Bicycle Work Stand for $10 in 5 Minutes - Attaches to Workbench Vise




Introduction: Bicycle Work Stand for $10 in 5 Minutes - Attaches to Workbench Vise

Motivation: I recently decided to change the cassette and rear derailleur of my Trek FX 7.5 bicycle to get a bigger granny gear.  Installing and adjusting the derailleur is much easier using a bicycle work stand which suspends the bike allowing the pedals to be spun while shifting gears and watching the rear derailleur action.

Big Idea:  I already have a workbench mounted vise, so all that was needed was a way to suspend the bicycle by attaching it to the vise.

Since my bicycle seat post diameter (and also many other bicycles) is about 27 mm AND the outside diameter of standard ¾ inch iron pipe is just barely under 27 mm, I just removed and replaced the bike seat post with a 5 “ long , ¾ pipe nipple. 

A 90 degree elbow connects the nipple to a 18” long section of pipe creating a “L” shaped arm.  The longer pipe is then clamped in the bench mounted vise - rigidly holding the bicycle about 6 inches off the ground (see photo).

Step 1: Check Bicycle Seat Post Diameter

For this idea to work, your bicycle seat post diameter should be about 27 mm so that a 3/4 inch pipe (nominally 26.67 mm outside diameter) will fit into the bicycle seat post mount. 

To check your bicycle's seat post diameter, here's a URL ( to a bicycle seat post diameter database, or just measure your bicycle's seat post diameter, or just buy a 5 or 6 inch long 3/4" pipe nipple to test fit.

Step 2: Buy Hardware, Assemble, and Test

1) From a hardware store or big box store like Lowe's or Home Deport, buy one each 3/4" iron pipe:

90 degree elbow,
5"  lg pipe nipple,
18" lg pipe threaded on at least one end

Total cost < $10 @ Lowe's (see receipt photo)

2) Screw the pipes and elbow together to create a giant  "L" arm

3) Replace the bicycle's seat with the short end of the "L" arm, and tighten the seat mount screw.  Avoid over tightening the screw as this might make it hard to reinstall to bicycle seat.

4)  With the "L" arm now attached to the bicycle, clamp the long end of the "L" arm in the workbench vise.  Position bicycle and vise so you can spin the pedals while working on the bicycle.  Most vises have a pair a semi-circular jaws below the standard straight jaws for clamping round objects.

5) That's all there is to it !  

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    8 years ago

    Works great! Ordered an ABS plastic seatpost shim to go from 27.2mm to 30.9 for my mountain bike. Might stick a layer of duct tape in between to make up the difference... it's a little loose.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love your seat post mount idea. I paired it with another instructable to create a simple, very cheap, and very sturdy wall mounted seat post clamp repair stand.

    - 1" floor flange, 18" - 1" pipe, 1" to 3/4" reducing elbow, 6" - 3/4" pipe with one threaded end cut off and filed smooth.

    Other Instructable:


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea, though it does look low for regular work. Would be inclined to sit on a stool to do extended work at this height in order to see properly. (30 year bike mechanic here.) Also, the pipe might be expected to slip in the vise as the round surface area affords only small contact with pipe jaws. An important caveat: it is great you mentioned that bikes have various seat tube inside diameters, but for clarity I will point out that a precise fit matters for the life of the bike. When tightening either a quick release or a bolt style seat post binder at the seat tube lug, the narrow slot machined in the frame closes up just enough to be able to hold the post. If precise, there is negligible stress on the frame, and the post is held firm.
    If someone experiments and uses a smaller diameter, the frame will be stressed and could suffer damage at the seat lug. Keep in mind that posts come in many increments, e.g. 26.0mm, 26.4mm, 26.8mm, then 27.0, etc.
    May be better to fashion a used correct sized post into this build somehow. Frame repair could be costly.
    Keep the ideas coming!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Built this tonight. Freaking perfect. I mounted mine with a pate to the wall of the garage so as I could set it a bit higher. Took all of 30min and the includes going to Lowes!

    Well done.

    Phil B
    Phil B

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Mounting a bike with a 1 inch pipe in the seat post is interesting. It would be good if the pipe could be higher so a person could view most of the bike at about eye level. Thanks. By the way, we lived in Lorain, Ohio back in the mid-1970s, but only for a couple of years. We were back near to the Black River off of Hwy. 57 between Lorain and Elyria behind the Firment Chevrolet and the K-Mart. I do not know if those are still there.