Unmotivated? Stressed? How to Maintain Cycling Fitness During COVID 19 

May 28, 2020

The weather is warm and inviting. The days are longer. It’s almost June – the beginning of another season of cycling along the Front Range.

Yet, do you find yourself lacking the motivation to ride? Could it be you miss your riding buddies? Or that the trails are packed with people making it hard to ride and ride with social distancing in place?  

No doubt these unprecedented times have taken their toll on motivation to get out and ride. Without races and events and group rides to inspire training, it makes it a little harder to reach that upper range in high-intensity workouts. Even if you are getting out for rides, maybe you’re cutting them short or worse, beating yourself up for losing fitness.  

The aim during these challenging times is to find a healthy balance between riding and managing other factors like stress and anxieties of the day. So, how do you find that balance?  A good first step is to give up beating yourself up for missed rides.  The post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, suggest a few options for recalibrating your weekly training schedule.  The big take away is the mindset. “Often remind yourself of the big picture. It’s easy to beat yourself up over missed training, but if you have been steady with training, give yourself a break. Gaining fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days and losing fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days. It takes months of steady training to gain good fitness. A few days missed or logging a few less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”  

Another piece of encouragement comes from the post, Will I Lose Fitness During Quarantine? which emphasizes that doing something is infinitely better than doing nothing and that while many athletes have been facing limitations on their training, your fitness might not be as dire as you think.  That’s encouraging, right?

A way to spark that hope and re-ignite your motivation for riding might be to Experiment With Different Bike Parts to Keep Training Motivation HighMix up your routine and ride different bikes on different days. Mondays might be your mountain bike. Tuesdays your cross bike. Wednesdays you ride your road bike and so on.  Experiment with new bike parts. Swap out your saddle or add some new grips. If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close-outsbike parts and components. Or, maybe training just isn’t in the cards for you right now.  That’s okay. You can still ride! Swap your car ride for an easy bike commute. Any of these activities help to extend the fitness gains you’ve made and will also help reduce the anxieties and stress accompanied by the pandemic.  

Given all that is occurring in our world right now, it’s natural to feel frustrated, anxious, confused, and even well. What’s not needed is more self-imposed judgment for not riding or not riding as frequently as you would like. Let that go. Instead, use this time to reconnect with your bikes and the love of cycling that you have. Let that fuel your motivation for training and hopefully soon we’ll all be able to ride together and cherish more profoundly our cycling events and races and group rides.  


Why Now Is The Best Time to Buy a New Bike 

April 30, 2020
Buying a new bike right now might seem counter-intuitive. But it’s not. Now IS the right time to purchase a new bike and here’s why. 
 
Granted there are a few givens with this reasoning – the weather is warm, the sunshine is out, and many of us have more time on our hands. But the reasoning to purchase a new bike right now goes beyond that. 
 
It starts with the human spirit.  Our current circumstances can feel overwhelming, restricting, limiting and well, depressing.  All of those emotions are normal and expected during this time; however, if those emotions linger for too long or become chronic, the physical body’s immune system becomes hampered. Aside from the natural benefits of stress and tension relief garnered by riding a bike, regular exercise prompts a healthy immune system.  
 
Having a new road bike or mountain bike to ride lifts your spirit.  Owning a new bike invites a forward-thinking approach and gives you something to look forward to doing. Sure, that takes your mind off of things but it also invites fresh ideas to counter the realities we are all facing.  Whether you opt to challenge yourself with new fitness goals or plan new routes to ride, you are focusing your thoughts and planning on an activity that supports your physical, emotional, and mental aspects of yourself. Because of the uncertainty we are facing, there are many things that are simply beyond our control; yet, exercise and having new fitness goals, or exploring new routes and inviting your family along for a family bike ride is within your ability.  All of this offers a much-needed sense of achievement and accomplishment. 
 
If those reasons aren’t enough to inspire your new bike purchase, consider driving less going forward as our stores and economy resume business operations. Because of the stay at home orders across the country, there is less pollution. Continue to support this by driving less.  Commit to bike commuting more and supporting the environment. Bike commuting as alternative transportation helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions. And while you may feel like purchasing a new bike contributes to the manufacturing emissions of a bicycle, consider that bicycles emit virtually no pollution when in use and they require far fewer materials, energy, and waste in their production than even the ‘greenest’ car.  An added bonus to purchasing a new bike is that you are supporting a local business.  And all of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop appreciate that! 
 
If you are wondering what to look for in purchasing a new bike, let us know at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop.  We’re here to help you and yes, we are open!  In addition to buying a new bike, you can visit us at our Peak Cycles bike shop in Golden, Colorado for bike repairs, bike parts, and cycling accessories. Due to COVID-19, we are not allowing any customers into the shop at this time. However, we have a table and bike stands in front of the shop so we can bring products and/or bikes to you outside for purchase. If you prefer to shop from home, you can visit us online at BikeParts.com and you can pick up your new bike and bike parts with curbside pickup or come to the front door and we will grab your order for you.
 
