Using Carbon bike in winter?

So I have my brand new Trek Emonda SL5 Disc. I have been using it for the commute and really find it a nice ride.

The weather is getting pretty grim tho so it's getting fairly mucky each eve, I only have room for 1bike inside. My old bike is currently awaiting a new owner so need to keep that clean and given my space limitations and cash flow I can't keep another bike.

My question is if I fit some race blades to my Trek and clean the chain etc after every ride and give it a proper clean every weekend will it really get 'ruined' like some say it will.

I should add that I have helicopter tape on the underside of the downtube / chainstays etc and the wheels have sealed bearings. The seat post is a seat mast job so no seized posts to worry about.

I really don't want to have to find room for another bike but also I don't want to have to stop riding over winter.

My Trek setup currently has 28c Bontrager R1 tyres which seem grippy and have good protection and it has 105 hydro discs so not rim wear to worry about.

Some people I have spoken to think my bike will be f##ked after 1 winter if I ride through but I just can't see it, Carbon does not corrode and with diligent cleaning surely it should be fine?

I accept my chain no matter how much I clean it will probably need replacing in the spring but I can live with that.

Thoughts?

On sub zero days I don't ride (had a few nasty accidents in years gone by so just take the car now) so I would only ride when ice is off the table.

Also on a side note do most cycle insurance policies cover you in a accident?

Ta.
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Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 4,726
    If you have to, you have to.

    It's slippier in winter so there's always that. You do have to keep up on your cleaning - leave salt on it and it will corrode your nice groupset.

    I'm lucky in that I have a winter bike with full guards but it still gets washed and lubed after each mucky ride.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,412
    Yeah, it'll be fine.

    Bearings and moving parts will age sooner than they might otherwise, but you bought the bike to ride it after all.

    105 components aren't that expensive to replace in the spring if it comes to it.

    Dura ace would probably be a bit harder to justify taking out on wet and salty roads.

    All I would say is take care that the guards don't rub against the frame, or if they do make sure you put lots of tape on.

    The other consideration is if it is icy then you are that much more likely to have an 'off' and wreck the frame that way, so take care - if you want to ride on those conditions you'll need studded tyres to be safe, otherwise don't take any chances, stick to treated roads.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 727
    Thanks for advice, after face planting last year on icey roads I don't take the risk no matter what the bike so if it's sub zero I take the car, sometimes I will work from home until late morning when the temp has risen (I work flexi time) so ice is not a worry.

    It's reassuring to know that it's possible , I am super nerdy about cleaning anyway. Its my happy time - stick an audiobook on my iPod and I can happily spend an hour every other day just giving the bike a clean.

    Re guards yeah tape is a good shout , some electrical tape under the mounts.

    I was also told to 'polish' the frame after a clean with a cloth and WD40 as it will help stop mud sticking.
    Anyway tried this on Carbon?

  • fenixfenix Posts: 4,726
    Sometimes it can be well above freezing and you still get black ice. Last time I came off - went past some fishing ponds with no sign of ice and then bam - on the floor as I turned into a side road.

    WD40 doesn't stop mud sticking sadly. I just use normal furniture polish on my paint.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,666
    Ever seen a CX race, or a muddy MTB event? Lots of 'carbon' bikes being ridden through all kinds of clag every week. It really is a non issue.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 9,811
    edited 6 November
    Gotta be better than using a steel bike. Right?
    I use a steel bike.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,307
    Only reason I wouldn't ride my carbon bike in winter is due to increased risk of an off (ice/ wet roads) and the likelihood of damaging the lovely frame.

    With regards to cleaning your bike, I wouldn't wait until the weekend. Get used to wiping it down after every ride. Doesn't take long but helps preserve the life of components.
  • carbonclemcarbonclem Posts: 824
    Maybe a set of budget wheels for the commute rides and keep nice wheels for weekend rides?
    Clean it often, wipe down with that Muc-Off frame polish stuff to help it stay clean and change the chain as required.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 4,949
    Wash down with a bucket of soapy water (washing up liquid is fine*). Rinse. Wipe down with an old dish towel/tee shirt. Mr Sheen, or the Tesco/Asda/Sainsbury's equivalent, on the frame which will help stop mud sticking. GT85 to force water residue out of the groupset bits, then a light lube. No need to use Muc-Off or a cycling specific brands because they do exactly the same job.

