The Park TS-4 truing stand works. Seriously, it works really well.
Ok, I should probably say a bit more – We were chosen as the guinea pigs to test the brand new Park (fat-bike / thru axle compatable) TS-4 because my ‘day job’ involves the care and feeding of literally scadz of of fat-bikes at the now world famous Zion Cyclery. So because we regularly build fat-bike wheels, we’ve had the latest and greatest version of Park’s truing stand in the shop for a couple months now. Everyone in the shop has put it to use over that time. Most of us use it multiple times per day and seven days a week, at that– so we have unequivocally put it through its paces. Small, big, skinny, fat, dirty, clean, true, and not so true; all have found their way to our test subject.
Given that this product testing was done at a full-service shop, the TS-4 has been used to true everything from 20” bolt on BMX to 700c quick release road to 197mm thru-axled Clown Shoe shod wheels. 29er plus fit too. And it fits all of them – without any modification or additional parts! It really is a mechanic’s dream.
The TS-4 came perfectly dished from Park so once we mounted it to the bench we could get right back to work. The stand is quite robustly built and thus is also very heavy. There is no doubt that it is built to last years of shop use (and abuse). Despite it’s heft, it does need to be affixed to something for stability and general shop tomfoolery. To that end there are cutouts in the base to easily and securely just such mounting. You would not want to have this drop on your toe.
There are two things about the TS-4 that got us really excited around the shop. First is that it can handle thru axle hubs without grabbing your trusty 8 or 10mm hex wrench to hold them in place. The new stand does this by incorporating a convex button on the inside of each arm. These buttons serve to grab and self-center thru-axled hubs at the point of entry for the thru axle. Second, and perhaps the most exciting part of the TS-4, is that you can grab a 197mm thru axle hub with a 100mm rim shod with a Bud or Lou and not think twice. No need to put on the arm extensions. No need to remove the rotor. No need to remove the cassette. Nor is there a need to remove the tire. Everything fits right in and with room to spare!
Given that the TS-4 will run you $412.95, it is not for everyone. Is certainly a shop quality tool. It is meant to last for years in a bike shop, so it would likely last a lifetime for a home mechanic (assuming no new wheel/tire/hub standards…). Furthermore, if you are mechanically inclined and you/your family have a full quiver of bikes, the TS-4 may well be worth it’s price tag for the average joe, in that it, can true just about any wheel. How often in the realm of bicycle maintenance do you find a tool that works on almost every bike?
The only critique I could wrench out of any of the guys at the shop, was that some hoped that Park would come out with a tilting base for the TS-4 (as they have done with the TSB-2 for the TS-2 and 2.2). The thought behind that comment was that a tilting base would allow everyone to find the perfect position to utilize the stand. Other than that, everyone loves the stand. Loves it.
Check out Parktool.com for more on the TS-4
Post Script: The only wheel/tire combo we did not see come through the shop to try on the TS-4 was a 100mm rim with a Snowshoe 2XL. We will let you know if that fits as soon as we do!