There are many reasons for which you may want to display your bicycles. It could be that you’d like to keep them in sight and part of the décor in your apartment during the off season, or you could be running a bike shop and in need of a secure and attractive way to present your wares to customers.
On the one hand, leaving your ride lying around the garage or any other part of your home is not the best way to treat it, and will likely result in a reduction in its lifespan. Apart from the fact that its parts will be coming into rough contact with the floor on a regular basis, it might get in the way and get tripped over. Leaning it against a wall is only marginally better, since it could still get pushed over and fall to the ground.
If you have a shop, then stands are essential to arrange your bicycles in an orderly manner and with reasonable distance between them so that they do not scratch one another. Sturdy stands will also help by holding the bikes securely, thus preventing accidental falls as customers check them out.
Regardless of whether your needs are of a personal or commercial nature, there are an number of things that you’ll have to keep an eye out for, to ensure that you can get the best use out of whichever stands you eventually decide to go with.
Support Method – All stand options work by affixing a part of the bike in a vice-like structure to keep it securely in place. Where they differ is in which part they use to provide support in its upright position. While you can find some that use the spokes or the frame, those that use the tyres are less likely to result in any damage. Ideally, you should be able to rotate the pedals forward and backward to allow you enough access to lube the chain.
Material – As with your bicycle itself, the material from which your stand is made will likely be the single most decisive factor in how durable and reliable you’ll find it to be over the years.
You’ll come across models made from different metals and plastics in the course of your search. While the metal ones are likely to be pricier and heavier, they also provide significantly better support to your bicycles. One advantage of plastics, however, is that they will not rust even if you use them outdoors for long periods of time, unlike most metals. In addition, there is no risk of scratching, even if you fumble a bit while putting the bike in.
One thing that’ll help you decide is the kind of bike that you intend to use the stand for. If it’s one of the heavier types (like a mountain bike, tandem, recumbent or cruiser), you should go for a metal model or at least a heavy, sturdier plastic one.