Using your good bike through the winter?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:26 am

by mike001100


I ride year long - looking for some advice on a winter bike. They use salt on roads here to de-ice. Last year, I rode my cyclocross bike, but the geometry is so far off, I decided to get another road bike. My question is: which components take the toughest toll during winter? I.e. what is better to replace come summer, rather than invest in in the first place, e.g.:

- chain needs replacing, no point getting Dura Ace mid-season or for winter
- bottom bracket - best to replace every season (from my experience)
- wheelset - I use my training wheels in winter only

Since I am going to be building up a new winter bike, any advice is appreciated. To make things more difficult, I am looking for something I can race during the summer (don't race what you can't replace - my other nice bikes are too nice given my experience with racing). Should I run Ultegra, 105, or Dura? I guess a carbon frame doesn't mind being ridden through winter...


by Weenie

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by Ltyarbro42

I know n+1 and all, but I like keeping the same bike. Winter means you clean your bike more frequently and use a frame protectant (I use Armor All but w/e). Chain Lube changes and tire choice changes, nothing else. Cleaning and maintenance are things you should make a habit of regardless.

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by bilwit

Obviously your rims (non-disc) and drive train will take a toll. IMO the cost of Ultegra parts (especially 6800 these days) is not a big deal for me to use those over 105. Personally, I'll only be swapping wheels & cassette with my otherwise DA9000 "winter" bike. My DA chain has 2,500km going into winter and I don't use a quick link so I'll just ride it out and replace with an Ultegra chain when it comes to it. The jockey wheels on the RD can be replaced as needed and not too concerned about the chainrings but maybe I'll put an old set of Qrings on them for good measure.

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Location: Bristol UK / Cologne, Germany

by hambini

I ride year round on a Cervelo S5. UK winter

The things that take the hit are any rotating parts. They end up with mud crud and general dirt. Wheel bearings are a common issue. BB bearings and the headset.

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by JScycle

Maybe instead of getting a new bike you can get a winter set of wheels, 105 chain, 105 cassette so you aren't wearing out anything that is too expensive.

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by ooo

UK have relatively easy winter, because of gulfstream

For more serious conditions in flat area it make sense to install single speed kit
(single rear sprocket for freehub, chain tensioner, cheap chain)

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by TonyM

If they are using salt etc... and you bike a lot, then a dedicated winter bike is the way to go in the long run - or you continue to use your good bike and replace more often chain, cassette, bottom bracket,.. and service more often all parts with seals, grease etc....That might be quite a lot of maintenance and cost but if you like to do it then why not.

Otherwise for your winter bike, you can have 105, Ultegra or Dura Ace but I suppose you bike a lot in the winter so that Ultegra is at the end the best in terms of cost and maintenance. Change the chain regularly. And most important clean your bike each time just after your side with water etc...!

I have just ordered a rain/ winter bike (BMC Roadmachine02) as a dedicated bike with full fenders and mudguards, which has a geometry very similar to my good summer bike. The BMC Roadmachine02 is available in carbon and in aluminum. I looked for a bike with disc brakes because I will use it when it is raining. But if you race then you might have to look at a different bike or to wait maybe one year longer...

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by AJS914

It really depends on where you live and what the climate is like. I used to live in California and, of course, I'd ride my main bike all year.

Now, I'm in the pacific NW and the roads didn't weren't dry all last winter. Fall was full of slippery leaves and the snow didn't melt for months. I rode my gravel and mountain bikes in Sept/Oct/Nov until it snowed and then rode the trainer until spring.

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Location: Scotland, UK

by LePouletTrapu

I used to live in Scotland and commuted all year round, and have used both my good bike and a dedicated winter bike. Obviously it makes a lot of difference what your weather conditions are like, if you get rain, salt and grit which I did most of the time then it quickly eats your rims away (assuming your not on discs) and unless you have a good maintenance routine then I found cheaper end front and rear mechs tended to seize up and had to be replaced each year. If you can wash the bike down after a messy ride then your probably fine but I used to get lazy on those cold dark nights. One Interesting thing I did find is that my record mechs never had a problem but veloce ones always seized up, maybe the titanium and lack of steel helped.

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by willmac

I live in Copenhagen and after getting through the last 3 winters since moving on my old rim brake bike, i've taken the plunge and ordered a caad12 disc. I also wanted a road bike feel and ride a sueprsix through summer so geometry is the same which is a bonus. With the salt here, wheels take an absolute hiding and i've gone through a set of rims each winter so disc brakes are a no brainer. Far easier to swap brake pads out than replace rims each spring. Full length mud guards are essential for keeping the bottom bracket protected from crud which comes from front and rear. A friend has some longboards on a caad10 disc and they are great. A bit of a faff to put on but you only do it once a year. I've ran durano plus and michelin all seasons with good success on the flat front but have been trying my luck tubeless for a few months and might give it a go as we typically flat from small pieces of flint and sealant seems to solve that issue. Cassettes and chains can get chewed up but using a chain checker, i've not needed to replace a cassette for the last year on any of my bikes. I get around 2,500km on a chain during summer and that drops to probably 2/3'rds that during winter. Wheel bearings and headset bearings are the other parts to worry about. Mudguards solve the headset and i've come to the conclusion that it's easier in winter to swap out cartridge bearings once in a while rather than service something like chris king hubs.

Each to their own but in northern europe, winter really tough on bikes. Some sensible component choices and regular cleaning are a must

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Location: Hampshire, England

by guyc

ooo wrote:UK have relatively easy winter, because of gulfstream

For more serious conditions in flat area it make sense to install single speed kit
(single rear sprocket for freehub, chain tensioner, cheap chain)

Not with all the salt that goes down on roads over here - even worse if you're living on the coast.

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Location: Christchurch New Zealand

by Squashednuts

I commute & race on the same bike throughout the year, Izalco Max disc.
There's no salt used on the roads here in NZ
The roads are harsh, lots of grit & potholes, partly due to recent earthquakes and associated rebuilding
Coldest I rode was -4, plenty of rain
Dust, rain and grit creates a grinding paste that can chew through gear

+1 to regular cleaning and good lube, I use Dumonde Tech Lite

I pop a little arse saver type of mudguard on the rear for added for added comfort

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by racingcondor

The problem in the UK winter is less the weather (wet but not that cold usually) and more the state of the roads and salt. Potholes, flint and gravel everywhere make it hard on tyres and rims and because we rarely get much below zero the UK tends to use salt rather than sand/grit which I understand colder countries use (where it's too cold for salt to stop the snow settling).

I tend to properly service the bike a couple of times a year, once before winter (when I add mudguards) and off to the shop for a more comptetent service around March to replace the bottom headset bearing and anything else that needs it.

Used to have one bike on Ultegra (6600) and one on 105 (5600) and the rear brake siezed on the 105 every winter while the materials used in Ultegra didn't corrode as easily. No idea how modern components compare though apart form having no problems with Force.

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by Miller

Big +1 for mudguards if you're going to be riding in variable weather. It's not just that they keep the bike cleaner, they keep you cleaner and drier too. Discs also way better than rim brakes for crap weather.

Your winter bike doesn't need to be the same as your summer bike, it's nice to have a change. if you get a nice winter day you can ride your good bike. If you get a wet summer's day you can ride your winter bike!

by Weenie

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by fromtrektocolnago

i ride my gravel bike during winter. and the cpt's are ultegra instead of dura ace. because of salt and snow on the roads the bike has 32 mm tires. it also has disc brakes but i view the 32 mm tires as the more important consideration. its titanium which i think is a frame material better suited to harsh chemicals such as salt.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Colnago C-64 disc(ultegra) with Bora 35 wheels

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