BIKING

Best Bike Repair Stand: Maintaining Your Bike Easily

Best Bike Repair Stand
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

What’s the one thing that’s worse than damaging your bike?  Paying someone else to fix it.  Unlike cars, most bicycle components are actually quite easy to repair.  With a little online research, even novices can repair some of the most critical components of their ride.

They can also research the best components to use, possibly leading to an upgrade in the process.  Which brings us to this guide: you’ll need a few essential tools, and one of the most important choices you’ll make is choosing the best bike repair stand.

To be clear, we’re not talking about kickstands.  A bicycle stand is a support tool that suspends a bike for more efficient repairing and testing.

Bike Repair Stand

This is likely going to be the largest component in your repertoire of bike tools, though admittedly that’s not saying much. Also, it is arguably the most important bike repair tool, as it allows you to use all others with ease.

The bicycle is typically supported by one of the central beans of the frame, though some can hold it in more than one spot. A clamp is used to secure it in place.  Overall, it supports the bike so that you can work on its components without trying to also balance it.

Work can be done easily and more conveniently.  Given the stand’s small size, it’s also easier to reach or maneuver around the bike than if it were leaning against a large object.  And, of course, bike stands offer far more stability than quick stands.

Necessary Features in A Bike Stand

There are several pertinent features to look for in a bike repair stand.

Bike Repair Stand features

These are important to consider, as any shortcoming of the stand could lead to even more damage for the bike (or frustration for the user).

  • Adjustable: Not all cyclists are the same height, and not all bikes are the same size.  Even among bikers with a similar physique, preferences do differ. As such, bike work stands should be adjustable.
    Height adjustability is obviously important, but it should also be able to fit bike frames that may vary in width.  Ensure that a stand’s height range is within the preferences of both you and your best cyclist friends.  Many stands also rotate smoothly, providing easier access during meticulous repairs or adjustments.
  • Portable: Given their simple construction, most bike stands should be portable.  The legs are usually designed to fold towards the frame, condensing the stand into a more compact size for easier storage.
    Typically, it’s far more useful if the bike can be repaired on the spot.  Otherwise, a full day planned of biking could be cut short by a fairly simple problem.  For long treks (especially multi-day mountain biking trips), lighter, compact frames may even accompany the cyclist’s other supplies.
  • Versatile: Let’s face it, when you’re regularly setting the stand up, attaching and detaching bikes and taking it back apart, some components will eventually wear.  This always seems to be especially true for tools used in the outdoors.
    If something on your bike stand does break, you shouldn’t need to buy a whole new one.  After all, you’re changing components on your bike rather than buying a whole new one, so why not look for that same versatility in your tools?  It’s particularly important to consider replaceable jaw covers.
  • Stability: Ultimately, most stands will likely need to strategically placed or aided by other props for harder repairs.  While some stands are more stable than others, most are limited in their stability.
    Still, a few will surprise cyclists with how well they can hold their own.
    Given the need for a balance between stability and especially durability, bike work stands are typically only available in two types of materials:
  • Materials: the materials used in the construction of your bike stand will determine the price and how much punishment your bike stand can take. The two most common types of materials used are:
    • Steel – While optimal for stability and an extended lifetime, steel bike stands are typically heavier.  These are definitely better for stationary use in a garage or even as a tool left in the car.
      Given the weight, it really wouldn’t be practical to take them along for the ride.  Of course, weight will ultimately be determined by a number of factors, including size, shape and the number of support beams.
    • Aluminum – Aluminum is the more common material.  It strikes a great balance between weight and durability, though it ultimately won’t likely last as long as steel.  Aluminum stands are also usually the lower cost option.
    • Carbon Fiber – While carbon fiber bike frames are great for unparalleled performance, they usually require extra care for maintenance. Some clamps can crush these with little advance warning.  It’s usually best to clamp carbon fiber bikes at the seat post.  After all, seat posts cost much less to repair than purchasing a whole new bike.

A Few Additional Considerations

  • Sometimes, bikes need to be cleaned or oiled while attached to the stand. Other times, they may need repair while covered in dirt.  The point is that all tools should themselves be properly maintained.
    This includes regular, careful cleaning, and bike stands are no exception.  Proper care can vary among manufacturers, so be sure to check the owner’s manual for ideal cleaning procedures.
  • Cheaper isn’t always better.  Bike stands use several moving parts and an already slender build, which (to an extent) sacrifices some stability for convenience.
    You likely put a decent investment in your bike, and purchasing a stand based solely on price puts the well-being of your hot rod in danger of further damage.  Cheap components only go so far.  As they say, you get what you pay for.
  • Taking a bike stand along for the ride usually isn’t worth it for a day trip.  They can be cumbersome and add more weight.  Many would argue that they are even less practical for extended trips, though others cite light-weight options as a necessity.
    It’s rider’s choice, but remember to consider the options in your riding environment before deciding to take the repair stand along.  Also, be sure to consider the balance between weight and durability, especially for mountain biking trips.
  • If you plan to work on several bikes regularly, or even repair them professionally, you may want to consider investing in a professional stand.  These are often bolted to the floor and maximize stability.
    With a bolted stand, you get the convenience of a slender construction with the balance of a large, durable stand.  Of course, this option is much more expensive and permanent, so it’s not ideal for everyone (although a necessity for professionals).
  • Bike stands come with a variety of bases. Some simply feature 2 legs, while others can have telescope bases complete with 4 legs.  While stability is important, simplicity may be best for minor repairs.
    If you plan on leaving the more complicated work to professionals, it may be best to consider a more affordable 2-leg option.
  • Don’t let a stand’s initial height full you. They can easily fold out and expand to much larger sizes.  Most bikes offer a few feet worth of height adjustment, making it initially appear much smaller than what it can actually achieve.
    Of course, tall cyclists may have a little more trouble finding the right option, though our product guide further down features a few choices.
  • The best bike stand is all about convenience. As such, most include the ability to turn your bike 360 degrees, a feature that really should be considered for all.  If the bike is to remain stationary, it largely defeats the purpose of using a stand versus leaning it against a wall.
    Of course, with the ability to spin the bike potentially comes balance issues so it may be best to consider a stand with a telescope base.
  • Always measure your bike. Front to back, handlebar to wheel bottom, and across diagonally.  Also, measure the circumference of your tube (essentially what composes the frame) and your seat’s holder.  You may find yourself needing to attach the stand at different spots depending upon the repair.
    Also, find out how much your bike weighs.  Each stand features a different rating, and use one that isn’t strong enough for your bike could result in significant damage to both.
    Obviously, weighing something like a bike isn’t very convenient, so check the owner’s manual to be sure.  If that is no longer available, try looking your bike up online for the weight.
  • Handlebars aren’t just for your bike. If you need to prop your bicycle at a certain angle for proper maintenance, bike stand handlebars allow you to do just that.  Even if a handlebar is included, always ensure that it is also adjustable.  Unfortunately, bike stands are not always a “one size fits all” solution.

Using A Bike Stand

While bike stands tend to be very easy to use, their functions may differ slightly.  In order to adjust each as necessary, try to get a feel for the knobs and whether each tightens or loosens a specific area. And, of course, always refer to the owner’s manual for any questions.

Using A Bike Stand

By now, you’ve got the information you need to make an informed decision.  Below, you’ll find a few stands for your consideration.  Each is sufficient for the general task, though some are more ideal for specific situations than others.

It is important to compare the features and dimension of these stands with bike (or bikes) you will be working with.  For more active cyclists, it is possible that more than one could be ideal.  This is especially true if you plan to ride frequently with one on your bike or person.

Top Products for 2017

Bikehand Pro Mechanic Bicycle Repair Rack Stand

Bikehand Pro Mechanic Bicycle Repair Rack Stand

Weight: 10.75 lbs.

Design Features: Fully alloy aluminum, foldable, up to 59” in height

Best Use: On the go

Description: Bikehand’s stand is a pretty solid option.  Its alloy aluminum construction keeps it both light and durable.  The rotating clamp can be easily attached to the frame’s tube or the seat’s post.

It is actually surprisingly steady for a stand with only 2 legs.  The clamp holds well and will usually keep a bike in place for hours if needed.  Best of all, it folds for portability.

At just under 11 lbs., it’s up to the rider as to whether or not this would be ideal to take on the ride.  It may not be the best option for taller bike mechanics, though alternate seating could help with that.

Park Tool PCS-10 Work Stand

Park Tool PCS-10 Work Stand

Weight: 19.2 lbs.

Design Features: 38 x 7 x 7 inches, Single action clamping, foldable, 3-point leg

Best Use: Heavy bikes, in-home

Description: At 19 lbs, Park Tool’s stand is definitely on the heavier side.  But with its heavier weight comes a larger capacity; it is rated for bikes weighing up to 100 lbs.

Still, it may or may not be the best choice for an in-vehicle option, though the PCS-10 does feature a foldable design.  It’s also a sturdy option with two legs that are further supported by an extension of the main stand.

Aluminum Cycle Pro Mechanic Bicycle Repair Stand

Aluminum Cycle Pro Mechanic Bicycle Repair Stand

Weight: 11 lbs.

Design Features: Up to 59”, alloy aluminum, 360 degree rotating head, quick release adjustable

Best Use: On the go

Description: With its lighter weight and compact size, the Cycle Pro stand is a great option for portability.  It features a convenient 360 degree rotatable head and will hold bikes weighing up to 55 lbs.

For fast adjustments, it also comes with a quick release clamp. A plate is also included to conveniently hold tools and is even divided into different sections to make organization easier.

Portable Home Bike Repair Stand

Portable Home Bike Repair Stand

Weight: 15 lbs.

Design Features: Up to 72”, 8 x 6 x 43 inches, aluminum and plastic, folding legs

Description: A solid choice for versatility, the Portable Home Bike Repair Stand offers excellent stability in a relatively low weight.  It can be easily clamped to the frame’s tube or seat post and even includes a magnetic tool plate.

It also offers additional support between the main stand and legs for enhanced stability.  It clamps tubes between 30mm and 75mm.  It extends to an impressive 6’.

Park Tool Home Mechanic Repair Stand – PCS-9

Park Tool Home Mechanic Repair Stand - PCS-9

Weight: 17.4 lbs.

Design Features: 40 x 12 x 5 inches, aluminum, 360 degree clamp rotation

Best Use: Larger bikes, frequent indoor use

Description: Park Tool Home Mechanic Repair Stand – PCS-9 weighs it at a heavy 17.4 lbs., though its higher weight does contribute to greater stability (especially with only 2 legs for support).

The clamps feature a screw like design and will hold tubes that are between ⅞” and 3”.  It is a bit plain looking and a little higher priced, but the PCS-9 is also backed by Park Tool’s stellar reputation.  It can fold down to as little as 41”.

Bike Mechanic Adjustable Repair Stand

Bike Mechanic Adjustable Repair Stand

Weight: 15 lbs.

Design Features: Rotating head, Quick release height, up to 57”, 3 leg base

Best Use: In-car stand, home use

Description: The Bike Mechanic stand offers an excellent balance between features and affordability.  It actually offers 3 legs for excellent stability.  The stand can reach up to 57” and clamp onto tubes that are up to 75mm.

A convenient tool tray is also attached near the middle of the stand.  Its quick release feature allows cyclists to effortlessly reach the ideal height.

Confidence Pro Bike Adjustable 42-75″ Repair Stand

Confidence Pro Bike Adjustable 42-75 Repair Stand

Weight: 8.8 lbs.

