Sloppy Weather – Easy Tips to Show Your Bike Some TLC  

March 7, 2019

Peak Cycles / BikeParts.com Training Ride up Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado

It’s that time of the year when road rides alternate between dry pavement and sloppy slush.  And, with the warmer temperatures gracing the Front Range, riding MTB trails is a treat but there is the complication of dealing with mud, slush and a mixture of dry trail. What does this mean to cyclists? it means your bike needs some TLC. Bike maintenance isn’t always fun to do, but obviously, it is a necessity. 

While there are countless recommendations on keeping your road bike or mountain bike in good, working order, these are our top 3 picks for bike maintenance during this transitional season. 

  1. Pay Attention to Your Chain. If you’ve been training regularly then no doubt your chain is showing some wear and tear. Take time to actually clean your chain. For an easy clean, scrub your drivetrain parts with a brush and eco-friendly degreaser and re-lubricate the chain when you are done. For something more thorough, you could buy a chain cleaner like Park Tool’s Cyclone Chain Scrubber, fill it with a non-aerosol degreaser like Pedros Oranj Peelzturn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you. As for the best chain lube, check out our post, Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush, and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? for options.
  2. Check your Wheels and Tires. Both your wheels and tires are essential for bike safety.  Accompanying the snow and wet riding conditions are salt, debris, and miscellaneous items found in the cycling lanes and roads. Have you checked your tires lately? They may actually need replacing. Begin by cleaning the wheels with rubbing alcohol and dry with a cloth. Check the rims for damage and examine for loose spokes. Your wheel should run smoothly without any side-to-side wobble. Next, replace your tires. If you aren’t up for doing this yourself, let us help you. For the month of March, receive 20% off any tire with the purchase of installation in the shop! 
  3. Inspect Your Brakes. When you are shredding down a long, winding road or a steep trail grade, what’s going to stop you? Your brakes! Bike brakes use brake pads to stop your wheels from turning. Brake pads wear down over time and especially so under wet and grimy conditions. Be mindful to examine your brake pads for any uneven or extensive wear. If you do find uneven abrasions, you probably need to get your brakes adjusted and/or replaced.

As you ride more through the early season, some worn bike parts that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential. Preseason 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 cycling accessories you need to maintain your bike or let us help you!

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Lacking Cycling Inspiration and Motivation? Try This! 

February 28, 2019

In between the New Year and the spring cycling season, there seems to be something like a Bermuda triangle affect taking place in terms of motivation, training, and sticking with goals.  They all seem to disappear. Even the best of intentions seem to dissolve into thin air.  

Granted, the weather doesn’t help. Cold days followed by warmer days and then again, snow or wet days.  Training outdoors proves to be inconsistent. Training indoors consistently, can be maddening. Add the frustrations up and it’s easy to see why those New Year goals may have fallen by the wayside.  

Yet, on the bright side, spring is right around the corner. And while there are some wet and sometimes snowy days ahead of us, now is the time to dig a deep and set those training goals in motion.  So when you are experiencing a lack of motivation to train, try some of these tips to get you going. 

One of the reasons training year round is to maintain a base level of fitness.  Also, training year round helps to reduce injuries.  In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. The benefits of a professional bike fit will not only help improve your riding position, but it will also help motivate you to ride your bike and perfect the mechanics of your pedal position and body posture.  The results of a professional bike fit will leave you feeling more confident in your bike parts, bike set up, and inspire you to reach your potential – which translates into riding more.  And that is the objective! To ride more regularly and frequently during the pre-season. 

Another option is to trade saddle time for gym time to gain core strength.  The primary focus when it comes to strength exercises for cyclists is to train in a similar motion to cycling with the lower and upper body while increasing overall core strength and muscular endurance. Check out The Best Strength Exercises for Cyclists or 7 Hip and Core Exercises for Endurance Athletes to get you started and also – to keep you motivated through the winter months.  

If those two options don’t get your motor running, then sit down and revisit your 2019 cycling goals.  What is it that you wanted to accomplish in 2019? Get back on track.  Check out our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling.  The post dives into the benefits of training with power meters.  Maybe to spark some motivation you need to invest in new cycling accessories like a power meter or heart rate monitor.  

Quite frankly, we’ve found one of the best motivators for riding is purchasing a new bike! Whether you choose a road bike, mountain bike, hybrid/ commuter bike, or even a fat bike, getting a new bike turbo charges motivation and inspires a sense of adventure. There is just nothing quite like the feeling of purchasing and riding a new bike! 

When all else fails, remember something is better than nothing. Meaning, some training is better than no training at all.  Give yourself a break for those days missed and shift your focus towards being consistent in your training.  Spring will be here sooner than you think!  


10 Ways to Show Your Bike You Love it This Valentine’s Day 

February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re big fans of Valentine’s day and not for all the traditional reasons.  

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate what you love.  And we love bikes! Road bikes, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, bike tools, cycling accessories and all different kinds of bike parts! We pretty much love them all!

Our passion for cycling is boundless! And while most people share their love for their devoted others with roses, chocolates and other goodies, we’re encouraging you to share your love and appreciation for all your bike does for you. Show some love to your bike this Valentine’s Day in these loving ways. 

  1. Get your bike a mate. As in, get a new bike! We have a huge selection of road bikes and mountain bikes. Take your pick! 
  2. Upgrade or replace older bike parts.  Some good items to have on hand include chainscassetteschainringsbrake pads, and cleats.
  3. Get your bike a new wheelset.
  4. Make your ride more comfortable and schedule a bike fit.
  5. Show your bike some TLC. Take advantage of our February tune-up special of $50.  Or, perform some bike maintenance yourself with our bike tools.
  6. Make your bike shine! Light it up! Purchase a new light system.
  7. Upgrade your training. Invest in a new heart rate monitor and power meter to take your fitness to a new level.  
  8. Swap out your saddle bag for a new one. While you’re at it, make sure you have the tire levers, tires, and air you need in case you get a flat.
  9. Consider donating unused or older bike parts to someone or an organization in need.  
  10. Pledge to support bike programs like People for Bikes or Bike Denver.  

Stop in and see us in Golden, Colorado or visit us online at BikeParts.com to get Valentine’s Day ideas for you and your bike.  We offer a huge selection of road bike parts, mountain bike parts, BMX bike parts and more. If you need it for your bike, then we have it! Be generous with your love this Valentine’s day! Let your bike know you love it! Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us a Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop!


Weather Inspired: Why Try a Fat Bike

January 31, 2019

Snow! Cold weather! More snow! Wind! Ugh! The last few weeks the weather has played havoc on the cyclists along Colorado’s Front Range.  Sure, we have had a few good days here and there to get some decent road rides in but for the most part, it has been a juggling act with the weather to maintain any commitment to getting in extra miles.  

Yet, there are a few cyclists that are thoroughly enjoying this time of year and our weather.  Who might they be? Those that ride fat bikes! According to singletracks.com*On average, fat bike owners ride 76 times per year, that is double the amount that they expect to ride before they purchase a fat bike! Why not double your fun? Increase your rides and actually enjoy riding in the winter and the snow!  Now is a perfect time to check out a fat bike for yourself.  Here’s what you can expect.

Surprisingly, one of the most noticeable things about riding a fat bike is that they are easy to ride. Comfortable, in fact!  The large tires provide more balance and control, which gives a beginner rider the confidence to seek more adventure.  Also, because the large tires absorb a lot of the vibration from riding, there is less stress on your hands and lower back.  And as deceiving as it might be, the larger tires do not equate to difficulty managing the bike. Maneuverability is just as easy as on a regular mountain bike

Fortunately, fat bikes are versatile.  Right now, they are great for riding in snow.  Having a fat bike may actually motivate you to ride more in the winter conditions.  However, they aren’t just for snow riding.  Fat bikes can be ridden year round and in varying conditions. They do really well on dirt and many even race fat bikes for 100-mile mountain bike events.  That may sound crazy but not so if you’ve ridden a fat bike.  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 new freedom to ride off-road.  

