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! 


5 Uncommon Bike Buying Questions

October 4, 2018
So you want to buy a bike?  Who wouldn’t want to get a new bike?! Actually, now is the best time of year to purchase a new road bike or mountain bike because this year’s bikes are on sale and we’re clearing the way for next year’s models.  With so many bike choices available, there are quite a few questions to dial in when considering purchasing a new bike.  In fact, we’ve written about many of those questions in the following blog posts and you can check them out here:  
But, what about the uncommon questions?  You know, the ones you might be a bit shy to ask the salesperson.  No need to hesitate with your questions, we’ve got you covered.  
 
Question #1 Let’s get the first question out of the way.  Do you need to buy your bike at a bike shop?  You can buy anything on the internet these days including bike parts, cycling accessories, and complete bicycles from us at BikeParts.com.  However, we do encourage you to purchase your bicycle at a bike shop.  Here’s why. Bicycle Magazine sums it up best, “When you buy a bike from an authorized retailer, you know that the bike was assembled by a professional mechanic, and you begin to build a rapport with that shop—a great way to find out about new routes or group rides or maintenance clinics and events. You also ensure you’re not getting a counterfeit product, which is a continuing problem in the bike industry.” 
Question # 2 How do you know if a bike fits you? Test ride it!  Bring your cycling apparel with you, including your cycling shoes and helmet, when test riding a bike.  Before heading out on your test ride, take time to visit with your salesperson about shifting, brakes, and any particular feature of the bike you are testing out.  A bike that feels good and is comfortable to ride is one you will ride often.  So, go with feel. And then, after your purchase, schedule a bike fit with us to dial in the specific bike parts you may need to achieve optimum comfort, power, cadence, and fit for you.  
Question #3. Do I have to dress like a cyclist like the riders you see on the Tour de France?  Well, you can if you want to!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a wide variety of cycling apparel to match your style.  Some prefer jerseys and lycra shorts and other prefer a more casual ride style.  Again, go with what is comfortable to you. We have cycling apparel on sale and new items coming in for the winter months. Stop by and see what works best for you. 
Question #4 Should I use clipless or flat pedals? Note, clipless pedals are the ones you clip into with cycling shoes with cleats on the bottom.  Flat pedals are simply pedals, like you would have on a BMX or kids bike. They are not popular with many racers or road riders because clipless pedals help improve your performance in racing, especially for road disciplines. But don’t rush to use clipless or exclude flat pedals from your practice completely. Start with what you are most comfortable and make changes as you see fit. 
Question #5 How do I maintain my bike?  Bike maintenance may seem overwhelming to the new rider and even to veteran riders too.  Some cyclist really enjoy doing their own bike maintenance and others prefer for our shop mechanics to do it for them.  Again, do what is best in your comfort zone.  As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to follow some of these guidelines that we’ve written about in our post, 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road.
 
What other questions might you have that we missed? Don’t be shy! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to test ride a bike, check out our winter cycling apparel, and get all of your questions answered.  

What to Know Before Buying a Hybrid Bike

August 16, 2018

Image Source: Depositphotos.com

Hybrid bikes are a combination of road and mountain bikes which is ideal for regular commuting to school or work. These environmentally-friendly vehicles can be used on both city roads and different types of terrain. Buying a hybrid bike is not much different than the purchase of a regular one, but you should focus on your needs more.

Hybrid bike models vary depending on the resemblance to the road or mountain bikes. While the latter focus on speed, the former offers comfort while riding on an uneven off-road terrain. Tires, disc brakes, and handlebars are adjusted to ensure both speed and comfort depending on your needs. Here’s what every cyclist enthusiast should know before buying a hybrid bike.

Tires

Tires can have a diameter ranging from 11 to 16.5 inches. Hybrid or city bikes take the 700c tire standard from road bikes, but also come with extra acceleration on uneven terrain and are compatible with road climbing.

As there is no rule with no exception, the best such bike is equipped with 8-inch wheels for easy speeding. You might notice that these bikes’ tires have high air pressure for extra speed and long rides. Seats are sleek and soft to make you feel comfortable during long-distance cycling.

If you don’t know where to start, you can take a look at this list of the top hybrid bikes 2018. There you will find the description, pros and cons, and standout features of five of the highest-rated hybrid bikes this year, according user and expert reviews.

Brakes

Hybrid bikes from reputed brands come with linear or direct-pull brakes that integrate into the front and sometimes rear wheel hubs. There are models with disc brakes if you look for more control when descending and riding on muddy trails. Disc or hub brakes ensure quick braking even in extreme conditions and require little maintenance.

Frequent users usually prefer linear-pulls as they are powerful and adapted to challenging weather conditions. You can find the breaks at the ends of flat handlebars to allow you a straight back position.

If you haven’t picked up cycling as a hobby yet, consider all its health benefits. According to a study, regular cyclers stay very healthy well into old age.

Suspension

The suspension fork is quite standard in hybrid bikes to minimize the impact of road obstacles and give you a comfortable ride. Whenever you ride on rough terrain or uneven roads, you will have more control over your bicycle.

Even if your favorite bike doesn’t come with suspension in the seat post, you can independently ask for one to be added in a repair shop.

Weight

The bike’s weight is linked to the material that the frame is made of. Typically, hybrid bikes have either corrosion-resistant but heavy aluminum frames or light carbon-fiber which ensures a smooth ride and higher costs. There also are aluminum-carbon mixes.

Hybrid bikes are lighter than mountain bikes and heavier than road bicycles. They are designed to handle most obstacles, but you should choose a mountain bike if you plan many off-road rides and little city commuting.

Gears

You can get 1 to 27 gears in an average hybrid bike. Choosing the number of gears depends on your desired fitness level and the most commonly used terrain. More gears mean more climbing. Fewer gears gives you a smooth ride on flat ground. Bikes with a single speed usually have a freewheel mechanism in the rear hub for coast cycling. 

