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bike maint stand for air travel

Old 02-17-22, 07:32 PM
  #1  
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bike maint stand for air travel

I've got a S&S coupled Ti (Davidson) bike that I've traveled with a dozen times. I've put it together and taken it apart in lots of places (hotel rooms, hotel garages, patios, parking garages, back yards, fire exits . . . ). I travel pretty light on these tours (considering I'm lugging a bike in a box.) I've got the S&S bike box and a backpack duffel. This works pretty well for getting from the airport or train station to the hotel from which I plan to start my tour.

I'd LOVE a maintenance stand for assembly & disassembly. I get by just fine but a stand would make things a lot easier. I'd be thrilled to find something that is smaller than 28" long when folded up & weighs 8-10 pounds. If I could even make something with PVC pipe that I could break down & put in a bag that would be ok too . . . I've looked for plans & ideas but come up pretty empty handed.

Usually I fly in or fly/train to where ever I'm gonna start. Get to the hotel where I'll spend my first night (based on their agreement to hang onto my bike box while I'm out rolling along on my bike) and put my bike together in whatever accommodations I can manage.

A small work stand that I can pack in my duffel would be a god send. I'd be so incredibly grateful for ideas on this. I'm thinking one with a clamp not the "sprint" stands (I think that's what they're called where the bike sits on it's bottom bracket) would be best. But I'm open to hearing a different story that is a solid size/weight combo.

thanks for any thoughts you can offer.
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Old 02-18-22, 03:47 AM
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I think you are going to be out of luck. A workstand should be strong enough that someone can do a proper torque wrenching on bottom brackets, etc. Thus, unlikely to be lightweight and fit in your luggage.

I worked in a bike shop in the 1970s. They had a shortage of good work stands. Thus, some of the people assembling new bikes did not have conventional work stands, instead they had a stand with a heavy base and a vertical post that was reduced in diameter about 30 inches off the ground. That way you could put the bike frame without seatpost upside down on that vertical post, the frame sat on that reduced diameter part. Thus, you could do anything you wanted to on a bike, but it was upside down.

I finally decided to build up a new bike (newer than 1970s) about two decades ago. Bought the frame, the parts, and assembled it myself. I had worked with normal bike stands and also on the upside down stands that I described above. Since I did not own a work stand at that time, I built up my bike upside down on a pretty solid camera tripod. The vertical post on the tripod that you screw the camera onto, I had that upside down so that post did not have anything on the top (the top normally being the bottom). And I could set my frame upside down on that tripod. The legs were long enough that the weight distribution did not tip it over, the three legs were spread far enough apart. But it was close to tipping over with the front wheel in the frame, the weight was centered better over the tripod without the front wheel.

That said, when i assemble or disassemble my S&S bike, I do not carry any stand with me. It had never occurred to me to have a stand, and I am guessing that if I had a good stand it would only save 10 minutes on disassembly and maybe 15 minutes on assembly. My bike tour in Iceland, I think they had a stand I could have used if I wanted to, but passed it up.

My touring is loaded touring, tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, etc. I would not want to carry a stand when I travel by plane. I can't even fit my fenders in my S&S case, I would bring fenders before I brought a stand. That said, my S&S bike has a Rohloff, so I do not have to adjust any derailleurs when I assemble the bike, perhaps a good stand would be worth it if you had a finicky shifting bike.

So, if you think that you can work on a bike upside down, you might consider a camera tripod like I used, look first at garage sales and thrift shops, a good strong tripod can be pricy and if that does not work out for you, you don't want to spend a lot. My last trip into a charity thrift shop, there were a couple of good camera tripods. Assuming that your titanium bike is light, that might be strong enough for you to use and small enough to take along and store with your S&S case.
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Old 02-18-22, 04:39 AM
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Just get an uncoupled bike

Assembly is then a 10 minute affair.

No chance to get an 8 pound stand to fit into a duffle.
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Old 02-18-22, 05:28 AM
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How about the head of a stand with a clamp that holds it to some improvised wall, post or other support? Maybe even your case could be the support.

