Feedback Sports Recreational Review
Cons: Long collapsed size, no height adjustment.
Manufacturer: Feedback Sports
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Recreational is the least expensive model in Feedback Sports' line of bike work stands, so it stands to reason that it has the simplest design. While it may not boast the same Editors' Choice award-winning features of its more expensive sibling, the Pro Elite, it does have a similar clamp and clamp arm design that outperforms some of the competition. One of its most glaring drawbacks is its lack of a height adjustment, but it has a sturdy and robust construction and performs well for most light-duty bike repairs and maintenance.
Ease of Setup
The Recreational comes fully assembled from the factory. Therefore, you simply open the box, take the small amount of protective packaging off the work stand, and you're ready to go. There is a set of instructions included in the package, but the setup is relatively intuitive, and the instructions aren't all that necessary. To set the Recreational up, you simply fold the two black legs of the stand down from their vertical storage position and insert the flat metal "pin" through the slotted cutouts in the legs and main body of the stand to secure them in place. The flat metal pin is attached to the stand with a cord, and it secures the legs in both the open and closed positions. It isn't exactly hard to push the pin through the legs of the stand, but it does take a little practice to line it all up correctly to make it quick and efficient. The second step is loosening the knob that holds the clamp arm in place. Simply unscrew the large round knob on the backside of the clamp arm until it's loose enough to fold the clamp arm up to the extended position. Once in the extended position, twist the clamp arm to the desired position — it rotates a full 360 degrees — then tighten the clamp arm knob until it's secure.
After a few practice runs, we were able to set up the Recreational in around 25 seconds. It's not all that time consuming, but it does take 5-10 seconds longer than some of the other models in this test like the Feedback Sports Classic and the ToPeak Prepstand Pro. Both of the other models by Feedback Sports, the Classic, and the Pro Elite, have easy-to-deploy tripod style legs as well as fancier metal knobs that control the clamp arms.
The stability of the Recreational is pretty good, not the best in the test, but still quite solid. This is due in part to the more basic design of the stand and its fixed height. The height is set at 55 inches, and the clamp arm sticks out directly in between the two legs of the stand, which happens to be its most stable position. The fixed height prevents you from putting the weight of the bike higher into a less stable position while the fixed arm position doesn't allow the weight to spin to either side or away from the most balanced position. The stand sits on three points of contact with the ground with rubber feet on the end of the two legs as well as the back of the stand itself. There are 43 inches between the rubber feet and 33 inches from the feet to the back of the stand. The clamp arm is also quite stout, and it stays in position very well, assuming you tighten it down fully. With a 60-pound weight limit, it can handle just about any bike you can think of, including heavyweight cruisers, DH bikes, and e-bikes, but is better suited to lighter duty wrenching forces than competitors with higher weight limits.
While the stability of the Recreational is adequate, it can't quite match that of the tripod models with even larger footprints. One of the advantages of the tripod models is that you can adjust the position of the clamp arm depending on the weight of the bike to maximize stability.
The clamp of the Recreational is quite similar in both size and shape to those found on the other Feedback Sports models in this test. It is a bit more basic overall, and unlike the Classic or the Pro Elite models, the Recreational doesn't have a quick release or Slide-Lock clamp feature. Instead, the jaws of the clamp are opened and closed by turning the large two-pronged metal knob on the end of the clamp arm that adjusts them effectively but much more slowly than its higher-priced siblings. Each side of the jaws of the clamp has 3 5/8" long curved non-marking rubber pads that grip securely and distribute pressure evenly over their length. Feedback Sports claims the clamp can fit tubing up to 1.9", but we found the jaws to open up to 2.75" and that they could hold bikes with frame tubing wider than 1.9" in diameter. That said, you should probably try and keep within the manufacturer's recommended tolerances, and most of the places you actually clamp a bike are 1.9" or narrower anyway. The Classic has the same size clamp jaws, while the Pro Elite can fit tubes up to 2.6" in diameter.
The Recreational has one of the most user-friendly and solid angle adjustments of the models in this test. The clamp arm can be adjusted a full 360 degrees to orient the clamp in whatever position you choose. Adjusting the angle is as simple as loosening the large knob on the back of the stand and twisting the arm into the position you want before tightening the knob back down. The clamp arm twists smoothly and friction-free, much more easily than the models that have teeth in the interface like the ToPeak Prepstand Pro. The clamp arm is metal, as is the socket that it sits in against the main pole of the stand, and it seems highly durable. Adjustments to the angle can be made with the bike in the clamp, although it is slightly easier to do without the added weight of a bike. The angle adjustment of the Recreational is quite similar to that of the other Feedback Sports models, although the Classic and the Pro Elite both have large metal knobs that are easier to turn when tightening and loosening the arm.
The Recreational is set at a fixed height, so there is little to say about its height adjustment. The clamp height is set at a very agreeable 55 inches from the floor, which seems to be right about the sweet spot in terms of height and comfort while wrenching. Of course, it's nice to be able to adjust the height of your work stand to position the bike perfectly for the task at hand, so the Recreational certainly lost a bit of ground to the competition in this metric. That said, you still can adjust the clamp arm a full 360 degrees with a very solid feeling adjustment and attachment system. If height adjustment is something you require, then you'll want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, the Recreational has you covered with a good fixed height and a solid and stable platform for wrenching.
The Recreational is relatively portable, but it lost a little ground in this metric to some of the other work stands that collapse down smaller and weigh less. Due to the fixed height of this work stand, it has the longest collapsed size of all the models we tested at 55 inches. The other models have a telescoping main tube that allows them to be collapsed down to a shorter length. Otherwise, the Recreational folds up into a skinny little package for storage or transport. The clamp arm folds down tight against the main tube, and the legs fold up and are secured in place with the metal pin. The curve at the base of the main tube of the stand makes the bottom have a 10-inch width when collapsed, a little bit wider than the tripod style stands. Both the clamp arm and the legs can be secured solidly in place so that they don't move around if you're carrying it or it's stashed in your vehicle. With a weight of 13.8 pounds, the Recreational isn't exactly heavy, but it's far from the lightest in this test. The Feedback Sports Classic, Eclypse Repair Stand, Prepstand X, and Bike Hand each weigh nearly three pounds less.
While the Recreational can fit into the trunk of any car and will take up little space in the corner of your shed or garage, most of the other models in this test are more portable. Our top-scoring model for portability is the Bike Hand, which collapses the smallest and weighs just under eleven pounds.
The Recreational is well suited to everyday maintenance. It's quite easy and quick to set up and take down, plus you can simply leave it up for an extended period for regular use. Our biggest concern regarding using it for everyday maintenance is that it is made from steel tubing as opposed to the aluminum tubing on most of the other models in this test. Steel is more prone to corrosion than aluminum, so it stands to reason that this work stand could rust over time if left out in the elements or hosed down every time you clean your bike. That said, it will probably take many years before the steel tubing begins to corrode, and you're sure to get your money's worth out of this reasonably priced work stand. Our most highly rated models in this metric are the Feedback Sports Classic and Pro Elite, which are the fastest to set up and have the most user-friendly clamp designs.
The Recreational is a great value and a contender for our Best Buy award. It lacks some of the bells and whistles of its higher-priced competition, but it makes up for it with a sturdy design, user-friendly clamp, and durable construction. It also comes with a three-year warranty so you can be sure you'll be getting your money's worth. The Bike Hand and Eclypse are both slightly less expensive and offer height adjustment.
The Recreational is an affordable and durable work stand with a user-friendly and sturdy clamp and clamp arm. It has a relatively simple design and is easy to set up and take down, although it's somewhat less refined than its more expensive siblings. The clamp is strong and easily adjustable, and the clamp arm can be rotated 360 degrees to dial it for the task at hand. It loses ground to the competition due to its lack of height adjustment, which results in the longest collapsed size of all the models in the test. Despite the lack of height adjustment, the Recreational is a good value and a great option for the cyclist who primarily does basic repairs and routine maintenance.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Recreational is one of many models of work stands in Feedback Sports' lineup and is the least expensive and most basic of them all. Their top of the line model is our Editors' Choice award winner, the Feedback Sports Pro Elite. The Classic is another of our favorite models and a good value. They also make the Ultralight, the Sport Mechanic, and the axle mount Sprint.
Feedback Sports makes a travel bag specifically for the Recreational.
— Jeremy Benson