Novel Hirobel carbon-friendly repair stand clamp launches on Kickstarter

Clever Carbon Frame Clamp adapts to wide range of frame shapes and sizes with no hard contact

Leery of clamping that delicate carbon fiber frame in your repair stand? Well, you should be as carbon frame tubes should never be clamped directly. That said, clamping the seatpost isn't always an option, either, and the folks at upstart company Hirobel have introduced their novel Carbon Frame Clamp adapter to fill the void.

Instead of directly clamping the bike – or any part of it – with some sort of rigid jaws as is normally the case, the Carbon Frame Clamp uses a combination of grooved soft rubber wheels and stout rubber straps that hold the bike at the seat cluster and head tube area. According to Hirobel, this distributes load across a broader area than merely clamping a seatpost as is the norm, plus the grooved wheels are meant to be positioned at the seat cluster and head tube area, where the tube walls are usually thicker and more durable than in the middle of a tube.

Hirobel says the carbon frame clamp's attachment method creates less stress on delicate composite frames:
Hirobel says the carbon frame clamp's attachment method creates less stress on delicate composite frames:

Carbon frames should never be clamped directly, and it isn't always best to grab the seatpost. Hirobel presents another option with the Carbon Frame Clamp

The attachment method is not unlike setups used on many automobile racks and is designed to be similarly gentle, plus it's easy to mount bikes on to the Carbon Frame Clamp (which works fine on metal frames, by the way). Moreover, Hirobel has designed the Carbon Frame Clamp's octagonal crossbar to work in most repair stand jaws.

"Our clamp takes the weight of the bike right away, so the mechanic is not holding the weight of the bike while trying to adjust the clamp to the seatpost," said Hirobel co-founder Marc Bellett. "This has been a huge advantage for us not only in the shop where all sorts of different shapes/sizes come through, but also working rides/races where bike turnover in the clamp is very high.

We've been playing with the hirobel carbon frame clamp for a few days now and have been pleasantly surprised by how securely bikes and frames are held in place:
We've been playing with the hirobel carbon frame clamp for a few days now and have been pleasantly surprised by how securely bikes and frames are held in place:

The attachment method is surprisingly sturdy

"By clamping inside the triangle, we are also able to eliminate the spin that can happen when the seatpost isn't clamped tightly enough (at least for round posts). Clamping by the seatpost can be problematic as well when applying high torque. We have seen seatposts pop through seat tubes from the pressure of changing a bottom bracket when clamped that way."

We just took delivery of one of Hirobel's Carbon Frame Clamp prototype and it's much sturdier and more substantial than we had expected given the written description. For sure, the system of relatively soft rubber wheels and straps has a bit more 'give' than more rigid attachments but so far, it's proven stout enough for some hardcore wrenching.

Upstart company hirobel has designed the carbon frame clamp to more gently attach high-end frames to repair stands:
Upstart company hirobel has designed the carbon frame clamp to more gently attach high-end frames to repair stands:

The Hirobel Carbon Frame Clamp is designed to work in nearly any repair stand

Although the system is primarily intended for carbon road frames (or any chassis with a fairly conventional front triangle), it seems quite adaptable to several full-suspension mountain bike frames we've tried, too. Notably, we've found it handy for some trail and enduro machines with dropper posts that we'd prefer not to clamp directly and despite our initial reservations, we've had no issues so far with flipping even heavier bikes upside down without having to reposition the Carbon Frame Clamp's straps or rubber wheels.

Hirobel hopes to bring the Carbon Frame Clamp to market before the end of the year with a retail price of US$249. It's still in the crowdfunding stage for the time being, however, but supporters can potentially get a Carbon Frame Clamp for US$200 through Hirobel's Kickstarter page.

www.hirobel.com

James Huang

Former Technical Editor, US
James was BikeRadar's US tech editor from 2007-2015.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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