When I first started cycling, I was surprised to learn that road bikes don’t come with kickstands.
I had always assumed that every bike came with a kickstand, but that’s not the case. Turns out, there are several good reasons why there is no kickstand on a road bike.
Kickstands add weights and it can interfere with the aerodynamics of the bike. Plus, they can be dangerous and damage your bike over time.
In this post, I’ll explain why road bikes don’t have kickstands and how you can stand your bike instead.
I’ll also show you how to install a kickstand in case I can’t convince you.
5 Reasons Why Road Bikes Don’t Have Kickstands
While it’s true that some hybrid, tour and cruiser bikes do come with kickstands, these bikes are designed for leisurely rides around town, not for racing or high-performance riding.
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Road bikes are designed to be sleek, lightweight, and aerodynamic, with every component carefully selected to minimize drag and maximize speed.
Adding a kickstand to a road bike would disrupt all of this. Let’s go over these in more detail:
Kickstands pose a big safety risk for riders.
The kickstand might come loose and stick out while you’re riding, either from hitting something or accidentally touching it.
The protruding kickstand can easily get caught on objects or obstacles on the road ,and cause the rider to lose balance and potentially crash.
This is especially risky for mountain bikers. Off-road trails are often narrow and filled with various obstacles like rocks, roots, and branches. A loose kickstand can easily get caught on these.
2) Adds Weight
One of the main reasons why there is no kickstand on a road bike is because it adds weight to the bike. Road cyclists want their bikes to be as light as possible, as this makes it easier to climb hills and ride at high speeds.
A kickstand might not seem like it would add much weight, but every gram counts when you’re trying to shave seconds off your time.
A typical kickstand can weigh between 200-400 grams.
This is a significant amount of weight, especially on high-end road bikes and it can make a noticeable difference in how the bike feels and handles.
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In addition to the weight of the kickstand itself, the mounting hardware required to attach it to the bike can also add weight. This can include bolts, brackets, and other stuff, which can further increase the weight of the bike.
3) Affects Aerodynamics
Aerodynamics is a crucial factor in road biking. The faster you go, the more air resistance you face. This is why road bikes are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible.
Every little detail, including the shape of the frame, the handlebars, and the wheels, is optimized for speed.
Adding a kickstand to a road bike can disrupt its aerodynamics and increase air resistance.
The extra weight and surface area of the kickstand can slow the bike down, making it harder to reach and maintain high speeds.
4) Damages Your Bike
The attachment point of a kickstand has the potential to cause damage to the bike frame. It can also flatten the tubing on the chainstays and leave scratches on the bike’s finish.
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5) You’ll Look Like A Total Fred
Although it may sound superficial, appearance plays a significant role in the world of cycling.
Kickstands are usually meant for more casual or recreational biking, and a kickstand on a road bike can take away from its cool and simple design.
Cyclists who use kickstands on their road bikes may be subject to playful banter or even labeled as “Freds” – a term used to describe riders who don’t quite look or act like a typical cyclist.
To maintain the sporty image and avoid unnecessary judgment, road bikers don’t use kickstands.
How To Stand Up A Bike Without A Kickstand
When it comes to standing up a road bike without a kickstand, there are several ways to do this, some of these are:
Lean the Bike Against a Wall
One of the simplest and most common ways to stand up a road bike without a kickstand is to lean it against a wall or on something.
This can be done both indoors or outdoors (make sure to lock it), and it works well in a variety of situations.
Just be sure to position the bike so that it won’t fall over, and make sure that you’re leaning it somewhere clean and free of debris that won’t scratch or damage the bike.
Use a Wall-Mounted Bike Rack
Another option is to use a wall-mounted bike rack.
These racks can be installed in a garage, shed, or other storage space, and they allow you to hang your bike up off the ground.
This not only keeps the bike upright, but it also helps to save space and keep the bike out of the way when you’re not using it.
Use a Portable Bike Stand
If you’re looking for a more flexible option, you might want to consider using a portable bike stand. These stands can be set up quickly and easily wherever you need them.
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Some stands are designed to be used indoors, while others are designed for outdoor use.
Flip it Upside Down
Flipping the bike upside down and resting it on the seat and handlebars is another option.
However, you might end up damaging or scuffing parts like the shifters and seat.
How To Install Kickstand On Road Bike
If you still want to use a kickstand, you can install one. Installing a kickstand on a road bike is really easy and you can DIY at home.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:
Gather the necessary tools first. You will need
- Adjustable wrench
- Allen wrench set (metric),
- Screwdriver (depending on the type of kickstand you have)
And then, position your bike. Find a flat, stable surface to place your bike on.
It’s best to work on the bike while it is upside down or elevated on a bike stand if available.
Locate The Kickstand Mounting Plate
Look for the designated kickstand mounting plate or a pair of threaded holes near the bottom bracket on the non-drive side of the bike frame.
These holes are usually used for mounting accessories like kickstands or chain guards.
If there are any existing components occupying the mounting plate or holes, such as a front derailleur clamp or chain guide – remove them.
Attach The Kickstand
Align the kickstand’s mounting bracket or plate with the threaded holes on the bike frame. Make sure it sits flush against the frame.
Use an Allen wrench or a screwdriver to secure the kickstand in place by tightening the bolts.
Ensure that the kickstand is positioned correctly.
Adjust The Kickstand Length
Some kickstands come with adjustable lengths to accommodate different bike sizes and ground clearances.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to adjust the length if needed.
It usually involves loosening a bolt, extending or retracting the kickstand leg, and then tightening the bolt to secure the desired length.
Test The Kickstand
Flip your bike right-side-up and test the kickstand’s stability by gently leaning the bike to one side.
Ensure that the bike stands upright and securely without wobbling or tipping over.
Bottom Line – Should I Put A Kickstand On My Bike?
Bikes don’t come with kickstands for good reason. but, if you frequently stop during your rides to take breaks or enjoy the scenery, a kickstand is a convenient addition to your bike.
It can save you the hassle of finding a wall or other object to lean your bike against, and it can prevent scratches or damage to your bike from lying on the ground.
On the other hand, if you prioritize speed and weight on your rides, a kickstand may not be worth the added weight and potential aerodynamic drag.
And not to mention the danger it poses to you and your bike.
Is A Kickstand Necessary For A Bike?
A kickstand is a useful accessory, but it is not necessary for a bike. It can be convenient for parking your bike, especially when there are no bike racks or other supports around.