Years ago I saw someone using bicycle rollers and thought they would be ideal for riding inside when I did not want to try riding outdoors because of weather, etc.
Then I found an inexpensive set more recently. I never guessed how difficult it can be to stay upright. I usually positioned them between door jams so I could catch myself with my shoulder against the jam. See the second photo. I suddenly knew why the first owner got rid of them. Several skid marks show where his bike went off of the rollers and onto the carpet. That would be a very unpleasant crash. I did add some non-swivel casters with their axles set vertically to keep the bicycle wheels from sliding off of the side of the rollers. That helped, but I still wanted to try a fork stand.
I thought about making a front fork stand. This Instructable will show how I did that. I could have purchased a front fork stand for $90, but I made mine for a couple of dollars. In addition, the $90 stand would not really work on my rollers. I need a stand that leans forward just a little to fit the geometry of my bike.
- Scrap steel (bedframe, flat plate, and garden fence posts)
- Threaded bicycle axle and nuts.
- Bolts and nuts
- Angle head grinder with cutting disc
- 230 volt stick welder
- Measuring and marking tools
Step 1: Measure the Bike
The rear wheel should contact both rear rollers at the same time, or very close to that. I needed to know where the fork ends would come when on the rollers.
I found my stand needs to angle forward just a little. I could adjust a little by sliding the stand forward or backward a little, but not much. I did not want to remove the front roller because it keeps the side rails from spreading.
Step 2: What I Had Available to Use
I had some steel from a child's bed (angle iron) and some garden fence posts. The fence posts are not as heavy as what I remember from growing up on a farm, but not so light as some I see in stores now.
Step 3: Notch the Fence Posts
I put masking tape on the ends of the fence posts and held angle iron from the bed frame at an angle as close as possible to the position of the finished stand. Mark and cut carefully.
I took measurements and used a triangle solving app. for right triangles on my smart phone to get the angles and lengths I needed.
Step 4: Begin Welding
I cut two short pieces of bedframe about four inches long each. These rest on the side rails of the rollers.
From measuring between the bicycle axles I could sight about where the ends of the forks would be. I had already welded the top ends of the fence post sections together to make an inverted "V." I set the inverted "V" onto the bedframe pieces, leaned it forward to about the right place, and tack welded the inverted "V" to the bedframe pieces. When I was certain I had what I wanted, I finished the welds.
In the photo you can see a gusset I added. I used my fork stand a few times and noticed the fence posts flexed more than I expected. I did not want metal fatigue caused by use to break the welds. I added a gusset on each side and saw much improvement.
Step 5: Making Holes for Bolts
There are some extra holes in the side rails of the rollers for changing the position of the front roller. This is so the rollers will fit bikes with a shorter frame. I used a set of these holes to secure the fork stand to the side rails.
Bedframe stock can be very hard and does not drill well. I cut a slot and rounded the end of the slot. The length of the slot depends on what is needed to line up with the holes and have the fork stand where it needs to be for the ends of the fork, too.
After a little use, I noticed vibration would make the bedframe steel slide a little on the side rails, even though the bolts were tightened. I welded some close fitting washers to the bedframe to stop any movement in use. (The washer on this piece is visible on the other side of the slot.)
Step 6: Attach the Axle
As sometimes happens, I failed to measure something accurately enough. In order to make the top bar of the bike level, I had to add a piece of flat steel (about 3/16 inch thick) between the top of the inverted "V" from the fence posts and the axle for the fork. This was not all bad. It gave me a way of making fine adjustments to the fit of the fork stand.
This fork stand has made my rollers more useful than ever, even though my bike resembles a stationary bike more than a bike being ridden out on the road. Before this I had even considered getting rid of the rollers.
When in use, you want the bicycle to be as near to vertical as possible. Put a level across the side rails. Shim under the bicycle rollers as needed to make the rollers level and the bicycle vertical.