Marc Parnes - Portable
[ November 24, 2009
At $105 for the wheel balancer, it's not cheap. In fact you can
get a counter top wheel balancer for under $100. I've
seen prices as low as $79.99. So why would anybody want to
purchase a more expensive wheel balancer? Well, the one word
listed in the name says it all... "Portable". Yes,
Marc Parnes' wheel balancer is portable and weighs next to
nothing. It's ideal for hauling out to the middle of nowhere to
balance your wheels after a tire swapping session. In my case, I
don't intend to use it in the field. However, I will carry the
little balancer on a trip just in case. My intent is to use the
balancer in the comfort of my garage to change tires whenever I
want. Does it happen often? For me, I change out tires at
least once a year. I easily put on 12K miles each year as I use
my bike to go almost everywhere.
Regardless of whether I'm on travel or at home, I use my panniers to
prop the wheel balancer up to balance my wheels. There is no
reason for this other than creating an "in the field" habit of doing
Using the wheel balancer is very easy and quite
intuitive. The trouble to be had is more related with getting the
off of the motorcycle, and yes that's another story.
Having experience with the counter top balancer and the portable
balancer, I like the portable balancer better. It doesn't have
some of the friction issues seen with a balancer that uses two bearings
per balancer axle.
For me this little balancer has more than paid for itself. I've
used it to balance the TKC-80s for the Mammoth trip, when I put the old
Anakees back on after the Mammoth trip, and when I swapped the Anakees
the Conti Trail Attacks. Of course this doesn't count the number
of times I've also worked on my brother's F650GS's wheels.
It's a 5 out of 5 folks. It's well
worth the money and it doesn't take up a lot of room in the
garage. In fact, it lives in once of my pull out tool drawers.
Now if only I can get wheel weights with 3M indoor/outdoor double sided
tape instead of the regular foam double sides tape. The regular
foam double sided tape fails on me more often than not. As a
result, I pull the foam double sided tape off and install my own 3M
double sided tape to make sure the weights stay right where they're
suppose to be. The other good deal with using the 3M double
sided tape is that it can easily be removed from the rim as opposed to
the foam double sided tape. No Goo Gone is needed. If Goo
Gone is used, it doesn't make a mess.
A roll of 3M indoor/outdoor double sided tape and a bunch of weights
with the 3M tape.
Hint: The red dot painted
on the tire by the manufacturer is normally the light side of the tire.
Written on: November 24, 2009
Last modified: November 24, 2009