What's Cool In Road Cycling

Park Tool’s PRS-25 Team Issue Stand

Park Tool has been the industry standard for bike tools and stands for a very long time and for a darn good reason. You’re hard pressed to hit a shop without their stuff doing the daily duties. Their PRS-25 Team Issue stand is an impossible combination of shop-worthy clamp and great stability with the unlikely sidekick of light weight portability…


I’ve been to a lot of bike shops… Multiple states (I think all of them), a few countries and multiple shop visits in all of these places, yet I can’t think of a single place that didn’t have a Park Tool stand of some kind. At the very least there were tools from the company sitting around. I can’t think of many things in cycling more accepted and wide spread than Park Tool.

I have a wall full of their kit at home as well. Lots of it is well worn (except maybe tools for BB standards that seem to need replacing practically before you get them unwrapped) but it all functions like the day I bought it. You want things made from the right stuff and to the right tolerance when you’re wrenching on kit worth thousands of dollars.

It turns out that Park have been making stands before there were stands…


It all got rolling in the early 60’s in the back of a Minnesota bike shop… Guys working on bikes exclusively basically got sick of trying to hold a frame in place while building up or working on things. Turning a bike upside down sucked as much then as now and a very basic stand was product 1.


As it stands today, Park sits in 80,000 square feet and 55 people are still making, packing and shipping product in Minnesota. Park Tool make roughly 80% of what’s sold around the world not too far from where it all started and they’re the largest bicycle tool manufacturer in the world.


Park design in-house and they also make their prototypes.


For the units that require it, like their 50th anniversary Triple, they’ll do assembly…


And they’ll package and ship.


Out Standing…
The PRS-25 is a fairly straight forward build.


You’ll slide the stand and box out and open the Pro Micro-Adjust Clamp…


And, well… Screw it.


To set up, you’ll just push the leg platform down to expand the base legs. They lock in place with a simple QR.


It’s this quick set-up step that had me noticing that the legs have a sort of curved hexagon shape.


This shape resists flex quite a bit more than a simple square or circle would and that lets Park keep the wall thickness and size down to keep things light.

The expanding and retracting action is solid and smooth and the hardware is heavy duty enough that I have zero worry about this stand not performing over and over again during travel.


The tower of the stand is also shaped for rigidity…


Another thick and sturdy QR locks the height at your desired adjustment level.

Both the tower and leg tubes of the PRS-25 are architectural grade aluminum. The QR’s and the legs’ extension guides are steel.

The clamp is also a solid steel body (with rubber and composite where it makes sense).


The unit will adjust for tilt (rotation) of the frame and locks into place by tightening the composite handle at the back. You can back off the force and allow for easy rotation of the frame while working as well.


The actual clamping area will take both shaped and round tubes (be sure your parts are safe for clamping). The rubber in the clamping area is shaped to give good surface contact for variable shapes and it’s soft enough that I had no worries about using it on custom paint. The rubber is also firm enough that it should be durable over the long haul as well. (Be careful to inspect the rubber frequently and make sure it’s not worn too much and it’s free of debris that could damage your frame.)


The clamp is very easy to adjust to fit by turning the crank to snug things down.


And a great feature here if you’re working on the same bike (or several bikes of the same model as frequently handled by teams) is that the handle is also a quick release, allowing you to pop your bike in and out quickly once it is properly adjusted to the right size.


Height adjustment is a plus here.

Set low for work on bars saddle, shifters etc…

That’s a Boardman Bikes Air 9.8 in custom paint…

Raise it up for BB and derailleur (and or simply hanging the bike after use at a level high enough to leave a little more room on the floor around the legs).


If you’re just hanging the bike up, the clamp also rotates to put a slick pad in place designed to be easier on your saddle rails than the steel would normally be…


The keys to the functionality for both height adjustment and the ability to put a load on the frame during harder wrench work are the easy manipulation of the QR and more importantly, the stability of the stand itself.

This stand is very solid especially when you take the weight and ease of adjustment into account. It makes for a perfect travel stand but it will also do great work as a home stand.

If travel is your thing, I would suggest also snagging the Travel and Storage bag (#bag-15).


If it’s home bound, the best addition would be the Work Tray (#106). I have a tray for my home stand and it’s a great time saver…


There’s also a very compact wheel truing stand that matches up with the PRS-25…

And So…
At this point, there is very little I can’t do in building or maintaining bikes while at home (or on the road). A LOT of tools have come and gone over the years and there’s a bit of pattern to this movement.

Most of what’s gone didn’t have a blue handle, most of what stays does. In fact, if I loan something with a blue handle, I’m knocking on the door and getting it back.

That’s not to say that there are not a few other companies making some good tools today. I think there are better quality tools available today than 10 years ago. BUT there are also much poorer quality tools being hocked by loads of folks…

Despite designer labels there is some genuine shit on the market that will have you rounding out your Ti hex and Torx heads in a jiffy (or worse when you start to think about laying some of the junk available directly to your framesets) because they’re too soft or built to piss poor tolerance.

I love some German uber-tools or one off bench made specialty spanners, but day in and day out, I know I can depend on virtually anything made by Park Tool. And they’re so readily available and at prices that are more sensible than a lot of the crap that is being peddled to pedalers that it’s not confusing to me that they’re in damn near every shop you’ve ever been in…

The PRS-25 is just another example of making the right tool for the job. Team issued gear means traveling well, being durable and simply working. That it’s light as well is just a bonus.

The suggested retail is north of $400 but they’re selling on-line at lots of places right now at $305 and they’re available now from virtually all reputable bike dealers, online retailers and folks like REI…

Have a look at everything Park Tool at: https://www.parktool.com/

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan
[email protected]

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