Introduction: PVC Bench-top Bike Repair Stand

Picture of PVC Bench-top Bike Repair Stand

A simple and inexpensive bike repair stand for the bench-top. It's not quite as sturdy as the commercial floor-standing models but it works really well and you can spend the money you save on that Campy derailleur set you've always wanted.

Step 1: Cut PVC Parts to Length

Picture of Cut PVC Parts to Length

Parts List (PVC is 1 1/4" schedule 40):
(4) Tees
(2) 90 degree elbows
(2) 45 degree elbows
(4) Splices - 2"
(1) Lower upright - 7 1/2"
(1) Upper - 9 1/2"
(1) Horizontal extension - 4 1/4"
(2) Utility hinges - 1"
(1) Clasp
(2) Galvanized conduit clamps - 1 1/2"
Foam pipe wrap
PVC glue

Step 2: Cut the Tee for the Clamp

Picture of Cut the Tee for the Clamp

I used a band saw to cut in half the PVC tee used to make the clamp. The cut needs to be pretty straight in order for the clamp to hinge properly.

Step 3: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

Dry assemble all the PVC parts and mark them with a Sharpie for proper alignment when you're ready for final assembly. Glue all the pvc joints. You might want to take the extra step of cleaning all joints with PVC cleaner. You don't want your stand falling apart and your bike crashing to the floor.

Install the hinges and clasp on the tee you cut in half to finish the clamp assembly.

Step 4: Attach to the Bench Top

Picture of Attach to the Bench Top

Position the front legs of the stand near the front edge of the bench and use the 1 1/2" conduit clamps to hold the back of the stand securely to the bench.

Step 5: Use It

Picture of Use It

Wrap a 4" piece of foam pipe wrap around the seat post of your bike to protect it. Open the clamp and lift the bike so the seat post is inside the open clamp. Close the clamp and secure the clasp. Work on your bike.


BrunoR65 made it! (author)2016-05-08

Thank you! I've made it! I used tubes of 50mm and choose to use horizontal top holder it fits perfect for vintage cromoly frames.

imarunner2 (author)BrunoR652016-05-09

Nice work! Thanks for posting your pictures.

Juan Bietti made it! (author)2015-04-15

Muchas gracias, lo hice con tubo de 1 1/2"

jcharbonnet (author)2014-11-22

is it cheaper to buy the pvc and do it your self or buy on off of ebay

ymizrachi (author)2013-12-02

great! thanks for the plans.

the stand flexes a bit so i had some 2 part high density polyurethane foam laying around. just filled the pipes with it and it feels really strong now. it wont flex anymore and you can hammer out the headset like on a pro workshop stand..

imarunner2 (author)ymizrachi2013-12-02

Sounds like a great idea! I'm not familiar with the "2 part" foam. Thanks for sharing.

ymizrachi (author)2013-12-02

great! thanks for the plans.

the stand flexes a bit so i had some 2 part high density polyurethane foam laying around. just filled the pipes with it and it feels really strong now. it wont bent and you can hammer out the headset like on a pro workshop stand..

ymizrachi (author)2013-12-02

great! thanks for the plans.

the bike still moves a bit so i had some 2 part high density polyurethane foam laying around. just filled the pipes with it and it feels really strong now. it wont bent and you can hammer out the headset like on a pro workshop stand..

Old Duf Fuss (author)2013-07-26

WOW!!! Pure simplicity and soooo elegant!!!
Love it!!
Thank you.

NSDude (author)2007-08-07

Thanks for the design! I had to use ABS plastic tubes instead of PVC because Kent didn't have much PVC (4" was the smallest). Still worked out great. The T's aren't as good as the ones you have pictured and my clamp is a little sketchy (I just use a hand clamp just incase over the hinge) I added another tubing section to help with the weight as I could see my bike drifting slowly to the floor with the original design. It just sits directly underneath the top (see pic). All in all though cost me $45 CAD at kent to do. thanks!

