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DIY Bicycle Repair Stand

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This instructable details how to make an simple, durable, and functional bicycle repair stand for little money!

Maybe you don't have the need for a repair stand often enough to justify the $100+ expenditure. Perhaps you do a lot of bicycle repairs, but have resigned yourself to flipping the bike upside down on its seat and handlebars, straining your back and having to work upside down. Maybe you just prefer the satisfaction that comes with making your own tools.

Personally, I subscribe to all of the above. Though I have to admit, it was more the cash factor than any of the others. The cheapest repair stand I could find in town was 150 dollars! Yikes!

Read on for my first instructable on building your very own bicycle repair stand.
 
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Step 1: Parts and Tools

The materials and tools necessary to build this repair stand are readily available, easy to work with, and best of all, pretty inexpensive. Every component can be found at your average home improvement store, with no modifications needed to make them work together.

What you'll need:
- (2) 1/2" by 18" length galvanized nipple (threaded about an inch on each end) - $2.73 each
- (3) 1/2" by 10" length galvanized nipple (same thread - about an inch) - $1.90 each
- (1) 1/2" by 60" length galvanized pipe (again, threaded) - $6.98
- (1) 1/2" galvanized tee fitting - $1.09
- (3) 1/2" galvanized 90 degree elbow - $0.91 each
- (2) 1/2" galvanized cap - $0.89 each
- (1) spring clamp - $3.42
- (2) hose clamps (these may vary in size depending on the size of the clamp handle - the ones I bought were for hose sizes 3/4" - 1 1/2") - $ 1.19 each
- (1) flat-head screwdriver (why do we even still use this kind of screwdriver?!) - Don't know the price..had one at home.

Total cost: $29.54 (if you don't have to buy a screwdriver for the hose clamps)

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UPDATE: These prices were what it cost me when I built the stand - in 2007. I wrote a letter to the President, but he said he didn't really control plumbing part prices. I told him that I needed to keep the cost the same because I published a derpy how-to on the internet. He didn't buy it.  The moral? Unless you live in five years ago, the mileage of your wallet's contents may vary here in 2012.
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That's right. The stand is make almost entirely out of galvanized pipe. It's strong stuff and doesn't bend. Just march into the local home improvement store, shuffle over to the plumbing section, and grab all this stuff. You will have to go to the tool section to find the clamp.

And if you're super resourceful, you may not have to buy any of this stuff. Heck, if you don't mind not having water piped into your house, you might even scavenge it from your own walls...

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jventurini1 year ago
This was great, I did use a slightly modified version of this stand, and just built it last night (August 2012).

I do have to say that I spent a little over $85 for everything I needed, including a Pony Clamp. It's still cheaper than most stands out there, but I had to really think about whether I wanted to just spring for the extra bucks to get an actual stand, but wound up sticking with mine. It was a breeze to put together, super fast.
My modification to this was pretty simple, but very useful, imo.

I used 1/2" black pipe for everything, however instead of using a 90 degree elbow on the long vertical pipe, I used a 3/4" Tee that just slips over the pipe.
I did this so that it can slide up and down and adjust the height for working on your bike.
I then just used a rubber band as an "O ring" The weight of the clamp will actually keep the Tee from sliding down, but the rubber band helps.

That and the clamp really help out with making small adjustments in the position of the bike.

So good luck to all those out there who are thinking about doing this,
Happy cycling!
danstax2 years ago
Mr. B, thanks for a simple, cheap instructable. I made one last week, and at today's (June 2012) prices it came to $41.59 for the pipe @ Home Depot, and $5.19 for the Pony Clamp @ Harbor Freight. I used 1/2" black pipe, and the only caution is this stuff comes covered with an oily residue from manufacturing. Your hands will get nasty if you don't clean it with a degreaser of some sort. I used tee connectors on the legs instead of corners, in case I found it needed support to the rear, but haven't found it necessary to add any. I also didn't put end caps on the feet, just left the plastic caps on the threaded ends, it's on my concrete garage floor anyway. I drilled a 2X4 for the seat post and attached it to the pony clamp, but haven't welded or drilled anything into a fixed position yet. I have to say this stand has made a world of difference in making my repairs easier. I was either working on my bikes turned upside down on their handlebars and seat, or just standing with the kickstand. This is so much better for derailleur adjustments, re-cabling, etc.
Thanks, and patch to you, my friend.
ak_midori2 years ago
Good job on instructions: clear but with enough flexibility to be modified.

I made one ($75 @ an Alaskan Home Depot) with 3/4" pipe, with an H-frame base, 48" height, and a two-pipe support for the bike with some pipe insulation for padding. My bike easily sits right on the two support pipes, doesn't slide around, and is protected with the insulation over the pipes.

Still beats the $190 version from REI as far as price goes, and mine is deconstructable to a series of pipes for when I move in the future.

I'll post a picture of it soon.

