My steel Bianchi Eros is in permanent indoor mode until the snow melts (and temps rise). A few questions:
My biggest question: Between sessions on the trainer, I release the tension on the tire and the skewer. Is this necessary? I figure the skewer is saving the frame from any compression forces, and if not, any consequences to leaving it "set to go" for the next ride? Also, I do not have a fancy skewer in the rear that came with the bike... I am guessing steel with some nice black plastic over them . Any real need to throw in the cheapy that came with the trainer? Any possible long term bending issues?
Chain/cog wear?: While I can (and should) check this regularly, is there any appreciable wear/"chain-stretch" when putting in a few hours a week on the trainer? Minor issue, but more or less have you replaced a chain in the off season? Basically is it half as bad as the road, no issue, etc... I do mostly endurance work - nothing to tough as far as strength that often...
Cleaning? Anyone throw her in the tub while indoors on a regular basis? I know my chain is a little too cruddy for the missus (and apparently for the cats too walking under the bike! )
These sound like the laziest of questions - of course I am pretty anal about my rides as most of us are. These things just popped into my head out of curiosity...
Many riders use beater bikes on their trainers so there is little concern about taking care of anything. I've got my time trial bike set up on my trainer and the only thing I do is spritz the chain occasionally and check rear tire pressure. I'll leave the bike tightened on the trainer for months with no ill effect. I did install the cheapy steel skewer, instead of using my oddly shaped titanium one. The steel one has domed shaped ends that fit more intimately into the trainer. The big issue is sweat, so I've got some cloth gadget I bought somewhere that loops around seat post and velcros over break hoods. This catches the sweat that would otherwise cause corrosion.
I was concerned about wear and frame stress, and was planning on using a beater... but the beater is going to be ridden in the rain / snow / salt outside, so the LeMond stays on the trainer.
I emailed customer service over at LeMond last year - they assured me that if I stay away from out of the saddle sprinting and power starts the bike will be fine.
I use mine mainly for endurace rides, and to work on spin.
Keep it in the CycleOps all the time, cheapo metal skewer and all, but take the pressure off the rear tire when you are finished... and keep that tire pressure up.
Watch for sweat and drippy water bottles. I too have a terry cloth thingy that mounts behind the seat and over the bars. Seems to work well.