I occasionally—for various reasons irrelevant to this question–take the front wheel off and rest the fork on the ground. Doing this risks damaging the fork.

Bicycles are shipped with a plastic object to protect the fork, and a chain keeper (see picture) will hold the chain while washing a bike.

chain keepers

Are there gadgets that will protect a fork while the front wheel is removed? A chain keeper might give extra strength to the fork by tying the two parts, but it will not eliminate the risk of damaging a fork resting on the ground.

If this is for use only inside the home, can you suggest something better than merely resting the fork on an old pillow?

  • 1
    Buy a foam plate from the hardware store.
    – DKNguyen
    Feb 2, 2023 at 23:40
  • Any kind of foam or felt with a sticky back. A layer or two of gaffer tape. A small dirty rag to rest the fork on. Feb 3, 2023 at 8:20
  • 1
    Just a thought: thieves who put the stolen bikes in a van won't be bothered by this trick. Personally, I just use anti-theft axles (wheels+saddle), that is more than sufficient for "casual" thieves. And if I wanted to limit the ability to ride the bike, a frame lock is much more convenient.
    – Rеnаud
    Feb 3, 2023 at 12:51
  • It is possible to use two locks for locking both wheels to the frame
    – nightrider
    Feb 4, 2023 at 21:19

7 Answers 7


What about using a bike fork mount designed for a truck bed or similar? These are pretty durable, not too large (could be portable for a commuter). They can be mounted to a small board or other flat stock to provide a larger, more stable footprint if needed. They are easily obtained and are available in quick-release and through-axle designs. They are also readily inexpensive.

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  • You could still knock the bike over though, unless the fork mount is actually bolted to the ground; is that right?
    – Sam7919
    Feb 2, 2023 at 15:20
  • 5
    If the frame is already locked to something solid it'd be pretty hard to knock over. +1 for Ted, i was busy grabbing images to write the same answer myself!
    – Andy P
    Feb 2, 2023 at 15:24
  • @Sam in their raw form, they would provide only a small amount of support being slightly wider than the fork. If the bike is locked to a solid object then the lock assembly (wrapped around the frame/wheels) may support the bike in an upright position. I mentioned bolting them to a board/flat stock to increase their footprint, effectively making them even wider (limited by what you can carry if transporting it by bike). I currently use these in my vehicle to mount my bike when traveling, mounted to a 2 by 4 foot piece of plywood (holes in different places for different mounting combinations).
    – Ted Hohl
    Feb 2, 2023 at 15:29
  • 1
    @AndyP yes, if the rack is any good. If it's not, knocking the bike over can be pretty easy, especially if you need to lock low down to secure the back wheel. Or if the bike is unusual (my tandem and the local supermarket bike racks are a particularly bad combination)
    – Chris H
    Feb 2, 2023 at 16:58

Frame challenge: Why remove the wheel at all? Especially with disc brakes, this seems to be a major PITA to do on a daily basis.

Get a cable with loops on the end that threads through the front wheel and the U lock. I have one made by Kryptonite (called "Kryptoflex"), but I know that at least Abus has a similar offering. Basically, you thread one end through the wheel, thread the cable through one of the loops on the end and thread the other loop through your lock. Granted, if someone really wanted to steal your front or back wheel, these cables are a little easier to cut than the U lock, but since the widespread availability of angle grinders with batteries, no lock (that you want to carry around) will be any good against a determined thief.

  • 7
    Also, potential big pain with hydraulic disc brakes if someone decides to play with the lever... (intentionally or not, it's sometimes difficult to attach/detach a bike on a rack without touching other bikes)
    – Rеnаud
    Feb 3, 2023 at 12:05
  • @Renaud: Very good point!
    – arne
    Feb 3, 2023 at 12:47
  • 1
    With mechanical discs it's easier than with rim brakes - no need to release the brake to get it over the tyre - safer too, if you might be in a hurry and forget to return to brak eto normal when you get back on.
    – Chris H
    Feb 3, 2023 at 15:27
  • Why? Simple. Case 1: Bike has hydraulic brakes. In 2023 this means that every component is likely dear to you, and you'd hate to lose any. Case 2: No hydraulic brakes. It's then easy to take the wheel off and reinstall it. Either way, safety suggests to remove the front wheel. But yes, you should install the plastic tab when you take the wheel off. Even you might by habit press the brakes to stabilize the bike.
    – Sam7919
    Feb 3, 2023 at 18:12
  • Also using the cable is a great idea, regardless. Anti-theft experts typically advise that a thief is carrying tools to either cut a cable or to break a U-lock, but is unlikely to be carrying both. I'm not sure whether this advice changes with modern tools.
    – Sam7919
    Feb 3, 2023 at 18:12

If you happen to have an old used-up hub of the correct width & diameter lying around,

hub with flanges

you could rest the flanges on the ground, with the fork just slightly off the ground.

  • 2
    A good repurposing of a worn out part. It would roll (which may or may not be desirable). It also would be even less steady than just the forks alone, as the hub flanges would be narrower than the fork blades (may not be a factor if locking the bike to an fixed upright support).
    – Ted Hohl
    Feb 2, 2023 at 19:43
  • @TedHohl Your solution is definitely better. It would even replace the usual rack for keeping a bike upright with tools such as feedbacksports.com/product/rakk-black (and be cheaper, though I hear the price of wood has been climbing).
    – Sam7919
    Feb 2, 2023 at 20:26
  • @TedHohl At the very least, it would keep the dropouts from getting scraped up, which is nice.
    – MaplePanda
    Feb 3, 2023 at 0:47

A long time ago I made a fork protector out a 2 by 4 piece of wood that was like 24 inches long and I marked the forks on the middle and use a Dremel to carve two pockets in it to be able to sit the fork ends into and it lasted me forever.

  • Surely the best, least expensive, and doable solution available. As long/wide as you like, for stability, and after all, OP isn't looking for security as most answers seem to allude to.
    – Tim
    Feb 5, 2023 at 13:15

Buds Sport offers a fork protector for use with their bags, but it surely also works on its own.


Buy a foam plate from the hardware store. Or get a block of polyurethane foam and cut slots into it for the forks. Like from a custom cushion, mattress, or pillow store or a yoga block from a fitness store.


Plenty of options.

  • Several layers of rag will do.

  • New forks arrive at the LBS with a plastic insert for the dropouts. They get thrown away immediately so just ask them to save one for you.

  • And best of all - get a bike stand. I use a wall mounted one which not only saves space but also aids repairs - you might even find you don't need to remove the wheel anymore.

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