There are a number of stands designed to be bolted to a bench top or wall (Park makes a couple). Something like that could be clamped in place temporarily or if your case sits solidly enough, bolted to it. You might need to put all your gear in it for ballast.

A google image search for "bike stand repair" will turn up quite a few of the bolt to a bench or wall type ranging from under $20-to well over $200. I bet most of them are under two pounds.

Edit:
It occurred to me that since you said S&S case that the case is pretty low, but you could still bolt to it and put it on a table or bench. That or have an arm that raises the wall mounted type stand with the case on the ground. That could just be a piece of board. or aluminum extrusion.

Here isa a picture of a random example of one of the wall/bench mounted type stands:
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Old 02-18-22, 09:33 AM
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On ACA bike tours we would just hang a bike with rope or straps from above for campsite repairs. A BB install requiring torque would be done on the ground. Couldn't you first couple the frame on the ground and then do the same somewhere outside of your hotel room (weather permitting) using a tree branch above? Install saddle and handlebars first on the ground for attachment points.

Here I am with my mobile wheel truing stand!

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Old 02-18-22, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I think you are going to be out of luck. A workstand should be strong enough that someone can do a proper torque wrenching on bottom brackets, etc. Thus, unlikely to be lightweight and fit in your luggage.

I worked in a bike shop in the 1970s. They had a shortage of good work stands. Thus, some of the people assembling new bikes did not have conventional work stands, instead they had a stand with a heavy base and a vertical post that was reduced in diameter about 30 inches off the ground. That way you could put the bike frame without seatpost upside down on that vertical post, the frame sat on that reduced diameter part. Thus, you could do anything you wanted to on a bike, but it was upside down.

I finally decided to build up a new bike (newer than 1970s) about two decades ago. Bought the frame, the parts, and assembled it myself. I had worked with normal bike stands and also on the upside down stands that I described above. Since I did not own a work stand at that time, I built up my bike upside down on a pretty solid camera tripod. The vertical post on the tripod that you screw the camera onto, I had that upside down so that post did not have anything on the top (the top normally being the bottom). And I could set my frame upside down on that tripod. The legs were long enough that the weight distribution did not tip it over, the three legs were spread far enough apart. But it was close to tipping over with the front wheel in the frame, the weight was centered better over the tripod without the front wheel.

That said, when i assemble or disassemble my S&S bike, I do not carry any stand with me. It had never occurred to me to have a stand, and I am guessing that if I had a good stand it would only save 10 minutes on disassembly and maybe 15 minutes on assembly. My bike tour in Iceland, I think they had a stand I could have used if I wanted to, but passed it up.

My touring is loaded touring, tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, etc. I would not want to carry a stand when I travel by plane. I can't even fit my fenders in my S&S case, I would bring fenders before I brought a stand. That said, my S&S bike has a Rohloff, so I do not have to adjust any derailleurs when I assemble the bike, perhaps a good stand would be worth it if you had a finicky shifting bike.

So, if you think that you can work on a bike upside down, you might consider a camera tripod like I used, look first at garage sales and thrift shops, a good strong tripod can be pricy and if that does not work out for you, you don't want to spend a lot. My last trip into a charity thrift shop, there were a couple of good camera tripods. Assuming that your titanium bike is light, that might be strong enough for you to use and small enough to take along and store with your S&S case.
Thank you "Monsieur le Tourist!" What a cool idea! I think you're right about a legit workstand being too heavy to haul. But I'm not doing bottom bracket work. Just doing reassembly bit and maybe some brake/derailleur tweeking. And, I dont camp on my trips so I'm rolling with 15lbs of stuff not forty. You're the real badass! I'm not even a pretender in that respect! I'll look at the tripod idea as the base. That's really clever. Maybe I can figure some sort of modified pvc pipe thing to set the bottom bracket on it then figure out rubber straps to hold the frame in place . . . thank you for sharing! That's really helpful!
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Old 02-18-22, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
How about the head of a stand with a clamp that holds it to some improvised wall, post or other support? Maybe even your case could be the support.