Thanks for the inspiration & proof of concept!
mr.bologna (author)  ak_midori2 years ago
Haha, cool! I live in Anchorage.

I made another version a while ago for Make Magazine: http://makeprojects.com/Project/Bike-Repair-Stand/902/1

Little different, little more stable. Thanks for the comment. Looking forward to seeing the pics of yours.
I'm in anchorage too... how did you make this for $30?
mr.bologna (author)  ak_midori2 years ago
I built it 5 years ago...
dan2222 years ago
Hi

I used your design as well with just a couple mods including the pony clamp. I also added a couple 45s at the base to a 2" flange with a magnetic hardware tray. Works pretty well and stays out of the way. I also welded the connection points at the base so the stand will never roll forward which I experienced early on. Warning: welding galvanized pipe creates a toxic fume so do it out doors and wear a respirator. Works like a charm now.
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papolo25pr2 years ago
I am building mine but instead of using galvanized piping i am to make it out of PVC, If it works i will let everybody know right away.
I just finished building my stand made out of PVC Pipe and i gotta tell you it looks great, I tested the hold with my sons bicycle which is heavy and no problems whatsoever.
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LostTheDog2 years ago
love it! going to start building one this afternoon!!!
profpat2 years ago
LIKE!!!
mihailpp2 years ago
you can get non, galvanized pipe and get it welded or weld it at home
dodland3 years ago
Just did this exactly as described and it turned out great! This is sturdy enough for doing adjustments, cleaning, etc. I wanted to make a 48" high one so I could work on a bike sitting in a chair, but all they had was a 60". It is actually easier do work on one while standing anyways.

This is ideal for me because a) I live in an apartment and don't really have power tools and b) it was cheap!

Note however that now in 2011, these parts cost a bit more. I was sticker shocked at the local hardware stores (for example, $2.50 for just one 1/2" cap), but Home Depot was the savior here, and all of the parts cost me $45 total, not including the screwdriver. Still a hell of a lot better than $150 for the cheapest bike repair stand I saw at the local bike shop.
tyldev6 years ago
Hi Bologna, Your stand looks great but here in Scotland we can only get the pipe in 6.5 metre lengths and we'd have to thread it ourselves. Does anyone think this could be done in 15mm copper with compression fittings and then fill with sand to add rigidity?
rogeromc tyldev3 years ago
just go to a hardwere store and buy a Workforce Twin Head 1,000-Watt Halogen Telescoping Work Light and add the clamp. here in the USA it's just $31 and is portable and space saver. good luck, God bless.

What about a wooden dowel pushed in with some epoxy? That would certainly stiffen the copper.
you can get non galvanized pipe and get it welded or weld it at home
Zilduli tyldev6 years ago
Copper is a pretty soft metal and I wouldn't personally trust it to hold up my bike. I would suggest that you just make you stand a little shorter or purchase a coupler that would allow you to connect two lengths of pipe together. As for the threading, I would look around and see if there are any plumbing stores that might be willing to do it for you. If all else fails you can either thread your own pipe or recreate this in wood.
fromojoh3 years ago
Thanks for this instructable mr.bologna. I made my own over the weekend using many of the ideas here. I used 3/4 pipe all around.
forgot the pics
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ducatisteve3 years ago
Mr. Bologna, Thanks so much for this instructable, I used it to create my own stand, with a couple changes. My home repair store was out of 1/2" pipe in the lengths I wanted, so I ended up using 3/4", but that was no big deal. 

A couple things I did notice. First, it could be difficult to hold the clamp open with one hand and hoist the bike up with the other, especially while trying to find the balance point. Sliding the bike back and forth would usually make the rag protecting the frame slip off and cause the clamp to scratch the paint.

My solution to this, use a 3/4" Pipe Clamp Fixture (they also sell this in 1/2"). This takes care of both issues as you can use both hands to balance the bike on the pipe, then tighten the clamp. I also haven't had one issue with the stand scratching the paint anymore!  Another benefit is that the clamping pressure comes from the sides, where there is rarely cables running.


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Well, reading through the replies it seems that I am not even close to the first person to think of this!!
bziegler33 years ago
I used the pony clamp too. I made wood blocks with a "V" groove cut in them and then put 2 layers of old bike inner tube on with contact cement. I also used a 1 1/2" pipe base with adapter to the 1" X 48" post pipe to give it a larger flange at the bottom for stability. Works very well. It's even close to Park Tool blue!
Nightlash4 years ago
One thing that I did instead of using the spring clamp, is to add a 90 degree elbow to the end of the arm. Then add in a PVC plug, coupled with a PVC Tee joint. (I don't know the measurement exactly, but it is about the diameter of my road bike top tube.) I then took a hacksaw along the length of it so it was a semi-cylinder. I use that to rest the bike on. Then I use the hose clamps to clamp the bike into the fixture.
dazzlr5 years ago
like the idea but might modify it to use one of those heavy cast-iron bases you get with garden umbrellas? Also would like to find a stronger clamp than the spring clamp you are using, perhaps something that screws down. Great article tho' cheers!
JoelVA dazzlr4 years ago
I used a pony clamp, which worked really well. You just need to add some sort of cushion to keep the metal clamp from scratching your bike seat (if that's important to you).
Manus_Vir4 years ago

Another bike stand design idea from this site, check it out.
afajarito.blogspot.com/2010/01/diy-portable-bike-repair-stand.html

mr.bologna (author)  Manus_Vir4 years ago
I would consider this comment to be self-promoting spam that neither relates to the build on this Instructables page (other than that it's another bike stand) or provides any sort of useful feedback. It's just a link to someone else's (yours?) blog.

