When shopping for a bike stand follow these 5 tips to protect your bike and to get the most out of your investment:
1. Functionality – How will you use your bike stand? Do you simply want a bike stand to store your bike or one with multiple features and benefits? Will you be doing heavy repairs or light maintenance on your bike? Do you want one that makes it easy for you to pump your tires, lube your chain, replace a wheel, or clean your bike?
2. Support – How do you currently store your bicycle? If you’re like most cyclists it’s probably leaning against something, and not in the most favorable spot. Today, bike stands are engineered in various ways to keep the bicycle upright and stored properly. However, many of them support the bike by the spokes, between the spokes, or by the frame. So ideally, we prefer stands designed to use the tires to keep the bike upright which reduces the risk of damage to the bike. In addition, look for a bike stand that allows for the pedals to rotate forward or backward so you can lube your chain.
3. Portability – When traveling with your bike to the local group ride or out of town to a cycling event, where do you put your bike after you take it off your car? Most likely it’s leaning against your vehicle. And if you’re staying in a hotel, probably a table or a chair. A good, light weight bicycle stand is hard to beat. It removes the hassles parking your bike when you’re away from home. In addition, “unattended” bicycles fall over more often when parked away from home, so think of your stand as a safety net when traveling.
4. Price – While prices vary, most bike stands can be found under $50 making them a worthwhile investment. The cheapest ones are typically under $20 and are very basic and light-weight; many of them using the spokes for support. As you move up a bit in price, you’ll find added features and benefits such as adjustment knobs to custom fit your bike (not a “one-size-fits-all” stand), easy access to valve stems, support at the tires, more stability and durability. The cheaper stands can be found at most discount stores or on line, while the higher quality bike stands are usually available on line or in your local bike shop.
5. Material – What type of bike will be supported by your bike stand? The weight and design can make all the difference in your satisfaction with your purchase. Typically, bicycle stands are made out of some variation of metal or plastic. Metal stands tend to be heavier, but may provide good bicycle support. However, they can be bulky, take up space, unattractive, and cause scratching to your bicycle. In addition, some metal stands will rust if used outdoors. Plastic stands, on the other hand, are light weight, space-saving, don’t scratch, and can be used outdoors. However, some may be too light to support your bike, so look for the heavier, plastic bike stands. This is especially important if you own a mountain bike, tandem, recumbent, or folding-bike.
A good bike stand will make storing, parking, and maintaining your bike a lot easier, so shop wisely and enjoy your new bicycle accessory.