Gears are, however, easy to change thanks to the standard button-style levers with screens that show you the speed.

Seats

The most comfortable features that hybrid bikes borrowed from road bikes are the seats. Hybrids’ seats are versatile and optimized to support weight distribution when you are climbing. There are countless anatomical shapes, flexible frames, cutouts, and gel padding or cushioning springs to choose from. All of them are meant to keep you comfortable and safe.

Deciding on a type of seat is a personal choice that you can make after testing the bike. Highly-reputed manufacturers design seats for general purpose with additional equipment to make them fit for off-road circumstances as well. So, if you don’t truly enjoy a position at first, give it a few more days. You might change your mind.

Handlebars

The size and shape of handlebars are versatile and aerodynamic so that you can add more pressure onto the pedals for faster riding. You can choose from:

  • Drop bars from road bikes which are the most popular ones as they are lightweight and allow the largest number of hand positions.
  • Mustache bars are similar to drop bars but also feature a little drop model. They let you sit upright on most types of terrain.
  • Raiser bars are quite standard as they extend up and backward. By sitting both upright and on the back, you have more vision of the road ahead.
  • Flat bars are quite common and a bit heavier than drop bars. You sit in relaxed positions to see the road and reduce hand and wrist strains.

What to Consider when Buying a Hybrid Bike

  • Budget: Money is critical. However, any model below $500 might not offer long-term quality. But for most bikes, you will spend two-thirds of the total bike budget on the product itself and the rest on the accessories.
  • Fit: The bike should fit your weight and height. You can adjust seat and handlebar height. However, you’ll never know if a bike fits you unless you test it.
  • Look: You will need to be pleased with your bike in order to use it. No one wants a bicycle in color or model he or she get distracted by. See what you like about your current bike and look for those features in the hybrid one. 
  • Service: Any reliable brand should provide you with personal service options and warranty. Notice how the brand communicates with its clients and even observe if they organize events for the local cycling community.

Buying a Hybrid Bike

Hybrid bikes are excellent choices for both weekday use and leisure cycling. Having such a bike means commuting to work and going to the woods or a national park while saving big on transport and staying healthy. Just find the right hybrid bike for your needs and ride it whenever you have the chance!

Post Author: Frankie Lawrence


5 Step Plan to Make the Most of Your 2018 Cycling Season 

May 31, 2018

June is here! Welcome blue skies, sunny days, and longer days!  All the perfect ingredients becoming us to ride, race, and enjoy being on our two wheeled friends.
Whether you are a recreational cyclist or a competitive one, no doubt you have some cycling goals in mind for the season.  

As we’re just launching into this year’s cycling season, it’s important to make the most of it by planning now. When you plan, goals get met.  You don’t want to look back over the season at the end of the year with regrets. So, whether you’re entering your first event or you’re a seasoned racer, planning your early season events can lay a foundation for confidence and physical fitness in which to build upon for the cycling season.  And at year end, you can look back with satisfaction with your achievements.  Here’s how to do it.  

#1 Think strategy first.  High level. What are your goals for the season? Are there races or events you have always wanted to do? Register – mark it on your calendar – and plan! We’ve written extensively on strategic planning.  Check out these posts for good ideas: Cycling Success: A Guide to Launch Your 2018 Spring Cycling Season and Keys to a Successful Cycling Race: Think Smart, Eat Smart.

#2 Next, prepare.  Preparation means alot of things.  Research your ride route. Identify the bike you will be riding. Replace old bike parts. Dial in your nutrition needs. Decide on your training plan.  Preparation paves the way for success.  And not to be overlooked, is dialing in your cycling accessories.  Get a checklist ready to have on hand for all your events.  We have a handy one here: Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing.

#3 As most living in Colorado know, weather conditions can change rapidly.  This means you have to be agile with your bike maintenance and cycling apparel.  You might want to read our popular posts Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? and Effective Training Techniques for Cycling in the Heat. Both offer useful information for making the best of your ride.  As for those afternoon rain storms, we suggest reading the post: Wet Weather? No Problem! 5 Essentials for Riding in the Rain.

#4 After a long or hard ride, recover.   it’s important to note that during the summer months it is easy to get swept away in the joys of riding. The temps are great – the trails are great- riding a new mountain bike or road bike is great!  But, with all the bike riding accompanies fatigue and over doing it. Be mindful to build in recovery to your training plan.  Some post worth reading include: Recovery: Ride Hard – Recovery Harder: Ways to Speed Up Recovery and Avoid Early Season Training Injuries with Rest and Recovery.

#5 Finally, take care of your bike!  Bike maintenance keeps you riding. You can either do bike maintenance yourself or bring your bike to us and we can do it for you.  Either way, some basic maintenance is necessary and to make sure you’re covered, you’ll want to read: 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road.

When you’re working toward a goal that’s important to you, the last thing you want is to face an obstacle or unexpected challenge.  There you have it – a 5 step plan to kick off your 2018 cycling season! Set up your 2018 right by planning ahead, getting your road bike or mountain bike in order, and getting the gear and resources you need.  With the right mental attitude and the best bike parts, your successful training and race prep is well underway.


Make the Most of Your Ride Time This Memorial Day Weekend 

May 24, 2018

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Riding from BikeParts.com

Wondering what to do with your day off this upcoming Memorial Day weekend? Ride, of course! Get ready for a fun weekend of riding by swinging by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to stock up on all things cycling related! 

You can ride in style this Memorial Day weekend by getting a new road or mountain bike.  One option is to shop our latest mountain bike and road bike close out items and our discounted collections of bike parts online.  Or better yet, have one of our expert crew help you select the best bike for you.  Stop by the shop and we can help you identify what to look for in buying a new bike and get you scheduled for a bike fit in the process.  

Making the most of the holiday weekend, you’ll want to stock up on essential items to carry with you. Make a note to stock up on: Food, gels, and on the bike nutrition; Tubes, lube, a pump or C02; chain and multi toolRain jacketSunscreenHydration pack and extra bottles for fluids. 

And don’t forget bike maintenance! With a little extra time off from work, many cyclist enjoy performing much needed bike maintenance over the holiday weekend.  Replacing worn bike parts and cycling accessories without the stress of added work and family pressures makes bike maintenance a pleasure and not a chore.  If the kids are around, engage them in the process and teach them a thing or two about bicycles.  Who knows? You might inspire them to ride too! 

And, as a little teaser to whet your appetite for Colorado’s finest, enjoy the cycling videos, pics, and trail reviews. 

Happy Memorial Day to All! We look forward to seeing you at the shop or visit us at bikeparts.com to get all of your cycling apparel, accessories, and bike parts.  


What to Look For When Buying a New Bike 

May 3, 2018
Bikes at BikeParts.comIt’s getting warmer outside, there’s a change in the air, and chances are you’re feeling the itch to ride your bike. As the new road bike and mountain bike models make their way into the shop, it’s tempting to purchase a new bike.  And why not?
The pleasure of buying a new bike includes a process of joy, smiling, and endless thoughts that stimulates your pleasure receptors that leaves you tingling with anticipation of the adventure ahead.  Making sure you up your giggle factor, here’s our guide to help you make the best of your new bike purchase.
First off, build your bike profile.  Decide what type of riding you will be doing, how often, and the types of terrain you plan to ride. Because there are so many bike parts to build a new mountain bike or road bike, it’s important to get clear on what you are looking to do.  Here are some questions you need to get you started:
  • What type of bicycle do I want?  Will I be mountain biking, road cycling, or is comfort my biggest factor in a bike?
  • Am I interested in casual riding? Entry level competitive cycling? Full on racing?
  • How many miles might I log per week, or year?
  • What type of tires should my bike have?
  • What size bike do I need?
  • Do I want a bike with gears? If so, How many?
  • What kind of seat do I want?
  • Cycling accessories – what matters to me most: high-tech gadgets or are simpler designs?
  • What kind of handlebars do I want? Straight or curved?
  • Am I interested in the highest quality bike parts?  Or, can I get by with industry standard bicycle accessories?
  • Most importantly, how much am I willing to spend on a bike? This will determine alot of the questions asked above.

Next, consider the bike fit and how the bike feels when you ride it.  Following are the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride.

  1. Get the correct bike for your needs.  Getting a bike whose frame matches your body is the most important part of bike fit . If the frame size is wrong, you probably won’t be able to adjust the seat and handlebars enough to compensate. Some adjustments can be made easily with the bike’s existing components (seat height, angle, etc.) and some may require swapping out a component (as in, a new stem can change the location of the handlebars for a more comfortable riding position).
  2. Seat height. When you’re pedaling and your leg is all the way down, your knee should be slightly bent. If your leg is straight (knee locked), your seat is too high. If your knee is very bent,  your seat is too low. Either problem can hurt your knees, and a seat height that’s too short robs you of power and makes it harder to ride.  To get the proper seat height, you want the saddle to be high enough that your heel barely touches the pedal at the bottom of the pedal rotation, but not so high that your heel comes above your toes at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
  3. Seat position. Saddle setback another important measurement to get right. The front of your kneecap should be directly over your pedal spindle when you’re mid-pedal stroke. Most bike fitters dangle a piece of string with a small weight at the bottom (a plumb line) from the side of the rider’s kneecap to see if it lines up directly with the spindle—you may need to enlist a friend to help get this exactly right.  Or better yet, schedule a bike fit at our shop and we’ll help you do it!
  4. Reach to your handlebars.  Handlebar reach is simply the distance you reach from your saddle to your handlebars. Aim for a riding position that gives you a modest amount of shock-absorbing bend in your arms without forcing you to reach too far to apply the brakes.
  5. Handlebar height. Your handlebars should be at least as high as your seat.

Fortunately, now is the best time to shop for a new bike. There are so many options available today. Visit us at Peak Cycles in Golden or online at bikeparts.com.  We can help with your decision making and offer advice you need to get you rolling on your new bike just in time for summer riding.


Cycling Inspiration for Earth Day

April 19, 2018

April 22nd is Earth Day! Yay! And, you might be wondering how bicycles benefit the environment? Or why ride them on this special day?

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are big supporters in our local community and race teams, and as such, we know bike commuting is a win-win for our local community. Basically, for anyone looking to save money, embrace a green or sustainable lifestyle, and promote healthy, livable cities, cycling is important.

To kick off your Earth Day preparations, you will want to read our post, Pedal Power for Earth Day, to explore the many benefits of bike commuting. As a next step, you will want to decide how you want to celebrate the day and keep the Earth Day mojo going thereafter. The magic in Earth Day is making every day Earth Day. Bike riding is a natural fit! The key is inspiring others to keep riding.

Inspire others with bike education programs. No one likes riding a poor fitting bike. Having the right bike setup, cycling accessories and gear makes all the difference. Consider hosting a get together of friends and review bike safety. Or, participate in a bike maintenance class. Bicycle tools are different than regular tools and all tools aren’t created equal – some are good for mountain bike parts while others are designed for road bike parts. Knowing which tools to use on the appropriate bike components can make all the difference in making bike maintenance easy inspiring others to enjoy bike maintenance in addition to riding.

Inspire your friends with a list of rides and events. Colorado has some of the greatest road bike rides in the country. Some are shorter, convenient rides whereas others offer steeper, longer climbs and extended distances. Certainly you have your favorite list. Invite your friends for a special Earth Day ride and make it an annual celebration.

Inspire others with a bike-friendly shopping program. Everyone likes to shop, right? Inspire friends with bike parts bling! Many aspiring bike riding enthusiast appreciate a shop that offers quality bike components along with solid advice on bike parts and cycling apparel. Stop by the shop to check out our specials, discounts, and new cycling accessories for the season. Who says you can’t ride in style for Earth Day?

Inspire through reading. Maybe you just can’t make it out on Earth Day for a ride. No worries. Check out our posts for inspiration:
– Get Your Kids Bike Commuting – Here’s How!
– Summer Bike Commuting – Making it Work For You
– The Smart Cyclist’s Guide to Preventing Bike Theft

All in all, the most important thing to remember for Earth Day is that bike riding is fun. Fun includes enjoying the adventure of cycling solo and with friends. Fun also means riding a well fitting bike and feeling confident in riding the bike paths and the roads. This way, your Earth Day bike ride becomes an environmentally friendly activity you can do every day!


Cycling Success: A Guide to Launch Your 2018 Spring Cycling Season

March 8, 2018

BikeParts.com Team Rider Racing

Spring riding and racing is just around the corner and athletes everywhere are starting to think about their “A” races as well as secondary races to use for training and motivation. A given rule of thumb is that all races provide experience, training benefits, and act as a stage to assess your form. Because of that, targeting a handful of high and low priority races and events throughout the year can be useful as learning experiences and opportunities to dial in nutritional needs and race strategies. The question for many is, where to start?

Begin by committing to an event! This March and April, there are many tours, races, and events to choose from in Colorado. While this isn’t a comprehensive list, following are some of our upcoming favorite March and early April cycling events.

– Leadville Winter Bike Series 50k
– Pedaling for St. Pats
– Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy
– Great Divide Grinder
– Louisville Criterium
– Buff Gold Road Race
– Oredigger Classic – Chad Young Memorial TT

Now, using your chosen event, set some goals. For some, early season races are just about getting harder efforts in and saddle time. However, having defined goals can help reduce prerace anxiety and also help you better evaluate your performance post race. So, begin by identifying what you want to accomplish with this event whether it be a targeted Heart Rate or Power zone, a solid nutrition plan, or attacking certain areas on the race course and use that to benchmark your success.

Next, evaluate the race route. Specifically, get to know the course and the conditions. Spring weather can alter race course conditions considerably. Take into consideration the bike parts you’ll be racing and confirm you have the bike components and gear needed to successfully race the course. For mountain bike components – consider tire selection carefully when riding wet and muddy trails.

Keep in mind, last racing season was some time ago. Your race day preparations might be stale so begin to prepare some race day rituals that you can use and build upon throughout the 2018 season. Give it some thought: does having a checklist of race day activities help structure your preparation to the start line? Include items such as nutrition, hydration, clothes, gear, extra bike parts and basic bicycle tools. This way, you won’t be forgetting anything as you prepare for your start. Maybe visualization, mantras, and breathing exercises are your thing. Regardless, early season races offer a chance to build on race day rituals that have helped you in the past and also enhance your support for the season going forward.

Remember to include in your race day rituals how you want to start the race! It seems simple enough to show up on the line and be ready for the gun to go off, but your start line mental state makes a difference – especially in early season races when nerves are running high. Your thoughts, emotions, and prerace behaviors are components of your mental state, so take inventory of your mental state and align them with your goals. It’s easy early season to compare your training and fitness to others. This is where having your race plan and goals specific to this event comes in handy. Stay true to your goals – not others.

Finally, evaluate your results based on your goals. What worked? What didn’t? What can you do next race to get a better result? Be objective and explore how your mental and physical training helped prepare you for this event. Remember to evaluate your bike and cycling accessory selections. Did you race the right bike? Would a different wheel set make a difference? Did you suffer from mechanical issues? Now is the time to dial in, replace, and buy the bike parts that you need going into your next event.

Whether you’re entering your first event or you’re a seasoned racer, planning your early season events can lay a foundation for confidence and physical fitness in which to build upon for the cycling season. Enjoy the March cycling events in Colorado and use them to catapult you into a great 2018 cycling season.


Optimization: Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Spring Cycling 

March 1, 2018

Early Season Training for Peak Cycles Race Team

The winter months aren’t very conducive to maintaining a solid level of fitness and keeping in shape.  Yet spring is right around the corner and with the warming temperatures and the start of daylight savings time it’s fair to say we’re seeing the first signs of spring.  This can be both hugely exciting, and also slightly nerve racking for cyclists who have spent the winter months working towards spring or summer goals. So, what are the best ways to optimize your cycling to prepare best for the upcoming season? Rest assured, we’ve got you covered.  Read on. 

Optimize your fitness with a power meter:
Whether you plan to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2018, monitoring your early season training and racing sets the stage for a successful year ahead.  Key points to keep in mind include training intensity, duration, and frequency.  Our tip to do this? Use power meters and heart rate monitors to guide you. Given that early season training lends itself to “false” feedback.  Meaning, because you may be fresh, your perceived effort on the bike may be low causing you to push too hard, too soon, and then training suffers later due to increased recovery time or even injury.  By monitoring your efforts with specific data, you objectively know when you are pushing beyond your targeted indictors, as well as, when you aren’t pushing hard enough.  This allows your body to adjust to increased training load over time and in a manner that meets your 2018 cycling season goals.  Check out our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, to dial in which training aid is best for you. 

