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Birzman Wheel Truing Stand (discontinued)

Vital Rating: (Very Good)
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Discontinued
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Tested: Birzman Wheel Truing Stand

Rating: Vital Review

Tools. There’s a good chance we’re as picky about our bikes and parts as we are the tools we use to work on them. And when it comes to professional-level, high-dollar tools such as a truing stand, there hasn’t been much competition in the market. We’ve all become accustomed to what’s available and usually brush off anything new that may or may not be a viable contender. When Birzman recently launched their truing stand, the first thing we thought was “does the big blue finally have some competition?” So, in the name of science, and bike mechanics around the world, we put one to the test.

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Birzman Wheel Truing Stand Features

  • Accepts wheels up to 29 inches in diameter with or without a tire
  • Calipers accept rim widths up to 4 inches
  • Compatible with hub widths up to 180mm
  • Oversized turning dials
  • Uprights move simultaneously to accommodate front and rear wheels
  • No risk of binding with spring-loaded calipers and caliper arm
  • MSRP: $650

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Initial Impressions

This stand isn’t messing around. As we unpacked the stand, we were pretty surprised at how heavy it is. Big uprights, burly hardware and an overall big, bold design, gives us the impression this stand was made to last. Four oversized Brizman-green anodized alloy knobs control the mammoth stand. While we’re used to seeing only three knobs on a truing stand, Birzman has added some functionality to the traditional truing stand with the inclusion of a dishing dial, which is adjusted by the fourth knob. While a dishing tool isn’t the most expensive professional-level tool (usually around $50), it is nice to have a single-tool wheel-building station. Equally clever are the thru-axle adapters, which can accommodate 12mm, 15mm, and 20mm thru-axle hubs.

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On The Workbench

As former mechanics, as well as riders who still constantly tinker with our bikes, we've developed a routine when it comes to workflow while wrenching. Thankfully, Birzman made transitioning to their truing stand fairly intuitive with knob placement; the controls are pretty much where we're used to them being on the stand. Since nearly all of our wheels utilize a thru-axle, we really appreciate the built-in adapters, which save us the trouble of having to use either the axle itself or an allen key to hold the wheel in the stand. Another small feature that we really appreciated with the stand is the rubberized ends on the truing caliper. They are screwed in and won't fall off, possibly getting lost like the snap-on variety.

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The dishing feature of the stand works well, too. There were a few times where we'd accidentally turn the knob and shift the calipers to one side or the other, which we'll touch on in the following section. Even so, we found the feature to be very accurate, with a ruler indicator marked out in millimeters so you can perfectly dial in a hub's required dish. Regarding basic truing procedure, the stand functions as you'd expect. The caliper adjustment allows you to slowly and incrementally bring the calipers closer and closer to the rim as you go, making for a very accurate tool without the need for expensive dial indicator gauges. Sure, dial indicators can measure as little as 0.01mm out of true, but we're talking mountain bikes here, usually with disc brakes.

Things That Could Be Improved

While the overall functionality of the Birzman truing stand is great, we can see a couple areas needing some improvement. As useful as the dishing dial feature of this stand is, we wish there was some way to lock it down so it doesn’t move. A small set-screw underneath the dial would likely do the trick. As we mentioned above, we did find ourselves grabbing the dishing dial knob occasionally while truing a wheel and accidentally shifting the calipers. Birzman does include two white nylon screws, which do allow you to adjust the resistance of the dishing function's side-to-side movement, but it requires a screwdriver and doesn't fully lock the function in place.

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Another thing the Birzman stand lacks is a tray to mount the stand on. Whether or not Birzman plans on making one, we’re unsure. A simple plastic stand like those that can be purchased for Park's truing stands, would make a nice place to store spoke wrenches and other related wheel-truing tools. Lastly, we have to bring up the cost - at $650 retail, this stand trumps the market in price by quite a bit, especially when you consider the most popular professional truing stand can be had for less than half that price.

Long Term Durability

Durability is one thing we’re not concerned with regarding the Birzman truing stand. At 30-or-so pounds, this is a burly truing stand with oversized alloy knobs, massive springs, and well-built feel. If you purchase this truing stand, it’s likely to be the last truing stand you’ll ever have to buy.

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What’s The Bottom Line?

Birzman's take on a professional-level truing stand brings new functionality and adaptability in a tool that's undoubtedly built to last and outlive many of the current wheel and hub standards. While we would like to see a few updates like a mountable tray for tool storage, as well as a way to secure the dishing feature of the stand, overall we found the stand to function very well. When it comes to bike-shop-caliber tools, we expect to pay a premium, and the Birzman stand will definitely put a sizable dent in your wallet. If pricing was improved, we'd absolutely expect to start seeing more and more of their stands in both shops and on home mechanic's workbenches. The added functionality of the dishing feature and thru-axle adapters without the need to purchase them separately, paired with the durability and accuracy of this stand make the Birzman truing stand a "one-and-done" purchase that will likely last an extremely long time.

For more information, visit www.birzman.com


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson - Age: 32 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Height: 6'1" (1.85m) // Weight: 240-pounds (108.9kg)

"Drop my heels and go." Fred has been on two wheels since he was two years old, is deceptively quick for a bigger guy, and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. Several years of shop experience means he's not afraid to tinker. He's very particular when it comes to a bike's suspension performance and stiffness traits.


Specifications

Product Birzman Wheel Truing Stand
Tool Type For the Garage
Features Uprights have been lengthened and strengthened to accept wheels up to 29” with or without a tire.
Calipers accept rim widths up to 4".
Compatible with hub widths up to 180mm.
Stronger, more comfortable turning dials.
Uprights move simultaneously to accommodate front and rear wheels.
No risk of binding with spring-loaded calipers and caliper arm.
Miscellaneous
Price $650
More Info

www.birzman.com

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