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.
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How Smart Cyclists Spend Their Tax Refund Money Wisely

April 16, 2015

Tax Refund Money for Bike PartsYou’ve worked hard the past year and expect a healthy tax refund from the government. With anticipation, you’re thinking of how to spend that money wisely.  Maybe you’re thinking you should save that money, put it in the bank, or invest in those long over due house projects.  Yet, the other side of you is taunting you with images of bike parts and bike purchases.  You might even feel these ideas are a guilty pleasure.  However, spending your tax refund money on a new mountain bike or a road bike, or even cycling accessories, does more for your health and longevity than you know.

Investing in your cycling regime is an investment in you.  Physical activity  can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life.  With that being said, investing in your bike and cycling program is a great way to spend your tax refund wisely. Enjoy our top 5 ways to do just that!

1. Get a Fat Bike!
Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is passionate about fat bikes in the winter months but they can actually be ridden year round! They are fun and versatile bikes that can be used in almost any terrain.  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.  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.  If you’re not sure a fat bike is for you, demo one!  Book a fat bike demo today and up the giggle factor to your normal riding program. Who can’t smile while riding a fat bike?

2. Get New Bike Parts!
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.  Who can’t justify spending tax refunds on losing lighter handlebars, a lighter saddle, and seat post?

3. Get a Power Meter!
The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in your training to optimize your performance as it relates to your goals and objectives. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. As for our favorite power meter options, our most popular are Stages Power Meters beginning at $1000. Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.

4. Get Cycling Accessories!
Maybe your refund check wasn’t as large as you wanted it to be?  This doesn’t exempt you from spending money on quality bike parts – it just means you might spend less.  Items for purchase in this category include a variety of cycling apparel: jerseys, shorts, tights, jacket, cycling shoes.

5. Get a Bike Fit!
A bike fit isn’t just for professional riders – they are for anyone who rides whether they are a beginner or advanced rider. A bike fit helps ensure riding comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how an athlete rides. We can help you use your refund dollars wisely.  Not only can we help you with the fit, but we carry all the bike parts required to get your bike in the very best setup for your riding needs. Give us a call (303) 216-1616 or stop by the shop in Golden to schedule your bike fit.

Considering how regular physical activity can produce long term health benefits, investing your tax refund dollars in your cycling program couldn’t be a wiser choice!


The 2015 Training Guide for Cyclist

March 12, 2015
BikeParts.com Gearing Up for 2015 Cycling Season

BikeParts.com Gearing Up for 2015 Cycling Season

March 20th at 4:45 PM MDT marks the beginning of spring.  While  we have a few days to go and the warmer temps may not quite be here yet, cyclist are getting ready for the 2015 season.  

You can feel it – enthusiasm is high!  But, enthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long, or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury. Understanding how to pace yourself while getting fit is crucial.

Yet, having the right bike setup, cycling accessories and gear makes all the difference too.  Especially so if you have taken it easier over the winter months. Transitioning to more time in the saddle and longer rides on the bike can be either a pleasurable experience or a painful one!  Here’s your guide to getting your bike and training in order for spring cycling.

Bike Inspections:
Does your bike have cobwebs on it from non use during the winter months?  Now’s the time to dust it off, put some air in those tires and do a thorough bike inspection.  It seems simple enough but there are some critical areas to pay attention.

What do you look for? Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebarsstems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. Make sure all is well before embarking on longer rides which could lead to lasting discomfort.

How important are brakes?  Obviously, a lot!  When you don’t have them, or they aren’t working properly, then you know the importance of well maintained brakes for your road or mountain bike.  Sure, brakes help stop your bike but they also aid in redirecting the bike, navigating technical terrain, cornering, and overall balance.  As the cycling season starts up, bike maintenance is essential.  We’re happy to help you at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop so bring your bike in for a spring tune up, or you can do bike maintenance at home.  Demonstrated by our staff, at Peak Cycles Bike Shop, using the Avid Professional Bleed Kit are step by step instructions on how to bleed your mountain bike brakes for strong and reliable stopping power: Our Tips on Bleeding Brakes

Another important component to spring riding is checking out your wheels.  Unquestionably, wheels matter!  They impact ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  Spring is a great time to upgrade bicycle components.  The question is, once you’ve decided it’s time for a wheel upgrade, how do you know how to select the best ones? Check our our video, Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know.  

