Crazy Idea (?): Protect Indoor Bike Handlebar with Shrink Wrap Under Bar Tape

Is this a crazy (useless) idea to protect aluminum handlebars for an indoor bike: cover the handlebars with shrink wrap, and then put bar tape on top of the shrink wrap

My thinking is that the shrink wrap would protect the bar from sweat corrosion.

Am I crazy?

1 Like

Sounds like it could be helpful. I personally just have a towel that sits over the bars and it’s always been fine.

3 Likes

Paint.

Sweat will get under the shrink wrap over time, corrosion may even be worse. I use a dedicated trainer bike with no bartape and drape a towel to mop up any drips.

5 Likes

I guess I should have shared the article for that pic I placed in the hotter than hot thread. They cover the broader issue well and give some options.

As above, the shrink wrap idea has been done before and can make things worse in some cases rather than better.

4 Likes

If you were willing to strip tape to put plastic over the metal, why not just strip tape to wipe down bar every now and then? Plastic is a bad idea bc if moisture gets under it, it won’t be able to escape as easily, so you make the corrosion less likely to occur, but more severe if it does occur

Maybe just put cheap bars on.

Get a roll of Heat Shrink Wrap. Probably 35mm will work. Heat the wrap and then apply bar tape. Packing tape might work also.

1 Like

Or expensive carbon bars.

In a related note Silca just did a video on wheel corrosion on the trainer: https://youtu.be/odiAHc2pzJs?si=GhnUEQTWei19iGbV

1 Like

Thanks everyone for the input. I’m pretty much stuck with AL bars as I run 38 cm bars, and finding those in carbon means shelling out $$$$$$

I didn’t mention I have a Stages SB20 smartbike, so I’m looking for a reasonably priced solution

AliExpress is the perfect place to get indoor bike carbon handlebars. Cheap way to experiment with different widths too.

2 Likes

Some people wrap their bars with electrical tape, then put bar the over top. I would still use a towel to limit the saturation

I’d presume any plastic (plastic-dip, heat shrink, wraps), silicone (tape, the super thin exercise bands you can wrap around), or paint is going to either have ingress gaps or will inherently be porous.

Take the tape off and just drape a towel over it. Remove towel at end of ride and wipe bars dry. Been doing this for years and there’s no sign of corrosion. New tape goes on in the spring.

1 Like

I’ve tried the towel on the handlebar, and I’m not a fan especially with my fan. I’m probably over thinking this problem for my setup, as I don’t have to worry about the handlebar potentially failing during an outdoor ride

1 Like

If you are sweating so much that this is a concern then it’s way too hot in your pain cave.

At normal house temperatures with two big fans going, I don’t sweat more than a few drips down my forehead which I catch with a towel a few times per ride. And this was during a 2 hour ride with 4x20 at 95%. I don’t even need the towel for just an endurance ride.

Besides that it’s completely unnecessary to protect aluminum handlebars. They also probably anodized.

I just do 2 layers of protection + towel I rest / use on top tube.

  • Thong looking thing that you can buy on amazon. I have a Rockbros one in this image

  • Towel on top of it that never moves. Covers levers, handlebar, stem, headset cap / bolt area.

  • Then a Towel that rests on top of the Rockbros thing over top tube area that I use.

1 Like

Not necessarily. I for example have my setup in my wayyyy colder than inside the house garage. Then I have 2 very strong fans (that used to keep me cool in the middle of the desert in July when I used to race motos) pointed at me on top of that.

I still make a GIANT puddle on hard training rides although I don’t physically feel like I’m overheating.

Some of us just sweat more.

4 Likes

Salt water will corrode anodised aluminium. Especially when a galvanic cell is formed between the bar and the steel clamps of the brake levers.

1 Like

I have 2ea Lasko-type fans blowing into my face. They sit on a shelf approx 2 feet away from my face. Another Lasko just in front of the front wheel and angle up into my chest. There is too much wind for any sweat to fall straight down. I also have several headbands at the ready and change them mid-workout as needed. Bottom line: no sweat hits my handlebars or wheels.

:100:% It’s amazing how some assume that because they don’t, then nobody should. I drip sweat on z2 rides with two Lasko fans, two smaller fans, dehumidifier and only in a bib liner. SS workouts always results in a puddle on the floor.

2 Likes