There are a number of stands designed to be bolted to a bench top or wall (Park makes a couple). Something like that could be clamped in place temporarily or if your case sits solidly enough, bolted to it. You might need to put all your gear in it for ballast.

A google image search for "bike stand repair" will turn up quite a few of the bolt to a bench or wall type ranging from under $20-to well over $200. I bet most of them are under two pounds.

Edit:
It occurred to me that since you said S&S case that the case is pretty low, but you could still bolt to it and put it on a table or bench. That or have an arm that raises the wall mounted type stand with the case on the ground. That could just be a piece of board. or aluminum extrusion.

Here isa a picture of a random example of one of the wall/bench mounted type stands:
Thanks Staehpj1! That's helpful! I've got one of those bike clamp heads bolted to a workbench in my living room (did I mention that I'm unattached, unmarried, unsupervised and unchaperoned?) I'll think about something like that. Not sure I could use the case as some sort of base . . . not sturdy or structural enough in my opinion. But I'll think about it. Thank you!
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Old 02-18-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
On ACA bike tours we would just hang a bike with rope or straps from above for campsite repairs. A BB install requiring torque would be done on the ground. Couldn't you first couple the frame on the ground and then do the same somewhere outside of your hotel room (weather permitting) using a tree branch above? Install saddle and handlebars first on the ground for attachment points.

Here I am with my mobile wheel truing stand!

Very impressive BobG! Thanks I manage ok putting it together in lots of random places. I'll put some thought into the strap idea. That hadn't occurred to me! Thank you!
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Old 02-18-22, 11:50 AM
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Another idea: get a 2-legged kickstand. Once you assemble the frame, you can stand it upright on the kickstand to deal with the fork/handlebars and to install and adjust chain, derailleurs,wheels, etc. Not quite a workstand, but much easier than the bike just laying on its side.
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Old 02-18-22, 11:58 AM
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Off topic, but if you get a lot of dirt and other road grime in your downtube coupler threads, I suggest this to everyone with S&S couplers. I cut some rubber sleeves out of an innertube that was slightly smaller than the frame tube size. Use those to seal each end of the coupler "nut" to keep the threads clean.



Dirt in the coupler thread on the top tube is less of an issue, but no reason not to do it up there too.

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Old 02-18-22, 07:08 PM
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My immediate image, when I read the title, was something to set up in the aisle of an airplane to work on your bike, not much help, I'm afraid.
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Old 02-18-22, 07:52 PM
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I had a former co-worker who took one of these on tour but he was a mechanic and I think a bunch of the other folks were as well so they really wanted it. I wouldn't want to carry an extra 10 pounds of repair stand I would use that for a bigger tent or to carry more comfort gear or a bottle or two or three of Skrewball.
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Old 02-19-22, 06:47 AM
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Note to OP: If you are traveling as light as I think you are, it would be nice to see a photo of your bike with luggage all packed on it.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I had a former co-worker who took one of these on tour but he was a mechanic and I think a bunch of the other folks were as well so they really wanted it. I wouldn't want to carry an extra 10 pounds of repair stand I would use that for a bigger tent or to carry more comfort gear or a bottle or two or three of Skrewball.
You could be right, but I think his plan was to only use it at start and end of trip, likely store it in the S&S case that is left at the hotel.
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Old 02-19-22, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bobh123 View Post
Another idea: get a 2-legged kickstand. Once you assemble the frame, you can stand it upright on the kickstand to deal with the fork/handlebars and to install and adjust chain, derailleurs,wheels, etc. Not quite a workstand, but much easier than the bike just laying on its side.
This was going to be my suggestion, too.
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Old 02-19-22, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You could be right, but I think his plan was to only use it at start and end of trip, likely store it in the S&S case that is left at the hotel.
That was my impression as well. It didn't make a lot of sense to me, but I figured that it might to others. Personally I wouldn't ship a stand just for pre trip setup, but that is me.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I had a former co-worker who took one of these on tour but he was a mechanic and I think a bunch of the other folks were as well so they really wanted it. I wouldn't want to carry an extra 10 pounds of repair stand I would use that for a bigger tent or to carry more comfort gear or a bottle or two or three of Skrewball.
I assume you were referring to a big full sized stand when you said 10 pounds, right? If I read correctly that stand in your link is about a pound. Not that I personally would carry it either. I don't think anyone has suggested carrying a full sized 10# stand on tour. The only way that would make sense would be for a van supported tour and even then I bet a lot of the time folks don't take one.

