Wheel truing may seem like a daunting task, but with a little practise (and patience) you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back and admire your freshly straight-tracking wheel.
Sure, it’s absolutely possible to true a wheel while in the bike – even Unior offers a strap-on gauge just for that – but nothing beats the accuracy and convenience of a purpose-built benchtop truing stand.
In the past, such a stand was considered a workshop-only item and so was priced as such. However, more recently, simpler and cheaper consumer-based options from the likes of Park Tool, Feedback Sports and, yes, Unior have emerged.
Unior sent us its home-use wheel centering stand for review (£90 / $120 / AU$180), and having used both the Park Tool Home Mechanic Wheel Truing stand ($114) and Feedback Sports ($100) in recent time, we’re able to give a pretty good indication on how this one stacks up.
Made of tool steel and durable powder-coat by Unior in Slovenia, this home mechanic stand is built to last a lifetime under DIYer use. Much like the equivalent stands from Park Tool or Feedback Sports, this one uses a simple one-sided design, with the opposing end fixed. By comparison, more expensive and professional truing stands typically operate from both the left and right.
The stable design with rubber pads won’t scratch your dining room table
The stand arrives ready to use straight from the box and its simple design makes it intuitive too. While it’s possible to clamp the whole stand in a vice or bolt it to a bench, there’s a foldout arm and grippy, non-marring rubber pads for use on a benchtop.
With it clicked into place, the stand is respectably stable and gives no sign of toppling with a heavy 29er mountain bike wheel spinning. This stability is surprising given the relatively low 2.38kg weight of this stand. Best of all, when not in use the arm simply folds away for the stand to be stored compactly.
Designed to work with tiny 16in wheels all the way through to a 29er with a tyre mounted, and hubs up to 157mm in width, this Unior stand is likely to accept just about any wheel you may own.
Thru-axle adaptors not included
The stand will fit quick release type hubs straight away, but hollow thru-axle hubs will likely need the appropriate thru-axle adaptors ($20-$21 / £17-£18 / AU$29-AU$32 per pair). While no other brand includes them either, we can’t help but feel this stand would be far better value if at least common 12 and 15mm adaptors were included. Of course, you can always get creative with hex keys and other cylindrical items.
Yep it’s basic, but it works
When it comes to wheel trueness, there’s lateral (side to side variance in rim) and radial (up and down hop in the wheel). The replaceable plastic-coated gauge needle is perhaps best suited to the more common lateral wheel truing and won’t scratch painted rims either. The needle doubles for radial truing and can be placed as so to measure for lateral and radial run out at the same time.
With the stand’s stiff steel construction, truing accuracy is respectable. Controlled by a plastic knob, the gauge needle is extremely simple but does what it needs to.
Like its direct competitors, the one-sided design means the stand doubles as its own wheel-dishing gauge (centring of wheel in relation to axle). To make use of this, simply flip the wheel while keeping the trueness gauge in place. Making this process even simpler, the gauge needle can be rotated out of the way while holding its measurement.
You’ll need to change the placement of the gauge in order to true little wheels or disc rotors
Priced competitively, the Unior is certainly the key competitor to Park Tool’s Home Mechanic Wheel Truing stand. It’s worth noting the Park offers seamless height adjustment of the gauge, and so disc truing is a little quicker. The same can be done on the Unior, but you’ll need to unscrew the gauge and move it to the segment above.
Additionally, the Park works with hubs up to 170mm wide. While the Unior’s 157mm width will serve most perfectly, it’s worth considering that thru-axle adaptors do add to the width and so the very widest fat bike hubs may present issues on this stand.
All up though, we highly rate the folding nature of this stand for home use. Its construction is simple and solid, two factors that should see it last a lifetime.
Note: Due to trademark issues of the colour blue in the USA, this stand may be powder-coated black depending on where it is purchased.