"BIKE BUCKET" - Bicycle Stand - Portable, Cheap, Lightweight




About: recently retired tinkerer with an overactive imagination, possibly infected with the 'Idea Virus'

A slotted plastic bucket becomes a surprisingly sturdy bike stand.

For National Bike Month, the local farmers market wanted our 'kinetic sculptures' on display. We needed some kind of racks or stands, quickly and on the cheap.

"THE RUSTBUCKET" sculpture ( 1ST PHOTO )

"THE SPIN-DOCTOR" sculpture ( 2ND PHOTO )

The "BIKE BUCKET" is a great solution for the garage, patio, or apartment.

[ shameless plug: this is entered in the BICYCLE CONTEST - please take the time/effort to VOTE for my innovation ]

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Step 1: - P R E P a R a T I O N

a FIVE-GALLON bucket, also known as a PAIL - any old strong-rimmed pail will work

Our first few buckets were from a local soap maker, and still had gooey coconut oil on the insides. There are really strong-rimmed buckets available - mostly for chemicals or other specialty contents ( 2ND PHOTO )

a carpenter's tri-square, with a steel rule
a pointed marker
a hand saw
( a coping saw or sabre saw, if you want to make curves )

Measure the width of your bicycle tire. A beach cruiser is typically the widest, and a 2-1/2" slot will accommodate any bicycle with ease. If you have a fixie or other road bike, a smaller slot is just fine.

Turn the bucket upside down, and mark a center line on the bottom. Then mark the slot, 1-1/4" on either side of the center line. To keep your bike balanced, it is very important that the slot is VERTICAL, so use the tri-square to mark all four vertical lines on the sides.

( ps: it would be easy to also mark the AXLE SLOT(S) at this time - read ahead to CONSTRUCTION, and come back here )

Step 2: - C O N S T R U C T I O N

Cut through the bottom rim at each of the four 'corners', with the hand saw. Follow your layout lines closely.

Cut across and through the bottom, placing the saw blade into the notches at the 'corners' as your guide.

Cut along each of the vertical lines. If your cuts aren't vertical, your bike won't be either.

Turn the bucket on its side and lightly make a small cut along the reinforced ridge, between your vertical cuts. (2ND PHOTO)
Repeat the small cut on the other side of the bucket.

Bend the strip back and forth until the plastic strip snaps off. (PHOTO 3)  Remove and discard the plastic strip.

Cut two slots for the front axle to fit through. Mine is one inch wide and almost six inches from end to end. (PHOTO 4)

Step 3: - C O M P L E T I O N

Well, your "BIKE BUCKET" was already done, by the end of Step 2.

Roll your front wheel partly into the WHEEL SLOT. Lift the bicycle and set the front axle into the AXLE SLOT(S). Straighten the handlebars and let go. Ta-Da!

Here are SEVERAL photos demonstrating that the wide slot works quite well for a variety of  wheel sizes.

The ends of the front fork will slip right down into the bucket, unless you have a mountain bike with heavy-duty outboard forks. (PHOTOS 2 & 3) The thick ends of these wide forks will rest on the bucket with the axle still inside.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Carry the "BIKE BUCKET" on your handle bars.

Decorate it with paint or tape. Let your kids personalize theirs.

Stack a few of them together when you go camping or to Burning Man. Make extras to trade for ??? on the Playa!!

The "BIKE BUCKET" makes a great gift.

Wheels Challenge

Participated in the
Wheels Challenge

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Participated in the
Bicycle Contest

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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    We just discovered that FOUR bikes fit into the back of an F-150 with these buckets - alternate forward/backward/forward/backward - add a few bungie cords to minimize the jigglies, and hit the road Jack!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks everyone for your votes and comments. It IS entered in the "Bicycle Contest", so vote for your favorite(s).For apartments, dorms, hallways or garages, there is simply no better, more ecological, or cheaper way to store a bike, unless you just flip it onto its bars and saddle.

    While I indeed am enjoying my 15 minutes of fame, what would really feel even better is receipt of your constructive ideas to improve/enhance the "BIKE BUCKET". Post YOUR Instructables with your ideas, and please include a link or title in these comments. Ride high, tall, and proud!!!

    572 MtnBike.JPG

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'll be making two of these with empty Tidy Cats Litter buckets! Thank you!

    You should enter this in the Bicycle Contest! https://www.instructables.com/contest/bicycle/


    7 years ago on Introduction

    very cool idea! i just made one today and am planning one making one for my brother as a christmas present!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Please do us all a BIG favor, and post images of them here in the comments section. Your extra effort serves to encourage readers to make their own, and to generally grow the Instructables community. -Irish M.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    looks like this idea could be used to work on a bike upsidedown,for working on the gears and wheels. just cut a smaller gap in the bucket big enough to place the handlebars in so they wouldnt be on the ground. also could have another to place the seat on or just use the lid from the first bucket.