I did meet a couple guys carrying a full sized shop floor pump on the Trans America, but never saw a work stand on tour.
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Old 02-19-22, 07:08 AM
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FWIW, smaller frame size bikes can be worked on by resting the top tube on the corner of a picnic table in camp. I have done it with my bikes, but those with larger frames may not find the tables high enough. This probably isn't helpful for assembly and disassembly for packing because there usually isn't a picnic table where that occurs. It can be nice for general maintenance on the road.

It doesn't always work well with the geometry of the bike and table, but can be handy at times.
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Old 02-19-22, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I did meet a couple guys carrying a full sized shop floor pump on the Trans America ...
Heh! That could have been me, Pete! In 1999 I brought a floor pump to the start of an ACA TransAm tour I was leading with the intention of sending it home after day 1. It was used by everbody as they arrived for the tour. Being the owner of a cool new BOB trailer I said to myself, "Let's hang on to the floor pump for one week" After all, the BOB slogan was "bring stuff".

It was used daily by me, riding sweep, helping folks with roadside flats and by all topping over tires in the morning. 93 days later the floor pump was still on board!
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Old 02-19-22, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Heh! That could have been me, Pete! In 1999 I brought a floor pump to the start of an ACA TransAm tour I was leading with the intention of sending it home after day 1. It was used by everbody as they arrived for the tour. Being the owner of a cool new BOB trailer I said to myself, "Let's hang on to the floor pump for one week" After all, the BOB slogan was "bring stuff".

It was used daily by me, riding sweep, helping folks with roadside flats and by all topping over tires in the morning. 93 days later the floor pump was still on board!
The one we saw was in Council ID in 2007. The 2 guys had gotten tired of fighting frame pumps and picked up a floor pump. I wasn't wiling to carry one, but was happy to borrow it to top up our 3 bikes. We all had Pizza from One Eye Jack's and camped at the park in town. As I recall we spent some time patching all the tubes we were carrying since they all had holes. Being from the mid atlantic region that was our introduction to goat heads so we were clueless.

We were heavy enough to be mailing stuff home several times so a floor pump wouldn't have made the cut when we were going over what to keep and what to send home if we had one. That said on another MUCH lighter tour I carried my soft case the whole way. The plan was to mail it home at the first post office, but I carried it the whole tour and still had it 25 days later at the end. I could have flown home with the bike in it, but opted to have a bike shop pack and ship the bike home.
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Old 02-19-22, 11:16 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by bobh123 View Post
Another idea: get a 2-legged kickstand. Once you assemble the frame, you can stand it upright on the kickstand to deal with the fork/handlebars and to install and adjust chain, derailleurs,wheels, etc. Not quite a workstand, but much easier than the bike just laying on its side.
Thank you BobH123. Maybe a "better than . . ." approach vs "best possible" is a good way to think about this. I've seen those so I know what you're talking about. I believe they make them where the crank slides into a slot that has a some sort of a small folding base. That would make life "better than" for me. Cool idea!

