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Build Your Own Bike Maintenance Stand

Recently I've gotten in to mountain biking, which, of course, means needing mountain bike gear.  Having mountain bike gear, of course, means maintaining mountain bike gear...and especially maintaining a mountain bike.  

Maintaining a mountain bike is monumentally easier if you can get the wheels off the ground, which is why you see locking stands at any bike shop.  I googled bike stands and found that buying one would be quite expensive (although with another search today I realized that's very very wrong) so I decided to check out how to make my own and found someone claiming that a stand could be built for about $30 of materials from the hardware store.  So off I went!  [And it ended up costing me about $60 since I had to also buy a hole saw]

I'm going to tell you how to build a floor stand like I made, and after that I'll tell you what you need to make a stand that will fasten to any vertical object that will fit between your clamp.


* Note on materials - the plan I found suggested a 1" diameter pipe, which just seemed huge.  At first I used 1/2" diameter for both pieces, but that was too weak to support my bike so I went with 3/4" for the 5' segment and 1/2" for the 12" segment.  You can always go wider if that makes you more comfortable, just adapt all measurements, including drill bits and bolts, as necessary.

Also, to make this more budget friendly, check the scrap wood and metal areas at your local store.  I was able to get my plywood, 2x4, and 1/2" pipe as scrap for a grand total of $2.

Step 1 - drilling
Step 1 - Mark and drill the holes for the floor flange.  I put my flange in the center, about 8" from one of the short edges.  And actually, I found it easiest to skip marking and just drill while holding the flange in place.

Step 1.5 - countersink the holes if you want to ensure your bolt heads lie flush.  Countersink from the bottom as your nuts and bolts will go atop the floor flange.

Step 2 - setting bolts
Step 2 - Still working with the bottom of your base on top, screw in your bolts with your ratchet.  The drill holes are a bit narrower than your bolts, which I prefer for added sense of security, but which also requires this bit of effort.  I found it easiest to screw all four bolts until they were flush with the top side (which will be the facing the ground, if you're working upside down), put the flange in place, then finish screwing them.  The holes in the flange were tight enough that most of my bolts had to be threaded through rather than pushed through.

Step 3 - attaching flange

Step 3 - securing flange

Step 3 - finishing off countersunk bolts

Step 3 - Secure flange.  If you haven't already threaded your bolts through the flange, do so now.  Place washers on each bolt then secure tightly with a nut.  If you were still working with the bottom up, flip the base and place it on the ground with flange facing up.

Step 4 - screw in pipe
Step 4 - Attach pipe.  First goes the long piece, into the flange.  Next goes your 90-degree elbow.  Then goes your short piece.

Step 5 - attach pipe clamp
Step 5 - Attach clamp.  Just slide it on for now, you'll fine tune once your wood is ready.

Step 6 - bore out seat-stem hole
Step 6 - Prepare your seat-stem vise.  If you got 1 piece of 2x4 of 12", now's the time to cut that into 2 pieces of 2x4, each of equal length (5"-6").  Clamp your two pieces together so that at least one end is flush.  Using your hole saw, bore a hole through both pieces using the gap between them as your center line.  I bored my hole about 2" in from the end.

Steps 7 (completed) and 9 - made cable tie channels, inserted
cable ties, and attached seat vise to the pipe clamp

Steps 7 (completed) and 9, from the top

Step 7 - Continue preparing the seat-stem vise (optional).  If your clamp is like mine, it doesn't have a way to fasten your 2x4 to the clamp...meaning without more, it'll fall off anytime you open the clamp and will make holding your bike difficult.  That's where the cable ties come into play.  Place the wood between the pipe clamp  as you would when using the stand and tighten the clamp around it.  Mark the outlines of the clamp feet on both sides.  Remove the wood from the clamp.  Using your drill and 3/16" drill bit, drill down to make one hole about 1/4" in from the outside edge--make this drill long enough that you will have drilled past the bottom outline of your clamp foot.  Next, drill one hole on the outside of the plank perpendicular to your first drill on the top of your clamp-foot outline; then drill another hole perpendicular to your first drill on the bottom of your clamp-foot outline.  Feed a cable tie through the bottom hole, up through the plan, and out the top hole--DO NOT CLOSE THE CABLE TIE YET.  Repeat for the other plank.

Step 8 (completed) - cut out seat stem channel

Step 8 - OPTIONAL - make your seat-vise more usable.  I didn't feel like screwing and unscrewing the clamp every time I wanted to put my bike in, so I cut a channel in my seat vise that my seat stem can slide through.  If you can safely do the same, now's the time to do so.  I used my circular saw to make a cut on the inside of each plank to the bore-hole from my hole saw, resulting in a channel slightly smaller than the bore-hole (thus double-slightly smaller than my seat stem) so the bike stem can go through with minimal unclamping but can still result in tightening down snugly.

Step 9 - Also Optional - line the bore hole of your seat vise with rubber (old bike tube works), felt, or anything smooth and/or cushy to protect your seat stem when it's clamped down.  If you do this, you might want to make your bore-hole a little bit bigger to allow for the extra material.

Step 10 - BIKE STAND!
Step 10 - finish the seat-vise.  If you skipped step 7, all you have to do is put your seat vise between your pipe clamp and call it a day.  You're ready to use the bike stand, albeit in a more difficult manner.  If you followed step 7, then put your seat vise between the clamp and tighten.  Close the cable ties around the clamp feet and tighten until secure.

Congratulations!  You now have a DIY bike stand!!!

Want a cheaper, easier, more mobile version that will attach to any vertical object the clamp will fit around?  Do this:

Get 24" of 1/2" or 3/4" diameter pipe, 2 of the correctly sized pipe clamps, the 2x4 discussed above, and the cable ties discussed above.  Put the pipe clamps on both ends of the pipe.  Follow steps 6 and 9, above; and optionally steps 7 and/or 8 above.  Once your seat vise is created and in one of the clamps, you're now ready to put the other clamp on anything it'll fit to and work on your bike!

Finally, I googled bike maintenance stand again and found that Amazon has a lot of stands for cheaper than the cost of materials I paid for this stand.  If only I knew yesterday...  Save yourself, if you wish, by just buying one of these:


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