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The Topeak FlashStand Slim X is a compact, pocketable way to keep your bike upright for storage or photos. It's really limited to road bikes with skinny tyres though, and you need to check your crank arm dimensions to be sure it will fit.
Weighing near-on 200g and about 170mm long, this is not exactly small... yes it fits into a road jersey pocket, but while it's technically portable you certainly know it's there.
Made from hefty alloy it feels a substantial, premium product; faux-chrome plastic and fancy carbon bits not withstanding. Topeak is known for quality kit, and coming with a two-year warranty this is no exception. There's even a black velvet drawstring bag, but annoyingly it's not long enough if you have the stand's height adjustment wound out.
The idea of the FlashStand Slim X is that it slips over the non-driveside crankarm end, when it's pointing straight down. The internal dimensions of 42mm x 17.2mm should accommodate pretty boxy cranks – Topeak claims compatibility with Campy, Shimano and SRAM.
On a relatively-svelte Tiagra 4600 arm there's a fair bit of spare room, though a thicker Ultegra or other modern crank will fit more tightly.
The idea is that the bike leans over until the tip of the crank hits the plate inside the stand, whilst the stand's folded-out feet are locked and stop the bike rolling away – sorted.
Topeak lists the optimal lean angle as 83-86 degrees – a pretty narrow range considering the variables of crank length, tyre size and bottom bracket height. The plastic plate the crank sits on is adjustable up or down with the supplied 3mm hex key, to fine-tune the lean, but only by 16mm.
The limited adjustability is why Topeak says this stand is only for 700c roadbikes, and with skinny tyres to boot. There's no way my gravel bike with its 165mm cranks, 55mm tyres and high bottom bracket is going to work in this stand, for instance. Your crank end needs to sit no more than about 75mm above the ground.
The weight limit is 14kg, and even under this bar bags are awkward as there's inherent wheel flop involved with any leaning-over stand. Grass, dirt, gravel or other loose surfaces are also out, and Topeak says it's for non-driveside cranks only. In practice the driveside works fine, and if you have a crankarm magnet it might be your only option anyway.
So far, so niche – it's really a personal, bespoke-tuned parking tool, or perhaps a photography aid for when sticks are just too déclassé. If you regularly attract the opprobrium of receptionists concerned for the state of the walls, or like shooting your bike as it leans floppily above a shiny chunk of metal, this might be the solution for you.
Perhaps more realistically, this could be just the thing in a cramped garage or storeroom. I operate a home bike workshop/office, and occasionally find myself inside a Jenga-like 3D maze. Being able to drop the FlashStand Slim X down comes in handy - assuming it's a roadbike in the way, that is.
Certainly there's no a lot of direct competition, though the Od Designs OdPod is a portable little tripod that cradles the bottom bracket and costs £34.95 (or did when we reviewed in 2015... it seems to be £20 now). It weighs over a kilogram, though.
Alternatively, hooks like the Feedback Sports Velo Hinge (£27.99) let you store bikes flat against a wall if it's space-conscious storage you're after, though obviously they're not portable.
For holding a narrow range of small-tyred, suitably-cranked 700c road bikes nearly upright on hard smooth surfaces, then packing away into a jersey pocket, the FlashStand Slim X does a reasonable job.
It's secure, well-made and folds up quite small. If your bikes and locations don't fit its narrow parameters though, you're stuck with the old tech – walls and sticks.
Effective, portable storage for a very narrow range of bikes and places
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak FlashStand Slim X
Size tested: Fits 700c road bikes with crank arm dimension ≤ 41 x 16 x 80 mm (WxDxH
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?
It's for people needing to store 700c-wheeled skinny-tyred roadbikes away from walls.
Topeak says: "The evolution of our easy-to-use, portable, crank arm bike stand. The FlashStand® Slim X unfolds to quickly slip over the lower crankarm to hold your road bike upright on smooth, flat surfaces. Fits 700c road bikes with crank arm dimension ≤ 41 x 16 x 80 mm (WxDxH). When folded the FlashStand® Slim X small size easily slips into a jersey pocket or saddle bag."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
COMPATIBILITY Compatible with non-drive side crankarms of Shimano®, Sram® and Campagnolo®
MATERIAL Aluminum / Engineering grade polymer
MAX LOAD 14 kg / 30.8 lb
ADDED FEATURE Storage bag
SIZE 18 x 16 x 13 cm / 7.1' x 6.3' x 5.1' (Open)
16 x 4.7 x 2.3 cm / 6.5' x 1.9' x 0.9' (Folded)
WEIGHT196 g / 6.91 oz
CLAMP OPENING Road bike cranks
Crankarm dimension ≤ 41 x 16 x 80 mm (WxDxH)
It's a bit sloppy for my liking, but I appreciate it needs to cover a multitude of dimensions.
It feels really premium, chrome/faux-carbon bits not withstanding.
It's pretty hefty - which means solid.
£40 is not cheap - but if your needs match the functionality, it's a solid purchase.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well enough, assuming the bike fits.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Shiny and smooth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of crank height adjustment.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As a portable storage stand it's pretty unique.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes-ish
Would you consider buying the product? Not really
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, with caveats
Use this box to explain your overall score
It does what it sets out to do pretty well – it's good, but not very adjustable and or particularly great, and a solid seven.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.