Spice Up Your Cycling Life with Cyclocross Racing

September 26, 2019

As a cyclist, do you want to get fitter? Faster? Stronger? And do you want to have a ton of fun while doing that? Well, if you haven’t already, you might want to introduce cyclocross into your cycling regime. Cyclocross racing is super fun and it can dramatically improve your bike handling skills, while also maintaining fitness intensity over transitional months and through the winter period. Sounds good, right? It is! 

Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bike athletes to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  As the season is just now getting underway, what do you need to know? 

How To Get Started 
If you are 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 confidently navigate your first cross race.  You can get a better idea during the clinic as to whether you want to try racing on your mountain bike.  Chances are that after doing a race or two, you will want to purchase a cyclocross bike. It is THAT addicting!  And, lucky for you, we have cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.

How to Train
Another thing to consider when starting out is how to train for a cyclocross race.  A good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week.   For specific training targets, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan. Yet overall, a structured cyclocross training plan includes these elements: transitioning from the previous race season; running; race intensity workouts including some drills to gain confidence in your bike handling skills and cornering. A bonus is to include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor in racing efficiently.  

What To Bring To A Cyclocross Race
As for race day, your needs for a cyclocross race will be different from what you would pack for a road race or mountain bike event. We have a compressive packing list to make it super easy for you to remember because there is a LOT to bring to a race, as in a variety of cycling apparel, cycling accessories, extra bike parts, and wheel sets  You will want the checklist so get it here: What To Bring To A Cyclocross Race? One item that is not on that list that is a treasured piece of equipment is the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer. It’s the perfect bicycle tool to have for warming up before a race and cooling down after the race. The trainer is lightweight, portable, and quiet so it functions well at home as an everyday trainer during the winter months too.  Fortunately, it’s on sale now! 

So, now that you are motivated, skilled, and have your gear bag ready, it’s time to race cross.  Here’s a recap: If you are new to cyclocross, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial-in the best bike parts and tire choice for the type of racing you plan to do.  Finally, don’t forget to register for an upcoming cross race! Bring on the cowbell! 


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! 


3 Ways to Enjoy Fall via Your Bicycle 

September 20, 2018

Each season has its own ups and downs.  Spring and summer seasons are marked with event registrations, travel, and enjoying the cycling lifestyle.  The winter season is the least exciting if you are inside riding on your trainer; yet winter can be fun if you are experiencing the joys of riding a fat bike. However, the fall season is somewhat of a mixture of all this.  As Saturday is the first day of fall, many cyclists are wondering how best to enjoy the season on their bicycles.  What are our suggestions?  Read on! 

If you haven’t noticed yet, the leaves on the trees are beginning to change colors.  One of the very best ways to enjoy the changing landscape is riding your mountain bike.  Consider making a bucket list of mountain bike trails to ride before winter comes.  Some of our favorite mountain bike trails include: 

  1. Buffalo Creek
  2. Centennial Cone
  3. White Ranch
  4. Mount Falcon
  5. Lair O’ the Bear
  6. Green Mountain
  7. Apex + trails
  8. Golden Gate Canyon 
  9. Hall Ranch 

Another great option for enjoying the fall season, while also maintaining fitness, is to bike commute.  Fall bike commuting offers the chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and reinvigorate our spirits with the freedom riding a bike inspires. If you’re new to bike commuting, you’ll enjoy our post, What Are The Best Bike Parts for Fall Commuting and 15 Tips for Bike Commuting in Cooler Months.  Both posts offer tips and suggestions for route selections, necessary bike parts, and cycling apparel to make fall bike commuting fun and enjoyable.

If you still have some competitive energy left in you after the summer race season, then a third option to enjoying fall on your bicycle is to try a cyclocross race.  Last week we wrote about Why Race Cyclocross, and this week, we’re encouraging you to do it. It’s fun! It’s addicting! And we have all the bike parts and cycling accessories you need to get you into this cycling discipline.  

When you really think of it, fall is a transitional season. From a cycling perspective, fall isn’t the end of the summer cycling season, it is the beginning of next season.  Keep in mind that just as much as the spring cycling season inspires us to get in shape, tackle new challenges, and reach new cycling heights, the fall season can inspire us too. Discovering new ways to nurture our bodies, maintain the gains we’ve made during the season, and re-energize for the season ahead.  Celebrate the fall season by riding your bike! 


Why Race Cyclocross? 

September 13, 2018

You may be asking, “What’s with all the hype?” or “Why would I want to race in the mud?” or “What makes cyclocross the best kind of bike racing?”

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…and excited to do it again. It’s 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?  And 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. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  As the season is just now getting underway, what do you need to know?  

Transition: If you’ve been racing throughout the summer season, recognize that there is going to be a transition phase.  Moving from one form of racing to another takes a bit of adjustment.  This generally takes 4 – 6 weeks to fully adjust to a new cycling position, frame geometry, gear ratios, and race tactic specific strength.  

Running and Drills: You’ll want to plan time for running and cyclocross specific skills training.  Running prepares your body to handle the stress of runs and dismounts at the beginning of cross season.   Skill training is essential for safe riding and also, efficiency during the race!  The better your skills are, the faster you will go!  Skills to focus on include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor is racing efficiently.

Training: As for training for cyclocross, the best approach is a comprehensive one.  Meaning, now is the time to begin planning your season  using goals, monthly progressions, and setting a weekly schedule. For those athletes who want to focus their efforts and manage their time, a good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week. While training time, heart rate and power zones vary, a typical training week usually includes a variety of focused activity. As an example, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan.

It’s easy to catch the cyclocross vibe! If you are new to cyclocross, check out our  cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Equipment choices matter! Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts is important, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.  

Why not discover YOUR reason for racing cyclocross this season?!  Check out the many resources we have at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to inspire and motivate you to race cyclocross this season:

So why wait? Join in the cyclocross fun! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick out your bike parts and cycling accessories for your cross season!


2017 Year in Review: The Best of Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com Blog

January 4, 2018

Happy 2018 from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com

As the New Year unfolds and before we fully embrace 2018, reflecting and reviewing upon the previous year is a great way to close out and move forward.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com, we’re delighted to look back at the year’s most succesfful blog post and what we’re looking forward to in 2018. 2017 Year in review: What our readers enjoyed most!

Training Indoors
Trainer Techniques for Winter Training

Motivation
How to Stick with Your 2017 Training Plan

Strategy
How to Develop a Winning Mindset for Early Season Races
Managing Early Season Race Day Jitters
Effective Training Techniques for Cycling in the Heat
3 Essential Cycling Training Tips for Winter Training
How To do a Cycling Year End Review

Fat Bike
Fat Bike Essentials for First Time Fat Bike Riders

Cyclocross
Cyclocross Newbies – Tips to Prep for Your First Cyclocross Race
Prepare for a Great Cyclocross Season with These Tips

Cross training
5 Ways to Cross Train for Fitness Gains in 2017

Training Aids
Fitter, Faster, Stronger – with Power Meters

Race Checklists
Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing
What Do You Carry With You When You Ride?

Bikes!
What mountain bike should you buy?
Answering the unanswerable: What wheel size should I buy? (And what’s the difference, anyway?)
Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips?

So, what’s ahead for 2018? We’re looking forward to helping our customers get fitter and faster on the bike! Whether that is outfitting others with the best cycling apparel or improving bike efficiency with new bike parts or a bike fit, at Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we’re all about creating the ultimate ride experience. Happy 2018 to all!


Prepare for a Great Cyclocross Season with These Tips 

October 19, 2017

Cyclocross Bikes at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com

Cross season begins in the early fall and runs through the end of December. You know, the time of year that those of us who live in places that get real, bona fide winters want to hang up our bikes and hibernate under down blankets. But In Colorado, we don’t do that because it’s cross season and cross is worth going out in the cold for!  

Fortunately, the cooler temps and bad weather has escaped us so far; however soon on the horizon, cyclocross racers will be greeted with mud, cold, and nastier racing conditions.  Makes for more fun, right?  Absolutely! So how do you make the most of cross season? 

First, make a decision  to race!  There are lots of reasons to race cyclocross – including: 

  1. Cyclocross promotes silky smooth pedaling 
  2. Cyclocross develops your strength and power 
  3. Cyclocross improves your bike handling skills 
  4. Cyclocross teaches you race techniques
  5. Cyclocross reduces off-season weight gain 

Yet, most who have raced cyclocross, know the primary reason to do it is because it’s fun! Pick one or two of the upcoming cyclocross races along the Front Range: 

  1. Schoolyard Cross
  2. Shimano CX Series: Boulder Res
  3. Feedback Cup
  4. Shimano CX Series: Sienna Lake
  5. Cross of the North
  6. Shimano CX Series: Salisbury

Now, plan some time to develop your cross skills.  Whether you are new to cyclocross or an avid racer, there’s always something new to learn.  With that in mind, you’ll enjoy all the resources we have at Peak Cycles and BikeParts.com:

Finally, what do you bring to a cyclocross race?  Our post, Race Prep: What to Bring to a Cyclocross Race, dials this in for you so you won’t show up unprepared.  

Now that you are motivated, skilled, and have your gear bag ready, it’s time to race cross.  If you are new to cyclocross, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial in the best bike parts and tire choice.  Finally, don’t forget to register for an upcoming cross race!


The Ultimate Cyclocross Resource

September 21, 2017

While the cross country mountain bike and road bike race seasons may be winding down, the cyclocross race season is just starting. After finishing a full cycling season, you might wonder –  why continue racing?

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. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that is very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.

When you think of it, the fall season is a great time for experimentation. It can be a great opportunity to get test out new bike parts or even a new cyclocross bike! With that said, if you are new to cyclocross, you’ll enjoy all the resources we have at Peak Cycles and BikeParts.com:

So why wait? Join in the cyclocross fun! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick out your bike parts and cycling accessories for your cross season!


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!


5 Ways to Cross Train for Fitness Gains in 2017 

February 16, 2017
Cross train with a Fat Bike from BikeParts.com

Cross train with a Fat Bike from BikeParts.com

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, giving your body a break, or just finding a way to stay fit through the winter months, diversifying your activity is a great way to keep things interesting and your body bike-ready.

It’s important to fuel your desire for your sport.  One way to do that is by not losing interest in your routine—or even the sport itself. You need variety, and you need to have fun.  Hence, enter the picture for cross training!   Following are our cross training tips for fun and fitness gains. 

  1. Running – Some question if running is good for cyclist. Fortunately, it is!  Running is good for you whether you are a road cyclist, mountain bike cyclist, or cyclocross cyclist.  The post, Is Running Good for Cyclist shares more in detail, but the bottom line is, running adds extra gains when used as a cross training aid. 
  2. Yoga – Some of the most elite cyclists use yoga as part of a successful training program, including 2012 Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins’ benefits from the focus it brings to his cycling, while others, such as pro mountain biker and Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, use yoga to gain strength. From power to endurance, athletes at all levels are incorporating yoga to gain an edge over the competition, and prevent injury.  The next question – how to get started? Check out our post, Yoga and Cycling: What’s In It For You? for ideas and inspiration. 
  3. Hiking – Hiking is a great way to get your nature fix while mixing in a little exercise.  Hiking helps build up your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, core, and hip muscles—crucial muscles that can help your riding.  As a bonus, it helps with bone density because it’s a weight-bearing exercise. Aim for shorter and longer hikes to mix it up. 
  4. Strength training – For some cyclists, strength training is a welcomed part of the training process; however, for others, it is a necessary evil. Many cyclist wonder if they should train year round?  Answering these questions, the post, Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists  states , “one of the main goals with sport-specific strength training is to target your prime movers as well as the assistance muscles that support your prime movers. With proper strength training, each time you press on the pedal, your primary group of muscles (those that take on the majority of the load) will be stronger and have a stronger group of assisting muscles to help produce power. Since you are only as strong as your weakest link, the stronger system you build as a whole, the more potential you have for cycling specific gains.  For ideas and inspiration on strength training, read our post, Why Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists Matters.  
  5. Bike parts – Hmmm? You might be wondering, how does cross training apply to bike parts? Well, consider doing different types of workouts and rides on different bikes.  Use your road bike for intervals, your mountain bike in the nastier weather and to do drills to improve bike handling, and race your fat bike on the snowy days.  Mixing it up keeps it fresh!

Get started cross training to make 2017 one of your best years yet! 


