The trails are getting cold, wet, and icy. While I don’t always enjoy looking out of my window to see snow-covered hills, it opens the door for another opportunity which a lot of us often neglect when the riding’s good: bicycle maintenance.
For DIYers, we can still enjoy some quality time with our bikes, just not on the trails. While it’s more convenient to take the bike over to the LBS, it’s also more costly and doesn’t result in the same sense of pride that fixing it on your own offers.
A quality repair stand makes all the difference. If you’ve ever sat on your dining room floor and tried to take a rear wheel off with the bike upside down, bumping into furniture when it twists around, grimey gunk falling off your drivetrain, and had to dodge glares from your significant other, then it’s time to think about a good bike repair stand.
- Tripod design with spinning knob clamp
- 360-degrees of rotation
- Adjustable height
- Supports 65lbs.
- Aluminum and steel construction
- 42″ – 65″ adjustable height
- 54″ base diameter
- Weight: 12.4lbs.
- Available at REI and other retailers
About the stand
The Sport-Mechanic stand is Feedback’s second-most affordable stand. While it has a lot of the same features as the Classic Repair Stand, it loses some of them like the sliding lock clamp and adjustable clamp force. It’s also a bit heavier with some steel parts. Overall, the savings is about $50, and the weight difference is a little over a pound. Feedback also offers the Ultralight Repair Stand in between the two for
The tripod opens to a 54″ diameter, but is adjustable and can work at a much narrower diameter. A weighted knob spins to open or close the clamp, and the rubberized clamp will rotate any which way the mechanic wants it to. The clamp also opens up to almost two inches wide to accept most bike tube sizes.
Although the Sport-Mechanic stand is a little heavier than other Feedback options due to its steel parts, and has some plastic on it here and there, it doesn’t come close to feeling cheap.
The stand comes assembled and ready to use out of the box. Just twist the lock-knobs on the legs, push down on the tripod, and it will spread to the desired width. Dial the knob back to the right and the legs aren’t going anywhere.
I was the most skeptical about the plastic lock-knobs because usually, durability and the overall quality of a mechanical product takes a dive when plastic is introduced into the equation. The lock-knobs on the Sport-Mechanic stand are high-quality, though. There isn’t any play in the nuts and threads that are in the knob hardware. The knobs are solid-plastic all the way through, and I really don’t question the long-term durability of them at all.
Set the telescopic height of the stand with these knobs, and then spin the clamp arm to whichever way makes it easiest to access the bike. The clamp opens to almost two inches, so it’s probably not going to open wide enough for down tubes on modern enduro and downhill bikes, but most of us will clamp down the seat tube or seat post anyway.
The only time I found myself wincing was when installing a bottom bracket and putting over 25nM of torque into it, causing the clamp arm to twist just a little. But that’s a lot of force. I put my shoulder under the frame for some added stability just to be safe, and everything turned out A-OK.
The shining feature of the Sport-Mechanic stand is the spinning knob. Rather than a sliding clamp like the other Feedback stands, this one saves a little money by using a weighted, metal, spinning knob that uses momentum to make the clamp open and close quicker.
The knob certainly helps the clamp open and close quickly, but it requires the weight of the bike to be held up to spin freely. If the seatpost is resting within the clamp, it’s not going spin like a top, but it will still spin a little, and the smooth and ergonomic design still makes it easy to open and close. I used an index finger on one side of the knob and spun it around, and that worked just fine.
For well under $200, buyers can get a high-quality bike stand, from a reputable brand, that’s probably going to last a really long time. It’s easy to use, and I’m a simple person, so trading some weight and a few features more than justifies not paying extra for a fancier stand.