There are actually two types of “bike stand”. One is simply used for storage. The other holds your bike in the air, to make repairs and maintenance much easier. And they're both very different...
Bike repair stands lift both wheels high off the ground and need to to be really stable so you can work on your bike without it falling over. This gives them a big footprint, which isn't ideal if you're just after a storage solution.
Bike storage stands usually keep the bike on the ground and aren't super stable, neither of which are good if you want to work on your ride!
This page deals with bike repair stands. But if you’re looking for bike storage stands, check out my guide to sensible bike storage, where I take a good look at stands and several other storage options you’ve probably never even considered.
How to choose the the right bike stand for you
So now we’ve got that cleared up, how do you choose the best bike repair stand for you? Well, if you think about how you're going to use the repair stand, which is the one for you should become much clearer!
I go over all the things you need to consider below, and then I recommend some of the best (and worst) repair stands I've come across at the end of the article. There's also a table where you can compare the specs of different bike stands.
How much should I pay?
If you’ve never looked at bike repair stands before, then the first thing that might surprise you are the prices. They're expensive!
The minimum you can expect to pay for something decent is around $100 / £80. Yes, you’ll be able to find cheaper repair stands, but the build quality will be poor and you’ll end up regretting it and/or buying a replacement.
Prices can also go up to over $600 / £570! But unless your job is actually repairing bicycles you don’t need to spend that much. You don’t even have to spend that much if your job is repairing bicycles to be honest...
Weekend vs Daily Mechanics
Which type of repair stand you choose and how much you spend, will very much depend on how you're going to use it. So let’s look at that first.
I’m going to divide those looking for a bike repair stand into two distinct groups: weekend and daily mechanics.
A weekend mechanic will want to do basic maintenance and repairs (usually at the weekend, because they're busy doing other things in the week!). So, maybe cleaning, lubing, brake and gear adjustments etc. And probably limited to one or two different bikes.
A daily mechanic might repair or build bikes for a living. Or maybe they have a full time hobby that necessitates fixing bikes daily. And a daily mechanic might need to work on lots of different bikes!
If you're working on lots of different bikes, on a daily basis, you need the absolute maximum in stability, durability and ease of use. And you should be prepared to pay extra for that.
If you're only working on a couple of different bikes, at the weekends, then there is a compromise to be found between those things and the price!
Clamps vs Mounts
Now there are also two types of bike repair stands. And the difference between them is the way they grip your bike.
The first uses a clamp to grip either (and ideally) the seatpost or the top tube (crossbar). These are by far the most common bike stands. And they’re also the easiest to use. Just lift your bike up and into the clamp, tighten and you’re good to go!
With the second type of repair stand, you remove one wheel and then mount the frame on top of the stand, which attaches to your axle, and bottom bracket. These type of stands give you more stability and you can spin them around, to work on the other side of the bike without unmounting and remounting.
But despite the extra stability, there’s a good reason that the clamping repair stands are more popular with professional, as well as casual bike mechanics: they're much more practical.
They’re compatible with every type of bike. You have multiple places you can attach your bike. And you don’t have to keep taking your wheel on and off every time you want to test your work!
Unless there’s a very specific reason to not go with a clamping repair stand (some people worry about the clamps damaging their carbon fibre frames), they should be the default choice for both casual and more serious mechanics.
Sliding Clamps vs Claw Clamps
The clamp is the only part of the stand that comes into contact with your bike. It’s also the thing that you’ll interact with most, as you mount and unmount your ride. So it’s got to work really well.
It should be quick and painless to get around your frame, tighten, loosen and get it off again. And you obviously don’t want it to damage your bike! So it should be easy to make micro adjustments too.
And there are are broadly two styles of clamp. There are the sliding clamps that come with the Topeak and Feedback stands. And then there are the claw like clamps that come with most other bike stands.
I much prefer the sliding clamps as I find them much easier to use. You get more space in which to insert the frame, they close easier and the tightening knob is much more accessible.
Floor Standing vs Workbench Repair Stands
Most bike stands sit on the floor. However, some of them can be mounted on a workbench or a wall. One advantage of this is they obviously take up less space. Plus they’re usually more stable and much cheaper too!
But of course you’ve got to have a workbench or suitable wall to mount them on. And they will be permanently fixed there: you won’t be able to move them around your work space! Which brings me to...
Do you need a portable repair stand?
Some bike stands can be fixed to the floor for extra stability. And as discussed, there are some that attach to your workbench or wall.
But most stands are portable. This means that not only can you move them around your floor space, you can also fold them up and take them somewhere else entirely!
This kind of portability is really handy if you want to work on your bike at race meets, between mountain trail rides or basically anywhere you’re out and about and using your bike.
And whereas all of them pretty much fold down into carry-able packages, some are less compact and heavier than others.
Although the differences are minimal, if that’s important to you: pay attention to size and weight!
Two vs Three Legged Bike Stands
A bike repair stand has got to be stable! Otherwise it could fall over while you're using it and your bike could be badly damaged.
The stability of a repair stand will depend on it’s footprint, it’s height, how heavy your bike is, and very importantly: how you’ve attached the bike to the stand.
If you don’t take care to get the centre of gravity right when you’re clamping your bike into the stand, it doesn’t matter how stable the stand is, your bike won’t be, and it could well topple over.
So there is some user responsibility here.
But they will all come with either two or three legs. Three legs will be more stable. But they take up more room and you won’t be able to get them as close to walls.
Pay attention to the weight capacity of different repair stands too. E-bikes, cruisers and some city bikes can be really heavy.
And there's a lot of variation in the weight limits of different stands. So make sure the stand you choose can accommodate the weight of your bike.
Some bike stands are specifically designed for heavier bikes and we’ll look at them later.
Most, (but not all) repair stands can be made taller or shorter. This is important if you are very tall (but less so if you’re particularly small!).
And there can be quite a bit of variability in the maximum and minimum heights so that’s another thing to look for.
You're only likely to be adjusting the height a lot, if lot’s of different people are using the stand or you repair lots of different sized bikes. But if that’s the case you need easy to use, quick release clamps to make that as speedy and painless as possible.
Best Bike Stand for Weekend Mechanics on a Budget
For weekend mechanics, who don’t want to spend too much money, the Bike Hand YC-100BH [Amazon] is a fantastic choice.
Bike Hand YC-100BH
The main attraction of the Bike Hand stand has got to be the price: it’s about half the price of the competition!
But it's also a great all rounder, that does everything reasonably well, with a couple of nice extra features that you don't get with other stands
First of all, it comes pre-assembled, so you don’t have to worry about putting it together badly. If it doesn’t work out of the box then it’s not your fault: send it back for a replacement!
It features a pretty standard claw type clamp with a cam locking lever that flips over to open and close the jaws. By spinning the lever when closed you can make micro adjustments to how tightly it grips your frame.
The clamp is easy to use, with a wide opening that can fit even the fattest frames and it can be rotated through 360° (like all bike stands) to ensure you can manoeuvre the bike in any position you like.
While it’s not the most stable repair stand available (it only has 2 legs), it’s certainly not unstable. And for light jobs such as cleaning, lubing, adjusting the brakes and derailleurs etc, it’s more than adequate.
Where the Bike Hand stand really shines in terms of portability. Weighing just 10.75 lb (4.9 kg), it’s one of the lightest bike stands available. And it also folds down into a package that’s just 40 x 8" (102 x 20 cm) making it extremely compact.
This makes it perfect for those that want to make adjustments or repairs when they’re at race meets or up mountains, as it will take up very little luggage space.
Unlike other stands, it also comes with a magnetised tool tray which is incredibly useful, giving you somewhere to leave your tools and all the screws and nuts while your working on your bike that would otherwise roll under the table!
Like all the repair stands at this price point, there are a lot of plastic parts (where more expensive stands use metal). And this raises questions about it’s durability over time.
But they’re not made of thin, cheap plastic. Everything is very chunky and robust. And you don’t find people that have owned these stands for several years complaining that they wear out.
For sure: steel components will be stronger and will last longer with intense use over time. But if you’re a weekend mechanic, you can be confident that the Bike Hand stand is built to last a long time!
