How to Keep Riding Through the Time Change

November 2, 2017

With the time change this upcoming weekend, darkness will fall earlier each day making it more challenging to fit training rides in the schedule. You’ve worked hard all year long, it seems a waste to let your fitness fall off.  Given that the days with long sunshine hours are ending, what are the best strategies for continued training and maintaining fitness?   

Time management – It all begins with time management. Scheduling your workouts in your calendar; shifting meetings and family obligations to early morning, late afternoon and early evening; and optimizing your lunch hour as ride time,  are three areas that can assist in getting your scheduled training in during the daylight hours.  Again, the idea here is to create a plan and stick to it.  If you plan a ride during the daylight hours and miss it, then it creates stress on how to make that ride up.  So, if you do, then night riding becomes your option.

Night riding – To begin, don’t be afraid of the dark!  Get the right bike parts and cycling apparel to ride and you’ll be inspired to do it.  Remember, visibility is crucial – for you and your bike. Outfit your bike with a good light system.  You will want lights for the front of your bike.  Consider having multiple lights for the front of your bike.  One on your helmet so you can shine side roads and traffic and have a second light on your handlebars so you can see at least 10 ft. or more in front of you.  For the rear of your bike, opt for a rear red light-particularly one that blinks. A blinking red light is much more likely to get the attention of a passing motorist who might otherwise not notice you.  

Don’t forget to wear cycling apparel that is visible.  There are options to choose from including vests and ankle bands.  Also, reflective tape is a good idea. 3M makes black reflective tape that is great to put on black wheels.

Indoor riding – Maybe you just can’t swing riding during the day and night riding isn’t your thing.  You can maintain fitness with indoor training on the trainer.  Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer. Yet, there are ways to make it work.  Check out our post, Trainer Techniques for Winter Training for tips and suggestions on getting the best out of your indoor rides.

Now that the time change is upon us, it doesn’t mean you have to put your cycling regime on the shelf!  With an enthusiastic attitude and a few bike part changes, you can shift your end of season cycling experience to be the best one yet! 

 

 

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3 Essential Cycling Training Tips for Winter Training

October 26, 2017

Cycling Apparel at BikeParts.com for Winter Riding

Cold, winter weather is right around the corner.  While we are just getting a taste of the cooler temps, not too long from now we’ll be bundled up wondering where the sunshine and dry roads and trails have gone.  The trick to riding through the Winter months is to prepare now. Preparation gets you in the habit before the weather turns poor. Here are our tips how to make the most of it.

#1 Trainer
Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer.  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!  It’s important to have the right trainer setup. 

When we’re talking about setup, 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, and indoor riding clothes.  If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want 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  if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency. 

#2 Build Your Core
Most everyone agrees that
building a stronger core helps you improve your performance on the bike.  Moving into the cooler months, it is easier to cross train and focus on developing core strength.  But what exercises are best for more core strength?

The best way to train all parts of the body is through working with a full range of motion while strength training. A bench press, for example, will only work your arms and shoulders through a fixed range of motion. A great way to gain core strength and work full range of motion with many repetitions and longer durations is through practices that primarily use body weight such as yoga and pilates, for example. Ashtanga and power yoga are styles of yoga that are faster flowing, continuous, and challenging. Yoga is hands down one of the best way to work for aerobic strength gains throughout the entire body. Not only do you focus on many repetitions such as with pushups, squats, and lunges, you work each joint in a full range of motion while doing so, which focuses on core endurance, stability, and flexibility.

In a nutshell, a core group of muscles that fatigues less will allow you to work with increased power ranges for a longer period of time while riding a road bike or mountain bike. With more range of motion, increased flexibility, and a stronger core, you will not only feel better before, during and after each workout, you will be slightly more productive as well.

#3 Dial in Your Cycling Apparel
You don’t want to miss riding outdoors all together.  So, it’s important to dial in your cycling apparel for the type of riding you will be doing.  Specifically, when you are riding, you want to balance your warmth and comfort with the intensity of your bike ride. If you are really bundled up when you start riding, you will likely want to start shedding layers. It may feel good to sweat in 25 degree weather, but you want clothes that are both breathable, wind-stopping, and sometimes waterproof. You also want to evaluate the type of ride you are doing? Is this a training ride? Will you be working really hard? Or are you just going to work? 

With all that in mind, get clear on the type of cycling apparel you have in your existing wardrobe and identify the clothing you need purchase to enable you to ride in a variety of weather conditions.  Be mindful of having waterproof and wind resistant clothing.  Check do see if you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers?  Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing?  Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs! In fact, we’ve got quite a lot of new cycling clothing in store right now.

When you think about it, it’s easy to embrace winter riding when you are warm and toasty. So prepare now. Get your trainer setup ready – make plans to cross train and build your core – and figure out your cycling apparel needs to avoid a clothing crisis on a Winter bike ride. 


15 Tips for Bike Commuting in the Cooler Months

October 12, 2017

Stay Warm all Winter Long with Cycling Apparel from BikeParts.com

Autumn is upon us. And while the weather is still looking similar to our old friend summer, it is bound to drop in temperature very soon.

Many cyclist grieve the loss of summer; yet, fall bike riding offers the chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and enjoy the fitness gains achieved over the summer months.

Many cyclist commit to bike commuting through the cooler months as a new goal. Yet, when faced with shorter days and cold, unpleasant weather, they find their motivation waning. Following are our tips to riding your bike the whole winter season through. 

  1. Have a good route.  Learn how to pick a route you like. Google maps for cycling is a good option.
  2. Invest in a good set of lights. A set of small, modern LED lights is sufficient.
  3. Consider getting a specific helmet for bike commuting.  A brighter color and one that is easy to place a helmet light on top is a good choice.
  4. A repair kit.  It’s good to carry a small multi-tool, a patch kit, a small pump, and a spare tube for those inevitable roadside repairs.
  5. A lock. You should always carry a secure lock whenever you plan to leave your bicycle unattended. The U-locks have proven to be most effective, but like all locks they can be defeated. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have bicycle locks, U locks, and U lock combination kits.  Depending on your bike parts and components, you may opt for one lock or multiple ones.
  6. Make sure you have a secure and safe way to carry things. This could be as simple as a messenger bag or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers.
  7. Be visible. Think Bright colors and reflective materials on your person and on your bike. In fact, staying warm, dry, and comfortable is key to riding during the fall and winter season. Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs. 
  8. 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.
  9. Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.
  10. 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. A popular item to consider are the Endure gloves.
  11. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclist 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.
  12. 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
  13. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.
  14. 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.  If you’re not a fan of shoe covers, opt for a warmer shoe all together! We have two favorite options.  The Giant Sojourn cycling shoes have a stiff and grippy bottom which are good for walking.  A great option for bike commuters.  The other favorite is the Defroster cycling shoe.  It’s a great option for fall and winter riding and especially on the cold days because these shoes doesn’t require shoe covers. 
  15. Last but not least – you need to have motivation!  Stay motivated and keep after it! The more you do it, the more you love it!

If you are looking for great fall and winter gear that is super durable, then stop by the shop and check out all of the Endura cycling apparel we have in stock.  And remember, Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop has the ability to special order items. Come and ask if you want something! We’re here to support your riding all the way through Spring! 


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. 


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.