09/12/2013 | 3 comments
Bikes need fixing, fact. A decent work stand makes any repairs a whole lot easier, fact. So if you haven’t got one then check this one out…
Personally I don’t understand how anyone can work on a bike without a work stand, it just makes life so much harder. I think a lot of people don’t buy one simply because it doesn’t make you go faster, or make your bike look flashier, but unlike pretty much anything that you fit to your bike a work stand should last you for life. Even a cheap one will last for years, but as with any tools I reckon it’s worth investing in a quality one, that way you’ll only ever buy once.
What makes a decent work stand? Well I think the first crucial attribute is stability, particularly if you’re ever going to be working on a heavy DH bike. At home I have an industrial quality stand that is bolted to the floor and ceiling so it’s never going anywhere, but obviously I can’t take that to races etc so I also have a portable stand. The stability of this portable stand has impressed me so much though that if I didn’t already have a fixed stand I’d be more than happy to use this both home and away. The three widely spaced legs mean that it’s even stable on rough ground. Tall people will also love the fact that unlike most portable stands this one extends right the way up to a very generous 1.8m. Even at that lofty height it’s still stable when holding a DH bike. As I said before, impressive, and that’s before you even start to factor in that its aluminium construction means that it weighs in at a highly portable 5.7 Kg.
As you can see it folds down pretty small too, and you can do it in seconds without the need for any tools.
Apart from stability the other key ingredient for a good work stand is the quality and design of the clamp. This is an area where the Pro-Elite once again excels. I think I must have used pretty much every design out there and there’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best. The main reason I say that is because of the quick release clamp. When you’re trying to clamp a bike in a stand the last thing you want to be having to do is hold it for ages with one hand while you use your other hand to fiddle about with the tightening, especially with a DH bike. With this clamp you just push the button on top and it opens up wide, you then lift your bike into place and push the clamp shut. That will then be enough to hold it in place while you tighten the clamp further with the knob. Removal is just as easy, if not even easier, just hit that red button. There are other ‘quick release’ clamps on the market but I’ve yet to find one that works as well as this design.
Apart from being easy to use the clamp also offers plenty of grip so that you don’t need too much clamping force in order to stop any movement, which is especially important if you’re having to clamp something delicate. It also opens up nice and wide and will clamp tubes all the way up to 66mm, so no matter how chunky your frame is it should easily be able to cope. The whole thing also rotates through 360 degrees so you can position your bike at any angle to make jobs even easier.
Hopefully by now it’s pretty apparent that I really rate this work stand, it’s an excellent bit of workshop kit. It might not be cheap but I reckon it’s worth it, especially when as I said before it should last you forever. Feedback Sports do make some cheaper offerings starting at £124.99 (this is their top model), but if you regularly work on your bike then I think the extra performance and features of this stand justify the extra cost. If you shop about you should be able to get it a fair bit less too. Happy spannering…