Which Type Of Clamp Best Suits Your Needs
There are generally two types of repair stands: those that use a clamping mechanism to secure the bike by, well, pretty much any tube you choose to fix them to, and Euro-style modelssometimes called race standsthat secure your bike by the bottom bracket and front or rear dropout. Within those categories, there are portable and permanent stands and basic models versus those for the pros.
Clamp-style stands hold the bike by the seatpost or frame tubes . They dont work well on all aero seatposts and non-round tubes, since the clamping mechanism is usually circular.
Euro-style, or race, stands hold the bike at the bottom bracket and the front or rear dropout. These are a great option for aero or other bikes with funky tube shapes. If your bike has thru-axles, however, make sure the stand comes with the appropriate adaptor.
Vincent Gee, head mechanic for the Aevolo Pro Cycling Team, says he prefers a race stand when traveling to events because he can rotate the bike to access both sides without having to walk around it. And because most stands of this style fold down, he can fit them in his luggage if he has to fly to a race. But he prefers the clamp-style stands when doing front brake and headset work. Race-style stands will let you do that as well, but you have to flip the bike around and mount it by the rear dropouts.
What To Look For In A Bike Repair Stand
Sure, the $3,395 electric-motor driven Park Tool PRS-33 and the $3,050 EVT EZ-Lift stands are pretty awesome, but then so is a personal butler or a Lamborghini.
Just like when buying a bike, you should spend what youre comfortable with on a repair stand.
Spending more will give you a better-quality stand that can handle more advanced repairs and will have more features. These go a long way to making the repair work more comfortable, but make sure youre only paying for what you need.
The following are key features to look out for in tube-clamp style stands:
How Much Should I Pay
If youve never looked at bike repair stands before, then the first thing that might surprise you are the prices. They’re expensive!The minimum you can expect to pay for something decent is around $100 / £80. Yes, youll be able to find cheaper repair stands, but the build quality will be poor and youll end up regretting it and/or buying a replacement.Prices can also go up to over $600 / £570! But unless your job is actually repairing bicycles you dont need to spend that much. You dont even have to spend that much if your job is repairing bicycles to be honest…
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Our Analysis And Test Results
Product Update Note May 2022PCS 10.3
Park Tool’s products are among the most prolific in the bike industry for good reason. Their reputation for quality and longevity means that you’re likely to find the signature blue powder coat in most workshops. The PCS work stand has a long history of doing the heavy lifting for home mechanics, and the new 10.2 represents the latest refinement of their classic design with a few key improvements over the PCS-10. The introduction of teardrop-shaped tubing, a new folding system, and a height-adjustable tool tray make this heavy-duty workhorse a sensible progression from the older model and a solid option for semi-permanent home workshop setups.
Floor Standing Vs Workbench Repair Stands
Most bike stands sit on the floor. However, some of them can be mounted on a workbench or a wall. One advantage of this is they obviously take up less space. Plus theyre usually more stable and much cheaper too!
Workbench bike mount: more stable and cheaper!
But of course youve got to have a workbench or suitable wall to mount them on. And they will be permanently fixed there: you wont be able to move them around your work space! Which brings me to…
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Sliding Clamps Vs Claw Clamps
The clamp is the only part of the stand that comes into contact with your bike. Its also the thing that youll interact with most, as you mount and unmount your ride. So its got to work really well.It should be quick and painless to get around your frame, tighten, loosen and get it off again. And you obviously dont want it to damage your bike! So it should be easy to make micro adjustments too.
And there are are broadly two styles of clamp. There are the sliding clamps that come with the Topeak and Feedback stands. And then there are the claw like clamps that come with most other bike stands.I much prefer the sliding clamps as I find them much easier to use. You get more space in which to insert the frame, they close easier and the tightening knob is much more accessible.
Efficient Velo Tools Ez
Efficient Velo Tools EZ-Lift Repair Stand
Efficient Velo Tools EZ-Lift Repair Stand
Referring to the Ferrari which he, Sloane, and Cameron famously borrow for their day off in Chicago, Ferris Bueller breaks the fourth wall to tell the audience, It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend you picking one up. Like that 1961 GT California Spyder, the EVT EZ-Lift is oh-so-very, very choice. And also like a Ferrari, every EZ-Lift is handcrafted to order, comes in a signature red color, is quite expensive, requires a deposit to order, and has a very long waiting list. The Efficient Velo Tools EZ-Lift is the repair stand that the best shop mechanics in North America all want to use. We have even heard of mechanics taking jobs with particular shops simply because they have these stands. Handcrafted in Washougal, Washington, the EVT comes with an almost endless list of features, has the ability to lift a bike from the floor, and offers seven feet of adjustment, a counterbalance lifting mechanism, air-damping to control speed, and the highly refined Right Arm Repair Clamp that requires only two-inches of post to clamp. The EZ-Lift is a piece of functional art.