shewitti (author)NSDude2011-12-17

I believe you are using a Y connector to fit the additional stability support. I have got a strong feeling that you could have foregone the two splices, the tee and 45 degree connectors right underneath. That would have allowed you to directly insert the foot of the new support straight into the front base. The result, I believe, will be use of less material (clutter), more strength and stability. On the down side, it will also mean resizing the two original down tubes. I am planning to do mine along that line and will post pictures and measurements of design modifications.

imarunner2 (author)NSDude2007-08-08

Very nice! I like the added stability feature.

brianandkathym (author)2011-11-19

I like the design and the well Thought of laying it out, But i used
Galvanized Pipe instead of PVC and With all the Work on doing repair of Bicycle's
I have found out that using Galvanized Pipe I could have put up 3 to 5 Bike on their own Maintenance Bike Holder. Job well done.

Science Swine (author)2010-12-19

Hey, love the instructable, I was all prepared to spend the 150 dollars on the pro bike stand until I saw this one. Just wondering, do you need to bend or manipulate the hinges to get them to fit? 5 stars, great project.

Joe_080 (author)2007-03-31

Here is one I built with a threaded union, like randytrant suggested, on the end so I can turn it vertical for the seat post and horizontal to hold in other positions.

ebrady (author)Joe_0802008-03-24

I know it has been a while since this as posted, but how do you prevent the bike from tilting once you have it in the proper position? I did this modification with the union also, however the front of the bike very slowly tilts to the floor as I am working on it.

Details of my work can be found here.

ebrady (author)ebrady2008-03-24

After using the stand with union joint, I found the bike tends to rotate out of position over time. I tweaked the design a little bit using a cheap $3 gasket set. Additional details can be found here.

imarunner2 (author)Joe_0802007-08-08

Now this is what Instructables and collaboration is all about! Randy and Joe, thanks for your contributions!

andrew. (author)2007-11-17

how much did it cost to build?

jon e rock (author)2007-09-05

how does the pvc tubing actually go into the elbows and tees? the elbows and tees i have are threaded so the pvc tubing doesnt go in all the way. dumb question i know, but im new to this. thanks.

imarunner2 (author)jon e rock2007-09-05

None of the pieces I've used here are threaded. All the joints are glued using PVC glue.

jon e rock (author)imarunner22007-09-06

thanks for getting back to me. what i mean is, my elbows/tees are threaded so i am wondering how to screw the pvc tubes into them. or did i buy the wrong elbows/tees. are there non threaded elbows/tees?

imarunner2 (author)jon e rock2007-09-06

Hmmm... the more common elbows and tees, at least where I live, are not threaded. Threaded parts require matching male and female threaded parts. With the non threaded parts you can cut pipes of the right diameter to any length and glue them into the female elbows and tees. So, if you can find non threaded parts where you are then yes, you'll want to use them to follow this instructable.

jon e rock (author)2007-09-05

also, what are splices? i cant find them used in your pics above, and the hardware store doesnt know what those are, either. thanks.

imarunner2 (author)jon e rock2007-09-05

The splices are simply short pieces of 1-1/4" PVC pipe about 2 inches long used to join two female ends of the tees and elbows. There are actually 4. I've updated the Instructable and noted the location in a couple of the photos.

Sha66y (author)2007-08-12

Great project! I built mine on Saturday with some additional modifications. For starters I did away with one of the 45 degree connectors and opted to instead lengthen the front legs. I also mounted it to a plank which I attach to my work bench.

A more complete description and pictures can be found here...

Thank you for a great Instructable!

gitemstevedave (author)2007-06-26

I built a bike rack for my car out of PVC. I used 1" PVC, and realized that with some dish soap, and a rubber mallet, you can pound a piece of 3/4" PVC into that pipe. Added negligible weight, and A LOT of strength.

I'd like to see the rack you made for your car. I've been thinking about doing that, too, but haven't spent the time doing it yet. Great tip!

randytrant (author)2007-01-30

add a threaded union at the head clamp, then you can turn your unit and clamp bottom rail to work on gear systems....

randytrant (author)randytrant2007-01-30

ps very cool design....

millerl513 (author)2006-09-25

If I am not mistaken I believe that you need (4) 2" splices, not (3) as noted in the original list??? I am fairly new to biking and I am awaiting delivery of a bike that I ordered over the internet and I was looking for a bike clamp--so I think that I will make this one before the bike arrives!!

