bike shops, mailorder catalogs
Weight: 20 pounds
How obtained: sample from company
RBR advertiser: no
Tested: 5 hours
Funnyman Steve Martin joked, “Those crazy French, they have a different word for everything.” And that’s the way I feel about Park’s PRS-20 Team Race Stand. Those crazy European race mechanics, they have a different tool for everything.
In the case of repair stands, mechanics primarily use them for washing team bikes, which gets done after every race and stage whether it’s needed or not. (In fact, Park Tool’s John Krawczyk tells me they even wash the bikes that ride on the roof rack
The first step is removing wheels so mechanics can access 100% of the frame/fork. (Wheels are washed separately.) Each bike sans wheels is racked up, given the soap-and-suds treatment, inspected, fine-tuned and, in the case of road bikes, usually given
new handlebar tape.
If a bike was crashed and damaged, components are typically replaced and the wheels are repaired in a portable truing stand. When the bike is clean and back to 100% mechanically, the wheels are installed, it’s set aside and the mechanic moves on to the
next machine. For most race bikes the procedure might only take 15 minutes, which is important because the mechanic could have adozen bikes to service. If some were crashed or had a mechanical problem, it’s important to speed through the others. Days
(and nights) are already long enough for race mechanics.
Meeting the Euro Demand
For years Park Tool has made some of the most respected repair stands in the business, including its stalwart Double-Arm models, which have been bike-shop staples since the 1970s. But Park did not offer a portable European-style race stand. This changed
with the sponsorship of Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Channel team. The squad’s European-led mechanics requested a Euro stand and the PRS-20 resulted. It’s being used by the T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner pro teams, too.
For portability, this stand folds to 33×8 inches, sets up in seconds and sturdily supports bikes by clamping either the front or rear dropouts via quick-releases while the bottom bracket rests on a vinyl-coated cradle. The BB can be strapped in place
if necessary. This attachment method means that even unusual frame designs will fit. It eliminates clamping and the possibility of damaging exotic materials, crushing thin-wall tubes or mangling decals.
A simple knob on the base allows the bike’s bottom-bracket to be from 28 to 38 inches off the ground, so even tall mechanics needn’t stoop to wrench. The stand also rotates 360 degrees for easy access to both sides of the bike. And there’s a built-in
chain rest that spins, making chain cleaning easy with or without the rear wheel in place. The tripod base, all-steel construction and significant weight (20 pounds) make for a very stable work platform well suited to even heavy-handed repairs such as
removing frozen bottom bracket cups or obstinate pedals. All parts are either chrome plated or powder coated for durability.
If you maintain your bikes fastidiously and own a truing stand to do wheel work, you’ll find Park’s Team Race Stand the perfect complement to your home and traveling tool kits. Like all of Park’s tools, it’s built to last a lifetime. At $230 it’s reasonably
priced for a pro-quality stand. Plus, it’s nice to know that no matter how much of a rush you’re in, you can’t accidentally damage a frame tube or rip a decal by clamping too tightly or in the wrong place.
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s streak of consecutive cycling days has reached more than 8,000. Click to read Jim’s full bio.