In the market for the best bike work stand for use at home or on the road? If you're an avid rider doing routine maintenance or an aspiring home mechanic, then you already know that a quality work stand is one of the most helpful additions to your workspace. There are quite a few models of work stands on the market and it can be challenging to find the right one to suit your needs and budget. We pored over the best models on the market before purchasing eight of the best to test and compare. We used each model for an extended period and rated each on ease of setup, clamp, height adjustment, angle adjustment, stability, portability, and usefulness for everyday maintenance.
The Best Bike Work Stands of 2019
|Price||$243.00 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$199.99 at Competitive Cyclist|
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|$254.96 at Competitive Cyclist|
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|$323.95 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||User-friendly clamp design, lightweight, small collapsed size, quick setup.||Lightweight, easy setup, user-friendly clamp, metal parts||Lightweight, stable, storage bag, weight scale||Lightweight, best park tool model, good clamp design.||Very inexpensive, lightweight, folds up small, tool tray included|
|Cons||Expensive.||Red anodized finish may fade||Plastic parts, durability issues, knobs less user friendly than competitors||Expensive, wide collapsed size.||Lots of plastic parts, not as tall as competitors|
|Bottom Line||The Feedback Sports Pro Elite is the best work stand we've ever tested.||The Feedback Sports Classic is a tester favorite with a great design and user-friendly features.||It's expensive, but the Topeak PrepStand Pro is a stable, quality work stand that comes with extras like a built-in digital scale and storage bag.||It's bested by the competition, but the Team Issue is the best Park Tool work stand we've tested.||For less than $100 the Bike Hand work stand is a capable and thoughtfully designed model for those on a budget.|
|Rating Categories||Feedback Sports Pro-Elite||Feedback Sports Classic||Topeak PrepStand Pro||Park Tool Team Issue||Bike Hand YC-100BH|
|Angle Adjustment (10%)|
|Height Adjustment (10%)|
|Everyday Maintenance (20%)|
|Ease Of Setup (10%)|
|Specs||Feedback Sports...||Feedback Sports...||Topeak PrepStand Pro||Park Tool Team Issue||Bike Hand YC-100BH|
|Clamp Opening||claimed .75" - 2.6"||claimed 0.75"-1.8"||claimed 0.75"-1.8"||claimed 7/8"-3"||2-5/8"|
Best Overall Bike Work Stand
Feedback Sports Pro-Elite
The Feedback Sports Pro Elite, a newcomer to the OutdoorGearLab bike work stand test, has unseated our reigning champion, the Feedback Sports Classic, for Best Overall Bike Work Stand. Feedback Sports has been relatively dominant for some time, with the Classic holding the top spot for the past couple years. However, the Pro Elite had no problem earning our Editors' Choice Award with all the same things we loved about the Classic plus an even more robust and user-friendly clamp design. This stand is easy to set up and break down, collapses small for storage and travel, and is competitively lightweight. It has a tripod base with long legs that create a wide and stable footprint with quality metal quick release collars and closures that help ensure stability in its 42"-71" height adjustment range. The folding clamp arm is sturdy, with 360 degrees of rotational adjustment and a very user-friendly ratcheting quick release clamp design. The clamp is the most impressive aspect of this stand, being easier to use than the clamp on any other model we've tested.
While we loved virtually everything about the Pro Elite, it is quite expensive, although far from the most expensive model we tested. It is worth the price, but if you can't justify the expense then check out the Classic, our former Editors' Choice Award winner and our second highest rated model.
Read review: Feedback Sports Pro Elite
Best Bang for Your Buck
Bike Hand YC-100BH
The Bike Hand YC-100BH work stand costs less than half as much as most of the other models we tested and was the uncontested winner of our Best Buy Award. With a price that low we had low expectations, but were pleasantly surprised to find the Bike Hand offers features and performance that far exceeded its price tag. The lightest weight stand in our test selection, the Bike Hand also collapsed down the smallest for storage and travel. The simple and intuitively designed stand was quick and easy to set up and break down, and the clamp and angle adjustments were solid and user-friendly. The Bike Hand isn't as stable as its much more expensive competitors, but it was adequate for most do-it-yourself tasks. An included removable tool tray is also a nice feature.
This stand wasn't quite as stable as our top-rated competitors, and it also has a smaller range of height adjustment. We also have concerns about the durability of the Bike Hand's many plastic parts, but we were generally impressed with its performance, especially for the price. If you're operating on a budget and need a work stand for home or travel, then look no further than the Bike Hand YC-100BH.
Read review: Bike Hand YC-100BH
Top Pick for Racers and Weight Conscious Riders
Topeak PrepStand Pro
One of the most expensive models in our test selection, the Topeak PrepStand Pro has come down slightly in price. While it is expensive, it's also safe to say that the PrepStand Pro is the fanciest model we tested, with included extras like a built-in digital scale and carrying/storage bag. It is incredibly easy and intuitive to set up and break down, with an excellent range of height adjustment. Its long tripod legs and rubber feet give this stand the largest footprint and most stability of all stands we tested, and the durable aluminum quick release hardware keeps things held securely in place during use. The unique air-cushioned lowering of the height adjustment is another feature that we really loved. It may not be the lightest or the smallest when fully collapsed, but the included storage/carrying bag made storing, moving or traveling with the PrepStand Pro exceptionally user-friendly. The built-in digital scale is another feature that gram-counting racers will appreciate; we found ourselves weighing all of our bikes just for the fun of it.