12 Reasons Why You Want to Race Cross This Season

September 22, 2016

Cyclocross at BikeParts.comCross season begins in the early fall and runs through the end of December. You know, the time of year that those of us who live in places that get real, bona fide winters want to hang up our bikes and hibernate under down blankets. But In Colorado, we don’t do that because it’s cross season and cross is worth going out in the cold for.  Fortunately, the cooler temps and bad weather has escaped us so far; however soon on the horizon, cyclocross racers will be greeted with mud, cold, and nastier racing conditions.  Makes for more fun, right?  Absolutely! 

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. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  

  1. Cyclocross promotes silky smooth pedaling 
  2. Cyclocross develops your strength and power 
  3. Cyclocross improves your bike handling skills 
  4. Cyclocross teaches you race techniques
  5. Cyclocross reduces off-season weight gain 
  6. Cyclocross toughens you up to fair better in inclement riding conditions
  7. Cyclocross improves seasonal motivation 
  8. Cyclocross offers a full body workout
  9. Cyclocross maintains current fitness and can improve fitness 
  10. Cyclocross offers a mental break from your current cycling regimen and training focus
  11. Cyclocross provides high intensity training 
  12. Cyclocross means getting to purchase a new cyclocross bike, cyclocross tires, and an assortment of new bike parts

A final reason to race cyclocross is because it is exhilarating FUN! Whether you are a veteran of cyclocross or a newbie, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial in the best bike parts and cycling accessories.  Get help with your bike fit and setup and be sure to have all the right cycling apparel you need for a successful cyclocross season.  


Cyclocross In Colorado Kicking Off the Fall Season

September 1, 2016
SOMA DOUBLE CROSS DISC / BIKEPARTS.COM

SOMA DOUBLE CROSS DISC / BIKEPARTS.COM

While the cross country mountain bike  and road bike race seasons may be winding down, the cyclocross race season is just starting.  After finishing a full cycling season, you might wonder – why continue racing?

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. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  When you think of it, the fall season is a great time for experimentation.  It can be a great opportunity to get test out new bike parts or even a new cyclocross bike.  

If you are new to cyclocross, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Equipment choices matter! Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  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.  

So, as the cyclocross season approaches, what do you need to know?  A lot! Whether you’re a seasoned cyclocross racer or a newbie, now is the time to dial in your bike parts and begin planning your season  using goals, monthly progressions, and setting a weekly schedule. For those athletes who want to focus their efforts and manage their time, a good plan is to structure your races and cyclocross training week

Join in the cyclocross fun!  Following are races along the Front Range for September: 

Cyclocross is a sport meant to be fun, otherwise, there wouldn’t be beer handoffs, money pits, crowds heckling the pros, or pros heckling the crowd. Unless you’re aiming for World Cup titles, there’s no reason to take this sport too seriously. Train, race hard, but above all, remember that it’s supposed to be fun…and don’t forget your cowbell! 


Holiday Blessings: Remembering the Season with Gratitude

December 24, 2015
Happy Holidays from BikeParts.com

Happy Holidays from BikeParts.com

Cycling seasons come and go. There is the big training ramp up in the spring for summer riding and racing followed by fun and challenging cyclocross racing and fall riding.

And, there’s the lull in training and intensity during the winter months accompanied by trainer rides and possibly, a few, fun fat bike rides in the snow.  Yet, through all the seasons runs a thread of passion and love for the sport that unites all the seasons in a unified, blissful experience.  An experience of health, fitness, adventure, camaraderie, and personal victories.  Riding a bike offers freedom and adventure unparalleled by other experiences.  Whether it’s seeing wildlife up close from your mountain bike on a remote bike trail; or, claiming a new personal best while riding your road bike on a long ride or race – the cycling journey never gets old.

Here at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we feel that the true Christmas spirit of cycling is the love of the bike.  It’s the adventure cycling brings – the challenge of a new ride, the experimentation with new or different bike parts, the joy of connecting with friends in meaningful ways, and the building of camaraderie with teammates.  It’s about inspiration.  Riding and training towards goals that call us to be our best selves and enlist the support of family and friends that unites in powerful connections.  At its essence, the true spirit of cycling is really about passion, joy, exhilaration, excitement, camaraderie, enthusiasm, and gratitude.  These are all the very blessings we wish for you and your family this Christmas day.  Merry Christmas from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and BikeParts.com!

Riding in the Snow – 5 Ways to Make it Work for You

December 17, 2015
BikeParts.com Rider Enjoying Winter Cycling
The snow is here! And lots of it!  Many cyclist wonder, can I ride in the snow?  And the answer: of course you can!
The important thing to remember about riding in the snow isn’t whether it’s possible—everything is possible.  It’s simply a matter of being smart about riding in uncertain weather conditions. Here’s how to make snow riding work for you.
  1. The more tread on your tires, the better. You can ride in snow on slicks, but we wouldn’t recommend it.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a large selection of tires for road bikes, mountain bikes, and cyclocross bikes.  Stop in and pick up a new set of tires just for your winter cycling adventures.  Speaking of tires, let some air out of your them, whatever sort they are. Ride them soft: you’ll get more grip.
  1. Focus on a relaxed and responsive riding position.  Sure, it’s natural to tense up with icy or snowy conditions, but if you focus on relaxing your hands and arms, while keeping your weight back on the bike, you may find it easier to steer the bike from your hips and less from your upper body. This makes directional changes smoother and easier with your whole mass on the bike, rather than by sudden sharp steering inputs at the handlebars.
  1. Don’t be a speed demon! Slow down and enjoy the views! Celebrate the adventure of riding in different weather conditions.  A good rule of thumb to remember is to keep your bike in good working order, maintain care of your bike parts and don’t be too ambitious about your speed.  All this allows you to truly enjoy the experience.
  1. Go fat! Fat bike that is!  Fat bikes are wonderful for riding in the snow.  Many fat bike models today are similar to “normal” mountain bikes, which have slacker head tube angles, lower stand-over heights, thru axles, and tapered head tubes. The main difference is the tires. The wider tires have more traction in both dirt and snow. They climb better than almost any mountain bike. If you’re new to fat bikes, you may enjoy reading about some Top Fat Bike FAQ’s or Why Go Fat. Or, stop by the shop and demo a fat bike!
  1. Dress for the occasion.  Because it’s cold out, it is tempting to overdress.  Avoid that temptation! Depending on the type of ride, the duration of your ride, and the elements, your cycling apparel options make the difference between a suffer fest or a great ride. Take an inventory of your cycling clothing and ask yourself, what clothing do you need to wear in different weather conditions?  Do you have waterproof and wind resistant clothing? Do 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!  Or, check out our How to Dress for Winter Cycling –Video for ideas dressing warmly for your winter rides.
Your experience will correlate directly to your level of preparation.  It’s true, winter riding requires more diligence and commitment; but the flip side is a sense of wonder and adventure that accompanies the wintertime cycling scene.

Cyclocross Secrets to Surviving the Mud and Obstacles

October 29, 2015

Cross season begins in the early fall and runs through the end of December. You know, the time of year that those of us who live in places that get real, bona fide winters want to hang up our bikes and hibernate under down blankets. But In Colorado, we don’t do that because it’s cross season and cross is worth going out in the cold for.  Fortunately, the cooler temps and bad weather has escaped us so far; however soon on the horizon, cyclocross racers will be greeted with mud, cold, and nastier racing conditions.  Makes for more fun, right?  Absolutely!  Here are the cross secrets to help you enjoy and be more competitive in the gnarly cyclocross races.

Nastier conditions require optional tire selection
Tire choice is one of the most hotly debated topics in all of cross. The lack of active suspension means that tires are your first line of defense against rooted, bumpy, and rutted terrain. Tires choice will also make all the difference in the mud.  Regardless of whether you’re going to go the tubular or clincher route, many tire manufacturers offer tires for a number of different conditions.  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. Another option, visit BikeParts.com online for a wide variety of cyclocross tire options.  

Mud, grime, and poor conditions require extra wheels
Racing and riding in poor conditions is chaos for your bike!  Broken spokes, muddy bikes, skewers get loose.  Not fun and especially not fun while racing.  If you have a set of wheels in the pit, you can make a change and be underway pretty quickly. Granted, not as quickly as grabbing a whole new bike but here are just three reasons why wheels are better than another bike:

1) You can have a set of super fast race wheels and a cheaper training set 

2) You can have sets of wheels with different tread choices tailored to different conditions

3) If you tweak a rim you have backups on hand

Not convinced on the wheels? Forget the wheels and build a pit bike
There are other ways to mess up your bike; as in, ripping off your derailleur hanger. Or even worse, dragging the derailleur into the spokes in the process.  One option is to replace bike parts as needed – or at least have backup bike parts on hand.  The other option is to build a backup bike. This pit bike can be one you purchased used or put together from the parts bin that roughly approximates the setup of the race bike and is a compromise in many respects. 

Now that you have the secrets to racing cross in the winter conditions, put your skills to use! Get your cowbell ready and plan your winter cyclocross racing season.  See you at the races!


Boost Your Cycling Performance with Fall Riding – And Why it Matters!

September 24, 2015

Fall Cycling at BikeParts.com

While we welcome cooler temps and colorful foliage that fall cycling offers, the shorter days and fatigue of the cycling season can beckon cyclist to cut their rides short – or skip them all together.  Perhaps missing a day or two of riding doesn’t seem like much but it does.  According to the post, What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Riding, within a relatively short period of time, undesirable consequences result.  As in, your metabolism stagnates. Your blood pressure rises. Your blood sugar surges. Fitness declines.  And, inevitable wait gain surfaces.  Not fun!

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 article, Fix Your Flaws in Fall, suggests “if you’re looking to take a big step forward in your racing performance for next season, you can’t wait until next season to start the process.”  With that being said, what are the best ways to boost your fall training regimen?  

As we’ve share in recent post,  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. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  The post,  The Top 5 Fitness Benefits of Racing Cyclocross, reinforces this stating, cyclocross racing increases power at V02 Max, reduces off season weight gain, and toughens you up!  

If you don’t want to toughen up, then opt for an easier approach.  Add bike commuting to your fall regimen.   While it is not as strenuous as cyclocross racing, it is a chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and reinvigorate your spirits with the freedom riding a bike inspires.  This is most helpful if you are mentally burned out from the season and need to rejuvenate your cycling spirit for the next season.  To truly enjoy fall bike commuting, at Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we recommend getting a tune-up.  Who knows what your bike has experienced during the season and to make bike commuting truly enjoyable – your bike needs to be reliable.  We recommend having a set of reliable lights and wearing the right bike clothing. Frequently we’re asked what are the essential cycling apparel to have on hand for fall bike commuting.  Here’s a great list of bike parts and cycling apparel to have on available.   Remember, bike commuting is different than training; as such, your needs may vary regarding nutritional requirements, bike parts that are needed, as well as, clothing options.  

The Fall season is a great time for experimentation.  Ride new routes! Explore different trials before Winter weather arrives!  The Fall season can be a great opportunity to get test out 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! Check out our daily closeouts and overstock items to spark renewed interest in your cycling program.  


Drinking During a Cyclocross Race?  It’s Not What You Think!

September 17, 2015

Did you hear that?  That was a cowbell ringing!  Because somewhere in the world, there’s a cyclocross race going on!  As customary to the cyclocross culture, there’s lively banter, cheering, cowbell ringing, and festivities accompanying a cyclocross race.  As many who participate in either cyclocross racing, heckling (or both)  know, the cyclocross culture is rich with enthusiasm.  It’s a crazy fun cycling discipline inspiring cyclist to an all-out mad dash through the dirt, pavement, grass, mud, sand, snow and/or ice that will leaves athletes sucking wind, barely able to see straight…and desperately seeking fluids!  

Traditionally, drinking fluids during a cyclocross race was an unheard of activity.  This was partially due to mounting/ dismounting the bike to jump over obstacles as well as shouldering the bike for run ups; however, this was also related to the UCI rules and regulations for professional athletes.  However, just recently, the UCI has clarified their stand.

“Riders may carry fluids on their bicycles and install bottles on their spare bicycles in the pit area. Hands-free water carrying systems such as backpacks are permitted, and riders may also carry water bottles in their jersey pockets. However, it is forbidden to receive a bottle from anybody along the course. Extra fluids can only be obtained during the race when a rider takes a spare bicycle, already equipped with a bottle, from the pit area.”

