How it is done
How it is done
Let’s get acquainted with this Elite Workstand Team.
The shape is typical of a foldable clamp stand; that, compared to those that cannot be folded again, renounces the third support leg (but not a third support point…) and maintains some inclination of the tube forward, to compensate, creating some balance once we secure the bike.
Just because it is re-foldable, I start from the bottom, i.e. the legs.
Two of them, angled and not parallel to the ground as on a fixed stand. It is precisely the way to make the support tube lean forward.
A pair of arcs starts from the big central locking system, made of plastic but steady, and joins the two supports thus controlling the opening and the closing.
Looking closer, we see that the lock is very solid and in the rear has a practical QR to lock it in place. I would have liked a little more accessibility on the screw’s side; though it is easy to operate, it exploits a tested and tested again (we rely on the QR every day, they keep the wheels attached to the frame of the bike…), so using the plastic assumes the right meaning: if it was made of metal, we could not tighten.
I keep calling it “plastic”, but I do it for simplicity.
The two legs are very robust; you can see how the central tube acts as a third support. It does not tilt forward and not backwards.
In addition to being connected to the lock by the arcs, they are obviously pivoted to the support tube.
The terminal part of the legs is covered by extended soft plastic feet, with a shaped and anti-slip contact area. In fact it doesn’t slip 😀
The stand is adjustable in height, acting on a practical handle that we will see in a short while. Here is portrayed at its minimum height, lower than the closing height.
Seen like this, it doesn’t mean much. It’s better I give the measurements.
The maximum height, measured from the ground to the base of the clamp, i.e. excluding the internal thickness of the clamp itself, is 143 cm. The minimum height is around 93 cm.
The maximum extension is lower than the fixed stands, but they do not have to compensate for the absence of an additional leg. Here we have an inclination forward, if we would raise the bike even more, the whole thing would overturn and end up on us.
The minimum height is useful; yes, for which purpose? Not to let the children work, but to allow ourselves to work – as we are children as well but we are a little higher – when we need that a wheel touches the ground. Have you ever disassembled the handlebar and find the fork abandoning the frame, falling on the ground with all accessories? Here, precisely. Instead, by lowering the stand and exploiting the revolving vise, we can easily let the fork slip a little bit, without coming off completely. And we learned another trick.
Ah, I give the numbers (I always mean the data, let’s be clear…) and here is the weight detected: 8,100 grams. Heavy enough to be stable, light enough to be transportable. The company declares a maximum load of 17 kgs., which puts the e-bikes out of range. I rely on this statement and then I don’t own an e-bike, so I could not test it. Come on, muscle pedalers, you don’t have it either, do you?
Let’s go on.
How do you adjust the height? Thanks to a handle placed in the middle of the support tube.
Not a slippery knob, but a kind of propeller that ensures an excellent grip even if your hands are dirty with grease; and this happens when you work on a bike. My daughter claims that this is my greatest fun, obviously I deny it.
It acts on a stopper inserted in the lower section of the tube (with a small locking screw) and uses the classic compression system.
Let’s continue to climb back along our Elite Workstand Team and get to know the vise.
It has a useful extension, i.e. its maximum opening keeping a firm grip, of a good 55 mm. In practice, you can clamp any bike.
The pliers are covered in soft rubber (later we will see I clamped Ellesar without interpose a cloth: how much trust I placed in Elite…) and shaped to wrap the tubes perfectly. Although with a section not perfectly round.
The lower part o the pliers is fixed, only the upper part moves. On which we act thanks to a solid leverage.
It is not the only lock adjustment system; but first, however, a small fun detail, because in the above photos you cannot see it well.
The two rubber covers are held in place by a pair of screws.
It means that they do not come off and you don’t lose them in transit, as it happens with the pressure ones. Useful!
Now the second lock adjustment system. Under the vice we see a screw knob.
It serves precisely to fully adjust the lock. Images in detail.
Why this knob? To avoid the most common mistake made by those who use a clamp stand and do not take the right precautions. I often read in the forums about the desperation of those who clamped the carbon bike using the horizontal one and – crack! – they cracked the frame.
Apart from that to ruin the frame, you must tighten very strongly, very very strongly. In any case you don’t have to use the vise like that, i.e. you don’t have to lock only using the lever.
You take the measure of the tube you have to tighten (not with the tape measure, you lean the bike on it) and adjust the stroke with the knob, so that by closing the lever the bike stays firm but not tight. And then you give a further turn to the knob to keep it in a firmer way. Like that, it’s more than enough.
The lever, any lever, exerts an impressive force (give me a lever and I will lift the ….), let’s thik, for example, to the wheels’ QR.
