Colorado Summer Vacations: 2013 Travelers Guide To Golden, Colorado Mountain Biking

May 2, 2013

BikeParts.com Team Rider Sam Dolzani shredding the season-opener Boulder Short Track RacePlanning a trip to Colorado? Why not explore the Front Range from the seat of a mountain bike?

Colorado’s Front Range includes countless mountain bike trails offering an abundance of steep, rocky and sandy terrain with exposed terrain, an abundance of climbing, as well as easy, smooth single track.  Sounds like a mountain biker’s dream – and it is.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with your family, or in a large group, the trick to enjoying the Front Range Single Track is being prepared.

The first step in your trip preparation is selecting the trails you want to ride.  Golden, located just outside of Denver, Colorado offers world class mountain bike riding.  Some of the popular Front Range trails include:

  • White Ranch Trail
  • Dakota Ridge and Red Rocks Trail
  • North Table Mountain
  • Green Mountain Park
  • South Table Mountain
  • Chimney Gulch Trail
  • Apex Park Trail
  • Golden Gate Canyon State Park
  • Lair O’ the Bear

Next, you’ll want to gather trail intelligence.  Meaning, there are key elements you should know before heading out on any unfamiliar trail:

  • Know the profile – How much climbing and descending should you expect?
  • Know the route – Where  is the trailhead?  How long is the route?  What is the technical difficulty?  What type of terrain will you be riding?  And, What are the current trail conditions?
  • Know the weather conditions before, during, and soon after you expect to ride.  Colorado weather changes quickly and sometimes, radically.  Be prepared.
  • Know what cycling apparel to wear.  Being over or under dressed makes for an uncomfortable ride.
  • Know which bike components are best for the terrain type and the right mountain bike tire to use.

Finally, there’s a checklist of essential items to carry with you.

The big question is what to ride?   Of course, you can ship or bring your own bike. Our shop, Peak Cycles Bike Shop offers rental bikes and all the bike accessories you may have forgotten to pack.  Or, opt to buy a new bike!  Embark on its inaugural rides here in Golden and ship it home.

Which bikes would we suggest for Front Range riding?  One option is a hard tail Stump Jumper or Giant XTC Composite  hard tail.  If you don’t mind a little extra weight but want a more comfortable ride, the Epic Carbon Expert is a good choice or the Giant Anthem. Both are full suspension bikes.  Whether you go the hard tail option or with a full suspension bike, having the right bike parts and mtb parts is going to make a difference over the long haul in terms of performance and comfort.

Enjoy Colorado’s Front Range mountain bike trails. Stop by our Peak Cycles Bike Shop for trail information, to pick up a map, or visit us online at BikeParts.com to get trail information as you’re planning your trip!  Happy Riding!

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Sneak Peak Into the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series (RME)

February 21, 2013

MTB parts for racing the RME series A favorite to endurance mountain bike cyclist in Colorado and the surrounding areas is the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series, aka RME.  A race series consisting of 6 races, the Ridgeline Rampage, Battle the Bear, PV Cycle Derby, Snake River, Indian Creek, and Breckenridge 100, offers new and experienced racers a fun race series spanning from late April to mid July.  Peak Cycles Race Team members have raced this series in the past.  Here is a sneak peak as to what to expect from the series.

Pros:

  • The race venues are mostly local to the Front Range.
  • The trails are accessible to all skill levels.
  • The series offers a range of races: cross country, half marathon, and marathon.
  • Each race venue offers a diversity of terrain.
  • It’s fun to get to go to different places around the state.
  • Compared to other big races, the series is cost effective.
  • Pre-Race organization is well done.
  • Race starts go off on time.

Cons:

  • Due to overlapping start/ finish of different disciplines, there can be some overlap on the course with different groups going off.  For instance, faster cross country racers starting as marathon racers are finishing or overlapping age groups in the same discipline.
  • Unfortunately, as in all racing, there are some inconsiderate racers.
  • From years past, it appears the race promoters focus results on the pros and the men’s field and not those of the age groups.
  • There is a tendency for the aid stations to close down while slower riders are out there on the course.

What to ride?

For faster but maybe not quite as comfortable riding, one option is a hard tail Stump Jumper or Giant XTC Composite  hard tail.  If you don’t mind a little extra weight but want a more comfortable ride, the Epic Carbon Expert is a good choice or the Giant Anthem. Both are full suspension bikes.  Whether you go the hard tail option or with a full suspension bike, having the right bike parts and mtb parts is going to make a difference over the long haul in terms of performance and comfort.  Because these are lap races, there are a few bike components you will want to have on hand.

Some like to race on bottles while others prefer a hydration pack.  If you are new to racing or don’t plan to pre-ride the race course, a hydration pack is your best bet.  It allows you to focus on the trail  without concern as to trail conditions and timing when to drink.  Also, you have the option to refill as you pass through on your remaining laps.  Keep in mind, these races are going to take some time – as in, a few hours.  Comfort is a consideration.  Consider good grips like those made by ESI  or Ergon and new, good fitting shoes to avoid hot spots.

What other things might you keep in mind?  Basic necessities.  Make sure you have a good helmet, confirm your bike is tuned up, have on hand plenty of C02 cartridges, and tool kit.

Other than that, you are good to go!  Online registration for the series opens March 1, 2013.  See you there!