MyAcademy (author)2006-08-06

If you really wanted to ensure that this went nowhere for next to no additional cash, you could buy some cement and (4) 1 1/4" PVC caps and fill the sucker with quick dry. ...just make sure the table is strong enough first. ;)

amorfa (author)2006-06-23

Which piece(s) flex the most? A not so expensive but possibly more sturdy option would be to change the two longer pieces of actual tubing to a metal tubing and leave everything else as PVC. That was you could still build the clamp with hand tools, the base would be cheap, and the flexible tubes would now be metal.

bikeaddict (author)2006-05-12

What are the dimensions of the pvc pipe other than the connectors just the pipe. In other words how long are the pieces of the pipe.

bikeaddict (author)2006-05-12

What lengths should the pipe be cut? I can't find any dimensions.

zeekey85 (author)2006-03-17

Where did you all find the clasp to tighten down the part of the pipe that holds the bike?!?! I can't find one anywhere!

imarunner2 (author)zeekey852006-04-08

I found the clasp I use at Lowe's. I believe it was near the window and door hardware section.

gnoodles (author)2005-12-11

Great idea. It would be a pretty trivial mod to build this out of iron pipe instead of PVC. That should fix any flex issues, at only a moderate increase at only a small increase in cost. It would also be more stable-- not to mention higher & easier to work on-- if you attached to the upright tube rather than the seatpost.

ehmbee (author)gnoodles2006-02-17

To go with iron pipe seems better to me as well, although PVC is no doubt better for the budget conscious...However, iron would give you the ability to make an actual stand independent of your bench if desired, and no doubt yield a Sherman Tank heirloom of a repair stand! You could probably put your iron down tube in some type of cast iron patio umbrella base, or Christmas tree stand if it were wide enough, possibly adding a plywood base you stand on, to hold the iron base portion in place as you work...Just my $.02.

sihorsky (author)2006-02-16

I'm a bike mechanic, and I can say that there is probably very little to worry about with clamping a carbon post in a repair stand. DONT crush it vigorously, but a little common sense goes a long way. Not everything for bicycles requires special tools. And I don't understand where the rigid unyielding metal clamp is in the project. I concede about not trying to insert a monocoque void formed frame in a stand, but thats different than wrapped carbon seatposts. More to do with shape and process than strength. If it can't take the force of repair stand clamp, it probably shouldn't support my bum four feet in the air.

Birch (author)2006-02-16

I've also seen those bike racks for cars, the kind that are cheap and go on the trunk and have the straps, being bolted to the work bench. You can get those things free or cheap. This old dude was using one in his storefront used bike shop.

enigmagic (author)2006-02-16

Clamping a carbon seatpost or any part of a carbon bicycle frame in a rigid unyielding metal clamp is a bad idea. Use an old aluminum seatpost for clamping your expensive frame into the stand.
The above link is a device specifically made for this purpose, just so you know I'm not blowing smoke.

paulw (author)2006-01-18

When making the hinge/clamp, place the hinges - drill the holes and temporarily bolt on the hinges and clamp. Mark the lines to cut. Try to get the hinges absolutely parallel to the axis of the pipe. Remove them and cut. When you refit the hinges and clamp, they'll line up perfectly. You can pop-rivet PVC pipe providing you use oversized washers.

hensonkid (author)2005-12-11

Doesn't the bike move around a lot since it's only anchored by the seatpost? How do you think it would work with a heavier (commuter cruiser) bike?

imarunner2 (author)hensonkid2005-12-11

Most of the commercial floor standing bike repair stands I've seen hold the bike by the seat post. It does move a bit as the PVC flexes some. I've been using it for 6 months or so. I haven't done any major repairs but it's very handy for typical maintenance such as removing wheels, adjusting brakes, cleaning, etc. I have used it on a heavier bike but the PVC flexes even more with more weight. Still usable IMHO.

About This Instructable




Bio: The picture is from the starting line at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN. I'm in there somewhere near the middle of the pack.
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