It’s ironic that some humble, dirty parts such as a parking stand actually have far more influence on your cycling experience than a beautiful frame or fancy, name-brand components. A stable, smooth working parking stand enables you (for example) to safely load up the kids and groceries, plop the bike onto the ground and cycle away uneventfully… just how you want it to be. But few people pay attention to such mundane things in the showroom so this is exactly where most manufacturers save a few bucks or euros. WorkCycles isn’t “most manufacturers” because we actually ride our bikes every day, carry our kids on/in them, move our stock between two shops on them… and listen to our customers who do the same.
Finding decent parking stands has been one of our most vexing challenges. During our quest for the perfect parking stand we’ve tried dozens. Most are so crappy that they don’t even deserve mention: All those Hebie copies from Taiwan and China fit poorly and then either bend under the weight of a loaded bike, quickly get scarily sloppy and break, or seize up from corrosion. The more sophisticated folding stands from Humpert and Spanninga (Sparta) have also failed our durability tests miserably. The cast aluminium Pletschers are light and pretty but not strong enough for bikes with child seats and heavy bags.
Once upon a time we complained bitterly to Hebie about their stands quickly seizing up and breaking at the riveted joints but they’ve listened and since fixed these problems. The joints have been reinforced and the stands are now powder-coated black instead of galvanized (silver) so they can live outdoors in salt-water-air environments. The Hebies stands are good but they still have limitations: They’re a single-pivot design so they can only be made so wide before interfering with cranks and possibly your heels. Wide equals stable.
For the Fr8 we have a specially bent, wider Hebie stand. It’s 33cm instead of the normal 26cm. That makes it more stable and I haven’t heard of any customers complaining that they hit their heels on the stand (though it probably does happen sometimes). On the downside our special Hebies are more expensive.
Of course the integrated stand of the Fr8’s Massive Rack doesn’t suffer any of these limitations because it’s at the front of the bike. The Massive Rack is 60cm wide, making it by far the widest and most stable stand available. But this huge carrier is just too much for most non-industrial users to ride around with. So the centerstand search has continued.
WorkCycles is also the Benelux importer for Monark transport bikes and a while back we received a couple new double-pivot stands they’ve made for their postal delivery bikes. This stand makes no compromises to be suitable for the “consumer market”; It’s pure, heavy, industrial steel. It’s not pretty nor is it designed to it anything other than Monark’s own matching frames. Thus today I put the grinder and drill to one and modified it to fit the WorkCycles Gr8 prototype I’ve been riding recently. I suppose it’d be more suitable on the heavier-duty Fr8 but this is the bike I’m riding right now and I still have more components to test before moving on to another bike.
Fitting the Monark centerstand to the Gr8/Fr8 was a laborious task, also requiring cutting away a section of the chaincase. Fortunately it’s at the bottom of the case and now fairly well protected by the stand itself so it shouldn’t compromise the weatherproofness much. Removing the chaincase for service is really tight now, though.
So how wide and stable is the Monark stand? It’s 45cm, thus nearly twice as wide as the normal Hebie 2-leg stands. The bike stands as stably as a house on it. Given it’s massive construction I’ve absolutely no doubts about it’s strength but now we’ll see how it endures the test of time and weather.
Below we see that the Monark stand is by far the widest one that fits underneath a (reasonably) normal bike:
Hebie normal 26cm
Hebie modified for Fr8 33cm
Monark double-pivot 45cm
Bakfiets.nl Stabilo (Cargobike) 54cm
WorkCycles Massive Rack 60cm
PS: Surely somebody will have to ask what the Monark stand weighs. Answer: I don’t know but it’s really heavy, about twice the weight of the Fr8 Hebie stand it replaced.
PS2: Perhaps you want to know why my bike is so rusty. Aren’t WorkCycles bikes supposed to be high-quality and corrosion resistant for their intended outdoor life? Yes they are but I’m deliberately riding and leaving an unpainted frame outdoors to see how badly it will rust. In fact it’s not nearly as bad as we figured it’d be; After about four months of Dutch autumn and winter rain, snow and road salt it’s mostly brownish on the surface. So far there’s nothing that couldn’t quickly be sanded away, nor does it get trousers dirty or anything.