While we loved most aspects of the PrepStand Pro, it lost a little ground to the competition due to the additional knob turning required to make adjustments of the clamp and clamp arm. It also has the lowest weight limit and quite a few plastic parts, including a ring of plastic teeth that control the angle adjustment, which could cause some durability issues over time. That said, this is a well refined and quality work stand for the traveling racer or gram counting rider.
Read Review: Topeak PrepStand Pro
Why You Should Trust Us
Author Jeremy Benson is a freelance writer and product tester/gear reviewer for OutdoorGearLab. Benson has lived in the North Lake Tahoe area for the past 18 years and is a year-round mountain athlete, backcountry skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the warmer months. He takes his mountain biking seriously, and last year rode nearly 5,000 miles and 600,000 vertical feet on the trails throughout Northern California. In addition to testing all manner of mountain bike gear for reviews, Benson is an amateur gravel and mountain bike racer with numerous podium finishes in major endurance events in the area. Riding as much as he does requires lots of routine maintenance and simple repairs. An aspiring home mechanic and do-it-yourselfer to a fault, Benson is intimately familiar with bike work stands for use in his home workspace and on the road.
To make this review comprehensive and representative of the best bike work stands, we researched the top models on the market and chose eight to test and compare side-by-side. Each was tested for an extended period with a variety of bikes and everything from routine maintenance tasks like lubing a chain or washing to more involved jobs like swapping out a drivetrain or dropper seat post. Read on to find the best bike work stand for your needs and budget.
What is a Bike Work Stand?
If you've ever tried to repair your bike at home without a bike work stand then you know how big of a hassle it can be to try and do so while your bike is flipped upside down or leaning against a wall in your garage. It's much easier to have it supported securely in the upright position with the wheels off the ground. Whether you're just dipping your toes in the do-it-yourself bike repair pool, you're already a skilled mechanic, or you just want everyday maintenance tasks like lubing your chain and cleaning your bike to be a little easier, then a bike work stand is a great investment that will dramatically improve your experience and likely save you money in the long run.
Analysis and Test Results
We tested each model of bike work stand over an extended period. We loaded everything from carbon and aluminum mountain bikes, road and CX bikes, even BMX and beach cruisers onto these stands. We timed ourselves during setup, measured height adjustment, clamp openings, and collapsed size, and took detailed notes on every aspect of each model. We knocked them around and put them through their paces, tossing them in the back of the truck and putting hard wrenching efforts on each one. We used them and abused them and compared them to each other in an effort to enable you to make a more informed purchase decision.
With retail prices ranging from $90 all the way to $300+ in our test selection, it can be tricky to decide just how much is reasonable to spend. We put together an analysis that looks at overall performance vs. list price.
Styles of Bike Work Stands
Bike work stands come in a couple of different styles. The more popular and more common of the two is the seatpost/top tube clamp style stand that has large curved jaws that clamp around the seat post or top tube of your frame. The bike is held suspended in the air so you can work on any part of the bike and also turn the pedals. Clamp style models typically feature adjustable height and clamp angle to suit your preferences. Clamp style stands are generally relatively simple and user-friendly and can accommodate virtually every type of bike and a variety of widths and shapes of tubing. Home mechanic work stands are portable and collapse down to a small size for storage and travel.
Axle/bottom bracket mount work stands are the less common style. Bikes mount to them using either the front or rear axle with the bottom bracket resting on a cradle. Axle/bottom bracket mount stands require the removal of one of the wheels and are less convenient to use. That said, this type of stand holds your bike for repairs and maintenance without anything clamping onto your frame. It is therefore preferred by some people or for certain frames, typically road bikers with especially lightweight, fragile or oddly shaped carbon tubing. This type of work stand offers height adjustment, although the angle of the bike is set in a fixed position. While the angle isn't adjustable, you can spin the bike 360 degrees, enabling you to work on the bike from all sides without having to take the bike off or put it back onto the stand.
Criteria for Evaluation
We scrutinized the design and functionality of each stand and rated them on the following criteria: Ease of Setup, Height Adjustment, Clamp, Angle Adjustment, Stability, Portability, and Everyday Maintenance.
Ease of Setup
The easier a work stand is to set up and break down, the more likely you are to actually use it. All the models we tested are portable work stands that collapse down to a small size for storage or travel, and we tested each to see how long it took to set up and break back down. While it didn't affect the scores much, we did take any initial assembly into consideration. All the models we tested are pretty easy to set up, but the Feedback Sports Classic and the Feedback Sports Pro Elite were the easiest and quickest at around 15 seconds. After that, the Bike Hand, ToPeak Prepstand Pro and the Park Tool Team Issue all finished just a touch behind. Around 30 seconds was the max for the more difficult to set up models like the Park Tools PCS-10 and the Feedback Sports Sprint.
