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Decent truing stand

Old 05-10-22, 06:38 PM
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smd4
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Decent truing stand

Picked up a fairly decent, relatively inexpensive wheel truing stand off eBay from a company called West Biking. It’s Chinese of course, and in a triumph of language translation, they call it a “Ring Station.”

Notwithstanding that wonderful bit of Chinglish, the stand is actually pretty nice. It’s almost all metal, with the arms being beefy aluminum with a welded aluminum base. The arms can be spread symmetrically using a single knob, a’la Park. The base includes separately attached steel brackets so the unit can be mounted to a bench, but are wide enough to give it stability when used unmounted.

The truing feelers are mounted to an aluminum arm that moves on a friction pivot. They do not move symmetrically, but independent of each other, unlike the Park, which means you may need to also use a separate dishing tool.

The unit also includes a dial feeler gauge, which, while a neat touch, isn’t really necessary. Also included is an Allen wrench to adjust the base, a couple cheap open end wrenches, and even a circular spoke wrench with multiple sizes.

All in all, I’m pretty impressed. It looks good and the build quality seems excellent. Even the aluminum welds look good. It’s of course not a professional tool like the Park, but it’s plenty good enough for home use, and maybe more. Much nicer than the foldable tubular steel ones available everywhere.

Picked mine up for $100 plus free shipping. You might be able to find it even cheaper.

West Biking Truing Stand

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Old 05-10-22, 07:35 PM
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I view a truing stand's stiffness, stableness and repeatability to be primary qualities (after the obvious "will my wheels fit the stand"). A stand's ability to provide dishing feedback is way down my list. To be able to rotate the wheel and sight the indicator/rim gap, then do it again and again in the same portion of the rim and see the same gap is vital to a good working experience. A stand that flexes too much will distort the gap and each sighting will be somewhat different. Being able to remove the wheel and reinstall it the same way and have the indicator shoe the same gap is very nice.

These qualities are why the heavier and stouter stands are generally liked more than light weight ones that have more flexible Al or plastic parts.

Of course no one "needs" a stand if they have the rest of the bike on hand Andy
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Old 05-10-22, 07:42 PM
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That looks pretty good for $100. The ad says it doesn't support thru-axles, and it looks like you'll want to bolt it to your bench, since there's no base to speak of. But the independent calipers aren't really a detriment; I've got a Park stand, and I only use one caliper at a time and a separate dishing tool for that job.

Here's a pic of what I assume you bought:


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Old 05-10-22, 08:27 PM
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Yep, thatís it, with the steel base brackets installed.
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Old 05-10-22, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
It’s Chinese of course, and in a triumph of language translation, they call it a “Ring Station."
A bit OT but years ago there was a Hozan tool for removing and tightening the lock rings on bottom brackets and threaded headsets. The name molded into the handle was "Hozan Rock Ring Tool". Being Japanese, it was the subject of many snide comments. I had one and, despite the name, it was a very good tool.
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Old 05-11-22, 06:11 AM
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Hozan makes the best fourth hand available.

For $70 bucks more, This stand looks to be even better than the one I got--nearing Park quality. Though for $100, I'm not disappointed.
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Old 05-11-22, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
A stand's ability to provide dishing feedback is way down my list.
In this case, you need the dishing tool not to assure dish, but also to make sure the rim is centered where you need it to be. This is easier to do when the truing calipers move fairly symmetrically. Not perfect, but better than ones that move independently.
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Old 05-11-22, 09:25 AM
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Once a wheel is properly dished, you seldom need to worry about it, unless you've done a major truing job that pulled the rim to one side or the other, and you kind of have to be trying in order to do that.

On my Park stand, I prop open one of the calipers with an allen wrench and true the wheel using only the other. You only need to measure the trueness of one side of the rim, so the position of the wheel in the stand is fairly unimportant.
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Old 05-11-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Once a wheel is properly dished, you seldom need to worry about it, unless you've done a major truing job that pulled the rim to one side or the other, and you kind of have to be trying in order to do that.

On my Park stand, I prop open one of the calipers with an allen wrench and true the wheel using only the other. You only need to measure the trueness of one side of the rim, so the position of the wheel in the stand is fairly unimportant.
I would disagree with that*, but whatever floats your boat.

*(Particularly I mean after having built a wheel or set of wheels...)

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Old 05-11-22, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I would disagree with that*, but whatever floats your boat.

*(Particularly I mean after having built a wheel or set of wheels...)
Not sure what you're disagreeing with, but I've built quite a few wheels, and yes, you dish them when you build them. But unless a wheel has been tacoed, altered, rebuilt, or trued poorly, it should seldom need re-dishing thereafter. It's worth checking from time to time, but once the tension is stable, a wheel shouldn't shift off-center.

As for the one-armed truing method, the rim is a fixed width, so truing from one side trues it on both. Hell, you can do a pretty decent job by strapping a zip-tie to a stay and truing it on the bike.


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Old 05-11-22, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Not sure what you're disagreeing with,
I disagree with your technique. As in, I prefer two calipers, one on each side. Like it was made. It works for me. If you're comfortable using a single caliper or a zip tie, great.
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Old 05-11-22, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I disagree with your technique. As in, I prefer two calipers, one on each side. Like it was made.
Using both calipers is helpful when attending to high or low spots, but it's simply unnecessary for truing. Plus, if the stand's arms aren't precisely calibrated, you can pull a wheel out of dish when you use two; plus, widening and narrowing the arms to accommodate different hub widths can throw off the alignment. It's kind of telling that Park Tool recommends using a wheel that has been dished with a dishing tool to periodically calibrate their stands.

