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If you're the kind of person who likes to tinker then a wheel jig like Park’s TS-8 makes the whole process of fiddling with your hoops a whole lot easier, and building them from scratch a lot less stressful. This stand is aimed at home mechanics. It isn’t particularly cheap but it's very sturdy and simple to use.
Weighing in at 4.5kg the TS-8 is a hefty beast, constructed from three substantial steel plates. There's a neat sliding dropout arrangement to fit any width of hub (up to 170mm), and the stand is long enough to cope with anything from a 16" wheel to a 29er with a tyre. One side of the stand is slotted, and into the slot fits a gauge to help you get your wheels just so.
I used the TS-8 to build a couple of 700C wheels. The stand certainly made the job a whole lot less fiddly and annoying than trying to use an old fork with an allen key Blu-Tacked to the blade. The gauge is fairly basic: a sliding metal plate with a knob on the end that you can use to judge lateral and radial wobbles. The plate was a bit sticky out of the box and needed some judicious filing to get it to move smoothly but once fettled it was fine.
Checking the dish of your wheel is simply a case of flipping it in the dropout, and checking both sides with the gauge in the same position. The gauge is sprung, so you can rotate it out of the way while you turn the wheel round.
The TS-8 is designed so that it can be bolted into place as a permanent fixture, or clamped to a table. It's pretty well behaved even if you just rest it on a flat surface.
So do you need one? At £125 it isn't a cheap bit of kit but it's half the price of the pro level TS-2, and very usable. There are cheaper wheel stands out there but you can rest assured that this one will last; it's certainly well built. The gauge is a bit basic but works fine, and the wheels I've built seem to be pretty round…
Very sturdy jig for the wheel-fettling enthusiast
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Make and model: Park Tool TS-8 wheel truing stand
Size tested: n/a
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?
Designed especially for the home mechanic, the TS-8 allows accurate wheel truing at an economical price. Accepts wheels from 16” to 29”, with or without the tire mounted. Innovative sliding dropout allows quick wheel installation, no matter what the hub width (up to 170mm). Dishing (centering) is performed by simply flipping the wheel in the stand. Constructed from heavy gauge steel to resist flexing, the TS-8 can be used freestanding or bolted to a bench for extra stability.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, did the job just fine
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.