Feedback Sports Sport-Mechanic Work Stand
This tripod stand has everything you need: It’s lightweight, strong, easy to use, and easy to put away.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $160.
The anodized aluminum Feedback Sports Sport-Mechanic Work Stand is our favorite option for most people because it’s so frustration-free. It’s more compact, lightweight, and foldable than other options, making it easy to move and store. The clamp design is simple and intuitive, and also incorporates a crank that you can flip to open quickly, so securing a bike doesn’t turn into a chore, plus the stand is shipped fully assembled, unlike many that arrive in pieces that you have to bolt together. It also comes with comprehensive operating instructions—a rarity in work stands. Weighing not quite 13 pounds, it can hold 65 pounds, which is more than strong enough for any bike you’re likely to work on. (An average mountain bike weighs about 30 to 40 pounds).
The clamp head swivels 360 degrees (most stands offer that feature), but can accommodate smaller seatposts than most of its competitors, because it’s only 3⅔ inches long top to bottom. That’s a big deal, because that means no matter how short you are, or how small your bike, you probably won’t need to raise your saddle to fit your bike into the stand.
Not that it’s impossible to raise a bike seat, it’s just annoying and time-consuming, and might tempt you to use the clamp on your bike’s frame instead, which is a bad habit to get into. “Never clamp the frame—always clamp the seatpost,” warned Jon Stynes, former owner of San Francisco’s City+County Bicycle Co and a longtime bike mechanic. “The seatpost is a lot cheaper to replace than the bike if you break it, and besides, it’s harder to crush a seatpost, because it’s a smaller diameter than the frame.”
Another thing we like about this stand is that it uses three legs instead of two to stabilize the weight of your bike. The tripod design can be tricky if your floor is not level, though. Mine is not, so I have to be careful to position the stand so that two of the legs are on the “downhill” side. Knob-controlled latches on the base and legs let you fold the stand for storage, something you can’t do with any of the home-workshop Park Tool stands. (If you have enough space in your garage or basement to leave a stand set up all the time, this might not matter to you, but many people don’t.)
In spite of this one issue, every single professional or semipro bike mechanic, rider, or writer that we spoke with loves Feedback’s line of stands—many of them mentioning it before we even asked what stand they preferred. And when I put the call out on my bike-commuter email list for recommendations, the (usually endless) discussion quickly came to agreement on the superiority of Feedback’s offerings.
Feedback Sports Pro-Elite Work Stand
A pricier version of our top pick, this stand is a little faster to set up and put away, and has a “one-hit” clamp release—handy for pros, but overkill for the rest of us.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $261.
Also weighing about 13 pounds, the top-of-the-line anodized aluminum Feedback Sports Pro-Elite Work Stand costs nearly $100 more than its Sports-Mechanic sibling. What you spend in money you save in time: This stand uses the same three-legged design, but it has quick-release levers to fold the stand and a very popular (among pros) “hot button” clamp release.
Hit the big red button and the clamp springs open, and you can slide the jaws shut onto the seatpost almost as easily, using a knob to fine-tune the fit. If your livelihood depends on working your way through bike after bike—or if you’re a hard-core commuter who rides every day, rain or shine, and you find yourself putting your bike in the stand a few times a week—this is a great upgrade.