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.
- About 5' of 3/4" diameter threaded metal plumbing pipe; 4' will do if you're a shorter person with a shorter bike. I used black metal pipe because that was cheapest
- About 12" of 1/2" diameter metal plumbing pipe, threaded on at least one end (you might need a custom cut)
- 1 threaded floor flange, 3/4" diameter
- 1 90-degree elbow--3/4" reducing to 1/2"
- 4 bolts of 1.25" long by 1/4", with 4 nuts and 4 washers to match
- 1 piece of 4'x2' plywood, 3/4" thick
- 1 2x4 board, approximately 12" long (or 2 pieces of 6" long)
- 1 1/2" pipe clamp
- Paint, if you want to; or sealer if it's going to be outside.
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 1.5 - 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 3 - attaching flange|
|Step 3 - securing flange|
|Step 3 - finishing off countersunk bolts|
|Step 4 - screw in pipe|
|Step 5 - attach pipe clamp|
|Step 6 - bore out seat-stem hole|
|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!|
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: