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! 


Get Ready For The Golden Giddyup

September 12, 2019

Only 2 days until the Golden Giddyup! Wait, what? Haven’t you heard of the Golden Giddyup?  Well, it’s a mountain bike community-sponsored bike event and trail stewardship program held in Golden, Colorado and it’s THIS weekend! All of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop are excited about the event. You’re invited to learn all about the GoldenGiddyup and encouraged to take part!

The History: The Golden Giddyup is a 501c3 nonprofit originally created to support Jefferson County Open Space with competent volunteer trail builders who help maintain some of the most loved and heavily used Open Space Parks. Each year in September, the partners at Jeffco Open Space close Apex, Windy Saddle and North Table Mountain Parks to host the annual Golden Giddyup race and there is a party, the Giddyup Get-Down, in downtown Golden. All of the proceeds from the event go back to supporting the Giddyup Trail Team and the stewardship efforts on the trail and off.

What is it? The Golden Giddyup is an all-day mountain bike event.  Part of the day is racing and all of the day is pure fun! As for the racing part, the Golden Giddyup features an enduro-style format, with three timed descents and three timed climbs.  As for course and race descriptions, there’s the Classic, the Chimpex, and the Lite. Each course option offers stiff climbs and bomb worthy descents.  As for the fun part, well, that’s an all-day thing.  The Giddyup Expo is from 10 AM – 5 PM in Lions Park. There is a free concert from noon until 5 PM. And the best part? Family fun and bike activities throughout the day!  There is a skills course for strider riders on up, a climbing wall, face painting and a variety of family fun activities.

Get involved!  If you’re a Golden Giddyup first-timer, then show up and enjoy the festivities! If you’re registered to race, then plan ahead and purchase any bike parts or cycling accessories to be prepared. Get your bike maintenance tools and prep your mountain bike for a great day in the saddle. 

The Golden Giddyup is a wonderful event and more so, an opportunity to really thank all those that make our mountain bike trails great. We’ll see you at the Golden Giddyup! 


Inspired by the Colorado Classic? Top Ways You Can Support The Women Cyclists in Your Life and Community  

August 22, 2019

Today kicks off Stage 1 of the Colorado Classic in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in just a few days, these phenomenal racers will grace the streets of Golden, Colorado. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we couldn’t be more excited to see the race unfold! More so, we embrace this opportunity to support the movement to inspire women, challenge and redefine female professional cycling, and empower women of all ages to cycle, train, race and enjoy all that the world of cycling offers.  We invite you to do the same! 

As the race develops, witnessing the athleticism, strength, endurance, and race strategies these athletes embody is inspiring. Capture that inspiration and take action on it! Get young girls, teenagers, and women interested in cycling and further support their existing training and racing programs with bike parts, cycling apparel, and cycling related products that the women racing in the Colorado Classic have available to them.  

Support doesn’t have to cost a lot but it could make a huge difference. Think of it this way, your support and inspiration could be the confidence-building or the inspiration needed to take action on dreams, goals, and achievements that would never be realized.  Just like the Colorado Classic. This is the only stand-alone women’s pro race in the Western Hemisphere – with the same prize money as the men. The Colorado Classic is making big strides in the world of women’s cycling and so can you.  There are countless ways to support women’s cycling. Following are just a few:

Ride together!  Whether you are riding the road or hitting some great single track, stick together and ride together. Maybe do intervals or practice skills on the mountain bike.  Riding together rather than dropping your female cyclist can ease the mental toll that creates from the constant pressure to keep up with you or the group. You don’t have to ride together every ride, but certainly, on no-drop rides – ensure they really are no-drop rides.  This invites beginners and riders with less confidence to find their way into the group, gain some skill level, and improve fitness.  Consider it “paying it forward”.  

The pro riders in the Colorado Classic are riding, training, and racing on quality road bikes. Support your female cyclist in having a good bike – and a well-fitting bike!   Surprisingly, great road bicycles don’t have to come at a hefty price tag.  Right now, in our Golden, Colorado shop we have a huge end of summer sale.  Now is the time to take advantage of the 40% off on select Specialized bikes and gear.  We also have a wide selection of women’s cycling apparel so it’s worth taking the time to stop in, try some things on, check out the road and mountain bikes, and cash in on the end of summer sale.

