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Corrosion From Sweat??(12 posts)

Corrosion From Sweat??RutterMan
Mar 11, 2002 12:25 PM
Take a look at this frame which is said to have corrosion caused by sweat. Has this happened to anybody else? I can't imagine this happening just from sweat, unless of course the ph balance of your sweat is way off.....
re: Corrosion From Sweat??Bigburlymtnman
Mar 11, 2002 12:37 PM
It hasn't happened to me, but I have a friend who has to put a towel on his top tube whenever he's on a trainer. If he doesn't have the towel on, then his sweat does start to corrode the top tube in little speckles. The sweat doesn't corrode the frame when he's out on the road, only on the trainer. It probably has something to do with what kind of material the frame's made of. I don't know how it works, it's weird though.
re: Corrosion From Sweat??firstrax
Mar 11, 2002 1:51 PM
I havent had frame corosion but my cables have seized up from sweat. This only happens in the winter when I am on the rollers for weeks on end.
Mar 11, 2002 2:24 PM
I sweat alot. Much to the dismay of my riding buddies. I had to repair the paint on my compact pro on the bottom of the top tube. It came from use on the trainer and being to lazy to wipe off the sweat. It looks like the guy may have attempted a repair and did a lousy job.

I was in a stage race with a guy who had a Fondriest. He went down and I noticed him after the race. He had a big swath of paint missing on his seat tube in the same place as this one. I thought it was from the fall but he said the paint just fell off shortly after he got the frame.
Mar 11, 2002 2:57 PM
makes a product called something like the sweat-net. I use it when I'm on the rollers, as I tend to sweat like a pig. I mean, I never had problems before getting the thing--I'd just wipe the stuff off with a damp rag after each session--but it's cheap and easy and it covers the headset and the top tube without interfering with anything.
re: Corrosion From Sweat??Chen2
Mar 11, 2002 3:37 PM
A previous bike of mine developed deep pitting on the crank arms from sweat. I've seen this on several bikes. The higher end components seem to be more sweat resistent. Now I wipe the sweat off of everything on the bike. Maybe it's just my sweat, but it's destoyed the lenses on two pair of Oakley sun glasses. Anyway, it doesn't seem to bother carbon fiber.
re: Corrosion From Sweat??Steve Bailey
Mar 11, 2002 3:38 PM
I had an '89 Klein Quantum get replaced under warranty due to sweat corrosion on the brake cable guides on the top tubes. It was a 6 year old frame and it wasn't a freebee, but it was a lot cheaper then a new Klein frame, so - Yes, you can get sweat corrosion on - at least an aluminum frame.

Saw the same thing on 2 C-Dales.

Personal chemistryKerry
Mar 11, 2002 4:59 PM
We have a riding buddy who sweats profusely, and I swear his sweat is pH 2.0 or something. He's rusted through at least 3 steel frames and ruined lots of components. While he doesn't maintain his bike all that well, his corrosion experience is way in excess of what you would expect.
re: Big Sweat.guido
Mar 11, 2002 5:32 PM
Like Kerry, I knew a guy who used to rust up his frames from sweat. He'd lose 6 pounds during a three hour ride. The corrosion was worst on the top tube cable guides, and underneath the top tube, but the bottom bracket was also pretty bad.

The Fondriest frame pictured looks pretty good compared to what I've seen. The paint scraped off the seat tube was probably done by the front derailleur clamp. The corrosion on the top tube is only around the cable guides. The frame isn't nearly dead, but is this frame worth 450.?
Sweat will rust steelwink
Mar 11, 2002 5:45 PM
This will happen with a steel bike. My dad has a Schwinn Paramount - steel fram. The seat tube rusted out and Schwinn replaced the entire frame. That was a couple of years ago. Same problem again, unfortunately Schwinn is not around to honor their guarantee anymore. He rides about 4000 mils per year and is 71 years old. Sweat will do a number on steel.
Riding Buddy.Len J
Mar 12, 2002 5:14 AM
Trashed his Lightspeed classic with Dura Ace from his sweat.

Damage included the following:

Down tube braze ons & Cable stops corroded clear thru.
(LS had to work closely with LBS to send him replacements & walk him thru how to fix.)

Pitted the hell out of the cranks.

Dura Ace front & rear Der were so corroded that they had to be replaced.

It took the LBS almost 2 weeks to repait the damage. It was amazing when you looked at it close how much corrosion there was. Of course, riding with this guy, I have never seen anyone sweat like he does & I don't think he ever cleaned his bike after a ride. He does now though.

common problem with used bikesbianchi
Mar 12, 2002 6:29 AM
This is the one disadvantage with steel frames, in my view. Typically the corrosion occurs on the bottom of the top tube, near the juncture with the head tube. Sweat apparently collects here and dries while you're riding. I've had several old steel bikes develop rusty patches in this area, but it can be fixed if you catch it early, sand off the old paint and rust, and repaint it. I've since learned to clean my steel frames regularly, particularly the bottom side of the top tube.

My brother actually had an old Nishiki steel frame (which he bought used from me) rust through the frame and break in this area. He sweats A LOT, and has since gone to a carbon frame. For people who sweat a lot, carbon or ti frames are probably a better option than steel. But if you keep your bike clean, you should have nothing to worry about.