Winter Riding Tips 

February 1, 2018
Winter Riding Tips from BikeParts.com

Winter Riding Tips from BikeParts.com

Here in Colorado we are spoiled by temperate conditions along the Front Range, allowing for great riding almost year round; however we do get challenging weather from time to time and winters can be rough and present a number of obstacles.  That being said, the benefits of winter riding are plentiful and can be quite enjoyable. Following are our tips to winter riding. 

Stay warm!  It’s a no brainer. If you are warm and comfortable while riding, then you will enjoy your ride.  So, take inventory of the cycling apparel you currently have and purchase additional items that are missing from your cycling wardrobe. If you’re not sure about what items you need, you might find our post, Winter Cycling: How to Enjoy It with Winter Layering Basics, to be helpful for ideas.  Another option is to check out on our video.  It’s a great resource outlining when to add certain layers at certain temperatures. 

Take care of your bike! Winter riding poses many threats so having a bike in good working order keeps you safe, warmer, and provides the opportunity for a more enjoyable ride. Besides, a good ride always does the body and mind good! Our post, 5 Things You Should Know To Winter Proof Your Bike, illustrates the essentials of keeping your bike in good riding form for the winter months. Aside from bike prep, you’ll want to pay attention to bike maintenance and bike parts.  Winter riding conditions aren’t the greatest.  To keep the integrity of your cycling accessories on track, you’ll want to read our post, Winterizing Your Bike: What’s In Your Tool Kit?

Fuel your desire!  Training in the colder months can be a chore. So, put some fun and adventure into your rides! One option it to try plus- size tires.  Plus-size tires are a relatively new trend and they are gaining in popularity because the 3” tires handle snow really well but have a reasonable tire weight so you aren’t compromising speed performance. As a result, bikes with plus-size tires turn out to be an ideal all-season mountain bike and a purchase you won’t regret. The S-works Stumpjumper FSR Comp 6Fattie is our top-performing and most popular plus-size tired bike right now. If you really want to go big, ride a fat bike! Fat bikes go where no bicycle has gone before.  Fat bikes can ride pretty much anywhere. They do really well on dirt but they are also very capable in the snow. Packed snow will feel very much like riding on dirt. Discover the reasons to ride a fat bike in our post, Why Go Fat?

Have no fear of losing motivation in the winter months!  The first step towards successfully riding through the winter months is dressing appropriately and winter proofing your bike.  When you are confident in your bike and clothing options, there are less excuses to tell yourself for not riding and more reasons to get on the bike and enjoy the ride.

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Making the Most of Winter with Trainers, Rollers, and Indoor Riding

January 25, 2018

Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

While the weather conditions have been warm and dry across the state of Colorado, recently we finally got a hint of Winter with our recent snow fall. No doubt a joyous occasion for those riding fat bikes! But for those forced to ride inside, how do you make the most of winter riding? It brings up the trainer vs roller debate, as well as, how to stay motivated to ride indoors altogether.

When it comes to rollers vs the trainer, the debate is far from over as it really depends on individual preference. Both come with many different levels of resistance and accessories to fine tune the experience.

For most, a trainer will have more appeal. They are good for any type of ride from casual to the all out sprint. Trainers don’t require a lot of concentration either, so the option to flip through channels on the TV, reply to email, send text messages, or take a quick break is easier. And, trainers are great for virtual training tools like Zwift.

On the other hand, rollers offer some advantages too. They create more of a road-like feel than trainers do. Rollers help your cycling form as your legs spinning pattern becomes much more efficient. And, riding rollers keeps you a bit more mindful and engaged so that you don’t fall off!

Some things you want to take into consideration, whether you opt for rollers or the trainer, is to set it up correctly. Having the right equipment and bike parts can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer or rollers, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor. You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but it can make all the difference in the world.

Make your indoor riding really count. It’s hard to stay motivated riding indoors for days in a row. So, another way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride. In fact, a one hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer or rollers accordingly.

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


Why Go Fat? 

November 19, 2015
6Fattie

Brand New Demo – 2016 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert 6Fattie (Large)

Fat bikes – they’re all the rage! While many consider fat bikes to be a trend, they are, in fact, here to stay!  The hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now is the oversized bike that can accommodate tires up to 5 inches wide.  Yet, as popular as they are, many have yet to experience this cycling bliss! 

You might be wondering, why would any self-respecting cyclist be caught dead on one of these? There are plenty of reasons, including the original impetus of floating over snow and sand, but perhaps the best reason is one shared by just about any form of bike: it’s fun!  Fat bikes behave much like a mountain bike but, in many cases, they are much more versatile. You can practically ride them anywhere and they are particularly useful during winter rides in snowy conditions. They are also great beginner bikes and will make you feel like an 8 year-old again, bouncing  gleefully all over the trails.

Fat bikes go where no bicycle has gone before.  Fat bikes can ride pretty much anywhere. They do really well on dirt but they are also very capable in the snow. Packed snow will feel very much like riding on dirt. Pushing through heaps of freshly fallen snow will provide more of a challenge and there will be some days when riding is simply impossible.  However, fat bikes make it so riders don’t have to omit a season from their calendar.

Fat bikes are easier to find and more affordable than ever before.  The fat bike market has exploded in recent years. Brands include Specialized, Mongoose, Polaris, Kona, Gravity, Kawasaki, Borealis and more! Manufacturers are creating frames out of tons of different materials including aluminum, carbon, titanium, bamboo, real steel, and Wal-Mart steel. Most fat-bikes that you will come across have a fully rigid frame. However fat bikes with front fork suspension and full-body suspension have started to emerge.

Finding the fat bike that works for you will depend on the type of riding that you do and, more importantly, your budget.  However, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are all big fans of fat bikes and offer several options.  Check out two of our favorites the 2016 Fatboy Comp Carbon and the 2016 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert 6Fattie DEMO

Different people are finding different reasons to fall in love with fat bikes. Are you feeling the fat bike love?   Demo a fat bike at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado.  Check out our fat bike bike selections, cycling apparel, hydration strategies, fat bike bike parts, and accessories. Enjoy the bliss a riding a fat bike can bring you! 


Top Fat Bike FAQ’s

February 19, 2015

Fatboy at BikeParts.comFat bikes – they’re all the rage! While many consider fat bikes to be a trend, they are, in fact, here to stay!  The hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now is the oversized bike that can accommodate tires up to 5 inches wide.  Yet, as popular as they are, many have yet to experience this cycling bliss!  Following are the top frequent asked questions we get at Peak Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado.

Why should I ride a Fat bike?  Fat bikes behave much like a mountain bike but, in many cases, they are much more versatile. You can practically ride them anywhere and they are particularly useful during winter rides in snowy conditions. They are also great beginner bikes and will make you feel like an 8 year-old again, bouncing  gleefully all over the trails.

How are fat bikes different than other mountain bikes?  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 ties have more traction in both dirt and snow. They climb better than almost any mountain bike and the fit tires provide greater cushion that feels like extra suspension.  But what makes them special is they entice you to ride outside when it’s cold! According to the post, Fat Biking 101: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Biking in the Snow, most people do not ride when it is cold because, well, it’s cold. Fat bikes offer a unique experience and allow you to explore familiar trails in a new light. Fat biking lifts the winter doldrums by giving you a new freedom to ride off-road.

In what kind of conditions can I ride my fat bike? Fat bikes can ride pretty much anywhere. They do really well on dirt but they are also very capable in the snow. Packed snow will feel very much like riding on dirt. Pushing through heaps of freshly fallen snow will provide more of a challenge and there will be some days when riding is simply impossible. Remember, while sliding around on ice may be fun, ice is ice. The bike will still go down if you are not careful riding on slippery substances.

How do I stay warm on my fat bike in the winter?  You have to think a little bit harder before and during your fat bike rides in the cold. Generally the most important tip for keeping warm is to layer, and to carry a pack to put your extra layers away. Some people prefer to wear ski goggles and a ski helmet, and lots of people wear winter boots.  Poagies, insulated hand covers that slip over your handle bars, are also very useful for keeping your hands warm.   Keeping your feet warm is key. Wearing arm boots, preferably water proof, with thick socks on flat pedals or clipless boots with multiple pairs of socks will help to keep your feet comfortable.

How do I keep my water from freezing?  Even though you might not feel the urge to drink as much when riding your fat bike in the cold, it is still important to drink fluids. There are a couple of tricks your water from freezing. During shorter rides, carry an insulated water bottle and start with really warm water. You can also add electrolytes or other ingredients to change the freezing point of the fluid, but may find limited success. When using a CamelBak or something similar, stick the bite valve in your jacket and blow out all the water in your hose. You can also buy neoprene insulators for the hydration hose to help keep water as a liquid substance.

Should I use clipless or flat pedals on a fat bike?  It’s your choice! The biggest problems people have making this decision is deciding how to best keep their feet warm. Having flat pedals will allow you to wear thick winter boots, which are more conducive to keeping your feet warm. However you can buy clipless boots that are designed to handle colder temperatures. Using a clipless pedal could prove annoying in snowy terrain if you have to dismount and remount frequently during your ride.

