Between wheel flex, tyre wear and sweat damage, hard smart trainer sessions can take a toll on much more than your legs. Your equipment may also deteriorate if left unchecked. And there’s nothing worse than destroying a set of carbon wheels or an expensive bottom bracket. Here we’ve got some invaluable tips and gear recommendations to keep your bike in tip-top shape on a smart trainer.
1) USE A SPECIAL TRAINER TYRE
To avoid prematurely wearing out your rear tyre, there are several solutions. Many cyclists use a separate rear wheel fitted with a trainer tyre. At Tacx, our trainer tyres use specially designed rubber that won’t overheat and last longer. They also have the added advantage of being quieter than standard road or mountain bike tyres. Finally, they come in a bright blue design so you won’t accidentally use them on outdoor rides.
2) DISENGAGE THE ROLLER WHEN IT’S NOT IN USE
For wheel-on trainers, always disengage the roller when it’s not in use. Having a spot of constant pressure exerting on the tyre will encourage the development of flat spots.
3) REPLACE THE SKEWER
On indoor trainers, rear skewers must handle extreme amounts of stress. This is especially common if you’re up and out of the saddle forcefully churning out the watts. Bent skewers often result, so at Tacx we’ve developed some solutions. Our E-thru trainer axles for mountain bikes come available in various sizes to ensure you’ll find the match for your Tacx classic trainer. While for our direct-drive trainers, we’ve also developed quick-release options that you can easily swap out.
4) ROTATE THE FRONT WHEEL
While back wheel tyres can quickly wear out on the smart trainer, the front wheel also takes a hit. Riding out of the saddle distributes a load through certain spokes. To avoid uneven fatigue within the wheel structure, rotate it slightly each time you use your trainer to even out the stress.
5) PROTECT YOUR FLOOR
Our Tacx training mat isn’t intended for yoga, but rather for floor protection. When placed under your trainer, it provides grip for your trainer and prevents it from creeping forward. It also helps muffle noise and protect your floor from the inevitable pool of sweat. Anyone with a wooden floor in their pain cave will benefit tremendously from the water-repellent foam that’s 6mm thick.
6) GET THE BIGGEST FAN MONEY CAN BUY
While a good fan will go some way to restrict sweating, you should aim to protect exposed bike parts by wiping down your bike and equipment after a session.
7) COLLECT THE DRIP WITH A SWEAT COVER
Our sweat cover helps protect your bike from any corrosion due to dripping sweat. Complete with an absorbent fabric to catch and retain perspiration, it comes in a simple easy-to-fit design suitable for any bike.
8) PROTECT YOUR SMARTPHONE
Whether you’re listening to some beats or following a workout on your phone, then our sweat covers for smartphones protect both your phone and bike. With a pocket for your smartphone, it’ll keep it safe and dry while still allowing for full use of the phone during exercise.
For those who want a complete solution, then why not check out our sweat set? Complete with a sweat cover and ultra-absorbent towel, it’s sure to keep both you and your bike dry and protected.
9) PREVENT HANDLEBAR CORROSION
Certain bike builds still utilise aluminium for its beneficial properties. Unlike carbon, aluminium is subject to corrosion when it comes into contact with sweat. While most exposed areas of aluminium on bikes are anodised for protection (headsets, top tube, and handlebars), any scratches can lead to a weakened structure in the most critical areas over time.
Place a towel over the handlebars or wear gloves to prevent any corrosion. Sweat will eventually make its way through bar tape and into any underlying metal. When you change your bar tape, always inspect the bars for any corrosion.
10) WIPE UP AFTER EXERCISE
The joys of e-racing mean that many of us spend even more time on the trainer at intensity. And during such sessions, sweat will always trickle down to the nooks and crannies that lie lower down on your bike. From bottle cages to bottom brackets, it can wreak havoc if left unchecked. Make sure to wipe these important areas down after each hard ride.
From the constant strain to sweating, your wheels, skewers, handlebars, headsets, and bottom brackets can all take a battering. But with a few simple techniques and a few gadgets, you can avoid the heartache of expensive bills by caring for your bike.
© header image by Robert Gesink – instagram.com/robertgesink