How to Make a Bike Repair Stand

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About: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is Sam and I'm a community manager here at Instructables.

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

The bike in these photos is a 1963 (I think) 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, but currently all the parts are in storage awaiting some deep cleaning and reassembly.

Some things deserve to be kept original, be used and appreciated as they are. I think this bike is one of those things.

I'm excited to finally get it put back together so I can ride it.

And NO . . I will not be stripping off the paint to "restore" it, or turning it into a fixie!

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!

That's it!

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!

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    15 Discussions

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    Honus

    13 days ago

    Love it!

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    Oldbear

    14 days ago

    Great build you have there. I have a similar build that mounts on my welding table. I built the table with 2" receiver tubing flush mounted in a few spots. They I just built the bike stand out of 2" square tubing, with the arm being round pipe to allow for adjustments. I still call mine a bike repair stand - the shop I worked at as a kid had a few of the stand mounted to the workbench rather than floor mounts. I too am a huge fan of building rather than buying. My shop is filled with things thaat could have been bought - but I'd rather know that I built it.

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    seamsterOldbear

    Reply 14 days ago

    Amen brother : ) Thank you for your thoughtful comment. The idea of using hitch receivers as multi-use holders is a good one, thank you.

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    bongodrummer

    17 days ago on Step 11

    Loving the style of this. Looks awesome! Also love the use of all the old bits'n'bobs. Thanks for sharing.

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    F. BrianH

    Tip 17 days ago on Step 11

    Pro-bike mechanic tip - never clamp to the tubes of a bicycle, always clamp to the seatpost. The tubes of high end bicycles are 'butted' (thinner in the center) to lighten up the frame and can buckle under clamping while still allowing enough material at the joints for strong brazes/welds. Seatposts however are designed to be clamped (by the bike and a repair stand.) So shortening up your clamping surface (the angle iron) could make your stand more versatile by allowing you to more easily clamp to bikes with less seatpost exposed.

    Keep the Le Champion original! There are enough fixies in the world already that were bodged together from great classic bicycles.

    Well done, excellent use of 'found' materials in making a very usable bike clamp and stand.

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    seamsterF. BrianH

    Reply 17 days ago

    Thank you for the excellent tip!

    I agree the world does not need more ruined-classics-fixies . . I wish there were more vintage bikes rolling around in original condition! : )

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    morleidre

    19 days ago

    A good looking bike stand and justification to keep all those cool parts for a future project. Did you consider using a pair of the Vise-Grips as your locking jaws?

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    TouchWood74morleidre

    Reply 19 days ago

    Visegrips are a great idea, but I think maybe this gentleman was concidering cost over handiness. Not sure about the State's but I know Canada to get Visegrips the right size would be around the $15 range and a cissor jack even bought at a wrecking yard maybe $5 bones.

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    seamsterTouchWood74

    Reply 19 days ago

    I did not consider vise grips. It is a good idea though. But considering it now . . if I had an extra pair of functional vise grips, they'd likely not be used but would join my stock of clamping pliers along with my other welding tools! ; )

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    TouchWood74

    19 days ago

    Hi there Y'all, One could even add a few more plates, nuts & bolts or bracket, etc. so that One could store it all together on a wall or hooked to a storage-shelf, and or might be able to make some more adjustments and One could use the vise-clamp to hang the bike and the vise-clamp on the wall, roof, back of garage door etc. This was a well done project, and has great potential for add-ons in the future, would luv to see them. (A Dragons Den Special sell the #1 addition, then make ad-ons for #2 edition) Just saying! That being said, I'm sure We would All, like to Thank You for Sharing your Fantastic-Ingeniously done DIY project, with Us All.
    Our Warmest Regards
    Andrew R Thomson
    The OtterOutfitters Co.

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    seamsterTouchWood74

    Reply 19 days ago

    Thank you for your great comment and suggestions!

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    Troubah

    20 days ago

    How did you know I was looking for one ?
    I don't have all the materials, but thanks for the inspiration !

    (I'll just add : you're right, don't turn it into a fixie)

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    pierrard

    21 days ago

    Thanks ! An instructable which is entry level for beginner builders like me. I definitely will brush up my builder skills with this one during this winter time, and it will be a useful tool as well. Thanks for sharing !

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    tercero

    22 days ago

    Nicely constructed.
    I purchased a good one off of amazon for around $80 CDN delivered to my door. I bet yours cost a lot less than that to bodge together.

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    seamstertercero

    Reply 22 days ago

    Thank you. Yep, the cost for new material was only a few dollars for the hardware pieces (washers, spring, bolt). It works better than I had expected, so I'm quite happy with it.