OXFORD TORQUE WORKSHOP STAND
The Oxford Products Torque Workshop Stand is a solid option, for home mechanics who want to do more regular, intensive fettling. The design’s rigidity and range of adjustment is better than several budget models I’ve used (including my ten-year old go-to unit).
These features inspire confidence when tackling more stubborn jobs, such as seized stems and bottom brackets. However, at 10 kilos, there are better options for those who need something portable, for race day fettling.
Pros: Generally solid, adjustable to suit taller riders.
Cons: Less portable than some, Clamp merits minor improvements.
This is steel throughout. The base is a cantilevered tripod type, with rubberised feet which promises excellent stability. Its treated to a thick, satin black, painted finish. This seems well applied and should resist corrosion and general, long term, accidental carelessness, handsomely.
The telescopic pole is stainless steel and this adjusts between 110 and 159cm, which should place bikes at comfortable heights, even for taller mechanics.
Quick release skewers ensure effortless, faff free adjustment/storage. It will also fold to 120cmx14cmx10cm, which is small enough for stowing away in a corner of the workshop/under stairs cupboard etc.
Oxford tell me its rated to a maximum of 25 kilos. More than adequate for road, touring, mountain bikes, and some e-bikes. Or at least, I’ve had no problems with 20 odd kilos (10 kilos of bike, 10 kilos of luggage). Roughly equal to that of an unladen production tandem.
Deviating from the metal theme, this is a solid looking composite. It’s a bolt-through cam design, with generous rubber inserts to protect paintwork. It adjusts to fit tubing between 35 and 75mm diameters.
Talking of which, these are fine for steel, or aluminium alloy framesets. However, caution is still required when clamping very thin wall tubing. Carbon/composites must only be secured via their posts, or you’ll risk potential crush damage.
I’m not aware of any post manufacturers, who warn against clamping carbon posts. However, if the thought of doing so leaves you cold, buy a cheap aluminium alloy post for use with your stand.
Overall performance has been pretty favourable. The cantilevered base is quite stiff to begin with. A quick shot, of heavy-duty PTFE lube certainly helped things along. As you’d expect, this eases with repeated use, though not to the point of turning sloppy.
No call to re-tighten anything in the past couple of months. Aside from an initial, intensive fleet service, and a cartridge bottom bracket replacement, I’ve typically used ours, three times a week. Each session has ranged from 30-60minutes.
Compared with my long serving and very faithful aluminium workstand, the additional height has been very welcome. The telescopic pole also fits very precisely, more so than my mainstay. This ensures minute height adjustments (e.g. from stripping and re-greasing contact points, to transmission tweaking) are easily performed, with one hand.
The Torque’s rigidity has made shifting a very stubborn (and long serving) UN55 cartridge that bit easier. I was confident the stand wouldn’t flex under load, risking slippage and potentially, taking a chunk from my friend’s hack bike.
The clamp is very similar, to that employed on my main-stay stand. These intermeshing splines require careful alignment, before they’ll lock securely. This is most apparent when alternating between horizontal (top tube) and seat post clamping.
Annoying rather than problematic per se.
I check bikes on a weekly basis and during winter, this usually starts with a sudsy bucket wash. In design terms, its easy to see why time pressed team mechanics prefer horizontal models, that secure bikes by the forks and bottom bracket shell.
However, with all this water sloshing about, I wasn’t surprised to discover its tendency to pool around the clamp and sneak inside the telescopic pole, inducing that tell-tale orange freckling.
A quick misting of maintenance spray, such as Muc-Off Bike Spray before packing it away, renders most of this academic. I’ve erred towards wax type automotive products, or Muc-Off Sweat Protect. Primarily, since they leave a longer lasting protectant barrier.
There are some obvious trade-offs but ultimately, the Torque represents good value for money. Well worth considering, if you are a home mechanic, with a designated workspace but don’t need (or have the budget for) a “fixed” pro stand. On the flip side, there are better, sometimes cheaper options for riders who want something portable for race days or who tackle seized, high stress components, infrequently.