Acebikes Steady Stand Review
Motorcycle Front Wheel Chock
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
UPDATE: See our review of the new Acebikes Steadystand Multi and Fixed versions!
The Acebikes Steady Stand is well made and easy to use.
Its light weight and simplicity belies its strength and sturdy feel.
I've seen several different types of front wheel stands or chocks over the years.
They come in a few different styles, but most of them seemed to me to be either too complicated or too large or made to hold an 800-pound cruiser rather than, say, a petite GT1000.
Some of the stands are also rather crude looking and I even came across one that sells for more than $300.00 USD -- a lot of money for a device like this in my book.
Front wheel stands seem to follow a couple of different design avenues.
There's the very basic wheel chock (although it would probably be more accurate to call it a "wheel brace"), which is usually a simple curved tube or even a molded plastic device which is bolted to a trailer and is designed to locate the front wheel of a motorcycle in place.
These aren't usually meant to hold the entire motorcycle upright, just to keep the front wheel from moving around after the bike is strapped to the trailer.
The slightly more complex designs, like the Bike Grab stand we reviewed a couple of years ago, can be bolted to a trailer or permanently secured to the floor of a garage. They can be used to hold a motorcycle upright, but the models that I've used aren't quite secure enough to hold a motorcycle steady during repair or maintenance.
There are a few front wheel stands that have locking capabilities; this is where the design can get rather complex, heavy and expensive. Although some of these can be bolted to a motorcycle trailer for holding the front wheel, a simpler wheel chock can be much less expensive.
Apparently it's difficult to design a front wheel stand or chock that combines the best features of all of the above, but I think Acebikes has done it with this "Steady Stand".
I wouldn't say the design is completely unique because I've seen other stands with a similar "roll on - roll off" concept, but this one combines simplicity with a robust build quality and it is a multi-tasker: it works as a floor stand in the garage; it could be permanently mounted if desired; and it's also a front wheel holder for a motorcycle trailer that is nearly as simple as a front wheel chock but it will hold the bike unattended.
The Steady Stand is surprisingly easy to use, which is a testament to the design. As you can see in the video below, it takes very little effort to get the front wheel over the rotating cup and into the stand.
Although I wouldn't say that it ultimately will hold a motorcycle as securely as a good rear swingarm stand, it's easier and quicker to use and, when used in conjunction with a rear swingarm stand, it definitely holds the motorcycle very secure and solid.
I've been using the Steady Stand recently for some maintenance on the bikes, including the recent installation of a Cameleon chain oiler on the Multistrada 620, and it's been working perfectly for me.
The Steady Stand can be adjusted to fit 16", 17" or 18" tires with tire widths from 100 mm to 130 mm, which means that it will fit the majority of Sportbikes, Sport Touring bikes and others that take the common 17" wheel diameter.
Acebikes has a couple of other front wheel stands that will fit different size tires, including the Multistand, which is adjustable for both width and diameter to fit anything from Sportbikes to Cruisers.
The Steady Stand needs some assembly when it arrives, and although it seemed slightly intimidating when I opened the small box and found the parts, it's actually very easy to assemble; all you'll need is two 13 mm wrenches or a 13 mm wrench and a 13 mm socket to tighten the bolts.
As you can see in the photo above, there are, in effect, only 4 parts, not including the shaft that allows the wheel cup to rotate.
The two arms on either side are attached to the wheel stop that locates the tire in the front, and the rotating cup fits on the shaft that spreads and locates the two arms across the width of the stand.
It's easier done than said -- the only trick that's required is getting the shaft located correctly at the same time that the arms are bolted to the front part of the stand. I found that by first assembling one arm and leaving the bolts loose that I could then place the other arm over the shaft and get the bolts inserted. Once this is done, simply tighten everything up and you're ready to rock.
You can see in the photo above that the two arms that look like wheelbarrow handles form the base of the stand when the shaft and the wheel cup are placed in the center.
The shaft has two drilled and tapped holes on either side and bolts that come down through the top (opposite side in this photo; also see second photo below) hold it in place. There are two plastic bearings that slide on to the shaft and which serve to hold the wheel cup and allow it to rock back and forth.
The four items that look like handlebar grips are actually made from soft sticky rubber, and they do a great job at keeping the stand from sliding as the bike is wheeled on and off. The Steady Stand can be bolted to a trailer floor, but Acebikes has a similar stand that is specifically designed for semi-permanent or permanent mounting on a trailer or floor.
Here's a close-up of the front of the stand, showing the bolts located in the middle holes, which fits 17" wheels. The two holes towards the right would be used for motorcycles with 16" wheels and the holes to the left (front) would be used for bikes with 18" wheels.
The Steady Stand is very well made and it's coated with a type of semi-matte black or anthracite paint. It even comes with plastic caps to fit over the ends of the tubes; you can just see them in the photo above, just below the bottom bolt at the end of the tube.
