Feedback Sports Classic Review
Cons: Red anodized finish may fade
Manufacturer: Feedback Sports
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Feedback Sports Classic returns unchanged from the previous version and remains a tester favorite. The adage "if it ain't broke don't fix it" applies well to the Classic, which holds true to its name. Out of the box, it was love at first sight with a fully assembled stand that's so simple to use you can figure it out without the instructions. The Classic had some stiff competition this time around, most notably from its more expensive sibling, the Pro Elite. These stands share the same bones, with identical legs, stability, and height and angle adjustments. The Pro Elite, however, takes the top step of our podium with its even more user-friendly ratcheting quick release clamp design. That said, the Classic is still second best, and a fair amount less expensive.
Ease of Setup
The Feedback Sports Classic work stand arrives fully assembled and ready to go straight out of the box. With no assembly required, we were able to have it set up in 15-20 seconds after taking it out of the package. Setup is intuitive and didn't even have us reaching for the included instruction manual. The lower of the two quick-release levers is the first you use, and it tightens the collar which is connected to the tripod legs that open and close when the collar is slid up or down on the lower main tube. The upper quick release controls the height adjustment of the stand anywhere within the 42"-71" range by allowing the upper tube to extend out of the lower tube. The large metal knob at the top of the stand controls the position of the clamp arm, either extended for use or folded for storage, and also controls the angle of the clamp, which can be rotated a full 360 degrees. We found the clamp to be easy to use, with simple instructions written by the knob telling you which way to turn it to allow it to slide open and closed or tighten it down. Full breakdown of the Classic took about the same amount of time as setting it up; less than 20 seconds to have it fully collapsed and ready for storage or transport.
This setup time is identical to that of the Pro Elite, and these are our top-rated models in this metric. The ToPeak Prepstand Pro, Eclypse Repair Stand, Bike Hand, and the Park Tool Team Issue all take just a few seconds longer to set up, but the difference is marginal.
We certainly never found the Feedback Sports Classic to be especially unstable, although it was evident that there was one work stand in our test that just barely edged it out in this rating metric. Though not by much, the Topeak PrepStand Pro proved to have the most stable footing in the group, with slightly longer legs and softer rubber feet, which give it an advantage in this rating. However, the footprint of the three evenly spaced legs of the Classic honestly never left us wanting for a more stable platform, except during the hardest of wrenching efforts. The Classic is most stable when the weight of the clamp is centered over one of the three legs, so if we ever found it to lack stability, a quick adjustment would rectify the situation. The rubber feet of the tripod legs kept the feet flat and even on a variety of surfaces, from smooth concrete to fine hard-packed sand of the desert southwest. We also found the parts of the Classic to interface very nicely with each other for the duration of our testing, never getting loose or sloppy, always maintaining smooth and tight points of contact.
The most user-friendly feature of the Feedback Sports Classic is their unique Slide-Lock clamp design. By turning the clamp's knob counterclockwise just a little, the jaws of the clamp are allowed to slide freely open or closed within their range of movement. As you load the bike, you simply place it in the stand, slide the jaws tight around the frame or seatpost, then fine-tune the tension on the clamp jaws to the appropriate pressure by turning the knob clockwise just a couple of twists. This clamp design is impressively easy to use and makes loading and unloading your bike a breeze. Feedback Sports suggests the use of the clamp on tubing in the 0.75"-1.8" range. While this is the smallest range of the clamp style work stands in our test, we found it to be appropriate for the skinniest of seat posts and the fattest of seat/top tubes we had at our disposal. Seatposts are a great place to clamp a bike and rarely, if ever, would you find one that falls outside of this diameter range. We also feel that the most appropriate places to clamp a bike frame are on either the top tube or the seat tube, close to the junction of the two, typically under 1.8" in diameter. The width of the grippy rubber clamp jaws is a relatively standard 3 5/8", providing plenty of grip and pressure distribution over their length. We felt very comfortable clamping down on alloy and even brand new carbon frames.
None of the other work stands in our test selection have a sliding clamp feature exactly like this. The Pro Elite, however, has a similar design that is even more user-friendly with a ratcheting closure, a spring-loaded quick release opening, and a better knob to fine-tune the tension. A couple of competitors have cam locking levers, like the Park Tool Team Issue and the Eclypse, which work well but not as easy as this. In contrast, the Topeak PrepStand Pro had our least favorite clamp design, which relied entirely on turning the knob to achieve clamp pressure. While this isn't a deal-breaker for the other work stands, it is notably easier to use the Classic's clamp design.
