Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or an experienced cyclist on a road or mountain bike, sooner or later, your bike is going to need servicing and repairs. While many cyclists take their bikes to their local shop for servicing, another option has some real benefits for you as a rider.
Bike repair stands offer the rider a solid platform to service and repair their bike, whether it’s a simple lubrication top-up or a more complex tune-up. Having a bike repair stand makes these jobs a lot easier and simpler to do successfully and can save time and money over the long term.
But, like most things, there is more to having your own bike repair stand than just servicing. This handy and affordable product has some surprising benefits you may not have even considered!
What is a Bike Repair Stand, and How Does It Work?
Simply put, a bike repair stand is a tool that allows your bike to be lifted safely and securely off the ground for service, diagnosis of mechanical issues, and repair or replacement of parts.
The Two Types of Bike Repair Stands
Bike stands are available in two types: the clamping stand and the bottom bracket stand. The clamp stand is the most popular one and clamps onto the bike either on the seat post or the top tube.
The bottom bracket stand doesn’t hold the bike. Instead, the bike is lifted and rested on the stand frame allowing work to be done and the pedals to be turned if need be.
Both serve essentially the same purpose, and each one has its pros and cons. Let’s quickly take a glance at those so you can start getting an idea of which would best work for you.
Clamp VS Bracket Bike Repair Stand– A Quick Comparison
The clamp stand locks the bike in place above the ground. This allows for easy access to all parts of the cycle, so you can service, check and change any part of the bike that needs it. Testing and adjusting derailleurs, cleaning and lubing the chain, and adjusting brakes and gears can all be done effortlessly on the Clamp stand.
On the downside, you need a fair bit of space for the frame and space to work around it. Also, lighter or ultralight frames may not have space to clamp.
The bottom bracket stand gets used in all types of events and races. Due to its portability, it is easy to transport and set up and offers similar functionality and access to the clamp.
While both stands come in portable and fixed options, the real choice will depend on what kind of cyclist you are, where you work on your bikes, and how deeply you want to get to know your cycle.
So, let’s take a look at the ten reasons you’d WANT to get a bike stand.
Reasons to use a Bike Repair Stand
1. Saving Money
If you get bitten by the cycling bug and start to ride with increased frequency, you will soon realize that you’re spending quite a lot on services and repairs. Going from once every six months to every three months to every month will take a noticeable bite out of your budget.
You’re going to ask yourself why you are spending all of this money when you could learn to do this yourself, especially with the minor repairs, and you’d be amazed at how much you could save even if you invest in a slightly more expensive stand.
Once you’ve decided to start doing your services at home, the very first thing you’re going to need…..is a bike repair stand.
2. Getting To Know Your Bike Better
Getting a really good look at your bike from different angles changes the way you see and ride as you start to understand the mechanics of the machine. It’s a bit like looking at the underside of your car when it’s eight feet off the ground for the first time and getting an insight into what goes on underneath and how it all fits together.
Granted, your car is a bit more complex and will kill you if it falls on you (while your bike won’t), but it’s an experience to see how these fantastic machines are put together.
How the cables for breaks and gears run, the derailleur settings, pedals, and electronics are all specifically designed and mounted to contribute to your riding experience.
This perspective gives you newfound respect, and you’ll never think the same way about your bike again when riding.
Bike repair stands are portable, and most of them can either break down to fit in your car or are small enough to do so without having to take them apart.
Experienced riders know full well the benefit of having your bike on a stand at an event as it leaves less chance of the bike being knocked over or scratched in crowded areas before and after a race.
Not only that, but the bike stand gives you the option to do some last-minute tuning or lubing before you ride without risking getting dirty by trying to lift it with one hand and lube or pedal with the other!
Trying to lift and hold a bike in one hand while using the other hand to cycle the crank is one of the most uncomfortable and ungainly actions you can do as a cyclist. It’s clumsy and challenging, not to mention how silly you’d look if you lost your balance and fell over.
As a side note, having your bike on a stand while waiting to race or afterward certainly adds a level of professionalism to your appearance!
4. Stability When Working On Your Bike
Having the bike stable and clamped or still while you’re working on it prevents your fingers from getting caught in the chain because you’ve positioned them wrong trying to stabilize the bike. It also stops you from getting sprayed with lube when cycling the chain and reduces the risk of the bike getting scratched or damaged if it happens to fall.
In addition, you have peace of mind KNOWING it’s not going to fall, and you can work on your bike safely and easily.
Having a bike repair stand means you can work on your bike anywhere, any time you need to. Not having a stand will often discourage you from doing this as you know it will be a frustrating exercise, and frankly, you’d instead not put yourself through that.
For example, you’ve done a ride and noticed a noise coming off the bike toward the end of the ride. It’s FAR easier to determine the problem and fix it when you can put the bike up on the stand either at the location (if you have a portable stand) or once you get home.
