Your Spring Riding Survival Kit

March 22, 2018
BikeParts.com Team Riders Training in Spring Weather

BikeParts.com Team Riders Training in Spring Weather

One thing’s for sure, spring can be unpredictable. Balmy blue skies can quickly transform into rain and then, just as you’re shouting from the rooftops, “It’s tank top weather!” a merciless return of snow.  Here’s our survival guide to make the most of spring cycling.

Basic repair and maintenance kit
There are a few items you should bring with you for bicycle mechanical emergencies. All these items can fit in a small seat bag. The basic supplies you should have in your kit include a spare inner tube, tire levers, patch kit, mini-pump, and a folding multi-tool. In case of a chain break bring a chain master link. A small paper clip or zip tie can help keep the chain together to limp the bike home. While not considered essential items, some cyclist take their basic kit a bit further and include other items like a small amount of duck tape, zip ties or rubber bands.

Water and/or sports drink and a light snack
Staying hydrated is a necessity on a ride of any length, even in cooler weather. You might think that on a shorter ride, a snack is not necessary, but a breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances might put you out on the road or trail longer than you expected. Given that gels and bars are small, just slip a few in your jersey pocket to have on hand.

Cash, ATM card, Personal Identification
You don’t need a lot of cash but a little cash, say $5 or $10 just in case you want to stop for food or water. Also, it’s important to bring some sort of identification. A drivers license works best; others prefer to wear a RoadID. If you don’t wear a RoadID, you will want to carry something that has contact information in case of an emergency.

The right cycling apparel
Whether you want to ride in the new spring cycling styles or spin in your usual cycling gear, the main point to remember is to have clothing options available to you while riding. The weather turns quick and a rain shower or quick drop in temperature can make the best of rides turn sour quickly. Consider having a standby bike ready bag available. Pack it with arm and leg warmers, a headband or cap, rain jacket, and lube.

Despite the fact that most rides go well, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a ride and the chances are they’ll go wrong when you’re at your farthest point from home. Make it easy on yourself and have the right bike parts, cycling accessories, and bicycle tools with you.

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Spring Cleaning! 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road

March 31, 2016

spring cyclingYou know that dark place in the garage where you never go? You know, the area where all the spiders hang out and no human dares approach for months on end. Well, we are aware that some of you store your bike there over the winter months. But now that spring is here and the roads are clear, you’re going to have to find some courage and release your bike from its dungeon; It’s ready to be ridden.

Before you mount your neglected steed, however, you should conduct a bike maintenance and safety check. Here are some steps that you can follow to make sure your bike are in tip-top shape for the spring cycling season:

  1. Clean Your Bike: Chances are that if your bike has been sitting in the garage for a while, it has accumulated some dust. Dust somehow finds its way into all of the secret nooks and crannies that often don’t see the light of day, so being thorough and methodical in the way that you clean your bike is to your advantage. Grab a rag, a brush, and a biodegradable cleaner and clean everything — the frame, chain, chain rings, cassette, derailleurs, pedals, brakes, and seat.
  2. Paying Attention to Your Chain: When you are cleaning your bike, you are going to eventually get to your chain and cassette. You will want to pay extra attention to these as they are essential for making your bike go. For an easy clean, scrub your chain and cassette with a brush and eco-friendly degreaser and re-lubricate the chain when you are done. For something more thorough, you could buy a chain cleaner like Park Tool’s Cyclone Chain Scrubber, fill it with a non-aerosol degreaser like Pedros Oranj Peelz, turn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you.
  3. Check your Wheels and Tires: Both your wheels and tires are essential for bike safety and efficiency and are important to inspect before jumping on the saddle. Clean the wheels with rubbing alcohol and dry with a cloth. Check the rims for damage and examine for loose spokes. Your wheel should run smoothly without any side-to-side wobble.
  4. Inspect Your Brakes: When your shredding down a long, winding road or a steep trail grade, what’s going to stop you? Your brakes! Bike brakes use brake pads to stop your wheels from turing. Brake pads wear down over time so you should examine your brake pads for any uneven or extensive wear. If you do find uneven abrasions, you probably need to get your brakes adjusted.

Some basic bike tools that you’ll want to have include:

If you are interested in learning more about how you can maintain your bike, we’d be happy to share information with you. And all the bikesbike parts cycling accessories, and cycling apparel you’ll need can be found on our website – bikeparts.com. We also highly recommend that you get a tune-up by a professional before taking it out on serious rides. Call or stop in to Peak Cycles in Golden, CO to schedule your bike for a full tune-up. We encourage you to think ahead because we get a large influx of bike tune-up requests in the spring.


