Wipe sweat off bike after each use on trainer

During the winter months I use my road bike on my trainer. I have a fan and have the setup near a window for decent cooling but I still sweat more then I do on my outside rides. I cover the bike with a towel to protect the bike from sweat but still notice damp spots and drops on the bike from time to time.

I have begun cleaning the bike with a damp cloth after each use and sometimes rubbing alcohol.

What would you recommend?

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I would at least spray it down with water once or week or so to make sure your dissolving away all that salt. I think something as simple as just spraying it down with a water bottle or two of water would be enough.

Another option is to use “cockpit wipes” like Armorall wipes to give a bit more thorough wipe down.

And change your handlebar tape, that stuff gets nasty.

Using neat IPA might eventually start to degrade the clearcoat - don’t hold me to that though.

To be honest, I’m pretty sure DCRainmaker touched on this having never used anything to protect a bike nor experienced any issues as a result.

If you were concerned though then I’d use a synthetic sealant that you would on a car (or a natural wax - just it’s more time consuming to apply). A synthetic sealant (AutoGlym Extra Gloss Protection for example) is just a case of wiping on, leaving to dry and then buffing off.

Water & sweat should bead off and in the general course of cleaning & drying it’ll be quicker too. It feels super slippery too not to mention makes it shiny & glossy :face_with_raised_eyebrow::drooling_face:

I’m a bike mechanic and from my experience I’d say PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE wipe your bike down and give it a proper clean every now and then. If your bike sits on the turbo all winter, then perhaps every 6 weeks just loosen your stem bolts and take your headset apart, give it a clean and regrease, and put it back together. Or use a proper sweatguard.

I’ve had to declare forks as a write off due to the effects of salt damage around the steerer tubes, and when you have to use a mallet to remove a fork from a frame because its so well stuck in there, it’s not very pleasant.

I guess it depends on your personal sweat/salt content, but it can get real nasty in there!



I have a bunch of hand towels that I use for each ride. I fold one over the handlebars during the ride. Sweat runs down my arms and onto the towel mostly and I can use the towel to wipe my face when needed. This catches 90% of the sweat I would guess, the rest drips on the floor or on the top tube. After the ride, I use the towel just to give the seat, top tube and handlebars a quick wipe. Every 2 weeks I’ll give the bike a proper wash.

Baby wipes.


I have a matte finish carbon frame and use baby wipes, as necessary. Otherwise, just a dry towel while whispering sweet nothings to Baby :slight_smile:


I have a Canyon with one of the Arcos headsets with an hole where the stem cap should be. I dread to think what the inside of my forks look like now.

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+1 Baby wipes. Just make sure when you buy the massive bulk pack, you get the NON-SCENTED ones!

Also, if you want to make the clearcoat look nice & shiny before any event, a small spray of WD40 onto paper towel and wipe the frame all over - gives it a nice showroom condition shine.

Make sure you don’t get it on your brake track/discs/pads though!


I have a dedicated trainer bike based on a steel frame from the late '70s, so I am concerned about this. I have a spray bottle of camellia oil, which is used by Japanese woodworkers to prevent rust on their cutting tools. I know the bike shop uses Boesheild T9 to clean bikes.

WD-40 should be used with caution on certain plastics. At my company we use it to get the machines shiny for trade shows (I’m not inte cycling industry). After a few trade shows the plastic will be really brittle.

Edit: I don’t know which plastics are typically used on bikes/bike parts. WD-40 is hydrocarbon based and is destructive to PC and PS in particular. These are cheap materials and I doubt that they are used widely on bikes. But it’s something to be aware of.


minimalist does have a point here.

Personally, I looked up automotive clearcoats and the general consensus I could find from ‘the internet’ (code: not actual paint experts) was that it was fine. On that basis, I did a spot trial and have now been doing it for about 5-6 years on both my current frame and my previous frame - with no apparent ill effects.

Also, I don’t do it that frequently - only a couple of times a month. The amount that goes on is also VERY minimal… it’s not like I spray the whole bike with the stuff then wipe it down. Literally, a small spray on a square of paper towel will do the whole bike.

However, i’m no paint/clearcoat expert. As the TR crew would say, ‘this is just my experience’.

Funny I was thinking the same thing this eve on my Canyon

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Not sure if other folk have already said but a simple set of head and wrist sweat bands work wonders


I wheel mine outside every few days and give it a 10 second spray with the hose.

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Do wipe down your bike. My mechanic blames this on sweat.

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I was going to say the same thing. Good Ol’ 1980’s style sweatbands reduced the amount of sweat reaching the bike by probably 80% or more. Most notably sweat coming from my head. Plus they are dirt cheap on amazon and tons of colors to choose from.

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Baby wipes after every ride, especially the seat. And then a more thorough clean after completing each plan.

And I Pledge my bike. Lemon fresh hmmmmm

Just don’t sweat, problem solved :wink: