August 3, 2013 by IowaTriBob
As I continue to bike more and more this summer I’ve started taking bike maintenance more serious. When I first got my Felt Z-100 I was doing a good job if I checked the tire pressure every few weeks. I now realize that keeping your bike in top condition can be some of the best time spent before a long ride or high intesity bike workout.
However, one of the challenges I found was how to keep the bike in place when doing even the most routine maintenance tasks. Unfortunately just tipping the bike upside down isn’t an option for me because of the installed aero bars. The aero bars make the bike even more unstable and harder to work with so this won’t work for me. Also who wants to crouch down to floor level all the time? I finally decided to invest in a bike repair stand.
In doing some research, including a stop at my LBS, I found that bike repair stands can range in price from $30 to $300. There are even some commercial grade models running well above the $300 range.
I opted for a lower end personal stand – Halter Home Mechanic Repair Bike Stand – With Work Tray And Handlebar Holder ($59.99 from Amazon.com).
I have a sprint triathlon race this weekend with the primary focus on the bike leg, so when the stand arrived I couldn’t wait to get it setup so the maintenance session could begin. Luckily the setup couldn’t have been easier. Most of the stand comes pre-assembled with very few pieces left.
In less than 5 minutes I had the stand setup, the work tray installed, and was ready to clamp my bike on. Although this part took a little getting used too, mainly how to position the Halter Home Mechanic Repair Bike Stand for various holds, I was able to clamp on to the frame as well as seat post without any problems.
I was very suprised how sturdy the Halter bike repair stand was. After positioning my bike and tightening the clamps, there was very little play or wobble noticed. My bike stayed in place through a complete chain, gear, and derailleur cleaning without any problems. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rock solid or perfect by any means, but it was definitely sturdier than I expected and I never had any thoughts of it tipping while working on it.
Heck, while I had my bike up I even got out the bike polish and gave it a good shine from top to bottom. I enjoyed it so much that when I was done I tried looking for some more things to do. It was really nice having the stand do all the holding instead of trying to use one arm to hold and the other to do the work. The Halter bike repair stand even comes with a front wheel holder to keep the entire bike in line.
My only concern with the Halter Home bike repair stand is it’s overall longevity. The clamps are made out of plastic and I just wonder how much stress they’ll be able to take over time. Given my focus on keeping my bike in top shape, I guess I’ll know the answer to this sooner vs. later.
If you plan on doing a lot of your own bike maintenance, I’d definitely recommend looking into a bike repair stand…