Many Zwifters use an ANT+ dongle on the end of a USB extension to connect to their smart trainer, heart rate monitor, and other devices. This is generally a very stable and simple way to get going on Zwift.

However, as we’ve learned over the years, sweat from indoor training can cause a lot of unintended damage. It can corrode bike parts (especially aluminum handlebars) and it can also destroy your ANT+ stick!

Matt Curbeau is a top A racer with the Indoor Specialist squad. He recently completed a ride without a fan (which is generally a bad idea, unless perhaps you’re training for heat adaptation.)

When his workout was finished he had accumulated a small lake of sweat beneath his trainer. Unfortunately, his ANT+ dongle was also in that lake of sweat, and the next morning when he went to ride, this is what it looked like:

Water and electrical currents are a bad combination. Water filled with electrolytes combined with electricity is even worse!

One easy way to avoid this: see if you can get the dongle off the ground. This will save it from the sweat pool issue. Some Zwifters even tape their USB extension to their trainer.

Protect Your Dongle with this Easy Hack

We typically place our ANT+ dongles on the ground near where sweat falls because that’s easy and we want the dongle close to our smart trainer. How do you protect the dongle in that situation?

Easy: seal up the dongle. Slide it into a plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap. Done!