Grumpy Old Bugga
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
Bikes: Hillbrick, Europa (R.I.P.)
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It's a wheel truing stand. As the name suggests (and the bloke's hands show), you use it when truing wheels though for the amateur, you can also just leave the wheels in your bike and use the brake pads to highlight where the wobbles are.
The 27 to 700c problem isn't a biggie. Tektro make some very long reach, dual pivot brakes - the R365. I've got them on the Europa and they work really well. Tektro also make some shorter reach brakes if you're lucky enough to need a shorter reach. Don't be fooled by the name, Tektro dual pivot brakes (unlike some of their V brakes) are very good and the equal of Shimano.