Feedback Sports Pro-Elite Review
Manufacturer: Feedback Sports
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Feedback Sports might not be the most well-known brand in bike work stands and tools, but that is changing slowly but surely as they continue to put out the best and most user-friendly models on the market. The Pro Elite is their top-of-the-line work stand that offers the performance and quality you'd expect for the price. Until we tested this stand, the Feedback Sports Classic was our highest-rated model, but it was bested by the superior and even more user-friendly clamp design of the Pro Elite. During our testing, it quickly became apparent that this is the best work stand we've ever used, and it's the winner of our Editors' Choice award.
Ease of Setup
The Pro Elite looks nearly identical to its less expensive sibling, the Classic, so it stands to reason that the two stands are almost exactly the same in terms of setup. The Pro Elite comes fully assembled, and once you remove it from the box and take the protective shipping coverings off, you can have it set up in approximately 15-20 seconds.
The first step is to open the lower quick release and push the collar of the tripod legs down until they are in the fully open position and then close the quick release to secure them in place. Next, open the upper quick release and extend the upper part of the main tube out of the lower part to the desired height and close the quick release to lock it in place. Loosen the large metal knob on the back of the clamp arm until it is loose enough that you can fold the clamp arm up into the extended position, rotate it to the desired clamp position, then tighten the clamp arm knob back down. This basic setup is among the fastest and most user-friendly in the test, but it's the push button quick release of the clamp itself that puts the Pro Elite is a class of its own for ease of use. It has a ratcheting clamp closure to quickly close the jaws and a spring-loaded push-button release, making this by far the easiest work stand to clamp and unclamp. Whether opening or closing the jaws, the ratcheting clamp and quick release system make quick work of the large movements with a large metal knob to tighten and loosen the clamp and fine-tune the tension.
The Pro Elite is roughly on par with the Classic in terms of ease of setup, but it squeaks just ahead thanks to its more user-friendly clamp design. The ToPeak Prepstand Pro and Prepstand X have a similar tripod style design but are slightly less quick or easy to set up due to the clamp arm and clamp adjustments. The Park Tool PRS-25 and Eclypse also score well in this metric but can't quite match the ease of setup offered by the models mentioned above.
The Pro Elite is among the most stable of all the models in this test. It has a tripod style base with long legs that give it a nice big footprint. With a weight limit of 85 pounds, it can support an impressive amount of weight, virtually any bike you can think of, and is well suited to hard wrenching efforts. Once the legs are in the open position, they are secured in place with the quick release, and the weight of the stand will hold them open regardless.
Like the other tripod models we tested, it's most stable position is with the clamp arm and weight of the bike centered over one of the legs. As with any work stand, the higher the height of the clamp arm, the less stable the stand becomes, but the Pro Elite remains quite stable unless you push it or bump into it with some force. The height adjustment has a substantial closure with a metal collar and quick release lever, and the clamp arm has stout construction with a metal on metal interface.
While the Pro Elite is very stable and worthy of the hardest wrenching efforts and the heaviest bikes, the ToPeak Prepstand Pro took top honors in this metric due to its even longer legs and larger footprint.
As mentioned above, the clamp of the Pro Elite is incredibly user-friendly and sets this work stand apart from the competition. This is hands down the best and easiest clamp to use in this entire test. It is similar in some ways to that found on the Feedback Sports Classic, our second-highest scoring model in this metric, but it's even more user-friendly and has a better adjustment knob.
The clamp of the Pro Elite can accommodate tubes up to 2.6" in diameter and has 3 5/8" long curved non-marking rubber pads on each side. The size of the pads on the Pro Elite clamp are identical to those found on the Classic and the Recreational, and they distribute force evenly over their length and grip very securely. To close the clamp, you simply push the two sides together — you can hear the ratcheting system engage incrementally as it goes. Once you have squeezed the clamp together as far as it will go, you can micro-adjust the tension using the large and easy-to-grip metal knob on the end of the clamp arm. To release the clamp, you must first back a little tension off it using the knob, then press the large red release button, and the jaws spring open the rest of the way.
The clamp on the Pro Elite is by far the best in this test, but it is followed closely by the Classic, which uses a Slide-Lock system that functions in a similar way. The clamp on the Classic is quite good, but it feels a little less refined and sturdy, has a smaller clamp opening, and a knob that is slightly harder to grasp and turn. The ToPeak Prepstand Pro has a similar-looking clamp to those found on the Pro Elite and the Classic, but it lacks the sliding or quick-release convenience of those models. The Park Tool PRS-25 and PCS-10, the Eclypse Repair Stand, and the Bike Hand all have cam locking clamp designs that open up to 3" wide but aren't quite as user-friendly.
Because the Pro Elite and the Classic are identical in many ways, it's hard not to mention the many similarities of the two work stands. This includes the angle adjustment, which we feel is the best in the test. The clamp arm is stout, and when extended, it fits into a metal socket of sorts up against the main pole of the stand. The clamp arm can be rotated a full 360 degrees to position the clamp itself in the ideal position for the task at hand.
Adjusting the angle of the arm is done by loosening the large metal knob on the backside of the stand, twisting the arm into place, then tightening the knob back down. The arm spins freely and doesn't have any teeth like the ToPeak Prepstand Pro or the Bike Hand, so less caution is needed when adjusting. The knob itself is a sizeable three-pronged metal affair that spins easily, is easy to grasp, and allows you to apply some serious torque when you really need to crank it down for heavier bikes or harder wrenching efforts.
