Indoor Training - Salty Mayhem

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Felt_Rider, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    My weekday training is indoors year round. Just seems to be my only option with my work schedule and living in an area where cycling is difficult even at a recreational level, much less training. I suspect all that frequent this thread for training have experienced the amount of sweat generated training at level even with cooling fans. Even during the winter when the room is cold and fans are running I leave a puddle at the base of the trainer or rollers.

    The struggle has been the amount of serious damage to my bikes. I recently sold my first road bike a 2004 Felt F4 and before selling the bike as consignment at a local shop I did some cleaning. Surficially the bike look rather clean, but all sorts of damage was done to components. Bolts on the stem were almost completely siezed, cables and housing had to be replaced, the stem had to be replaced as it was badly corroded internally, as well as, other bolts and connections were siezed. Got the bike cleaned up and it sold for a good price.

    Current day, my six13 has become my backup rain/indoor trainer bike and just in a couple of weeks the clear coat has started to blister up in several spots on the aluminum portion of the tubing and the appearance of etching in the aluminum shifters as well as some other damage. Just in a couple of sessions when I removed the front wheel skewer to let it dry out salt (white powder) was caked inside. Last night I loosened bolts on the stem and headset to clean and add grease to reduce sweat from penetrating and those were almost seized already. Just after a couple of weeks.

    My current practice of trying to keep these bikes from getting damaged is to wipe down after each session, but that only helps the surficial components and frame. It does not really help where sweat penetrates into components and seeks a path under the clear coat. The other measures are using a "bike thong" covering the top tube while training, but that really does little to help and I spray down the bike with a silicone based protectant like Pedro's Bike Lust and let that penetrate into components and dry on the frame. I think my next step is trying a dehumidifier to help because even the frame on my wife's treadmill sitting next to the rollers is rusting and only on the side where I am training. We live in the southeast so humidity stays high anyway so maybe it will help in drying out the room faster, but I know it is not the total solution for the bike.

    I am just amazed at how fast salty sweat can damage a bike. Really fast in my experience. I found one of my brake cables kind of sticking. It was sticking at the rear so it appears that sweat was running down the exposed cable into the rear housing. When I pulled the cable out a lot of white powder (salt residue I assume) came out of the housing and that was just after a few sessions on this bike.

    I am doing what I can short of completely taking the bike apart to clean and let it dry out before the next session. Training still means more to me than the equipment so I will keep going forward. If you have any other thoughts or ideas please share and if you are training indoors and not periodically loosening some of the bolts and cleaning you might want to check them just to make sure. On the Felt that I sold I was using an old cheap Velomax wheel for training (thank goodness). I didn't think to periodicaly remove the skewer from time to time and it seized inside the hub and could not be removed. I to throw that wheel in the trash. Argh!
     
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  2. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Indoor or outdoor, I deal with sweat damage as well. The primary issues are seized up brakes and derailleurs. My steel frame is taking a beating as well.

    During the off-season, I do half my indoor training on spin bikes - I let the facility deal with the maintenance. For the other half, I use my cheap bike with a retired wheelset. I also ride outdoors, but in the offseason there is more salt already on the roads than I can produce.

    I do give my bikes an ocassional rinse down. That is sufficient to clean out most salt. I also coat the moving of the more susceptible components with marine grease.
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    A dehumidifier would definitely help. Of course you might need to check the dehumidifier now and again for unwanted salt build-up.
     
  4. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I got the dehumidifier so at minimum I hope to make the wife happier if her adjacent fitness equipment is not rusting because of me. Thanks for the tip on checking for salt build up.
     
  5. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    [​IMG]



















    Just part of the damage due to sweat. This happened in just a matter of a couple of weeks and with wiping down the bike after training. Amazing how quickly this can happen. I have used this bike since 2007 in the worst kind of outdoor weather without any blemishes on the frame or degradation of the components.

    [​IMG]

    I saw a lot of complaints of people reviewing dehumidifiers that they are noisy or have an odor. The noise is nothing compared to the cooling fans I use during training. Pretty quiet actually.

