Muc-Off Sweat Protect is a protective spray formula designed to protect bikes and components from corrosion, seizure and similar nasties. It could best be described as a mothballing agent, marketed for bikes on indoor trainers and gym equipment, though I've also tried it as a masking agent for winter bikes. It's quick and convenient to apply and seems effective. The same can be said for cheaper automotive products, although the Sweat Protect does cure clear so it's less obvious.
- Pros: Quick and convenient to apply, seemingly effective
- Cons: Pricey
According to Muc-Off, it uses 'state of the art anti-corrosion additives and inhibitors to provide class leading protection against corrosion'.
Bikes serving long periods on indoor trainers can succumb to all sorts of nasties. Salty sweat can eat through paint and leave tiny holes in top tubes, and stems – particularly old-fashioned quill types – can seize solid, as can rim brake callipers.
In common with other waxy type 'mothballing' sprays, Sweat Protect promises to drive out moisture and stop existing rust and corrosion. It contains a UV visible dye to illustrate coverage, and each application is reckoned effective up to three months.
How to apply
Muc-Off recommends treating recipient bikes/surfaces with its anti-bacterial equipment cleaner first. In practice, a quick sudsy bucket wash and towel dry is fine.
Give the Sweat Protect aerosol a vigorous shake, then spray to the desired areas from around 30cm. I found leaving it to marinate in a jug or bucket filled with hot water improves flow rate quite considerably, and results in a much thinner coat that you can build upon to suit contexts. For example, on chrome fork blades you simply want a thin, even coating that forms a protective skin, while I've tended to build thicker coats on quill type stems, headsets and seatposts, which can quickly tarnish and, if left unchecked on a turbo trainer 'slave' bike, seize solid.
Wipe any excess from seals and other rubberised components.
Curing depends on air temperatures, but as a rough guide I'd give it at least 30 minutes or so. Once cured, it forms a predominantly dry, clear skin.
As well as a friend's turbo trainer slave bike, I've applied a thin coating to my working bike's electroplated fasteners, trailer hitches and so on (the merest hint of a wintry puddle can turn these freckly, which PTFE-infused maintenance sprays struggle to keep at bay).
I also applied a light coating to my workstand's steel column and some frame repair tooling – tooling that, thankfully, doesn't see much action.
Three weeks in, the Sweat Protect remains stoical and unaffected by 90-minute daily sessions on the turbo trainer bike. The areas treated also show no signs of corrosion/oxidisation and the machine has not been washed, waxed or otherwise pampered during this period.
Brake callipers, stems, seatposts and so on remain fully mobile and, unlike automotive products, Sweat Protect has remained filmy to touch.
Despite regular exposure to salty, wet and wintry roads, my Univega's fasteners have remained taint-free, and as a bonus, those already corroded have cleaned up nicely – as they have in the past, to be fair, when treated with Waxoyl or similar automotive product.
Ultimately, there's little doubt that Sweat Protect does what it's claimed to, and to a decent standard. If time is short and you simply need to hop on and off the trainer, it's a good option – and certainly cheaper than repairing or replacing salt/sweat-damaged or seized components.
You can buy aerosol-based automotive products cheaper, which in my experience are as effective, but they do produce a slightly yellowy aesthetic.
I'd also employ a sweat net to protect the top tube and flooring, and give moving parts a quick shot of PTFE spray.
Effective and convenient protectant spray but expensive compared with alternatives
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Muc-Off Sweat Protect
Size tested: 300ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Muc Off Says "Introducing the ultimate protection for your indoor trainer or gym equipment. Muc-Off Sweat Protect uses state of the art anti-corrosion additives and inhibitors to provide class leading protection against corrosion. It even works on surfaces that already have rust and corrosion...it simply stops rust in its tracks!
"It drives out moisture and leaves a protective anti-corrosive layer on your bike's frame, metal parts, and paintwork to keep the harmful effects of moisture and sweat at bay."
My feelings are that it does what it says on the tin and very capably, though it's quite expensive relative to waxy automotive protectants.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The end of corrosion caused by sweat on your training equipment!
For use all over indoor trainers and all gym equipment
Prevents and stops corrosion on metal surfaces
Penetrates and protects
Rust preventing / anti corrosion
Integral tracer dye – aids accurate application to ensure total protection
Easy to apply using our 'Genius Straw'
Protection lasts up to 3 months*
* We recommend you wash your bike and reapply Sweat Protect periodically to ensure total protection.
Seems a very effective mothballing protectant spray, quite versatile too.
Not at the three-month stage yet, but no call for topping up/more intensive reapplication.
Expensive compared with traditional automotive protectants. However, it's less sticky (and grime-enticing), does its job and seems durable.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, it's a very useful "blow'n'go" formula for bikes doing long stints on the turbo trainer or entering storage, or for masking pretty winter bikes from the ravages of wet, salty roads.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Convenient, versatile (I've even deployed it as an internal frame preserve) and, thus far, seemingly effective.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Dislike is too strong a word, but it's relatively pricey compared to other methods of mothballing.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a little pricey for a 330ml aerosol. Muc-Off's own Bike Protect is £9.99 for a 500ml can, while Fenwick's Frame and Shock Finishing Spray, which has worked very well in these contexts, is £7.99 for a 500ml can. https://road.cc/content/review/28123-fenwicks-frame-shock-finishing-spray
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Certainly worth a look, especially if they are short on time.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Sweat Protect is versatile, convenient and does what it's claimed to, but there are cheaper solutions to protecting frames and bikes serving on indoor trainers.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)