Optimize biological feedback with a heart rate monitor:
Speaking of heart rate, heart rate monitors are a funny thing – they can be completely useless or extremely valuable depending on how you use them. Heart rate training has been viewed in many ways over the years, from very precise to not so precise. Now, a growing number of coaches and exercise physiologists support the use of heart rates as an important part of biological feedback, as heart rates are a direct reflection of what is happening internally.  If you’re new to training with heart rate monitors, the post, The Variables and Trends of Heart Rate Training,  walks you through the steps of learning your “threshold” heart rate range, setting up heart rate training zones, and identifying the daily variables that affect heart rate.  But before you begin to analyze data, you actually have to have a heart rate monitor to get started!  Visit us at Peak Cycles Bike Shop or BikeParts.com to check out the heart rate monitors for the 2018 cycling season. 

Optimize your riding position with a bike fit:
An often overlooked, yet incredibly powerful tool for improved cycling is a bike fit.   If you haven’t ridden much through the winter, now is the best time for a bike fit.  Why?  Because your body is unaccustomed to the riding position.  You have an opportunity to optimize your position and make needed upgrades to your road bike or mountain bike.  Think of it this way – leg strength, endurance, and fitness are at the heart of cycling speed, but without a proper bike fit, you are sabotaging your training efforts.  In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit.  And, a bike fit goes beyond just setting saddle height and bar reach. To get the most enjoyment and reward from your training programs it’s critical to dial in the fit and confirm you have the right bike parts for optimal performance.

Optimize bike mechanics with 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.  Remember, pre season bike maintenance and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.

There you have it! Plan for a successful cycling season by training right early season.  A good bike fit, steady riding, and the use of training tools paves the way for a healthy, injury free 2018. 


2017 Year in Review: The Best of Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.com Blog

January 4, 2018

Happy 2018 from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com

As the New Year unfolds and before we fully embrace 2018, reflecting and reviewing upon the previous year is a great way to close out and move forward.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com, we’re delighted to look back at the year’s most succesfful blog post and what we’re looking forward to in 2018. 2017 Year in review: What our readers enjoyed most!

Training Indoors
Trainer Techniques for Winter Training

Motivation
How to Stick with Your 2017 Training Plan

Strategy
How to Develop a Winning Mindset for Early Season Races
Managing Early Season Race Day Jitters
Effective Training Techniques for Cycling in the Heat
3 Essential Cycling Training Tips for Winter Training
How To do a Cycling Year End Review

Fat Bike
Fat Bike Essentials for First Time Fat Bike Riders

Cyclocross
Cyclocross Newbies – Tips to Prep for Your First Cyclocross Race
Prepare for a Great Cyclocross Season with These Tips

Cross training
5 Ways to Cross Train for Fitness Gains in 2017

Training Aids
Fitter, Faster, Stronger – with Power Meters

Race Checklists
Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing
What Do You Carry With You When You Ride?

Bikes!
What mountain bike should you buy?
Answering the unanswerable: What wheel size should I buy? (And what’s the difference, anyway?)
Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips?

So, what’s ahead for 2018? We’re looking forward to helping our customers get fitter and faster on the bike! Whether that is outfitting others with the best cycling apparel or improving bike efficiency with new bike parts or a bike fit, at Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we’re all about creating the ultimate ride experience. Happy 2018 to all!


Cyclocross Newbies – Tips to Prep for Your First Cyclocross Race

September 7, 2017

Cyclocross bikes at BikeParts.com

Cyclocross is one of the fastest growing sections of cycling – it’s an all-out mad dash through the dirt, pavement, grass, mud, sand, snow and/or ice that will leave you sucking wind, barely able to see straight. Surprisingly, this is addictive and you’ll be excited to do it again.

The course is held on a relatively short track (2 miles or less) making it spectator-friendly as well. Cyclocross is also one of the few sports where heckling is not only carried on by the spectators but encouraged, even by the top-level touring elites.

Sounds fun, right?  It is!  Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. If you are new to the discipline, then where do you start? Following are our tips to get you racing your first cross race.

  • Get a cyclocross bike. If you are new to cyclocross, you’ll want to check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com. Equipment choices matter! Things to consider for cross racing includes the best bike parts and and tire choice for the types of races you’ll be doing. While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts matters, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.
  • Get a bike fit.  As you know, bikes come in all sizes and shapes, and there are endless bike parts and cycling accessories that can be added or swapped to make bikes a better fit for you. When considering a bike that will actually fit you, most bike experts consider things like frame size, frame dimensions, saddle height, top tube and stem dimensions, knee and cleat position, handle bar size, crank length and body angle. Cyclocross is a little different than road or mountain bike riding. Cyclocross is a sport based in technique, and while much of technique is based around handling and body position, both of those factors are determined by the fit of a bicycle. Do yourself a favor and get a bike fit.  
  • Attend a clinic.  If your 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 to confidently navigate your first cross race. 
  • Make a cyclocross gear bag. Although cross races are short, because of the time of year and the variability of the weather during the races, racers need to be ready to deal with wind, rain, snow, hail, ice, mud, fog, etc.  The gear preparation and the cycling apparel adds up.  Granted, it will take time to nail down the packing system that works best for you; however, we have compiled a checklist for you in our post, Race Prep: What to Bring to a Cyclocross race.

Now that you have the tips to preparing for your first cyclocross race, put your skills to use! Get your cowbell ready and plan your cross racing season.  See you at the races!


Labor Day – 20 Labor of Love Bike Rides 

August 31, 2017

Happy Labor Day from Peak Cycles / BikeParts.com

Ah, Labor Day! Time off from work. Time to kick back, enjoy time with friends and family.  Time to really have fun on the bike!  Earlier in the season, the focus is on improving fitness or achieving goals.  Now is the time to enjoy the gains of all your hard work. 

With fitness levels high, late season rides offer a chance to experiment with ride routes, different bikes, and even different cycling accessories. Without the pressure of training or getting into shape, the freedom of late season riding brings a fresh approach and a relaxed casual ride attitude.  So, why not have an adventurous Labor Day? Following are our top 20 Front Range bike rides to celebrate Labor Day on your bike. 

