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Park PRS3 Repair Stand ...(20 posts)

Park PRS3 Repair Stand ...Humma Hah
Nov 1, 2002 9:18 AM
... I'm biting the bullet and buying a "pro" repair stand, probably the PRS3 single-bike stand from Park. I figure if I manage to knock over a cheaper consumer-grade stand and gouge the paint on the vintage Paramount or the cruiser with the $360 powdercoat job, I'll curse my cheapness. I've often resisted buying nicer tools, but never regretted it once I've done it.

Questions: anybody here recommend the PRS3? Any complaints about it?

Anybody used just the column, and bolted it to a concrete floor, instead of using it with the 68-lb steel base?

Anybody know of a better brand at a comparable or lower price?

I'm seeing prices all over the place on it, usually $320 complete, one outfit had it at that price for stand, base extra, another about $260 for stand, base extra, one outfit claims $280 complete. Seen anything better?
re: Park PRS3 Repair Stand ...pmf1
Nov 1, 2002 11:43 AM
My only reservation with this is that its hard to move around. I take my stand outside for cleaning my bikes pretty often. This would not be so easy with a 68 lbs metal slab attached to it.

I have a version similar to the PCS-4. The base differs. Its hollow tubing, but instead of two legs, its a square (kinda like a cut-out of the square slab on the PRS3). Its very stable.

If you're not going to move it, go with the slab, otherwise, I'd consider the PCS-4. It looks pretty stable. Hell, if you're content never to move it, bolt it to the floor.

In my 10 years of using my stand, I have never knocked over, or chipped the paint on a frame clamped into it.
re: Park PRS3 Repair Stand ...B2
Nov 2, 2002 4:07 PM
I have the PCS-4 and would whole heartedly recommend it. My shop is a little too small to work in so I store the workstand in the shop and set it up in the carport every time I work on a bike. Works great. Get the little tool tray. It's nice to have a place to put all the odds and ends.

Bryan
I don't dare work outside ...Humma Hah
Nov 2, 2002 7:15 PM
The cruiser has a lot of old-fashioned cup-and-cone ball bearing sets filled with loose bearings. My driveway is so steep, if I dropped a ball bearing it would shoot away so fast I'd never find it. The rest of the yard is grass -- even worse. Fortunately, its a 2-car garage, and should have plenty of room. If not, well, durn it, the BIKES have priority, something ELSE has gotta go.

I'm surprised you guys like the consumer-grade stands so much. I have not had a chance to try one. The pictures in the catalogs and on the websites don't look all that sturdy. I HAVE seen the pro stands, so I know what to expect. Maybe I should give the cheaper Park stands another look.
I don't dare work outside ...pmf1
Nov 4, 2002 6:32 AM
I don't see much difference in the consumer vs. pro Park workstands. The finish is not so nice (no chrome) on the consumer stands, but the clamps look pretty much the same to me. The pro base is a serious armor plate (speaking of which, I bet you could make your own lots cheaper). I can rotate my clamp 360 degrees which is sometimes useful.

The important part is that the base doesn't wobble or tip over.

What do you do when you clean your bike? I scrub the drive train with citrus cleaner and hose it off. Makes quite a mess and has to be done outside. A workstand is really convenient for cleaning a bike.

When I bought it 10 years ago, I was quite a bit poorer. These days I am more apt to buy a "pro" tool rather than a consumer one. I wish I had bought the pro truing stand.
Cleaning the cruiser: use the kickstand ...Humma Hah
Nov 4, 2002 9:43 AM
... the cruiser and the MTB have kickstands. I'm considering installing one on the Paramount just to draw stares and get laughs.

And I think maybe I'll never get the Paramount dirty.

If I were to get the heavy plate base, I could move it with my hand-truck, assuming I have the hand-truck at my main home instead of the weekend cabin.
Cleaning the cruiser: use the kickstand ...pmf1
Nov 4, 2002 11:00 AM
For the price of what Park charges for the base (plus shipping), I bet you could buy two sheets of metal at a welders shop, drill a few holes and have a base in both your homes. Or just get the PCS-4.