If you'd like, please feel free to create your own Instructable and post your content there, but please don't link spam someone else's projects.

Thanks for the understanding.

It's not my blog, just found that site from a bike forum link. Others have posted their built here, so i thought sharing the link here might be a good idea for others to see, im mistaken. I do apologize...Can you just delete my previous comment? again i'm sorry. :) peace.

mr.bologna (author)  Manus_Vir4 years ago
 No problem. Thanks for the reply and the explanation.
langui884 years ago
I made one, as with a lot of other people, it cost me slightly more, by about 15 bucks.  I used a spring clamp on the side of the top pipe becuase i have a curved frame on my mountain bike, so I attach it on the stem that the seat goes into. It works, BUT I wish there was more support, it kind of slides down the pipe a little and puts my bike at an awkward angle.  I may upgrade it to pipe clamp, secure it to the top with the clamps hanging over the edge if my design limits what i can do.  Thank for the great idea, and it works great!
mr.bologna (author)  langui884 years ago
Glad to hear you made one of these. I did change the design a little for its publication in Make Magazine. I think it was Vol. 18. 

I did away with the spring clamp and instead attached a 1x2 to the top horizontal post and put a few of those screw in bike hooks to set the bike in. I also put in a few braces on the bottom to keep things steady and changed from a five foot vertical to a four foot like many people here did.

Got flamed pretty hard by the "why waste time making when you could buy a premade one" type people...in any case, I'm not an engineer. I came up with a solution that worked for me and put it out there for you to change it to work for you. So I'm glad to see that you're considering making it better. Thanks for the feedback.
Using the center of gravity of the bike, I just moved the spring clamp around the pipe until it would sit on there at a reasonable angle.  Another modification I made since the pipe wasn't supporting the spring clamp as much as your original design did, was at a third hose clamp - Two on the handle, and one on the inside of the clamp part.  At a height of five feet i find it comfortable to move around and under, I feel like four feet would cramp me below it if was needed that perspective.

As far as "wasting time"... it took barely 10 minutes to put together, and the majority of that time was tightening the connections so it was a solid piece.

Thanks again for the design - less than half the price and just as versatile.
Goesto114 years ago
I made a version too. I love the pipe clamp idea that others have done here, but I made the base to be like the ParkTool PCS-9 stand - it has two legs coming 90 degrees from each other directly from the vertical rod. My version might not be quite as stable as some others but it uses fewer parts and it can be "folded" into 2-D by swinging one of the legs in it's tee fitting for easier storage (I live in a small apartment). I used 1/2 inch pipe, and I could only get a 60" length, which I feel is strong enough but I agree that 48" would be best.
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So I went out to the Home Depot and acquired all the necessary parts. It cost a little more, but my local store is a rip off. The good news is that the stand works brilliantly! The only changes I made were to use black pipe instead of galvanized, and I used a 48" pipe rather than the suggested 60". Thanks for the great solution!
order995 years ago
Wonderful Instructable-I can use this! Actually, i've downloaded about a hundred various Instructables so far (ALL quite wonderful) but this is one I can actually afford to try out...Recession, y'know. I'm only going to make one slight modification-a $4 tube of JB Cold Weld. It's a Godsend for those of us with no access to welding tools, and mine won't be leaving the barn.
mr.bologna (author)  order995 years ago
If you ever read Make Magazine (as you should be if you're a fan of building things...), you should definitely take a look at the issue they have coming out in May. I made a few stability modifications and the new version is going to be featured in that issue. The new build is a lot more stable than the one in this Instructable.
Looks like the hooks in your Make version would work well--does the bike sway at all? I was wondering about that since the pipe is smooth and the plastic pipe hangers might not have a lot of grip.
nieves5 years ago
way cool idea about the house pipes but my wife said NO!! SO I`LL FOLLOW YOU OTHER STEPS.THANKS
hairtux5 years ago
I just built this thanks to your step by step. I'm very pleased with the results. Like many others, I used a 48" vertical instead of the 60", which is perfect for me because I'm short. I also clamped the spring clamp to the bottom of the 10" piece, such that the end slides "into" the handle of the spring clamp to avoid any potential scratching. Otherwise I made no other changes because I'm lazy and this build was awesomely simple. Thanks!
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