  1. Historic Lariat Loop
  2. Deer Creek Canyon
  3. Bergen Park or Idaho Springs to Guanella Pass
  4. Red Rocks Park Loop
  5. Bergen Park or Idaho Springs to St. Mary’s Glacier (Alice)
  6. Idaho Springs to Loveland Pass
  7. Golden to Cold Springs Campground via Golden Gate Canyon
  8. Bergen Park to Echo Lake
  9. Idaho Springs to Juniper Pass
  10. Manitou Springs to Pike Peak Summit Parking Lot (Pikes Peak Hill Climb)
  11. Morgul-Bismark Route
  12. Jamestown Canyon Ride
  13. Flagstaff Hill Climb
  14. NCAR Hill Climb
  15. Lookout Mountain Hill Climb
  16. Sunshine Hill Climb
  17. Magnolia Hill Climb
  18. Mt. Evans Hill Climb
  19. Pikes Peak
  20. Trail Ridge Road

As a reminder, our shop BikeParts.com offers a huge selection of road bike partsmountain bike partsBMX bike parts and more. If you need it for your bike, then we have it! Because we sell our bicycle parts online, we are able to help customers all over the world. Stop by our Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick up the cycling accessories you’ll need for your Labor Day ride adventures or visit us online at BikeParts.com.  Happy Labor Day friends! 


Late Season Rally – Tips to Maintain Your Fitness and Motivation

August 10, 2017

BikeParts.com Team Rider Racing in Colorado

With school starting and only about a month and half left of the Colorado cycling racing and touring season, many are filling up their calendars with the last big events of the season hoping to capitalize on the fitness gains made during the season.

Some of the popular Colorado races and tours on tap for August include:

Yet, as we transition from summer to fall, many cyclist find their enthusiasm for riding dwindling.  Have you noticed that at the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers and cyclist. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation just plain lacking.  With that in mind, what are the ways to maintain motivation while also capture added gains towards next year’s goals? 

The key to late season racing and bike events is really to have fun! Try new events, ride routes, and races. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work.  With fitness levels high, late season bike events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and new cycling accessories. Venture out of your comfort zone and try racing a new road bike or mountain bike for one of the events mentioned above.

If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close outsbike parts and components. Stock up on cycling apparel for the fall and winter months to keep motivation high through the transitioning season.

Or, maybe training is too grueling for you this time of year. Switch from training to riding to work.  Bike commuting helps get in the miles while offering up time for other fun activities. Other fun activities include strength training and yoga.  Both of these activities help to extend the fitness gains you’ve made through the current year.

Another option for fun is adding in some skill training. During peak training periods, bike skills and technique is often overlooked.  Why not spend some time improving your bike skills? The video: Five key skills to improve your bike handling offers great visuals and the post, Body Position on the MTB, dials in where you need to be on the bike to ride your best.  Experimenting late season avoids the risk of injury during peak races but also can offer a new challenge – like learning how to do a track stand.

Enjoy the fitness gains you have made through the season. Have fun!  Having a fun, relaxed attitude combined with a celebratory bike event is a great way to finish your season.


5 Tips for Cycling in Hot August Weather 

August 3, 2017

Team Rider at BikeParts.com Riding in Moab

Here in Colorado, we’re now into super warm temps and managing the heat while riding and racing is critical not only to comfort, but also performance. Many cyclist, whether recreational or competitive, find dealing with the heat an issue.

Think about it. Heat is the ultimate enemy for a cyclist, because after a point, the hotter you get, the slower you’ll go.  If the weather won’t cooperate to be cooler, then what can you do about it? 

When it is hot, especially when temps are in the 90-100F (36-40C) range, your body needs to work harder to keep your core temperatures in a safe range to allow the organs to function normally.  There are numerous heat–coping strategies to consider when planning a high-intensity workout or doing a race in hot weather.

Tip#1
If you haven’t exposed yourself to the warmer temps, you should.  One tip is to acclimate.  It takes about 10 to 14 days of frequent exposure to heat for your body to adapt. During this period of time workout daily in hot conditions at a lower-than-normal intensity. After a couple of weeks of near-daily exposure to hot conditions you will begin perform better in the heat than prior although performance will still likely be diminished from what you might have done in cooler conditions.

Tip #2
This is obvious, but an often overlooked component. Hydrate. Water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list. For both performance and health, the importance of your water intake exceeds that of your vitamin, calorie, and electrolyte consumption. For your road racing needs, be sure to carry the water bottles and containers that you need on your road bike but have extras available for bottles that are tossed and extras for immediate refueling post race. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you know tricky descents can bump a bottle right out of its cage.  This time of year, it’s best to wear a full hydration pack as well as have extra bottles on hand.

Tip #3
Protect yourself from the sun.  While some enjoy exposure to the sun, a sunburn does more than fry your skin – it contributes to fatigue and increases your metabolism. Always wear sunscreen; choose jerseys, shorts, and arm skins with built-in sun protection; and wear a cap under your helmet to shield your head. 

Tip #4
Plan ahead. Planning your route in advance and knowing where the nearest sources of water can be handy in case you find yourself running low at any point. Also, planning a route with options to shorten the ride or take a shortcut back to your starting point in case you start to struggle is also a good plan.  If possible with your schedule, consider riding during the cooler times of the day.  

Tip#5
Recover. This seems like another overlooked strategy but after a long day in the saddle and the heat, you really do need to cool off. Get your legs up. Stay in the shade or AC. It is important to get your core body temperature down so you can recover. We all know that recovery is a critical element of preparing for the next bout of exercise.  One of our favorite recovery products at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is PhysioPhyx.  PhysioPhyx LPR takes recovery nutrition to a new level of support and performance by delivering a powerful, evidence-based blend of Carbohydrates + Protein + Leucine.  In fact, recent studies have shown the nutrient trio of Carbs +Protein + Leucine taken after exercise creates an absolute ideal environment for your body to quickly go into recovery overdrive. 

