The Park Tool PRS-22 is a professional-level repair stand that's strong and stable, the beam design allowing it to support the bottom bracket and hold either the front or rear dropouts so there's no need to clamp either the frame or seatpost.
- Pros: Professional quality, stable, supports your bike via dropouts and BB
- Cons: Expensive, swapping between different types of bike is occasionally fiddly, you have to remove a wheel
Most repair stands feature a clamp that you tighten around the seatpost (or a frame tube, although that's not advisable – replacing a seatpost is far cheaper than buying a new frame if you over-tighten the clamp) but the PRS-22 is an entirely different design in that your bike is supported by a central beam. You whip one of the wheels off, rest the bottom bracket shell on its support on that beam, and then secure the dropouts on the quick release axle. You can also alter the position of the beam relative to the central upright in order to balance the bike's weight over the rest of the stand.
The bottom bracket support is suitable for all types of BB because it's adjustable for width – although that's quite a fiddly job with a 4mm hex key – while sliding it fore/aft along the beam involves loosening and then retightening a knob.
The carriage that holds the quick release axle for clamping your bike's dropouts in place is similarly movable along the beam. The axle itself can handle open-ended 100mm, 130mm and 135mm dropouts – you just slide spacers around to the relevant width. If your bike uses a thru-axle, that's clamped to the carriage while it is in position on your bike (without the wheel). Whether it's a 12mm, 15mm or 20mm thru-axle, there's no need for any adaptors.
I've used the PRS-22 with various bikes – rim brake and disc brake, QR and thru-axle – and they've all fitted fine, although you can't fork-mount a bike with all types of full-length front mudguards attached, and that might be an issue for you.
You're looking at around 30 seconds to get the repair stand set up from its folded state (yes, I got out the stopwatch; you might get your time down lower than that with a structured training plan and interval sessions!), then about 30 seconds more to get a bike with open-ended dropouts mounted on there, a little longer if your bike has thru-axles. I always take the front wheel off and attach the bike at the fork because that's the quickest and easiest way to do it, but you can do a similar job at the rear dropouts if you like.
Once your bike is fixed in place, the PRS-22 holds it firm and secure, although bikes with sloping bottom bracket shells (such as the Orro Terra C I've just reviewed) aren't as stable as others.
Whether you're adjusting the gears or brakes or doing something that requires a bit more force, the PRS-22 is more than strong enough. The wide base is really steady on a flat floor, each of the three aluminium legs extending outwards 60cm from the centre. I've tried it on various other surfaces too – a gravel drive, a bumpy car park and a patch of lawn – and it was pretty happy on each of them, although you might need to alter the orientation of the beam relative to the legs for maximum stability.
Adjusting the stand to accommodate different bike designs is straightforward enough, usually just a matter of altering the distance between the bottom bracket support and the axle carriage (the maximum that distance can be is 72.4cm). Swapping between a bike with open-ended dropouts and one with thru-axles is a little more tricky in that you have to remove the carriage axle and put your thru-axle in place, but it's hardly complicated or onerous.
If you're working on different types of bike on a regular basis, a stand that clamps the seatpost/frame might be a little easier, but I've been using the PRS-22 with several bikes of roughly the same size and haven't had any difficulties.
You can alter the height at which the stand positions your bottom bracket from 76cm to 114cm, which is a useful range that lets you work on everything at a comfortable level. You just loosen a couple of quick releases and adjust the extension of the central upright. The levers of those quick releases sit in slight recesses on the collar when they're tightened down which makes them quite tricky to flip up, although that does mean you'll never move them accidentally. If you want to work on the far side of the bike, rather than moving yourself around the bike you can just spin the beam and bring the relevant area to you.
I wouldn't say a beam-type repair stand is inherently better than one that clamps a seatpost or frame tube, but it supports your bike well and there's no chance of putting too much pressure on anything. On the flip side, you do have to take a wheel off and, as mentioned, swapping between different bikes is sometimes a little more difficult.
Folded down, the PRS-22 is about 84cm tall with a 14cm diameter, an adjustable webbing strap holding it together, so it won't take up much space when stowed in the corner of a garage. It'll fit inside Park Tool's Bag-20 (£29.99) if you want to keep it dust-free and tidy. The maximum bike weight is a whopping 27.2kg (60lb), which covers just about everything.
There's no doubt that £275 is a lot to spend on a repair stand – although the PRS-22 isn't quite as expensive as the full RRP of the Feedback Sports Pro-Elite Workstand that we reviewed here on road.cc a couple of years ago (now £295), for instance – but this is a professional-quality product that will last an age, and any parts that do wear out can be replaced. If you like the beam design and the fact that your bike is held in place by the dropouts and a bottom bracket support, this is an extremely good product.
Strong and stable repair stand that'll probably last a lifetime
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Park Tool PRS-22 Team Issue Repair Workstand
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for
The PRS-22 is for holding your bike securely and safely for repairs and maintenance.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Park Tools lists these features:
* Precisely constructed of anodised 6063 T6 lightweight aluminium and durable composites (12.5lbs, 5.67kg)
* Adjustable BB height of 30" to 45" / 76cm to 114cm
* 360 degree horizontal rotation allows easy access to all sides of the bike
* Customisable bottom bracket supports accommodate a wide variety of BB shells
* Main beam is adjustable fore and aft to customise balance points
* Easily transported in the BAG-20 (sold separately)
It's made to a high standard, largely from aluminium.
Weight might not matter in the same way as it does on a bike component, but it makes setting up and travel a little easier.
I found the height range more than enough for tackling all jobs.
It's not exactly a bargain, but whether it's worth £275 depends on your requirements. If you just want a simple stand for very occasional maintenance, fair enough, this is overkill. However, if you're a dedicated bike fettler and you want something that'll be stable and never let you down over many years, it's well worth the money. (And it's cheaper than Feedback Sports' Pro-Elite.)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It puts in a very good performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fact that it supports the bike by the dropouts and the bottom bracket shell. The three legs extend 60cm out from the centre so you get good stability here.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is high, but it should last an age. Switching between different types of bike isn't always as easy as with a repair stand that clamps a seatpost.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There's no doubt that £275 is a lot to pay for a repair stand and a lot of people simply won't want to spend that much. However, I've found the PRS-22 to be stable, strong and durable and I reckon that if that's what you're after, and if you're willing to pay for it, this is a very good buy and an 8 overall – and a strong 8 at that!
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.