Take advantage of our sales right now and treat your body and spirit to a breath of fresh air by riding your new bicycle! 

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday – A 3 Day Shopping Stage Race for Cyclists

November 21, 2019

Many recreational and competitive cyclists have made the progression from participating in one-day races to multi-day events.  The transition from racing a single day to several consecutive days can be easy enough when there is a plan in place.  

Generally, that involves planning the overall strategy and tactics for particular stages.  And much like a stage race, planning is important for making the most of the three most important upcoming holiday shopping days. Namely, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Here’s how to make the most of your holiday purchases. 

Day 1 – Leading out the shopping season is Black Friday.  Here’s your chance to cash in on bike componentsapparel, bicycle parts including trainers and all sorts of bike goodies.  Be on the lookout for discounts on the BikeParts.com. Remember, this is day one. So, don’t go out too fast! 

Day 2 – Sandwiched in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday.  This day, November 30th is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses. As we wrote about previously, your support enables us to host community events like the Bike Safety Talk with the Cycling Lawyer, offer Bicycle Demo Days, and contribute to the national races that come through Golden like the Colorado Classic.  

Additionally, your purchases encourage us to give back to the community as in co-hosting the Staunton Blizzard Fat Bike Race each year and supporting local cycling teams. Use Small Business Saturday as a purchase that extends the gift of giving. You may be purchasing bike parts, a new road bike or mountain bike, but you’re also supporting a local bike shop that invests in the cycling community. This is the day to take advantage of big deals and savings. Be strategic in your shopping and plan to stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop on Small Business Saturday to take advantage of the in-store sales, discounts, and offers available. 

Day 3 – Last but not least, we’ve got Cyber Monday.  This is day three and on Monday, December 2, 2019, Bikeparts.com  could be your best option for cyber shopping.  In addition to the storefront, our online website offers over 45,000 bike parts and accessories. Bikeparts.com not only carries road bicycle parts and mountain bike parts but also complete bikes, nutritional supplements and much more.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are the most highly anticipated shopping days of the year.  Be strategic with your holiday shopping. Make the most of the three days by shopping at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden Colorado and online at BikeParts.com.


Plan Ahead! Small Business Day is Coming – Why it Matters to You and to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop 

November 14, 2019

The holidays are coming! And much like a stage race, there are three days of holiday shopping worth noting. An important one might be missed. And that is Small Business Saturday. Nestled in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is one day every year set aside to support small businesses across the entire United States. The event was started by American Express in 2010 and is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

There may be some obvious reasons why Small Business Saturday is important, as in personalized customer service, product diversity, and overall just supporting a local business.  But the reasons to support small, local businesses goes beyond that. Specific to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, your purchases go a long way from just keeping the mechanics busy and the shop bringing in bike parts, and cycling gear.  Your support enables us to host community events like the Bike Safety Talk with the Cycling Lawyer, offer Bicycle Demo Days, and contribute to the national races that come through Golden like the Colorado Classic.  Your purchases encourage us to give back to the community as in co-hosting the Staunton Blizzard Fat Bike Race each year. More so, your purchasing dollars extend to our youth through Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop’s support of a variety of race teams. Over the years we have been proud sponsors of The School of Mines cycling team, Golden High School cycling team, Twin Peaks Racing, The Colorado Collective, and Tough Girl Cycling Team. Not to mention the BikeParts.com Racing team too! 

With all that said, our customers benefit too. Sure you have access to new road bikes, mountain bikes, fat bikes, and cyclocross bikes.  And yes, you can even take bikes out for demos and we’re happy to share where the best road and mountain bike trails are for dialing in trialing the demo bikes.  But most importantly, by investing in our local shop, you are investing in a cycling community.  A community in which you ride, live and play in. One that supports healthy, active living for people of all ages.  

The holidays are about expressing our appreciation of others and the meaning they bring to our lives.  We’re grateful for our wonderful customers. And, we invite you to join us to Shop Small on November 30th for Small Business Saturday. Your purchases make a huge difference to us and our community.  


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.


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!


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!


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 Perils of Training Indoors and What to Do About It

November 8, 2018

It’s tough this time of year figuring out how to get training rides in. The warm, summer days are gone. Winter is not quite here, yet there are blasts of cool days followed by warmer days and yet the days themselves are shorter.

Combine those variables with the fact that the holidays are right around the corner and training rides seem to get shorter or skipped all together.  Perhaps missing a day or two of riding doesn’t seem like much but it does. According to the post, What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Riding, within a relatively short period of time, undesirable consequences result. As in, your metabolism stagnates. Your blood pressure rises. Your blood sugar surges. Fitness declines. And, inevitable wait gain surfaces. Not fun! The goal this time of year is consistency.  It is consistent training that helps prepare your body for the physical stresses of the season ahead. Given the constraints many face this time of year, indoor training becomes the most reliable source.  

