One of my friends who is new to mountain biking asked me a few days back: why dont mountain bikes have kickstands? There are several important reasons.
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Most of us are used to having kickstands in our bikes; therefore, when you see kickstands absent in high-end mountain bikes, people get confused.
What confuses people even more is that most lower-end, inexpensive mountain bikes come with kickstands, unlike branded mountain bikes. You must be thinking, are kickstands bad for bikes?
Most expert mountain bikers usually do not need kickstands for various reasons, including added weight on the bike. I will list out the various reasons in this article why bikes don’t have kickstands?
Why Dont Mountain Bikes Have Kickstands?
There are multiple reasons why big brands don’t add kickstands to their bikes. I have listed all the reasons below:
Most high-end mountain bikes have very light frames so that they are easy to ride in the mountains. If a kickstand is bolted or clamped on the bike, it can damage the bike and hinder its balance. There are high chances that the kickstand can limit the bike’s maneuverability too.
Any expert mountain biker will tell you how important it is for mountain bikes to be lightweight. A mountain bike shouldn’t have any extra weight unless it’s too necessary.
It is because climbing mountains already requires a lot of strength and power; therefore, the extra weight will worsen things.
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While riding on the mountain terrains, if you unfortunately trip and fall by any chance, you can probably get cut or impaled on the kickstand if it stays up.
Bike Falling Over
When going off-road with your bike, the terrain is never even, and there are many turns and hills. In many places, you will also find the ground to be really soft, increasing the chances of falling over.
The kickstand can sink in the soft ground or may get stuck on the road during twists and turns. You can also hit a rock while riding, as mountain biking is a really rough sport.
No Need For Kickstands
Other than the factors we discussed so far, most mountain bikers don’t really need a kickstand in their bikes. Mountain bikes are pretty durable, and if you need to, you can simply lay them on the ground or lean it against a rock or tree (keep the front wheel straight).
Some people like to clamp a kickstand when they stop somewhere for more extended periods and remove it again when they resume riding, but it’s usually a time-consuming task.
Besides that, kickstands can also fall off sometimes if they get hit by a rock, so it’s not really useful.
High Chances Of Damage
Generally, bikes with kickstands have a higher chance of damage. The brake levers, derailleur, paint finish, and chain can get damaged if your bike ever gets knocked over. Besides, if you tighten the loose bolts of the kickstand, its sleeves can damage the chainstays.
Is There Any Need Of Kickstands In Mountain Bikes?
Even though I have mentioned pretty much all the reasons for not having a kickstand in your mountain bike, if you really want to add one to your bike, there are certain benefits to it.
Some valid uses for having a kickstand in your bike include washing it, keeping it stable during repairing it, or storing it in the garage.
Storing In Garage
Having a kickstand clamped on your bike can be the most useful when you store the bike in a storage shed or garage. Putting the bike on a kickstand rather than laying it on the ground or leaning it against the wall is always a better option when you store it. It gives you peace of mind that your bike is much safer.
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Washing The Bike
Keeping your bike in a top-notch condition aesthetically is on the priority list of most mountain bikers. Putting the bike on a kickstand while cleaning it is the best way of doing it as it keeps the bike in a stable condition.
Repairing The Bike
If you are just like me, who spends a lot of time riding a bike, you would require to do some maintenance on it regularly to ensure the riding experience remains smooth. Kickstands are an excellent way to keep your bike in an upright position while you repair it.
Ways To Keep Your Bike Upright Without Kickstand
I already explained to you that expert mountain bikers don’t use kickstands in their bikes, but if it is the case, how do they keep their bikes when they stop while riding.
There are two ways of doing it:
Leaning It Against A Tree
One of the two ways is leaning the bike against a tree. But always make sure that you are on a flat surface and not a slope. If you are riding on a trail, always ensure that the bike is not leaned against a tree too close to the trail. It is a standard trail etiquette followed by most mountain bikers.
Between Two Rocks
Another great way to keep your mountain bike in an upright position is to keep it between a set of rocks, so it does not fall. Try to wedge one of the bike tires tightly between the rocks.
You can also lay your bike on the ground if you don’t find a tree or set of rocks. In this case, the key thing to remember is to lay the bike on the non-drive side to ensure the derailleur does not get damaged.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why do expensive bikes not have kickstands?
Expensive bikes cater to the need of expert and professional bikers who don’t prefer to have a kickstand in their bikes for multiple reasons that include:
- Added weight on the bike that slows their speed.
- Higher chances of falling.
- Damage to the light frame.
Are kickstands bad for bikes?
Kickstands aren’t really bad for bikes. In fact, they are pretty common in standard street bikes and do not affect their performance. But using kickstands for mountain bikes can hinder bikes’ performance, primarily because of the added weight.
What is wrong with kickstands?
If we consider standard bikes, nothing. But in a mountain bike, the kickstand is considered to be an unnecessary component. As mountain bikes are pretty durable, you can rest them anywhere from against a tree, stones, or simply the ground. You don’t need a kickstand as they add extra weight or increase the chances of an accident.
Can I put a kickstand on a mountain bike?
You can put a kickstand on a mountain bike as it’s not really a difficult task and also usually costs a few bucks. Even though having a kickstand on a mountain bike has its cons, but it can be beneficial too, especially for beginners.
Mountain Bikes Don’t Need Kickstands. They Add Weight And Can Be Dangerous.
I hope this article clarified your doubt on why mountain bikes don’t have kickstands. In conclusion, I would say among all the factors we discussed for not having a kickstand on a mountain bike, the most prominent one is the added weight due to the kickstand.
Keeping a mountain bike as lightweight as possible is the priority of most manufacturers as bikers prefer it that way.