There is no contraindication to lock the bike by exploiting the horizontal one on carbon fiber frames; I’ve been doing it for years. But it must be done well.
We haven’t done yet with the vise. In addition to its width adjustment, it can rotate 360 degrees.
On the pliers body, we see a thick rubber cap.
Preceded by a lever shaped like the jaws’ ones.
The system is simple. The lever has a locking function. You have to lift it, hold the cap that now is free to rotate, bring it to the desired position (it has not continuous sliding but a series of clicks), and once you have chosen the needed angle, you must lower again the lever to lock in place.
The vise is in steel, cut and cold bent. The thickness is a guarantee of its robustness. More details; a second cap covers the spring that wraps the microregulation screw, and the 13 nut that we see inside manages the vise’s rotation: if it doesn’t remain in position despite the lever in the locking position, you just need a slight grasp and everything will be efficient again.
And now the seal. Once at rest, the stand measures 122 cm.
But how? More than when is working at minimum height? Yes, because to contain the bulky objects, the vise places itself vertically: more overall height but less width.
Here too, we have a lever, this time a sliding one, regulating the opening/closing. Just slide it in the direction of the jaws and the vise halts and can be raised vertically.
The same slide back in position (automatic, it has a return spring) permanently blocks the vise.
Detail of the slide.
To close the legs at umbrella-shape, it is sufficient to lock the QR we saw before and place them in the seats made to accommodate them.
In fact, once closed, its maximum width is determined by the protrusion of the feet. Less than 20 cm., you can store it anywhere.
This is the Elite Workstand Team in every detail.
And now my last notes for an accessory, not standard but optional: the tool tray.
Which is of a considerable size: a square sided 34 cm.
It has several compartments and numerous holes of different shapes and sizes, where you can insert various tools.
Here below only a small part of everything you can have within reach.
In fact, excluding the series steering press, I placed on it (not for this photo, but for a personal test) everything necessary to mount a frame from scratch. If they made the hole you can see in the corner a little wider, I could place a beer; but it good for a cup of coffee 😀
Two different diameters available, to suit the different stands of the Company: 40 and 45 mm. For the Workstand Team you need the one with a larger diameter (valid for the TRS too, a professional workshop stand), while the smallest is dedicated to the Race Pro.
It is comfortable and practical but has two contraindications.
The wide useful surface is its value and its limit. A quality if we leave the stand always open or in any case we have more space available to store it once closed. The limit is that it greatly increases the encumbrances, so in addition to the problem of the space to store it, the portability is affected too.
Deciding whether to buy it or not it’s a personal choice; I illustrate, you decide.
The second contraindication is that you cannot insert it and pull it out immediately. You must place it on the lower section of the central tube: but first we have to unlock and remove the upper section. The problem comes from the lock system of the tubes, the one we saw before, and that I specified has a small screw holding it firmly.
We have to unscrew this one, remove the cap, insert the tray, place the cap again, screw the tiny screw. And it will have to find its dedicated hole on the tube. In short, technically it’s simple, but if you have to do it continuously and carry it with you all the time, it’s not the best option. When racing for example; I carry one stand with me, not this one, another one I own for many years, when I go out with more bikes and I load them in my car along with wheels, tires, saddles and anything else I have to test. I mount and disassemble bikes on the road, and being able to do it on a stand it’s more comfortable. They look at me in an odd way, however…
I throw out an idea, maybe a good idea, or a solution: instead of the current lock, perhaps a crescent and two screws would be simpler? A collar in short, without having to slip off and insert. Something like this.
That could be unique for all the stands, it would be enough to do it for a diameter of 45 and add two interlocking reducers, as it is usual for the hooks of the luggage bags, the derailleurs bands and so on.
A fork is not provided as standard or as an option to prevent steering rotation; that is always to keep it locked when you work with a vise stand. Never came off the paint on the horizontal for the blow taken with the fold not taped yet? No, eh? How lucky you are…
However it is a purchase that I strongly recommend, many producers have it (in reality, it is always the same, branded in an infinite number of ways) and with a maximum of twenty Euros you solve the problem.
Anything else? No, so let’s go to the conclusions. Yes, directly to these, according to a layout that I follow when a real road test is not there. But in the next paragraph, however, I refer my experience of using it.
Sono Fabio Sergio, giornalista, avvocato e autore.
Vivo e lavoro a Napoli e ho dato vita a questo blog per condividere la passione per la bici e la sua meccanica, senza dogmi e pregiudizi: solo la ricerca delle felicità sui pedali.
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