Pay attention to the nutritional differences of female athletes.  Specific to training and racing, many cyclists have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel while riding – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. We have several options including nutritional products just for women. Specifically, Osmo nutrition.  This product is specific to women offering three options: active hydration, acute recovery, and preload hydration. These options are definitely worth looking into considering that oftentimes, female nutritional requirements differ from men’s requirements. 

Take training to another level with heart rate monitors and power meters. Pro riders train with power and heart rate and even recreational riders do too.  Some mistakingly think that technology takes away the “riding experience” or that it is too costly for their level of riding.  However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable.  Specific to cycling performance, they offer objective biofeedback to help improve fitness related to goals. Many cyclists goes by “feel” as to whether or not they are getting stronger, faster, or “better” but power meters take the guessing out of the equation and offer precise feedback that gives true confidence that there is an improvement.  

Last but not least, get a bike fit! Pro riders get bike fits – and so can you! An often overlooked component of successful racing and training is a bike fit. Leg strength, endurance, and fitness are at the heart of cycling speed, but without a proper bike fit, you are sabotaging your training efforts.  Bike fits aren’t just for the pros, they are for everyone that rides. So go ahead and make the best of your training efforts and schedule a bike fit in our professional bike fit studio.

There are countless suggestions that we can offer for training and racing tips to support women’s cycling.  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop on Saturday during Stage 3 of the Colorado Classic and ask our staff for ideas and suggestions.  Also, keep current by following our Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates.


27.5 Guy Switches to 29er

July 29, 2019

By Hunter Swanson. Peak Cycles. July 2019.

If you asked me a few weeks ago about choosing between wheel sizes, I would have said something like this. “If you are shorter or more into downhill choose the 650B, and if you’re taller and more about the up go 29er.” Honestly, I was pretty sold on this idea. I passed the same message along to many people. How many times had I actually ridden a 29’er though? Embarrassingly, only once. And from that one experience, I pretty much wrote off the 29er and assumed everything I’d heard about them was correct. The 29er wasn’t suited for my riding style and since I’m 5’8″ it wouldn’t work for my height either. That is, until a few weeks ago.

One day after work I decided to take out a 29er from the Peak Cycles demo fleet. One of the mechanics in the shop warned me, “you might end up buying one after this.” I laughed, unconvinced that this would change my mind. I grabbed a Stumpy Expert 29er and headed to Green Mountain outside of Golden. Right when I hopped on the saddle, I was reminded of the 29er’s ability to climb. It’s very capable at smoothing out rocks, bumps, and trail irregularities. Much more so than the 650B, in my opinion. Because it’s not getting caught up, it makes the climb more enjoyable and a bit easier overall. I experienced this the first time I rode one, but this isn’t news to anyone, so let’s cut to the chase.

When it came time to descend my mind was blown almost immediately. I was on a trail I’d ridden many times before. I knew how it normally felt punchy and rough on my 650b. But this time around I knew something felt different. It felt oddly smooth. Almost as if I was on a huge boat cutting through rough ocean chop. Like a freshly sharpened knife effortlessly slicing through a cut of meat. I was in a state of pure bliss as I rolled over the loose rocks and bumps with ease. Then came a few tight corners. I was able to take them with just as much speed as usual. I felt the added traction of the bigger wheel. It just wanted to stay planted. But wait? I thought this wasn’t supposed to corner well?

Unsure of whether or not this was due to the bike being different or just the wheel size, I went back to Green Mountain the next day. This time on the 650b version of the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert. After riding the exact same trail on the 650b version, I arrived at my conclusion. The 29er was, in fact, better at descending than the 650B. I continued to ride the 29er over the next few weeks. I took it to different trails all around Golden, ones that I had ridden many times. The most astonishing results I had were on Chimney Gulch. As my go to ride in town, I had recorded over 40 different rides on this trail. But when I descended on the 29er, I shaved 30 seconds off my fastest descent time. Now that is saying something.

