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Finding the right kickstand for your bike can be a frustrating business, can’t it?
My sister recently bought a new bike and was having a hard time tracking down a suitable kickstand for it. With previous bikes, she’s had a mounting plate on the bike (tucked just behind the crankset), and it was a simple job to fit a standard center-mount kickstand.
Not so with this bike.
So, I did some research for her to track down the best kickstand solution for bikes without this center plate. Upshot was that I found a stand that’s been so good I bought a whole box of them for all the bikes my family owns – mountain bikes, hybrids, and road bikes.
I’m excited to share the details with you because I think it’s a winner. Let’s take a look now.
Why are there no kickstands on bikes?
For me, a kickstand is an essential piece of bike kit and I can’t really understand why more people don’t have them on their bikes.
From loading the groceries into my panniers to parking the bike in the garage there’s so many reasons to have a kickstand fitted.
So, why then, do some folks not have them? Well, from what I can see there appears to be a couple of reasons: weight and fashion.
Many cyclists are obsessed with trying to reduce the weight of their bikes. Carbon fiber this, super-light that. Desperately attempting to shave off smaller and smaller amounts of weight in an effort to go a couple seconds faster.
Now, I’m all for going fast on my bike. Love it actually. Thing is though, kickstands don’t actually weigh that much. The one I recommend only tips the scales at a little under 12 oz (or 320g). On a bike that weighs 30 pounds or more, that’s unlikely to make much difference to the speed I’m going it.
Plus, I know that keeping the cookie jar shut for longer periods will easily offset that 12 oz gain!
When I was a kid cruising around town on my trusty and slightly rusty BMX, everyone had kickstands.
In those days, they were cool.
These days? Not so much. And that’s a shame because they’re so darn useful!
As my kids will happily tell you, the road I’m traveling split from the trendy world of Haute Couture many moons ago. I’m comfortable with that, particularly when it means I still get to use something as useful as a kickstand on my bike.
Bike kickstand types
There are three types of kickstand available for bikes. Each has Pros and Cons and we’ll take a look at them now.
The three varieties are:
- Universal kickstand
- Center-mount kickstand
- Portable bike kickstand
My favorite, and the one I recommend, is the Universal kickstand. I’ve compared this with the other two types below so you can see the differences.
This is the kickstand that we have fitted to all of our bikes. It’s a great product and incredibly useful.
Unlike the center-mount kickstand, this fits to the chainstay (which is the tube that goes from the crank where the pedals meet, back to the rear wheel hub). The bracket at the top of the stand wraps over the chainstay tube and is fixed firmly in place with the three hex-head screws. It has a plastic grip on the inside of the bracket to protect your bike frame.
With the stand fitted you can then adjust the length to fit your bike (it’s good for bikes of between 24”-28”). The length adjustment doesn’t need any tools – just undo the latch, extend/shorten the stand, and re-secure the latch. Simple.
The stand works for a range of bikes, including mountain bikes, hybrids, and trekking bikes. It also works with chainstays of both oval and rectangular shape in cross-section.
It’s a versatile stand, and my sister loves it so much that she has forgiven me for hiding all her toys when we were kids. Well, almost.
If you have other bikes that do have a center-mount plate, then this is a very good kickstand that gets rave reviews. And, it’s not hard to see why.
It features a simple no-fuss design, with a double leg and non-slip feet.
The thing is though, I’m not sure I’d ever go back to this style of kickstand. Why? Well, having the position of the stand fixing so close to the crank and pedals can give problems.
Firstly, you can catch the stand with your foot or the pedal if it’s not adjusted just right. Secondly, the stand can catch on things underfoot if you’re cycling on bike trails.
To my mind, it’s far better to have the stand set back by the rear wheel hub, like the Universal Kickstand is.
Portable bike kickstand
This style of kickstand ticks a number of boxes:
They’re super-light at only 1.5 oz or 45g due to their carbon-fiber construction. You can unclip them from your bike, so they don’t upset the ‘aesthetics’…then fit them back on quickly when no-one’s looking. Plus, they fold up really small so are easy to stash in a jersey pocket or saddlebag for when you need them.
The trouble is… they don’t get very good reviews from purchasers. Too flimsy being the main issue. Both in terms of the lightweight construction (I don’t think I’d be comfortable leaning a heavy bike on one), and the delicate fittings (which seem to have a habit of breaking).
Put function before form and go for the Universal Kickstand!
If you don’t have a center-mounting plate for a kickstand, don’t despair! The Universal Kickstand is a fantastic solution for you. It’s been tried, tested, and abused for a number of years on my family’s bikes and it’s always stood up to the abuse that’s been thrown at it.
Buy one in confidence.
**Please note that our reviews are based on customer reviews, star ratings, and online complaints. Therefore, Bicycle Volt are in no way liable**