Get in on the fat bike action! Demo a fat bike at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado and get ready for our upcoming Staunton Fattie Frenzy event.  It’s a Fat Bike Celebration!  Enjoy these extra posts on fat bikes, fattie bike parts, and fat bike cycling accessories.


Boost Your Cycling Power With These Supplements

January 24, 2019

Every hour of cycling adds an hour to your life, according to a study at Cambridge University. The benefits of cycling are indisputable; cycling can protect you from heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers, and even depression. The next question is how to make the most of your cycling experience. Many people use nutrition and supplements to give their bodies extra power to muscle up a hill or go that extra mile. Supplements infuse the body with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and phytochemicals that help support cellular repairs and upkeep. Supplements are a great way to give your body a boost both before and after cycling. However, all supplements are not created equal.

Increase Your Endurance
Cycling takes a lot of endurance from the body. While cycling, you breathe more deeply and the heart and blood vessels work overtime to perform an aerobic activity. You perspire, and your body temperature increases. Luckily, there are certain supplements that can help a cycler perform at their best. One such supplement is Beta Alanine. This supplement is good for a strong burst of energy, needed by track cyclists for a jolt of energy on the road or while riding a mountain bike. Make sure to take it in smaller doses of 0.8 grams for a total of 3 grams a day to start. Larger doses may result in the unwanted side effect of paraesthesia – tingling of the skin. Creatine can also help to build strength, as it increases levels of phosphocreatine, which is used by the muscles during high-intensity activity. Hydration is another important component of cycling that shouldn’t be overlooked. Minerals and carbohydrates in hydration and energy drinks help to balance out electrolytes lost in sweat and give energy for athletic performance.

Recovery Routine
After cycling, the fibers in the muscles have been broken down and need to recover to become stronger. Whey protein contains all nine amino acids that exist outside the body. It is absorbed very quickly into the body to help muscles rebuild. Whey protein is a byproduct of milk and can be consumed in a smoothie or even in a bowl of oatmeal. To prevent delayed onset muscle soreness, a vitamin C supplement can help. A study from the University of North Carolina Greensboro states that 3 grams of vitamin C per day drastically reduces post-workout soreness. The supplement L-carnitine L-tartrate can also help. It transports fatty acids into the mitochondria of the cells. These fatty acids are a fuel source for the cells. It cleans the blood of lactic acid, which produces the soreness that can be experienced post-workout. 

Be Aware of What You Buy
Just because a supplement says it is for a cyclist or for post-workout recovery, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s full of beneficial ingredients. Watch for these ingredients in your supplements to make sure that you’re doing right for your body. Hydrogenated oils are sometimes used as a cheap filler in vitamins. These oils contain harmful trans fat that can prevent the beneficial chemicals from working to reduce inflammation. Sodium benzoate is a preservative that can cause allergic reactions, and is particularly harmful to blood health when taken in conjunction with vitamin C. Sibutramine is another chemical sometimes used in supplements to increase energy. However, it has been known to increase the chances of heart attack and stroke.

Supplements are a great way to make the most of your cycling experience. They can help with energy, endurance, and recovery. However, it’s important to read all the labels thoroughly to make sure that anything you put in your body is truly beneficial to your health.  

Liked reading this post? Enjoy more posts on the subject of nutrition and recovery in these Peak Cycles / BikeParts.com posts: 


What Does Your Bike Want for Christmas? 

December 13, 2018

 

You’re making your list and checking it twice, but have you remembered everybody on your list? As we’re officially into the holiday shopping season,  you have about two weeks to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list:

– Spouse – check

– Parents – check

– Siblings – check

– Children – check

– Bike –   ???

You haven’t forgotten about your two wheeled friend, now have you? Let’s think about this.  The holidays are for sharing gifts celebrating the special relationships you have with others.  Doesn’t your bike create fun, fitness, and basically, the greatest feeling in the world for you?  Show some love to your bike this holiday season.  Get it some presents!  If you’re stuck wondering what to get your bike for Christmas, then look no further!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve put together a list of spin worthy list of holiday gift suggestions.  

