I am a terrible mechanic. I can do simple things like adjust my derailleurs (most of the time) and clean my chain. But when it comes to anything like adjusting my bottom bracket or headset, I go to the bike shop.
Even though I don’t do extensive work on my bikes, I found that when I did try to work on them it was a horrible, uncomfortable time of bending over or sitting on my knees in the driveway, or trying to awkwardly hold up my rear wheel with one arm while I pedal with my hand using the other. As if my poor mechanical abilities weren’t frustrating enough, you can probably imagine how easy it is to lose your temper when your bike falls over on you when you are trying to work on it.
Problem, meet solution. It’s the $159 Park Tool PCS-10 portable bike stand.
I bought this bike stand because it breaks down into a long, pole shaped thing that you can easily bring in your car to a bike race, or store in your closet or garage without taking up a ton of space. I don’t work on my bike that often and my garage is tiny, so I definitely didn’t want a big, permanent stand.
The PCS-10 only takes a minute or less to unfold and set up. It’s made of a heavy, thick metal, so it is also very substantial feeling like most of the high quality bicycle tools that come from Park Tools.
As you can see from the photo, it’s stable and sturdy enough to easily hold a big, dual suspension 29er. So you don’t have to worry about it hurling your bike to the ground in a crucial moment.
One of the features that I really like about this bike stand is that the clamp is designed so that it will grab a regular frame or seatpost (as in round shaped), but will also grab aero seatposts and unusual carbon shaped frames.
Just like one of those mechanic repair stands at the bike shop, you can rotate your bike while it is on the stand and then lock it down in whatever position you need so that you can easily get to the part of the bike that you want to work on. There is also a quick release thing that lets you raise and lower the stand so that your bike is at the most convenient height for you to work on.
Here’s what the manufacturer says about the PCS-10:
The PCS-10 has all the features of our popular PCS-9 Home Mechanic Repair Stand but with special upgrades to make set up, take down, and use faster and easier. The PCS-10 works well with many recumbents and bikes with odd shaped tubing.
– Cam-type clamp allows single action clamping of tubes 7/8” to 3” (24mm to 76mm). Clamping pressure is fully adjustable and jaw covers are replaceable (part #1185K)
– Quick release height adjustment (39” to 57”, 99cm to 145cm)
– Folds to 41” (104cm) for portability and storage
– Three-point leg system with reinforced center yoke for superior stability
– Composite top tube for smooth 360-degree clamp rotation
– Spring buttons lock folding legs in place
– Exclusive receiver pod accessory system integrated into the top tube and height adjustment collar to allow easy installation of PTH-1 Paper Towel Holder
There might be cheaper portable stands out there, but I found this stand to be a very good value at $169. It is so nice and sturdy and heavy and solidly built that I know it will last for as long as I end up keeping it.
Do you use a bike stand, or work on your bike without one? If you have a stand, which brand are you using, and is it good? Leave a comment!