Those indoor workouts really put us through the wringer, don't they? We're not playing around here! All that sweat goes somewhere...maybe you've noticed it dripping off your bike frame and pooling on the floor beneath your trainer. Yikes.
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your frame, your components, and your flooring from the acidic effects of your sweat.
The simplest and cheapest method of protection is a hand towel (or two or three, depending on how often you need to change towels) draped over your bars and along the top tube, in easy reach to wipe down your brow, face, arms, and hands, catching those drips before they hit your bike frame. It also protects your bar tape and bars.
If you want to go fancy, there are specially-made sweat guards you can install from seat post to bars to catch all those salty drops.
Regardless of which method you choose, it's a good idea to frequently wipe down your frame, bars/shifters/brake levers, headset area, seat post, and cranks arms. And don't forget to clean and lube that chain, especially if you have a direct drive trainer. Yes, your sweat goes that far! Not to mention dust and the normal wear and tear of cranking out those watts and miles.
If you have external cable routing, it's a good idea to lube the cables periodically wherever they're exposed. Bu go lightly, because you don’t want the cables to gum up, either.
To protect my flooring, I've found that rubber car floor mats do the trick under the trainer, and they're easy to take outside and hose off. For a cheaper option, lay large towels under your bike to help make cleanup easier.
Periodically check your Quick Release or Thru Axel at the trainer attachment to be sure it's still tight and secure. While you're at it, wipe down the metal parts of the trainer to keep corrosion at bay.
My go-to product for bike cleaning is Pedro's Bike Lust, and I use it on the trainer, too. (I'm not affiliated with Pedro's at all; I just love the product.)
Even if your indoor bike is a dedicated trainer bike or a spare, keeping it in good working order helps maintain your training momentum and prevent those pesky mechanicals from interfering with the fun!
About the Author
Kate Johnson is a USA Cycling Level 2 certified coach and a TrainingPeaks certified coach, and she has earned her power certification through Peaks Coaching Group. She has over ten years of experience with in-person coaching, from the ultimate beginner who's never been on a bike before to age group world champions in Ironman and ITU Triathlon.