The Bikegater+ Repair Stand from Slovenian company Unior is a practical, tough and stable tool for home and shop mechanics alike, though the clamp unit will need upgrading if you work with a lot of different bikes.
- Pros: Solid and stable, compact footprint, good working height for tall mechanics
- Cons: Jaw clamp supplied isn't adjustable and limits versatility
I've owned and trialled a few different workstands over the years and the main conclusion I've reached is that if the stand ain't stable it ain't worth having. Some seem OK until you load the bike in, at which point the whole thing becomes top heavy. That's a danger to you and your bike. Well, the Unior Bikegater+ passes that particular test with aplomb.
Though only a two-leg design, the geometry is sorted so that a bike clamped by the seat tube sits squarely over the centre of gravity. No amount of leaning on foot-long bottom-bracket wrenches threatened to topple it. This was true even at maximum extension – a very generous 155cm, I might add, which made it the first stand I've used that was actually a bit too tall!
The stand comes in two distinct parts, with the stand itself able to be mated with a variety of different clamp units. For our test sample, Unior supplied us with its most basic 1693(1) clamp. This looks like something you would use to join together a tractor and trailer and I had my doubts about putting my fragile seatpost in it, but it turned out to be a gentle giant. A little too gentle perhaps as I found the bike twisted a bit too easily in the jaws, but because there's no adjustment, you can't do anything about that. It also means you are limited to a maximum seatpost diameter of 32mm, smaller than the typical modern mountain bike. If you do need a stand for a wide variety of bikes I would recommend one of the several adjustable versions Unior supplies and which fit into the same stand.
Whether this kind of workstand is for you also depends on what kind of bike you ride. Some manufacturers warn against clamping fragile seatposts or thin frame tubes, in which case a stand that holds the bike by the dropouts or bottom bracket is recommended. (Something like Park Tool's PRS-22 Team Issue, perhaps.)
The fat, cyclindrical stem of the jaw clamp locks into the head of the stand by means of an aluminium quick-release unit, like a super-sized seatpost clamp. In just the same way, you can adjust how hard it grips the jaw unit, which you can twist to get the bike level in the stand before clamping it all shut. This system was completely secure and I never had problems with the bike gradually sagging at the front.
The stand's height adjustment and foldable legs are dealt with in similar fashion, though in the case of the height-adjuster there are two additional hex-bolts to share the strain. It's a good idea to sort all this out before you put the bike in as it's much simpler when it isn't under load.
The solid legs and their triangulating supports are attached with heavy-duty bolts. A brazed-on stop prevents you from over-extending the legs. The stand makes a tripod by means of the two rubber-covered leg ends and the base of the vertical post. This makes for a very compact 'footprint', the more impressive for the stand's stability. If it seems a bit wobbly without the bike in, don't worry – that's compensation for the weight of the bicycle and with that in place the whole structure is really solid.
Mounting a bike
As with all stands that hold the bike by the seatpost or frame tubes, you need to be able to lift the bike one-handed, while your other hand closes the clamp. In the case of the Unior, this was made reasonably easy by the long and comfortable clamp handle, but I did need to put a foot on one of the legs to prevent the stand from tipping backwards as I shut the clamp. If a bike is really heavy (an ebike, for example), it could be a two-person job.
Once the bike is in, the next thing you notice is that there's a pronounced forward-lean in the stand's upright. This is a very good thing, as it ensures lots of clearance between the pedals and the stand. It's really annoying to be working on transmission tuning and finding the pedal clouts the stand with every revolution.
Clamping the bike by the seat tube means you can work on the whole bike without having to remove wheels. There was good access from both sides, though not as unobstructed as on a beam-style stand, but that's true of any tube-clamp system.
The stand came with a tool tray, made from a curious choice of expanded foam. This is held by four bolts to a steel plate which has two prongs to drop into corresponding holes on the height-adjuster clamp. It's simple and works well. When the foam tray gets disgusting you can buy a new one.
The whole unit is pleasingly finished and even after a fair bit of use there's only light scuffing on the upright where the leg-extending clamp has been slid up and down. I'm confident that, with its all-metal construction, it should last a lifetime, which makes the price ticket look pretty reasonable.
The jaw clamp supplied with this stand lacks versatility but can be upgraded; the stand itself is really stable
road.cc test report
Make and model: Unior Bikegater+ Repair Stand
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for
Unior lists the following:
The Bike Gator is the new generation of Unior 1693A(1693AS) bike stand.
The bike repair stand is the basic working tool both for service workshops and cycling enthusiasts.
It is easy to assemble and the support tubes are fold together enabling easier transportation between work place.
The stand features a new array of precision aluminium and steel parts which offer stiffness and durability.
NEW Jaw mount and rotation system.
improved sliding system
NEW stylish metal tool tray with interchangeable SOS foam insert.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
And continues with:
Maximum load capacity 30kg
Suitable for tubes with diameter of min. 24 mm and max. 32 mm.
Weight of the stand without tool tray is 5.7kg. Total weight 6.5kg
Replaceable rubber jaw covers
980mm to 1550mm adjustable height.
Footprint: 870mm wide, 665 front-back.
There's no doubting it's a tough piece of work, but the machined alloy clamps and the tough finish help elevate it above the functional.
The clamp and stand hold the bike very securely and with great stability. You may need to use a foot to hold the stand steady while using your hands to hold the bike and shut the clamp. If you want to clamp fatter tubes you will have to upgrade the jaw unit.
Once in, there's loads of clearance between bike and supports to prevent pedal-strike while working on the transmission.
However, the lack of adjustability for the jaws limits its versatility, and means you may need to upgrade if you work on a lot of different bikes.
I can't find anything on here that looks like it won't stand up to years of hard work. No plastic or nylon parts in the collapsible legs that might go brittle or crack. The clamp unit looks capable of lifting tractors.
It's portable, but heavy enough to ensure a solid foundation for work.
The rubber-covered clamp handle is fine in the palm of the hand. DO NOT trap your fingers in the collapsible leg supports!
Similarly priced to the Feedback Sports Pro-Elite we reviewed, and while not as innovative, it doesn't lack in performance comparison.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very solid and stable, reasonably easy to get the bike in and out, and excellent in working situations.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its stability, the quality and the generous height adjustment – it's a good stand for taller mechanics.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The basic jaw unit isn't adjustable.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but probably with the adjustable version of the jaw unit.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – as above.
Use this box to explain your overall score
As supplied, the Unior's lack of adjustment at the jaws was a bit of a drawback but it may be all you need and the stand's stability and quality are really good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking