Newbie winter riding advice required

Chalen Posts: 6
edited November 2009 in Road beginners
Hi all, I've recently bought my first road bike (Boardman) which I love. However, I'm wandering whether it's realistic to commute on it throughout the winter? Commute is about 14 miles round trip on typical London main roads.

Specific questions are:
Are 700x23 tyres too skinny for any real chance of puncture protection and is grip an issue when it gets frostier?

Will I "ruin" the bike by using it when the salt starts going down?

I also have a cheap(ish) heavy hybrid (which I ran last winter) but using that is out the question as the vastly increased weight seems to give me knee pain.

Cheers! :D


  • bobtbuilder
    bobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Hi Alan,

    All your questions are subjective, so I'm sure you'll get plenty of different opinions.

    IMO - you can use 700 x 23 tires throughout the winter, but 700 x 25 will improve your grip. I don't know what effect it would have on puncture resistance. Personally, I would suggest that getting a good quality p*ncture resistant tyre (there's a thread on these in Beginners) would be more beneficial.

    Salt can damage your frame & components, but cleaning the bike after every ride should help avoid this. I managed with one bike for 6 years, until buying myself a lovely Orbea Orca this summer, and relegating my old Trek Madone to the role of winter bike.
  • Thanks for the reply Bob, not sure there's clearance on the Boardman for 25's, but agree about upgrading the tyres.

    A daily clean is an unlikely prospect if I'm being honest with myself!
  • I've just switched back to my old heavy hybrid (40mm tyres) from my road bike (with 23 wide tyres) to commute. I didnt think I would but... I do feel safer on the leaf strewn paths and going through unknown puddles (how deep!). Also find it easier to do the over the shoulder look. I didnt think I'd go back to it but what has made a difference is having a decent pump and making sure the tyres have a good pressure in them. Are you sure it is the weight of hybrid hurting your knees and not the set up? Are you going up hills/hammering it?

    I guess its a toss up of saving your nice bike, your knees, safety and making the most of your nice bike! If you do go back to your hybrid it will be such a good feeling when you get on your Boardman at the weekend :D
    "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

    National Lampoon
  • Issue is that I find it impossible to restrict myself to cycling slowly - so yes I probably am hammering it! :D

    Don't think there's a problem with the set up.

    Most sensible option is of course to buy a light weight hybrid if I can't (or shouldn't) realistically use the boardman over the winter. My wallet would rather I did not pursue this option!
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    You could use your current hybrid on the really poor days?
    Cycling weakly
  • I guess occasional use is probably fine. GF not keen on having 2 bikes hanging around in the flat though (1 in basement normally - and not easy to access).
  • Flasheart
    Flasheart Posts: 1,278
    Chalen wrote:
    I guess occasional use is probably fine. GF not keen on having 2 bikes hanging around in the flat though (1 in basement normally - and not easy to access).

    The GF or the bikes?

    I ride hybrid to work and local errands and road bike for pleasure. The hybrid gets wet and dirty as it's a workhorse and more practical. I also only ever go out on my road bike in "roadie" kit. :roll:
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
  • Yeah I should have re-read that before posting!
  • bice
    bice Posts: 772
    I do the same sort of distance and would not use a good bike for commuting. Occasional use only. A workhorse hybrid, or flat bar road conversion, is a better bet for London commuting. I do use a road bike, but I go too fast and brakes/ drops etc are not best for traffic