Joey asks: “I’ve been looking into buying a mobile workstand. Any suggestions?”
Having the right tool for the job can make all the difference. Not only does this apply to specialty tools you may need for certain things on the bike but also applies to your bike stand. Having a stand that you like and are comfortable using will save you time and frustration whether you’re doing something simple or a full overhaul on your bike.
When choosing a stand to use at home or at a race there are a few things to consider such as size, stability, adjustability, and the clamping method. When it comes to size the thing that I consider the most important is the overall height adjustability. This is important because it allows you to get the bike your working on in a position where you won’t have to be bending over the whole time to work on the bike. You’ll also want to consider how much space the stand will take up both folded and erect.
In regards to stability, just about all mobile repair stands will use a tripod design for the base. They provide great stability if the bike is positioned in the correct spot in relation to the legs of the stand. The only issue I’ve had with mobile stands is if you get a bike that is a little heavier it will tip the feedback stand if the bike is between 2 of the legs of the tripod. It can be quickly remedied by lining the bike up with one of the legs, but this puts that leg right where you’ll want to stand. Park’s stands use a slightly different tripod design to eliminate that from happening but they do tend to have longer legs to achieve that stability.
As far as adjustability goes the main things I would look for are the ease of height adjustment and the flexibility of the clamping position. You aren’t always going to be able to use the seat post to clamp the bike in the stand so this allows more flexibility.
The last and perhaps most important thing to consider is the clamp. Here at the shop we use park tools professional micro adjust clamps in custom stands that we built for the shop, but it is the same clamp that is found on the Park Tool PRS-25 Team Issue Folding Repair Stand. This clamp is very easy to use and has a quick release type function that makes releasing the bike much easier than unwinding the clamp all the way. Select feedback stands also feature a quick release function for removing bikes from the clamp. Having a clamp that is quick and easy to use makes a huge difference if you’re taking bikes in and out of the stand frequently.
With regards to the Park Tool Race Stand and the Feedback Sports Sprint stands, they are great for road races and for the dedicated roadie. These stands use a traditional quick release clamping system that isn’t found on many mountain bikes these days. But if you only ride road and only work on road bikes they are a great option.
Once you’ve picked a stand there are a few things to look out for when it comes time to use it. The most common place for people to clamp their bike is the seatpost. If you don’t have enough seatpost sticking out of the frame for the clamp to fit on, simply mark the seat height with a piece of tape and then raise the saddle until you have enough space. I recommend doing this will all dropper post.I try to avoid clamping on the shaft of any dropper post because you may damage it and compromise the performance of the post. If that is your only option I recommend wrapping it with a rag and clamping the bike as lightly as possible.
Another thing to look for if you have to do that is any hose or cable and housing that may get kinked by, or interfere with the clamp. This is mainly an issue with seatposts that have a cable or hose anchored at the top of the post. If you have a reverb pay extra close attention to the hose because if it gets damaged it’s neither a quick and easy, or a cheap to fix. With the specialized command post I will disconnect the cable from the post so it can be moved out of the way and not get damaged. Watch out for the coupler housing on the Kind shock lev as well.
If the seatpost just isn’t an option for clamping the bike in the stand try the seat tube if you can, or the top tube as a last resort. With carbon bikes be especially careful if you have to clamp on the top tube. There is no situation where I would recommend doing that though.
A good stand can be used to clean, maintain, and can even be used as a parking spot for your bike, so hopefully this will help you choose the proper stand for your application and level of use.