Super Plush Gifts:
For those going all our for their bike, nothing beats a companion for your bike.  Yes! That’s right – get a new bike! You might think, your bike already has one – maybe two- or even three bikes…how could your bike need another? You and your bikes always need another bike. We all know this truth. One can never ever have enough bikes. Consider a new road bicycle or mountain bike.  Even better, opt for a fat bike!  

Maybe a new bike is a bit of a stretch, but you really want to treat your bike to something, consider purchasing a power meter.  A power meter is a great training tool and helps 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. As for which power meter to purchase, consider our most popular one, Stages Power Meters. Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter and a third option is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter. 

Plush Gifts on a Budget:
Gift giving for you bike doesn’t necessarily mean going all out financially. There are plenty of thoughtful gifts available to show your bike just how much you care. Some great ideas include some of these. 

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. Or, visit us online at bikeparts.com

A good bottle: Every cyclist has a ton of bottles and your bike likes them too! Buy a good bottle and stuff it with other goodies.

Tires: Treat yourself to bike to some new rubber! We have a ton of tires for road and mountain bikes. 

Lube: Bikes like to be seen – not heard! Every bike enjoys a smooth bike chain with just the right amount of lube. Get some now and stock up for the 2019 season while you’re at it!  

See how easy it is to get your bike a great gift for Christmas? If by chance you are still in need of ideas for creative Christmas 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 Holidays Friends!


The Importance of Having the Right Bike Parts for Cycling

October 18, 2018

Cyclists generally subscribe to the idea that having more than one bike matters.  Who couldn’t agree with that?! But on the flip side, have you ever wondered if bike parts matter? Sure, bike parts make are part of a complete bicycle but does one particular bike part matter than another?  

When you think about it, bike parts do contribute to your riding comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable, safe, or in control of the bike you are riding, chances are you aren’t going to ride it very often.  Also, bike parts do make a difference in injury prevention.  In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is having a proper saddle with aligned seat position, height, and angle – not to mention a few other important factors like handlebarsstems, and the correct bike position.  All of these factor in to a comfortable riding position as well as a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. 

But what other bike parts are important?  First and foremost would be the bike frame itself.  Whether it is a road bike, mountain bike, or cyclocross bike, the frame provides strength and rigidity and largely determines the handling.  In fact, Triathlete magazine provided the following advice to one of its readers: “When it comes to how your bike fits, rides, handles and reacts, the frame is the most important physical part of the bike. The frame is also usually the most expensive part of the bike and the most involved to replace. Buying a bike with the right frame the first time can not only help you enjoy the benefits of a better riding and performing bike now, but can also save significant money down the road as you will only need to buy some new parts, instead of buying a whole new bike, to upgrade.”  At the end of the day, it all comes down to fit. The frame needs to be the right size for you. 

Following the frame, other considerations include bike components and wheels.  Regarding cycling components, we’re talking about the drivetrain, gearing, and braking systems.  Focus on getting bike parts of a level that are designed for your riding style and frequency.  And wheels – they matter! They can make a basic bike ride a lot better while sub-par wheels can make an otherwise exceptional bike feel mediocre.  There are different wheel types, a variety of options for tube or tubeless wheels, and ideas to consider in tubular wheels, rim shape, spoke count, and hub options. While wheel options may seem overwhelming, it’s really straightforward. To make it easier to understand, check out our post and video, Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know

All in all, bike parts do matter. They keep you safe and comfortable and out riding your bike.  Fortunately, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we believe that there is much more to fitting a cyclist to his/her bicycle than just the physical dimensions of a bike. Each cyclist has a different history, experience, comfort level, and goal on the bike.  Stop in to see our road and mountain bikes. Check out any bike parts you want to upgrade or replace. Better yet, schedule a bike fit and dial in your optimum riding position.  Happy Riding!