Going commando

27 11 2015

When the weather gets cold, I like going commando.

It’s not what you think.

In this season of sloppy roads and variable weather, most cyclists prefer parking their “good” bike and hauling from storage their “winter” bike, otherwise known as the old bike they couldn’t bear to part with then they got their “good” bike.

The theory of the “winter” bike is reasonable; it’s a lesser bike that doesn’t mind getting dirty and abused by the weather and road conditions. It had its glory days and now it’s become a serviceable workhorse that gets the call when better bikes cower inside where it’s always warm and dry.

For a brief moment, when I acquired the Lapierre, I pondered converting my former Orbea to my “winter” bike.

But the condo lifestyle affords barely enough room to accommodate the bikes we already have. Keeping another for a handful of seasonal rides is a luxury beyond our limited capacity.

So the Lapierre must be my year-around ride.

And I’d prefer not to add fenders, thank you very much.

A little road gunk is easy enough to clean; the Lapierre must retain its sleek good looks, so no fenders in the winter!

A little road gunk is easy enough to clean; the Lapierre must retain its sleek good looks, so no fenders in the winter!

I’ve never really understood the logic behind adding an ugly accessory like fenders to a sleek road bike. Sure they prevent water and muck from kicking up your backside and the bottom of your frame.

Bur if it’s that sloppy and miserable out, isn’t it better to keep yourself, and your sleek ride, inside?

Laundry will take care of the muddy streak up my back. A little soap and water will clean the road crud from the frame.

Most fenders can’t do much about the gunk that gets into the drivetrain or derallieurs.

Odds are, even with ugly fenders, you’ll probably have to invest some time to clean the bike after a winter ride anyway.

The current cold snap means frost persists in the shadows.

The current cold snap means frost persists in the shadows.

So the Lapierre maintains its aesthetic integrity year-round, a bike with no garment to protect its undercarriage. Just as Eddy Merckx intended.

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