Saturday, November 5, 2011

COOL TOOLS: Park's 100-3D Repair Stand Clamp

As everyone with a nice home bicycle workshop knows (and with winter approaching for many of us, now's the time to setup an awesome home shop, maybe by reading my book - hint, hint), the cornerstone of any shop is the bicycle repair stand. I've had the same one since the 1970's, a sweet Park PRS-3 modified with a base made by Billy Menchine, who was one of Santa Cruz's legendary mechanics back in the day.

Billy's modification (essentially a larger-diameter pipe that accepts the one on the stand), allows the stand to be raised and lowered, which is a nice feature that lets you put bikes in the best position to work on them regardless of type, or where you clamp. This week I made another modification: I switched out the old clamp for Park's relatively new one, the 100-3D (+/- $130). Watch for a full review in Jim's Tech Talk, my weekly column in RoadBikeRider's free e-newsletter.

Park repair stand clamps: what a difference 40 years makes
For now, I wanted to show you the difference between the old clamp and new because it's so interesting. It's actually significantly smaller overall, especially the clamping jaws (2.7 inches/7cm). This offers the advantage of being able to clamp bikes by the seatpost (the best option on most carbon-frame bikes), even if the seatpost is only a few inches out of the frame (rather than having to go to the trouble to raise the seat and then have to remember to reset it to the correct height).

But even more impressive is that the clamp jaws open to a gaping 3 inches wide (76mm) and can clamp right down to 7/8 inch (23mm). That's the main reason I got the new clamp: so that I can finally put my Cervelos' with their aero seatposts in my repair stand (the old model opened to 1 3/8 inches).

The clamp also has a combination screw/quick-release action that lets you carefully fine-tune clamp pressure so you won't damage whatever you're clamping. And see that blue part? That's rubber so you can rest your delicate carbon seat rails on there if you're doing some quick job and don't need to clamp the bike. A nice detail to protect your equipment.

Now the only problem is not getting emotional about retiring the still-going-strong original clamp, which has been so reliable all these years. I think I'll give it a place of honor on my workshop wall and switch out the clamps when I'm working on something deserving.

 If you've got an older Park repair stand or are purchasing a new one, you may want to consider getting this clamp.


Ron L said...

Hi Jim,
I love the older Park clamps. Used them for years. It just kept getting tricky as frame/seatpost designs have evolved into fanciful pieces of carbon fiber. I finally invested in one of their bottom-bracket cradle designs (PRS-20). I was worried if I would like it, but it has turned out to be a real pleasure to use. My favorite feature is the ability to spin the bike - commonly 180 degrees. Height adjustments with the bike mounted are easy too. I felt compelled to chime in because I almost always share your taste in equipment, tools, etc. Therefore I am curious on your thoughts of the BB cradle design. Perhaps you will speak to this design in your upcoming full review.
Mission Viejo, CA

Jim Langley said...

Thanks, Ron. I actually reviewed a Park bottom bracket repair stand in a couple of years ago, maybe a little longer. I don't think the review is online anymore (they're trying to get the archived stuff back online but haven't figured it out yet). I liked the stand and know it's the preferred stand of race mechanics. My only problem with it is that I have worked so long on stands that hold the bike by the frame/seatpost, that I didn't like having to work on the front wheel off the bike (since the BB stands clamp the fork so you have to remove the front wheel). But you're right that it's nice to be able to move the bike around to work on the other side. So I can see why some mechanics love these stands.
Thanks again!