Riding in the Snow – 5 Ways to Make it Work for You

December 17, 2015
BikeParts.com Rider Enjoying Winter Cycling
The snow is here! And lots of it!  Many cyclist wonder, can I ride in the snow?  And the answer: of course you can!
The important thing to remember about riding in the snow isn’t whether it’s possible—everything is possible.  It’s simply a matter of being smart about riding in uncertain weather conditions. Here’s how to make snow riding work for you.
  1. The more tread on your tires, the better. You can ride in snow on slicks, but we wouldn’t recommend it.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a large selection of tires for road bikes, mountain bikes, and cyclocross bikes.  Stop in and pick up a new set of tires just for your winter cycling adventures.  Speaking of tires, let some air out of your them, whatever sort they are. Ride them soft: you’ll get more grip.
  1. Focus on a relaxed and responsive riding position.  Sure, it’s natural to tense up with icy or snowy conditions, but if you focus on relaxing your hands and arms, while keeping your weight back on the bike, you may find it easier to steer the bike from your hips and less from your upper body. This makes directional changes smoother and easier with your whole mass on the bike, rather than by sudden sharp steering inputs at the handlebars.
  1. Don’t be a speed demon! Slow down and enjoy the views! Celebrate the adventure of riding in different weather conditions.  A good rule of thumb to remember is to keep your bike in good working order, maintain care of your bike parts and don’t be too ambitious about your speed.  All this allows you to truly enjoy the experience.
  1. Go fat! Fat bike that is!  Fat bikes are wonderful for riding in the snow.  Many fat bike models today are similar to “normal” mountain bikes, which have slacker head tube angles, lower stand-over heights, thru axles, and tapered head tubes. The main difference is the tires. The wider tires have more traction in both dirt and snow. They climb better than almost any mountain bike. If you’re new to fat bikes, you may enjoy reading about some Top Fat Bike FAQ’s or Why Go Fat. Or, stop by the shop and demo a fat bike!
  1. Dress for the occasion.  Because it’s cold out, it is tempting to overdress.  Avoid that temptation! Depending on the type of ride, the duration of your ride, and the elements, your cycling apparel options make the difference between a suffer fest or a great ride. Take an inventory of your cycling clothing and ask yourself, what clothing do you need to wear in different weather conditions?  Do you have waterproof and wind resistant clothing? Do you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers?  Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing?  Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs! In fact, we’ve got quite a lot of new cycling clothing in store right now!  Or, check out our How to Dress for Winter Cycling –Video for ideas dressing warmly for your winter rides.
Your experience will correlate directly to your level of preparation.  It’s true, winter riding requires more diligence and commitment; but the flip side is a sense of wonder and adventure that accompanies the wintertime cycling scene.

4 Ways to Make the Most of Late Summer Riding 

August 27, 2015
Late Summer Riding at BikeParts.com

Late Summer Riding at BikeParts.com

At the beginning of the cycling season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most cyclist. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation waning.  As the cycling season seems to be getting longer and longer, what are the ways to maintain motivation and also – capture added gains towards next year’s goals? With spring and summer riding in the legs, it’s important to put your late-season form and fitness to good use.   Fortunately, there are no shortage of ways to enjoy life on two wheels through September.  

Dress for success!
As we transition from summer to fall, the Colorado mountain colors explode into a vibrant mix of autumn hues. Yet to make the transition from summer to fall to winter riding safely, it’s wise to make sure that your bike is working and that you have the proper cycling apparel to keep you warm and also motivated to ride in the cooler temps. We have the best cycling apparel for late summer / early fall heat.  Consider factors to consider in cycling apparel for this time of year include: ventilation, storage, water access, and rain/wind gear.  As we transition to night time riding, high visibility gear for night time riding is important too! If you haven’t stopped by the shop recently, you may want to check out our hot store items such as Endure pro race cape and Liv shorts and jersey. 

Try Cyclocross!
Cyclocross season is nearly upon us!  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. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  If you are veteran of cyclocross, consider focusing on skill development to keep things fresh.  Favorites to practice leading into the season include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor is racing efficiently.  If you are new to cyclocross, check out our  cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Equipment choices matter! Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts is important, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.  

Ride a Fat Bike!
If cyclocross isn’t your thing, maybe a fat bike is! While some consider fat bikes a trend, they are actually steadily growing in popularity.  Because fat bikes behave much like a mountain bike, they can be ridden in a variety of conditions and are extremely versatile.  Check out our post,  Top Fat Bike FAQ’s for answers to your fat bike questions.  Or, stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and take a test ride to see which one is best for you!  

Embark on a Gravel Grinder Adventure!
Gravel grinder events are growing in popularity and because of the informal nature of them, you can somewhat create your own event! Perfect for late summer riding to explore new terrain while maintaining fitness.  Specifically, gravel road races and rides combine riding on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, dirt, some singletrack trails and maintenance or B roads. The courses vary from hard-packed dirt to softball-sized rocks. The distance usually ranges between 50 and 150 miles, but can be even longer.  What makes this riding great is that you can ride your cyclocross bike, mountain bike, or even your fat bike! A fun way to explore! 

All in all, the fall season can be an opportunity to rest and recharge while still maintaining fitness on the bike. By keeping it fresh, trying something new, and also, targeting some fitness goals, it can inspire you to lay down some of your best training in your season.  Enjoy!