Other than the plastic components, the only other area where the Bike Hand loses out to its competitors is its height. The height is adjustable (with nice quick release levers) but it’s only extendable to 59" (150 cm), which is nearly a foot (30 cm) less than some of the others.
Not being a giant, this doesn’t really matter to me. And the shorter height keeps the weight and folded size down for extra portability. But if you’re looking for a particularly tall stand, it’s worth noting.
For me, the fact that it’s the most portable repair stand available, that it’s easy to use and the incredibly competitive price, make the Bike Hand YC-100BH the obvious choice for weekend mechanics.
If you’re budget conscious and you’re looking for a stand that will make it much easier to carry out those basic repair and maintenance jobs that are currently difficult (or impossible), with the bike upside down or leant against a wall, then I can’t think of a better option.
Unless you’ve got a heavy cruiser or an e-bike…
Best Bike Stand for Weekend Mechanics with Heavy Bikes
One of the best things about the Bike Hand YC-100BH (see above) is it’s portability. And this is because it’s lightweight and compact.
Bike Hand YC-100ST E-Bike Stand
But it achieves this by using slightly thinner tubes than some of it’s competitors. And this means that it’s not as suitable for heavier bikes.
In fact, the bike weight limit for the YC-100BH is 55 lb (25 kg), which is almost 30% less than the maximum weights for some of it’s competitors. Now 55 lb is not super light. In fact most bikes will be less than 55 lb.
But if you own a heavy e-bike, cruiser or fat tire bike, you may find that the YC-100BH is just not strong enough to hold it up securely.
If this is the case, don’t worry, you don’t have to forego the incredible value of the Bike Hand repair stands! Because they also make a heavy duty bike stand that is specifically aimed at heavier bikes.
The YC-100ST E Bike Stand [Amazon] has a maximum load weight of 110 lb (50 kg), which is more than the vast majority of other bike stands. So it should be suitable for whatever type of heavy bike you’ve got!
For the tubes, it uses a different (stronger) type of aluminium to the YC-100BH. And the clamp arm and adjustment teeth are metal rather than than plastic.
But other than these upgrades it’s pretty much the same as the YC-100BH. It’s the same height, uses the same clamp, has the same tool tray, the same legs, and the same quick release levers.
The extra robustness obviously increases the weight of the repair stand: it’s 14 lb (6.3 kg) rather than 11 lb (4.9 kg). But it’s the same compact size when collapsed so it remains one of the most portable bike stands around!
So if you’re a budget conscious, weekend mechanic with a heavy bike (or you just want a stronger stand), the Bike Hand YC-100ST is hard to beat.
It’s a little more expensive than the YC-100BH, but it remains incredible value for money.
Best Bike Stand for Daily Mechanics (Upgrade Choice)
If you’re working on bikes every day, then it’s worth spending a bit more money. This should get you something with more robust (metal) components, that will give the stand a longer working life.
Feedback Sports Ultralight
And it should also provide a more elegant user experience, which is important if you’re lifting bikes in and out of the stand every day.
If you spend just a little bit more, on stands like the Park Tool Home Mechanic Repair Stand or the Sport Mechanic or Recreational bike repair stands from Feedback, they’ll definitely give you an upgrade in terms of the quality of the components.
But I don't think the user experience will be a significant upgrade from the Bike Hand...
The Park Tool Home Mechanic and Feedback Recreational are both two legged stands so they’re not much more stable. And while the Feedback Sport has three legs, the spinning closing mechanism on the clamp could be much easier (quicker) to use.
So I would say, if you want something that’s a significant upgrade on the Bike Hand stand, in all respects, you probably need to spend twice as much.
With that in mind, I think the Feedback Sports Ultra Light Bike Stand [Amazon] is currently the best bicycle repair stand for most daily mechanics.
It’s got three legs for extra stability. It features a really nice clamping mechanism that's quick and pleasurable to use. And not only is it more stable than the Bike Hand, it’s also lighter 10.6 lb (4.8 kg) and shorter 38” (97 cm) when collapsed. So it’s more portable too!
And it will support a maximum bike weight of 85lbs (38.5kg), so it should be suitable for the vast majority of heavy e-bikes and cruisers.
With a maximum height of 58” (147cm), it’s shorter than most other repair stands (including the Bike Hand). But this is what keeps the weight down! It should still be tall enough for most people, but if you’re particularly tall you should double check it’s suitable for you.
What I most like about the Feedback Sports Ultra Light bike stand is the clamp mechanism. For major adjustments you slide it in or out. For micro adjustments you have the knob at the end of the clamp.
This makes getting your bike in and out of the stand really quick and easy...
For me, the extra stability, the durable metal components and the elegant clamping mechanism, make this a worthy upgrade to the Bike Hand and every other lower and similar priced bike repair stand.
Add the incredibly light weight and the small folded down size and you get the most portable and easy to use repair stand around!
Best Bike Stand for Racing Bikes
The Topeak PrepStand Pro [Amazon] is the only choice for the serious racer (or any other weight conscious biker), as it includes a built in scales to help you shave the weight off your ride!
Topeak PrepStand Pro
With three of the longest legs of any bike repair stand (28"), it has a big footprint, which makes it extremely stable. In fact it’s probably the most stable, of all the portable bicycle stands currently available.
It has a maximum load limit of 55 lb (25 kg), so it’s not for heavy e-bikes and cruisers. But I doubt you’d want a repair stand with weight scales if you were riding one of those anyway!
It’s also got one of the biggest height ranges of any repair stand I know of, at 48 - 72" (122 - 183 cm), so you’ll be able to get your bike exactly in position no matter how tall you are.
Weighing 13.67 lb (6.2 kg), it’s not the lightest bike stand I’ve ever used. And with a folded down height of 49" (124 cm) it’s not the smallest either. But it’s still very portable, and unlike most other repair stands, it even comes with a nice carry case!
The Topeak PrepStand Pro is certainly not the cheapest bicycle repair stand. But it’s probably the most stable. And it’s the only one with built in electronic scales!
So if you’re a weight watcher, who’s looking for a well made and reliable stand, I would say this is the one for you!
Best Workbench and Wall Mounted Bike Stands
If you don’t need a portable repair stand and you have either a suitable workbench or wall space, then a mounted repair stand could be a good option.
It will save you a load of floor space. And even better, they’re usually more stable and much cheaper than their floor standing cousins!
Just remember: you won’t be able to take it out on the road with you. And once it’s mounted to your wall or worktop, you won’t be able to move it around your work space. So make sure you have enough room to work around it.
Workbench and wall mounted stands can also be divided into the more economical options that are good enough for weekend mechanics and the more durable (but expensive) stands that are best if you’re a daily user.
For the weekend mechanic (and even cost conscious daily users), the Venzo Bench Mount Clamp [Amazon] is incredible value for money.
Venzo Bike Bench Mount
It’s made entirely from steel, so you don’t have to worry about the long term durability of any plastic parts.
Once it’s installed on your workbench, the body will swivel around 360°. And of course like all repair stands, the clamp will also rotate 360°. So you'll be able to get your bike into whatever position you want.
At 7" (18 cm), it’s quite short and the height isn’t adjustable. So make sure your workbench is tall enough. And the maximum recommended bike weight is 45 lb (25 kg), so it’s not suitable for the heaviest e-bikes and cruisers.
But the all metal construction, micro adjustable quick release clamp, and heat treated levers and bolts make this a dependable, workhorse of a bike clamp. And considering it’s less than a third of the price of the "professional" clamps, it’s an absolute bargain!
The Park Tools PRS 4.2 [Amazon] is the professional level workbench mount that I’m referring to above. And it is pretty expensive! However, it does have several significant advantages over the Venzo clamp.
Park Tools PRS 4.2
First of all, it’s height adjustable, with a range between 16.25" (92 cm) and 6.5" (41 cm) above the surface of the workbench. This gives you a lot more flexibility than the Venzos fixed 7" (18 cm).
Secondly, it has a much higher bike weight limit of 100 lb (45 kg), which means that it will have no problems with even the heaviest of e-bikes and cruisers. Just make sure your workbench can handle that much weight!
It doesn’t swivel horizontally like the Venzo; it sticks out straight from the mount. But of course the clamp rotates 360°. So this, coupled with the height adjustment means you should have no problem getting your bike in the desired position.
Make no mistake: this is a heavy duty, professional bike mount, that will last for years and years. Yes, it’s expensive, but if you’re a daily mechanic, working on lots of different bikes, then it’s undoubtedly worth paying the extra money for the Park Tools mount.
And if you don’t have a workbench, Park Tools, also make a wall mounted version. The Park Tool PRS-4W-2 [Amazon] has the same quick release, micro adjustable clamp and the same 100 lb (45 kg) max weight. But it’s a bit cheaper!
So if you have a suitable post or wall (only into the stud on a dry wall!), then this could be a cost effective alternative to the workbench model. Do bear in mind that it won’t be height adjustable though, so it won’t be quite as versatile.
The Worst Bike Stands
If you're looking for a wall mounted bike clamp, then you should avoid the DNC (also marketed as Clothink) mounts. Or any of the (many) look-alikes. They're just not strong enough to support a bicycle properly.
Likewise, stands like the IceToolz or even the Topeak Flash Stand are half way houses that are going to be frustrating to use and will ultimately be replaced by a proper stand!
And to be honest, anything that costs less than around $100 / £80 will not only be full of plastic components, they'll be thin, flimsy components that won't last long. Plus, the tubing will be thin, creating a weak and potentially unstable stand.
You can compare the max loads, max and min height, and weights of a load of bike stands in the table below.
If you click on the names of the stands in the table, you’ll be taken to Amazon or other websites, where you can further compare prices and reviews. Some of these are affiliate links.
There’s a huge variety of bike stands to choose from, ranging from the unbelievably cheap to the eye watering expensive.
I would avoid anything that costs less than $100 (£80). Really cheap bike stands may work well for the first few months, but they’re built with cheaper, weaker components that will ultimately break.
It’s better to spend a little bit more to get something that’s going to last many years. If you’re a weekend mechanic, you don’t need a professional repair stand. It’s OK to buy a stand that uses some plastic components, as long as it’s high quality plastic!
For weekend tasks like cleaning, lubing, adjusting and tinkering, something like the Bike Hand YC-100BH [Amazon] repair stand (e-bike version) is more than good enough.
However, if you’re a mechanic, who’ll be using their repair stand on a daily basis, on lots of different bikes (or your a weekend mechanic who’s not particularly cost conscious), then it makes sense to spend more.
This will get you something that’s more stable, more durable and more pleasurable to use. Which is important if you’re using it every day!
Something like the Feedback Sports Ultra Light [Amazon] repair stand has three legs for extra stability, more metal components and really easy to use clamp. Being very light and compact (when folded), also means it’s highly portable.
However, if you don’t need portability and you’ve got an appropriate space, don’t dismiss a workbench or wall mounted bike clamp. They’re more stable and cheaper than floor mounted bike stands.
The Venzo Bench Mount [Amazon] is a fantastic choice for those on a limited budget. But if you need a mount that can handle heavier bikes and a greater range of heights, the Park Tools PRS-4W-2 [Amazon] is the one to go for.
As ever, it’s all about understanding your specific needs when choosing a bike stand. And unless you’re using it every day with lot’s of different bikes, in reality, you probably don’t need the big buck, professional models!
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Excellent Article. Thank you for all the research and information.
I’m a bike mechanic who works at home. I have had several stands over the years and now have a Feedback Sports Pro-Lite Bike Work Stand. It’s the best by absolute miles and I’ve had it about 5 years now and still going strong. I’ve had ParkTool (too low as I’m 6’2”) so that lasted about a week before I got rid of it and I’ve had Bike Hand YC-100BH which I found to be absolutely rotten as it’s cheap plastic. I’ve had 2 break on me. That’s personal opinion of course but I volunteer at my local Active Travel Hub and take my Feedback with me as they have Bike Hand’s.
That’s a great opinion!
For sure, if you can afford it, the Feedback stands are the best. But they are also pretty expensive.
Do you not think the Bike Hands are OK for small tinkering jobs on the weekend?