    *The ‘don’t use washing up liquid because it’s got salt in it’ argument is internet forum tosh.
    #f*ckwit
  • I don't think that carbon frames, apart from the superlight top end ones, are any more likely to be damaged in a crash than a steel or aluminium frame. I've seen plenty of carbon bikes crashed without sustaining any structural damage, and I've written off a couple of steel frames crashing them back in the day. One of the advantages of carbon is that crash damage is often repairable, albeit not cheaply.

    I find that Autoglym car polish is good for keeping the frame looking good, and I expect that it lasts longer than furniture polish, though I've never tried that myself.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,307

    I don't think that carbon frames, apart from the superlight top end ones, are any more likely to be damaged in a crash than a steel or aluminium frame. I've seen plenty of carbon bikes crashed without sustaining any structural damage, and I've written off a couple of steel frames crashing them back in the day. One of the advantages of carbon is that crash damage is often repairable, albeit not cheaply.

    I find that Autoglym car polish is good for keeping the frame looking good, and I expect that it lasts longer than furniture polish, though I've never tried that myself.

    Aluminium frames are cheaper to replace though. That's the point.

    Additionally, have an off on a carbon bike and you are never quite certain of whether the structure has been compromised (unless it's xrayed). Not so much of a worry on an aluminium frame.

    Winter riding increases chances of a mishap, and that's why people tend not to ride their best (usually more expensive) bike at that time of year.
  • nitrousoxidenitrousoxide Posts: 3,821
    Even though it's now nearly three years old, my Cube rarely leaves the house from November to April, only on dry days when the tarmac is dry, I don't want my drivetrain getting covered in grit and salt.

    As much as I've got some 4 Seasons tyres, I'd rather be on the Voodoo with spike Gravdal tyres when temp is expected to be below 2C.
    ================
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,355
    There's a lot of absolute mince spoken about using 'nice' bikes in winter. In reality, provided you don't let everything fester without bothering to clean it regularly, the frame itself isn't at risk (loose BB and water/salt ingress there notwithstanding). What IS at risk is the groupset - which will wear out a lot quicker in winter due to the extra grit/salt in the mud grinding it away. You'll go through cassettes and chains a lot faster, depending on how filthy or salted the roads are, but there's no danger to the frame itself

    There is one caveat to this, however, and its mentioned above. Using WD40 on your frame - unless you are VERY careful about applying it nowhere near any bearings or seals is the stupidest thing you can possible do. It won't somehow magically stop mud sticking to the frame, but it WILL chew through your BB, Headset or Hub bearings nicely as its liquid repellent properties are really effective on all the lovely lube/grease you've got in there

    One more thing to be slightly cautious with is overwashing. The more you wash, the more likely water is to seep in where it shouldn't. Don't use a jet washer (or use it sparingly) and ,if you can, wrap a rag round the BB and headset while you're washing the frame down
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,345
    No reason not to put mudguards on and carry on riding - ice is ice no matter the bike, you're only mitigation on that would be to ride spiked tyres - I did that for a winter, but then I was lucky enough to have a spare bike with the spiked tyres fitted to the wheels - you could do it with a spare wheelset.

    As for the rest - it's a bike - you'll wear the drivechain a bit more, but other than that it'll be fine - a bit of mud on the paint isn't going to affect it. You're not immersing it in salt water for the winter.
    Sure - keep it clean - I try to do that with mine, but don't lose any sleep if I miss a wash for a week or two.
    I wouldn't even bother with a spare wheelset - unless you want different tyres for different conditions - it's not worth it when you're already on discs - I have a cheap wheelset for winter because mine has rim brakes ...
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 389
    slowbike said:

    No reason not to put mudguards on

    Oh yes there is...

