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Low-Cost Fat Bike Stand

Last updated on November 17, 2020

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

With the acquisition of a fat bike I needed a way to store it standing up in the garage but my favorite rack, Feedback Sports’ RAKK, won’t work with a tire this wide. So, I set out to build my own. The result is what’s seen above, a collapsable stand which holds the rear tire at the bottom in a channel and at the top/sides to keep it from tipping over.

There are some other PVC rack designs floating around online, most similar to this one from Bogley Outdoor Community, but they all seem to have derailleur or brake rotor interference issues to one degree or another; see this photo for one example. By building an L-shaped stand I was able to completely avoid this.

The rack also has a lip extending off the back of it which serves two purposes. First it keeps the rack from tipping backward when pushing the bike into it, and second, by jutting out just a bit further than the rear tire, it keeps the stand just far enough from the wall that the rear tire doesn’t touch. Thus the bike can be inserted into the rack by pushing the whole assembly against the wall (without holding it), and it keeps the rack from inadvertently being unusably close to a wall. This latter point is a problem with the Feedback Sports RAKK, as if it’s sitting too close to the wall the bike cannot push the spring loaded arm backward and the rack must be slid away from the wall before a bike can be inserted; a bit of a hassle when the rack is set close to others in a small garage.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Total parts cost for this project was US$13.08 (after 6% Michigan sales tax), purchased at Lowes, not including incidental supplies or tools:

1″ Schedule 40 PVC Pipe:
· 1x 10′ Pipe
· 4x End Caps
· 2x 90° Elbows
· 8x Tee

Presuming a 7/8″ inset in each fitting the 10′ piece of pipe is then cut into the following size segments:

· 10x 4.25″
· 2x 24″
· 2x 11.25″
· 2x 1.25″

If your pipe fittings have something other than a 7/8″ inset or if your tire size is a fair bit different from mine you’ll want to adjust these lengths as necessary to ensure that you’ve got the appropriate distances between support pieces. The spacing that I found to work for my Salsa Mukluk 2 with a Surly Rolling Darryl rim and either an Endomorph or Larry tire has a base rectangle with inside dimensions of 4.25″ x 11.25″ and an upright with a 4.25″ x 24″ opening. Bikes with narrower (or wider) rims or tires may require this opening to be adjusted.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

I did all of my cutting with a hacksaw or bandsaw, depending on which was more convenient. Once all pieces are cut the ends need to be deburred and slightly beveled with a file or razor blade. Before assembly I also scrubbed the colored labeling off with some acetone and paper towel, but this isn’t a necessary step. If doing so caution must be taken as the acetone dissolves / etches the PVC, so one should be careful not to damage the surface or let it pool. It is also extremely volatile and flammable and thus any cleaning of this sort should be performed outdoors.

Assembly proceeds as pictured here, with all items cemented in place except for the where the upright meets the base. Parts were liberally coated with PVC cement (no primer, as this doesn’t need to hold water), and before this could set the parts were tapped into place with a dead blow hammer, measured with a ruler to ensure appropriate gaps, and aligned by pressing the parts against a flat surface. I found it was easiest to assemble the short cross pieces first, then fit the longer pieces, then the legs, and finally the end caps.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

The resulting stand works out very nicely, solidly holding the bike by either the front or rear wheel. This integrates well with the row of RAKK-supported bikes in the garage, and now I don’t have to lean by bike against a hose holder, garbage can, or wall. I’m quite happy with how it came out.

28 Comments

  1. jurascience
    jurascience December 10, 2011

    The stand works perfectly. Great instructions and project. Thanks.

  2. c0nsumer
    c0nsumer December 10, 2011

    jurascience: No problem; glad to hear it worked well for you. I’ve been quite happy with mine; it’s actually a little easier to use than the RAKK that it’s an alternative to.

  3. Grant
    Grant May 20, 2012

    Just saw this on a post on reddit, excellent project, thanks for posting this.

  4. Paul
    Paul November 17, 2012

    Thanks for posting. This improved my design I did on my own quite a bit. works great.

  5. fatbiker
    fatbiker April 1, 2013

    this is awesome! Thank you for taking the time to share! Mine turned out great and works like a champ!

  6. Herb
    Herb May 27, 2013

    Thanks for posting this. Mine turned out great. It was much needed.
    Thanks Again!

  7. Bob
    Bob September 23, 2013

    Your stand looks great. Any reason you don’t recommend cementing in the uprights? Do you find them strong enough? No necessarily to hold the bike up from from them breaking under stress or over time?

  8. Steve Vigneau
    Steve Vigneau September 24, 2013

    Bob: Thank you. I recommend not gluing them so that the stand may be disassembled and stored flat. There is very little load on the stand during use, so I have no concerns over it breaking. For the last two years or so my fatbike has spent most of its time in the rack with no I’ll effects. Were I to make another I’d do it exactly like this again.

  9. frank
    frank October 29, 2013

    what size would you cut the cross pieces if you were doing this for a road bike?

