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The Tacx Spider Team workstand is aimed more at fettling your bike pre- and post-race rather than as a full-on workshop tool, and thanks to its lightweight aluminium alloy/plastic construction it's easy to transport and simple to set up. Since we last tested it it's also received a few tweaks which have removed a few of our earlier criticisms.
Assembly of the workstand is straightforward and simple: after taking it out of the box you just attach the top arm to the leg section via the clamping bracket.
This clamp is one of the first modifications the Tacx has received since Mike's review back in 2015. The original bracket slotted onto the leg section and had a push button which located into a hole to lock the top section into position.
Without the button pushed in you could rotate the top section 360 degrees, but if you were to pick the workstand up the leg section could drop out.
With this new bracket it is locked by way of a quick release clamp, the same as used throughout the rest of the workstand. This makes it much easier to use as you can undo the clamp, spin the top section and therefore bike to whatever angle you want, and clamp it in place again.
Because of the clamping system used, the bracket also has a slot cut into it to pinch tight against the leg section. The tension in the part that slots inside the tube means it gives a good tight fit to the leg section even when it isn't clamped, so the lower section dropping out is rare.
The other improvement comes with the tilting of the stand to facilitate working on parts of the bike at different heights, or levelling it out if you are clamping at the rear dropouts.
The older version used a friction-based handle, which when wound in would clamp the top section at whatever angle you so desired, but that left room for movement and an angle change when tightening or undoing bolts unless you could get the handle murder tight.
Tacx has rectified this with the new blue plastic insert that you can see on the opposite side of the handle. It's splined to match the top arm section that it sits against, and when wound in they interlock, stopping any unwanted movement. Yes, it takes away the amount of angle options but the ones on offer are more than enough and it's worth it for the stability.
Other than that, the Tacx Spider Team is very much the same as the original, and that's absolutely fine because it works exactly as you'd want.
It's called the Team as it's been designed in collaboration with pro team mechanics for the type of jobs likely to be carried out in the pit area or back of a lorry: cleaning jobs, gear fettling like replacing cables or new chains, plus general adjustments, with that ability to quickly spin through 360 degrees making it very useful for confined spaces.
Clamping is taken care of by dropping out one of the wheels on the bike, locating the dropouts with one of the clamps, and resting the bottom bracket on the support channel.
Depending on what axle system your bike uses, you fit one of the selection of inserts to the clamps. For the fork you get a 5mm quick release option plus 9mm, 15mm and 20mm thru-axles, while for the rear you get 5mm quick release and 10mm or 12mm thru-axles.
They are push-fit so relatively easy to insert and remove, and being made of nylon they are reasonably robust. I could see marks on them from use but nothing major. Tacx also supplies a front and rear quick release that you can leave inserted in the clamp for speed.
The bottom bracket of the bike isn't clamped to the stand, it merely balances on the two edges of the support channel. On frames with standard sized BB shells and threaded outboard bearing cups things are a nice fit and quite secure, but some of the large/odd-shaped/oversized carbon versions can sometimes not sit squarely, though I never had any issues with a bike falling off.
As I said above, for the sort of tasks the Spider Team is designed for, the levels of stability are just fine. It isn't designed for removing stubborn bolts or bottom bracket cups, so if you're looking for a heavy duty stand for the workshop, look elsewhere.
As for stability, it's worth mentioning the legs as their large stance makes for a secure setup, and the feet move too, which helps on a less than flat surface.
One issue you may find with the Team is that there isn't much adjustability for height other than not fully opening the legs out. Keeping a narrower stance buys you a little elevation but compromises the stability.
At my height I had no real issues. Unless you spend a lot of time working around the bottom bracket area you should be fine – for any other component you can just alter the angle to raise or lower the bike.
At just 4.25kg the Spider Team is ideal for travel and is easy to fling in the back of your team van or boot of the car. It folds down quickly and without fuss, which makes it easy to carry to the pit area if you're at a race with no vehicular access.
Money-wise, the price has come down a few quid since 2015 – which is a rare thing to see at the moment – plus you can find it healthily discounted from its £173.99 rrp on the internet.
The Tacx doesn't have the adjustability of the Topeak Prepstand Elite that we tested last month, but it is 2kg lighter and over £50 cheaper. (The other stands we've tested over the years are more workshop-based and not really comparable with the Spider Team. For more ideas, though, check out our buyers guide below.)
On the whole I got on very well with the Spider Team, and those couple of upgrades have improved its performance over the previous model we tested. I'll continue using it and update this review with my findings, so if you see me at any team road.cc events this year you're sure to find the Tacx set up in our pits if you want a closer look.
Quick and simple to use, portable race-prep stand with some welcome upgrades
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tacx Spider Team workstand
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for
Tacx says: "The Spider Team is developed with the help of WorldTour team mechanics who use the repair stand intensively on a daily basis. Thanks to their tips, you too can professionally and efficiently adjust, assemble and repair."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Max. load 15kg
Suitable bikes MTB, Race, TT
Footprint (lxw) 88.5x88.5cm
Working height 100cm (bracket)
Dimensions when folded 120x23x18cm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a stand for tinkering with a well-maintained race bike or for minor repairs it is really good.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Ease of use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some bottom bracket shells work better than others.
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
Improvements to the previous version have nudged the overall score up to 8 – it's very good for lighter work and transporting to races, whether you are the team mechanic or an individual who wants the option to be able to fettle pre- or post-event.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!