    [​IMG]

    This is how much was collected in the tank following training (between 7 pm to 9 pm). I put a cap in so the water level can be seen easier.

    I am not sure how much this will help my bike with salt penetrating threads and components, but it may help dry out the room faster post training. One caveat the room was a little warmer when I returned to check the tank. I had read from other buyers that a dehumidifier can warm up a room a little.
     
  6. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Another consideration for sweat damage is shoes. Last winter I had to reglue the soles of 2 sets of cycling shoes - the sweat dissolved the glue I guess. Today when replacing worn cleats, the bolts on one shoe were nearly seized, the other shoe had thread locker on the bolts and were not corroded. Lesson learned - use thread locker or anti seize.

    Now for most indoor sessions or really sweaty outdoor rides, I wear cycling sandals.
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully it will help a lot. It'll do so by reducing the humidity in the room, the thus allowing more of your sweat to evaporate before it can drip off you and run into a bearing or summat. There's nothing to keep you from putting extra grease around bearings or the entry to bearings, on some aluminum surfaces, and etc. to act as a barrier to salty run-off. As for the room being warmer, that has to happen since the water has to give off heat in order to condense. It's the same reason why the temperature outside goes up slightly when it snows.
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I accidentally quoted myself and now can't get rid of the post. So, I instead offer a picture of a guy riding in the Tucson desert heat, where bikes don't suffer the effects of salt and corrosion. [​IMG]
     
  9. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Good thought. I have not checked my cleat screws for a long time since the cleats stay like new on the indoor shoes. I hope they are not seized.

    Part of my group did the 2011 El Tour de Tuscon and I was very impressed with pictures of the roads. Lots of benefits for a cyclist living there with good roads and low humidity. Another that comes to mind and would be my personal motto, "less mowing, more cycling." Seriously /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif With these pop up daily thunder storms in Atlanta, my grass needs to be mowed at least once a week and I really don't care to win, "best yard in the neighborhood" award as my neighbors can testify. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  10. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    ...and El Tour doesn't even take in any of the fun roads in Tucson. In fact, it take's in some of the bleak roads. Still, it's a fun ride--loads of riders.....thousands--worth doing if you ever get the chance.
     
  11. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    I would think you would want to run the dehumidifier BEFORE you train in that room--get that air good and dry before you ever start so that your sweating is more effective at cooling you because it will be evaporating instead of dripping off you. Then the salt stays on you instead of dripping onto the bike and everything around it.
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    It should ideally be run before, during, and after.
     
  13. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Last night was my first time running the dehumidifier.

    I have some digital electrical wall socket timers that I can set to turn the unit on before I get home. The unit can run continously if the environment allows and it has a garden hose connection that will gravity drain if the homeowner has the ability to drain (floor drain or otherwise) or else the tank has to be monitored and emptied. It does have a safety shutoff once the tank is full and/or two timer settings to shut off the unit to keep from flooding the house. Supposedly the coils can freeze if it is run below in temperatures below 66 F and potentially ruin the unit so I will have to change my routine in the late fall through spring. Looking at web reviews yesterday, dehumidifiers are not very reliable based on owner comments about breaking down after about a year or so. Of course just after the warranty expires so seemed a common grievance. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    Once I get everything setup I will have the unit turn on an hour before I get home, run it while training and have the unit timer turn off 4 hours past my bedtime. The tank last night was filling quickly just in the two hours that I ran it so I will probably empty the tank before going to bed.

    Big thing I think for me to do is continue to coat the bike with a silicone spray, grease as alienator mentioned and wiping down the bike as best possible. Then periodically cleaning and treating bolts, the bottom bracket and pull the brake cables to clean out the housings.

    Poor backup bike is looking like it has been afflicted with leprosy already.
     
  14. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    In "Jackass 3", they had a great technique for preventing sweat run-off. See the video below:
     
  15. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I really hope Steve-o's agent got him a better deal this time around.
     
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