Winter bikes

by gdmor10   February 9, 2014  

Had a nice blast around our local lanes this morning on my winter bike which is a flat bar cannondale hybrid fitted with cyclocross tires.

I can hear the howls of derision from road purists but it soaks up the potholes, deals with mud and dirt and today I had to go through a couple floods that where above my bottom bracket. Also it is perfect for canal paths with my wee girl in her seat at the back.

My point is that I am constantly amazed by the amount of people I see out cycling in high end bikes when the roads are in such bad condition. Question is do they only have one bike or do they have more money than sense?

As an addendum as soon as the mrs has got her back turned I am planning to get a cyclocross bike for next winter, there is so much more choice than there was a few years ago.

21 user comments

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I think a lot of roadies have other non-road specific bikes and/or cheaper bikes for the winter (see the "When is too many bikes enough?" thread). The ones on the expensive bikes - unless that is their winter bike and they have something even better for the summer and then obviously have more money than sense, or enough money to do so - yeah, I'd guess they only have one bike. You give the exact reasons as to why some of us have more than one bike. There's no worry about ruining the bike, bits going rusty and any minor winter damage can be patched up for the next ride with a proper fix done once the winter is over. Am about to buy a cyclocross-type bike myself, but been waiting for the stormy weather to ease off a bit.

posted by Ghostie [93 posts]
9th February 2014 - 19:28


I only have one ... OK so it's Ti and can take big
tyres (28's) and full guards Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [916 posts]
9th February 2014 - 20:16


I have two. A Nexus geared hybrid and a nice enough roadbike. I ride the roadbike almost all the time but have recently gone back to the Hybrid because I was getting sick of cleaning it. I wouldnt have two road bikes as I would rather have just the one and ride it until its beyond economic repair.

posted by dunnoh [201 posts]
9th February 2014 - 20:31


I saw someone cycling to work in central London the otherday on a TT cervelo the other day.

pants's picture

posted by pants [190 posts]
10th February 2014 - 0:17


I was out on my nice bike today because my winter bike is in the shop for some work.

That said, I did hear about a bloke riding round on zipp 404s in January.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3682 posts]
10th February 2014 - 0:28


When are British roads not bad condition???!!!

posted by TheGingerAce [3 posts]
10th February 2014 - 1:14


pants wrote:
I saw someone cycling to work in central London the otherday on a TT cervelo the other day.

Tell me he wasn't riding his TT Cervelo in office based attire, e.g. a suit and tie!

posted by Ghostie [93 posts]
10th February 2014 - 14:37


I see a bloke on moorgate on a TT Cervelo and often wonder why he'd want to ride a bike like that through town. This guy is one of the few "bareback" brigade and whilst I accept (and will argue) that helmets are a matter of personal choice and freedom, I think he's nuts !

posted by arfa [625 posts]
10th February 2014 - 16:18


pants wrote:
I saw someone cycling to work in central London the otherday on a TT cervelo the other day.

Two possibilities spring to mind. (1) They were either bringing it in for a service at a favoured LBS. (2) They were taking it in to do multiple laps around Regent's Park after work that day. Regent's Park is a great place to get some fast training rides in during the week with very little traffic, which explains why plenty of clubs do chain gangs there on Tue/Wed/Thu. Sure there are lots of other "reasonable" explanations!

posted by consciousbadger [42 posts]
10th February 2014 - 16:25


I personally have a winter bike and a summer race bike and i asked the same question last year to a few senior riders. This was the answer i was given.
Basically many racers will ride their race bike through the winter because with each bike you use different muscle groups slightly more, or less. Therefore when the summer comes you may find that your 'summer' bike feel a lot different to your winter one. Come race season you may find you have lost the ability to sit in the saddle for long periods of time, or not able to stay on the drops for longer. It makes sense but i cant stand to see my best bike get messed up in the winter... personal preference i suppose! Smile

posted by Pete Draper [2 posts]
10th February 2014 - 18:09


I remember reading about Ned Overend and how he apparently used to put his bike away at the end of the season and go skiing / mountaineering and pretty much every other sport except cycling.