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Other Good Repair Stands
If you work on heavier bikes : Consider the Park Tool PRS-25 Team Issue Repair Stand, which has the highest weight capacity of any stand weve tested so far: 100 pounds. Unlike Park Tools four home-oriented repair stands, this folding stand arrives fully assembled. Its also lighter than many of its siblings , and its more easily transported, although its head doesnt fold down like the Feedback heads do. If you have a sloping floor, or want to be able to set up your stand closer to a wall than you can get with the Feedback, the L-shaped base of this stand is appealing. But its a lot more expensive for that feature, and it still doesnt outperform the Pro-Elite. Were seeing more bike repair stands designed specifically for ebikes we plan to test some soon.
Best Workbench And Wall Mounted Bike Stands
If you dont need a portable repair stand and you have either a suitable workbench or wall space, then a mounted repair stand could be a good option.It will save you a load of floor space. And even better, theyre usually more stable and much cheaper than their floor standing cousins!Just remember: you wont be able to take it out on the road with you. And once its mounted to your wall or worktop, you wont be able to move it around your work space. So make sure you have enough room to work around it.Workbench and wall mounted stands can also be divided into the more economical options that are good enough for weekend mechanics and the more durable stands that are best if youre a daily user.
For the weekend mechanic , the Venzo Bench Mount Clamp is incredible value for money.
Venzo Bike Bench Mount: the best choice for lighter bikes
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Home Mechanic Repair Stand
The PCS-9.3 is a basic folding workstand designed and built for the home mechanic a stable way to hold nearly any bike off the ground for adjustments, cleaning and repair. Features 18″ of height adjustment and 360 degrees of clamp rotation, positioning all parts of the bike within reach for any mechanic whether seated or standing.
The stand’s all-steel construction with teardrop-shaped tubing ensures maximum rigidity and stability, with a locking support yoke and upgraded internals for extra dependability. The PCS-9.3 is able to hold up to 80 lbs. *, which allows for compatibility with virtually all two-wheeled pedal-driven bicycles, including fat bikes and most e-bikes.
The PCS-9.3 quickly folds down for storage and transport with a smooth-operating leg support system that pulls both legs up in one simple motion. The PCS-9.3 is the perfect way to upgrade your home shop.
- Maximum weight capacity*: 36 kg
- Clamp capacity: round and aero tubes from 22 to 76 mm wide
- Jaw height: 70 mm
- Height adjustable from 99 cm to 145 cm
- Base when open forms a triangle of 92 cm x 92 cm x 121 cm
- Folds down to 114 cm x 37 cm
- #2848A quick-release collar with accessory pods required for use of PTH-1 Paper Towel Holder or 106 Work Tray
- Replaceable jaw covers
*NOTE: The maximum weight capacity of the PCS-9.3 assumes the weight is centered below the clamp and between the legs.
Do You Need A Portable Repair Stand
Some bike stands can be fixed to the floor for extra stability. And as discussed, there are some that attach to your workbench or wall.But most stands are portable. This means that not only can you move them around your floor space, you can also fold them up and take them somewhere else entirely!This kind of portability is really handy if you want to work on your bike at race meets, between mountain trail rides or basically anywhere youre out and about and using your bike.
Some stands fold up smaller than others
And whereas all of them pretty much fold down into carry-able packages, some are less compact and heavier than others.
Although the differences are minimal, if thats important to you: pay attention to size and weight!
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How We Picked And Tested
We researched reviews online from Bicycling, BikeRadar, Road.cc and BicycleAdviser, and read user reports on bulletin boards, like at mtbr.com. One important thing we found: Different kinds of stands hold bikes in different ways, so dont buy a stand before buying your bike, because what works best will depend on what kind of bike you have .
With the most common type of freestanding repair stand, you attach the clamp to the bikes seatpost, and the bike hangs in midair. With another type of repair standits often called a race standyou rest the bike on top of it, removing either the front or rear wheel and securing the front or rear dropouts to the stand. Race stands are good for mountain bikes with dropper seatposts, which can be tricky to clamp, or carbon road bikes with aerodynamically shaped seatposts that dont fit well into many clamps. That said, most bikes will work just fine in a standard seatpost-clamp work stand, and thats the design we decided to focus on.
Once we had our finalists, we rotated through all of them while maintaining several bikes. In addition, we lugged them to remote aid stations at four Northern California gravel races, where the mechanics providing neutral supportKatie Colesberry of Turlock, California, and Brooks Sizemore of Mill Valley, Californiaassessed their portability, sturdiness, and ease of setup in the field.
Venzo Bike Bench Mount
Its made entirely from steel, so you dont have to worry about the long term durability of any plastic parts.Once its installed on your workbench, the body will swivel around 360°. And of course like all repair stands, the clamp will also rotate 360°. So you’ll be able to get your bike into whatever position you want.