Now tell the truth. How do you really feel about training indoors? Most have a love/hate relationship with trainers and rollers but you can find ways to embrace riding indoors to support your cycling training now and all the way through to next season.  Here is how. 

Apps – Fortunately, there are now many apps that make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. Additionally, these apps record your workout so you can analyze your effort and get your best bang for the buck workout wise. The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App, offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you.  Some of our favorites from the list include ZwiftCycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.  

Bike Setup – Granted, apps can make your ride more enjoyable; yet, having the right equipment can make a difference too. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, and indoor riding clothes.  If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories  add up to a great trainer workout, but  if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency.

Maximize Your Time – Make your indoor riding really count. It’s hard to stay motivated riding indoors for days in a row. So, another way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride. In fact, a one hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan time on the trainer or rollers accordingly.

If you haven’t found yourself on the trainer yet this season, you’re lucky! The indoor riding season is fast approaching.  When you think about it, indoor training doesn’t have to be as bad as you think.  Options are available. It’s all about how you approach it.  


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


How to Make the Most of the BIKE MS: COLORADO

June 21, 2018

The Bike MS: Colorado ride is this weekend. If you aren’t up to speed on this ride, you’ll learn that it is unique.  

Not only will riders travel through quaint towns and backroads where they will enjoy rolling terrain or tackle great Colorado mountain climbs, but also, riders will enjoy choosing different routes as each day has multiple route options, all of which are fully supported with stocked rest stops every 10-12 miles.

What makes the event special is that it riders participation will drive MS research forward faster, and deliver services to those who face the challenges of MS every day so they can live their best lives.  That is inspiring and motivating!  

To make sure you capitalize on your motivation and also ride your best, there are a few ways to prepare.  As we’ve mentioned before in older posts, you’ll want to remember these important tips: 

  • Prepare your bike in advance. Give your road bike a once over. Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. 
  • Know the course and aid stations. Primarily, you want to anticipate your needs as you tick off each mile. For instance, learn or write down on a card to put in your jersey the mile markers for the aid stations. You may also make note of the mileage between aid stations. You may end up passing through the earlier aid stations only to stop more frequently at the aid stations later in the event. 
  • Consider taking a rain jacket and extra chain lube in your jersey pocket or seat bag. 
  • Lay everything out the night before. This includes your every day cycling apparel: helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottles, food, and sunscreen.
  • And remember – go easy at the start and ease into the ride. It’s tempting to go too fast at the start, but holding back some energy will allow you to finish feeling strong.
  • Finally, recover smart! At the completion of your ride, be mindful to cool down appropriately. Spin your legs out and get your heart rate down. Consider using a nutritional aid to accelerate the recovery process.  After all, the fast you recover, the faster you can ride your bike again! 

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a lot of suggestions and advice on making the most of your ride.  Stop in the shop to pick up the bike parts you need to have the best MS Colorado ride. In fact, our online store, Bikeparts.com, has lots of different types of nutritional supplements, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel all in one place to help you make the most of your riding. 

So, enjoy the ride and the scenery!  After all, you are pedaling for a good cause! Remember, your participation will drive MS research forward faster, and deliver services to those who face the challenges of MS every day so they can live their best lives.


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!


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. 


Making the Most of Winter with Trainers, Rollers, and Indoor Riding

January 25, 2018

Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

While the weather conditions have been warm and dry across the state of Colorado, recently we finally got a hint of Winter with our recent snow fall. No doubt a joyous occasion for those riding fat bikes! But for those forced to ride inside, how do you make the most of winter riding? It brings up the trainer vs roller debate, as well as, how to stay motivated to ride indoors altogether.

When it comes to rollers vs the trainer, the debate is far from over as it really depends on individual preference. Both come with many different levels of resistance and accessories to fine tune the experience.

For most, a trainer will have more appeal. They are good for any type of ride from casual to the all out sprint. Trainers don’t require a lot of concentration either, so the option to flip through channels on the TV, reply to email, send text messages, or take a quick break is easier. And, trainers are great for virtual training tools like Zwift.

On the other hand, rollers offer some advantages too. They create more of a road-like feel than trainers do. Rollers help your cycling form as your legs spinning pattern becomes much more efficient. And, riding rollers keeps you a bit more mindful and engaged so that you don’t fall off!

Some things you want to take into consideration, whether you opt for rollers or the trainer, is to set it up correctly. Having the right equipment and bike parts can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer or rollers, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor. You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but it can make all the difference in the world.

Make your indoor riding really count. It’s hard to stay motivated riding indoors for days in a row. So, another way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride. In fact, a one hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer or rollers accordingly.

Granted, trainer rides will never replace the joy of cycling outside. However, you can take pride in that you are getting your rides in and building your cycling base for the season ahead.