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  1. #1
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    Work Stand Clamp: which is best for carbon?

    I'm not going to rehash the annoying "what work stand should I get?" thread, but I'd like to ask a specific question: which clamp style is the safest for a carbon seatpost?

    Here's the deal: I've narrowed my work stand choice down to the PCS-10 and the Ultimate Pro Elite. I want a high-quality stand that I can fold and store in my NYC apartment, and those seem to be the best.

    I know I could swap in an aluminum seatpost when I mount the bike, and I probably will if I'm doing some high-torque repair like removing a BB. However, for a pre-ride tune or a post-ride cleaning, that's unrealistic (for me).

    So the question is: which clamp is safer for carbon? The Park has a cam-type clamp. The advantage of this would seem to be that I can set it for just the right tightness, and lock in that tension every time. The Ultimate has a ratchet closure that looks cool, but I can't tell how easy it would be to over-tighten it.

    Oh, and should I throw on a rag or foam pipe insulation, or is that just OCP overkill?

    Thoughts/suggestions appreciated. (And mockery tolerated; my wife just saw this posting and led the charge.)
    It's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't.

  2. #2
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    I have the Ultimate Pro Elite, but I've used both clamp styles. The Park clamp can exert a lot of force without a lot of noticeable resistance. Since you have to screw in the clamp on the Ultimate, you have a much better idea for how much force the clamp is putting on the bike.

    However, I would still put in an AL seatpost and clamping to that. I wouldn't trust any clamp on carbon anything, especially the frame itself.

    They are both very capable stands (I think the Ultimate is a bit more stable) and I'm sure either one will suit your needs, but no matter what, the AL seatpost should definitely be used.

    If that is an issue, why not one of the race stands? Like the PRS-20, seems ideal for someone with your concern.
    Last edited by johnknappcc; 09-28-09 at 10:55 AM.

  3. #3
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    The Park PCS-10's clamp should always be set in the locked-down position - leaving plenty of room for the tube you'll be clamping. Then it should be tightened down SLOWLY, by hand, to hold the tube stationary.

    Never just put a bike in it (or any stand) and engage the quick-release clamp. You may have set it for a smaller tube - and end up crushing the frame.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  4. #4
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    For cleaning and adjustments, you shouldn't need the clamp very tight to hold the bike in place. I wouldn't worry one bit about lightly clamping on a carbon fiber seatpost or even the top tube in this situation. Note that I said "lightly" meaning just tight enough that it doesn't slide from the weight of the bike. If you are really concerned about the finish of your seatpost, a rag wrapped around it might help.

    For torquing a bottom bracket or any other high torque procedure, just put the bike on the ground so you don't have to worry about exerting so much force on the frame through the seatpost. It takes an extra minute at most to install the parts by hand then take the bike out of the stand for the final torque.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    For cleaning and adjustments, you shouldn't need the clamp very tight to hold the bike in place. I wouldn't worry one bit about lightly clamping on a carbon fiber seatpost or even the top tube in this situation. Note that I said "lightly" meaning just tight enough that it doesn't slide from the weight of the bike. If you are really concerned about the finish of your seatpost, a rag wrapped around it might help.

    For torquing a bottom bracket or any other high torque procedure, just put the bike on the ground so you don't have to worry about exerting so much force on the frame through the seatpost. It takes an extra minute at most to install the parts by hand then take the bike out of the stand for the final torque.
    Bingo...

    I have a PCS-9, and honestly couldn't see needing any single bit more of a stand for home use (I have 3 bikes, plus girlfriends, both brothers...sees lots of use) It has a screw-clamp that lets you feel how much your tightening the clamp. However, we all have aluminum seatposts, but carbon should take enough clamping force to hold a bike securely. I agree that if you are that worried, do final torquing off the stand.

  6. #6
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    I have the Pro Elite and clamp the seat post. I never clamp one of the main tubes. I think the Ultimate Pro Elite (or whatever it's called now) has an excellent clamping system.

  7. #7
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    I've used the Park stands and own an Ultimate.

    The Ultimate requires you to "choose" the clamping force every time you put the bike in it so you have immediate control of how hard the tubes are squeezed.

    The Park can be adjusted as light or firm you wish but remains that tight until you change it so it's possible to set it for a lot of force and forget to back it off if you want to use light pressure.

    I also set the bike on it's wheels to do very high torque jobs like bottom bracket removal and installation. I don't think any stand or frame benefits from that much force with only one point of support.

    I do recommend buying the cheapest proper diameter aluminum (or even steel) seatpost and dedicating it to repair work.
    Last edited by HillRider; 09-28-09 at 03:24 PM.

  8. #8
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycbianchi View Post
    I'm not going to rehash the annoying "what work stand should I get?" thread, but I'd like to ask a specific question: which clamp style is the safest for a carbon seatpost?

    Here's the deal: I've narrowed my work stand choice down to the PCS-10 and the Ultimate Pro Elite. I want a high-quality stand that I can fold and store in my NYC apartment, and those seem to be the best.

    I know I could swap in an aluminum seatpost when I mount the bike, and I probably will if I'm doing some high-torque repair like removing a BB. However, for a pre-ride tune or a post-ride cleaning, that's unrealistic (for me).

    So the question is: which clamp is safer for carbon? The Park has a cam-type clamp. The advantage of this would seem to be that I can set it for just the right tightness, and lock in that tension every time. The Ultimate has a ratchet closure that looks cool, but I can't tell how easy it would be to over-tighten it.

    Oh, and should I throw on a rag or foam pipe insulation, or is that just OCP overkill?

    Thoughts/suggestions appreciated. (And mockery tolerated; my wife just saw this posting and led the charge.)
    A frame should not be clamped harder in the workstand than it takes to hold the bike up. Expecting the workstand to withstand the torque of BB and crank install will wreck heavy steel frames, let alone carbon. Leave the stand loose and grip the frame with your non-wrench hand (or do it on the ground) when you need the leverage.

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