LIFELINE PRO BIKE WORKSTAND REVIEW
Words by Robert Johnston // Photos by Laurence Crossman-Emms
Bike work stands are nothing new, but these days it seems that the price of a well-performing stand is climbing higher and higher with limited advancement in performance. LifeLine, an in-house brand of retail giants Wiggle CRC, produced their Pro Bike Workstand to offer “professional level” work stand with a justifiable price tag for the everyday rider. We’ve been hammering one this summer with an array of test bikes and have come away impressed.
The LifeLine Pro Bike Workstand is designed to be the ultimate pro-level bike stand, offering compatibility with just about any bike and mechanic combination. The stand is constructed from a variety of materials depending on their job, maximizing the strength in the necessary areas to achieve a maximum bike weight of 40kg, while remaining lightweight and portable enough for easy storage and transport. To be suitable for a range of different bike and mechanic sizes, the stand features a generous range of height adjustment, and LifeLine says it can be used by people between 120 and 198cm (4ft-6ft 5”). Added to the adjustments are the rotation offered by a cup and cone locking head, which allows the tilt of the bike to be set infinitely within the full 360 degrees and locked securely into place quickly without tools.
Holding the bike is a soft jaw-equipped dual cantilever head, with rubber inserts sitting against the chosen clamping surface of the bike to minimize damage and prevent slippage. Bearings are used within the head to make for smoother and lower friction operation of the handle, ensuring it can be operated with one hand to make life as a solo mechanic easier. A 1m^2 footprint of the support legs should offer good stability for its weight, and there are soft rubber feet on the three contact points with the ground to prevent damage to surfaces at home. A removable magnetic tool tray adds some useful work surface to safely store bolts and tools until they need to be used, with compartments to aid in organization. Carrying a price tag of $199.99/£149.99, the LifeLine Pro Bike Workstand comes in significantly cheaper than similarly premium-level work stands.
It was clear the LifeLine Pro Bike Workstand was a quality bit of kit from the get-go. It feels sturdier in the hand than most, in part due to its relatively high weight overall, but also thanks to the good tolerances at all the joints that give a satisfying resistance when moved and no hint of any wobble or rattle. The head is reassuringly overbuilt, letting you trust that it’ll stand up to every bit of its 40kg weight capacity and still allow for a stubborn pedal to be removed. Setting up the stand from its packed-down state is simple – simply undo the quick release lever, and slide the collar down to extend the two legs out until it stops on the indent on the main shaft, then tighten the lever back down. Reversing this process has the stand packed down in a short time to claim that precious garage space back quickly.
Securing a bike in the soft jaws is easy as they go, but still not totally foolproof since it requires a single hand to hold the bike, while the other spins the sliding handle until the jaws close enough. This is not a terribly difficult task for a regular bike, but as bikes get heavier, or if they are particularly unbalanced, it can be a little awkward. Once in the stand, adjusting the angle of tilt is easy thanks to that locking head, letting you get access to the bike from any angle you desire. Because this head can spin infinitely around, it makes the perfect tool to clamp the steerer tube of a suspension fork for servicing, letting you turn the fork upside down to add lower oil easily. The tool tray proved to be very useful, with that magnetic portion giving a bit of peace of mind that bolts or tools will stay put, and crucially sitting out of the way of the bike to allow for the pedals to be turned without interference. Being able to pop it in and out is handy for storage, though you’re still left with the tray itself as a separate piece of course.
Across a wide variety of both regular and electric bikes, there was no sign of slippage of any of the clamps in use and surprisingly a lack of even a creak or squeak, and I’ve not once felt the need to check any of the bolts that hold it all together. The soft jaws have stood the test of time quite well, and it’s reassuring to know that replacements can be purchased should the need arise down the road. The only gripe I have whatsoever in fact is with the stability of the three-leg design. On a flat surface with a relatively balanced weight of the bike front and rear there’s no issues at all, but if there’s a greatly imbalanced bike (such as having the rear wheel out) or if the terrain is sloped or uneven, the stand can be susceptible to tipping over until you work out the fulcrum of your setup. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but if there was a way to add further stability to the work stand with ease then it’d really be a perfect product, especially with the reasonable value for its quality.
The Wolf’s Last Word
With reassuringly solid construction and quality components throughout making for a great workshop quality user experience, the LifeLine Pro Bike Workstand is so close to perfect, save for some occasional instability of the legs. Enthusiastic home mechanics rejoice, LifeLine may have just produced the last work stand you’ll need to buy.
Price: $199.99 /£149.99 /€164.99