Jan 16 2017
If you have a bike, then you should include a bike stand to your tool kit, even if all the mechanical work you do is to oil the chain. The stand doesn’t have to be large nor expensive. My first stand cost less than USD20 and can hide in a corner of the closet. It’s called the Nashbar Stand By Me. Here it is:
Stand By Me is built of tubular steel, with an asymmetrical X-shaped base, a vertical shaft perforated to allow a pair of hooks to be placed in such a way as to suit your bike’s geometry. This is a basic stand which can be used for bike storage, or—and this is how mine is used—for suspending the bike’s rear wheel off the ground far enough to allow the wheel to freely spin. This speeds up lubing the chain, adjusting brakes, or maintaining the drivetrain. (A Tip Brace the front wheel when using the Stand By Me, because if the front wheel rotates, the bike may become unstable and topple.) One thing to note is that some owners have had to bend the hooks, adjusting their shape to accommodate their bikes’ frames, but these have required no modification to fit my Surly Long Haul Trucker or Schwinn Sierra and Traveler.
When new, the hooks are covered with a textured rubber sleeve, and the Stand’s structural members are painted black. My 2008 model has had hard use, and while it’s still going strong, there is some rust, and the rubber sleeve on one hook cracked and fell away. The rust is my fault, caused by my failure to clean away salty slush while using the Stand to wash bikes after winter rides. A bit of elbow grease with Flitz along with some touch-up paint will take care of that, and the bare hook is now padded with a length of aquarium tubing. One last modification was made to cover bare metal hook ends with plastic caps recycled from eye-drop medicine bottles, to avoid gouging the bikes.
In practice, the Stand By Me is handy to use, and once you decide on the hooks’ placement, it shouldn’t take long to position them on your bike frame’s off-side triangle. You will have to get down low to work on the drivetrain when using the Stand By Me, to be sure, but if you don’t have a home shop with a full-sized stand ready to receive a bike, it’s so much easier to retrieve this compact stand from storage than to set up shop with a full-sized stand. And if your knees complain when you kneel or if your back balks when bending over, sit on a step stool to bring you closer to your work.
The bottom line? While my Nashbar Stand By Me shows its age and is marked by blemishes, it’s still going strong after more than eight years’ use. It’s easy to store, easy to retrieve, and not too fussy to set up. Despite our owning three other stands—two of them full-sized shop stands—this is the one that gets chosen most often. I’d buy one again. And because Nashbar is stocking the Stand By Me once more, you can buy one, too.
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- “Maintaining, Modifying, Outfitting, Storing & Riding Your Bike” Index to more at TN Outside