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An informal poll

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

I should set up a proper poll, but I have other demands on my time. I have, until now, mostly avoided riding the Trucker in rain or snow. It’s the nicest bike I have, and I worry about subjecting it to those conditions. However, I put fenders on it not long after I bought it, fully intending to ride in the rain/snow. And if/when I eventually go on tour, I’m sure that’s something I’ll have to deal with. So my question is, should I ride the Trucker through the winter, or revert back to my old mountain bike? The old mountain bike is nice in that I can put big knobby tires on it, and I don’t mind if it gets road gunk/salt/etc on it, but it’s heavy (even compared to the Trucker) and it doesn’t feel as good to ride it.

Poll: Should I ride the Long Haul Trucker through the winter?


  1. Bikes were made to be ridden! Ride it in any and all conditions. The bike will love you for it, anyway.
  2. No way, are you crazy? That bike is too nice to subject it to that kind of abuse.

What are your thoughts?

14 Responses to “An informal poll”

  1. doc Says:

    Ride whichever bike is best for the conditions at hand. That being said, as nice as Truckers are, they are meant to be ridden. If conditions get consistently bad, you could consider a pair of studded tires, or a set of 29er skins. I think the LHT can take up to 45mm without fenders, and something slightly smaller if you have the fenders pushed out all of the way.

  2. Jeremy Says:

    That’s a great question. One I’m actually dealing with myself. Only thing is I have less than 20 miles on my new LHT, so I’m not so sure that I want to flog it through a winter without getting some miles on a nice new bike. I don’t think mine will see any action this year. I’ve already got 2 other designated winter bikes (one studded and one not) and I’ve just recieved a set of crazy studded tires for extreme conditions. Maybe next year, after I get the LHT dial in and some miles and scratches on it, she might just see a little snow. Until then, she’s loving the life of a spoiled bike, in the house, while the other bikes have to sleep in the -25C. I’m interested in seeing what you end up doing. Cheers.

  3. Eric Says:

    I say ride it if it’s good to ride. I’m avoiding taking my folding bike out in the mess, but that’s just because I store it in my apartment, so that would get messy fast. But the other bike gets used regardless.

  4. Bone Says:

    The only real issue would be with PennDOT salting the roads and the salt contributing to corrosion. It doesn’t really snow all that much here, and with fenders and mudflaps, the amount of slat getting on your bike is going to be minimal.

    Maybe you’ll have to replace the trucker’s frame in 20 years instead of 30, but who gives a damn?

  5. furiousball Says:

    i’d say take it out for a trial run in some nasty conditions and reevaluate.

  6. Sarah Says:

    It’s the wife here.

    Eric, his bike lives in the dining room. Use a blanket, tarp, piece of carpet left behind by your crazy landlord, etc. and you’ll protect the carpet.

    Bone, next time Michael tries to give me his “the amount of bikes I need is the amount I have plus one” logic, I will tell them that he must wait TWENTY YEARS.

    My two cents – Ride it when it’s less than ideal, sure, but not when it’s god-awful out. That bike is sexy and should be babied. And take extra time to clean it when you get back instead of letting the slop just drip off on it’s own. 😉

  7. Pete Says:

    I’m a big believer in “a bike for every purpose.” I have a winter bike and ride it faithfully. The “good” bikes never see snow.

  8. Doug Says:

    I agree with Pete. I have a dedicated winter bike. And I like to keep at least one bike nice and shiny and new. My LHT won’t see winter slop except as a back-up if the other bikes break down. Of course, I take into consideration here that winter can last six months. I also don’t like to clean bikes. If I rode my LHT, I’d have to commit to cleaning it more often than I do my winter bike.

  9. Tim Says:

    Good Q. As you know, I have “several” bikes. To be honest I wouldn’t/don’t ride the Bleriot in the muck, assuming that the Bleriot is the standard-bearer of the stable. In this kind of frozen gunk I’m inclined to ride the beat-up Trek SS, or if I need gears, something else.

    As for that fine wife of yours, understand that it took my fetching bride several years to come to an understanding that a happy husband is one with a new bike on the way. 🙂

  10. Dave Says:

    Follow your gut. If you ask yourself that question, which bike first pops to mind before it has a chance to apply logic this or reason that to the question?

    From your poll intro, I’d say you’re leaning towards the Trucker. Why else would you have put fenders on it?

    As an aside, have you looked at Google Forms for polls? Once you know how, it takes about 5 minutes to set one up. Figuring out how takes just about as long. Just a thought.

  11. Brad Says:

    Let me offer up a couple interesting viewpoints:

    A story I was told or read or was relayed to me me in some form has always stuck with me.

    I do not remember the intricate ins and outs of the tale, but the message never fades. Basically a guy is always given heaps of crap by his buddies over how clean his bike always is. They tease that he cleans it after every ride. Goes on for some time. Finally one of his buddies asks “what gives with always cleaning bike?!” He answers simply, I would rather it be clean from having been dirty than never having been dirty at all.

    And on a personal note I believe a bikes true beauty is in the history of its journeys, and the story told by the chips, dings and scrapes it wears. Never by the show room shine. Where others will just see chipped paint, you will see a the trail, road, path you were riding.

    Besides, it says SURLY on the frame. It’ll take it.

  12. Jon Grinder Says:

    I have to agree with Brad. A bike is merely an object until it is wrapped in memories. Then, it becomes a part of your life.

    Don’t abuse it, but do “use” it. It has fenders. It’s an LHT. Ride it. Otherwise it’s like a knife that you never to use to cut anything. It has a nice edge; but to what purpose?

  13. Bob Says:

    Bikes are made to be ridden and cared for. Every time I return from riding my bike in nasty weather, I give my bike a quick clean and service. Then once a week I thoroughly clean the derailleurs, take off the chain, soak it and lube it. A bike can be well ridden or beaten and maintenance is the difference.

  14. John Speare Says:

    I say ride it. If you have full fenders with flaps, salted or otherwise chemical’d roads won’t hurt it. And you won’t have to go through the whole cleaning routine every time either.

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