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Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Lamborghini of bicycle workstands?

 The legend goes that the owner of the Lamborghini tractor company (think John Deere of Italy) wasn’t satisfied with offerings from Ferrari, so in 1963 he founded a rival company to create cars to his lofty standards.  The folks who own BICISUPPORT must share the same love of fine craftsmanship, though this concern is, like Lamborghini, a small part of their overall business.
 You may not have even heard of BICISUPPORT in a part of the bicycle market dominated by workstands by Park Tool Co and others. I think of Park Tool as similar to the Craftsman brand of hand tools – good quality and more than adequate for most any task. If you are familiar with tools from Snap-On or Italy’s USAG, you’ll understand the quality and enjoyment of use of BICISUPPORT products. They are 100% Made-in-Italy.

We just received this portable workstand, ART. 92 developed for pro mechanics. Since carbon fiber dominates the bicycle market, the old clamp-type stands are becoming harder to use on fragile frames and seatposts, so this style (used in Europe for decades) is becoming increasingly popular. The only part of your bike clamped by this stand is the same area clamped by the wheel skewers, making it not only safer, but more secure as well. It also makes a great washing stand, though the gorgeous finish on our example had me reluctant to get it very dirty!

The level of quality is truly Lamborghini or Ferrari-like. The chroming is as nice as most fine steel bicycles while the blue paint (powdercoat?) finish is also impeccable. When I first saw one of these a few years ago at Interbike I suggested they make the stand rotate 360 degrees, as most mechanics are lazy, preferring to spin the bike around rather than move around themselves. This edition has this feature.
Folding is quick and easy with an ingenious slot/skewer setup allowing the cross-beam to fold more or less in half. When combined with the quickly folding legs and telescoping center tube, this stand sets up quickly and takes up little space in the folded position. It’ll stand upright in the corner of your shop or garage or lay down under your workbench, either way taking up little space when not in use. But I’ll bet that won’t be often, as this stand is a joy not only to use, but just to admire!

MSRP is $349, but this is a lifetime investment in a quality workstand. My only suggestions would be for BICISUPPORT to include some sort of carrying case, perhaps of sturdy canvas or cordura, preferably with their nice logo (complete with Italian tricolore) embroidered on it.

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