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How Should I Clamp My Bike In a Repair Stand?

by Levi Bloom on 11/30/07

If you are among the many riders who are on carbon bikes or at least using a carbon seatpost, you might be wondering:

"Where do I clamp the bike when I put it in a repair stand?"

The general rule has always been to clamp the bike by the seatpost (assuming the repair stand in question involves a clamp, as most do.) That's because a seatpost can be replaced relatively easily, while the bike's seat tube is a bit harder to replace!

However, there is also a general rule not to clamp onto anything carbon...

So what if you have a carbon seatpost? Then you want to clamp "a" seatpost instead of "the" seatpost. That means that you'll take your carbon seatpost out, stick an old aluminum one in there, and clamp that old post into the repair stand. It's worth the hassle if it means saving a $100 seatpost!

It's also a good idea to install the old aluminum post before taking your bike to a shop for repairs. You never know when someone might clamp your carbon post a little too tight. Whether it's because of inexperience or lack of time, I'm sure it happens. (Think about it: most mechanics make minimum wage and might not care all that much about your bike.)

Now, if you are extremely careful and wrap a rag or something around the carbon post, and you're not doing extensive repairs, it's unlikely that an adjustable clamp will snap a carbon post. You just have to use the bare minimum force required to clamp it in place.

Tip for carbon: Try wrapping a carbon post in wax paper before clamping it. That will help protect it from damaging scratches and help prevent the logo from rubbing off.

Regardless, it only takes one small mistake to ruin a carbon post, so it's best to use the aluminum post method.

Quick recap:

Now you should be able to repair your bike without breaking it!


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