Have you been out bike shopping recently? You may have noticed that not all bikes these days come with a kickstand. This may have you thinking, why don’t all bikes come with kickstands?
Some bikes come without kickstands in order to save some weight on the bike and remove bulkiness from the frame. On some bikes, they would get in the way when racing, and also personal preference comes into play. Many utility bikes are sold with kickstands and they can be added to almost any bike.
So the bike you have been drooling over does not come with a kickstand? Do not fret there are many ways to stand your bike up, store it, or even add a kickstand after if wanted. Read on to find out more about kickstands, what they are used for, why many don’t use them, and how you can go about adding one to your ride!
Why Do Bikes Need Kickstands?
While a kickstand may seem to be a critical piece of the bicycle the truth is the opposite. A kickstand can be a convenience but is far from a critical piece of the bike. Many cyclists have abandoned the kickstand altogether for a variety of reasons. The main of those is a weight savings measure for the serious mountain biker or road racer.
On the other hand, the average leisure and commuter cyclists still swear by kickstands and think every bike needs one. The benefits of a kickstand for the leisure cyclist or the commuter often outweigh the few grams shaved off by removing it. Kickstands allow for the ability to load the bicycle with gear and cargo much easier. They also make it simple to keep the bike upright when locking to a post or bike stand. Kickstands also make it simple to prop the bike up fast when running into the convenience store for a quick snack.
Unless you are a professional racer or downhill mountain biker then you do NEED a kickstand on your bike. Or do you?
How Do You Stand A Bike Without A Kickstand?
Well, you can just lay your bike down on the ground, non-drive side of course! Even without a kickstand, there are many ways to stand up your bike. If you are dead set on not adding the weight to your bike here are a few methods the pros use to stand their bikes up when not in use.
The Rear Tire Method: Many cyclists who do not use a kickstand stand the bike up by leaning it against the rear tire. This is about as simple as it sounds. Just lean the rear tire against a wall or corner and balance it. Make sure the front tire doesn’t turn and boom! You got your bike standing up sans kickstand!
The Crank Method: Another popular method used by the pros is the crank method. Sometimes a rock or a curb is the perfect height to rest your bike on and get it seemingly standing up on its own.
To do this method turn one crank towards the rear of the bike and balance it on your preferred resting surface. As long as the crank is towards the rear the bike should stand up under its friction.
The Bike Stand Method: Using a bike stand can also be a great way to get your bike standing. If locking it up just lean your bike against the stand and lock. Done. Storing the bike in your garage or another area of the home? Buy a bike stand and just place the bike in the stand.
Bike stands are inexpensive and come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They can also be for one bike or multiple bikes. A bike stand is an excellent storage option for bikes with or without kickstands!
Can A Kickstand Be Added To (Mounted On) A Bike?
The simple answer is yes. In most cases, a kickstand can be added to and mounted on almost every bike. Many aftermarket kickstands out there are simple to mount on almost every single type of bike.
Very specialized bikes like a time trial bike or carbon downhill mountain bike may not have a spot to put one but more often than not you can mount one to any bike. Most bicycles have a mounting point for a kickstand even if one is not included at the time of purchase.
How To Choose A Kickstand
If you want to add a kickstand to your current ride then here are some things to look out for.
Mounting Points: The very first thing you are going to want to check out is mounting points. Some bikes will have a mounting point located towards the back of the bike on the chainstay. In other words on the non-drive side towards the very back of the bike, opposite the cogs and derailleur.
Other models will have a kickstand mounting point in the middle of the frame between both rear chainstays. Unfortunately many models of bikes these days will not have any mounting points. But fear not! Many manufacturers have produced simple solutions that mount to the frame of the bicycle.
Size: Be sure that the kickstand that you choose works for the size of your bike. Some kickstands are adjustable but this is not the case for all.
If your kickstand is too small it racks the bike falling over on the kickstand side. If it is too tall then it is even worse. It risks your bike falling over on the drive side and potentially damaging the most important part of the bike: the drive components. This makes it crucial to pick the correct size when adding a kickstand to your rig!
Weight: Another critical factor to consider when choosing a kickstand is weight. If lugging tons of cargo and heavyweight consider a center mount kickstand if possible. This not only makes it super easy to load and unload cargo but also can handle much heavier weights.
If your ride is on the more lightweight side of things then a simple kickstand designed for lighter weights may be best.
No Mounting Point: So your bicycle does not appear to have a place to put a kickstand huh? Have no fear! There are even ways to get around this. Some manufacturers produce kickstands that are designed to be mounted on bikes with no predetermined spot.
These often mount to the rear chainstay or the frame right behind the bottom bracket. They are designed to be clamped down thus providing a kickstand for bikes originally designed without one.
They come in many shapes and sizes from a variety of manufacturers. However, I have found that the BV Bike Kickstand easily found on Amazon is not only easy to install and fits almost every bike but it is also super affordable at only $18!
See Your LBS: When in doubt go ahead and visit your Local Bike Shop. Oftentimes this illustrious group of people is more than happy to help. They can find the right kickstand for your kickstand needs. Regardless of what kind of bike you have the Local Bike Shop can find the right one for your weight, size, and ride. Support your LBS!
Using a kickstand is a personal preference more than anything and this is quite possibly the best explanation for why all bikes don’t have kickstands. Some are gonna tell you no “true cyclist” uses a kickstand. Others are going to say only “true cyclists” use kickstands.
Wherever you fall in this debate there are valid arguments on both sides. Some love the simplicity and weight savings of not having a kickstand and use one of the kickstand-free methods listed above. Some prefer the rugged dependability of a kickstand for locking up their bike and loading cargo.
No matter where you fall a true cyclist is defined by actually using a bike. From the leisure riders to the hard-core commuters to the seasoned professional, the point is to have fun out there!