I still think you'd like cleaning the bike in the stand better. No worries about tipping it over (wasn't that a concern?), easy to turn the crank and you can remove the wheels for cleaning as well.
Have you looked at the Ultimate Pro?Allez Rouge
Nov 4, 2002 11:22 AM
I chose the Ultimate Professional over all the various Parks stands on the recommendations of several guys on the Serotta owner's forum. It has a W-I-D-E tripod base that should be nigh onto impossible to knock over unless maybe you used it as a tackling sled. With only three contact points, the base is rock stable no matter how uneven the floor or ground. Also, the jaws of the clamp are a bit shorter than the Park's, making it more likely to fit around a seat post without having to loosen the pinch bolt and raise the saddle.

I've only used my stand twice but so far so good; I'm very happy with my choice. Price is $200, although Performance (where I got mine) recently had them on sale for $185.
I think I'll slip down to Performance and take a peek ...Humma Hah
Nov 4, 2002 1:29 PM
... We have a store in town. Maybe I can avoid the shipping charges.
A slippery slope ...pmf1
Nov 5, 2002 5:18 AM
Going from a Park pro to a Park consumer, and now a Performance stand?! Geez, this is sliding downhill fast. You have awoken the snob in me. Make sure you look at the Park too. I've seen those Performance stands (they have them at the FFX store) and wasn't impressed.

I got my Park stand at Performance years ago. I'd guess they still sell them. You can avoid postage by going to the store and ordering it on the red phone. It'll get shipped to the store free of charge and then you go pick it up. If you're going to spend $200 there, consider becoming a Team Performance member (costs $20 and gets you 10% on all purchases in the form of redeemable coupons and free next day shipping). I've found it to be worthwhile.
NOT a slippery slope at allAllez Rouge
Nov 5, 2002 5:48 AM
I didn't recommend a Performance *brand* stand. I recommended the Ultimate Professional, made by Ultimate Bicycle Support, which happens to be *sold* by Performance (as well as other vendors). See:

http://ultimatesupport.com/retail/product.asp?14369

Be sure to click the link for the product reviews and read those.
Turns out to have been a VERY slippery slope ...Humma Hah
Nov 5, 2002 11:31 AM
I just got back from the Performance store with a brand-new Performance Spin-Doctor Pro repair stand, for about $160. I generally liked the Ultimate, which they had on-hand, but it had three drawbacks.

1) The clamp does not quick release. You gotta turn a thumbscrew forever.

2) The legs sit kind high, and I'm a klutz who would probably trip over them.

3) For the best stability, one leg of the stand needs to go right between the mechanic's feet. Turned so you stand between two legs, stability would be marginal.

The Spin Doctor was sturdier than the other cheap stands, fully adjustable, and had the QR clamps. The legs sit flatter on the floor. It is light enough to take outside with one hand, for bike cleaning jobs.
Turns out to have been a VERY slippery slope ...Allez Rouge
Nov 5, 2002 11:53 AM
You're right, sort of, about the Ultimate's clamp. You slide the jaws into position around the tube being clamped and then it only takes about one or one-and-a-half turns of the knob to snug it down. That said, I do like the lever-actuated Park clamp better.

Ditto about the legs. I agree that MAXIMUM stability comes when one leg is positioned right under the BB, where it is sticking out right in the way as you walk back and forth. But the stand is plenty stable in any position as long as the bike is not raised up unusually high. When it is way up in the air, positioning the base so the near leg angles roughly under the front wheel (when you're working on the back end of the bike) or the rear wheel (working up front) is very steady. Also, you can reduce the "footprint" of the three legs by sliding them upward on the stand's mast. If you go too far the stand will get tipsy but if you position the legs about like is shown in the Performance catalog, the stand will remain steady without the legs getting in your way. And with THAT said, I should point out that I specifically wanted to be able to use my stand outdoors, on uneven ground. That made a tripod design virtually mandatory, and ruled out all the Park models as unsuitable.

Let us know how the Spin Doctor works out in practice. I've never seen one and wondered about them before deciding on the Ultimate.
I almost passed on it ...Humma Hah
Nov 5, 2002 12:35 PM
... The Ultimate is much better-looking, smooth-operating, and I liked most of the hardware better. We were puzzling over the Spin-Doctor's clamp rotation feature. There was no locking mechanism for it and it looked defective. The sales guys couldn't figure it out either. Turns out it has a very effective friction brake. With the weight of a bike on it, it won't turn unless you lift the bike.

The Spin Dr. has two legs spreading in a V, not dramatically unlike the Park consumer stands, and might rock on an uneven surface. However, it does have a pair of diagonal braces on the legs, which made it nice and stiff (although they look really home-made-ugly). They also had a Park consumer stand there that was much more wobbly.

