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Warning: Sweat and Gears(6 posts)

Warning: Sweat and GearsSilas_Greenback
Sep 25, 2002 1:08 PM
After ten years of faithful service, my front derailleur started to act up last night, and I tried all of the usual remedies without success. I had always been puzzled why it had rust on the inside of the cage, why my bike frame was clean, ditto my bottom side of the bike and chain, but my new crankset, the clamp holding the front derailleur, and various other parts looked so worn. I generally ride on good roads in New England, and these parts had not been exposed to sand or salt. Went to bike shop, and I learned that I was wrong again. Salt to be sure, but coming from above, not below. In short, though I knew the risk to a headset of sweat on a bike mounted on a trainer, I did not realize that I was dripping perspiration and therefore salt on my components while riding out of doors and thereby corroding them. I will do the best I can to restore the original luster with fine steel wool, but everything has to be dried off from now on after every ride. I pass this along for those who, like me, are unaware of the sweat risk. I do not recall ever seeing mention of these issues in any of the standard literature. I hope this proves helpful to someone else on this forum.
You are not aloneKerry
Sep 25, 2002 4:15 PM
A guy we ride with rusted out two steel frames over the course of 5 years. All of his aluminum parts are corroding (went through an Ultegra crankset in 4 seasons). Both in terms of quantity of sweat and what I assume to be pH or salt content, I would never let this guy crew on a steel ship! Plus, he has a "certain distain" for regular maintenance, so things don't get wiped down very often. He is on a Ti frame now so at least he has something on which to hang the replacement parts.
re: Warning: Sweat and Gears--More Sweat as a Cure?Silas_Greenback
Sep 26, 2002 4:16 AM
Out of curiosity, I looked through the usual bike catalogs to see if there were any cleaning products on the market to deal with sweat-induced or other corrosion. Putting to one side the frequent washing of the bike with soap and water, I could not find anything offered that addressed this issue at all. So it is a light sentence of hard labor with fine grain steel wool and a fine cleaner with soap to undo as much damage as possible and daily wipings and frequent washings for preventive maintenance. Ironically more sweat will cure the problem of orginal sweat, just as long as the new dose misses the bike and its parts. And I know that I am not alone in having this problem, just slow to be awakened to it after over twenty years of cycling.
Simple Green..DINOSAUR
Sep 26, 2002 8:53 AM
I wipe down my bikes after every ride with full strength Simple Green. I had an old steel Motobecane that rusted out the tt cable guides because of neglect. However I'm beginning to wonder if I should delute the Simple Green as it might be stripping off the wax on the paint job. I sprayed some Simple Green on a small area the hood of my car and it removed the wax. Any thoughts?
You wax your bike?Matno
Sep 29, 2002 10:41 AM
I don't know of paint that has wax "built in" so I'm not sure what you're talking about. If you really do wipe down your bike after every ride, I think you would have noticed pretty quickly if it was doing anything to your paint. Most paints that I know of (on bikes) are not affected by Simple Green at all...
I've witnessed something like this, and it's one more reason.....Stinky Hippie
Sep 26, 2002 9:38 AM
....I wear full fingered gloves for roadriding. Here's the story: I recently stopped by my local shop and saw my mechanic friend disemboweling a set of Record ergo shift levers. Seems the salt from his sweaty hands had coroded the internals. Being that I constantly have sweat dripping from my fingers when using your standard cutoff cycling gloves, I now use my trusty Fox downhill gloves. As an added bonus, I get some great looks from the local bike snobs:)

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