DIY Bike Work Stand – No More Excuses for Not Wrenching on Your Rig
For most of us the Mountain Bike Life is about more than throwing our leg over our favorite steed and shredding the local single track. The ride itself is the climax of the whole experience but there is plenty of foreplay and afterglow worth writing about. Mapping out your next adventure, packing the right tools, purchasing the right gear, picking the right post ride dive to eat at and the best post ride beverages to drink all are part of this experience we call mountain biking. Personally wrenching on my rig is one of my favorite aspects of this hobby, and I know other readers and contributors here agree. However without a work stand every repair can end up feeling like a trailside nightmare void of joy. If you need a work stand, and you are on a tight budget or have a passion for DIY solutions read below the break to discover a simple and effective DIY bike stand solution that should cost you under $35.
Let’s start by giving credit where it is due. The design I am presenting to you is a modification of an idea YouTube user Johnnysshop presented here. Others have offered similar ideas. The concept I am presenting can hardly be called a ‘stand’, it’d be better to call it a bike hanger. It should be easy enough for you to adapt this design as a ‘bench mount’ or ‘wall mount’ stand as well. What I have found nice about this stand is that it is easy to get out of the way when not in use yet stable enough to be effective. I will be presenting a ‘floor joist mount’, you also could do a simple ceiling mount if your joists are not exposed, but it will be critical to make sure you are anchored in a joist behind your drywall. If you are installing this in a basement with ceiling panels I’d recommend assembling it as I am out lining below and just slide the panel to the side when in use.
Let’s start with a Bill of Materials.
1. 1x – 3/4″ Pipe Clamp – This is the key component to this stand. This can be purchased at any major home improvement store. Here is an Amazon Link to a 3/4″ pipe clamp so that you can see what it is. I believe I paid about $15 for mine at Home Depot.
2. 1x – 3/4″ base plate – regardless of how you will mount your stand this will be a necessary component. The other components I list will vary based on your application.
3. 1x – 3/4″ black pipe short nipple
4. 2x – 3/4″ black pipe 90 degree elbows.
5. 1x – 3/4″ x 4′ black pipe threaded on both ends. The length of this is assuming an 8ft ceiling with exposed joists. If you have a shorter ceiling or a ceiling with unexposed joists you will want this length to be shorter. Or if you prefer to stand when you work instead of sitting on a stool you will want to shorten this up as well.
6. 1x – 3/4″ x 12″ black pipe threaded on both ends. You can get away with 6″ length, but don’t go shorter than that.
7. 4x – mounting screws appropriate for whatever material you are mounting into. In this case I used some deck screws I had laying around.
This should be pretty simple and if it is taking you more than 15 to 20 minutes to build this you could be over complicating things.
1. Mount the base plate to the exposed floor joist with four mounting screws. If you are doing a ceiling mount with unexposed joints make sure that 2 of your screws are hitting the floor joist behind the ceiling, make sure they are long enough to get plenty of thread engagement into the wood.
2. Thread the short nipple and elbow into base plate. This will be a permanent mount so feel free to torque it down as hard as you want. You will leave this part of the assembly together even when you disassemble the lower half when you are done wrenching on your bike. It should be noted that you can replace the nipple and elbow combination with one street elbow if that is your preference. It makes no difference.
3. Thread a 3/4″ elbow to one end of your long pipe. This will be permanently fixed so go ahead and take the pipe wrench to it and torque it down. Thread locker is not necessary, we are not worried about being air tight. The snugness of this joint is not critical to the function of the stand, but I say torque it down anyway.
4. Thread your 12″ long pipe into the elbow. You will definitely want to get the pipe wrench out for this one. Give it everything you got. The tightness of this joint will affect the overall stability of your bike in the stand.
5. Slide the free end of the pipe clamp onto the 12″ length of pipe and then thread on the fixed end. You will want the fixed end threaded on as tight as possible. You will want the clamps pads oriented 90 degrees to the long pipe. I found it easier to tighten the clamp down at final assembly. I did not use thread locker on any of my threads, but if you have thread locker laying around it wouldn’t hurt to use it.
6. Thread the whole clamp assembly into the elbow already mounted to your ceiling. If you plan on permanently mounting then feel free to torque this all the way down. However if you plan on putting the lower assembly off in a closet after working then you might consider not giving it full torque. How tight you go here does affect how readily your bike will rotate in the stand. I personally prefer to tighten it very tight but still just loose enough to know I won’t have a hernia disassembling it.
7. Mount your bike by the seat post and have fun working. You might consider customizing the pads on the clamps, especially if you have a dropper post. I have considered using an old seat post and clamping it down super tight (to the point of slightly crushing the post) and then sliding my bike on using that post. Get creative, just be careful not to wreck your good seat post with the clamp.
Do you have any DIY ideas you’d like to share with us, or improvements you’d like to offer to this idea? Let us know in the comments, and have fun wrenching.