27th January 2011 Words: Nick Rearden
Enterprise, imagination and good old-fashioned engineering is alive and well in Yorkshire if Andy Richards’ clever bike stand is anything to go by.
We may have become accustomed to peering through the large hollow centre of modern bottom bracket axles but it took a cyclist with a keen eye for the opportunity to turn it into what every cyclist needs one way or another.
Either parked by the back door or at rides and races, a simple stand that holds the bike steady while you wash and fettle is a genuine godsend. With the rear wheel lifted and stable, you’re left with two clear hands to spin the cranks and click through the gears or do whatever you need to do including getting into all those muddy places with a washing brush.
Sure, there are great portable work stands on the market that even hold the bike for you at head height but they tend to cost around £100. The AndyStand is £39.99 delivered and is even starting to be sold in local bike shops like J E James in Sheffield.
The AndyStand is all made around Richards’ home town of Skipton with his mates in various local businesses chipping in to create a veritable cottage industry. “We talked about having it made in China but it’s ridiculous shipping it half way around the world when everyone we need is around here and fairly paid,” he says.
“I don’t want to be a millionaire,” says Andy Richards, who is an electrician in his day job, “but it would be nice to build up something worthwhile locally so I don’t need to be crawling around in lofts when I’m old.” To that end he’s already thinking of new ideas with the next development being a folding version of the AndyStand.
“We’ve sold hundreds so far, mostly by word of mouth, and I can honestly say there’s not been one negative comment.”
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