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Special Bike Just for Winter – Yes or No?

By Christopher Ashley

There are plenty of reasons to avoid riding in winter. It’s cold, dark, and wet – but worst of all, the roads get coated with grit that devastates your bicycle’s exposed drive chain. But We Love Cycling, so here are our arguments for and against having a special winter bike.

The mechanic

Every mechanic knows how bad winter can be for your bike but that doesn’t mean you need to buy a new one. You spent a lot of money on your carbon fibre dream-bike so don’t let winter stop you from enjoying it.

That said, you need to care for your bike through winter just the same as in the summer – but you need to be a little more conscientious about your regime. You can read our winter maintenance guide HERE, it’ll make your cold weather routine a little bit easier.

The realist

Winter can wear both you and your bike down, and if you don’t have a heated workshop, cleaning your bike in the garden mid-winter is a grim task. Freezing water numbs your fingers, and the loss in sensitivity increases the risk of cutting your fingers on gear cogs.

The solution for the realist is a winter-whip – a cheap aluminium framed rattler that you don’t mind grinding through the salty winter slush. More importantly, a cheap bike has cheap replaceable parts. Put the S-Works Tarmac in storage, and it will ride all the sweeter come Spring time.

The collector

If all winter means to you is an excuse to buy another bike, then you’re a collector. Contrary to popular belief, collectors don’t buy bikes for the sake of it. They buy them because every challenge thrown at cyclists is overcome through careful planning and bike design.

Part realist, and part mechanic, the collector wants a bike built for winter – low maintenance but still fun to ride. Maybe a fixie, to work the body up to temperature on those cold winter mornings. Or maybe Dutch style town-bike with hub gears, and a thick protective lacquer over a steel frame.

There’s a bike for every occasion, be it gravel, cyclocross, downhill, or jump, so why not have a whip to see you through the worst of the winter?