The Vyper Chair Elevated Steel Max is Probably the Ultimate Shop Stool - Pond Beaver 2021

Apr 14, 2021 at 10:48
by Brian Park  
Vyper Chair s Ultimate Shop Stool - Elevated Steel Max


I've been working from home ever since we closed the Pinkbike office last year. Which means I've been working in the garage a lot. And not just on bikes, but all of my work. So Vyper Chair's Elevated Steel Max was a welcome addition to the shop.

I'm including this in our Pond Beaver coverage because they're a new company, and this isn't exactly a review—more of a love letter, really. What can I say, being comfortable is truly a passion of mine and something I feel very strongly about.


Details

• Made in Green Bay, WI, USA with local materials
• Powdercoated steel construction
• Arms and wheels available in black, red, & blue
• Seat available in black, grey, brown, or custom
• Custom embroidery available
• Adjustable 24" to 32" seat height is made for higher workstations
• 4" industrial grade casters
• 300 lb capacity thanks to high quality foam
• Equipped with a backrest designed to promote good posture
• Comes with quick release seat clamp that locks your height if needed
• Stools start at $299; the Elevated Steel Max version is priced from $579 USD
• More information at vyperchair.com



Vyper Chair s Ultimate Shop Stool - Elevated Steel Max
Clapped motorcycle, clapped tires, and a questionably built workbench.


Vyper Chair is a family business from Green Bay, WI that was started by a welder who was tired of cheap, poorly made, uncomfortable shop stools.

They now make a range of stools, but most bike shops use benches around 35" tall so we went with their updated Elevated Steel Max. Its 24"-32" height range is perfect—there's no issue using a computer at the workbench, and it still goes low enough to be useful for other tasks.

It's comfortable for mucking around with derailleurs on the bench, and it's comfortable when I'm working on spreadsheets. Dropping it down is great for working on the bike or motorcycle. I imagine it'd be an excellent welding stool as they originally intended, and I'd definitely drink at a bar that used these. The backrest is supportive and (you guessed it) comfortable, and the whole thing is super stable. No more tipping the apprentice over. It's built like a tank out of robust materials, and being able to use the QR seat clamp to set the height is a nice detail.


Vyper Chair s Ultimate Shop Stool - Elevated Steel Max
A quick release lets you lock the chair's height. I should replace this with an old Salsa QR for shop cred.

Vyper Chair s Ultimate Shop Stool - Elevated Steel Max
Custom embroidered Grim Donut goat.


The folks at Vyper kindly offered to embroider something custom for us on the backrest. I asked Taj Mihelich to draw up a version of his Grim Donut goat for the occasion, and I think it turned out awesome. Makes me smile every time.


Vyper Chair s Ultimate Shop Stool - Elevated Steel Max
The medium firm foam is super comfortable, even when you get sucked into answering emails for hours on end.
Vyper Chair s Ultimate Shop Stool - Elevated Steel Max
It's made using durable, powder coated steel components.


Downsides?

It may be the world's nicest shop stool, but it's also the most expensive. Value is subjective and it's not for me to say what's worth it, but I will say that the quality is excellent, it's made domestically, and there's nothing else out there like it. I looked far and wide to find something similar for less money, and failed; you could maybe try to find a used Steelcase elevated drafting chair to save some bucks (new they're pricier than the Vyper), but they wouldn't roll as well or be nearly as bombproof. Back in my bike shop days we broke the cheap automotive stools pretty regularly, while I'm pretty sure this one will outlive me.

It's not for everyone of course, and it doesn't need to be. You can definitely buy three or four basic, basic shop stools for the same price. Or like a thousand milk crates. The way I see it, an office worker doesn't bat an eye at a $1000 Aeron chair, and I see no reason that bike mechanics shouldn't be comfortable at work too.

Other downsides? It did take me a long time to build, but to be honest I enjoyed that part. Also, it might encourage you to be the person in the shop who rolls around everywhere for no reason. Don't be that person, please. (Kaz especially gets annoyed by the intra-shop-rollers)

Final thoughts

This is the best shop stool available as far as I'm concerned. If you can afford it and you're the kind of mechanic with an Efficient Velo stand, Abbey tools, and Wera hex keys, I can't recommend this stool enough.

More information at vyperchair.com.