I think I'm heading toward a plan to "find the smallest, lightest workstand I can & buy a bigger duffel backpack." I've used an inexpensive amzn 60L backpack duffel 1/2 dozen times in last 6 months. I recently had the shocking realization that perhaps my salvation lies in buying a bigger bag. I've found that flying in someplace where I then need to get to a train or hotel with my stuff in hand means I can handle one rolling luggage (the bike box) and one backpack type luggage . . . plus whatever small carryon I take on the plane. Means I'm checking two bags (backpack duffel & bike box) which costs me a few bucks each way but that's simpler for me than trying to get by with a big carryon & a checked bike. I flew to France twice last summer & it cost me $100 extra each way to check an extra bag. I've flown down to CA/AZ 5x in past 4 months and it's cost me $40 each way for additional checked bag. Tolerable. Maybe not optimal but a relatively cheap solve
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Old 02-19-22, 11:23 AM
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thanks Pratt. Yeah. You got that wrong. I fly commercial unfortunately so assembling a bike in flight isn't on my list of problems to solve
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Old 02-19-22, 11:29 AM
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Cool idea Tourist in MSN! I'm mostly on the road (I did 100 miles across brittany on compact sand/gravel in the rain though and this would have been a wicked good idea!)
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Old 02-19-22, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Heh! That could have been me, Pete! In 1999 I brought a floor pump to the start of an ACA TransAm tour I was leading with the intention of sending it home after day 1. It was used by everbody as they arrived for the tour. Being the owner of a cool new BOB trailer I said to myself, "Let's hang on to the floor pump for one week" After all, the BOB slogan was "bring stuff".

It was used daily by me, riding sweep, helping folks with roadside flats and by all topping over tires in the morning. 93 days later the floor pump was still on board!
You guys are an inspiration! Carrying floor pumps & maint stands on a cross country tour? Wow! Homage! I'm not even close to that industrious.

I do carry this Lezyne "micro floor pump" on my trips. It's a tad obnoxious looking but mounts just fine to the frame, doesn't get in my way and works better than the smaller pump I carry on day rides.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 02-19-22, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
FWIW, smaller frame size bikes can be worked on by resting the top tube on the corner of a picnic table in camp. I have done it with my bikes, but those with larger frames may not find the tables high enough. This probably isn't helpful for assembly and disassembly for packing because there usually isn't a picnic table where that occurs. It can be nice for general maintenance on the road.

It doesn't always work well with the geometry of the bike and table, but can be handy at times.
Thanks staehpj1 . Good idea. My "ATF" was using a construction barrier as a temp-stand while I was rolling around Bordeaux last summer.
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Old 02-19-22, 12:00 PM
  #24  
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Thanks Tourist in MSN. Yes. You're right. No plan to haul the stand, pump, box, etc. Thus far, I fly to where ever, haul my bike box & duffel bag to hotel where I'm gonna start, put the bike together and kick off the next day. I leave the box & duffel (in the box) with the hotel. Go ride my route for 5-10 days & return to start hotel where I break down bike & spend night before heading home.

I think if I needed to have a stand and a floor pump on a daily basis, that would be a different trip for me & I'd likely try to set up SAG support. But I do all these trips solo and self-supported so that would be a different kinda trip for me (with more support than I typically want to arrange let alone pay for

Attached pic from last Summer in Brittany

for myself.)
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Old 02-19-22, 03:15 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
That was my impression as well. It didn't make a lot of sense to me, but I figured that it might to others. Personally I wouldn't ship a stand just for pre trip setup, but that is me.


I assume you were referring to a big full sized stand when you said 10 pounds, right? If I read correctly that stand in your link is about a pound. Not that I personally would carry it either. I don't think anyone has suggested carrying a full sized 10# stand on tour. The only way that would make sense would be for a van supported tour and even then I bet a lot of the time folks don't take one.

I did meet a couple guys carrying a full sized shop floor pump on the Trans America, but never saw a work stand on tour.
I'd be thrilled to find something that is smaller than 28" long when folded up & weighs 8-10 pounds.
From the OP that is where I got it from. The stand I linked to is much lighter but I was referencing the original post. If I had a SAG wagon I might consider taking a stand and Big Blue but I generally don't get that ability. It would be kinda nice sometimes but the fuel usage would be kind of silly.
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