Bike kickstands for convenience and security
Sick of looking for convenient spots to lean your bike or lay it down on the ground when you’re taking a break? A kickstand allows you to leave your bike standing just about anywhere. It may not be the most glamorous bike accessory, but it’s highly convenient.
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What is a kickstand?
A kickstand should not be confused with a regular bike stand, which is a larger stand that you can keep at home and use to hold your bike in a convenient position for repairs, cleaning and upgrades.
A kickstand, meanwhile, is much smaller. It’s attached to the frame of your bike (frame-mounted) and used to keep your bike upright when you’re not riding it – at home or out and about.
Depending on where you’re stopping, you can’t always rely on finding a convenient bike rack or a spot to lean or lay down your bike. And a bike leaned against a wall might fall down, potentially damaging it. So a kickstand is always a convenient addition.
Considerations when installing a kickstand
Kickstands are typically attached on the left side of the bike, towards the rear. But there is some variation: a centre-mount kickstand is mounted on the chainstay, near your pedals. It generally provides greater stability but may get in your way during repairs. And with a heavier bike or e-bike you may want a double-leg kickstand, which tends to be more stable than a single.
In terms of materials, kickstands can be made of aluminium (lightweight and rust-resistant) or steel (stronger but heavier and susceptible to rust). They also often have a rubber tip to improve their grip on soft and slippery surfaces and prevent floor scratching when stored indoors.
Of course, kickstands come in different sizes which correspond to the size of your bike’s wheels. It’s no good getting one that’s too short or too long – your bike will just fall over. Make sure to check the kickstand you purchase matches the size of your wheels!
Kickstands are usually quite easy to install, only requiring a wrench to tighten the bolt that fixes the bracket to the frame. Just make sure to install the stand in a position where it effectively keeps your bike upright, and test that it’s securely attached before using it in the wild.