Why winter bikes?

wilwil
wilwil Posts: 374
edited November 2008 in Workshop
Salt and commuting aside, why do you need a winter bike?

Comments

  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    Why put salt aside? It's a pretty big reason.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    So you don't destroy an expensive piece of equipment?
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    so I can have more than one bike.
    I like bikes...

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  • jojo90
    jojo90 Posts: 178
    This is all such a myth.

    You could ride a £2k bike every day for 5 years and provided you replace parts as and when they wear out, keep it clean, well maintained, and try not to crash too much you will have no issues whatsoever.

    My MTB gets more crap all over it and far more abuse on a single ride than a roadbike would all winter and I have yet to replace any parts :)

    If you buy a £2k bike that is going to be wreaked just by riding it in the rain then the manufacturer does not deserve to be in business.
  • jojo90
    jojo90 Posts: 178
    oh, and believe it or not salt can be washed off with a cunning new invention called soap and water...
  • jojo90 wrote:
    This is all such a myth.

    You could ride a £2k bike every day for 5 years and provided you replace parts as and when they wear out, keep it clean, well maintained, and try not to crash too much you will have no issues whatsoever.

    My MTB gets more crap all over it and far more abuse on a single ride than a roadbike would all winter and I have yet to replace any parts :)

    If you buy a £2k bike that is going to be wreaked just by riding it in the rain then the manufacturer does not deserve to be in business.

    Hear Hear. I subscribe to this theory. It's amazing how hot water, a sponge and some elbow grease removes the road grime.
  • A winter bike can take bigger tyres with full mudguards. If I took the carbon bike out my arse would be soaked and I would spend a hour cleaning it every day. I don't even bother cleaning my winter bike apart from the chain etc.
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    As rossgalway says, the answer is simple - mudguards and fatter tyres. Neither of which is there space for on my carbon race bike.

    I can also only assume you don't actually ride your MTB that much jojo. I certainly wear out parts much faster on mine than I do on a road bike - I don't wear stuff out fast, but tend to need a new MTB chain at least every year, sprockets every 2 or 3 and chainrings every 3 or 4. Not to mention that I run disc brakes to avoid wearing rims out every couple of years. On my road bike I can make a chain last several years, and I can't remember the last time I wore a cassette out on a road bike.
  • I can think of a few things... It's mostly about limiting wear to your best bike and components which is inevitably greater with more water and grit about. Applicable most of the year really - mine is more a dodgy weather bike than a winter bike per se.

    - You're more likely to crash in the wet. If you don't want to crash your best bike and damage it, get a winter bike

    - If you don't have the time or desire to clean the salt and debris off frequently, it costs less to let a cheap bike rot

    - You can use components suited to poor weather performance and just pick the best bike for the job according to the weather - obviously mudguards and tyres but plenty of other components as well (eg carbon rims that won't stop well if you get rained on)

    - Redundancy - If you have a last minute mechanical on your best bike, you can ride the winter bike instead. If you have limited time to ride this might be important

    - When you need to upgrade your best bike you can retire components or a whole bike to winter bike use

    - And obviously and possibly most importantly, it's a perfect excuse for another bike!
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    Another reason I forgot - it's a lot cheaper and less desireable to a thief (I've got tatty looking kit on mine, unlike my flashy looking summer bike). Means I can happily leave it locked up outside the swimming pool when I take my son there in the trailer (which is worth as much as the bike!)
  • aracer wrote:
    On my road bike I can make a chain last several years, and I can't remember the last time I wore a cassette out on a road bike.

    You must curtail your miles or pedal very very sofly if your chain isn't stretched beyond use in 'several years'
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    aracer wrote:
    On my road bike I can make a chain last several years, and I can't remember the last time I wore a cassette out on a road bike.

    You must curtail your miles or pedal very very sofly if your chain isn't stretched beyond use in 'several years'
    I've got lots of bikes so mileage on any one isn't that high. That and I clean the chain regularly so it doesn't tend to wear badly (given chains wear, not stretch).
  • jojo90
    jojo90 Posts: 178
    aracer wrote:
    As rossgalway says, the answer is simple - mudguards and fatter tyres. Neither of which is there space for on my carbon race bike.

    I can also only assume you don't actually ride your MTB that much jojo. I certainly wear out parts much faster on mine than I do on a road bike - I don't wear stuff out fast, but tend to need a new MTB chain at least every year, sprockets every 2 or 3 and chainrings every 3 or 4. Not to mention that I run disc brakes to avoid wearing rims out every couple of years. On my road bike I can make a chain last several years, and I can't remember the last time I wore a cassette out on a road bike.

    I ride 4-5 times a week and fully clean down + lube after each ride.
  • jojo90
    jojo90 Posts: 178
    I can see valid points in having a 'backup' or a 'rubbish' bike for certain scenarios including:

    1) Leaving outside shops
    2) Days you know you can't be bothered to clean your bike afterwards
    3) Backup in case of mechanicals
    4) Mudguards for group runs if 'best' bike does not have the holes.

    So not necessarily a winter bike per say, just a bike to bring out under a given set of circumstances. What makes zero sense to me is having a blinged out bike then coveting it and only riding sparingly.

    My expensive bikes get the most use simply because I enjoy riding them. In my mind it is far more wasteful to only put 2000 miles on one in 4 years then sell on having never enjoyed it for fear of getting a little bit of dirt on the chain.

    Personally I will be selling on my bikes in 4 years with a few war wounds, replaced components, 10,000 miles on the clock, and a big smile on my face :)
  • Mister W
    Mister W Posts: 791
    Easy answer......... mudguards! I like getting home clean from a winter ride while my riding partners are covered in road grime.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    jojo90 wrote:

    I ride 4-5 times a week and fully clean down + lube after each ride.

    Not everyone has the time available, the space to do it (say out of the rain/sleet with good lighting and heating) or inclination to do so.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • jojo90
    jojo90 Posts: 178
    valid point :) although for me its an outside (cold) tap and a torch strapped to my helmet!
  • Out for a ride yesterday and it was like a skating rink because of wet leaf mulch. One of my clubmates came off twice and scuffed up his bars, STIs, saddle etc. He'll just patch it up and change nothing.

    The people on here who question the need for winter bikes don't sound like they ride much in winter or they would know why it's a good idea. If my mate had been on his race bike yesterday he'd have trashed hundreds of pounds of kit.

    Maybe you can get away with it for laps of Richmond Park if it's sunny, but oop here in the wet muddy Yorkshire Dales, it would be an expensive mistake riding a quality race bike through the winter.
  • jojo90
    jojo90 Posts: 178
    I think we have two camps here

    a) People who own expensive bikes and only take them out to show off i.e. for 'best'.
    b) People who own two or more bikes and choose the right tool for the job.

    Both are valid but for very different reasons. My pet hate is people who sit in camp a) but don't admit it. I sit somewhere between a) and b), I have a nice bike because it rides well but I put bling bits on it to show off my steed a little however it always gets ridden so its partly in camp b).
  • Also it gives you the chance during the off season to service the other bike in a leisurely fashion ready for the season to turn. (i.e. service winter ike in the summer, service race bike in the winter). Conveniently that is also when the special offers are about :D
  • Out for a ride yesterday and it was like a skating rink because of wet leaf mulch. One of my clubmates came off twice and scuffed up his bars, STIs, saddle etc. He'll just patch it up and change nothing.

    The people on here who question the need for winter bikes don't sound like they ride much in winter or they would know why it's a good idea. If my mate had been on his race bike yesterday he'd have trashed hundreds of pounds of kit.

    Maybe you can get away with it for laps of Richmond Park if it's sunny, but oop here in the wet muddy Yorkshire Dales, it would be an expensive mistake riding a quality race bike through the winter.

    hmm, as a club racer I get through around 3000 miles between nov and March in rural northumberland out in the sticks. I don't find riding 10 speed Ultegra clad carbon bike an expensive mistake in any way shape or form.
  • wilwil
    wilwil Posts: 374
    whyamihere wrote:
    Why put salt aside? It's a pretty big reason.
    I meant if you don't ride when salt has been put down.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    jojo90 wrote:
    I think we have two camps here

    a) People who own expensive bikes and only take them out to show off i.e. for 'best'.
    b) People who own two or more bikes and choose the right tool for the job.

    Both are valid but for very different reasons. My pet hate is people who sit in camp a) but don't admit it. I sit somewhere between a) and b), I have a nice bike because it rides well but I put bling bits on it to show off my steed a little however it always gets ridden so its partly in camp b).

    I am most definitely b. It's just common sense!
  • wilwil
    wilwil Posts: 374
    Out for a ride yesterday and it was like a skating rink because of wet leaf mulch. One of my clubmates came off twice and scuffed up his bars, STIs, saddle etc. He'll just patch it up and change nothing.

    The people on here who question the need for winter bikes don't sound like they ride much in winter or they would know why it's a good idea. If my mate had been on his race bike yesterday he'd have trashed hundreds of pounds of kit.

    Maybe you can get away with it for laps of Richmond Park if it's sunny, but oop here in the wet muddy Yorkshire Dales, it would be an expensive mistake riding a quality race bike through the winter.

    I did 65 miles round Kent yesterday (KCA Reliability Ride) on country lanes, 5 degrees, wet roads, fog and my bike just has a bit of dirt on it and my jacket a bit of spray.
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,061
    Single speed old steel frame for me because I just get sick and tired of cleaning off all the mud and muck the local farms spray at this time of year, besides speed and lightness are not an issue in this weather and it makes a really nice change to swap bikes every once in a while.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Most of the old school club cyclists use a winter bike. Its usually an old race bike thats been superceded and had guards wedged on. A few are specific 'cheap' winter bikes that can take guards easily.

    If anyone wants to ride their best bike all year round - thats fine - but I like the comfort of mudguards on mine - and saves my DA gruppo from extra wear.
  • In terms of what I ride it is two Ribbles, a winter trainer and then a 7005SL when the weather is nice. So although my best bike isn't brilliant, it is still lighter & built up with nicer kit than the winter bike, and for me, having a bike with bottom end (Xenon) campag goupset with mudguards means I ride more and spend less time washing & cleaning during the winter months.

    My winter bike is also heavier, so if I can get that out & ride during the winter, longer slower rides, the extra weight of it due to guards, rack, & lights translates to a much lighter bike for the summer.