After two years of winter commuting using my old Bianchi Nyala, last year I decided to buy a dedicated winter commuter. I picked up a Rockhopper A1 comp, aluminum frame, in great shape. My first aluminum frame - figured I wouldn't have to worry about rust, etc.
Edit: Rode it all last winter, during the extended polar vortex, aka the Winter from Hell. Worked great, got me home almost every time!
Two weeks ago, with the impending polar vortex, I tuned up the Rockhopper, and put on the studs, to prepare for my first real winter commute of the year. I finished my tuneup, drive-train sparkling like new, and was taking the bike out of the repair stand, when I notice THE CRACK. My head tube had about a 1" crack starting at the top cup.
So much for my first winter commute. I didn't have time to switch my studs to my "summer" bike; there went my 8 week unbroken streak of bike commutes.
Just tonight I disassembled the Rockhopper. A buddy of mine is a welder - I was going to let him try to fix the crack. Then I notice the SECOND CRACK on the bottom of the bottom bracket.
So I guess this frame is now going to recycling.
I kind of wondered how aluminum would hold up to Minnesota sub-zero winters. Now I know!
How's YOUR winter commuter running?!