Introduction: How to Make a Bike Repair Stand
This is a bike repair stand I made.
Well, technically it's not a stand; it's more of a bicycle clamp-arm-apparatus-thing, which is held in my portable vise stand to use.
A similar apparatus could be made to mount permanently to a base or tripod, or to mount to a workbench or wall.
In my case, this option seemed the most useful as it takes advantage of a heavy tripod base I already have in my shop. Extra weights can be added to the vise stand for more stability if needed.
I've been trying to get back into cycling lately, and have needed a repair stand for working on our bikes.
I like to design and fabricate my own stuff rather than buy things. Despite the common assumption, making your own stuff isn't always about saving money. A person could certainly just buy a bike repair stand for a lot less time, effort, and money (considering the variety of tools required), but where's the satisfaction in that?! : )
Come along and I'll show you how I made this!
Step 1: Side Note: About This Bike
This bike is a 1973 Motobecane Le Champion that I've been holding onto for several years, intending to get it back on the road at some point.
It's a sweet bike.
Some things deserve to be kept original, be used and appreciated as they are. I think this bike is one of those things.
Step 2: A Closer Look
Here is a look at all of the completed components that make up my bike repair stand clamp apparatus thing.
The main clamp mechanism swivels within the support arm and can be locked in position using the threaded golf ball handle on the back end.
The clamp opens and closes with a large knob on the top. I put a lot of thought into how to make this mechanism as simple as possible. It uses a homemade knob, slightly modified carriage bolt, some washers, a modified t-nut, and a spring.
Each component is covered in more detail in later steps.
Step 3: It's Like Playing With LEGO
A similarly functioning apparatus could be made in any number of ways, depending on what things a person has to work with.
I have a couple of buckets full of random metal parts and pieces I've collected over the years. These have come from disassembled tools, random things bought at thrift stores, or scrap items I've just kept because they looked useful.
I dumped all of this out and began sorting through trying to figure out what would work. It really is a lot like playing with LEGO pieces.
At one point I fully intended on using just this scissor jack to make the whole bike clamp mechanism.
But in the end I realized I had better options to create a more robust mechanism (and with less effort) using other parts from my scrap pile.
However, the scissor jack provided the nesting arms for the clamp which worked out perfectly. The remaining scissor jack parts went back to the scrap buckets for future projects.
Step 4: Dimensions
There was a lot of trial and error involved in making this.
Here are the final dimensions that might be useful for anyone that wants to make something similar.
These pieces were cut using an angle grinder with a cut off wheel, or a portable bandsaw mounted into a table (this) as needed. Some additional shaping was done with an angle grinder and a grinding disc.
The holes on the top and bottom pieces for the carriage bolt were drilled using a drill press, and then enlarged using a rotary tool with a small carbide grinding bit. The hole in the upper arm was elongated so the carriage bolt could pivot and remain at 90 degrees to the top arm in any position. The lower hole was made square-ish to keep the carriage bolt from spinning, and the front edge of the carriage bolt was trimmed off (shown in a later step), which allows the bolt to pivot front-to-back as needed.
Scrap pieces of angle iron were used for mouth pieces of the clamp arms. These were welded in place.
The long rod with the threaded end was from my scrap pile. This was welded to a large washer, which was then welded to the lower clamp arm.
A project like this requires various tools, including welding tools. Become familiar with welding basics here: Welding Class
Step 5: Finish Clamp Arms
The clamp arms were cleaned with a wire wheel in a power drill to remove all the paint and rust.
I then painted these with a few coats of clear enamel spray paint.
Step 6: Make a Knob
This is how I made a knob for the clamp.
This was made from a piece of scrap 13-ply baltic birch plywood, a toothed t-nut, and a bit of 2-part epoxy.
This is a great way to make simple utility knobs, and I've made many of these over the years. See photos and photo notes for details and tips on how this was made.
Step 7: Modify Carriage Bolt
In order for the carriage bolt to pivot as needed, I trimmed off one side of the head as shown using an angle grinder.
This trimmed side faces the jaws of the clamp. See photo notes in 2nd photo for details.
Step 8: Add Pads
Some scrap pieces of rubber from a floor mat were cut to size as needed.
These were affixed to the clamp jaws using double sided foam tape.
Step 9: Support Arm
The support arm that holds the clamp was made from a piece of 1 3/4" by 1/4" thick angle iron, a scrap piece of metal tubing, and a pair of washers.
See photo notes for details.
Step 10: Golf Ball Handle
The handle was made using this threaded coupling thing that pairs with the metal rod that was attached to the clamp. These pieces were originally part of a radial arm saw I took all apart (part of which was used to make my vise stand), but any similar items could be used, such as the threaded rod and mating piece from the scissor jack noted earlier.
A scrap piece of metal rod was cut and two golf balls were bored out and glued to the ends to create a vise-style handle.
Step 11: Assemble the Pieces and Fix Your Bikes!
All of the components were put together and the entire thing gets clamped into my vise to use.
I always appreciate your thoughts, tips, and questions. If you make something similar, be sure to leave some photos and let me know how it went.
Thanks for reading!