Its that time of year when you start to see many people bringing the Summer bike out of Mothballs, shiny carbon, super record and dura ace all abound.
But really in my mind the worst of the weather is still to come, February and March being really harsh even though the nights start to draw out and the clocks "Spring Forward".
The question is should we use a winter bike at all and is there any benefit to it (apart from the mud guards keeping your arse dry)?
Many Riders myself included ride a winter bike, not only is it fully winterized it is also much heavier than either of my Summer bikes, many do this in the belief that they get more benefit from training at the heavier weight!
As far as i can see there have been no studies on this, in my experience there are benefits to this however you are not passive in getting the reward, when you switch back to the Light Bike YOU have to ensure that you increase the workload / speed and power to make the lighter bike move faster.
You can see the speeds increase and you have to ensure that this is maintained otherwise the benefit will soon be lost!
I have created a list of for and against, make your own mind up!
FOR a Winter Bike:
Saves your best bike from being ruined by the roads and weather
Winter Tyres are a god send
Fixing lights on your best bike you risk marking the shiny paintwork
Falling on wet slippy roads puts your best bike at risk
Clothes are dryer and warmer
Makes a nice change!
A perceived benefit in training at weight
AGAINST a Winter Bike:
You have the expense of running two machines
You have to adapt to a second bike (one you wont race on).
The extra weight means extra stress
You will be faster than the rest on winter bikes
Training is more specific to your eventual goals