Kickstand alternatives stay off your bike when you don't need them
Of all the things that many serious road and mountain cyclists do not want on their bikes, kickstands have got to top the list ... they add weight, they rattle around, they’re one more place for dirt to collect and darn it, they’re just not cool. They are useful, however. Here’s a look at two products that offer the kickstand experience, without the kickstand.
First up is the Click-Stand. Looking very similar to a modern folding tent pole, it’s made from connecting segments of 7000 series aluminum tubing, joined together by a length of shock cord. A rubber-coated cradle on one end rests under the bike’s top tube, while a rubber foot on the other end grips against the ground.
The idea is that it can be folded up and carried in a backpack, jersey pocket or somewhere else when not needed, then taken out and opened up when it’s time to park your steed.
The Click-Stand is available in Mini and Maxi (9.5 mm and 11 mm) tubing diameters – Mini is for basic unloaded bikes, while Maxi is for heavy things like tandems or loaded touring bikes. Each stand is made to order according to the frame size of the customer’s bike, plus clients can also choose between four, five and six-segment versions – the higher the number of segments, the shorter the stand will be when folded down. Folded lengths vary from seven to ten inches (18 to 25 cm).
Weights for the two versions range from under 60 grams for the Mini to about 100 grams for the Maxi. Prices start at US$31 and $42 respectively, for the basic four-section versions.
The Upstand is similar to the Click-Stand, in that it is also made of connected sections of tubing connected with shock cord. That tubing is made of carbon fiber, however, and it has a neodymium magnet on the “bike” end instead of a cradle. When the stand is in use, that magnet joins up with a metal tab installed beside the quick release lever on the bike’s rear wheel skewer. As with the Click-Stand, the “ground” end is covered with a rubber foot.
The magnet-attachment tab adds 15 grams to the weight of the bike, with the stand itself tipping the scales at 25 grams. The Upstand folds down to a length of eight inches (20 cm) and is priced at $39, with free shipping within the U.S.
Sources: Click-Stand, Upstanding Bicycle Company
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The reason it worked as a 'stand' is that, if you lean an unbraked bike against something, and this is even true with a lot of kickstands, it tends to roll away and fall down. Especially with heavy or heavily loaded bikes, and on ground that's not level. With a parking brake it just stays put.
If all bikes had a parking brake you probably wouldn't need a stand much at all. Thick rubber band on the brake lever? A rubber block pencil eraser shoved between the brake pad and rim? . . .