The Tacx Exact wheel truing stand is a simple and adaptable stand that almost makes amateur wheel truing into a pleasure. It's nowhere near at as precise as a pro mechanic's stand but it's okay for basic builds and truing
Wheel truing stands don't need to be complex. I've often used a frame or fork, with a bit of sticky tape to check for up and down distortions in the rim and the brake shoes for side to side distortions. But having a proper truing stand does make things a bit easier. The Tacx Exact is well designed for its price, but it's not up to precision pro mechanic standards. It's essentially as simple, as light and as adaptable as it can be without creating too many compromises.
It may sound patronising to say this, but even the very best truing stand isn't going to true a wheel for you. I've seen some disastrous truing attempts over the years, and I won't exclude my own efforts from that. But practice makes perfect, and once you've got the hang of it wheel truing can be accomplished by any rider with patience. You still need to understand and get a feel for the subtleties of spoke tension, and the way different amounts of nipple tweaking will distort the rim, so if you're a truing beginner it's probably best to try your limited skills on an old wheel that won't matter if you get it all wrong. And never adjust anything more than half a turn at a time, so when things go wrong, they only go wrong a tiny bit.
Instead of having a base the Exact stand simply clamps onto a work bench or table top, tightening from underneath with a plastic turn-wheel. It stays firm on even the smoothest of surfaces: it'll work on any surface between 2 and 5cm thick. Flexible arms allow you to slot in all hub widths and the arms can easily be tilted back and forth to get the perfect working position. It'll accommodate any wheel between 16 and 28 inches in diameter.
A double hinged arm and rim tab can be swung into place to check for up and down rim distortions and a pair of adjustable side arms can be positioned up against the rim's side walls to adjust side to side distortions. Everything is just about tight enough to stay where you want it to stay and the adjustment arms are all plastic tipped to avoid damaging the rim surfaces.
That's about it really. This is a very simple to use stand. It packs down almost flat and it only weighs 1620g, so taking it away with you is easy. It's suitable for amateur mechanics who want something that's a little easier to work on than a frame or fork, but its flexible arms means it won't please pro mechanics or high precision home truers. You'll need to pay more for that.
Simple and adaptable stand that almost makes amateur wheel truing into a pleasure.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Tacx Exact Wheel Truing Stand
Size tested: T3175
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Tacx says "For accurately checking height and sideways rotation. The wheel holders can be tilted forwards or backwards, so that the truing stand can be placed in any desired position"
It won't satisfy pro mechanics but it does the job for amateur wheel builders and truers
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It packs fairly flat so it's easy to take away with you. It's not as sturdy as a pro mechanic's trueing stand but it holds all popular sizes of wheel, clamps to almost any workbench or table top and makes basic trueing relatively easy.
The flexible arms seem a bit flimsy, but they flex to fit any axle width and once the quick release or nuts are tightened down the wheel hold is firm enough and all but the most obsessively precise trueing adjustments are easily attainable.
At about 1600g it's heavy enough to be sold in use but light enough to be easily transportable.
Not bad value, but I've achieved similarly precise results using a frame and fork.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works well enough unless you set your standards by pro mechanic levels of excellence.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Compact, easy to use and all popular hub and wheel sizes fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's not exactly a precision tool. It simply does the job.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
You're getting something that reflects the price. Shop workshop pro mechanic level truing stands are far better, but this is a decent addition to a home workshop.
About the tester
Age: 58 Height: 181 Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Merlin Ti My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,