Should You Put a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike?

If you ask a purist whether a kickstand is a good idea on a mountain bike, of course, the answer would be a straight no. And that is for a good reason. 

But if you ask any normal rider, you would probably hear someone think that it is a good idea to have one. Whatever the reason, it may be valid as well. 

But to clear the air, mountain bikes do not have a kickstand. If you look at lower-end models, something that might be used as a daily commute, or a model that caters to a younger niche, then yes. You will probably find one installed on the mountain bike. 

But if you feel the need to own one then, by all means, you can purchase one directly for your mountain bike. There are many models of kickstands that are available everywhere that also cater to modern mountain bikes. 

Stick around as we check if a kickstand is a necessity for mountain bikes. 

The Weight Factor

Old bikes used to have kickstands. That is because the purpose of having a bike in the early ages is not for sport and recreation. 

It was built as a commuter. But as bikes evolved, especially for a road bike and touring bikes, kickstands eventually got outdated. 

For modern riders, weight is an important factor in terms of mountain biking. This holds especially true for cross country riders wherein everything is weighed up to the last ounce. 

Kickstands are normally made from steel, and when weighed together with their mounts, they will most likely add a significant amount of weight to your bike. 

Kickstands Can Be Dangerous And Adds Unnecessary Complexity To Your Rig

Kickstands are for a fact negligible especially for mountain biking. You do not really need it since the focus is more on the overall quality of your bike. The same is true for manufacturers. 

Kickstands are only considered as an added cost that people do not really need. It can be dangerous too. 

If you are riding on rough terrain, you do not want your kickstand to be all over the place. Ground clearance is essential in mountain biking and having a popping kickstand while riding may get caught in rocks or will break and go to your wheels which in turn will result in an accident. 

Falling is part of mountain biking

Any mountain bike when used in its natural habitat will take a lot of falls. So if you think about it, having a kickstand is quite pointless.

These rigs are built to be very sturdy. And having a kickstand seems to be one of its weaker points. Yes, the purpose is justifiable but mountain bikers know how unnecessary having one installed is especially if you ride aggressively trails. 

But for storage reasons, kickstands do make a lot of sense especially for a commuter bike. It also makes your bike more convenient to keep. 

But then again bike stands exist for a reason. And many bikes prefer to be hanged as well, rather than be kept on a stand. 

Why mountain bikes do not have a kickstand?

  • Manufacturers focus more on the essential parts of the mountain bike. If they do make one, the quality might be negligible. 
  • Safety is always key in mountain biking and kickstands could turn into a hazard if something goes wrong on the trails. 
  • If deemed needed, you can always buy a rear mount kickstand that you can use for storage as an alternative to bike stands or hangers. 
  • Mountain bikes are built for experienced mountain bikers who are almost all the time out on the trails, unlike road bikes or a touring bike that are just used on smooth roads. For them, kickstands do not matter. 
  • Inexperienced riders who opt to have one can always start with a budget bike. Most of these big-box bikes come with their kickstands installed. 
  • Kickstands do not affect an experienced rider’s overall experience thus performance parts manufacturers from a local bike shop opt not to deal with them. 

How do you park your bike if there’s no kickstand?

If you are out on the trails and taking a rest, there is more than one way to rest your bike. You can easily lean them using your bar end against a tree or any type of wall. 

If none is present, you can position your pedals in such a way that it could support the bike in an upright position while leaning it on a rock. The easiest way is to lean it on the ground. Just make sure that your mountain bike’s drive train is facing up. 

When at home, you can hang your bike using a mountain bike hanger, from the wall. This is a good way to preserve your tires as well from deforming due to long storage times. 

Or, the easiest is to have a bike stand available in your home. Bike stands are more secure when compared to kickstands. They can keep your mountain bike upright and more stable. 

Can you put a kickstand on any mountain bike?

Yes, you can surely install a generic kickstand on any mountain bike. It is just a matter of choosing the right product for the model of the bike that you are using. 

Just be careful when using those that clamp to your chainstays. It would be a bad idea if you clamp something on your carbon frame. Clamp types are the only ones that can easily mount to any mountain bike. 

Conclusion

If you think about it, kickstands are not necessary for mountain bikes. But there are cases wherein you may need one. 

The great aspect of modern mountain bikes is that they are highly customizable. And kickstands are widely available on the market. So if there are times that you would need to use your rig as a commuter, then, by all means, you can have one installed. 

Like cars, finding a place to park your bikes are quite hard nowadays. Just make sure that you choose a good quality kickstand for your mountain bike.

But if you like riding hard, get rid of that kickstand quick.

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AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.