So I had plans this AM of pulling out my old Peugeot for the winter, having neglected it after buying my current favorite commuter, the Bianchi Castro Valley (steel frame, relevancy to come), this summer.
Actually, I DID pull it out, pumped the tires, adjusted the brakes (including the new Kool Stops that I hadn't yet gotten a chance to test), and lubed the chain. I headed out for work on it... and HATED it (drop bars too narrow & far away from the stem shifters, frame too small, cranks too short, toe clips too shallow, brakes too squishy, heel-strike on my panniers...).
I turned around after a few blocks to go get my beloved Bianchi.
That leaves me with a dilemma. I've got an older Trek Antelope 830 MTB (chromoly) that I plan to put some Nokians on for the really nasty days here in Mpls, Minnesota, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm gonna prefer the ride (700c tires) and position on the Bianchi. Plus it has a nice generator hub that I now consider to be essential for riding in the dusk/dark (even plan to get a 26in wheel built up on a generator for the MTB, assuming some needed fixes to that bike are possible).
My question is this: How many would go out and buy/upgrade an older bike/beater to ride as a winter commuter vs. waxing & greasing up a newer guaranteed-to-be-nice ride, and then just spending that cash on repairs in the spring? I haven't commuted all winter before, and neither have I spent so much on a new bike since I got that Trek in the early/mid 90's.
Do the winters (Texans need not reply ) really damage a bike so much that I should hang up my Bianchi and find a different road bike for the faster feel during the less-icy days? I DID also get a set of 700c Nokians as well... What say you all?