Jun 20, 2011

I think I need a winter bike?

So this morning I was out for another ride with the boys and as is now becoming the Melbourne winter custom, I arrive home sopping wet with a filthy bike.

Wife greet's me with the usual "blah blah lots of money spent on the bike.... blah blah Sram Red is not made for this type of abuse... blah blah Tommy Voeckler will go for a breakway stage win at the tour (what?)".

Quickly ushered through the house and straight out into the back yard I cop a second round with  "blah blah I just washed the floor and you're dropping dirty crap everywhere". Straight into the garage I fetch my cleaning gear, set myself up and begin my usual guk removal ritual. The bike goes into the rack, the wheels come off and are rinsed and washed with a quick going over the cassette. The frame, forks, drivetrain and components are then rinsed and washed before the wheels goes back on and the bike taken out of the rack.

The final stage is a whip of the 'secret degreaser' over the chain and chain rings, followed by a another very quick wash over and a final rinse.

40 minutes down, the SL3 is all washed and shiney and welcomed back into the house where it is dried off before lube is applied back onto the chain.

So on to the winter bike. I like to look after my things, but I am getting pretty tired of having to wash the bike almost every time I go out... there's not much worse than going through all that effort after you have just punched out 100ks, only to have to do it all again the next day. Another good point is that I did spend a bit of money on this bike, and I am not sure I am doing it any favours with the constant wet weather abuse it is receiving.

I think the idea is to get a lower end frameset with a more economical and robust groupset, and to try and keep the budget down. It is supposed to be a bike that I am prepared to let get trashed, not wash everytime I ride it, yet is still good enough, and comfortable enough to hit those long wet winter rides.

I guess I better start looking for a frameset, any suggestions?

~ VL