He seemed to manage ok.

I personally can't afford to replace my best bike and I don't want it to end up as a salt-corroded snotter, so winter singlespeed for me, ta.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
10th February 2014 - 18:49


I ride the same bikes all year round - I'm married therefore limited in my number of bikes, I'd rather not use up a spot for a winter hack. Winter doesn't mess my bikes up anyway, I just spend a bit more time cleaning and I'm usually riding a bit less to give the legs a break.

Life's too short to ride a clunker.

posted by Nick T [900 posts]
10th February 2014 - 20:04


My first winter riding on my only road bike. I don't have a choice, it's either ride it or mtb, and the mtb just doesn't cut it on the roads for long distance. I've just fitted some mud guards and make sure I'm on the ball with cleaning. Seems ok so far, no rust or damage. So I guess you just have to be disciplined when its time for the soapy water. It will do me until I've sweet talked the wife into buying something special Big Grin

posted by newbie roadie [10 posts]
10th February 2014 - 21:17


The carbon stays indoors over winter and it's out on the alu or on the trails or road/ tow paths on the mtb ....don't fancy dropping the pride and joy in poop weather

posted by chiv30 [997 posts]
10th February 2014 - 21:33


I have 2 bikes. A steel tourer that does the shopping, commuting, family rides and the very occasional weekend away. The second is an alu/carbon cyclocross bike that gets used for anything more sporty and spends most of the year in road dress. Once the real grip of winter sets in (Dec-Mar) I have generally stored the cyclocross bike away but this year I fitted full guards with P-clips etc. It's been great, definitely got me out for more training type rides than I would do normally this time of year. The only other change was swapping out the newer good wheels for the old ones until spring arrives.

posted by Ad Hynkel [64 posts]
10th February 2014 - 22:12


I use my main road bike all year, it's laughable using an ali bike in the winter when ali is more prone to corrosion than carbon. I keep mine clean and have no worries about it getting some dirty puddle water on it. It's a bike so ride it ffs. My mtb is more than twice the value of my road bike and that gets covered and that is higher maintenance than the road bike.

posted by Shep73 [211 posts]
11th February 2014 - 10:50


Not sure i quite agree with the more money than sense if you ride your carbon during winter. It would be lovely to have two bikes, but that requires more money and crucially more storage space. If you only had a limited pot of cash, is it not better to spunk the lot on the best bike you can afford and enjoy it all year round?

posted by Scoob_84 [288 posts]
11th February 2014 - 13:12


If you spend money on a nice bike you want to ride it!

Besides, the current nice bike becomes the next "hack"! Big Grin

posted by BikeBud [148 posts]
11th February 2014 - 13:44


Eh, just clean it a bit more and keep the chain sparkly clean and well oiled?

It's water and a bit of dirt, a bike's meant to be able to handle it. If not, I'd have strong words with the manufacturer!

posted by jacknorell [888 posts]
11th February 2014 - 14:06


consciousbadger wrote:
Regent's Park is a great place to get some fast training rides in during the week with very little traffic, which explains why plenty of clubs do chain gangs there on Tue/Wed/Thu.

Well yes we do, but cannot agree with the proposition that there is "very little traffic", especially at going-home time. There are a few guys out with Cervélos, but I'm keeping mine in the cupboard until the roads dry up a bit!

harman_mogul's picture

posted by harman_mogul [187 posts]
11th February 2014 - 16:53


There's very little traffic on the regents park inner circle in the winter, when the theatre's closed. There's not a lot on the outer circle in the mornings either, 7am or earlier is great. I did 80km there yesterday morning, I wouldn't say I was bothered by traffic much.

posted by Nick T [900 posts]
11th February 2014 - 19:01