110 Comments

  • 286 0
 I'm sorry but it is customary for a shop to have one ripped Park tool stool for all 4 mechanics to share
  • 59 1
 True, it's the rules.
  • 3 2
 I used some used ikea bar chairs I got off kijiji got both for $40.
  • 12 0
 How correct this is, we are lucky to have two work benches at work, one clapped out with black duct-tape of course.
  • 8 0
 @makripper: you mean khajit? I heard they had some sick wares.
  • 9 0
 @TotalAmateur: I would like this comment, but recently took an arrow to the knee.
  • 8 0
 You're not a real mechanic until you've overhauled a Park stool.
  • 2 0
 @noapathy: By the ten! [new divinity standard]
  • 3 0
 @TotalAmateur: if you have coin
  • 4 0
 The rips repaired with Rock Shox Stickers
  • 2 0
 So true. Did 4 this winter in the slow time. @Carbon-Kid:
  • 1 0
 this is the way
  • 2 0
 @nemery: The almost square but slightly too tall ones?
  • 1 0
 @T4THH: Hah yes, you know the ones. Free with every Rock Shox Product
  • 100 0
 How am I a college student procrastinating my exams by looking at a chair
  • 87 0
 interested, but not sure if i'm ready to buy. could u send me a stool sample?
  • 26 1
 Poop, heh heh
  • 15 1
 peepee poopoo
  • 15 0
 Who let bicyclepubes into pinkbike comments section?
  • 3 0
 Bungholiooooo.......
  • 51 0
 No Kashima coating? Pass until I can get the factory model.
  • 10 0
 Agree, that seat tube angle is spot on though.
  • 33 0
 What up, Vyper
  • 35 0
 Please collaborate.
  • 7 0
 Pit-Vyper ultimate shop safety specs.. for when you forget to let the air out of the forks first
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: I dont know what a sunglass - shop stool collaboration would be like, but I am about it.
  • 9 0
 @brianpark: Stop, collaborate and listen.
  • 3 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: Vyp is back with a brand new edition.
  • 1 2
 @brianpark: ...AND LISTEN...
  • 23 0
 "being comfortable is truly a passion of mine and something I feel very strongly about." Thank you for speaking up for all of us lazy bastards who've been *sitting* by, too lazy to speak for ourselves.
  • 24 1
 Sitting here on a temporary stool made from construction scraps working on my less than $10,000 bike wondering where my life went wrong.

There's not even a café racer in my background.
  • 7 2
 That's not a cafe racer! That's a Tee-Dub!
  • 6 1
 @sledMXer: more childlike giggles-per-dollar than anything else I own.
  • 7 0
 @sledMXer: Sigh, now I'll need TW-200 background motorcycle on top of a $600 stool to make life even worth living.

Now what to do with this café racer I just mistakenly bought.
  • 3 1
 From one of the best written, filmed, and produced YouTube channels out there a review of that very motorcycle.

youtu.be/t2a-sUdaNJ8

(I don't even own a motorcycle and I have no plans to buy one but I still watch all his YouTube videos)
  • 1 0
 Wrong turn in Albuqurque?
  • 20 0
 How did I end up reading a review for a stool?
  • 40 0
 How did I end up reading the comments on a review for a stool?
  • 5 2
 How did I end up replying to a reply in the comments on a review for a stool?
  • 2 3
 @pkrides: how did I end up downvoting a comment that replied to comments that reply to comments on a review for a stool?
  • 1 1
 @pinkbike1000: large fingers?
  • 15 1
 Could we get a walk-through of Brian Park's Garage?
  • 19 0
 Ugh, then I'd have to clean up. Frown
  • 2 0
 Anyone want a PB internship? Brian promises real shop experience.
  • 12 0
 And here I was using a chair with the stuffing falling out that I found on Craigslist a few years back for free...
  • 15 0
 Pinkbike editors' Chair Check article up next? I have these wooden stools that I really want to talk about
  • 8 0
 I’m for it. I don’t have a 3D printer to accompany but the label maker I got at Walmart last year is pretty sick. Just put some fresh AA’s in it too.
  • 9 0
 Lmao, $600 stool. Love it.

I spend stupid money on plenty of stupid things, and this won’t be one of them.
  • 3 0
 It's the only option for 300 pound mechanics.
  • 6 2
 Wait, wera hex wrenches are fancy? Daayyymmmmm, I'm a baller apparently, I've got a wera torque wrench and bit set, aswell as the Allen keys, some screwdrivers, a mini ratchet and a bottle opener.





The sales rep was a Mtber, I rocked up in fox shorts and a flannel shirt.




He was a good salesman. Hence the torque wrench. I only wanted the hex wrenches...
  • 2 0
 I think the maestro Dave Rome gives the edge to PB Swiss, but I'm partial to Wera.
  • 2 0
 I have wera wrenches and a small selection of abbey tools in my home shop. No velo stand so not quite eligible for this chair yet.
  • 3 0
 When a product (whole) or product design element gets ported from one activity to another, it's like the ordinariness gets laundered away and it can look new, unique, and premium. That's a drum throne with a longer center column. That's cool
  • 7 0
 Oh wow, for a second I thought you might have found a perfect way to beat the system, but after looking into it I don't think so. 3-leg drum thrones are tippy, no wheels, not a lot of adjustment, and the good ones cost even more than this chair. Damn.
  • 2 0
 no need to get defensive. I was a mechanic way longer than I messed around with drums, and I never wanted casters, but if you do, you do

also, www.aheaddrumsticks.com/drum-thrones-spg-bbr4.html four feet backrest $260ish
  • 1 0
 @Snfoilhat: ah sorry, I didn't mean to come off defensive, and I wasn't being sarcastic. I love finding alternative, cheaper ways to do stuff.

The one you linked looks good, but no wheels and too low. And for $39 more you can get the base model Vyper.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: I read sarcasm into posts that don't really have it. Social media broke some part of my brain. Anyhow thanks for your work!
  • 2 0
 If I’m working at the bench I’m usually standing. I use a stool for sitting low while working on drivetrain, rear end, front brake, etc.
I like using a drum throne because I can tip it forward to lean forward, mine is cheap so it’s also light and easy to keep under me while scooting around. The wheels on my park stool didn’t like to roll on my softish horse stall mat. The mats, btw, are also cheap and do wonders for your back and dropped parts, tools. I think they come in 1/2” and 1” thickness. I used 1” for the entire shop. Bearings and tiny springs don’t bounce under the bench and the black color is good contrast for my eyes.
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: I just recently learned about horse stall mats. Great as a bed liner for pickup trucks too.
  • 1 0
 @EricHarger: yeah they are. I have one in my bed as well
  • 6 0
 If you ever produce a tshirt or cap with this GD logo, I will take 10.
  • 6 0
 it's my favourite. I think there might be some in the works.
  • 5 0
 Insert joke about Yeti riders and this looking like a chair a dentist might use here.
  • 10 5
 Excuse me, but $579 for a f*cking stool?
  • 3 8
flag justwaki (Apr 14, 2021 at 11:35) (Below Threshold)
 Yupp that is more than a few Danish designer chairs...
  • 4 1
 @justwaki: where can I buy an original, domestically made Danish designer chair of somewhat similar complexity for less than this?
  • 2 5
 @brianpark: Complexity fools you... Wegners Y chair costs between 200 and 400€ depending on material. Don't use it in a workshop. But my favorite CH29 starts at 800€. It's a masterpiece.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, you are right: it is way too friggin‘ cheap!
  • 5 0
 When will we see Yoann on this for the hot lap?
  • 5 0
 No progression chart?! What's the anti-squat like??
  • 27 0
 This stool is 100% anti-squat.
  • 1 1
 @brianpark: *slow clap* I C wut U did Thar!
  • 5 0
 For 600 bucks I’ll continue to use my upside down plastic bucket
  • 2 0
 As someone who sits for a living, I most certainly bat an eye at a $1,000 chair. I received no chair from my office when transitioned to work from home nor cash for one. Facebook marketplace for the win.
  • 3 0
 Yes! I was just looking at a $40 rolling shop stool on Amazon and thinking, "how could I flex on all the poors by wasting an extra $539 on one of these?"
  • 4 0
 Can't imagine how many of us bike guys are blabbering away to our wives about a damn stool on our favorite bike website.
  • 1 0
 For that money I would like to have some magnetics trays (under the stool)at least and/or maybe a sealed bearing stools. I think those a features that anyone who actually had worked with tools could appreciate.... for that price
  • 4 0
 Forget the stool, I want that garage!
  • 4 0
 Get back to me when they make an office chair with 2.0” tires
  • 3 0
 No bottom tool tray though. Crucial in my garage shop
  • 1 0
 They make one as well.
  • 3 0
 where's the space for a water bottle?
  • 3 0
 Wait, your shop allows you to sit on company time?
  • 3 0
 This is the most Brian Park item someone could come up with.
  • 2 0
 Thread engagement on those nuts does not meet spec...
  • 2 0
 Green Bay, WI finally on the mountain biking world's map!!!!!
  • 3 0
 Green Bay has tens of feet of elevation changes, it's maximum gnar. ... Thankfully Marquette is only a 3 hour drive away.
  • 1 0
 ohhhhh thats a donut in his hand....i thought it was a grim something else.
  • 2 0
 That's a dentist's chair!
  • 2 0
 I sit on a yeti cooler, multi purpose and still cost less.
  • 2 0
 Huh, didn't realize the yamadog TW's come with minions on the front
  • 2 0
 I'll stick with my $30 Canadian Tire stool that I've had for 20 years.
  • 2 0
 You need a shop chair just to put this one together
  • 1 0
 I couldn't help but notice the steel clad door frame on your shop door. Nice touch!
  • 1 0
 4" industrial grade casters - lets count again, shall we?
  • 1 0
 that is a sweet stool but I am seriously looking at a drum stool
  • 1 0
 Sod the workshop, I want this puppy for my home office!
  • 2 0
 fools and their money...
  • 1 0
 Get outta my chair meathead.
  • 1 0
 cool shop Brian!
  • 1 0
 Probably.
  • 1 0
 He said stool.
  • 1 0
 The Grim Butthole
  • 1 3
 $600 for a f*cking stool..
  • 8 1
 $5,000 for a f*cking bicycle...
  • 4 0
 $5k? Sounds like you got yours used lol
  • 2 0
 there are politicians that would pay twice that for a stool on their chest.

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