Bottom Bracket and Heavy Sweater

Hi all:

Was very intrigued from the discussion on this topic and really dug into the BB world in the past few days: Best solution for a High-end Specialized Creaky Bottom Bracket

I’m a HEAVY sweater when doing aerobic training. Even with fans going I would be dripping sweat from my face and my arms about 10 minutes into any workout that’s higher than my endurance intensity. My shoes are always soaked by the end of a ride, which I deal with by throwing them into a washing machine every single day. For the head set I use a sweat cover and a towel, but for the BB I have no way to prevent sweat getting in there.

Most of the time I notice that when sweat will go down from my shorts along the frame down into my bottom bracket area. One way I’ve come up to deal with this is to wear both a base-layer and then a jersey on top basically to pre-soak all the sweat, but it gets pretty hot… Especially now in Beijing it’s getting warmer and warmer.

Now, my bike comes with a standard PF30 shimano Ultegra BB that came with the bike, but I’m wondering if there is a better option out there? I’ve noticed in the past that when the BB gets fluid or sand or whatever in there, it’ll start creaking. And I’m not mechanically versed enough to do the onsite maintenance. Plus I travel a ton, which means the last thing I want to worry about is my BB. But I need to get my training done every day!

I’ve read that Enduro XD-15 BBs have awesome weather seal, will that take my worry about BB durability away (plus the annoying creaks?)

WIth a powerful fan, falling sweat drops can’t reach the bottom bracket, if they even form and drop. The drops get caught mid air and blown away towards the back. Search the forums for Lasko or Cleva, depending on where you live (Lasko for US and Cleva otherwise).


Hi Hugo1:

Thanks for the suggestion - sometimes having a fan just isn’t an option (most of the time actually) because I’m constantly traveling and all I have is my omnium trainer and my bike bag.

That’s why I’m kind of reverting back to just have a super sweat proof BB to deal with the issue.

I have destroyed a front brake with trainer sweat. Now I just wrap stuff above things in toilet roll & change it every few weeks. I have a piece right now wrapped around the front brake cable and secured with a clothes peg.

In your case I think you are worrying about sweat going saddle, seat-post, frame and then bottom bracket. In that case I’d wrap some toilet paper around the seat post and secure it with a clothes peg. Then you can catch it before it gets near the BB.

I also have some electric shoe dryers to deal with the sweaty shoes. I’d guess putting them in the machine most days would eventually damage them. Just be aware some of them have dodgy electrics inside & be careful deciding which to buy. I disassembled mine with a screwdriver to double check. Don’t want to start a fire.

Have you thought of going with a cheap second bike for the trainer? I bought an old steel frame to avoid trashing my good bike(s) as after an early morning workout cleaning down the bike isn’t high on my priority list.

I know this means you’re not training on the same bike you ride on, but for me that didn’t matter as much.

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I did actually in the past when I have the space/places to do that. Now I travel with the National Rowing Team and it becomes quite impossible to have a dedicated trainer bike most of the time.

Again, I’ve tried almost everything that would not ruin my bearings and etc and came to the conclusion that I’ll need to find some bomb proof bearings.

I’d keep a close eye on your front derailleur more than anything! A mate I used to ride with was super heavy sweater too, and seized up 3 FDs in a year. Might be worth a try is to spray bike protector/frame polish around the BB area, just to repel some moisture? Also check your bottle cage mounts. Spray those too.
And also side note, a cheapish fan might not be enough for you? Help to look at a good turbo fan? I’ve got one, does a good job but only half of me stays dry. I’m like a dripping tap on the other. Few months and that side of the handlebars is corroding badly, thankfully that’s all haha.

Ahhh, that makes sense. As @Darbycurrie says, maybe some sort of protector might work. Although I use a cheap trainer only bike, I do put a ton of extra grease around the BB just in case.

Also, +1 for the front derailleur, I’ve trashed one and broken a gear cable in the last year.

Don’t neglect washing the bike either. Im not a huge sweater but I routinely give the bike a quick rinse. Either outside on the deck, in the tub, or a quick rinse with a water bottle after a session.

That’s the area I make sure I always rinse after a workout no matter what! Thanks for that suggestion. I’m going to be on a speedvagen this year, so sweat protector + grease on all the possible seizable parts will be the way to go it looks like.

As for fans - I think I just don’t have the luxury to bring one with me while I travel…

Ahh yes I missed your post above about your travels! Hopefully there’ll be bike shops near your stays to give it once over now and then. And guess the bonus is you’ll be well climatized for hot races :wink:

Phhh, just did williamson+3 without a fan, I think I’ve opened the fountain…

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Hambini bottom bracket? I believe the non racing version comes with fully sealed bearings that are high quality. The drag will be higher but you’ll get a good seal.

Also, I’m all for learning about how to do your own bike maintenance. Just a couple simple tools and you can replace your own bearings anytime.

Yep, looking into those Hambini BBs for my PF30 bike, ( he doesn’t have BSA, which means I’ll have to hunt for something else). Got the Silca new wipes that I think is going to be a staple in my bike bag for quite some time…

The universe has answered! Well do hope It’s available nearby you

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Weren’t “Bottom Bracket and Heavy Sweater” the two finalists in series 7 of Robot Wars?

damn this must be it!