Alternatives to buying a repair stand?
I'd like to buy a repair stand, but I can never seem to convince myself to drop the $100 minimum it seems I'd need to spend. Has anybody had any success building a stand themselves, or is it worth it to just buy one?
Another solution is find a spare junk seat pole, and mount it upside down in a bench vice. Take out your normal seat and pole, flip the bike and drop it over the vice-pole. Another benefit is you can rotate the whole bike around this axis, but it needs a solid bench and spaec around it.
I can tell you from experience that your best option is to buy a repair stand.
I worked in a shop for a number of years and thought there was no way I could use a consumer grade stand when I left. I purchased park tool PRS-4W at cost before I left the shop and built my own stand from it. The consumer price is now $200 for that so that is obviously not dealing with your $ issue. And even if it did, I have since purchased and use a consumer grade stand with less features to maintain 4 bikes of different size frames for 5 years now and it was well worth the $ spent. It gets the job done. Bite the bullet, get the stand you'll be glad you did.
The only thing I would add is that it is worth the extra money to buy a nicer one that is easy to set up and take down. If it is a big pain, you won't ever want to get it out