As for mountain bike riders, you may be thinking about going tubeless. For anyone who wants higher performance and less flats but doesn’t mind a little extra installation time and maintenance, going tubeless is the best choice.  The trick is having the right set up and knowing which bike parts or products to use.  Again, stop by the shop to ask any questions or watch our video for help. GoingTubeless? How to use Stans NoTubes by BikeParts.com  

Training and Racing:
Now that you have your bike dialed in, the next part of the equation is training.  Do you have your 2015 goals in mind?  Aside from the traditional goals to ride more, to lose weight, and to explore new rides, consider being a little more ambitious!  Stretch yourself to reach new heights!  Maybe create your own Spring training camp with friends or challenge yourself to 20 Colorado Front Range Bucket List Rides.  

If you are a competitive cyclist, determine if you are race ready.  The post, 5 Steps to Being Race Ready, reinforces the need for mental and physical preparation, as well as nutrition and bike parts checks, but part of racing is using your energy effectively – on and off the bike.  Preparing mentally, physically, and being bike ready will ensure a successful start to the season.  Our post, 5 Race Day Strategies for Spring Races in Colorado walks you step by step through the process of race preparation. 

Nutrition:
As you approach your first race or long ride of the season, you may want to read the post, A Guide to Race Day Nutrition.  While riding, many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. However, oftentimes, a course may dictate other options.  As in, for mountain bike riders, a technical course may present obstacles in taking solid food while riding versus taking fluids.   Our post, Solving the Bike Nutrition Mystery and Training Peak’s post, Strategies For Optimum Recovery offer great suggestions to getting you on track for the nutritional demands of training and racing.

With a little preparation and planning, your pre season bike maintenance and training can pave the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable 2015 cycling season.

Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the bike parts you need to launch your best cycling season ever!


Best Bike Gifts for Cyclist

December 18, 2014

Bike Gifts at BikeParts.comAre you stressing yourself out looking for the perfect holiday gift for your cyclist?   Look no further!  Surprise and delight your favorite cyclist with our list of best bike gifts for cyclist!

Stocking stuffer ideas are first and foremost! We mentioned in our post, Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Cyclist, traditionally, stocking stuffers are smaller gifts that tend to pale in comparison to the main gifts under the Christmas tree. But with some creativity, don’t be surprised if our ideas for stocking stuffers turn out to be a big hit on Christmas morning.  The usual suspects for stocking stuffers include multi tools, tubes, bottles, socks, head warmers, arm warmers, shoe covers, gloves, lube, energy bars, gels, chews and similar items.  Smaller items that pack a big bang in your cyclist training regime include heart rate monitors and coaching gift certificates.

Combine these ideas with some items better placed under the tree, and you’re sure to delight your cyclist.  And what might these gifts be?  The very items that make cycling fun!  This list of gift items includes a variety of cycling apparel: jerseys, shorts, tights, jacket, cycling shoes and…..a new bike!  A  new road bike, mountain bike, or even a fat bike might just be the very gift your cyclist is hoping Santa will deliver!

Another option – give the gift of experience!  These are gifts that delight the whole year long!

Gift a Bike fit –  Does your cyclist complain of hands falling asleep while riding? Or shoulder or neck pain after a long ride? A bike fit isn’t just for professional riders – they are for anyone who rides whether they are a beginner or advanced rider. A bike fit helps ensure riding comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how an athlete rides. Consider the gift of giving your favorite cyclist a bike fit for Christmas. Not only can we help them with the fit, but we carry all the bike parts required to get the bike in the very best setup for their riding needs.  Give us a call (303) 216-1616 or stop by the shop in Golden to schedule your bike fit.

Demo a fat bike!  That’s right! Fat bikes are all the rage – they thrive in snow, sand, desert, bogs and mud as well as riding what is considered normal mountain biking.  In fact, fat bikes are the fastest growing segment in the bike industry.  Book a fat bike demo for your favorite cyclist that will up the giggle factor to their normal winter riding program. Who can’t smile while riding a fat bike?

Gift an App that keeps on giving – Smart phones, apps, and technology are paving the way for increased year round fitness. Consider giving the gift of paid apps to help keep your cyclist on track. The post, Top 5 Apps for Cyclists for Off-Season Fitness Gains, offers great suggestions including Lose it!, Strava, and Sleep Cycle.

We’ve talked about gifts for your favorite cyclist, but what about the bike?  There are Gifts To Give Your Bike for Christmas! You haven’t forgotten about the two wheeled friend, now have you? Show some love for the bike this holiday season.  Get it some presents!