With that said, training and riding in the heat doesn’t have to be so bad.  Wear cooling cycling apparel.  Ride a bike with proper functioning bike parts to avoid over excretion. Need more tips?  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to chat with our racers, mechanics, and other cyclist to see what works for them.


The Trails Are Calling  – Steps to Transitioning from Road to Trails 

July 20, 2017

Peak Cycles/Bikeparts.com enjoys the evening views off Lookout Mountain

Do you hear the call of the mountain bike trails? Maybe you’re a bike commuter or you mostly ride the road and are curious about riding some of the popular mountain bike trails on the Front Range.  

Oftentimes, those making the transition from concrete to dirt experience a little trepidation in knowing what to expect and how to make the move with ease. However, with our tips, you’ll be shredding trails in no time!

First and foremost, you need to decide what mountain bike to ride.  Our post, Which Mountain Bike Should You Buy, walks you through all the options available, the pros and cons of each and help dial that in for you. Granted, you’ll need a mountain bike but what size wheel, bike components, hard tail or full suspension, and all the bike parts associated with your mountain bike of choice is up to you. Obviously, we’re here to help you so stop in Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to test ride some mountain bikes, as well as, get all of your questions answered.

Notably, after you have your bike – or get a rental bike – you’ll need to get the right cycling apparel.  If you’re a road cyclist or a commuter, you can wear some of the same clothing.  For instance, your helmet, jersey, and shorts will work. However, you may consider full finger gloves to protect your hands.  Also, mountain bike shoes are helpful.  Unlike road riding, when riding trails it isn’t uncommon to jump off the bike, walk or jog through a section, and then jump back on. Surprisingly, you may also want to swap out your road sunglasses for transition lenses. Mountain bike trails are exposed and also heavily covered with negation and trees making visibility different than when riding the road.  Protecting your eyes is one thing but being able to see the trails and ride comfortably is another. 

The next question is, where to ride? Trail difficulty ranges from easy to hard. The best part about harder trails is that if it seems to challenging to ride, you can walk that section. On the plus side, seeing challenging terrain gives you something to aim to achieve later. All of Golden’s trails can be found on the City of Golden website. For your convenience, however, we thought we would highlight some of our favorite cycling trails.

Chimney Gulch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Not too far away from downtown Golden, Chimney Gulch is a visitor and local favorite because it ascends the well-known Golden landmark — Lookout Mountain. Chimney Gulch is mostly an uphill climb which winds through the Golden foothills and emerges at the top of Lookout Mountain. At the summit, you can park your bike to enjoy gorgeous mountain and city overlooks or visit the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. And the way down is all downhill!

Apex Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Similar to (but less popular than) the Chimney Gulch Trail, the Apex Trail winds up and up into Golden’s western foothills. For much of the way, the track is surrounded by pine forests, giving you a feeling that you are far away from the bustle of city life. The Chimney Gulch and Apex trails can actually be connected for an extended ride up one and down the other. If you are combining the trails, you may want to consider stopping at Buffalo Bill’s grave at the top of Lookout Mountain.

North and South Table Mountain – Skill Level: Easy – Moderate
Both North and South Table Mountain (located on the east side of Golden) offer a unique mountain biking experience. The flat-top mesa makes for relatively easy cycling, which gives riders the chance to enjoy the open prairie. Both mesas have multiple access points and extensive trails that weave on top and along the side of the mountains, just out of reach of urban Golden. We find that morning and evening light glancing off the prairies make for an especially special ride on these trails.

White Ranch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Difficult
If you are looking for solitude, this is one of your best bets. On the north end of Golden, the White Ranch Park offers a different type of beauty from the rest of town and encompasses meadows, pine forests, views of buttes, and unique rock formations. It has about 20 miles of trails that wind through both rugged and gentle terrain.

With all this in mind, it’s important to note that before taking your mountain bike for a spin, it’s important to be prepared. Having plenty of waterfood and nutrition, extra tire tubes, and repair kits, as well as the right tires and maps will ensure you have an enjoyable and stress free experience. So what are you waiting for?  Answer the calling of the trails – ride them! 


Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips?

July 13, 2017

Get the Right Bike for You at BikeParts.com

If you’re riding for an hour or less at a time on a properly-fitted bike, you probably won’t be riding for long enough for that to matter. A bike that fits well and is right for your height, flexibility and riding style is a bike you’ll love riding and you will find yourself looking for reasons to ride your bike.  

However, a bike that fits poorly can lead to inefficient riding, muscle aches and pains, and general discomfort that might discourage you from riding as long or as far as you want.  Whether you are buying a new bike, switching between bikes, or simply installing a new saddle, bike fit is important.  

As you know, bikes come in all sizes and shapes, and there are endless bike parts and cycling accessories that can be added or swapped to make bikes a better fit for you. When considering a bike that will actually fit you, most bike experts consider things like frame size, frame dimensions, saddle height, top tube and stem dimensions, knee and cleat position, handle bar size, crank length and body angle.  Following are the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride. 

  1. Get the correct bike for your needs.  Getting a bike whose frame matches your body is the most important part of bike fit . If the frame size is wrong, you probably won’t be able to adjust the seat and handlebars enough to compensate. Some adjustments can be made easily with the bike’s existing components (seat height, angle, etc.) and some may require swapping out a component (as in, a new stem can change the location of the handlebars for a more comfortable riding position).
  2. Seat height. When you’re pedaling and your leg is all the way down, your knee should be slightly bent. If your leg is straight (knee locked), your seat is too high. If your knee is very bent,  your seat is too low. Either problem can hurt your knees, and a seat height that’s too short robs you of power and makes it harder to ride.  To get the proper seat height, you want the saddle to be high enough that your heel barely touches the pedal at the bottom of the pedal rotation, but not so high that your heel comes above your toes at the bottom of the pedal stroke. 
  3. Seat position. Saddle setback another important measurement to get right. The front of your kneecap should be directly over your pedal spindle when you’re mid-pedal stroke. Most bike fitters dangle a piece of string with a small weight at the bottom (a plumb line) from the side of the rider’s kneecap to see if it lines up directly with the spindle—you may need to enlist a friend to help get this exactly right.  Or better yet, schedule a bike fit at our shop and we’ll help you do it! 
  4. Reach to your handlebars.  Handlebar reach is simply the distance you reach from your saddle to your handlebars. Aim for a riding position that gives you a modest amount of shock-absorbing bend in your arms without forcing you to reach too far to apply the brakes.
  5. Handlebar height. Your handlebars should be at least as high as your seat.  

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; each of these variables are important to the bike-fit process. 

If you’re still struggling to nail these three measurements, you may want to consider a bike fit. With eleven years of fitting experience and over over two-thousand fits, George Mullen at has the experience, the tools and the advanced training to handle any fit scenario. Stop by the Peak Cycles bike fitting studio to schedule a fit.  Also, order any bike parts you need from a recent fit online at bikeparts.com.  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!


Our First Hot Weekend of Racing! Managing the Heat and Optimizing Performance

June 1, 2017

Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com Team Racer

Bye bye snow and rainy days. Hello blue skies and warm temps!  Finally, we’re getting some rideable weather here along the Front Range in Colorado.  Great timing too!  This weekend, June 3-4th, marks the beginning of June racing and there are quite a few mountain bike and road bike events taking place: 

Not too long ago, we shared in our Peak Cycles blog post 5 race day strategies to prepare for the Spring races in Colorado highlighting the importance of setting goals, knowing the race route, establishing race day rituals and getting into the proper mental state for racing.  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 – especially during the summer heat.

Since it’s early season and most of us have been accustomed to the cooler temperatures, it’s important to take note and prepare accordingly for the warm weather this weekend.  Managing the heat while riding and racing is critical not only to comfort, but also performance.  Many cyclist, whether recreational or competitive, find dealing with the heat an issue.  Suffering from some degree of cramps at one time or another or heat related stomach issues, the heat brings on specific challenges to overcome in the summer months.  What, if anything, be done to help you train and race best in the heat?

When it is hot, especially when temps are in the 90-100F (36-40C) range, your body needs to work harder to keep your core temperatures in a safe range to allow the organs to function normally.  There are numerous heat–coping strategies to consider when planning a high-intensity workout or doing a race, like those mentioned above, in hot weather.

If you can, acclimate.  It takes about 10 to 14 days of frequent exposure to heat for your body to adapt. During this period of time workout daily in hot conditions at a lower-than-normal intensity. After a couple of weeks of near-daily exposure to hot conditions you will begin perform better in the heat than prior although performance will still likely be diminished from what you might have done in cooler conditions.

Focus on nutrition. You want to eat “quality” carbs leading up to, and including, a hard effort or race day.  That includes eating plenty of fruits, veggies, etc.  Watermelon is a great fruit (carb) to consume even during race day.  Also, remember to stay away from the simple carbs. i.e. sugars, sweets, prior to the race or training in hot conditions.

This is obvious, but an often overlooked component. Hydrate. Water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list. For both performance and health, the importance of your water intake exceeds that of your vitamin, calorie, and electrolyte consumption. For your road racing needs, be sure to carry the water bottles and containers that you need on your bike but have extras available for bottles that are tossed and extras for immediate refueling post race. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you know tricky descents can bump a bottle right out of its cage.  This time of year, it’s best to wear a full camelback as well as have extra bottles on hand.

To train and compete at your best during this upcoming events, it is important to understand how your body copes with heat, and what you can do to keep cool.  Everyone adapts differently to heat stress.  

Need more tips?  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to chat with our racers, mechanics, and other cyclist to see what works for them. Maybe you’ll learn some new heat-coping strategies that will keep you cool when the racing and riding gets hot!


Managing Early Season Race Day Jitters

May 18, 2017

BikeParts.Com Team Rider Racing in Colorado

Course strategies, break aways, riding in a small group or a large peloton – these are the thoughts and questions of cyclists wondering how to perform their best during in the first races of the 2017 cycling season.

The cycling season is just starting in Colorado and many are filling up their calendars with the big events.  While not a comprehensive list, following are some of the favorite Colorado May road and mountain bike races: 

Sounds good, right? Absolutely! So many different road and mountain bike events to choose from.  The main question is how to prepare? How do you know if you are race ready? Do you have a comprehensive checklist for Spring racing?  Early season races can bring on the nerves like nothing else!  After all, it’s been a while since you raced.  For the most part, experiencing those sensations is normal. Yet, oftentimes, early season jitters can exasperate the problem.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we’ve found that a little preparation can aid in reducing race day jitters. The post, 5 Simple Strategies for Overcoming Race Day Nerves, guides us through easy ways to shift the perspective of nervousness to be an enabler of positive sports performance. And there are other ideas for managing pre race nerves too.  

As you approach your first race of the season, you may want to read the post, A Guide to Race Day Nutrition to dial in your preferences as to get your fuel – whether that nutrition is in bars, gels, and liquids.  Also, while it may seem obvious, give your race bike a once over.   Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. Consider replacing worn bike parts and purchasing new cycling accessories you plan to use for your A races later in the season.  This gives you a chance to dial in your needs early season and optimize performance in later events. 

Whether you’re entering your first event or you’re a seasoned racer, you’re always likely to suffer from some race day nerves. However, with a little planning you can gain confidence. The best part about early season races is the opportunity to assess your fitness level.  Enjoy the May cycling races in Colorado and use them to catapult you into a great 2017 cycling season.