The height isn’t adjustable
At 7″ , its quite short and the height isnt adjustable. So make sure your workbench is tall enough. And the maximum recommended bike weight is 45 lb , so its not suitable for the heaviest e-bikes and cruisers.But the all metal construction, micro adjustable quick release clamp, and heat treated levers and bolts make this a dependable, workhorse of a bike clamp. And considering its less than a third of the price of the “professional” clamps, its an absolute bargain!The Park Tools PRS 4.2 is the professional level workbench mount that Im referring to above. And it is pretty expensive! However, it does have several significant advantages over the Venzo clamp.
Park Tools PRS 4.2 : the professionals choice
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Topeak Prepstand Eup Foldable Workstand
Topeak PrepStand eUp Foldable Workstand
Topeak PrepStand eUp Foldable Workstand
This stand is not cheap. But its very reasonably priced compared to the only other lift-assist stand in this roundup, the $2,000 more-expensive EZ-Lift. This makes it a great option for home mechanics that often need to work on heavy bikes, such as many e-bikes or even a downhill mountain bike. A built-in pressurized cartridge offers 37 pounds of assistance for both lifting and lowering bikes. Just make sure you know the weight of your bike ahead of time, because certain e-bikes can easily exceed the stands maximum weight limit of 66 pounds.
How We Evaluated These Bike Repair Stands
Most of the stands on our list have been used and abused by our in-house mechanic and team of test editorsat home, in our shop, and out on the road at events. We also included a few options that we chose based on recommendations from professional and home mechanics, online reviews, and our experience using similar products. We evaluated every stand based on performance, price, stability, ease of use, and reliability. For anyone whos tired of leaning their bike against a wall to make repairs, keep reading to find a stand that best suits your needs and budget.
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Unior Pro Road Repair Stand
Unior Pro Road Repair Stand
Unior Pro Road Repair Stand
Codeveloped with mechanics from former World Tour Team Sky, the Pro Road Repair Stand is lightweight and collapsible, so you can bring it along on race day. Its constructed of strong aluminum and steel, and sits on two legs instead of the typical tripod design , which Unior claims is as stable as a tripod design. It offers two points of adjustability: height and bike angle. Unior designed the stand to be accessible for mechanics ranging from 5 feet tall to 6-foot-5. The adjustable angle makes it easier to access each side of the bike and the underside. If you want to work on a bike with a thru-axle, an adapter is sold separately.
The Worst Bike Stands
If you’re looking for a wall mounted bike clamp, then you should avoid the DNC mounts. Or any of the look-alikes. They’re just not strong enough to support a bicycle properly.
And to be honest, anything that costs less than around $100 / £80 will not only be full of plastic components, they’ll be thin, flimsy components that won’t last long. Plus, the tubing will be thin, creating a weak and potentially unstable stand.
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Deluxe Home Mechanic Repair Stand
A full-featured bicycle workstand designed and built for the home mechanic. The PCS-10.3 includes Park Tool’s tried and true cam-actuated micro-adjustable clamp design for quick one-handed entry and exit, as well as a quick-release height adjustment lever for easy, secure adjustment. Features 18″ of height adjustment and 360 degrees of clamp rotation, positioning all parts of the bike within reach for any mechanic whether seated or standing.
The stand’s all-steel construction with teardrop-shaped tubing ensures maximum rigidity and stability, with tubular support braces, a locking support yoke, and upgraded internals for extra dependability. The PCS-10.3 is able to hold up to 80 lbs. , which allows for compatibility with virtually all two-wheeled pedal-driven bicycles, including fat bikes and most e-bikes.*The PCS-10.3 features an integrated height-adjustable parts tray, as well as accessory ports for the Park Tool #106 Work Tray or PTH-1 Paper Towel Holder , so your tools and small parts are always within reach. Quickly folds down for storage and transport with a smooth-operating leg support system that pulls both legs up in one simple motion.The PCS-10.3 is the perfect way to upgrade your home shop – a stable way to hold nearly any bike off the ground for adjustments, cleaning and repair
Weekend Vs Daily Mechanics
Which type of repair stand you choose and how much you spend, will very much depend on how you’re going to use it. So lets look at that first.
Im going to divide those looking for a bike repair stand into two distinct groups: weekend and daily mechanics.
A weekend mechanic will want to do basic maintenance and repairs . So, maybe cleaning, lubing, brake and gear adjustments etc. And probably limited to one or two different bikes.
Are you a weekend mechanic?
Or a daily mechanic?
A daily mechanic might repair or build bikes for a living. Or maybe they have a full time hobby that necessitates fixing bikes daily. And a daily mechanic might need to work on lots of different bikes!
If you’re working on lots of different bikes, on a daily basis, you need the absolute maximum in stability, durability and ease of use. And you should be prepared to pay extra for that.
If you’re only working on a couple of different bikes, at the weekends, then there is a compromise to be found between those things and the price!
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