Once a staple component of any new bike, kickstands are very rarely shipped in the box these days. Let's take a look at why.
If you recently purchased a bike, it probably won’t have a kickstand to help you prop it up. While leisure bikes are more likely to have a kickstand, it’s a less common feature on mountain bikes and road bikes.
With bikes being challenging to store due to their size, a kickstand is a great tool to help you do so efficiently. That said these days, many manufacturers decide not to use kickstands on their bicycles.
Reasons to Avoid Using a Kickstand
So you might be wondering why kickstands have been ditched on factory bikes. As an efficient way to store your bike standing up, it would take pretty strong reasoning to go against using one. Let’s take a look at why bike stands are no longer used on bikes.
When it comes to kickstands, they need to be sturdy enough to last and to take the weight of the bike comfortably. Due to the strength requirements of kickstands, the compromise is that they will be sure to make a bike heavier.
In a day and age where technology aims to make things faster and more efficient, kickstands have found themselves getting left behind. Not only does the weight affect performance, but the shape is also reasonably anti-aerodynamic.
The bulkiness of a kickstand can make it tricky to fit on the slim frame of a mountain bike or road bike, and the rider has to avoid knocking it with their foot when boarding.
Kickstands are almost always placed on the left side. This means if the bike falls over, it will fall to the right. As a result, derailleur hangers, chainrings, and derailleurs can get damaged.
Many professional bike riders discourage having a kickstand due to personal preference. Some may not like the added weight while others believe it is safer to place to the bike lying down to prevent damage.
It also makes sense to drop kickstands from a production standpoint. By not installing a kickstand factory production time can be reduced, meaning more bikes can be assembled each day.
What if Your Bike Doesn’t Have a Kickstand?
So with the reduction in kickstands, what alternative options are available?
Rest it On the Ground
Resting the bike on the ground is seen as a safer way to ensure the frame doesn’t get damaged as there is no opportunity for it to fall. However, this takes up a considerably larger amount of space, and you may want to consider an easy alternative to a pre-installed kickstand to rest your bike upon.
Buy an Attachable Kickstands
Just because you bike didn’t come with a standard-issue kickstand, doesn’t mean they’re not an option for you. Manufacturers have capitalized on the fact they’re not a standard feature of bikes anymore, making them widely available to buy separately and attach to your bike. In fact, we’ve got a guide dedicated to excellent kickstands available for buying as attachments. Just be sure to check that the kickstand can be attached to the frame of your bike before you purchase one.
With all factors considered its quite easy to see why fewer and fewer bikes are produced with kickstands. Does this mean that they’re a redundant feature of bikes? We believe the answer to this question is no.
Kickstands in one form or another, are always going to be a useful accessory to have on your bike. Kickstands are an excellent way to store a bike without resting it on something or putting it on the floor. They significantly reduce the risk of damage to the bike, which might be why they’re often a standard feature on rental leisure bikes.