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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Used Tools

Reminder: MMM Tiddler ride on 24 Oct

Next time you change a tire or fix a flat there are two things you should do. Check that the rim is not bent and balance the wheel with the tire on it. Both of these are easily accomplished with the Harbor Freight Wheel Stand.

I'm usually not a fan of anything from HF that involves ball bearings. The cheap drill press that I bought is just that, cheap. However, this wheel stand has stood the test of time and the bearings are still functioning perfectly.

To balance the wheel you just mount it on the stand with the included adapter and let it spin until one side settles to the bottom. Add weights (5g or 2.5g) to the other side until it settles in random spots when you spin it. I was surprised at how out of balance a new tire is even when I matched the mark on the side with the tire stem. Balancing the tire was quick, painless, and had a noticeable effect.

Bikemaster WHEEL WEIGHTS ADHESIVE 5G BM 02-0850Bikemaster WHEEL WEIGHTS ADHESIVE 2.5G BM 02-0825

The stand is great for more than just wheel balancing. Used with a dial guage and a magnetic base it is also perfect for truing spoke wheels or checking alloy wheels for trueness. The dial guage points out exactly which spokes need to be tightened or loosened.

The stand normally retails for $59.99 but as with everything from HF there are deals and sales if you watch the ads or get on their mailing list. Highly recommended.