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Why Do (some) Bikes Not Have Kickstands

Bicycles are a convenient, environmentally-friendly way to get around town. Still, one thing that has always bothered me about them is why some don’t have kickstands.

Such a simple addition would make the bikes much more user-friendly. In this essay, I will explore the possible reasons why some bike manufacturers have not added kickstands to their bikes.

Kickstands add Weight

Road cyclists aim to be as light as possible, so they wear skin-tight clothing and carry as few accessories as possible. This is why most road bikes don’t have a kickstand.

The Weight of an average kickstand varies depending on its type.

  • A center mount double leg bicycle kickstand – weights around 1.2 pounds
  • An adjustable bicycle kickstand – weights around 0.75 pounds
  • A “classic” kickstand (ex. Schwinn) – weights around 0.55 pounds

Not much if you are a recreational rider, but these extra few ounces can make a difference for competitive cyclists.

Kickstands Create Unnecessary Drag

A kickstand increases drag by creating an additional surface area that air must pass around. Most of us won’t mind an extra drag when going to the office, but for competitive cyclists, even a slight increase in drag can hurt performance.

Kickstands Take Up Space

Bikes with kickstands take up more space than those without. Again this is only a problem if you’re trying to save space, like storing a bike in your apartment.

And yes – it’s only a minimal space difference. I wouldn’t give up a kickstand to save half a square foot.

adjustable kickstand

Kickstands Require Maintenance

Bikes with kickstands require regular maintenance because they are exposed to dirt and grime that can cause corrosion. Over time, the kickstand may become loose or even break off.

Possible Safety Issues

Although kickstands are great for commuters but can create a safety hazard if you ride your mountain bike on trails or paths. The kickstand can become lodged in the ground or tangled up in vegetation.

Adding a kickstand to a bicycle seems simple, but more complicated than it looks. It must be designed to fit securely onto the bike frame while supporting the Weight of the bike when parked. This can be difficult for some models and require additional parts.

Aesthetics (it needs to look good, right?)

Some cyclists believe that kickstands detract from the aesthetic appeal of their bicycles. This is especially true for vintage style or custom-built bikes, where having a kickstand can make the design look less professional and polished.

What to Do without a Kickstand?

Lean your bike against a fence, pole, tree, or something to support it when you need to. You can also lay your bike down on the ground to park it. Add a traditional kickstand to your bike or use a bike parking rack.

A bike parking rack is excellent at your house or office, but it won’t work while you’re out riding or doing errands and want to park your bike for a few minutes. This is where a traditional kickstand can come in handy.

Kickstands are Great for Bike Commuters

an old bike for commuting with a kickstand

Kickstands are suitable for bike commuters because they help support your bike when you’re not riding it. This is helpful if you want to keep your bike inside at home or work.

After all, you do not want to win a race, but you want to ensure your bike is safe and secure when you’re not riding it.

Take Away

Generally speaking, bikes are designed with a focus on practicality and functionality, which is why some bike manufacturers have yet to include kickstands.

If a manufacturer included kickstands, it would add additional weight to the bike, making it heavier overall and less efficient. In addition, when riding on uneven terrain, having a kickstand can be dangerous because it may get caught on the ground and cause a crash.

If you are like me and shop for your groceries or make frequent stops while riding your bike – adding a kickstand to the frame is a great way to make your experience more comfortable and user-friendly.