Another good thing about cycling is that there are usually many riders who know a lot more than you, and when you have your bike up, you can be sure that someone will ask you what the issue is and offer some assistance.
This could inadvertently expand your knowledge about bike mechanics and grow your social circle a little bigger- which is a great thing in any sport!
You don’t have to wait to take it to the shop the next day; you can load it up and take a look yourself.
The bike repair stand gives you the ability to do it NOW and a simple and efficient way to get your bike up and ready for service and repair. Having your bike up means you can affect your repairs faster and quicker than not having a stand.
It also means you can focus properly on what you are doing without having to worry about the bike falling over while you’re working on it. This saves you time and makes the process a lot quicker to complete.
If you have just finished a mountain bike ride and your bike is covered in mud and grime from the trail, it will take you a fraction of the time to put it up on your stand and clean it. You can easily access the whole bike, and even the difficult-to-reach parts come clean in no time.
Without the stand, this would probably have to wait until you got home, and once ready to clean, you’d be moving the bike (or yourself) around to try and get to all the tight places that you can easily access when the bike is on the repair stand.
Or, you’d have to ask your other half (if you have one) to be kind enough to hold it for you while you clean it off, and not everyone is partial to that idea, especially at the risk of getting wet in the process.
Having the bike stand makes cleaning any bike so simple and a lot less frustrating. If you’ve EVER tried to wash or clean a free-standing bicycle, you know EXACTLY what I mean!
7. Acquisition of Knowledge
Being able to work on your bike when and where you want generates a more profound interest in your bicycle mechanics. This, in turn, leads to a desire to learn and understand more so that you may become more than just a rider in time.
You could become your bike mechanic. Except for some major repairs like the frame or forks that require more structural knowledge, it could certainly leave you more than capable of effectively servicing and repairing your bike.
Not only that, but having a more precise idea of your bike offers you the opportunity to fine-tune and tweak aspects of the performance that you really wouldn’t have been able to do without the stand. In fact, without the repair stand, it would be unlikely that you would become more involved in understanding the functionality as the means to have this perspective would not be available.
Becoming inspired to learn more about your bike is a pathway to becoming a better rider as it grows your passion for the sport. It is gratifying to know that you’ve serviced or repaired your bike and then ride it while KNOWING your bike is performing well under your own hand.
This is a dynamic spiral upwards to more incredible and more fulfilling experiences on your bike, whether it’s racing or just recreational.
8. Diagnosis and Testing
Because bicycles are machines, they sometimes develop these little quirks and noises that come out of nowhere. One minute the bike is smooth and quiet, and the next, it’s moaning and creaking like it’s going to fall apart.
While you’re riding, there is nothing you can do, but when you’re done, you can load the bike on the stand and start to see if you can recreate the noise you heard while riding. It may be as simple as a small stone in the wheel or the chain making a racket.
This is where the bike repair stand comes into its own. Once the bike is up, you can then cycle the pedals with ease and find the source of the problem quite quickly. If you didn’t have the stand, you’d have to try and figure out the problem by either riding it or trying to pedal with one hand while holding the bike up with the other.
It’s far easier to find a sound when you can focus on it entirely than having your attention distracted trying to hold the bike, pedal with one hand, and look to see where the sound is coming from.
Much, much easier with a bike repair stand.
9. Less Physically Demanding
Cleaning or fixing your bike without a stand can be physically uncomfortable and puts strain on your body. Legs, back, and arms get stiff and sore from bending at weird and wonderful angles and positions as you try and work yourself into a pretzel to reach the difficult places on your bike.
After a session like this, you can feel like you’ve been to a stretch and flex class with a sadistic instructor! Not only that, but you run the risk of getting your hands and fingers caught in the chain or nicking your skin on the sprockets.
Squatting down to clean the undersides of the bike and the lower parts of the wheels is a workout akin to leg day at the gym!
No. Far easier to have the bike up on the bike repair stand and do it the easy way.
10. A Side Business!
Yes, that’s right. This could be a way to generate revenue for yourself. Should you find yourself developing a real passion and skill for bike repair and maintenance, there would be no shortage of opportunities to turn this into an excellent little side business.
In cycling, as in most sports, people follow and respect passion. When riders know you are doing it for your bikes and have a real passion for it, they will trust you with their bikes.
Not only could you service and repair your bike, but offer this to other riders you know. While you wouldn’t charge the same initially as your local bike shop, you certainly could be competitive with your rates.
Start with neighborhood riders and use social media for advertising your services. Writing short little posts or doing video tips is a great way to showcase your knowledge and passion!
If you get really good, you could find a substantial demand for your services and set up your service and repair hustle in your garage or offer the use and rental of bike stands at races and events!
Opportunities abound, and to think, all of that could come about just by buying yourself a bike repair stand!
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I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.