Tips to Riding the Tour de Vineyards 

September 14, 2017

Kicking off the fall riding season is the Tour de Vineyards.  

The Tour de Vineyards offers recreational and competitive cyclists alike the opportunity to cycle by beautiful and lush vineyards, enjoy foods and beverages authentic to the region, all while being treated to some of Colorado’s finest western slope hospitality.   How do you make the most of it? First, online registration is closed but the day of the event you can register for either the 23 mile or 58 mile event. 

To make sure you enjoy the event and also ride your best, there are a few ways to prepare.  As we’ve mentioned before in older posts, you’ll want to remember these important tips: 

  • Prepare your bike in advance. Give your road bike a once over. Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. 
  • Know the course and aid stations. 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. 
  • Consider taking a rain jacket and extra chain lube in your jersey pocket or seat bag. 
  • Lay everything out the night before. This includes your every day cycling apparel: helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottles, food, and sunscreen.
  • Go easy at the start and ease into the ride. It’s tempting to go too fast at the start, but holding back some energy will allow you to finsih feeling strong. 
  • Recover smart! At the completion of your ride, be mindful to cool down appropriately. Spin your legs out and get your heart rate down. Consider wearing compression garments or using a nutritional aid to accelerate the recover process.  After all, the fast you recover, the faster you can ride your bike again! 

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a lot of suggestions and advice on making the most of your ride.  Stop in the shop to pick up the bike parts you need to have the best Tour de Vineyards ride. In face, our online store, Bikeparts.com, has lots of different types of nutritional supplements, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel all in one place to help you make the most of your riding.  So, enjoy the ride and the scenery!  The Tour do Vineyards is exceptional in that you get to usher in the fall with a scenic and leisurely tour of Colorado’s Wine Country. Take in the beauty of the Western Slope, explore the wineries, vineyards, orchards and mesas. 

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Cyclocross Newbies – Tips to Prep for Your First Cyclocross Race

September 7, 2017

Cyclocross bikes at BikeParts.com

Cyclocross is one of the fastest growing sections of cycling – it’s an all-out mad dash through the dirt, pavement, grass, mud, sand, snow and/or ice that will leave you sucking wind, barely able to see straight. Surprisingly, this is addictive and you’ll be excited to do it again.

The course is held on a relatively short track (2 miles or less) making it spectator-friendly as well. Cyclocross is also one of the few sports where heckling is not only carried on by the spectators but encouraged, even by the top-level touring elites.

Sounds fun, right?  It is!  Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. If you are new to the discipline, then where do you start? Following are our tips to get you racing your first cross race.

  • Get a cyclocross bike. If you are new to cyclocross, you’ll want to check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com. Equipment choices matter! Things to consider for cross racing includes the best bike parts and and tire choice for the types of races you’ll be doing. While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts matters, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.
  • Get a bike fit.  As you know, bikes come in all sizes and shapes, and there are endless bike parts and cycling accessories that can be added or swapped to make bikes a better fit for you. When considering a bike that will actually fit you, most bike experts consider things like frame size, frame dimensions, saddle height, top tube and stem dimensions, knee and cleat position, handle bar size, crank length and body angle. Cyclocross is a little different than road or mountain bike riding. Cyclocross is a sport based in technique, and while much of technique is based around handling and body position, both of those factors are determined by the fit of a bicycle. Do yourself a favor and get a bike fit.  
  • Attend a clinic.  If your new to the sport, a formal clinic can be a great way to get acclimated to the sport while making some racing friends. Attending a clinic can help improve your technical skills and help you to confidently navigate your first cross race. 
  • Make a cyclocross gear bag. Although cross races are short, because of the time of year and the variability of the weather during the races, racers need to be ready to deal with wind, rain, snow, hail, ice, mud, fog, etc.  The gear preparation and the cycling apparel adds up.  Granted, it will take time to nail down the packing system that works best for you; however, we have compiled a checklist for you in our post, Race Prep: What to Bring to a Cyclocross race.

Now that you have the tips to preparing for your first cyclocross race, put your skills to use! Get your cowbell ready and plan your cross racing season.  See you at the races!


Tips to Mastering the Golden Gran Fondo

August 24, 2017

This Saturday, the Golden Gran Fondo kicks off at 8:00AM sharp! Departing right near Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in beautiful downtown Golden, CO, the Golden Gran Fondo will take racers on a historic circuit through the Rocky Mountains. In fact, the start of the event traces the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

The event offers 3 distances to choose from: Gran Route (81 mi), Medio Route (53mi), Piccolo Route (18 mi). Whether riding or racing the event – riding long or short – you’ll want to do your best. Given our support in both the Golden cycling community and the USA Pro Cycling challenge, we’ve got some proven tips to help you to not only finish the Golden Grand Fondo – but also, enjoying every pedal stroke of it.  Following are our tips to master the Gran Fondo in style!

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pack extra cycling accessories. Consider taking a rain jacket and extra chain lube in your jersey pocket or seat 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.
  • Always a good rule of thumb to remember – 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 while; 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.

If you need a more comprensive list of prep items, check out our post, Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing.

The Golden Gran Fondo course is challenging, fun, and packed with breath taking views. Have a great ride!


Sizzling Hot Savings on Bike Parts

August 17, 2017

You and your bike have worked hard this past season.  Think of all the training miles, epic rides, races, and events you have done.  Don’t you think it might be time for a little rest and relaxation?  If not that, at least it’s time to replenish and restore from all the hard efforts.  

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we think of this time of year as the time to make continued gains – gains in bike parts that is!  It’s that time of the year when bikes, cycling apparel bike parts, and cycling gear all go on sale and it’s the time to take advantage of closeouts and sales.  Investing in your cycling regimen is an investment in you, your health, and wellbeing.  Here’s how to make the most of the sizzling hot bike deals we’ve got going. 

Get a new bike!
Newer bikes are rolling out so stop by the shop and check out the 2016 bike closeouts featuring Specialized and Giant bikes. If you aren’t in the market for a new bike, then guess what?  Our daily deals offer ongoing specials for your to cash in on.  Specials range from deals on bike parts, tires, shoes, pedals, lights, and all kinds of cycling accessories.  To cash in on these deals, visit our daily closeout and sale section.    

Get New Bike Parts!
If you’ve wanted to try something new, now is the time to do it.  Buy it at a discount and experiment with your bike set up.  With so many bike parts – the question is what to purchase?  Consider getting a high quality wheel set.  A good wheel set impacts ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  Maybe purchase some new, lighter tires for your wheels. Another option is to reconsider the current crank set and pedals setup.  Again, you’ll need to stop by or call the shop for details but you never know what is available unless you ask! 

Replace old bike parts!
Replace bike parts regularly.  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.  If you plan to ride through the winter months, stay one step ahead of the game by purchasing these types of bike parts on sale and have them on hand when you need them. 

If these bikes tantalize your bike senses, stop into Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado to see what you might find at our sale. We’re confident you’ll like what you see!  

Note on bike sale: Bikes must be picked up at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado.  Bike cannot and will not be shipped. No exceptions. This applies to all Specialized, S-Works, Praxis Works and MSW products.  


Late Season Rally – Tips to Maintain Your Fitness and Motivation

August 10, 2017

BikeParts.com Team Rider Racing in Colorado

With school starting and only about a month and half left of the Colorado cycling racing and touring season, many are filling up their calendars with the last big events of the season hoping to capitalize on the fitness gains made during the season.

Some of the popular Colorado races and tours on tap for August include:

Yet, as we transition from summer to fall, many cyclist find their enthusiasm for riding dwindling.  Have you noticed that at the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers and cyclist. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation just plain lacking.  With that in mind, what are the ways to maintain motivation while also capture added gains towards next year’s goals? 

The key to late season racing and bike events is really to have fun! Try new events, ride routes, and races. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work.  With fitness levels high, late season bike events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and new cycling accessories. Venture out of your comfort zone and try racing a new road bike or mountain bike for one of the events mentioned above.

If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close outsbike parts and components. Stock up on cycling apparel for the fall and winter months to keep motivation high through the transitioning season.

Or, maybe training is too grueling for you this time of year. Switch from training to riding to work.  Bike commuting helps get in the miles while offering up time for other fun activities. Other fun activities include strength training and yoga.  Both of these activities help to extend the fitness gains you’ve made through the current year.

Another option for fun is adding in some skill training. During peak training periods, bike skills and technique is often overlooked.  Why not spend some time improving your bike skills? The video: Five key skills to improve your bike handling offers great visuals and the post, Body Position on the MTB, dials in where you need to be on the bike to ride your best.  Experimenting late season avoids the risk of injury during peak races but also can offer a new challenge – like learning how to do a track stand.

Enjoy the fitness gains you have made through the season. Have fun!  Having a fun, relaxed attitude combined with a celebratory bike event is a great way to finish your season.