As mentioned above, the angle of the clamp is adjusted by slightly loosening the large knob that secures the clamp arm and twisting it on its horizontal axis anywhere within its 360-degree range before tightening it back down. The ability to adjust the angle of the clamp, and therefore the position of the bike, allows you to hold the bike in your preferred position for the task at hand. We found the angle adjustment of the Classic to be the easiest in the test, tied with the Pro-Elite, with a smoothly rotating, non-indexed clamp arm, which we feel is as durable as it is easy to use.
This adjustment can be made with the bike in or out of the stand by loosening the knob that secures the clamp arm and twisting the arm into the desired position before tightening the knob back down. The Classic had one of our favorite angle adjustments in our test selection due to the ease of use and non-indexed rotation. The Park Tool PCS-10.2 and the Team Issue follow closely behind the Classic in the angle adjustment department, with a similarly easy to use smoothly rotating clamp arm but a less user-friendly control knob.
The height of the clamp on the Feedback Sports Classic work stand can be adjusted anywhere within the range of 42"-71", measured from the center of the clamp to the ground with the legs in the open position. This 29" range of adjustment allows the user to position the bike appropriately for their height or to access the specific part of the bike they are working on. Height adjustment of the Classic is as easy as flipping the upper quick release into the open position and sliding the upper tube up or down within the lower tube to the desired height before closing and securing the quick release. The tubes slide easily and friction-free, and the beefy aluminum quick release holds it securely in position. This task was much easier without a bike suspended in the clamp; however, the height can be raised and lowered with a bike on the stand, assuming you are supporting the weight of the bike when the height adjustment quick release is in the open position.
This is one rating metric that the Classic didn't win, as the Topeak Prepstand Pro took top honors due to the air cushioning system in their height adjustment, though with slightly less range of adjustment. Again, the Classic is identical to the Pro Elite in this metric, and all of these stands have more range and more robust quick release than any of the other competitors in this test.
We had zero complaints about the portability and weight of the Feedback Sports Classic. Sure, the super-compact Bike Hand and Prepstand X work stands fold up a little smaller and are a touch lighter, but the Classic still boasts an amazing 44.5"x7" collapsed size at only 11.1 lbs. When fully collapsed, the quick release levers of the legs and height adjustment hold both securely in place. The clamp head also folds down parallel to the main tube and is secured in place by the clamp arm knob, further reducing the profile of the unit and preventing the arm from flopping around during transport or storage. Whether you're taking it with you on a road trip, to a race, or just tidying up your workspace, the Classic is about as portable as a bike stand gets.
This bike stand is ideally suited for everyday maintenance. Leave it set up all the time in your workshop, garage, even outside, or break it down after every use. No matter how you choose to use the Classic, it's up for the task of cleaning, maintaining, or repairing your bikes every single day. We were able to set up the Classic in no time; it's straightforward to deploy no matter how big or small the task. The ease of setup and breakdown make putting it away after every use or bringing it on the road to races and rides a snap. The user-friendly clamp design, height, and angle adjustments also make this one of the easiest stands to use in our selection and perfect for everyday maintenance. If we were choosing the stand to have at our disposal every day, the Classic is near the top of that list. In our previous work stand test, we did leave our Classic set up outside for an extended period, and we found the red anodized finish to be prone to fading in the hot California sun, our only durability concern.
With a relatively high price tag, we feel that you get what you pay for with the Feedback Sports Classic work stand. When used properly, you are sure to get years of use out this durable product that has proven itself to us to be worth the money two tests in a row. It's also a drop in the bucket compared to the money an avid rider would spend in a season on repairs at the local bike shop, so if you're willing and able to do-it-yourself, this is a stand worth buying. The Pro Elite may be our new Editor's Choice, but the Classic is nearly as good and costs significantly less.
There was virtually nothing we didn't like about this model, and while it is no longer our Editor's Choice, it remains one or favorite work stands. Lightweight, easy to set up and take down, portable, stable, with user-friendly clamp and angle adjustment designs, this work stand has what you need and nothing you don't.
Other Versions and Accessories
In addition to the Classic, Feedback Sports makes a full line of bike works stands and accessories at various price points. Accessories include a truing stand, adapters for varying sizes of axles, a tool tray, a flop stopper (handlebar holder), and tote bags for the different models. Our review also includes the Pro Elite($270), our new Editor's Choice, and the Recreational($130).
— Jeremy Benson