Unior Tool continues to defy the industry’s move to asian production with a number of new pro team, bike shop & consumer tools all manufactured entirely in Europe. The lead of the new tool lineup is a portable workstand (& hopefully also fixed for shops) which moves away from clamping seatposts or frame. Plus there’s a new BB tool, even updated tool handles across the board…

Unior Tool Pro Road Stand – portable or fixed?

At the special request of their pro road team sponsorships Unior developed the Pro Road Stand which clamps the bike by the fork or rear drops and then supports the bike with a rubberized cradle at the bottom bracket.

In reality the general concept isn’t revolutionary in the pro peloton, but Unior’s design is rather unique in offering not just fore-aft frame adjustability around the stand’s balance point, but also up-and-down height adjustability from the ground, and the ability to spin horizontally about a central axis. But the big difference is the unique additional angled adjustability which is actually needed for the bleeding of many modern disc brake solutions.

Available now as a folding pro-level work stand, the Pro Road Stand was also shown with a prototype workshop base. Developed specifically for their sponsored teams’ Service Courses, the fixed Pro Road Stand with a heavy flat base may go into production depending on buyer demand. And in reality that’s pretty much a sure bet since bike makers have started telling dealers not to clamp frames or even seatposts, leaving only the axles. The stand does not fix the BB, instead relying on the bike’s mass to keep it stable. A set of thru-axle clamps wasn’t immediately available but will be an upgrade soon, and can be stored on the stand with the QR setup.

Precision Bottom Bracket Cup Sockets

Another simple tool, just executed well here. The tight fit of the Unior BB sockets promises an easy to use fit (with knurled grip for hand setting cups) and no marring on your bottom bracket cups. The are available for a number of threaded standards.

Pedal Genie Dummy Pedal Axle

Another tool that innovates in its execution, not its concept. Others have dummy axles for workshop use. Urior’s Pedal Genie offers both a pressed in taper plastic fit for fast and easy spinning, to a threaded alloy dummy axle for more precise fit of more complicated bike setups.

More & more tools

Unior doesn’t stop there. Their Pro Shop Clamp QR for head for workshop stands gets the new quick release 22-60mm tube size update we saw as a prototype last year.

Plus their 2 for 1 Disc tool, a caliper spreader & rotor alignment too is finally available. It is also the first to get a new double dip handle treatment that promises better ergonomics, and will be on every hand tool in 2019.

Then there are new, simple to manage electronic torque wrenches in 1/4″ 1-20Nm & 1/2″ 4.2-85Nm varieties.

A new set of Cable Housing Cutters get a new more durable, sharper black finish, plus a revised end crimp section in the handle. And for when you need to cut wires, opt for the PowerShark angle wire cutters. And for when you need to remember how to adjust you ride…

Prototype derailleur alignment gauge

The prototype Foldable Derailleur Hanger Alignment Gauge features a solid, precision telescoping design to make hanger adjustment easy. It fits 16-29” wheels and will ideally be available soon. The prototype we saw was just one day out of the forge, so we’ll update when we know more.

For the most part, all the new tools are in production now, with availability slated for at latest August 2018. The couple of prototype items above are a bit further out.

Bicycle Mechanics Volume II – Gear & Brake Systems

One last parting shot, Unior has continued their partnership with Canadian author and expert mechanic Denise Belzil to detail how-to instructions for bike maintenance & regular work. Volume I covered hubs, BBs & headsets. Volume II covers gear and brake systems.

Unior-bike.com

8 COMMENTS

  1. Ok professional mechanics, how do you adjust the front brake when your stand requires you to take off the front wheel? (This is a real question. I really don’t know what mechanics do with this kind of stand.)

    • I own a stand of this style. This is definitely not how mine works, but here’s an idea: you can cover most axle standards with widgets that slide inboard or outboard of the frame/fork as needed.

      What I haven’t figured out is how to make such a stand work when you have a decent front fender or disc brakes on QR hubs.

