Words by #TeamRutland member, Josh Wallis
Who Needs a Second Bike?
Why on earth do you have another bike that you only ride in the winter or on days when the conditions are less than ideal? A justifiable question and one I get asked all of the time. The truth is my winter bike is probably the most important bike I own, especially at this time of year. While my Venge is tucked away on my turbo trainer and my Bianchi Methanol is saved for the rare dry days on the trails, it's my trusty Specialized Diverge that I bought from Rutland Cycles a year ago that is my current go to steed.
My Diverge is the most basic one available. It has the aluminium frame, carbon fork and came with Shimano Claris. I had an old Ultegra groupset laying around at home so handed that over the the trusty Rutland mechanics to put on my Diverge and bought the accompanying Specialized Plug and Play mudguards, all finished of with my personal favourite Vittoria Corsa Control 2.0 Graphine 28mm tyres.
I'm now heading into my second winter on my Diverge and the bike has been faultless. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I personally opted for the cheapest in the range as I prefer to not have the future shock that the more expensive models come standard with. I know I'm in the minority in this and I know plenty of people that love Specialized's suspension system. But for some of the training sessions I do it can be a distraction I prefer to be without. Having a dedicated bike for the long winter miles is fantastic. The plug and play mudguard system works a treat when set up correctly and I would fully recommend leaving that job to the mechanics. Personally, I think it's the best-looking mudguard on the market, made from a black aluminium fitting snuggly to my tyre. There is also plenty of room to run my beloved 28mm tyres which is a must on UK roads.
All Year Round
Don't for one second think my diverge is just for the winter though. I leave this bike fully fendered up and ready to go rear round. I use it if ever the weather is dubious and it's a life saver when I inevitably break something on my Venge during the race season. It's a properly capable bike and with a set of deep section carbon wheels I would have no hesitation racing it if I needed to.
So do you need a winter bike/ training bike? Aside from the convenience they bring which is enough of a reason in itself don't forget to do the man maths and think about the wear and tear you are saving on your gucci summer bike, that undoubtedly uses expensive chainrings, cassettes, mechs and chains. So why not treat yourself this winter.
Specialized Diverge E5 2020
A dedicated gravel/winter bike, the Diverge will let you have fun when the road ends as well as provide you with the means to get there.
- Power Sport Saddle is comfortable all day long
- Axis Sport Disc wheelset is durable and light
- 35mm Roadsport tires with in-built flat protection
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