So yes, that means you can drink during cyclocross races.  While you might think of it an an opportunity to consume adult beverages, we’re actually talking about water and other nutritional products.  Because racers can now drink while racing cyclocross, what are the best options: bottles or a hydration pack?  Your choice may come down to individual preference but there are several factors to consider.  Weather conditions play a factor as well as course considerations.   If the course is slick with mud and minimal safe passing zones, then bottles may be undesirable. The same applies for tricky descents in which a bump tosses the bottle right out of its cage.  Then again, if the course dictates multiple run ups requiring shoulder mounts, then having a backpack may be limiting.  At a minimum, it’s important to have water bottles and containers available pre-race that can be tossed aside before the start. Equally important is having bottles and nutritional support available immediately post race for adequate refueling and recovery

Regardless of how you take in your fluids, hydration is important.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re all about supporting good cycling habits – whether that is proper hydration, having a bike that fits, access to the right bike parts, or availability to the best cycling accessories for you. Whether you are a newbie or a veteran, cyclocross has something to offer everybody and so do we.  Check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  

Wait! Did you hear that?  There’s that cowbell again! 


4 Ways to Make the Most of Late Summer Riding 

August 27, 2015
Late Summer Riding at BikeParts.com

Late Summer Riding at BikeParts.com

At the beginning of the cycling season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most cyclist. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation waning.  As the cycling season seems to be getting longer and longer, what are the ways to maintain motivation and also – capture added gains towards next year’s goals? With spring and summer riding in the legs, it’s important to put your late-season form and fitness to good use.   Fortunately, there are no shortage of ways to enjoy life on two wheels through September.  

Dress for success!
As we transition from summer to fall, the Colorado mountain colors explode into a vibrant mix of autumn hues. Yet to make the transition from summer to fall to winter riding safely, it’s wise to make sure that your bike is working and that you have the proper cycling apparel to keep you warm and also motivated to ride in the cooler temps. We have the best cycling apparel for late summer / early fall heat.  Consider factors to consider in cycling apparel for this time of year include: ventilation, storage, water access, and rain/wind gear.  As we transition to night time riding, high visibility gear for night time riding is important too! If you haven’t stopped by the shop recently, you may want to check out our hot store items such as Endure pro race cape and Liv shorts and jersey. 

Try Cyclocross!
Cyclocross season is nearly upon us!  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. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  If you are veteran of cyclocross, consider focusing on skill development to keep things fresh.  Favorites to practice leading into the season include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor is racing efficiently.  If you are new to cyclocross, check out our  cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Equipment choices matter! Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts is important, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.  

Ride a Fat Bike!
If cyclocross isn’t your thing, maybe a fat bike is! While some consider fat bikes a trend, they are actually steadily growing in popularity.  Because fat bikes behave much like a mountain bike, they can be ridden in a variety of conditions and are extremely versatile.  Check out our post,  Top Fat Bike FAQ’s for answers to your fat bike questions.  Or, stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and take a test ride to see which one is best for you!  

Embark on a Gravel Grinder Adventure!
Gravel grinder events are growing in popularity and because of the informal nature of them, you can somewhat create your own event! Perfect for late summer riding to explore new terrain while maintaining fitness.  Specifically, gravel road races and rides combine riding on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, dirt, some singletrack trails and maintenance or B roads. The courses vary from hard-packed dirt to softball-sized rocks. The distance usually ranges between 50 and 150 miles, but can be even longer.  What makes this riding great is that you can ride your cyclocross bike, mountain bike, or even your fat bike! A fun way to explore! 

All in all, the fall season can be an opportunity to rest and recharge while still maintaining fitness on the bike. By keeping it fresh, trying something new, and also, targeting some fitness goals, it can inspire you to lay down some of your best training in your season.  Enjoy! 


Use Support Goals to Make Fitness Gains Through the End of the Year 

November 6, 2014

Halloween has come and gone.  Daylight savings time has ended.  Ugh, the dreaded winter months will soon be upon us.  Keeping up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult, not to mention the allure of the holidays.  All distractions pulling our energy and focus everywhere but the bike.

Yet, there are ways to make the transition through the Fall and Winter seasons work.  Some use cyclocross to maintain or gain fitness; others use technology as a means to boost motivation.  While others, think a little outside the box and choose to focus on support goals.  You might be wondering what the heck is a support goal?  Supportive goals are those activities that are indirectly related to your cycling yet can positively impact your performance.  They are oftentimes activities that are neglected during the season.  The Fall and Winter months are ideal to opt to focus on supportive goals.  Here’s why.

