Growing up I loved riding my bike, and as I grew older I started seeing some bikes without kickstands. And I thought to myself, man that must have been a cheap bike, it didn't even come with a kickstand. Well, today I'll talk about why some bikes don't even come with kickstands.
Kickstands are typically found on children's bikes, as well as low-end adult bikes. More expensive and quality bikes do not come with a kickstand in order to help decrease the weight of the bike.
So maybe you still have some questions, well believe it or not, in the cycling community this could be considered a hot topic issue. Some professional cyclists have expressed some pretty strong opinions on the matter. Keep reading for more info!
Bikes Without Kickstands
I went over the really basic reason already for the "no kickstand" argument. Basically, the bikes that you see without kickstands will either be fair to high-quality bikes in any style, whether it be road mountain or cross.
If you were anything like me then you would be wondering well why do the expensive bikes not have the same great features of cheap bikes?!
And simply put the answer is shocking: Kickstands aren't that great. I know, it hurt me too, but as I thought about it I realized that maybe everyone was right, maybe we don't really need kickstands after all.
Before I try to convince you, let me make my argument.
So down below, I'll talk about some of the different reasons that support the idea of a world without kickstands.
Every cyclist who is even a little bit serious about the sport knows that weight can have a huge effect on their ride. I mean, I love cycling, and when I ride, I try to ride as light as possible.
One way they have found to cut weight is to get rid of everything on the bike that isn't 100% necessary for the function of the bike. And the kickstand definitely falls into that category.
Now we all know that a kickstand doesn't weigh 20 lbs, I know, but just remember, every opportunity to get rid of weight should be done.
Maybe the kickstand only weighs 1 lb, so you ask yourself is it worth it to take it off? Well, in my opinion, yes it is. And my reasoning is this: It is easier for me to unscrew a 1 lb kickstand than it is for me to go lose 1 lb. :)
Now if you aren't a crazy serious cyclist, but you want a nice bike with a kickstand, you are in luck. You can buy one separately and add it on yourself.
Kickstand Use (Joyrider vs. Serious Cyclist)
The next large reason nicer bikes don't have kickstands is that they simply don't need them. Think about it, when you were younger, or even a time when you weren't as serious about cycling. You probably did a good amount of joy riding.
Well let me tell you, a joy rider will probably need a kickstand. Why? Because of the nature of joy riding. You ride, then stop and talk to a neighbor, kickstand (boom!) You are riding and you stop to get the mail, kickstand (boom!) You go park your bike in its little parking spot for the night, kickstand (Boom!)
There you go, I'm not trying to say kickstands shouldn't be on any bike, kickstands are great for joyriders.
Now imagine you are a serious cyclist and you decide to go for a ride. So what do you do? You throw on your spandex and get the rubber on the road! You clip in and go.
So now that you are riding, you are in the zone, you probably pre-planned your route or as you start to ride you decide the way you will go. Either way, there is an important piece to the equation. You are not thinking about stopping at the neighbors, you probably won't run by the grocery store, or to the school. Why? ITS BECAUSE YOU ARE WEARING SPANDEX!! No just kidding, it's because you have a purpose. So all of those places where you would have needed a kickstand have now been eliminated.
And let us be honest here, even if you did stop somewhere, you wouldn't just kickstand your bike up anywhere, you would lock it to a bike rack! That alone will hold your bike upright just perfectly.
The very last place you might think you need a kickstand is once you get home and you go to put your bike away. Most serious cyclists will have a wall or ceiling mount for their bikes. A place to hang their bike up. I know that isn't the case for everyone, but it is extremely common.
Once you invest a couple thousand bucks into a bike, you usually decide to treat it pretty well.
Do Kickstands Really Work That Well?
Something else that I have thought about a lot is if kickstands are actually that helpful. Ok, yeah I get it. They hold the bike up. But REALLY, are they that helpful.
Think about that time when you had your bike standing up, and you walked by and accidentally bumped it just barely. What happened? Oh yeah, the bike fell over.
Or what about the time you had parked your bike outside and it got windy. What happened to your bike? Oh yeah, it fell over.
Then you get the kickstand that is just worn out and when you lean your bike on it, it won't even support the weight of your bike.
The last scenario I promise. Imagine you buy a brand new, $2000 + bike and it has a great kickstand on it. You ride it around and go to show your buddies. As you are talking, you put down the kickstand.
Either the wind comes or someone brushes the bike, it falls over, scratches the new paint and possibly damages the bike.
Maybe there are better ways to support and protect your bike.
Here are a few other factors that may come into play when you come across a bike with no kickstand.
Really all of the same reasons from above apply. Even though it may be a cheaper bike, manufacturers know that someone who buys a road bike will probably be looking to ride a little more seriously.
Again if adding a kickstand is something that you want to do, then that is totally an option.
Another reason you might not see a kickstand on some bikes is simply that they don't look cool. Believe it or not, this is a very large contributing factor in the world of cycling.
You need to look good! You don't want to look like you just graduated from third grade when you roll up and pop down your kickstand. It's just not cool.
If you are wondering how a kickstand can malfunction, just keep reading, I'll tell you.
When you are riding seriously, generally you have a good amount of speed, and on both road and mountain bikes, your ride will be pretty intense.
On a road bike, you will be going pretty fast and you may hit a little pothole or something, and since the pressure of your tires is so high, your bike frame will have to absorb a lot of the shock.
This could cause a loose kickstand to go down, and if you attempt a turn with your kickstand down, you could end up jumping your wheel off the ground and you might each asphalt.
On a mountain bike, the last thing you need is for a kickstand to go down while riding and hit a rock or a tree root. If you are riding more seriously, you should probably think about all of these factors.
Adding (Or Removing) A Kickstand
If you still aren't convinced or you know you are one of those people who would benefit from a kickstand, we still want to take care of you too.
Kickstand installation is pretty simple. Just watch this video and follow the steps.
Good luck and Happy Riding!!