    • I owned a Park PRS-20, and worked for years in bike shops. These stands are cumbersome to use, and I’ve never seen one in use in a shop. To do a tune-up, the mechanic would have to:
      1) Take off the front wheel
      2) Adjust the sliding clamp to match the front center of the bike (so the cradle and BB line up). There are many different front axle spacings to consider. Any bike with full fenders will not work, because the fender hits the horizontal bar of the stand.
      3) After adjusting shifting and rear brake, take bike off stand, replace front wheel, remove rear wheel, place in stand, and adjust sliding clamp.
      4) Over the years, rear axle spacing has changed. Including fixies, any shop will deal with 120,126,130,135,142,148 boost, and fat bike spacing. Plus thru-axle and QR. they all require different spacers, or add-ons.

      I taught a bike repair class a few years ago, and people brought in all their old bikes – 3 spds, cruisers, mtbs, etc., and the amount of fiddling involved to fit them to the Park was ridiculous. I sold it and got a standard Park stand that just clamps the seatpost. I never looked back.

    • The shop I work at uses the Park tool version of this and it works great for us, been using them for years. Front brakes are not a hard thing to adjust on the ground for road calipers/ direct pull. Discs can be a pain some time but its not the end of the world that you can’t always adjust a brake in the stand. There are adapters for QR 100 and 130/135, 12mm to 20x110mm axles. It can fit a wide variety of bikes as well. The whole bike is more stable for leverage and cleaning. I feel clamp stands move around a lot more and there always isn’t good place to clamp some bikes I.E dropper posts and mountain bikes with tight frame angles. Bad things can happen sometimes with clamp stands, messing up paint/ scratching, and possible cracking if tightened to much when you really to get stuck things off or the mechanic/consumer doesn’t know how tight to clamp it. We still use a clamp stand time to time for some jobs but we love our BB cradle stands.

    • as specified, these work stands are really meant for team mechanics. these work stands are fantastic if you’re working on identical bikes all day (more specifically road bikes). the real benefit as @saynotodougs mentioned is the leverage you can get on the bike along with the stability of the bike as you make adjustments. youll notice with a seatpost stand, as the rear wheel starts spinning, in a lot of cases the bike starts to bounce around a little. its even worse on portable stands because theyre kinda light and flimsy. that being said, you should never have to worry about cracking anything because you should never ever under any circumstance clamp a frame in a stand. personally i have one of the park professional stands that bolts to the big steel plate in my garage, and one of their cheaper 2 legged portable stands… i have never had any issues and im a fan of the seatpost mounted for myself because i dont have to fuss with the bikes before i work on them, but i can see how these things can be nice to work on too. for bike shop mechanics, it’s usually just better to use the seatpost mounted as well too, because you can stick any bike in the stand and just start working. sometimes the stand will see 20 bikes a day. 3 minutes prepping the stand 20 times a day would be a full hour wasted.

  2. Hey guys, Chris from Unior USA here.

    In regards to the new workstand, these sorts of fork-mount stands aren’t meant as a total replacement for existing stands in a shop environment. The fixed-base option does certainly make it better for shop use than the portable version, but even then it’s still intended for those times that you’ve got a triathlon or time-trial bike in the repair or build queue where clamping the seatpost or frame isn’t really an option.

    Odds are highly likely that if you’re working on a bike with full fenders or a 3-speed hub or what-have-you it’s got a round seatpost you can clamp to with a traditional clamp (like our new one featured in this article) with no worries.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions about our new tools, or anything in our line for that matter.

    Cheers!

  3. Running cables under the BB is the real problem with this format. Not a big fan. Also, you can’t set up the drivetrain while you or someone else is working on the fork/headset. But for an already built up bike that needs some adjustment, they are nice to have, especially if you have decals on the seatpost, or a BB to remove.

  4. Hi everyone. Chris from Unior USA here.

    The new stand isn’t really meant to fully replace your existing seatpost-clamp style stands in a shop environment. It’s meant to complement it. Some shops do a lot of tri-bike or tt-bike work and for them a stand like this is really the way to go.

    After spending the last 10 years of my life as a pro team mechanic prior to joining Unior USA in December I’m aware of the pros and cons of a stand like this as it’s pretty much all any of us use. Is it for everyone? Admittedly, no. Is it the right way to go when faced with a bike with no safe surface to clamp with a normal workstand? Absolutely.

    Please feel free to share any questions or concerns with any of our products. I’m happy to answer them or get answers from my colleagues in Europe if I don’t have the info you’re looking for. You can also email me at info@uniorusa.com if you’d like.

    Thanks!

    -Chris

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