Any seasoned cyclist will tell you that the first thing that you will really need, if you are really serious about making repairs at home, is a bicycle maintenance stand.
There are two general types of bike stands on the market today: storage stands and maintenance stands. Both can be used for storage, but only a maintenance stand can be used comfortably for repairs.
Storage stands are often compact, because they either lock onto the bike’s wheels, or they can be used to hang a bicycle onto a vertical surface. Storage stands are not meant to be adjusted vertically or horizontally; what you see is all you will get.
Now that you know what you should be looking for when you go shopping for a new bike stand, let’s tackle a few buying pointers that will help you get the best deal:
1. If you are really strapped for cash at the moment, consider visiting garage sales to see if anyone is selling their old bike stand. Well-wrought bike stands are durable, and it’s only the paint that gets old. With some axle grease, an old bike stand made of stainless steel will serve its function as if it were brand new.
2. If you have a mountain bike with a large and heavy frame, don’t buy a maintenance stand made from aluminum. Aluminum stands are light and flimsy, to say the least. The risk of deforming and ultimately damaging the bike stand is high if you are going to elevate a heavy mountain bike for long periods of time.
The risk climbs even more when you try to rotate the bike’s frame while elevated. If you have the kind of bike that was designed for racing and rough terrain, you are dealing with a very heavy bicycle. Buy a maintenance stand that is heavier, and is made from heftier materials as well. Stainless steel and steel alloys are a good choice.
3. If you have the space at home for it, buy a bicycle hoist system. A hoist system is bolted onto the ceiling. This type of bike stand utilizes an adjustable cable hoist system, so you can elevate and rotate your bicycle while making your repairs. The cables are equipped with hooks that you can use to secure your bike at different points. If you are good with pulleys and cables, a bike hoist isn’t a bad idea.
4. Some DIY enthusiasts find themselves in a position where they cannot buy a full-sized bike stand because of space constraints at home. First of all, you don’t have to work in the garage if there is no space there.
Have you tried clearing up the basement so you can set up a repair space there? If that also isn’t possible, consider buy a compact, non-adjustable stand. You will not be able to adjust the height, but at least you will be able to elevate your bicycle when you need to.
5. If you cannot find a bicycle repair stand that is manufactured from stainless steel, choose an aluminum stand that is heavy so it can counterbalance the weight of your bike well. If your bike stand is too light, the weight of the bike will most likely destroy its hinges after a few months.