After years of holding a false belief, my attitude towards 29ers changed instantly. It was obvious to me. Aside from going straight into “I want a new bike mode,” I learned something along the way too. Despite whatever a spec sheet, a friend, or your local bike shop employee is saying, the ultimate test is to ride as many bikes as you can. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget the fact that no two people, or wheel sizes for that matter, are alike. It’s easy for us to put people in boxes. Short people ride 650b’s and tall people ride 29ers. Downhill riders need the 27.5 and XC riders would be fools not to ride a 29er. Try out both wheel sizes and see which one feels right for you. That is the beauty of doing a demo before making a purchase.

Is one wheel size better than the other? Is there a right answer to that question? I don’t know. All I know is that I felt the advantages of the 29er both on the ascent and descent. Faster ups, faster downs, more traction. It can be as playful as the 650b, it just requires more effort and strength. I did notice the turning radius of the 29er to be wider than the 27.5. It doesn’t love super tight turns, but neither do I. All in all I’ve made the switch over to the…darkside? I’m all aboard the 29er train until the next best thing comes along. Maybe a 30.5. Time will tell.


Get In On All Our Shop Deals With New Bikes, New Rides, and New Adventures

July 25, 2019

The summer riding season is in full swing here in Golden, Colorado! While there is still lots of riding to do, your bike may be feeling a tad worn down. Think of all the training miles, epic rides, races, and events you have done so far this season. Is it time to replace worn bike parts? Maybe upgrade your bike? Or even purchase a new road bike or mountain bike? Lucky for you, we have a ton of options to make the most of your summer riding. 

In fact, right now, Bikeparts.com, has some epic deals on new and used bikes! The sale includes bikes from Specialized, Liv Cycling, and Giant. Check now because they are going fast!

 



Speaking of new bikes, this new Specialized Turbo Creo SL is sure to turn some heads on the road and make your Strava PR’s envious. Stop by the shop to check it out and take it for a test ride.


 

If you’re happy with your bike but you are hearing some creaks or feel it may need some TLC, then schedule a bike service with us.  Head on down to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in downtown Golden and have our mechanics take a look at it. A midsummer Standard to Tune will get your bike back in tip-top shape.


 

And don’t forget the kiddos! Did you know? We have a huge selection of kids cycling apparel, helmets, and bikes at PeakCycles? Family riding is fun and gets your kids in on the cycling action.


 

Hmmmm….Back to new bikes again. Are you thinking about upgrading your bike to an #sworks? Maybe thinking about switching from 27.5 to a #29er? We’ve got you covered on that too! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to discover the difference for your self.


 

Last but not least – whether you purchase a new bike or ride your current mountain bike, join on on Wednesday evenings for our shop ride at 6PM.


 

Don’t miss out on a great summer of riding! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and check out our deals, get info on questions you have, and up the fun factor for your rides! 


10 Best Father’s Day Gifts for Cyclists

June 13, 2019

Father’s Day Gifts at BikeParts.com/ Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop

For Father’s day, your dad doesn’t need a tie. He doesn’t need a gift with ribbons, fluff, or something that is going to sit on his desk.  What he needs are no fluff gifts that make your dad’s cycling experience better!

As in – bike parts, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel! These are the gifts that keep on giving! If you’re stuck wondering what to get your cycling Dad for Father’s day, then look no further!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have all the cycling apparel and cycling accessories, your Dad wants. 

  1. New Bike: For those going all our for their cycling Dad, nothing beats a new bike! You might think, he already has one – maybe two- or even three bikes…how could he need another? Truth is, you can’t ever have enough bikes. Consider a new road bicycle or mountain bike for your Dad.  Even better, opt for a fat bike!  
  2. Bike Fit: Does your Dad complain of hands falling asleep while riding? Or shoulder or neck pain after a long ride? Ease your Dad’s discomfort with 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. Give us a call (303) 216-1616 or stop by the shop in Golden to schedule your Dad’s bike fit. Not only can we help him with the fit, but we carry all the bike parts required to get the bike in the very best setup for his riding needs.
  3. Tubes: This is one gift you absolutely positively will get used. Make sure you get the right size of tube. If you aren’t sure, stop in the Peaks Cycling Store and ask one of our friendly staff to help you. 
  4. Bottles or hydration packs: Every cyclist has a ton of bottles, but that’s not the same as having good bottles. Buy a good bottle and stuff it with other goodies.
  5. Socks: Did you know Dad likes to wear their cycling socks even when he isn’t riding?  Why? Because they are so comfortable.  Pick out a pair of socks you like for your Dad and maybe even get a pair for yourself!
  6. Tires: Treat yourself to Dad to some new rubber! We have a ton of tires for road and mountain bikes. 
  7. Bike Parts: So many bike parts – the question is what to purchase?  Consider getting your Dad a high-quality wheelset.  A good wheelset impacts ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality.  Maybe purchase some new, lighter tires for your Dad’s wheels. Another option is to reconsider the current crankset and pedals setup.
  8. Power Meter: Is your Dad a data junkie?  Then, this is the ideal gift for him!  The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in training to optimize performance as it relates to specific goals and objectives. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. Stop in the shop for help to dial in the best power meter to purchase for your dad. 
  9. Cycling Accessories: So what do you get a Dad that has everything?  Cycling apparel!  You can’t have too many jerseys, shorts, tights, jacket, sunglasses, and cycling shoes!  Cycling apparel is much better than just getting another tie!
  10. Gift Certificates: Renew your Dad’s cycling enthusiasm by trying out new bike parts. Whether it’s a new saddleshiftersbrakes, seat post, forkpedalshubs or wheels, your Dad probably wants it.  The usual problem is how to know exactly what to get. Our answer, get a gift certificate.  Gift certificates can be used for purchasing all kinds of bike parts and cycling accessories. 

See how easy it is to get your cycling Dad a great gift for Father’s Day? If by chance you are still in need of ideas for creative Father’s Day gifts, stop by the shop in Golden, Colorado or give us a call at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop (303) 216-1616 and we’ll gladly help you out!  Happy Father’s Day!


5 Great Reasons to Join Peak Cycles Shop Rides 

April 25, 2019

If you’re like most cyclists, then riding alone is the default when you first start riding. If you’re not competing or part of a club, then over time, you may long for others to ride and train with to increase fitness and explore new rides and trails.  

Riding with others can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of cycling. Yet, it can be a little intimidating if you haven’t done it before or it has been a while since you have ridden your bike in a group setting. But, it doesn’t have to be! At Peak Cycles, we head out every Wednesday evening for a fun ride. Here are some of the benefits as to why cyclist enjoy riding with us. 

  1. Build camaraderie. Riding alone can get lonely. Meet other riders and make new friends. 
  2. Learn new skills! Not sure how to clear a complicated obstacle? Unsure how to navigate a certain line? Build confidence in learning from and watching others.
  3. Ride proudly! Show off your new mountain bike or cycling gear! Or, ask others about why they have certain bike parts or cycling accessories. Discover the pros and cons of other rider’s choices and see what is best for you
  4. Up your skill level and get comfortable riding in a group environment. Conquer nervousness about riding with others. Learn how to ride safely and in your comfort zone while being part of the pack.
  5. Most of all, have fun! Riding with others is just plain fun! Laugh, cheer each other on, make jokes, suffer together! It’s all good! 

Join us on our weekly shop ride. Meet at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop at 1224 Washington Avenue in Golden, Colorado.  We leave right around 6PMRides are weather permitting. And the bonus – it’s a no drop ride.  What exactly does no drop mean? This means that no rider is left behind, and you can count on one of the riders in the group to be on the lookout for you and ensure that everyone stays together.  

If you aren’t sure about the weather or you have a question, call the shop at (303) 216-1616 and check out our Facebook page for details.  See you next Wednesday!