The clamp arm on the Pro Elite is one of the best in the test, the angle is easy to adjust, and it tightens down securely. Testers preferred this style of angle adjustment over the models with circular rings of teeth because there is no plastic to damage, and the knob that controls the clamp arm is much easier to grasp and turn.
With a range of adjustment from 42"-71" and a secure metal collar and quick release, the Pro Elite is one of our highest rated models for height adjustment. In this regard, it is identical to the Feedback Sports Classic, both of which are very similar in design and adjustment range to the ToPeak Prepstand Pro. This range of adjustability ensures that you can always position the bike at the exact height you want.
Adjusting the height of the Pro Elite is as simple as opening the metal quick release lever that secures the upper and lower portions of the main tube of the work stand, then raising or lowering the upper tube to the desired height and closing the quick release to secure it in place. The upper tube slides smoothly and with relative ease when the quick release is open, and changes in height adjustment can be made with a bike in the work stand, assuming you are supporting its weight. The quick-release lever is metal, as is the collar it's attached to, and it does an excellent job of locking the stand into the desired height.
With identical designs and constructions, the Pro Elite and the Classic scored exactly the same in this metric, but both stands were outdone by the ToPeak Prepstand Pro with its more controlled air-cushioned feel. The three tripod models mentioned above were the top performers for height adjustment with a greater range and more secure closures than all of the other models in this review. Both of the Park Tool models, for example, have a limited adjustment range of 45"-60" and a less secure feeling quick-release lever.
With a collapsed size of 45"x8" and a weight of 12.6 pounds, the Pro Elite is one of the most portable models in this review. It is among the smallest of the bunch, even with the Feedback Sports Classic, but just a little larger than the Bike Hand, which is the smallest we tested.
Despite being pretty much exactly the same size as the Classic, the Pro Elite weighs slightly more due to the more complicated and heavier internals of the clamp arm. That said, 12.6 pounds is still relatively lightweight, and this stand is easy to carry around one-handed. It takes up very little space in the trunk of your car or the corner of your workshop or garage. Feedback Sports also offers the Pro Elite with a travel/storage bag as a package for only $20 more at retail, or you can purchase the travel/storage bag as an accessory for $33.
While the Pro Elite is undoubtedly a very portable work stand, it is bested in this metric by the Bike Hand for its smallest and lightest size and weight. It is also trumped by the ToPeak Prepstand Pro, which collapses to a very similar size and weighs roughly the same as the Pro Elite but comes with a storage bag adding to its travel and storage convenience. The Park Tool PRS-25 weighs roughly the same as the Pro Elite but is wider in its collapsed size unless you remove the clamp arm for transport, which detracts from its portability score.
The Pro Elite is a great option for everyday maintenance tasks. Not only is it straightforward to set up and take down, but it has the most user-friendly clamp design, which makes putting your bike in the stand very quick and painless. Due to the incredible ease of clamping and unclamping your bike from this stand, we would be more inclined to use it regularly, compared to other stands that take more effort. You could leave it set up all the time or pull it out every time you need to use it — it takes less than 20 seconds to set up with a little practice. It is also highly durable and can withstand extended periods set up outside in the elements and repeated dousings with the hose when washing your bike. In a previous work stand test, testers found the red anodized finish of the Feedback Sports Classic to be prone to fading after prolonged sun exposure. We believe this could also happen with the Pro Elite, though we haven't experienced it, and it is of minimal concern since it doesn't affect the performance of the stand.
The Pro Elite doesn't exactly come cheap, yet it isn't the most expensive model in our test. Because it is our highest rated model and the winner of our Editors' Choice award, we feel that it is a solid value. It boasts the best overall performance and the most user-friendly clamp design, plus it has a three-year warranty. If the asking price of the Pro Elite is a little too rich for your blood, check out the Feedback Sports Classic, which is identical in many ways but has a slightly different Slide-Lock clamp system and is our second highest-rated work stand.
The Pro Elite is the best work stand in the test and the winner of our Editors' Choice award. It has all the best features of the Classic, our second highest-rated model, but with an improved ratcheting quick release clamp design that makes it even more user-friendly. This stand is easy to set up, stable, has excellent secure height and angle adjustments, has the best clamp design in the test, and is highly portable for storage or travel. There's nothing we didn't like about the Pro Elite. This is the best work stand on the market.
Other Versions and Accessories
Feedback Sports makes a full line of bike work stands and accessories. They offer the Pro Elite model tested here with a travel bag for $290 at retail. You can also purchase the travel bag separately for any model of repair stand for $33. No home bike workshop is complete without a tool tray, and Feedback Sports makes one that attaches conveniently to the Pro Elite and is offered at $33.
In addition to the Pro Elite model reviewed here, Feedback Sports makes several other models of portable repair stands including the Classic ($225), the Ultralight ($210), the Sport Mechanic ($175), and the Recreational ($130), our new Best Buy Award winner. They also make one model of axle mount work stand, the Sprint ($275), which is popular among road cyclists and people with fragile carbon fiber frames.
— Jeremy Benson