Even if you have no desire to ever work on your bike, you still need to clean and oil it. You probably already know that your bicycle chain needs oiled after about every 100 miles of use, and more frequently if you ride in inclement weather. You are far more likely to keep your bike clean and your chain lubed if you own a good bicycle repair stand. I purchased a Park Tool PCS-9 Home Mechanic Repair Stand about nine years ago and could not imagine life without it.
The Park Tool PCS-9 Home Mechanic Repair Stand is probably the best cycling investment you will ever make—it will definitely save you money in the long run. Park Tool describes the PCS-9 as an “entry-level repair stand for the home mechanic.” Why do you need it? After every bicycle ride I put whatever bike I was using in the repair stand and use an air compressor to blow the dust off the chain and from around the brake pads. Then I take a piece of cotton cloth (from an old T-shirt) and wipe off the tires (I am actually looking from pieces of broken glass in the tire). About every 100 miles (which in my case is often twice a week) I oil the chain, cables and pivot points. This process only takes a couple of minutes, but in ancient days (before I got the repair stand) I was one of those guys who turned my bike upside down on the garage floor and tried to clean it there. Turning your bike upside down was fine when you were 10, but if you are reading this blog I imagine (and hope) you are well past that stage of your life.
Once you have a good repair stand you are also more likely to keep your bike clean (the mechanic at your local bike shop will appreciate that). You can also use the stand to put on a good layer of paste wax once or twice a year. The wax will help keep a metal frame from developing surface rust, and it will help keep mud and road tar off of all bikes (steel, aluminum or carbon fiber).
The height of the Park Tool PCS-9 Home Mechanic Repair Stand can be adjusted from 39″ to 57″ and the screw clamp will adjust to fit tubes from 7/8″ to 3″. I’ve used this repair stand on everything from my featherweight Trek Madone to my behemoth Surly Necromancer without any trouble. The PCS-9 can be folded down for easy storage, but once I set mine up in the garage I have only moved it a couple of times just to clean the area under it.
The Park Tool PCS-9 Home Mechanic Repair Stand retails for around $150, but you can find it online for around $110 on Amazon.com. While I dearly love my PCS-9 repair stand, if I had it to do all over again I would buy the next model up, the PCS-10. I am not even sure if this model was available when I bought my PCS-9, but the PCS-10 will accept the TS-25 Truing Stand (something I now really want). The PCS-10 also has a few other nice features, but you will have to wait till I buy one so I can tell you all about them.
Whatever repair stand you buy I would also suggest you get a Park Tool Work Tray as well. This is an accessory tray that helps you keep tools, lubes and spare parts right on the stand itself. This accessory retails for around $36 and is definitely worth it.