Friday, May 2, 2014

A Stand For Bicycle Maintenance Work

A bicycle is a graceful machine when it's up on its wheels out on the road. When it's at a standstill for work to be done on it, a bicycle is an awkward, unwieldy piece of hardware.

I have an ancient J.C. Higgins bike that's in need of some serious repairs, and I've long had in mind a way to construct a solid stand for bicycle work. I cobbled together a crude prototype of the stand, and it looks to me like I'm onto a good thing here. Here's a view of the stand doing its job.

The bike's wheels are well up off the ground and fully operable. I can work on any part of the bike without it wanting to flop around on me.

I'll update this post with details of the stand's construction once I've made some refinements.

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The Base -- FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014

Here's a better view of the base.

It's two discarded disc brake rotors joined by a length of 2" x 4". The flange at the centre is 1" pipe. The carriage bolts are 1/2" x 2 1/2". (The stud holes in the rotors were slightly undersize for 1/2" carriage bolts. I had to grind them out a little with a hand grinder to fit.)

I'll be back when I've refined the mounting post, and it's no longer held together with a c-clamp.

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The Post And Mount -- SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014

Here's a view of the post and mount components almost ready for final assembly.

From left-to-right we have --

a) The mount: That's a cut-off upper part of an old two-legged kickstand.

b) The mount/post interface: That's a seven inch length of hardwood that I turned on the wood lathe to a suitable diameter. It's a snug, but 'twistable', fit inside the 1" pipe post, so it can be turned as needed to align the mount with the base of the stand. I flattened two opposite sides of its upper portion with a spokeshave, so it would fit the mount.

c) Some 10-24 fasteners for securing the mount to the interface. I've still to drill the holes for those.

d) The post: A 12" length of 1" iron pipe, threaded at both ends. I've cut two opposed slots in the upper end, so it can be clamped 'collet-style' onto the hardwood interface.

e) A 1 1/8" (nominal) muffler clamp (saddle clamp) from an auto supply. The one pictured is an ROL Exhaust P/N 510118. I'm sure there are other makes of much the same thing. I had to file out the saddle's opening a bit to improve the clamp's fit on the post.

The Post/Mount Assembled And Installed

Here's the completed upper part of the post/mount.

And here's the whole affair outside holding up an old Raleigh.

The mount is a marginal fit for the Raleigh; the Raleigh's rear fork tubes are farther apart than the J.C. Higgins', but nonetheless the mount does hold fast. I'll give some thought to how I can improve the mount's 'universality'; possibly with hardwood clamp pads and a longer bolt.

I got that bike in place and secured without help, but it would be nice to have an assistant when you're mounting a bike on a the stand.

The stand really shines on transmission work -- it gives you full, unhindered operability of the crank and rear wheel, so you can easily make adjustments and tell what's going on.

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