If I was going to be working on the bike at a project that involved a lot of heavy wrenching or pulling, I'd probably use a rear swingarm stand in combination with the Steady Stand, but for the majority of maintenance work and for simply parking the bike in the garage, the Steady Stand is the device of choice. The stand is also very easy to pick it up and move to wherever it's needed in the garage or driveway.
I haven't mounted it on our Rocket folding trailer because I've found too many uses for the Steady Stand in the garage. It isn't designed to hold a motorcycle on a trailer without also strapping down the bike, but few stands are and those that do are usually much more complex and much more expensive.
But the Steady Stand does such a good job of holding the front wheel that the motorcycle would be much more secure on the trailer than when using a simple wheel chock.
The other big advantage is that the motorcycle will stand by itself in the Steady Stand, allowing the owner to strap down the bike without needing someone to hold it steady, and this could make a two person job (like it is with our Rocket trailer) into a one-person job (like it used to be with our flatbed trailer).
I think the beauty of the Steady Stand is its simplicity combined with its sturdy feel. It's so easy to wheel the motorcycle on and off the stand, yet it does a good job of holding the bike for light maintenance and repairs. It has become one of the most useful items in the garage and I highly recommend it.
|wBW Review: Acebikes Steady Stand Motorcycle Front Wheel Chock|
|Manufacturer: Wheels and Wings (USA) and Acebikes (Netherlands)||List Price (2008): €139.00 + Shipping.|
|Colors: Black.||Made In: Netherlands|
|Review Date: February 2008|
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.
From Jerome Baxley, Baxley Trailers: "I received an e-mail directing me to your web site about the Acebikes Steady Stand We manufacture the Baxley L A Chock and the Baxley Sport Chock here in the USA. The L A Chock is adjustable for the cruisers with the many different tire sizes and the Sport Chock is mainly for the Sport Bikes with the 110/120 16, 17, 18 and 19 inch front tires.
We were the first company to build a motorcycle chock that would actually hold a bike upright and stable. Since then many other people have copied our design and we are not at all mad about that. When someone thinks enough of something you have made to copy it, that means they think yours is better than the one they have, so it is actually a compliment for them to copy our design.
We do have a patent here in the USA only. The Steady Stand would not infringe on our patient even here in the USA as the device that cups the wheel doesnít squeeze the tire like ours does. That is why our Chocks holds a bike steady for maintenance without fear of falling. It simply canít happen.
We have a dealer in the UK who will have our Chocks in stock hopefully within the month. He is awaiting for the shipment to arrive. Our Chocks will be a bit more expensive than the one you have listed, but when you get an opportunity to see how it is made and how well it holds a bike, you will understand.
Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight."
Editor's Response: Thank you Mr. Baxley for taking the time to write and clear up this issue.
From "H.T.": "In my opinion, the "Steady Stand" is an infringement of Baxley's "LA Chock" design. Perhaps you should contact Mr. Baxley ... to get his opinion. They are a top-notch company where I have bought their LA Chock and the SB001 Trailer."
Editor's Reply: To be frank, I have no interest or reason to become involved in any potential legal dispute between Baxley and Acebikes, so there's no reason for us to address this issue. Any potential issue is solely between Baxley and Acebikes and completely unrelated to anything we do. We just buy the products and do the reviews.
I have no idea if the Acebikes Steady Stand violates a patent or not or if Baxley actually has a patent or not, or if they do have patents, which part or parts or assembly is covered by a patent. There are several similar-looking front stands for sale that I'm familiar with that seem to operate the same way, so who knows... Condor also makes a similar-looking stand, and they claim they have a patent also (and list a patent number; see below), and perhaps Baxley has licensed the patent from Condor? Who knows...
This is a little-known fact, but U.S. patents are only valid in the U.S. See this page on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website, that states "U.S. patent grants are effective only within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions."
A company must also file a patent in any other country where they plan to sell the product or where they desire protection. Since the Acebikes stand is not sold in the U.S. there could be no U.S. patent violation, unless Baxley also has filed for patents in the Netherlands or the E.U. and if Baxley's patent has indeed been violated. That's a lot of ifs...
Speaking of patents and patent numbers, I'm not a patent attorney, but I know that it is very important for patent owners to display their patent number prominently on the product. This helps prevent patent violations and serves as notice to others that the product is indeed patented.
Based on my knowledge of patents, copyright and trademarks (I've attended workshops at the U.S. PTO on this subject), a product that has been granted a patent should have the patent number prominently displayed on the product, the packaging and the website...like it is for this Condor front wheel stand, which also has a mode of operation that is similar to both the Baxley and Acebikes stands.
Also, just to note that we have just as many visitors from the rest of the world (over 160 countries) each month as we do from the U.S. thus we feature products from many different countries, some of which are not sold in the U.S.