[Note: this is #18 of a series of 20]
Team Russia truing stands have aroused some interest. I wrote about Bill Woodul’s and asked for information. We learned how the Russian Cycling Federation was in the same building as their Space Program.
Still, no one seems to know how many or for how long this stand was made. A fully titanium model is owned by American mechanic, Brad Purfeest. Very similar but more modern looking than Bill’s.
Now, Australian Eric Bishop has sent us pictures of his. Yet another, fundamentally similar but absolutely different. It’s as if each era of team mechanic saw small changes. Perhaps there were only one dozen ever made and each one unique. If you want to buy Eric’s, write us and we’ll provide contact info.
Wheels today are too variable, especially the rims, for this type of stand to excel. We also fly a lot these days and weight limits make collapsible but substantial portable stands too large a burden. I guess the era of the space age Russian stand is past.
Today your best bet for portability is a self made stand. It’s simple to construct so I doubt anyone will commercialize the idea. Make your own! Here’s how:
(1) Start with a 3 foot length of mild steel strap, 1-1/2″ wide and 1/8″ (or 9 ga.) thick. You’ll find this at any good hardware store.
(2) Bend it into a “U” shape, each upright 16″ tall and the bottom of the “U” 4-1/2″ wide. Use a vise and finish each bend with a hammer so it’s crisp.
(3) Cut dropout slots at the ends of this “fork” shaped U. You can drill two holes as a start, each 3/8″ or 7/16″ diameter. Put their centers about 3/4″ down the fork.
(4) Now, using a fine tooth hacksaw, cut down to each hole with two slots per hole. Make each of your slots tangential to the hole and 90 deg to the fork top.
(5) Once you’ve made these 4 cuts, the openings will look a little ragged. Clean them up patiently with a hand file. Once they’re looking decent, slip a wheel in to see if it’s centered. One of the dropouts will need to be deeper for the wheel to sit fairly centered. Never mind precision.
(6) Now drill a 1/4″ hole in one of the fork “legs,” about 4″ up from the bottom. Attach a one foot long aluminum strip that’s 1/8″ thick by 3/4″ wide. The strip end should be bent over at 90 deg for just 1″. Use a nylock nut for the fastener so it can be snug enough to be easily moved but stay in position.
(7) To finish, put a 1/4″ hole in the bent end of the aluminum arm and attach a 3″ piece of the same aluminum. Use a nylock nut so the little moving finger can stay where you put it. For both pivots, put a washer between the moving parts as well as under the nut.
(8) Get yourself a 3″ C-clamp from a flea market and your stand is done. The absolutely perfect portable truing stand. Nearly disappears in a toolbox and never disappoints. Congratulations.
Remember, part of the mission of this stand is to be basic. A humble servant for the road samaritan. Don’t polish, plate, CNC, engrave, or calibrate this puppy. If it’s stolen or you loan it out for good to a 3rd World National Team mechanic, easy. It takes a couple hours to make. Give them as gifts!
To complete the tools of a wheel fanatic’s shop, you’ll need a Part TS-2. Indestructible and perfect for repairs and tire gluing. The best ones are old and beat up. They never wear out.
Once you have a wheel building epiphany (night sweats, a wheel that wins Olympic Gold, someone calls you a guru, etc.) it’s time to add a third and final stand: a masterpiece by P&K Lie. Nothing will permit you to build as fast and precisely.
These 3 will meet all your needs unless you go completely nuts and begin collecting stands. Then you’ll need a Villum, a rare Park TS-3, a Var Perciray, a Surre, maybe a pneumatic Shuz Tung, certainly a beefy Hozan; no telling what you’ll find. The quest will last a lifetime.
Here are some images of Eric’ Russian stand.