KranX Home Repair Workstand
The KranX Home Repair Workstand is an easily assembled – and disassembled – work stand, primarily, I’d say, with – unsurprisingly – the home mechanic in mind. As you’d expect, in this context and at this price point, there’ll be a few ‘cons’ for the mechanic with a big fleet of bikes. Equally, I’ve found it a useful bit of kit, and depending on your circumstance you may well do so, too.
Pros: easily assembled and disassembled, small for storage, portable.
Cons: best for cleaning and general maintenance rather than heavy work on stubborn parts.
This is a steel-framed home work-stand capable of being rapidly assembled or disassembled. The steel QR clamp comes with soft inners to prevent any naughty impact on the paint job. Expanding to accommodate 40mm tubes it should accept most sizes and shapes of tube: 25mm minimum for a secure grip.
The four folding leg and tube assembly, upper tube, clamp, and parts tray, lock together, with the handy front wheel stabilising rod a thoughtful feature. Quick release levers and a couple of bolts are also included.
The height can be adjusted from 105 to 190cm. That should enable a comfortable working height for most people. On that subject, there’s a tray to help you keep your bits and bobs together.
There’s a max payload of 30kg. I’ve not tested it to the limit, but this should manage most bicycles.
Assembly and disassembly 4/5
This is easy. Seriously, it is. Follow the instructions and all should become clear. Mind you, it was not quite as intuitive as it might appear at first, so it is worth taking a bit of time and checking things out.
Folding stands are ideal for those with limited storage space or those who frequently transport their work stand – say for a group holiday. Quick to assemble and disassemble, the KranX folding stand is ideal for either. The legs fold so the whole lot can be stood in the corner of a shed, cupboard, back of the van, or boot of the car.
The weighty old Supergalaxy – with hub dynamo, rack and so on, is not the heftiest machine in the world, but comes in at 15.25kg I’ve also clamped in the wife’s old Carrera road bike – much smaller and much lighter than the venerable tourer, weighing in at 12,25kg. Finally, the over-sized tubes of son’s aluminium Pinnacle, entered the clamp at 14.25kg.
Erecting the stand is best on a flat surface. However, given domestic strictures with regard to lubes and degreasers on the patio and in the kitchen, the floor of the shed has been plenty good enough. In good weather, it’s stood on the gentle slope of the garden with the gravel surface acting as ballast and forming a level surface. Actually, getting the legs properly set is not a joking business – damaging your bike or yourself (in no order of importance) is not a good idea.
You should also ensure that all the fastening points are pinched up to a suitable tightness. In fairness, none of this takes long. Nor does dismantling. Once that is done the whole lot sits neatly in the corner of a cupboard, shed, wherever.
Starting with the weighty Supergalaxy, I clamped around the seat-tube – seat tube too little exposed - and set to work. There was clearly some stress around the clamp with the iron dinosaur’s weight tugging forward. I did not like the look of that, so went and clamped around the top tube. Needless to say, whatever the actual stress, there was no sign of it.
OK, there’ll be hands thrown up in horror at clamping the top tube. Yes, I made sure the cables were channelled and the paint work protected (for what it is worth before the forthcoming respray). And was content to working at a less convenient height. However, with generally shorter seat tubes and longer seat of modern bikes and the bottle cages on a tourer, sometimes top tube is most convenient. Remember carbon frames should only be clamped by the seat post to avoid potential crush damage – likewise bikes with very thin tubing.
Even with lighter bikes the clamp was not sufficiently rigid to stop the front end dropping: this is normal at this price point and nothing to worry about.. I’ll emphasise that there was not slipping and the bike remained in place. However, mammoth heave-hoeing and grunt inducing torque on the big spanner will be best done in a stand with a stronger, more rigid clamp; such proved he case with a bolshie seat-post.
Working on the front brakes was made a whole lot easier with the adjustable stabilising rod to hold things in places. Once the knack is got it saves on fiddling with old inner tube cradles and other home spun solutions. Equally there are other ways.
Clamping the seat post worked well with the wife’s light-ish Carrera road bike (removed bottle cage) and the big but relatively light Pinnacle all-purpose.
Working at a comfortable height can be important for long jobs, so it is worth getting used to the adjustments available.
Whilst I still like my venerable Park Tools workstand, it does take up a good deal of space for both work and storage and the four legs of the KranX offer a bit more stability when the ground surface is less than ideal. On the downside, the KranX is not as robust. Park also offer a heavy-weight stand with
three-points of ground contact that offers some reduction in size for towing away, without being really foldable. Mind you, it’ll cost you around £190.
Coming in at just under a hundred pounds sterling, the Oxford Torque workstand is stainless steel throughout – a big plus if storage is less than perfect. The recommended payload is adequate for most bikes, but 5kg lower than the KranX. Its height adjustment is also less. On the other hand, Michael liked its rigidity as well as the robust looking clamp.
LifeLine offer a stand that folds away as well as the KranX, but is, again, more expensive. There are much cheaper folding temptresses, but I’d be careful to check out the payload, adjustability and strength of the clamp.
The KranX Bike Repair Stand offers a lot to the storage-spaced challenged or the fettler on the road. Home-workshop-based, mechanics, especially those with multiple fleets could manage with the KranX, but are likely to go for a more rigid, robust frame, especially if you have gone ‘electric’ or ride a tandem, or work on seized components. This stand, as you’d expect at this price point, is best for lighter maintenance – brakes, gears etc, and cleaning duties.