What kind of tires should I use? How wide? What pressure do I run? Tube vs. Tubeless?  You have to match tire pressure with conditions. Softer snow conditions: 6psi. Harder conditions: 8-10psi. (much lower than the normal bike). Fat-bike tires are typically marked as 26 x 4.0 though most are really more like 26 x 3.7 or 3.8. The actual size of the mounted tire will vary depending on the rim width used for the wheel.  Many riders prefer tubeless because they reduce over a point of rotation weight and they provide better traction.

What kind of fat bikes are on the market?  The fat bike market has exploded in recent years. Brands include Specialized, Mongoose, Polaris, Kona, Gravity, Kawasaki, Borealis and more! Manufacturers are creating frames out of tons of different materials including aluminum, carbon, titanium, bamboo, real steel, and Wal-Mart steel. Most fat-bikes that you will come across have a fully rigid frame. However fat bikes with front fork suspension and full-body suspension have started to emerge.

Finding the fat bike that works for you will depend on the type of riding that you do and, more importantly, your budget.  However, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are all big fans of the Specialized Fatboy Bike. We have found the Specialized Fatboy to be a highly rated, mid-range fat bike that is usable for a wide range of ages and skill-levels.   In fact, the Fatboy was rated as the best mid-range fat bike in 2014 by Gear Patrol, a magazine that covers the best in gear, adventure, and design.  

Where can I ride my fat bike? Fat biking is abuzz in Colorado. Colorado is already a favorite state for cyclists due to the mountainous terrain, rugged trails, scenic views, and outdoorsy population. But now, Colorado is a hot destination for the fat bike phenomenon.  There are also a ton of really fun fatbike events across the nation.

Whew! Lots of questions but one final one.  Are you feeling the urge to take on this fun fat bike phenomenon? Demo a fat bike at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado.  Check out our fat bike bike selections, cycling apparel, hydration strategies, fat bike bike parts, and accessories.  Plus, get even more of your questions answered in person!


Why We Love the Specialized Fat Boy Bike 

January 8, 2015
Fatboy Specialized at BikeParts.com

Fatboy Specialized at BikeParts.com

Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is passionate about fat bikes in the winter months. They are fun and versatile bikes that can be used in almost any terrain but are particularly useful in snowy conditions. With the explosion of enthusiastic fat bike cyclists over the past couple of years, new fat bike companies and models have formed in a rush to meet the demand. But with all of these new fat bike brands, how do you choose which fat bike is best for you?

We have found the Specialized Fatboy to be a highly rated, mid-range fat bike that is usable for a wide range of ages and skill-levels.   In fact, the Fatboy was rated as the best mid-range fat bike in 2014 by Gear Patrol, a magazine that covers the best in gear, adventure, and design. The following gives Gear Patrol’s review:

“Double-digit growth year after year has brought in the cycling industry big boys. The Fatboy is Specialized’s first bike in the category, and the big-name brand has delivered a lightweight frame and fork with 4.6-inch Specialized Ground Control tires, a fully butted M4 premium aluminum frame with 190mm rear spacing and a tapered head tube with clearance for five-inch tires. The lightweight frame and mix of quality components from SRAM, Tektro and Specialized at a reasonable price point make the Fatboy a great choice for beginners on up to experienced riders.”

If that isn’t exciting enough, Specialized has developed three different bikes including the Fatboy, Fatboy Expert, and the Fatboy Pro with front suspension. All three bikes share the M4 Premium Aluminum Frame and the Fatboy Expert and Fatboy Pro sport higher components such as Shimano Hydro Discs. While the Fatboy Pro offers more cushioned ride with its Bluto Suspension Fork and Sram’s XO1 rally sport package for a higher price, the other two bikes offer a solid build and smooth ride for lower budgets.

In a review, the Fatboy expert on fat-bikes.com, reviewer Gomez gave the bike a glowing report: “Our test bike purred like a kitten and did everything I could ask of it….I guess the first thing that I noticed, when riding the Fatboy were the tires. The Ground Control tires are a true to size, four point six inch, big and bad ass, knobby fat/mountain-bike tire. These tires are made for off roading. On my very first ride with the Ground Controls when I was climbing a steep asphalt hill, they brought back an instinctual memory of a familiar tactile feel similar to the best knobbies that I’ve ever ridden…. 26/29 or fat-bike….Climbing was outstanding and carving turns was confidence inspiring. Of course you can’t have all of that grip without some rolling resistance. If you’re looking for a tire that will answer the call for traction each and every time, the Ground Control is your huckleberry….This bike was born and bred to rip and shred!”

The fun isn’t exclusive to adults either!  Specialized has also created a 20” and 24” Fatboy for kids at half the price of a full sized Fat Boy. The two miniature bikes are featured in this short video that would excite any kid who loves to hop into the bike saddle and ride:

For a lighter ride, you can opt for lighter bike parts and also purchase tubeless tires and carbon rims.  All of which will make your FatBoy faster and more maneuverable.  Join the Fat Bike rage! Demo a fat bike at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop today or better yet – get your own!  There’s a Specialized Fatboy, Medium in black and red on sale now!!


Are you Fat Bike Curious? The Questions You Want Answered! 

December 11, 2014
Fat Bikes at BikeParts.com

Fat Bikes at BikeParts.com

Fat bikes – they’re all the rage! While many consider fat bikes to be a trend, they are, in fact, here to stay!The hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now is the oversized bike that can accommodate tires up to 5 inches wide.

Fat bikes are hard to miss. Their bulbous, “fat” tires roll over virtually anything, which makes them an ideal winter mode of transportation because they help cyclists traverse snowy and icy trails with ease and traction.Sounds good, but why ride a fat bike? Fat bikes behave much like a mountain bike but, in many cases, they are much more versatile. You can practically ride them anywhere and they are particularly useful during winter rides in snowy conditions. They are also great beginner bikes and will make you feel like an 8 year-old again, bouncing gleefully all over the trails.

So, how are fat bikes different than other mountain bikes? 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 and the fat tires provide greater cushion that feels like extra suspension.

But what makes them special is they entice you to ride outside when it’s cold! According to the post, Fat Biking 101: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Biking in the Snow, most people do not ride when it is cold because, well, it’s cold. Fat bikes offer a unique experience and allow you to explore familiar trails in a new light. Fat biking lifts the winter doldrums by giving you a new freedom to ride off-road.

Sounds good so far, right? You might be wondering in what kind of conditions can you ride your fat bike? Fat bikes can ride pretty much anywhere. They do really well on dirt but they are also very capable in the snow. Packed snow will feel very much like riding on dirt. Pushing through heaps of freshly fallen snow will provide more of a challenge and there will be some days when riding is simply impossible. Remember, while sliding around on ice may be fun, ice is ice. The bike will still go down if you are not careful riding on slippery subs.

There are other factors to consider with fat bikes – as in, how to stay warm, best pedal and footwear options, and basically, how does a fat bike ride?

Are you curious about fat bike riding? Demo a fat bike at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado and stay tuned for more upcoming blog posts on fat bike bike selections, cycling apparel, hydration strategies, fat bike bike parts, and accessories.


What? 6 More Weeks of Winter! Fat Bike Training Tips to Embrace the Season

February 6, 2014
Fat Bikes at BikeParts.com

Fat Bikes at BikeParts.com

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this past Sunday morning.  We all know what that means – six more weeks of winter.

Less daylight, cold weather and difficulty planning winter workouts all contribute to less time on the bike.  But, if you want to get better, faster and more efficient on the bike, then guess what? You got to put your time in.  So what do you do?  

Fortunately, last year we wrote about Ways to Pedal the Winter Blues Away with four suggestions to keep motivation high: build a support structure, set up the right training environment, get some visual stimulation, and compete.  Yes, you read that last one right – compete.  And not later in the season – now.  Yep, most of the country is under snow and cold temps but competition is still going strong. On fat bikes that is.

Fat Bikes Are Big in Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and other parts of the country. And racing fat bikes is the ultimate in beating wintertime cycling blues.  Aside from racing fat bikes to keep fit, what makes a fat bike so desirable?  An Ode to the Fat Bike sums it up best.

“The big tires make you ride differently. The extra traction allows you to lean harder in to turns. The extra weight encourages you to take more time to absorb the surroundings. The knowledge that you can turn off trail and go exploring where you like is freeing. And the rooster tail of snow you kick up in turns and the slip-sliding through curves and down steeps feels ridiculous and hilarious and absolutely entertaining.” —Aaron Gulley

So get in on the action!  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to ride, test ride, and buy a fat bike.  Grab some bike parts, gear, extra tires and you’re on your way.  All you have to do now is sign up for one of the upcoming fat bike races on the Western front!  And, if you are uber competitive, check out this  post on  How to set up a fat bike tubeless.  

The Mountain Fat Bike Series Calendar:

  • Grand Targhee Snow Bike Race  –  Saturday, January 18, 2014. Alta, Wyoming
  • Abominable Fatbike Race (Colorado Fatbike Championship) – Saturday, January 25, 2014, 8:30am. Como, Colorado
  • Snowy Range Snowbike Challenge – Saturday, February 1, 6pm. Snowy Range Ski Area, west of Centennial, Wyoming
  • Tennessee Pass Night Jam – Saturday, February 8, 7pm.  Leadville, Colorado
  • Mineral Belt Mayhem – Saturday, March 1, 7pm. Leadville, Colorado
  • 28 Below – March 22, 2014.  Black Hills, South Dakota