We always recommend that any cyclist or triathlete has some level of bike wrenching ability. We are talking about the simple stuff – wash the bike, lube the chain, install a saddle, install new tubes, tires, and brake pads. It doesn’t hurt to be able to swap a cassette, remove the pedals, and if you are a globe (or country) hopping triathlete, you should ideally have the ability to pack and rebuild your bike. To do this doesn’t really require a huge set of tools either – a good set of hex wrenches, a chain whip, and bottom bracket wrench can get the job done (a torque wrench is pretty important here, too). But almost any one of these jobs can get messy. Degreaser, lubricants, carbon paste, and grease can all leave your hands and floor looking pretty nasty. Luckily, Finish Line has a couple of products we have been using here at AeroGeeks HQ that help to avoid that.
Finish Line Mechanic Grip Gloves
Many a box of blue disposable latex gloves have been found here at AeroGeeks HQ, and now every one of them have been thrown in the trash. But that’s not because we got sick of tearing holes in them or fighting to get them on sweaty hands, no…we just found something way better. Finish Line’s Mechanic Grip Gloves are made with heavy-duty polyurethane coating, sealing out grease, oil, and grime. The textured surface on the palms provides enhanced grip compared to latex gloves, while the breathable upper fabric keeps hands cool. Have you ever taken off a pair of latex gloves to find wrinkly fingers staring back at you? Not anymore!
We have had two pairs of the gloves floating around AeroGeeks HQ for about a year now, and they are still going strong. When we travel to races, a pair of gloves can usually be found in the bike bag to make rebuilding the bikes just a bit easier. The gloves are available in SM/MD and LG/XL for $4.99.
Finish Line Absorb-It Mat
Everyone knows the quickest way into trouble is leaving sweat, grime, or grease all over your garage or (gasp), even worse, in the house. The standard way to avoid this is newspapers. But we suspect we are not the only ones that haven’t had a print subscription in the current millennium. This is where Finish Line’s Absorb-It Mat comes in.
The Absorb-It Mat was designed with special absorption fiber technology, to absorb and trap chain lubricants, cleaners, degreasers, brake fluid and hydraulic oils (not to mention the accumulated sweat found under your bike after a proper session on Zwift). The leak-proof back prevents any of that nastiness from getting to the surface below it.
The Absorb-It Mat comes in two different sizes: 48″ X 18″ and 60″ X 36. The 48″ x 18″ will absorb and trap up to 1 liter of fluid. The larger 60″ x 36″ will absorb and trap up to 2.5 liters of fluid. Both mats can also be easily cut with a scissor to fit in custom areas.
Anytime the work stand comes out at AeroGeeks HQ, the Absorb-It Mat comes with it. We typically get by with the 48” mat, which lies under the work stand quite nicely. For trainer workouts, the 60” matt comes out to catch all of weakness (because really, isn’t that what sweat really is?) exiting our bodies. Over the course of a year, and after many uses, we never noticed anything leaking through to the floor below it. And while this doesn’t mean we are ready to do shop work on our home’s white carpeted floor (we weren’t ready for that level of risk), this does mean that we are able to get our work done quickly and clean up even quicker. And once the mat gets grimy, we just hose it down, let it dry out, and we are good to go again. The mats are available for $13.99 and $29.99 respectively.