I want to tweak my gears, from time to time: Adjust my front and rear derailleur limits, see if the shifts are smooth, make small adjustments on the cable tension, and so on.

Is there any way to get the bike in position without help of anyone?

I don't want to spend money on a bike stand.

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    What exactly do you mean by "tweak my gears"? – amcnabb Jun 5 '13 at 23:35
  • Adjusting my front and rear derailleur limits, see if the shifts are smooth, small adjustments on the cable tension... – danieltorres Jun 5 '13 at 23:41
  • Just hang the front of the seat on any convenient "peg", or rig hooks or a rope to suspend the bike from. All you need to do is somehow get the rear wheel off the ground while having the pedals clear to turn. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 6 '13 at 0:39
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    possible duplicate of Alternatives to buying a repair stand? – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jun 6 '13 at 0:55
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    I used to ride with a guy that would bend over and hang the seat on his neck for quick roadside adjustment. I'm not sure my neck is up to the task, so I used to hang the bike seat on a a hook that hangs from the ceiling, but finally bought a workstand which is far superior. – Johnny Jun 6 '13 at 1:27

In my experience, most light work can be done with the bike stored upside down (standing on the handlebars and seat). Of course, I'm assuming that you're talking about a road bike. Other bikes, like a mountainbike with a twist-shifters or trigger-shifting, might not be as well suited.

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  • +1) Although its far from ideal, I consider it a last resort - if my MTB 'breaks' when in the field it is often the easiest solution. – mattnz Jun 6 '13 at 4:11

Before I bought a bike stand, I used the bike rack on my car. I still use it in a pinch.

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  • There is some issue with this - if you have a bike rack which is a trailer hitch mount or spare wheel mount then this is possibly OK but if you have a trunk rack, you have to be careful not to get dirt on the pads which touch the car (lest you scratch the paint on your car). – Batman Dec 3 '14 at 19:05
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    Just as long as you don't scratch the bike. ;) – fgysin reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 13:57

I have two large hooks attached to my basement ceiling. I attach a 1 inch cargo strap (look for them in camping supplies) from the hook to my saddle and a second around the bars and stem. This suspends the bike while allowing the wheels and crank to spin freely. By adjusting the strap length I can position the bike so the area being worked on is close to eye level. The hooks were less than $3 and the straps were $3 each.

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  • That's a cheap solution but the bike would tend to swing to and fro. I would find it hard to work on a bike that would move when touched. – Carey Gregory Jun 6 '13 at 3:50
  • I used to do exactly this with bungee cords hanging from the frame of my patio roof. Not as good as a repair stand, but a lot better than an upside down bike. – Jake Aug 16 '16 at 1:39
  • I can't quite imagine this being practical. When working on the chain/derailleur/... I often crank the pedal with one hand, doing something else with the other (like shifting gears, applying oil, holding a cleaning implement, ...). Won't the suspended bike just swing all over the place instead of being pedalled? – fgysin reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 14:00

I have double kickstand on the bike which can act as mini repair stand. I pull the bike on the kickstand, and put some weight (u-lock and chain) on the front of the bike so it tilts forward and back wheel gets lifted in the air.

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Here is a cheap ($20) bike stand that elevates the rear wheel: http://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Bracket-Bicycle-Display-Stand/dp/B000C17HJ4

enter image description here

Note that it works best with thinner-tubed steel bikes, and doesn't necessarily hold up a bike with a thick aluminum downtube optimally.

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    I've used this sort of thing. It's adequate for some bikes, doesn't work at all for others. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 15 '16 at 21:00
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    I added a picture so we will still know what you mean after the amazon link dies. – Móż Aug 16 '16 at 1:05

Turn the bike upside down and clamp the handle bar stem in the jaws of a WorkMate workbench and rest the seat on the opposite end of the WorkMate work surface. Turning the seat around backwards on its stem may be helpful.

enter image description here

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    I did this for a few years and its workable. Helps if you weight the table by putting some mass on the lower part - sandbags on the bottom rails. Downside is the bike is upside down, and some things like gears don't quite work the same upside down. – Criggie Aug 16 '16 at 1:19

A cheap solution is a wall-mounted bike holding stand. The simple ones are just a couple of prongs that stick out from the wall and support the top tube of your bike. Something like this is $US40 or you can get fancy with this (will work better with sloping top tubes)

I suspect you could build one out of a 1.5m length of timber and some screws quite easily, although attaching it to the wall would require a little care.

The rope-based hanging bike storage systems also work well for this if you can put up with the bike swinging round. Those allow better access, but the bike moves. A solid wall mount won't move but you have to take the bike down and flip it round to access the other side, and you can't turn the handlebars much.

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Normal workbenches have these big clamp tools (a vice) attached to the edge of the bench. LINK TO IMG

You can turn your bicycle upside down and carefully clamp the top tube. I use rags to protect the frame. The bicycle is as stable as it can get.

EDIT* This method should only be used on steel frames and with great care. Also keep in mind that high quality steel frames are 'butted' (thinner in the middle).

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    I'd only do this on a steel frame, and even then one must be careful to not crush the tube. Remember, better quality frame tubes are "butted" and thinner in the middle than at the ends. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 6 '13 at 10:22
  • If you do this, it's better to clamp joints rather than the middle of the tube, and ideally the seat tube/top tube area where the seatpost is also contributing. But it is still very risky. I would buy a tube clamp to fit into the vice because those are cheap. But any other solution is likely better than this. – Móż Aug 16 '16 at 1:04

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