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Should Mountain Bikes Have Kickstands?

should mountain bikes have kickstands

Riding a mountain bike through a forest or a rocky terrain is one of the most fun activities one can do outside. And even if that is not for you, you can easily ride a mountain bike around town without any major drawbacks. Most bicycles come with kickstands that you can use to stabilize the bicycle when not riding it, but mountain bikes are a different story.

Should you put a kickstand on your mountain bike? This is a controversial topic among pro cyclists. There are some reasons why you should and also some why you shouldn’t. In short, if you use your mountain bike to ride through forests and hills, you probably won’t need a kickstand. But if you use your bicycle around town, you may need a kickstand.

You can read more about the reasons why you should or shouldn’t put a kickstand on your mountain bike below.

Why You Should Put a Kickstand on Your Mountain Bike

Lower Chance for Your Bike to Tip Over or Get Scratched

If you use a kickstand, your bike will be much more stable than if you try to balance it against something. This is especially true if you have a center mount kickstand with two legs. Chances are you have tried to put your bicycle against a street lamp or tree and the bicycle still tipped over.

Moreover, you probably scratched your bicycle badly against a tree or post at one point. And having scratches on your expensive aluminum or carbon fiber frame is the last thing you want.

That’s why having a kickstand to park your bicycle is the best method, provided that the ground is flat enough. In other words, it is more useful for the streets than nature.

A removal kickstand like this one is a great accessory for every enthusiast to have for their mountain bike. A removable kickstand allows for easy installation and allows the user to remove it when needed without any modifications or alterations to the bike’s frame.

Great for Maintenance

Just like with any other method of transportation, bicycles need to be maintained regularly so that they function properly. Mountain bike enthusiasts love to do monthly maintenance on the breaks, front and rear derailleurs, chain, chainrings, and so on. Having a good kickstand will make this significantly easier. Some kickstands may even allow you to take off the whole wheel without much trouble.

Easier to Load the Bike

If you are planning to go on a long trip, you want to bring water, food, and some basic tools for your bicycle. If you use a kickstand to prop the bicycle up, you can easily load your rack or bag without having to hold the bicycle or lean it against something. Loading your bicycle is much harder if it is constantly moving around because it is not propped up.

Makes Cleaning and Lubing Easier

It does not matter how you clean your bike after an exhausting ride around the local dirt tracks, using a kickstand will make the job that much easier. Again, double-leg kickstands have an advantage over single-leg ones because they provide more stability. If you use a pressure washer to clean your bicycle, the kickstand will make it easy to clean every nook and cranny.

Once you have cleaned your bicycle, do not forget to apply a small coat of lube on your chain because the washer removed most of it. This is much easier to do with a double-legged kickstand because you can use the pedals to move the chain.

Why You Shouldn’t Put a Kickstand on Your Mountain Bike

Potential Danger of Injury

This may come as a surprise to you, but kickstands can be extremely dangerous on mountain bikes. Because mountain bikes are designed to go over hills, rocks, dirt, and other rough terrains, a kickstand can hit something and pop down in the middle of a ride. This is extremely dangerous because it will make you airborne and you will get heavily injured, especially at high speeds.

Because nobody wants to hit a rock with their head in the middle of a ride, leave your kickstand at home. Some cyclists reported that their calf got heavily injured or penetrated because of a kickstand. It all depends on the type of kickstand that you use, though. Some are better than others for rocky terrain.

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As hinted in the beginning, having a kickstand on your mountain bike is taboo and unprofessional. If you are sensitive and care about what people think about you, remove that kickstand when you go cycling with your friends or acquaintances. Any serious or professional cyclist will tell you that kickstands are obsolete and not necessary on a mountain bike.

This is because mountain bikes are very durable in general and you can simply put your bicycle against a tree or, even better, throw it on the grass. Your bicycle might get slightly dirty from that, but it will get dirty anyway whenever you ride down a gravel or forest road.

Weight

All cyclists want to have the least amount of weight possible on their bicycles and themselves. Having a heavy bicycle will only slow you down, which is why there are many lightweight frames out there for pros. Buying an expensive lightweight frame only to put a kickstand on it looks very ridiculous.

Sure, a kickstand weighs only around 1-2 pounds, but that is only dead weight that is easily removed from the bike. Enthusiasts agree that removing it is a good idea.

Rattling

It does not matter how hard you tighten the bolt, the kickstand will always rattle. This is because it is designed to be easily kicked up or down without much force. When you are going over holes and rocks, the vibrations from the tires will make the kickstand rattle.

And not only that, the bolt that holds the kickstand will also come loose over time and you will have to tighten it every few rides to make sure that it won’t come off in the middle of a difficult climb, which could result in you getting injured.

Types of Kickstands

There are three main types of kickstands that can be installed on your mountain bike. A center mount, rear mount, or removable kickstand. All with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Removable Kickstand

This is perhaps the only reasonable type because you can put it on whenever you ride on the streets around town and remove it whenever you want to do some rock crawling.

Center-Mount Kickstand

The center-mount kickstand is the traditional one. It sits low on the frame, it is large, and it is usually double-legged. This type of kickstand is amazing if you want to do any sort of maintenance or cleaning, but it is also the most dangerous type because it can easily hit something and get propped up.

Rear-Mount Kickstand

The rear-mount kickstand is attached to the backside of the frame. The mounting mechanism depends on the model, but it is most often mounted by putting a bolt through the bolt hole on the back. Mountain bikes often do not have this hole, but you can still attach it to the frame using a different method.

Final Thoughts

So, should you put a kickstand on your mountain bike? It’s more of a user preference. Many mountain bikers feel the need to not have one because everybody else doesn’t.

Others get it due to the sheer fact that it’s very convenient to have. It makes maintenance and loading your bike with supplies much easier.

If you decide to get a kickstand because you need it for your daily commute, try to get a removable kickstand. A removable kickstand allows you to remove it before taking your bike to the trails.

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