Selecting a goal to focus outside of the scope of your general cycling regimen can be refreshing and help you feel like you are still on your game.  These goals can be less time intensive allowing you to enjoy more family or social time.  Check out these support goals for ideas.  Consider selecting one to focus on for the month of November and add another one to focus on for the month of December.  Before you know it, you’ll be moving into 2015 refreshed and energized with added gains.

Build up your core with core exercises.  For some cyclists, strength training is a welcomed part of the training process; however, for others, it is a necessary evil. Yet, to avoid injury as well as get stronger on the bike, strength training is becoming a critical aspect of year round training.  The best way to train all parts of the body is through working with a full range of motion while strength training.  Dial in the best core exercises for you by reading Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists.

Improve your flexibility.  Consider doing yoga.  In cycling, the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hips never rest. As a result, riders often have overdeveloped quadriceps and tight hamstrings, which can pull the hips out of alignment. Also, a cyclist’s spine is constantly flexed forward. If proper form isn’t maintained, it can result in muscle pain and strain in the back and shoulders. Yoga helps ease the tightness, creating core strength, and aligning the spine.  Even if you aren’t into yoga, there are 3 poses you should practice.

Improve your body image.    As athletes, many have negative self conversations that impact how they feel about themselves and ultimately, affect performance. Learn the Three Steps to Having a Healthy Body Image and move into 2015 feeling better about yourself.  It’s important to be healthy, be fit, and be proud of who you are.

Ultimately, if all else fails, remember, the Holiday season is right around the corner! Nothing inspires cycling more than getting a new bike, purchasing some new cycling accessories or getting some new cycling apparel to wear.  Better yet, why not add some support goals AND get some new bike parts?!


How to Plan Your Cyclocross Training Week

November 21, 2013

What is the best way to get good at cyclocross and have fun at the same time?  Simple –  race cyclocross – a lot!   You’ll learn technique, skills and race strategy as you go.

But for those athletes who want to focus their efforts and manage their time, a good plan it to structure your cyclocross training week .  But what does that look like?  While training time, heart rate and power zones vary, a typical training week usually includes the following.

Monday – Off Recovery is equally as important as training. The recovery period is when fitness gains are made and you reap the benefits of the hard work you’ve done. Sleep, Stretching, Hydration, and Nutrition are the SSHNs of Recovery.

Tuesday – Hard Day with Efforts.  Cyclocross races are very high intensity and extremely demanding. The racer is at or above lactate threshold for the entire race.  As such, your training efforts need to prepare you for your cyclocross race, but not tax you either.

Wednesday – Tempo Ride.  Also, a great day midweek to check your bike and bike parts.  Replace broken bike parts and components and prep your bike for the race weekend ahead.

Thursday – Recovery or Skills day.  Efficiency is Paramount.  A great racer is not only fit, but also smooth and efficient. The energy saved through skilled bike handling and smooth transitions on and off the bike directly translates into a faster race pace. So, if you’re struggling with the technical aspects of ‘cross (barriers, runups, transitions on and off the bike, general bike handling), take the time each week to practice these skills until they become second nature during a race.

Friday – Travel Day and/ or Openers.  The goal of the day is to “prime the engine” for the weekend. Intervals are meant to sharpen, not fatigue.

Saturday/ Sunday – Game ON! Race day! Good reminders to keep in mind on race day.  Leading up to your race, it’s important to stay dry.  Yet, during your race, keeping your hands and feet warm are critical.  Opt for cold weather gloves and booties and shoe covers to keep your hands and feet warm.   If you tend to have cold feet, opting for warmer socks  may help too.  While hard core racers opt to keep their clothing to a minimum, others opt for a few extra comforts including knee warmersarm warmers, and hats.  Once you have finished your race, it’s important to get undressed and get warm.  You may consider bringing a few trash bags to stow your cycling kit, cycling shoeshelmet, gloves, socks, and anything else that is soaked and muddy. Also, it’s also a good idea to have on hand your favorite post race nutritional product.

Overall, have fun! Cyclocross is a sport meant to be fun, otherwise, there wouldn’t be beer handoffs, money pits, crowds heckling the pros, or pros heckling the crowd. Unless you’re aiming for World Cup titles, there’s no reason to take this sport too seriously. Train, race hard, but above all, remember that it’s supposed to be fun.