5 Tips for Cycling in Hot August Weather 

August 3, 2017

Team Rider at BikeParts.com Riding in Moab

Here in Colorado, we’re now into super warm temps and managing the heat while riding and racing is critical not only to comfort, but also performance. Many cyclist, whether recreational or competitive, find dealing with the heat an issue.

Think about it. Heat is the ultimate enemy for a cyclist, because after a point, the hotter you get, the slower you’ll go.  If the weather won’t cooperate to be cooler, then what can you do about it? 

When it is hot, especially when temps are in the 90-100F (36-40C) range, your body needs to work harder to keep your core temperatures in a safe range to allow the organs to function normally.  There are numerous heat–coping strategies to consider when planning a high-intensity workout or doing a race in hot weather.

Tip#1
If you haven’t exposed yourself to the warmer temps, you should.  One tip is to acclimate.  It takes about 10 to 14 days of frequent exposure to heat for your body to adapt. During this period of time workout daily in hot conditions at a lower-than-normal intensity. After a couple of weeks of near-daily exposure to hot conditions you will begin perform better in the heat than prior although performance will still likely be diminished from what you might have done in cooler conditions.

Tip #2
This is obvious, but an often overlooked component. Hydrate. Water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list. For both performance and health, the importance of your water intake exceeds that of your vitamin, calorie, and electrolyte consumption. For your road racing needs, be sure to carry the water bottles and containers that you need on your road bike but have extras available for bottles that are tossed and extras for immediate refueling post race. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you know tricky descents can bump a bottle right out of its cage.  This time of year, it’s best to wear a full hydration pack as well as have extra bottles on hand.

Tip #3
Protect yourself from the sun.  While some enjoy exposure to the sun, a sunburn does more than fry your skin – it contributes to fatigue and increases your metabolism. Always wear sunscreen; choose jerseys, shorts, and arm skins with built-in sun protection; and wear a cap under your helmet to shield your head. 

Tip #4
Plan ahead. Planning your route in advance and knowing where the nearest sources of water can be handy in case you find yourself running low at any point. Also, planning a route with options to shorten the ride or take a shortcut back to your starting point in case you start to struggle is also a good plan.  If possible with your schedule, consider riding during the cooler times of the day.  

Tip#5
Recover. This seems like another overlooked strategy but after a long day in the saddle and the heat, you really do need to cool off. Get your legs up. Stay in the shade or AC. It is important to get your core body temperature down so you can recover. We all know that recovery is a critical element of preparing for the next bout of exercise.  One of our favorite recovery products at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is PhysioPhyx.  PhysioPhyx LPR takes recovery nutrition to a new level of support and performance by delivering a powerful, evidence-based blend of Carbohydrates + Protein + Leucine.  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. 

With that said, training and riding in the heat doesn’t have to be so bad.  Wear cooling cycling apparel.  Ride a bike with proper functioning bike parts to avoid over excretion. Need more tips?  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to chat with our racers, mechanics, and other cyclist to see what works for them.


Effective Training Techniques for Cycling in the Heat

June 22, 2017

Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com Team Rider cooling off after a ride

Heat is the ultimate enemy for a cyclist, because after a point, the hotter you get, the slower you’ll go.  Unfortunately, to generate pedal power means your body exerts itself and generates heat. With the temperatures climbing, is there a way to beat the heat and still make gains with effective training? You bet! Read on for our strategies to beat the heat.

Exposure: According to the post, 4 Keys to Effective Training in Hot Weather, states that exposing yourself to warmer temperatures on a consistent basis is key to acclimating to hot temperatures.  Also, “Acclimating typically takes two weeks of consistent heat riding. While you don’t need to ride every day in high temperatures, when you’re trying to acclimate, don’t go more than two or three days between hot training sessions.”

Hydration: This is obvious, but an often overlooked component. Hydrate. Water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list. For both performance and health, the importance of your water intake exceeds that of your vitamin, calorie, and electrolyte consumption. For your road racing needs, be sure to carry the water bottles and containers that you need on your bike but have extras available for bottles that are tossed and extras for immediate refueling post race. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you know tricky descents can bump a bottle right out of its cage.  This time of year, it’s best to wear a full camelback as well as have extra bottles on hand.

Recover: After a long day in the saddle and the heat. Cool off. Get your legs up. Stay in the shade or AC. It is important to get your core body temperature down so you can recover. We all know that recovery is a critical element of preparing for the next bout of exercise.  One of our favorite recovery products at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is PhysioPhyx.  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 ands peed 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. 

With that said, training in the heat doesn’t have to be so bad.  Wear cooling cycling apparel.  Ride a bike with proper functioning bike parts to avoid over excretion. Stay hydrated and recover. Ride on friends!