When I saw my first truing stand by Peter and Kerstin Lie in 2006, I nearly fell over. Sure, this was at Eurobike, famous for aesthetic overstatements. But my past 30 years have been spent building wheels and tasks closely related. Nothing prepared me for their stand.
The description below applies to both models, 250 and 05. Both share the identical appearance and features except for dial resolution. The 05 measures down to 0.05mm (0.0005″), less than 1/5 the thickness of a sheet of paper. The 250 (introduced in 2013) outdoes this astonishing accuracy with measurement down to 0.025mm. Necessary? Hardly. Desirable? Yes.
First impression is pure luxury. Design and execution without limits. After using the stand for years now, I realize something quite different and nearly opposite is going on.
Built for speed
The P&K stand was created to speed the building of high end wheels. To build quickly, besides experience, one really needs X and Y information at once. By that I mean, radial and lateral rim runout. Jon and I imported one of (if not the) first Villum truing stands to the US in 1981. This behemoth Danish fixture cost $4,000 and weighed 400lbs. It was every bit worth it because it speeded you up.
Much of Wheelsmith’s huge success with wheelbuilding in the 1975-2005 era was owed to these amazing stands. They’re no longer available (besides being impractically large and expensive). P&K Lie delivers the SAME huge shortcut and that translates to speed.
Peter Lie realized that concentrating on one runout (side wobble) and then switching to another (up and down error) is inefficient, especially as they are directly related. He created a dual dial indicator stand with non-linear readout. What does that mean?
The dials only show 160° of sweep (like a car speedometer). At the outside edges, they read in millimeters. But approaching the center, accuracy rockets. The Standard05 stand reads in 0.05 millimeters at the center. This is bombshell effective. Now you can use a dial indicator from the very beginning of a wheelbuild.
Kerstin realized the potential of this invention and the two have made stands together since. US builders I can name, with 30 years of experience, claim increases of 30% in speed. Even beginning builders discover the nugget earlier than with any other system.
The point: buy this stand if you can possibly afford it. Hard to imagine a wheel building hobby or business too small to provably benefit from P&K’s cleverness. I am a perfect witness because I learned the secret by using a stand from antiquity. The Villum avoids non-linear function by using a gigantic, 10” diameter dial. Other stands have tried to show simultaneous round and side trueness readout, such as the famous VAR Perciray and the Asian Shuz Tung pneumatic factory stands.
Other stand designers got this point but their products don’t work today or lack the non-linear feature. Without non-linear readout, you are either accurate from the beginning (dial wise) and can’t use your indicator until the wheel is nearly finished. Or, you’re inaccurate from beginning to end. Fast and crude.
Only P&K make a contemporary, compact, rugged, and gorgeous option. This stand is 100% designed and built by Peter and Kerstin. Their clocks, with unique, non-linear motion and convenient drag needles (to display total in one rotation), are fully made in-house (and patented).
- Stunning execution; lavish use of materials (lots of immaculate brass); gorgeous contours for knobs, slides, fixtures. A work of art.
- Very fast and solid wheel gripping. What a relief to be free of insecure axle mounting or the need for nuts and quick releases for solidity.
- Amazing, custom built dial gauges. But these are not just huge gauges, they are non-linear sweep gauges. Non-linear means you can use them on a very untrue wheel. Those of you using dial indicators in your building know they can’t be employed until the wheel is very true because the needle will spin wildly around which is impossible to interpret for truing.
- P&K Lie gauges are designed by Peter Lie to be used from the earliest stage of wheelbuilding. With P&K Lie, you switch 100% to dial gauge reading. And, man, does it speed things up. This is the stand’s most compelling feature: SPEED!
- We ship each stand with a holder that attaches to the lower brass gauge bar to support the stand if it is not otherwise bolted to a work surface. The holder is a must if you want to move the stand around and provides extra stability when bolted down.
- We also equip each stand with the latest P&K through axle adapter that enables 12, 15, and 20mm hubs and the extra width of fat hubs. All current base plates offer two locations for the right column. One for standard hubs (OLN 70 – 175mm) and one for wide (OLN 100-205mm).
- The stand can also wear a disk brake tool, enabling precise brake rotor truing (listed separately).
The resulting stand looks a work of art. A show off piece of self indulgent display? NO! The beauty is only a result of making the stand to superior standards. Nothing about P&K is intentionally luxurious, except function. This is the beauty of a vintage Bridgeport mill, a Graziano lathe. These are not made to impress neighbors from a driveway. This is about quality, longevity, speed, and the joy of fabrication at the highest level.
Check the library for more P&K information. If you are a home based hobbyist, enjoy your building more than ever before. If you aspire to earn a living building wheels, don’t let anything stand in your way. P&K is the way.
Here is a review by BikeRadar’s James Huang.
Here are unsolicited testimonials from builders who depend on P&K:
We love our new stand. It’s absolutely gorgeous and works amazingly. We’ve been truing wheels more accurately than our manufactures!! It’s been a great tool. [Texas]
Hi Ric, the stand arrived safely, great to see it in person, a thing of beauty no doubt! [California]
Ric, I received the truing stand today and wow what a piece of art. [Oregon]
The stand arrived this afternoon. It is much better than the pictures. The “Clocks” are much bigger than I thought. We are going to have “Much Fun”! [Texas]
We use one of these stands here in the UK – it is highly accurate and significantly reduces eye strain over the work day. It also is a great conversation piece at trade shows or in the workshop. [United Kingdom]
The moment I saw one of these in Germany, I had to have it and having worked with it for several years now I can confirm that everything Ric says is true. The only drawback will be for those that want to go slow and savor their wheel building. It speeds thing up so much that I was caught off guard initially. But hey, that’s not so bad is it? [Oregon]
I received one of the P&kLIE stands from Ric’s first order. I have built around 40 wheels on the stand and agree it is the perfect truing machine. I have used a Preciray stand for the last 12 years and liked it but always wished it could be refined and modernized. P&KLie did it! I found the process to be very intuitive and quick to learn. The non linear dials and adjustable holders are much easier to use that the add on dial indicators on other machines. The P&KLie spoke tools are also the best yet! [Texas]
Received the stand and have already built 2 wheels. This is the best truing stand available, hands down. It is extremely accurate, easy to use, well engineered and visually stunning as well. Worth every penny if you build or even just tweak your own wheels. [Virginia]
Thanks for the update. So far your truing stand has exceeded all my expectations on my older wheels. I’m looking forward to building a new set this fall which should greatly reduce my build time. [Michigan]
Superior quality saves time and increases accuracy. After a few builds wheel you will not want to use another jig ever again! 1000+ pairs built with P&K Lie truing stand, zero complaints from customers and lots of return custom. [UK]
Even more beautiful in reality than the pictures. I’ve mounted the stand on a base and trued a wheel already today. Really a joy to use! Thank you for making life a little easier and wheel truing a lot more fun. [France]
I am very happy (and proud!) to own and being able to use the P&K Lie Truing stand. It is simply a jewel of engineering and finish and a joy to look at. As a former aircraft engineer responsible for total revision of airplanes I do appreciate it for 100%. Congratulations to P.Lie for the well done job! [Belgium]
If you build wheels on absolute formula 1 level, then you need tools and measurement equipment which are produced on the highest level. Here I don’t know any other manufacturer except P&K Lie who can reach this high demand. [Germany]