Topeak Makes A Stand

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review

What makes for an exceptional bicycle workstand? With many options in today’s marketplace, details make the difference. Topeak’s Prepstand X offers a sturdy and highly portable option with great flexibility, but is this the workstand that works for you? If you like the idea of a one-lever-per-function system that works across an array of standards, read on.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review

The Prepstand X is an 11-pound, three-legged, foldable unit that relies on a front-fork mount system (as in, take that front wheel off). The 6061-aluminum stand can handle bicycles up to nearly 40 pounds, and an array of adaptors make it possible to accommodate many today’s axle standards. This tester found prices for online retailers between $200 and $250.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review height and horizontal rotation levers

Perhaps most notable about the Prepstand X is that each operating lever affects a separate adjustment. Height, angle and rotation are all secured through individual levers. It may seem subtle, but the ability to control only the desired variable is very helpful when manipulating a frame for maintenance. For a hard-working workstand, this is a great feature.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review

Also notable is the Prepstand X’s ability to pack up in to a very manageable size. This full-size repair stand packs down to the size of a small duffel bag, and this sturdy stand appears ready to put in hard work in the field or at home.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review cradle bottom bracket ratcheting strap

The home mechanic using this stand will appreciate the ability to manipulate a frame 90 degrees from horizontal in either direction, all while maintaining stability via a large tray. A ratcheting strap across the downtube holds the bottom bracket well, and with the quick-release fork mount, the two points of contact are more stable than an alternative seatpost-mounted system.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review

The easy-to-manipulate control for angle of the subject bicycle does double duty as the control for sliding the bike tray – the whole arrangement works well, and is very user friendly. A horizontal access lever holds securely to keep the stand from rotating, and the unit rotates smoothly when the lever is open.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review cradle bottom bracket

In short, manipulating the position of the subject bicycle with the Prepstand X is easy, convenient and secure.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review rear dummy hub

Most users would have a rear wheel installed while using this stand, but Topeak does provide a dummy hub insert for cases when a rear wheel is not present. This tester cannot keep track of today’s axle standards, but given the huge array of adapters provided with the Prepstand X (standard QR, 12×100, 15×100, 15×110, 20×110 for the front fork, 5×130/135 QR and 12mm thru axle), this tester assumes that most standards can find home with this workstand.

Topeak Prepstand X bicycle repair stand review fork mount

What’s not to love about this excellent workstand? Topeak does not provide quick releases for standard QRs, but this is a minimal annoyance and understandable amid so many modern axle standards, specifically the rise of thru-axles. Users can simply use the appropriate adapter and whatever hardware came with their hub. This tester noticed some rocking while using the combination of an older quick release and the 12-millimeter adapter, but maintained confidence that this stand is a sturdy, portable platform well-suited for vigorous wrenching at home or in the field.



Pump. Pump. Pump it Up.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly
KCNC’s pump head will have you pumping and jumping for joy. Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly

I found myself in the back of the sag wagon pumping air into my buddy Marco’s third flat tire with nothing but a small hand pump. And all I could think of was why on God’s green earth did a sag vehicle not have a proper [email protected]#$%432ing pump and why can’t these people keep air in their tires.

We were well past the lunch stop on day one of what was going to be a rain-soaked, flat-infested, mud-packed 2016 Coast Ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.

I got on the phone and found out the second floor pump ended up in the other sag wagon, so we made a plan to meet up. At the next convenient moment I was handed a Lezyne pump, of which I am a big fan, with some bizarre contraption fastened to the end of it.

Turns out this little orange, red, and silver wonder is the KCNC Pump Head. Not the most enticing or marketing savvy name, but when something works this well who needs marketing. These things should sell themselves.

I was shocked how smooth and precise this little pump head operated and after repairing countless more flats I had to have one. The lever moves on ball-bearings and locks down going in, instead of out. Which after an initial “what the what” moment, is brilliant.

I found the KCNC’s website, but couldn’t find this little beauty on there anywhere. Luckily, the owner of this fine pump pointed me to Fairwheel Bikes who not only carries the KCNC Pump Head, but all sorts of other goodies, including tools from my beloved Abbey Tools.

Now, I’m not sure everyone is ready to plunk down $40 hard-earned to replace what is already a pretty reliable head on their Lezyne pump or whatever pump you are using … but if you are at all frustrated with your current pump head/bicycle valve relationship then you should definitely take a closer look at this little gem.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly