Winter: will it ruin my bike?

Scrumple
Scrumple Posts: 2,665
edited August 2008 in Road beginners
Winter: will it ruin my bike?

Having jumped in at the deep end, using my cycle to work discount, I have bought a £1000 Planet X carbon road bike. I'm new, and hadn't though much past the immediate weather.
Now, kitted up, I have hit the road just as the summer is on its way out. And it has dawned on me the roads are going to get wet, and slippery, and filthy, and salty.
My main use is 10 plus miles to work and back each day, with hills, done quickly.

Should I cotton wool the bike for winter? Will it get ruined?
If so, what would be an adequate stand in for winter use? I'm after something that will take all the hammer. I can take some wear to parts, but I want the bike to last a fair few years!

Or, will I be ok as long as I keep it clean and maintain it? Am I worrying too much? Can it cope (not asking about me getting wet, more the bike taking the punishment).

Cheers

Comments

  • BeaconRuth
    BeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Scrumple wrote:
    Winter: will it ruin my bike?
    Yes.

    Keen cyclists often have a winter bike that has mudguards, heavier tyres and cheaper components. Unless you're prepared to wash your bike down carefully and re-lube after every single ride, you'll soon find your bike covered in muck - and your back will be too if you haven't got mudguards. There's nothing more silly than riding a mudguardless bike in winter IMO.

    Ruth
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    2nd bike for winter...
    Titanium? Alu? Any favourite choices here?
  • Lagavulin
    Lagavulin Posts: 1,688
    If I was loaded I'd have this. Ribble's winter/audax bike seems very popular. I also saw quite a few guarded up Giant SCR's last winter.

    Personally I can't really afford another bike so may see out another winter on my Allez with Raceblades but they seem to just chuck more crap at the fork and brakes.
    Toying with the idea of a Langster but haven't ridden single-speed or fixed before so not sure if I'll take to it.

    Unless we have an Indian summer, the way I see it is a maximum of 4 weeks before I post on here asking how best to put the Wilier away for next year. :(
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Lagavulin wrote:
    If I was loaded I'd have this. Ribble's winter/audax bike seems very popular. I also saw quite a few guarded up Giant SCR's last winter.

    Personally I can't really afford another bike so may see out another winter on my Allez with Raceblades but they seem to just chuck more crap at the fork and brakes.
    Toying with the idea of a Langster but haven't ridden single-speed or fixed before so not sure if I'll take to it.

    Unless we have an Indian summer, the way I see it is a maximum of 4 weeks before I post on here asking how best to put the Wilier away for next year. :(

    I always thought your Allez was your winter bike and your Willier was your summer race bike?

    Personally, I have a SCR3 as my everything bike at the moment. I plan to use that for commuting (all the time) and winter rides. Next year spring/summer (Feb - May) I hope to buy myself a carbon bike (either a Focus Cayo, Wilier or Viner) for the summer, weekends, club rides, sportives etc.

    To answer the OP, if you plan on riding in the winter and especially commuting and have £300 - £400 you may be better off buying a cheap bike to ride around in the winter.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Lagavulin
    Lagavulin Posts: 1,688
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    I always thought your Allez was your winter bike and your Willier was your summer race bike?
    The Allez was my first road bike. It is now effectively my hack but won't take full guards.
    Raceblades do keep the majority of the crap off me but they don't appear to protect the bike to any real extent and they're far from ideal.
  • FSR_XC
    FSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    Wow!

    Listening to this, my MTB should be just about to fall apart. It has been through more in a few weekends than most road bikes do in a winter (and it's nearly 2yr old!)

    What is wrong with rinsing the bike after each ride, with a good wash once or twice a week, then checking and greasing the bearings monthly?

    Possibly bigger / winter orientated tyres and fit mudguards if wanted?

    That said, I'll probably end up commuting on my MTB during the winter.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com
  • thexvw
    thexvw Posts: 135
    I've been thinking a lot about this over the past few months. I have been commuting for the past year. Over the "summer" I have on most days ended up wearing most of the kit I was wearing through the winter, i.e rain jacket, Ron Hills, overshoes etc.

    Apart from the temperature being higher, conditions have been much the same as the winter, heavy rain wind etc. I have 2 bikes, (roubaix) one with race blades one without. I tend to ride the one with raceblades if it i raining or looks like rain at some point throughout the day. It goes without saying that one of my bikes has hardly been used !.

    The race blades are much better than no mudguard at all but the bike still get covered in crap. I wash it down about 2-3 times a week. I have been thinking about buying a winter bike but with the weather we get in this country I would hardly ever ride my other bikes.

    I have been thinking that If you spent £400-500 on a winter bike wouldn't it be better to just spend that amount on your main bike replacing the components that wear out quicker due to the poor weather conditions ?
  • System_1
    System_1 Posts: 513
    thexvw wrote:
    I have been thinking that If you spent £400-500 on a winter bike wouldn't it be better to just spend that amount on your main bike replacing the components that wear out quicker due to the poor weather conditions ?

