A bike stand is handy when you are repairing or maintaining your bike. It works by lifting your bike off the ground and holding it in a comfortable working position. You can freely adjust the height and angle of the bike, so you don’t have to use one hand to hold the bike still while working. If you are serious about creating a biking habit, then a bicycle hand should be at the center of your workshop. It just makes everything easy — even putting lube on your chain.
When buying a bike stand, you have to consider a couple of factors:
- Are you looking for something portable and easy to store?
- How strongly do you need it to be?
- What types of bikes do you own?
- How delicate are your bikes?
- What’s your budget?
The Two Types of Bike Stands
There are two main types of bicycle stands on the market — tube clamping bike stands and axle/bottom bracket mounted bike stands. Let’s discuss each type below:
Tube Clamping Bicycle Stands
Tube clamping bicycle stands are the most common type of bike stands on the market. It works by grabbing your bike’s frame tube (usually the top tube or seat post). Hence, the name. Despite being the most common work stand, tube clamping bicycle stands don’t work on all bikes. For example, very light bikes and aero road bikes don’t have the right tube surface to clamp on securely.
Below are some of the advantages of using this type of bike stand:
- Easy to use – you don’t have to remove the wheels.
- An excellent choice for lubing, pre-ride adjustments, post-ride adjustments, and cleaning
- Future proof – bike axles standards continue to change over the years, making it a problem for axle mounted bike stands. None of these matter for tube clamping work stands because you’re just clamping on the top tube or seat post.
- Flexibility – offers many areas to clamp on. Works on bikes with varying tube frame diameters and shapes.
Tube clamping bike stands are the perfect choice unless you have a specialized bike with delicate frames (e.g., carbon road bikes).
Axle/Bottom Bracket Mounted Bike Stands
Axle/Bottom Bracket Mounted Bike Stands offers a more compact design than its cousin. It’s easier to carry and store too. This is a favorite among mechanics in a professional bike race as it allows them to quickly spin the bike back and forth without changing their position. The only trade-off is that you have to take one wheel off to mount your bike. This can be a pain to deal with, especially with the complicated and sensitive derailleur settings of modern bikes.
Below are some of the advantages of using Axle/Bottom Bracket Mounted Bike Stands:
- Can handle more pressure and force – if you need to exert a lot of force to tighten bolts, this is the best choice.
- Stability – compared to tube clamps, this bike stand will not torque on your top tube or seat tube even if you put your weight on it.
- You can spin the bike – you can easily access both sides of your bike without the need to reposition yourself.
- Perfect for specialized bikes with sensitive frames.
Aside from removing one wheel, you may also need to purchase adaptors as not all bikes come with uniform axles.
Features to Look for When Choosing a Bike Stand
Most bike stands come in a relatively similar design and function. Below are the must-have features if you’re planning to buy one:
- Height Adjustment – most bike stands from reputable brands offer height adjustment features. But some brands are not tall enough. If you’re tall, make sure to pick the bicycle stand that provides the tallest maximum height, so you don’t have to bend over when repairing your bike.
- Angle Adjustment – when it comes to complex repairs like adjusting your bike brakes, the ability to change the angle of your bike clamp is critical. Look for a bike stand that’s easy to twist around but also locks up when needed. The last thing you want is your bike tilting away when you are doing some maintenance.
- Maximum Load Capacity – the maximum load your bike stand can carry will not matter if you are using a typical road bike. But for e-bikes and gravity mountain bikes, a sturdy bike stand is a must. If you are looking for portability, pay attention to the load capacity. The bigger the maximum load, the heavier and less portable your bike stand will be.
- High-Quality Clamps – look for a bike stand with a clamp that allows you to control the tension without spending too much time. Oversized clamps are also ideal. The best clamps have curved jaws lined with rubber that doesn’t leave any nasty marks. The grippy rubber makes sure that force is applied evenly throughout your frame. And it protects your bike’s finish too! Lastly, look for a clamp that has a quick-release feature so you can get back on the road right away!
- Stability – the more stable your bike stand is, the better. A bike stand’s stability will depend on the size of its base, its height, the weight of your bike, and the force you apply. Make sure to buy one that works best for your needs to avoid injuries and prevent damage on your ride.
- Portability – This is a must if you plan on bringing your bike stand wherever you go. Weight and collapsed size vary per brand. Just don’t forget the trade-off between weight and stability. If you are a committed home mechanic, a permanent bike stand that’s either floor-mounted or wall-mounted is your best choice. Permanent bike stands are more robust than the bike they are holding, giving you a better chance to loosen those tight bike pedals.
- Accessories – some bike stands come with add-ons. Some of the common ones include attachable trays for small parts and bike tools, carry bags, and wheel adjustment attachments.
There you have it. We hope this blog post gave you an idea on how to choose a bike stand for your workshop. Here’s our roundup for the best bike stands you can buy.