Kickstands

Back when my wife first got the idea to join a big charity ride, she started training with more experienced cyclists. They quickly showed her the ropes, and introduced her to current equipment that she needed to upgrade to. For instance, her old styrofoam helmet had to go. And she was using clipless pedals before I had ever even heard of them. But there was one item that her friends could not convince her to shed: her kickstand.

Pat’s bike stands proudly, supported by its kickstand.

She never considered her kickstand as a problem. Its additional weight didn’t bother her, because she figured she was slow, anyway, and a few more ounces wouldn’t make a difference. Besides, it was convenient to stand the bike wherever, without having to look for a tree, or a wall, or something solid to lean the bike against.

Besides, since she rides a hybrid, she regards the stand as a necessary piece of equipment. It just looks appropriate there, even if it might not be on a road bike.

In our club, one member rides a budget Schwinn road bike, and it still has its kickstand. When he first started riding with us, it was the subject of much behind-the-back comment. Once he showed he was just as fast as most others (he’s a solid B+ rider), the comments stopped — although it still identifies him (“Oh, you mean the guy with the kickstand”).

The kickstand-equipped road bike.

Just how vital is it for a road biker to unload the kickstand? And why? Is it uncool? Or unnecessary? Or a weight burden? What would you tell someone new to road riding?

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17 thoughts on “Kickstands

  1. Maybe I’ll get one. I always wondered why road bikes didn;t come with one. For me right now it;s Function over style. When I’m 175 lbs (after 200 miles a week, no alchohol and 6 small meals a day of salad and 3 ozs of boneless skinless natural free range organic chicken, turkey or beef for a year) and riding with the hoi polloi I’ll worry about added bike weight. I didn’t like laying and leaving my bike on the ground after the Atlas ride. It took me forever just to find my bike. They all look alike on the ground

  2. I’m planning on getting kickstands for my bikes at some point. I’m having trouble mounting one on my old Trek because of the front derailleur cable routing. I may have to go for one on the rear wheel

    I’m working on becoming a commuter though, not a roadie. It’s really inconvenient to have to find something to lean the bike against whenever I stop. And bike racks at stores are few & far between here. :(

  3. Older road bikes (steel ones) usually come with kickstands, but I know al. and CF bikes almost never come with kickstands.

    Not sure if it had to deal with the integrity of the frame by tightening a kickstand on…

    Neither of my bikes have kickstands, and that’s just a personal preference. I’ve mastered the art of balancing the bike on the curb using the pedals.

  4. Still have one on my hybrid and would love to have one on my road bike. It just leans against a wall when resting.

  5. I don’t have a kickstand on my bike mainly because I don’t need one. But I think it’s important for people to customize their own bike as they prefer. I know some people who would make fun of me because I have a small under-the-seat bag on my road bike. But really i dont care what others think. It’s on my bike for a reason … not to please others.

    I’ve talked with a couple new riders at one of the local clubs who told me they were unsure about joining the ride because they don’t have a fancy expensive bike. I tell them if the bike is comfortable for them and they enjoy riding it, then don’t worry about snobby comments from some other riders.

    • Why in the world are people making fun of the bag under the seat? I’ve considered that standard equipment that almost all cyclists have. You need your extra tube and mini-tool, right?

  6. Kickstand removal just fits right in with shaved legs, full team/club kits, etc. – it’s all part of the culture.

    The first thing most mountain bikers do is remove the kickstand (if there is one) since it’s not practical for off road purposes and could possibly cause a crash or injury. We also peel the size & warning stickers off the bike, remove the reflectors, and break the “pizza ring” off of the rear wheel.

    I guess it’s kind of like deliberately scuffing up new shoes so they won’t look so “new”?

  7. Kickstands, along with fenders and chain guards, are the one of the most practical, if maligned, pieces of equipment on a bike. Racers and club riders remove them for weight and because they don’t look “cool”. Having a scratched paint job when your bike inevitably falls over is really not cool. Basically, if you are loading a bike at all, get a kickstand. It’s a necessity. If not, get one anyway.

    I recommend double footed kickstands if you can get them. They’re much more stable. Pletcsher makes a double footed stand that folds up like a single if you don’t want the heavy duty Y shaped kind.

    One other thing, it’s better to have a bike with a kickstand plate built into the frame. It’s a more stable platform and keeps the kickstand from twisting under torque.

  8. Back when I had bikes w/ kickstands, the kickstand was always sinking into the sand/dirt, not locking, etc… all of which made my bike fall over. Recently, I’ve almost always been able to find something else a little more sturdy to lean my bike against. If I had a dedicated cargo or serious touring bike I’d want a double kickstand… but otherwise it’s just added weight (and those things are pretty dang heavy, usually).

  9. [I recommend double footed kickstands if you can get them. They’re much more stable. Pletcsher makes a double footed stand that folds up like a single ]

    Absolutely LOVE my “double footed” kickstand!! I’ve just had my bike roll off of something I’ve “Leaned it on” and wham it’s on the ground! I’ve noticed that hardcore roadies, pay “thousands” for a bicycle, then just lay the bike on the cold, moist ground”, DUH?? I’d really like to see a “study” of a carbon race bike with and without a kickstand and SEE if it really makes a difference in overall speed, for some reason I doubt it would. JMHO, YMMV.

  10. “…it was the subject of much behind-the-back comment.”

    Because you are a bunch of jackasses. Does it really matter to you that much if someone has a kickstand on their bike? Does it really affect you? You, and those like you, are why we have reality TV. You need the drama and will make it if necessary. Grow up.

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