Anyway, float your boat as you please, but no one at any of the shops I've ever worked at uses your method. Cheers.
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Old 05-11-22, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Anyway, float your boat as you please, but no one at any of the shops I've ever worked at uses your method. Cheers.
Cool. They all did at mine.
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Old 05-11-22, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
In this case, you need the dishing tool not to assure dish, but also to make sure the rim is centered where you need it to be. This is easier to do when the truing calipers move fairly symmetrically. Not perfect, but better than ones that move independently.
Not sure your meaning with this. Are you mentioning wheels that are purposely dished off center of the axle ends (as was my 1980ish Avatar 2000 used). Usually the center spot you aim for is also what a dishing tool shows when both side of wheel checks are done. Or are you saying the wheel has to be placed in the stand just so to achieve dish?

I have used more then a few dozen different truing stands in many shops and at a few industry shows and I have never relied on any stand's ability to achieve a properly centered/dished (and I feel these are the same as long as the frame is also symmetrically designed) wheel. Sure some stands are better than others at getting close but experience says this isn't the better way to insure dishing is correct. I try to not use absolutes in my discussions but I think I can say that no shop i have worked in, that was a service focused one, didn't have a dishing tool although some had some pretty poor truing stands Andy

Additional- A correctly dished wheel needs no stand or dishing tool, just a careful person handling the spoke wrench.
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Old 05-11-22, 07:25 PM
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Letís talk front wheel for simplicity: do you think itís possible to lace the wheel and not have the rim precisely centered over the center of the hub?

Seriouslyóyou guys do what you need to do. I donít need to argue with you about the best way to build/true/dish wheels. Just thought Iíd bring this affordable stand to the attention of folks that may be interestedóbut hey, everyone makes mistakes.

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Old 05-11-22, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Letís talk front wheel for simplicity: do you think itís possible to lace the wheel and not have the rim precisely centered over the center of the hub?

Seriouslyóyou guys do what you need to do. I donít need to argue with you about the best way to build/true/dish wheels. Just thought Iíd bring this affordable stand to the attention of folks that may be interestedóbut hey, everyone makes mistakes.
A tool purchase is only a mistake if you regret it later. This stand you got will work well enough if you do and I think you will.

To give my answer to your new question about lacing a front wheel...yes one can end up with an off center front (or rear or side as on a trike) wheel if one doesn't do the work well. Independent of a stand, it's the person turning the nipples that counts. The stand only make this work go easier and faster.

And it's this last bit that might not be applicable to many here. Faster and easier means a shop can make more customers happy. It means that fledging mechanics can do better work sooner, the learning curve goes quicker. It means I can reach for the dishing tool and show the customer that their wheel is well dished if needed. For the home wrench a dishing tool (or a truing stand) might seem overkill or un needed. And in the world of personal time having little value this is fine. It all depends on what each of us value, how we wish to spend our time and with what toys we like. Andy
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Old 05-11-22, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
A tool purchase is only a mistake if you regret it later. This stand you got will work well enough if you do and I think you will.
The mistake I made wasnít the tool, it was starting this thread.

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Old 05-12-22, 12:06 AM
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Enjoy your new truing stand, however you choose to use it.
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Old 05-12-22, 02:55 AM
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Looks interesting. When my Bikehand truing stand wears out I'll give one a try.
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Old 05-12-22, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Looks interesting. When my Bikehand truing stand wears out I'll give one a try.
Let's hear a review of that one! Looks pretty nice.
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Old 05-12-22, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Let's hear a review of that one! Looks pretty nice.
As far as I know the Bikehand stand is essentially a clone of the Park Tool stands. I also have a Bikehand repair stand that I've been happy with.
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Old 05-12-22, 10:31 AM
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Thanks, I'll check out both. The truing stand looks like a clone, and some reviews have said it's even better than the Park--closer tolerances.
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Old 05-12-22, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Thanks, I'll check out both. The truing stand looks like a clone, and some reviews have said it's even better than the Park--closer tolerances.
The repair stand legs are aluminum, the head is some kind of plastic not metal but hasn't been an issue so far - it's proved to be plenty strong. I like the overall design of it better than the portable Park stands I've looked at. The Bikehand stand opens up and extends and folds up quick, easy and compactly - uses quick-releases. The head rotates and locks to any angle you want. Has a tool tray I've found to be useful. It's very light - I take advantage of the way the head is designed and hang it from a sideways mounted rubberized J-hook that the ring around the back of the folded up head fits into like it was custom-designed for it.

And if you add homemade rubber dust boots to either one they work even better....(wink wink nudge nudge)
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Old 05-12-22, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Thanks, I'll check out both. The truing stand looks like a clone, and some reviews have said it's even better than the Park--closer tolerances.
I just now noticed something I hadn't been aware of before, one of the sections of the tool tray on the repair stand has a magnet attached to the underside for holding small pieces in place.

A lot of thought was obviously put into designing it.

I forgot - I actually did make a homemade add-on for it - a couple of sandbag weights using Ziplock bags, landscaping sand, reinforced tarp material and Gorilla duct tape complete with carry handles - I put them on the ends of the legs to add stability, just in case I were to have a careless moment and knock into it. Hasn't happened yet but I could envision that it could. It's very stable with the weight of a bike on it but I imagine it could be knocked over which would seriously suck.

They're probably 15 lbs or so each. With the addition of these sandbags plus the weight of a bike you'd have to really be trying to knock it over.


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Old 05-13-22, 05:43 AM
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I've gott'a give that a try with the zip tie.
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