Design Features: 55.7” x 39.4” x 42.5”, telescoping stand, adjustable handlebar rod, foldable

Best Use: Portable, In-ride option, tall cyclists

Description: Confidence’s stand may be an even better option for budget-friendly cyclists.  It extends up to an impressive 74.4” and can clip frames between 9.4” and 17.7”.

Absolute stability is offered with 4 legs.  It even comes with an adjustable handlebar rod and magnetic tool tray.  At only 8.8 lbs, it is one of the best options for cyclists who wish to take their stand along for the ride.  It can also hold bikes weighing up to 66 lbs.

RAD Cycle Products Pro Bicycle Adjustable Repair Stand

RAD Cycle Products Pro Bicycle Adjustable Repair Stand

Weight: 12 lbs.

Design Features: 40” x 8” x 8”, aluminum, 4 legs, simple assembly, 360 degree degree rotation, foldable

Best Use: Portable or in-home bike repair, tall cyclists

Description: One of the best options for stability, the RAD cycle stand offers 4 long legs, each of which feature adjustable pedals at the end – another benefit of a telescoping stand.  It also holds the front wheel in place with an adjustable handlebar rod.

At 12 lbs., it isn’t too heavy and is fairly easy to carry around. It reaches a tall height of 75” and can hold up to 66 lbs.  It can fit a tube up to 1.5”.  A magnetic tray is included.

Best Choice Products Pro Bike Adjustable Repair Stand

Best Choice Products Pro Bike Adjustable Repair Stand

Weight: 14.5 lbs.

Design Features: 5” x 17” x 35”, wide base, telescoping stand, 4 legs, foldable

Best Use: Home repairs on mid-range bikes

Description: With its 4 legs and wide base, the Pro Bike Stand offers great stability with an array of options.  It features a tool plate with divided sections for easy organization.

The bike is easily locked in place with a quick release clamp.  Tubes up to 2.5” will fit in the clamp on bikes weighing up to 66 lbs. (with a minimum tube size of 1”).  It can reach a height of up to 68 ¼” with a minimum of 41”.  The clamp allows the user to rotate the bike 360 degrees for added convenience.

Final Words

Bike repairs should be easy, and the work stand is a pretty straightforward tool that fits the bill.  While the cheapest option isn’t always best, there are still some pretty affordable options that offer great versatility, stability and durability.

Choose your Bike Repair Stand

Just be sure to consider an option that fits your personal working style.

Also, before considering other stands, it may be beneficial to check with the manufacturer of your bike to see if one has already been custom made for it.

Please leave a comment below if this article has helped you to understand bike stands a bit better or you have a story to share with us. We’d love to hear from you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Ursula Mari

    I love my RAD Cycle stand, and it is high quality product! Poles are made of aluminum, they are very sturdy and wont rust. It makes working on your bike easy. Also, it can hold your bike at various angles. I never worry about the bike to fall down, since it’s really stable.

  • Mark Foster

    The RAD Cycle stand is really something. My brother has this and he swears on its efficiency – it holds the bike well without the danger of toppling over. I examined the poles and boy, these are indeed made of aluminum which is lightweight. It can easily be adjusted and folded if you have space constraints.

  • Kim Bromley

    Myself and my boyfriend are avid cyclists so, quite often, we’ll need to tighten up this and that, hence the need for a repair stand. Did a lot of research before purchasing the Portable Home Bike Repair Stand and I’ve found it to be more than adequate. Great for the price too! Just take care on the first few uses as our bikes slid due to the fact that we hadn’t secured the knob properly. Once you get that down, you won’t have any issues at all. Even has an indentation that the brake cables sit in!

    • Mark Foster

      Made of aluminum and plastic, the stand is very sturdy for an affordable price. You’ve got to secure your bike well if you want to get the best of this bike repair stand. Most issues that we have with these stands are due to the user not tightening the grip of these products.

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