The humble workstand, it’s one of those items that every ‘proper’ cyclist should have. A workstand marks you out as more than the normal run of the mill tinkerer; you are the kind of cyclist that knows about bikes. Not for you the lump hammer and that cracked old screwdriver from under the sink. No, you have special tools, the knowledge to use them and most importantly of all, a Minoura RS1600 Workstand upon which to display your mechanical prowess.
This Minoura workstand secures your bike by attaching via a quick release to the forks and the bottom bracket rests on a plastic cradle. There’s a velcro strap to secure the bottom bracket area to the workstand. If you buy the additional rear attachment you can attach the rear dropout to the stand, leaving the forks free if you need to take them out. The stand can be adjusted and moved in several ways by undoing quick release clamps.
The main reason I asked to review this workstand is because it’s the perfect type of workstand to use with a carbon bike. Generally workstands clamp around the frame or seat tube which isn’t a great idea if you have a carbon frame and you want to brace against it to get a tight bolt out. The result may well be a squashed or cracked frame or seat tube. The RS1600 uses a QR skewer through the dropouts where the wheel would normally go. No more squashed carbon tubes.
The Minoura RS1600 Workstand isn’t alone in its design. Several other brands have a similar design stand including Tacx, Park Tool, Feedback Sports, Elite and even Topeak. The main differences I noticed were that one had a carry bag, one had a hook to hang your removed wheel on, and some had the front and rear QR points on the same fitting whereas the Minoura one has separate attachments.
The Minoura stand is one of the cheapest stands of this design at £134.99 with the similar stand from Park Tool being priced at nearly £200. I saw this review as a chance to dismantle my commuter bike (yes again) and the stand was sturdy enough to cope with holding the bike and staying upright with every task except the bottom bracket removal. Even this wasn’t due to the force required but more because I have an old BB removal tool and I have to be careful or it slips off the BB.
The stand is light and folds away quite compact. When you unfold it the quick release clamps are quick and easy to secure the various movable joints in place. The stand raises and lowers; the arm tilts forwards and backwards and the whole arm swivels round the point 360 degrees so you can get to both sides without having to remount the bike on the stand.
With my alloy commuter bike its narrow BB shell didn’t sit very securely and tended to move to the side slightly. This made the chainring bolts knock against one of the bolts on the stand and I kept having to reposition the bike. If I did buy one of these stands I’d be tempted to fashion a wedge and maybe glue some felt or rubber onto the plastic cradle to reduce the movement. However, once I put my carbon bike on, the cradle made perfect sense with the much wider BB being cradled securely and the chainrings were completely clear of the stand.
My alloy bike takes a 113mm BB, so it’s pretty narrow and despite this it was still secure enough to strip the bike down to the frame. The other difference is that the Allez has plastic cable guides on the outside of the BB shell, whereas the TCR has internal cabling so the BB shell is flat with no protrusions.
My only other slight niggle was that due to the bike resting on the bottom bracket, you can’t actually clean under the BB whilst it’s in the stand. It’s worth noting that you’d need to wipe down this area before you start. This is to make sure there’s no grit there to scratch between the plastic cradle and the paint on the frame. Again, you could put a piece of felt or rubber on the cradle area to help prevent scratches. The stand didn’t actually scratch my frame but I felt that over time the hard plastic may get pitted and rub against the BB moving about on top of it.
The Minoura RS1600 is a light, sturdy, well made workstand. Brilliant value compared to similar stands from other brands. It’s the ideal type of stand to get if you want to clean and service a carbon frame, and still very handy for frames made from other materials too. The stand would be easy to take to races or sportives as it’s very portable. If you’ve ever been to a pro race or seen the mechanics cleaning the bikes on television or YouTube they mostly use stands that have a similar design to this. I’ve got to give this one back but I’m adding one to my Christmas list.
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