    Exactly! 20 years ago when frames were made of steel there might have been a point in a winter bike, but if you're riding carbon it's unaffected by rain and salted roads anyway. The most you are going to have to do is replace the chain, cassette and maybe chainrings and rims a bit earlier than you would normally, but proper wet lube and regular cleaning will keep this to a minimum. You'd have to be pretty lazy in your cleaning schedule to spend as much on worn out parts as you would on an entire winter bike. I'd much rather ride my nice bike and replace the consumables as they wear out than ride something slightly inferior. A winter bike still needs maintained anyway, possibly even more so as the cheaper parts wear out quicker, so you spend more money in the long run. Get out and ride what you have and don't worry about it.
  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,786
    It's not just about damage to your bike (although salt is a problem in winter, so it's not the same howaver much rain you get in summer) it's the fact that it's a lot more unpleasant riding in icy cold rain without mudguards. I wouldn't wont to ride my best bike all winter even if someone else was paying for it.
  • thexvw
    thexvw Posts: 135
    I have raceblades on my bike which keep me reasonably dry. They certainly keep my back\arse from getting wet. A long backed cycling jacket also helps. The worst is the spray onto my lower legs (raceblades could really do with some flaps on the bottom, anyone done this ?).

    In heavy rain your going to get wet anyway, the difference between having raceblades or full mudguards is not going to be huge.

    The majority of my ride is on a cyclepath and minor roads which dont seem to get much salt.
  • nasahapley
    nasahapley Posts: 717
    thexvw wrote:
    I have been thinking that If you spent £400-500 on a winter bike wouldn't it be better to just spend that amount on your main bike replacing the components that wear out quicker due to the poor weather conditions ?

    I'm with you (and System) on this; I bought my bike at the end of last summer, just before the weather turned really sh***y, and rode it right the way through winter (no cash left for a 2nd bike). I gave it a cursory wash after particularly mucky rides and a proper clean every month or so, and I used GT85 on the chain, which I have since learned is supposed to be no good in winter! When I took it for a spring service I was expecting to have to shell out a fair bit for replacement parts (having read about the damage winter will do to a bike). What needed replacing? Nothing! Bloke at LBS said it was near enough good as new, and it still is. Maybe bikes are a bit more durable nowadays than people realise, but anyway, I don't think I'd bother with a winter bike.
  • fast as fupp
    fast as fupp Posts: 2,277
    unless you clean it and lube it every day you use it the salt spread on the roads in winter will corrode all your aluminium componente
    'dont forget lads, one evertonian is worth twenty kopites'
  • Philip S
    Philip S Posts: 398
    My plan is to ride my Mortirolo through the winter, probably with some race blades on it, give it a good celan when it looks like it needs it and see how it goes. Worst case scenario is I'll need to buy a new bike (which will obviously have to be better than the current one :D, which can then become the winter bike :wink: )... Realistically, worst case is probably some new components, which would need replaced at some point anyway...
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Why worry about the winter?...when we have summers like this?...the bike gets destroyed all through the year :wink:
  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    it depends on where im going, sunday runs and long runs i use the nice bike but clean it after every ride. But then i do most of my riding commuting and i have a bike specially for that and when i have a job i shall be commuting all year round on it.

    But i use my nice bike all year round just make sure after a long and filthy ride i clean it properly
  • Ste_S
    Ste_S Posts: 1,173
    thexvw wrote:
    I have raceblades on my bike which keep me reasonably dry. They certainly keep my back\ars* from getting wet. A long backed cycling jacket also helps. The worst is the spray onto my lower legs (raceblades could really do with some flaps on the bottom, anyone done this ?).

    In heavy rain your going to get wet anyway, the difference between having raceblades or full mudguards is not going to be huge.

    The majority of my ride is on a cyclepath and minor roads which dont seem to get much salt.

    Makes a big difference on group rides, imagine having someone spray you in the face with muddy water for 3+ hours. You can imagine the crush as everyone tries to ride on the front :wink:
  • bice
    bice Posts: 772
    There wont be any salt on London roads until mid/ late December.

    Just keep the bike clean. I use a plastic chain bath that fits on the chain filled with Gunk, scrub crud off the casette and chain rings, more washing with washing up liquid to get rid of the degreaser, throw a bucket of warm water over everything to rinse everything off and re-oil the chain.

    This is what I do for my old bikes. is it too rough and ready for road bike?
  • FSR_XC
    FSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    bice wrote:
    . . . . . . more washing with washing up liquid to get rid of the degreaser

    Remembering that washing up liquid contains a lot of salt.

    Car wash shampoo is much better.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd argue with the statement about full guards not making much of a difference. OK - maybe in heavy heavy rain - you'll get wet anyway - but for the majority of conditions - guards do keep the worst off you. Quite often the roads are wet even though the rain has stopped. Thats not a problem with guards.

    If you do ride the bike through salted roads and dont clean it - it will certainly corrode the finish of the groupset. Depending on how long you leave it in between cleaning - it could knacker them completely.

    Personally my non guarded race bike makes way for my cheap full guarded fixie in the winter. And thats got LEDs and lights and reflectives all over - so perfect for commuting too.

    Always a good idea to have two bikes - if you can afford it !
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I want to have 2 bikes:

    I plan on buying a proper Carbon Fibre bike keep my SCR3 as my commuter.

    However, I don't want to put mud guards and panniers on my SCR3 though. I was hoping to do it up with Fulcrum Racing 7's, carbon fibre seat post handle bars (with red handle bar tape) and stem and eventually upgrade it to a 105 groupset....

    Yes on that frame it might seem unnecessary but I see my SCR 3 as my project bike that I want to improve like a boyracer from the 80s....

    I think race blades are the way to go for me.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Any ideas where I can get cheap winter frame/bike. Apart from Ribble