    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,345
    longshot said:

    slowbike said:

    No reason not to put mudguards on

    Oh yes there is...

    no .... there isn't - well, not a valid reason anyway.
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 389
    edited 7 November
    slowbike said:

    longshot said:

    slowbike said:

    No reason not to put mudguards on

    Oh yes there is...

    no .... there isn't - well, not a valid reason anyway.
    Validity is subjective :)
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,459
    edited 7 November
    You don't really need mudguards if you're riding solo - but then there are lots of things that you don't really need - such as a nice bike.

    Mudguards are needed when riding in a group, and certainly keep a lot of unpleasant road dirt off your bike.
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,369
    After riding with a friend who doesnt use mudguards last week, if you ride as a group yes, always mudguards. I was covered in road spray, while they were pristine.

    Re bike wise, I used a carbon one last winter, was fine just have to be careful, no more so than you would on any bike in winter though.
    But yes get the worst of the muck off between rides and keep the moving bits cleaned and lubricated, wont be much of an issue.
    For what its worth im flitting between a titanium bike with etap an deep carbons and an "adventure bike".
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,017

    Ever seen a CX race, or a muddy MTB event? Lots of 'carbon' bikes being ridden through all kinds of clag every week. It really is a non issue.

    This. Your carbon frame is fine in all weathers.
    TACX iFlow - basic, Bushido smart -Rubbish, Elite Kura - not smart, Direto - awful, Tacx Neo1 - perfect.
  • Believe it or not carbon does not disintegrate in the rain or cold!
    As long as you rinse the dirt off after every ride and clean the drive train once a week and re-apply wet lube you'll be good to go.

    Personally I use an air compressor and blow every thing off after I wash it. Its great at driving all the water out of the chain, but the only problem then is it takes a fair amount of lube to to re-lube it properly. I have currently got 6,000 mile form the current chain and 10,000 from the rest of the drive train, but I will change it all in the spring.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,355
    6,000 miles from a chain? Jesus H Christ are you sure? I'd hate to see the chain stretch on that - and suggest that you have been riding it for about the last 1,000 miles on little more than luck. One reasonably high torque effort will snap that like a twig.
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 37,172
    cruff said:

    6,000 miles from a chain? Jesus H Christ are you sure? I'd hate to see the chain stretch on that - and suggest that you have been riding it for about the last 1,000 miles on little more than luck. One reasonably high torque effort will snap that like a twig.

    But he keeps it very clean:




    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda
    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • jollygiantjollygiant Posts: 92
    edited 8 November
    cruff said:

    6,000 miles from a chain? Jesus H Christ are you sure? I'd hate to see the chain stretch on that - and suggest that you have been riding it for about the last 1,000 miles on little more than luck. One reasonably high torque effort will snap that like a twig.

    It's just under the 0.1 and could really do with changing but it'll be fine for a few more.
    I'm not that powerful so it should be ok!
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,355
    edited 8 November
    I'm expecting Prendiville along any minute now... :)
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,666
    cruff said:

    I'm expecting Prendiville along any minute now... :)

    "Speak of the devil and he doth appear" ;)
  • fenixfenix Posts: 4,726
    singleton said:

    You don't really need mudguards if you're riding solo - .

    It's much nicer on wet days though with full guards. No more mucky stripes up your back and dirty kit.

  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 389
    fenix said:

    singleton said:

    You don't really need mudguards if you're riding solo - .

    It's much nicer on wet days though with full guards. No more mucky stripes up your back and dirty kit.

    Yeah but you have to put up with your bike looking like censored .
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,345
    Mudguards are more aero ... fact !

    https://road.cc/content/tech-news/268203-mudguards-are-more-aero-study-shows-optimum-drag-reduction-achieved


    *well - in certain tests using specific bikes and specific guards


  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 728
    edited 8 November
    longshot said:

    fenix said:

    singleton said:

    You don't really need mudguards if you're riding solo - .

    It's much nicer on wet days though with full guards. No more mucky stripes up your back and dirty kit.

    Yeah but you have to put up with your bike looking like 20p for the swearbox.
    I dunno, a road bike covered in crud looks less appealing to me than one with mudguards on. Also means a lot less time spent washing the bike post ride.
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