  10. Steve Vigneau
    Steve Vigneau October 29, 2013

    frank: Narrower. ;) I’d actually cut them so the uprights are about 1.5 inches apart, maybe just enough so the elbows butt up against each other? As a suggestion, you can dry fit the whole thing and be sure it works before cementing it all together…

  11. Will Ernst
    Will Ernst March 29, 2014

    Thanks for sharing! I used your design with different measurements for a couple of multi-bike racks. I have a few Rakks in the garage, but they slide around and are expensive for multiple bikes. My garage is also my workshop so I have to get the bikes out of the garage to to use it. Now that my kids have bikes and my collection has grown, it’s a task to move the bikes to the backyard. I built a backyard rack and a dense “double-sided” rack for the garage. Well, the outdoor one is finished and the garage one is started, to be completed tomorrow.

    Outdoor rack CAD image
    http://i.imgur.com/N7CMtXT.png

    Garage rack CAD image:
    http://i.imgur.com/GsKK2N2.png

    Outdoor rack completed:
    http://i.imgur.com/bSOch31.jpg

  12. J Norman
    J Norman March 29, 2014

    Your stand works great. Cut all the parts and had the stand assembled in less than an hour. I did not glue the uprights because of I like being able to but my fat bike in the stand while putting on my cycling shoes. I pull the uprights out
    and drop the hole assembly into my trunk. Great stand works great.

  13. Steve Vigneau
    Steve Vigneau March 30, 2014

    Will Ernst: Those look great! I’ve been meaning to get around to building a large one like that outdoor rack, but just haven’t done it yet. I’m glad to see that you found it useful!

  14. Bruce Kaldor
    Bruce Kaldor March 28, 2015

    Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. Just finished putting mine together and it works great!

  15. Graham Wilson
    Graham Wilson December 10, 2015

    Just built two of these – and they worked out great – fantastic design – had to make a minor adjustement for a 4 inch tire on second bike. Thanks

  16. John Z
    John Z August 21, 2016

    Awesome. After failing at my own wood homemade design, this is just what I needed. Just built one, took me 2 hours but I’m super slow. Bought enough materials for two, along with a pvc-ratchet cutting tool and pvc cement, all came out to $56 in AK. Then elected to not use the pvc cement, not seeing any issues, the pvc fits real tight to begin with and this will let me make adjustments in the future if needed.

  17. Paul C
    Paul C October 19, 2017

    Steve, Thank you so much for this info. Built my stand in about 45 minutes thanks to you. Now My Mukluk has a stable place to live when its not riding down the road. You rock, my friend!

  18. Blake
    Blake February 13, 2018

    I wanted to give an interesting price update. I bought all the components today at a local Home Depot, and it cost just over $20, on the NW Oregon coast. Thanks for the parts list and the detailed pics! It seems easy enough to fabricate one of these, but its nice having a starting point and frame of reference. Now, on to cutting some pvc…

  19. 9wee
    9wee April 15, 2018

    Easily adapted to a 29er tire (x 2.25). Used exact design except narrower widths. Works great. Also, total cost was $20 at Home Depot in the FL panhandle.

  20. Tim T
    Tim T April 23, 2018

    Inspired by this and a few others, I went ahead and put together a stand for the bikes in our garage.

    Photos are here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/tYYtTaC0cDa2XcN83

    Measurements are all in the info on the first photo

    Some notes on the design:
    – Spacing is designed for alternating front / back wheels in the rack so that handlebars don’t interfere with each other
    – Added a small rise to the front to back of the rack
    – The rise is low enough that it doesn’t interfere with derailleurs or rotors
    – The rise helps guide the bike in place and adds additional support
    – The cross-brace behind the uprights now acts as the stop for the wheel instead of the top of the upright section
    – Since the upright is no longer what stops the wheel from moving backwards, I can now use the same length for all uprights
    – Having the same length uprights means that I can now add cross-bracing between the uprights
    – The additional cross-bracing provides enough strength that I’m able to use 3/4″ PVC instead of 1″
    – The lower height of the 3/4″ PVC also makes it slightly easier to roll a bike over

    Cost comparison of switching to 3/4″ PVC (from Menards):
    10′ schedule 40
    – 3/4″: $2.27
    – 1″: $3.33
    (in theory, at least the shorter sections could probably use 3/4″ SDR 21, which is only $1.30 for 10′)

    10 packs of tees
    – 3/4″: $2.65
    – 1″: $6.69

    10 packs of 90 degree elbows
    – 3/4″: $1.75
    – 1″: $4.39

  21. Tim T
    Tim T April 23, 2018

    Some additional notes:
    – Nothing is glued together
    – Used a rubber mallet to piece the connections for each section together
    – As the overall length grew, I found it was easier to piece sections together horizontally using a quick-release clamp on the tee fittings
    – Used a cordless reciprocating saw with a fine tooth blade for all the cuts (ends are a little sloppy, but all are hidden, so it doesn’t matter much)

  22. mike
    mike November 17, 2018

    how would you adopt this to fit my 36er?

  23. Gary Wood
    Gary Wood March 21, 2019

    Wondering if anyone has built a stand like this with truly adjustable width for differing tire sizes? I guess I would be talking about a threaded bit of pipe in the right places to be turned in/out for a snug fit. For example I am thinking of getting 2.4″ tires for my trail bike, and my current homemade stand is set for 2.1/2.2″.

  24. Joe
    Joe June 15, 2019

    Great design. I built one for my fat bike using your exact specs. Perfect. And one for my
    27.5 MTB using 3/4 inch pipe. I reduced the 4.25 pieces to 3.25,and if worked great. I should have made the upright a smidge taller though, maybe 25 instead of 24. Still it works ok.

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