On my nice, smooth concrete floor and driveway, I expect the Spin-Dr will work fine. I can still probably trip over it if I try, but it's less likely than with the Ultimate.
I'm sure the Spin Doc will serve you well.Allez Rouge
Nov 5, 2002 1:14 PM
And besides, could there be a cooler name for a line of bike tools?

The tripping hazard the Ultimate presents may be a personal thing. You jokingly (or maybe not) referred to yourself as a kltuz; I'm not, particularly, but when I first set up the Ultimate and eyeballed those legs, I had the same sort of concerns as you. But I found, in actual use, with the near leg extending straight out under the BB, that I was always aware it was there. My leg would lightly brush against it once in a while but I never felt like I was about to do a face-plant, possibly because I had the legs set up high enough that they became a barrier more to my lower legs than to my feet. But that's just me; what is acceptable to me might not be to you.

And I still like the QR style clamps, ala Parks and Spin Doc, better. Overall, though, I thought the Ultimate Pro was the best choice. Here's hoping the Spin Doc Pro will prove likewise for you.
I TRIED it. I LIKED it.Humma Hah
Nov 6, 2002 6:29 AM
I took the Spin Dr. Pro home last night and set it up. Simpler than I thought. I expected to have to do some assembly, but the thing just folds out -- it is totally transportable!

The one that came out of the box was NOT the one they had on display at the store. The one at the store was positively primitive by comparison. There's a rough overall similarity, but the clamp on the one I got is markedly improved, and the overall look, finish, and feel of the new one is considerably better.

The two horizontal support legs only touch the floor at their ends, and the main post makes the third support point. That makes the support effectively a tripod, without making the legs so high that they constitute an especially bad trip hazard. (I'm still enough of a klutz I could probably manage to trip, but the legs are low enough I can probably put a shop mat over them.)

Overall, I like it. I'm sure a heavy steel pro stand like the Park 3 I originally considered would be a little stiffer, but it does seem pretty sturdy, at half the price. It is fully adjustable, including a height adjustment many consumer stands lack. The head on the new one locks to angles of about 10 degree increments instead of using the friction brake of the earlier one. It does a good job of holding bikes by either the top tube or seat tube (this is vital for me as the cruiser must be held by the seat tube). I did a little wrenching on the Paramount last night and it felt really good to not be working on a bike on the floor.
It really does make all the differencepmf1
Nov 6, 2002 6:56 AM
I know so many bike nuts who do not have a work stand. It seems like an unnecessary/luxury item, but it really is nice to have. I remember the days of trying to adjust my rear derailer without one. In a few weeks, you'll wonder how you lived without this thing for so long.

I always clamp onto the seatpost. The jaws on my Park stand are pretty strong -- I worry about damaging the frame. I figure if I damage a seat post, that's a cheap mistake.
Yep, it makes ALL the differenceAllez Rouge
Nov 6, 2002 7:30 AM
I had long wanted a stand, but just never got around to getting one until quite recently. Now I feel silly for having waited. The other day I was puttering around with the bike on the stand -- not really doing anything, just playing with different working positions, height adjustments, etc. -- and realized that by raising the mast up most of the way and rotating the clamp so that the front wheel was barely clear of the floor, I could put the rear der right at chin level. Of course that's TOO high, but it does illustrate the kind of flexibility you have with a good workwork.

Humma, a NICE accessory to have is the Park HBH-1 handlebar holder (or equivalent). Keeps the front wheel from flopping around like a just-landed fish and really makes working on that end of the bike a breeze.
I was wondering about that ...Humma Hah
Nov 6, 2002 8:12 AM
Yeah, I was thinking last night that, if there were no accessory already, I ought to invent one to hold the bars.

I've known for a couple of years that I needed a stand, but would have no place to put it. My childhood trick of flipping a cruiser on its back to rest on the handlebars and seat was no longer cutting it. The cruiser's relatively flat bars are now cluttered with bell, headlights, and a rather expensive computer, all of which would have to come off to use that trick. The roadbike will be even worse, plus its kinda hard to work on brakes in that position, and the trick flat don't work if you happen to have the bars off.

I've known it was overdue. I've been itching to move into this new house with big garage for months, and a repair stand was very high on the list for improvements.
re: Park PRS3 Repair Stand ...Just Ride
Nov 4, 2002 9:38 PM
While you're looking, check out www.rockstand.com . You'll never tip one of those stands over.