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Bike work stands: A buyer's guide

Joseph Delves
4 Aug 2021

Make bike maintenance easier with this guide to workstands large and small.

From cleaning chains to changing a bottom bracket, almost all mechanical tasks are easier with your bike held off the floor by a bike work stand. Getting your bike to a working height, holding it securely and allowing you to operate gears and brakes while the bike remains stationary, they’re the heart of any workshop.

Bike stands tend to come in two varieties: those that clamp a tube, and those that fit the front forks and then support the bottom bracket, with both having distinct advantages depending on your priorities.

For one, it’s worth noting that if you use a clamp-on type stand with a carbon bike, only attach it to your seatpost, as other areas can be damaged by the forces exerted. However, on the plus side, they’re faster to load and often cheaper.

Covering both syles, here are nine of our favourite work stands.

Best bike work stands

1. The best money-no-object bicycle repair stand: Feedback Sports Sprint Bicycle Repair Workstand

In a cycling career full of regrettable purchases, I’ve never regretted spending money on better quality tools. This top-quality fork-mount stand is a frequent sight outside pro-team busses around the circuit. Clicking-and-clacking into place, it’s solid feeling from the off, yet erects and collapses quickly.

With every element easily adjustable, getting the bike balanced on the sledge is easy, as is spinning the whole machine around while working. With an all aluminium construction, each of its many clamps are easy to tighten. Weighing a light 5.7kg, its folded side is a diminutive 13cm x 19cm x 76cm, making it ready to chuck into the boot of your car.

For speed when working on multiple bikes, some prefer a regular clamp stand but for doing a proper job we reckon a fork-mounted stand has the edge. With that in mind, we’re designating this the best money can buy.

Buy now from Tweeks for £270

2. The best everyday bicycle work stand: Park Tool Deluxe Workstand PCS10.3

Park Tool supplies more workshops than any other brand so it’s no surprise its consumer-focused folding stand is both durable and dependable. Its cam-actuated, micro-adjustable clamp is similar to the ones you’ll see in bike shops everywhere and makes fitting of the bike both quick and secure.

The head itself can then spin through 360°, helping you find a good balance or reach particular spots on the bike. Included at the top of the stand is a handy tray for keeping tools and small parts close to hand. Predominantly constructed from steel, the whole stand is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

However, this durability comes at the expense of weight, with the folded package being both a little heavy and bulky. Still, assuming you have space, this is a solid and serviceable stand.

Buy now from Tweeks for £275

3. The best budget bicycle work stand: Btwin 500 Bike Work stand

Spend £50 elsewhere and you’re likely to get something ropy. However, Decathlon house-brand Btwin has managed to come up with a winner. Made mostly of steel, its plastic clamping parts match the quality of those found on much pricier options, suggesting the whole stand will last a good few years.

Well-featured throughout, the lever on the main clamp is particularly nice, spinning to tighten before finishing with a cam-style flip to allow for easy attachment of the bicycle. Once mounted into the stand, retention of the bike is relatively solid, as is the stability provided by the three mid-length legs.

The lack of ratcheting parts in the head unit might make for slightly less security on high-torque jobs, yet at the same time, it makes us confident that the mechanism itself will be long-lasting. With an adjustable height tool tray, despite budget pricing, there’s little missing from this cheap and extremely cheerful option.

Buy now from Decathlon for £69.99

4. The best mid-range bicycle work stand: Lifeline Workshop Work Stand 

If there's one thing Wiggle knows how to do, it’s deliver excellent value on its own-brand offerings like this Lifeline Workshop stand. In one sense, it’s simple to see where the cost has been kept down, yet it’s still evident attention has been paid to the crucial details.

Offering adjustment to height, angle and rotation of the bike, its relatively narrow stance is just about stable enough for most jobs. However, it’ll pay to be gentle with the plastic serrated teeth in the head unit which control the angle of the bike. Yet with care and attention, we see no reason it won’t last well. At 6kg it’s a respectable weight and folds down to a good size too.

Boosting its value, it’s bundled with a mat that’ll preserve your floor when working indoors or stop you dropping chemicals onto the grass if working outside.

Buy now from Wiggle for £89.99

5. The best travel work stand: Topeak Prepstand Race 

We'll admit to being somewhat sceptical of this diminutive stand until we gave it a try. Coming in its own travel bag and folding up into a compact unit, it’s primarily made for easy transportation.

With a lightweight construction, it tips the scales at 4.5kg and takes up only 22cm x 20cm x 95cm when folded. Formerly a slightly unusual design, this top-end ‘Race’ version of the Prepstand has recently been made over and now includes an adjustable fork mount capable of securely accommodating quick-release forks, along with 15 or 20 mm thru-axles. This then combines with a padded cradle onto which you strap the bottom bracket of your bike for a fit as secure as far chunkier alternatives.

Quick to put up, once unfurled its tripod legs offer a similar level of support, ensuring both bike and stand remain where you put them. Just about small enough to chuck into more roomy bike bags, in use, it’s convenient and reliable enough that you’ll be happy with it at home too. Enough so that we think the mobile Prepstand is a good all-round choice for space-starved mechanics, whether they’re planning on travelling or not.

Buy now from Leisure Lakes for £180

6. The best stand for workshops and garages: Park Tool PRS-3.2-1 Deluxe Oversize Single Arm Repair Stand

park tool employee

This is the stand most likely sitting in the back of your nearest bike shop. Like the difference between your oven and the woodfired job at your local pizza restaurant, it's objectively similar to the consumer option, but in reality a different beast entirely.

Mountable directly to the floor or secured to the additional steel base plate, the Park Tool PRS-3.2-1 stand is incredibly solid. The quick to adjust and clamp jaw is both inescapably secure and yet unlikely to damage your bike due to its subtle adjustability. It’s exactly the combination you want when faced with a stuck part, the stand is backed by a range of accessories and spares to ensure a lifetime of usefulness.

Coming as standard with an adaptable tool and parts tray, it’s an indestructible companion for those happy to hand over the necessary space and cash.

Buy now from Freewheel for £439.99

7. The best wall mounted stand: Park Tool PRS4W Wall Mounted Work Stand

If you’ve got a solid wall to drill into, this option takes the business end of the Park Tool PRS-3.2-1 Deluxe stand (see above) and attaches it directly to your wall.

Saving a ton of cash, it’ll also provide a great way to store your bike when not in use. The clamp itself is the best you’ll find. Incredibly secure and fast to adjust or release, once the bike is in place its barrel-style rotation allows you to swing it up or down around the axis point.

Made of cast aluminium, and with deep, replaceable jaw inserts, it’s guaranteed to be the last one you’ll ever buy. Also available as a bench-fitting stand.

8. The best alternative bicycle work stand: Cycloc Hobo

A stand to fit bikes with accessible hollow bottom bracket axles. This means most mountain bikes and some Sram equipped road bikes. The unique Hobo functions like the stands you see motocross bikes propped up on.

Slotting into the axle, it lifts the rear wheel off the ground. Marketed predominantly as a stand, it nevertheless gives you easy access to most areas of the bike. Assuming you’re happy to get down on your knees, the fact it lifts the rear wheels even makes it suitable for gear adjustments.

More suited to pre-ride tune-ups that full strip-downs, it’ll be no use for jobs involving removal of the forks or front wheel. All considered, it’s a great choice as a stand, a niche choice as a work stand, yet might be a perfect fit for some riders regardless.

Buy now from Cycloc for £59.95

9: Great but out of stock: Pedros Folding Repair Stand

Down the end of this list, you’ll find Park Tool’s lovely PCS10.2 stand. However, you currently can’t find one of these for love nor money.

Luckily, this stand from Park Tool's slightly less well known, but no less respected rival Pedros has far more to recommend it than just availability. Key to this is its fast to close and adjust 360-degree rotating clamp. Accepting tubes up to 65mm in diameter, its trigger grip makes securing bikes easy for the two-handed mechanic.

Sitting atop a very sturdy collapsible steel tripod, the whole stand is backed by a limited three-year warranty and benefits from an extensive range of spare parts. All these things combine to create a stand that’s likely to be a true lifetime product for most home mechanics, and a serviceable option for bike workshops too.

Buy now from Tredz for £320

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