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Winter Bikes? Will i need one?

martylaamartylaa Posts: 147
edited July 2009 in Road beginners
Ok so i've just purchased a Boardman Team Carbon 09, my question is will this be ok during the winter months?
After digesting some copies of cycling weekly and this forum it seems a lot of people have a " Winter Bike ", question is, is this because carbon bikes are too expensive too fall off or is the amount of salt on the roads in the winter months the issue.
Can you please enlighten me, and what would be a good range of price to spend on a winter bike?

Posts

  • NoNotAgainNoNotAgain Posts: 91
    You have a few options here.
    Cross bikes are real fun during winter - imagine going offroad with something pretty similar to your road bike.
    A cheapo road bike you don't really care for is OK as well, yet I personally hate riding bad bikes.
    I usually do a lot of indoor training (Tacx and Elite come to mind) waiting badly for bearable street conditions to go outdoors every now and then. In that case you should equip your ride with proper tyres and clean it thoroughly after each routine outside.
    1,000km+ a month, strictly road.
  • daver1daver1 Posts: 78
    Winter bikes are for people who put plastic covers on their car seats. The components might wear a bit quicker in winter but what's the point of having a mint condition bike sat at home while you ride one that's not as good? Ride your good one, clean it regularly and replace the parts when you need to.
  • Slow DowncpSlow Downcp Posts: 3,041
    I agree with the ride your best bike tain of thought, but the biggest difference is the dry censored /legs/back that a winter bike with full guards gives. How much you spend depends on what you can afford - you could pick something up from Ebay for a couple of hundred pound. Ribble normally do winter specials with full guards.
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    martylaa wrote:
    Ok so i've just purchased a Boardman Team Carbon 09, my question is will this be ok during the winter months?
    After digesting some copies of cycling weekly and this forum it seems a lot of people have a " Winter Bike ", question is, is this because carbon bikes are too expensive too fall off or is the amount of salt on the roads in the winter months the issue.
    Can you please enlighten me, and what would be a good range of price to spend on a winter bike?

    If you've got plenty of cash, then personally, yes, I'd defiantely get a 2nd Road bike for the Winter - however, if you haven't, just use what you've got - put some decent tyres on and ride - you could always get a turbo and a spare wheel/tyre/cassette for winter use to compliment your on-road riding.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    DaveR1 wrote:
    Winter bikes are for people who put plastic covers on their car seats.
    You obviously don't do much riding in the winter.

    To the OP - your bike will get really mucky every time you go out in the winter. The roads are covered in grotty, salty filth and they're very rarely dry. If you don't have mudguards you'll end up with mud splattered up your back after every ride, and you probably won't be welcome on most club/group rides. If your best bike has light racing tyres you might be prone to more punctures too.

    Nobody expects newcomers to cycling to instantly purchase mutiple bikes, so fitting 'race blades', changing to heavier tyres and cleaning your bike regularly might be your only option for a while - but it is a fact that the vast majority of experienced cyclists tend to have a winter 'hack' of some kind which takes the battering in winter and keeps their best bike for better conditions. I can't think of a single clubmate who would be out on their best bike in the middle of winter - and not one of them puts plastic covers on their car seats. :wink:

    Ruth
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Cyclists should never, ever pass up a reason to buy another bike.
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,513
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Cyclists should never, ever pass up a reason to buy another bike.

    sound advice... ;)

    Genuinely, riding without full mudguards in the middle of winter round here is enough to drive you insane. West Wales is almost 100% rural - rural =farming and farming = roads covered in censored throughout the winter...
  • NoNotAgainNoNotAgain Posts: 91
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Cyclists should never, ever pass up a reason to buy another bike.
    There is so much wisdom and beauty in these words.
    I bow before your greatness.
    1,000km+ a month, strictly road.
  • AGNIAGNI Posts: 140
    I am on the lookout for a "winter hack". Is there a best time of year to buy a used bike? The bikes i have seen on ebay lately, seem to be fetching good money
    Still suffering with wind
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    I agree completely with BeaconRuth. I have just bought a new Orbea Orca, and now my existing Trek will become my Winter bike.

    A Winter bike will preserve the look and feel of your new bike for longer.
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    To the OP - your bike will get really mucky every time you go out in the winter. The roads are covered in grotty, salty filth and they're very rarely dry. If you don't have mudguards you'll end up with mud splattered up your back after every ride, and you probably won't be welcome on most club/group rides. If your best bike has light racing tyres you might be prone to more punctures too.
    Ruth

    I think salt is greatly exaggerated as an issue (unless you commute out in the slush as I did on my daughters MTB during the London snow and then omit to wash it), but mud and grit are serious. I find race blades are excellent, and certainly deal with the worst of it. I used them earlier this week once and just whipped them off when the forecast improved.

    I love the winter landscape and the empty country roads at that time of year. Provided you have some sort of mudguards and dont go out in a deluge, you wont do much harm. For commuting, I do use a sturdy iron horse that takes a lot of punishment in winter. But I find it is handy to have a basic bike anyway for the panniers and carrying stuff from the shops etc

    You can overdo things. Bikes seem to be pretty fecund and somehow I have ended up with five: a Trek 1.7; a beautiful Lazzaretti steel frame blinged up with Campag; a slightly less fine steel Ciocc, with Shimano 600 downshifters which is a good summer commuter and fun bike; a Claude Butler Reynolds 531 mixte frame woman's tourer with flatbars, rack and panniers which is my basic commuter and a basic Saracen MTB. Fortunately my daughter has started using the Trek
  • This winter i'll be using my good old trusty hard tail when its to dodgy to be out on the speed demon. Nice big chunky tires = safe as houses ( hopefully)
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    softlad wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Cyclists should never, ever pass up a reason to buy another bike.

    sound advice... ;)

    Genuinely, riding without full mudguards in the middle of winter round here is enough to drive you insane. West Wales is almost 100% rural - rural =farming and farming = roads covered in censored throughout the winter...
    Yep, and the censored ends up splattering over the spout of your water bottle if you haven't got guards.
  • martylaamartylaa Posts: 147
    Some good advice i will most prob use my Boardman now and see how i feel in the colder months with regards to getting a cheap second hand winter bike
    cheers for the advice all
  • MossriderMossrider Posts: 226
    think salt is greatly exaggerated as an issue (unless you commute out in the slush as I did on my daughters MTB during the London snow and then omit to wash it), but mud and grit are serious

    Clearly you don't live where I live. The summer bike hibernates the day they first grit the roads, and returns after the first decent rain after they've stopped. Here in Pennine West Yorkshire there is always a layer of salt through the winter, and I 've seen the damage it does to the winter bike. Meanwhile I have the joy of a pristine (5year old) bike for the better days. In London they hardly ever grit the roads so you may get less benefit from a winter bike, but you'll still be glad of the mudguards. Also, I always have a choice of bikes (for example if I think it's going to rain, and a winter bike is a spare in case of mechanical issues.
  • MossriderMossrider Posts: 226
    think salt is greatly exaggerated as an issue (unless you commute out in the slush as I did on my daughters MTB during the London snow and then omit to wash it), but mud and grit are serious

    Clearly you don't live where I live. The summer bike hibernates the day they first grit the roads, and returns after the first decent rain after they've stopped. Here in Pennine West Yorkshire there is always a layer of salt through the winter, and I 've seen the damage it does to the winter bike. Meanwhile I have the joy of a pristine (5year old) bike for the better days. In London they hardly ever grit the roads so you may get less benefit from a winter bike, but you'll still be glad of the mudguards. Also, I always have a choice of bikes (for example if I think it's going to rain, and a winter bike is a spare in case of mechanical issues.
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    Mossrider wrote:
    think salt is greatly exaggerated as an issue (unless you commute out in the slush as I did on my daughters MTB during the London snow and then omit to wash it), but mud and grit are serious

    Clearly you don't live where I live. The summer bike hibernates the day they first grit the roads, and returns after the first decent rain after they've stopped. Here in Pennine West Yorkshire there is always a layer of salt through the winter, and I 've seen the damage it does to the winter bike.

    But when do they start gritting? Before Christmas? And after gritting, surely a winter downpour washes it away? We do grit roads in London, particularly this year, but I can say I have noticed any salt- specific corrosion. Commuting throughout winter does take a toll, but mainly crud. A good clean and re-pack of wheel and BB bearings and my bike hasn't sufferent unduly.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    I dont even want to be thinking winter... but to make the point again.. the North i.e. not London... can have salt residue on the roads for up to 5 months.. last year it started November and lasted almost end of March
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    It is not just the salt. Up here the motorists can not keep there wheels on the grey bit so spread half the grass verge on to the road.From about September to May this is added to the cr*p that the farmers put down. If you do get a dry few days the roads are like Paris-Roubaix as you can hardly see the tarmac for rock hard mud. Then it rains again. Mudguards are absolutley essential, with a long flap for group riding. If you can not fit them to the good bike then a winter one is a good idea. The best one is even better after a winter on the other one.
    Don't even mention hedge cutting and punctures.
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    John.T wrote:
    It is not just the salt. Up here the motorists can not keep there wheels on the grey bit so spread half the grass verge on to the road.From about September to May this is added to the cr*p that the farmers put down. If you do get a dry few days the roads are like Paris-Roubaix as you can hardly see the tarmac for rock hard mud. Then it rains again. Mudguards are absolutley essential, with a long flap for group riding. If you can not fit them to the good bike then a winter one is a good idea. The best one is even better after a winter on the other one.
    Don't even mention hedge cutting and punctures.

    Blimey, it really does sound grim up north :lol: We get a few extra puddles in the winter, but otherwise I can't say I notice a huge difference in the road conditions.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    It's great in summer though (if we get one).
  • DaveR completely disagree with you. It's nowt to do with salt and component wear, all to do with rider safety. Even warm(er) summer days with enough rain my road bike, setup for pure speed kicks, is lethal. Winter it's a death trap. Buy a cyclocross bike or MTB and you don't have to try and shoe horn a compromised setup onto a road bike to cope with winter conditions.

    Buy a MTB fit the tyres for the your winter riding/ commute surfaces and you have a bike that is safer, and to boot the weight will give you a bigger core strength to start the spring with.

    Give the road bike a hot water bottle and a blanket for the winter and you have the best of both worlds with virtually no compromises on balance.
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