People come in different shape and sizes, and having the ability to adjust the height of your bike work stand is an important feature. Adjusting the height of the clamp may also provide easier access to otherwise hard to reach spots. Seven of the eight models tested feature height adjustment of the clamp. The range varies between the different models, but they all offer about 15 or more inches of adjustment. The Feedback Sports Classic and Pro Elite offer the largest range of adjustment from 42"-71", while the Recreational offers none, with a fixed height of 55".
The clamp is hands down one of the most important features of a work stand. Good clamps have curved, non-marking, grippy rubber-covered jaws that apply even pressure to a wide range of tube sizes. Our favorite clamps are easy to use and require less knob turning and fiddling to dial in the appropriate amount of pressure. All of the clamp style stands we tested have jaws that range between 2 3/4" to 3 5/8" long. The range of clamp opening sizes: the Topeak PrepStand Pro and Feedback Sports Classic and Recreational opening up to around 2 inches, while the Bike Hand and Park Tool PCS-10 and Team Issue can accommodate tubes up to 3 inches in diameter. The Feedback Sports Pro Elite has our favorite clamp, a unique ratcheting closure with a push button quick release. The Feedback Sports Classic isn't far behind with a Slide-Lock clamp that works in a similar way.
The Feedback Sports Sprint has an axle/bottom bracket mount system, and comparing that to the others in the test is like comparing apples to oranges. The Sprint's mount was able to accommodate a wide range of axle sizes and held bikes securely in place. It appeared to be one of the more universally liked work stands of this mounting style.
Adjustable clamp angle is another important feature. All of the clamp style stands in our test feature a full 360 degrees of angle adjustment. Both the Feedback Sports Classic and the Pro Elite have smoothly rotating, non-indexed angle adjustment, controlled by loosening or tightening a large three-pronged metal knob on the backside of the clamp arm. Angle adjustments on these two stands can be performed quickly and easily with the bike in the stand. The Feedback Sports Recreational has a similar clamp arm to the two models mentioned above but uses a large plastic knob that is slightly harder to grasp and turn. The Park Tool PCS-10 and the Team Issue have a similar angle adjustment with a compression cone that holds the clamp arm in place. Both are easy to adjust but have a somewhat less user-friendly knob design.
The Topeak PrepStand Pro and the Bike Hand YC-100BH also have easily adjustable clamp angles, but both employ a circular ring of plastic teeth that engage and disengage when the knob at the back of the clamp arm is loosened and tightened. While this system works well, the toothed nature of the adjustment requires a bit more attention and care as the plastic parts seem susceptible to wear or damage over time. The Feedback Sports Sprint does not have any angle adjustment, and the beam where the bike rests is set in a fixed horizontal position.
The more stable the work stand the better, as it is less likely to tip over and damage your precious bike or injure anyone in the process. We tested the stability of each model with the baseline test of removing pedals. This task involves a significant amount of torque. The most stable work stands have the largest footprint, and the long-legged Topeak Prepstand Pro proved to be the steadiest of the bunch. Some other factors may also affect the stability of a work stand, including the height of the clamp, the positioning of the bike, and the centering of the weight. In general, we found tripod style legs to provide more stability. The Feedback Sports Classic and Pro Elite as well as the Park Tool Team Issue are all quite stable as well.
Every work stand in our test selection is portable and collapses down significantly for storage or transport. We measured each of the work stands in their collapsed size and put them side by side for a visual comparison. The weight of a work stand is another factor with the lighter the stand the easier it is to deal with. While all of the stands we tested proved to be quite portable, the Bike Hand YC-100BH is our most portable with a weight of only 10.75 pounds and a collapsed size of 40 x 8 inches. While it wasn't as lightweight or small as some of its competitors, we especially enjoyed the included storage/carrying bag that came with the Topeak PrepStand Pro. Both the Feedback Sports Classic and Pro Elite also scored well in this metric with small collapsed size and relatively low weight.
If you like to keep your bikes running smoothly and efficiently, then you probably clean your drivetrain and lube your chain regularly and wash your bike after almost every ride. This metric is based on the likelihood of using the stand for everyday maintenance. The easier and quicker it is to set up your bike stand and put your bike in it, the more likely you are to use it regularly The Feedback Sports Pro Elite was the hands down winner of this metric, with a quick and easy setup, unique user-friendly clamp design, and a sturdy and stable platform. All testers agreed that we'd be more inclined to do routine maintenance on a work stand if we owned this one. On the other hand, the Feedback Sports Sprint was the least conducive to everyday maintenance. The axle/bottom bracket mount style requires you to take a wheel off to mount your bike, an extra step that deters simple tasks like a pre-ride lube or a post-ride cleaning.
There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a bike work stand. From ease of setup, height and angle adjustments, the clamp, stability, and portability, there is plenty to think about. Any of the work stands we've tested will certainly serve you better than none at all.
— Jeremy Benson