The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling 

April 2, 2015

The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in your training to optimize your performance as it relates to your goals and objectives.  Easy enough, right?  Yet, the market is saturated with countless training aids including trainers, cycling software, DVD’s, CompuTrainers, nutrition, supplements, compression, and the list goes on.  Which ones do you need?  Which ones will deliver the biggest bang for the buck?  While each cyclist has their personal preference, following are the top 3 training aids we find most helpful.

Power
Why train with power?  It’s all about “balancing how much work you do with your body’s response.” It’s the best way to measure work and intensity, as in, Power (watts) = Torque (how hard you pedal) x Cadence (how fast you pedal).  “Doing too much work means injury and overtraining risk. Too little means you’re not getting the maximum benefits you want. When power is measured your training becomes that much more effective.”  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve found the benefits of training with power include

Establishing your baseline fitness

Accurately measuring even the smallest fitness gains

Quantifying intensity, duration and frequency – instead of guessing

Prevention of overtraining

Accurately measuring energy use for nutrition planning

Proper pacing for time trials 

Sounds great!  And it is!  In the recent past, training with power was outside of the price range for most cyclist.  However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable.  Our most popular are Stages Power Meters beginning at $1000.  Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.

Heart Rate Training
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.  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.  A heart rate monitor can be a great bio feedback tool and also help you to monitor your fitness, prevent overtraining, and take your performance to the next level.

Nutrition
Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. The main thing about nutrition is that regardless of how you get your calories in on the bike is one thing, but making sure you actually do it –  is critical!  No one wishes for a bonk!  Read up on some recent posts we’ve shared on nutrition to see which options are best for you.

Last but not least, do you need help figuring out which training aid is best for you? We’re happy to help! Visit us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado or ask us on Twitter.


Spring MTB Racing in Colorado – Events to Plan Your 2015 Cycling Season

March 19, 2015

Peak Cycles Race TeamSpring 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?

Use your 2015 cycling goals as your compass.  We talk more about goals in our blog post, but the basic take away is to make your goals SMART.  As in, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.   With that being said, you need to pick the right events during the cycling season to help you best achieve those goals.

Notably, not all events are equal.  Some are harder than others.  One approach is to use different course profiles, distances, and bike part options to mindfully select A, B, and C type races according to your training plans and race goals.  Keep this simple reminder in mind – 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.  A successful season starts off right by planning ahead, getting your mountain bike in order, as well as, getting the gear and cycling accessories you need.

Now, which races will you do?  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 events at BikeParts.com.

Goudy Grinder – Wyoming – Sunday, May 31, 2015 – Registration open March 16th

40 in the fork – Fort Collins – Saturday, June 27, 2015 – Registration is open now.  This event is considered “one of the Front Range’s toughest mountain bike races.”

Rocky Mountain Endurance Series – Colorado.  This race series offers the best variety of mountain bike racing in Colorado.  Great for beginners to experienced racers including different distances.  The series begins kicks off in late April with the Ridgeline Rampage.  Visit their site for registration and series information and check out our Sneak Peak to the RME Series.  

MTB radio – endurance calendar.  For those that enjoy epic, longer mountain bike events.  Check out the MTB radio endurance calendar. Following are a few of the fun event on tap through May.

  • April 18 – 6 Hours in Frog Hollow – Hurricane, UT
  • April 23, Fruita Fat Tire Fest – Fruita
  • April 25, Ridgeline Rampage – Castle Rock
  • May 1, 18 Hours of Fruita – Fruita
  • May 9, Desert RATS Classic – Fruita
  • May 9, 12 Hours of Mesa Verde – Cortez
  • May 9, Battle the Bear – Lakewood
  • May 16, Dirty Double Fondo – Salida
  • May 23, The Half Growler – Gunnison
  • May 24, The Origional Growler – Gunnison
  • May 29, Grand Junction Off-Road – Grand Junction
  • May 30, PV Derby, Elbert
  • May 31, The Great Bicycle Carnival for Kids on bikes

Planning your 2015 cycling season is a multi step process: Identify your cycling goals, dial in your bike, and select the events you are enthusiastic in participating.  If you’re left questioning how to roll out your pre season training plan, well then, we’ve got you covered on that too.   Check out our previous guides to get you training started or vista us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop.