13/08/2013 | 3 comments
We’ve featured some high quality bike repair stands in the past and a load of you complained about the price, especially compared to ones that you’d picked up for peanuts in Lidl, so when we spotted this morning that they were selling them again (this week only, and just while stocks last, so if you want one you’d better act fast) we thought we’d buy one and see if it’s any good.
To be honest we weren’t expecting much for just £29.99, but we were actually pleasantly surprised. On the whole it feels reasonably sturdy both in terms of general construction, and once you load it up with a bike. The four widely spaced legs definitely help in that area if you’ve got a flat surface to begin with, but the design does lose out to three legged workstands if you try and use it on uneven ground. With a bit of repositioning though you shouldn’t have too many worries. Surely three would be cheaper than four though?
Apart from stability the other crucial thing a good workstand must have is a decent clamp. On the surface this one doesn’t seem too bad as the quick release means it’s easy to get a bike in and out, although the simple wing-nut adjustment isn’t the best if you’re often clamping things of different diameters. Still it does the job and if you’re only going to be working on one bike you’ll just set that and then forget about it.
Sadly though the plastic construction of the clamp results in this workstands major downfall, which is that it flexes a lot, and that’s without putting a heavy DH bike in it. It’s a pity too because as I said before the rest of the stand is pretty stable. I think if you tried to removed a really tight bottom bracket in this stand then you may well find yourself taking advantage of the generous three year warranty. Still, if you’re sensible and do jobs like that out of the stand, and you don’t mind a bit of wobble, then it does the job. With a bit of bodging you could probably improve the performance in this area too.
It’s good to see infinite angle adjustment on the stand, but again it leaves a bit to be desired due to the fact that even with a fairly light bike you find yourself having to do the release knob up really tight, otherwise it slips. This could be remedied fairly easily though by either roughing up the surface of the metal tube a bit more, or by simply using some of that special carbon grease which has granules in it to help stop things slipping without the need for loads of torque on bolts.
One thing that you definitely can’t complain about is the tool tray which is included in the price. It even has a little magnetic strip in one section.
Also included is a great little device to help keep your bars locked in position. I’ve found these things are particularly useful if you’re bleeding brakes.
The stand comes with an allen key to adjust all the bolts, but once that’s done everything is tool free thanks to the quick release levers. It’s also worth noting that this stand can be adjusted to go really high, far higher than a lot of other stands, which is really useful for certain jobs, and of course taller people will love this fact.
At the end of each of the four legs are pivoting feet, and each one has a hole drilled through it, which I presume is so that you can either screw it to a floor, or peg it down if you’re using it outside. To be honest though, the main part of the stand is pretty stable as it is, and even if you did fix it down you’d still have the wobbly clamp issue. Also, the feet aren’t the sturdiest of things and I can see them getting snapped off fairly easily, but I reckon the stand would work just as well without them.
The workstand in action.
And finally, because it folds up quickly and relatively small, and it doesn’t weigh too much, it makes it perfect for travelling, or just storing out of the way when you’re not using it.
Overall then yes this workstand definitely doesn’t compete with the best workstands out there, but it costs a fraction of what they do and it’s still a million times better than working on a bike without a proper workstand. So, if you haven’t got a workstand and you don’t work on your bike regularly enough to warrant a better one/simply don’t have the money, then I’d definitely recommend trying to get hold of one of these. I have to say though that this workstand has left me thinking if you can make something like this, which only has a couple of flaws that wouldn’t be too hard to correct, for just thirty quid, then could you make a really good one that sells for maybe a tenner more? Surely that is possible, and in my eyes that’d still be an incredible price for a workstand. So come on Lidl, I challenge you!