celebration

If you joined us for the STAUNTON BLIZZARD Fat Bike Race, then you know how much fun it was!  If not, now you have another chance!  Join us Sunday, March 18th for the Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy!

We’re planning another crazy fun day of fat biking featuring a spectator friendly 8-lap circuit race and other fat bike shenanigans. Racers can go solo or in teams of 2 or 4 so gather your friends, plan your costumes (optional), and get ready for some fat fun. All for a great cause – grooming equipment to make fat biking at Staunton a blast for years to come!  

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about fat biking?  A brief history: fat bikes were originally invented for winter trail riding and racing in sub-arctic Alaska and simultaneously, for touring the deserts of New Mexico. Over the last few years, they have gained severe popularity! Their utility has expanded to include all forms of cycling; they thrive in snow, sand, desert, mud those that ride them, consider it normal mountain biking.  Accompanying the fat bike enthusiasm are manufacturers making newer fat bike models that are lighter. So while the fat tires may throw you off, these bikes are light and fun. 

Yet, as popular as they are, many have yet to experience this cycling bliss!  Following are the top blog posts to help answer your questions about fat bikes. 

Get in on the fat bike action!  Visit Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado for your bike parts and cycling accessories.  Take your cycling to another level of fun and register for the Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy.  See you Sunday, March 18th!