A great stand for frequent flyers and useful for pre-race prep, but there are more back-friendly options
Dec 29 2017
Tools - portable
Six colour options
Low working height
You want a small stand for race use or if you are tight on space
For little jobs and frequent flyers, the Granite Hex Stand is ideal. It's never going to replace a full workstand, but I found it mostly stable and robust enough for cleaning and travelling. As a pure workstand, it's easily beaten by anything that clamps the bike – I'd see this more as a secondary stand, one to take in a bike box on holiday.
Let's start with the compact size. At only 720g and with dimensions of 415 x 110 x 85mm while closed, this is perfect for those with zero space at home and for flying. With a little bubble wrap, I'd be happy to pop this in my bike box. It comes in a range of six colours, too, all in an anodised finish for extra matching to your bike points.
There is adjustment up to a 400mm bottom bracket height, for those of us with mud-plugging cyclo-cross bikes, but bike compatibility is a slight issue. I have Shimano 105 on my winter bike, a 24/22mm axle SRAM Force crank on my cross bike, and a Cannondale Si crank on my race bike. Of these, the Cannondale crank will fit, but the bearing preload cap must be removed, and the SRAM crank is mounted to the system on the drive side, which makes working on the drivetrain quite awkward as the main arm of the stand gets in the way of turning the pedals.
The Shimano-equipped bike is much easier to work on. The bearing pre-load cap is simply replaced with the supplied M20 adaptor. You then remove the 30mm sleeve from the stand arm and you have the ability to work on the drivetrain with nothing in the way.
In operation, the stand is reasonably stable. The bike remains firmly in the stand while cleaning and adjusting the gears. I did find that anything other than flat ground caused the BB to start slipping off the arm, but when used properly, there's no issue.
I took the stand along to CX races, for some light post-race cleaning, so it has seen quite a bit of water. The spring loaded crank arm has remained smooth, but you've got to keep the main support pole clean otherwise opening and closing the stand becomes difficult.
At £62, it's a fair amount of money to invest, and I'm a little unsure as to whether I would. Its biggest drawback for me is that it's only a small step up from working on the floor; any more than a few minutes of working at this level left my back and knees complaining. Unless you live in a flat with zero space, I'd advise investing in a larger stand that folds away to a slightly bigger size. You'll still be able to take it to races, but it'll be a lot easier to work on the bike when you need to.
For frequent flyers, though, I'd thoroughly recommend it. The simplicity it offers when rebuilding the bike and washing it in an unfamiliar location is great. Your travelling companions will be envious, hopefully to the point that they buy you an ice cream in return for its use.
The construction is very good. The spring-loaded crank arm feels very secure and the M20 adaptor very well made.
Product performance extra:
If you have a Shimano crank and do a lot of flying, this will be a great little tool.
Product durability extra:
So far so good. The spring is still positive and the metal hasn't been affected by the constant washing. I have had to keep the main support pillar clean as dirt will make opening and closing the stand difficult.
Product weight extra:
I could pop this in my bike box and not trouble airline weight limits.
Product comfort extra:
As you're still effectively working on the floor, the old back and knees will suffer should you need to spend much time working on the gears.
Product value extra:
It's well made and light, but £62 for a stand I'd only really use when flying or cleaning my bike during the CX season is a little steep.
On flat ground, with a Shimano crankset, this worked really well for a quick clean or mech adjustment.
The ability to stick this in my bike box for post-flight rebuilding and holiday cleaning.
The fact that you're still effectively working on the floor when larger, cheaper stands that still fold away to a relatively small size raise the bike to a standing height, make this just a little niche.
For small periods of time, yes.
No, due to cost and amount I think I'd use it
If they were a frequent flyer / racer, yes.
Gains points for light weight and portability. Loses them for a high price and low-to-the-ground working position.