Your favorite cyclists’ bike’s #1 holiday wish would be to drop the weight – on bike components that is!  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 on your wheels. Another option is to reconsider the current crank set and pedals setup. You can help your favorite cyclist shave some weight there while also selecting lighter handlebars, a lighter saddle, and seat post.  Loosing weight never seemed so easy!

And last but not least, what is a cyclist dream gift?  Bike parts! What cyclist doesn’t love bike parts? Whether it’s a new shifters, brakes, seatpost, or fork, your favorite cyclist wants it.

See how easy it is to make your favorite cyclist smile this Christmas?  Happy Holidays!


Bike Inspections: A Guide for Injury Free, Enjoyable Spring Cycling

March 27, 2014

2013 S-Works Demo 8-7 at Peak Cycles Bicycle ShopEnthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.  Understanding how to pace yourself while getting fit is crucial.

Yet, having the right bike setup, bike accessories and gear makes all the difference too.  Especially so if you have taken it easier over the winter months. Transitioning to more time in the saddle and longer rides on the bike can be either a pleasurable experience or a painful one!  Here’s what you need to know to get your bike in order for spring cycling.

Bike Inspection:  Does your bike have cobwebs on it from non use during the winter months?  Now’s the time to dust it off, put some air in those tires and do a thorough bike inspection.  It seems simple enough  But there are some critical areas to pay attention.  What do you look for? Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebarsstems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. Make sure all is well before embarking on longer rides which could lead to lasting discomfort.

Wheel Inspection: Obvious inspection includes tires, rims, and spokes. Check that there is adequate air pressure in the tires. Check that there aren’t any cuts or nicks in the sidewall or tread of the tires.  But maybe you’re considering a new wheel set?  Or perhaps going tubeless on your mountain bike.  Sometimes making changes to your current setup can inspire motivation to get out there and ride.  Check out our video on Wheelset Buyer Guide for What You Need to Know.  Whether you are thinking about road bike wheel sets, mountain bike wheel sets or just getting some thoughts together on wheel buying parameters and how your wheel set will affect your overall ride and other bicycle parts, this video will guide your way.

Regular inspection: Bike maintenance can be a chore, but a necessity.  As you ride more through the early season, some things that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential.  There are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order for the early season cycling months.  For starters, wipe down and inspect the frame.  Rain, snow, mud, and road elements pose different cleaning challenges to your frame and bicycle parts.  Consider using a stiff, soft-bristled brush to knock off any chunks of dried-on mud that may be on your frame or wheels. Then, follow that up by taking a rag to your bike, wiping it down generally all over to get off any remaining dust or dirt.  If you are concerned about how to maintain and clean carbon frames, check out this video for best suggestions.  Don’t forget to lube your chain and cables.  As unglamorous as chain lube is, it is a necessity.  It will keep your bike parts in working order and squeak free! There are many lubes to choose – wet vs dry lube.  As conditions vary, you may want to have a couple of different choices on hand.  Finally, inspect your brake pads. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. And, remember to inspect where the brake pads hit the rim; they should contact the rim evenly on both sides and not rub the tire in any way that may cause a flat.

Pre season bike maintenance and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the bike accessories you need to maintain your bike or let us help you!


Can the Right Bike Parts Make a Difference in Injury Prevention?

January 31, 2013

bike parts for injury preventionEnthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.  Understanding how to pace yourself while getting fit is crucial. What are suggestions for avoiding injury during early season training?

In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. Whether you’re just starting to ride or you’ve been cycling for a long time, consider the benefits of a professional bike fit.  Fit impacts comfort but also technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries.

What to look for?  Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle    may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebars, stems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety.

Also, keep in mind to pace yourself. Be mindful of your current activity level and build upon your program gradually.  During the winter months, it is tempting to opt for longer or high intensity rides when the weather is good.  However, compressing your physical activity for the week into a few days can lead to an overuse injury. Instead, keep to your ride schedule and spread out the workouts over a longer time frame.

Training is all about stressing your body with hard workouts, and then letting your body adapt to that load. If you do not allow your body to recover and adapt to the training load you’ve imposed on it, you simply will not be able to train and stress your body as hard the next workout.  While many riders understand that recovery between workouts is key to building fitness, recovery is also a commonly overlooked injury prevention tool. Recovery, defined as stretching, hydrating, and resting, are traditional tools used by athletes.  Some opt for compression gear, as in socks or tights, which are designed to improve recovery and aid in overall sports performance.

Plan for a successful cycling season by training right early season.  A good bike fit, steady riding, and active recovery paves the way for a healthy, injury free 2013.