Last Updated on July 28, 2023
Mountain bikes have different parts.
And one of the most infamous parts is the kickstand.
Yes, it has its purpose and function for a bike. But it’s unnecessary, especially if you’ll have it on a mountain bike. This is why many mountain bikers prefer not to have a kickstand.
But many are still curious and ask, “why don’t mountain bikes have kickstands?”
Well, that’s what this article is about. Here, we’ll explain why your mountain bike doesn’t need a kickstand. We’ll also give you some background details about kickstands and where they best fit.
What is a kickstand?
A kickstand is a component that makes a bike upright. It is connected to the left side of the bike frame chainstay via a bolt. To use it, slowly kick the stand to lock it down. Hence, its name is “kickstand.” Creative, I know.
Kickstands are usually made from cheap plastic. But some are made from aluminum alloy. We commonly find these on stock mountain bikes and lower-end bikes aimed at beginners in the cycling industry.
Advantages of Having a Kickstand
Having one means you need not find a wall or surface on which you can lean your bike or lay it flat on the ground.
This means that the grips and pedals won’t have any scratches or damage because they won’t touch any surface. Instead, your bike will stand upright wherever you want. Kick it, and voila!
You might have experienced seeing your bike fall to the ground, even if you’ve just parked it. A typical scenario is when the grips or saddle move after somebody accidentally hits it as they walk past your bike.
A kickstand keeps your bike stable in the parking position, even if someone accidentally hits it.
Most bikes, if not all double-leg kickstands, also have a rubber tip for extra grip and traction to make the bike less likely to move on its own.
Related: 7 Best Mountain Bike Kickstand
Why Don’t You Need a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike?
Prone to getting caught up in the elements
The kickstand’s position makes it prone to hitting something. Your kickstand can easily get caught up on rocks, twigs, plants, or some natural element you pass by on the road or mountains.
And what happens when this happens? The kickstand extends fully, making you lose control and crash the bike, potentially injuring yourself! You surely don’t want to experience that, right?
It also lowers ground clearance, can mess up your paint finish, add extra weight, and give you the feeling of uneven ground.
Unbalanced bike geometry
Mountain bikes have their own geometry. This means they have their sizes, measurements, and frame angles. These are specifically designed to ensure optimal balance and performance.
Putting a kickstand on your mountain bike could mess up its geometry by making it heavier on the left side.
This takes a significant toll on your performance and can slow you down. It just messes things up, in simpler words.
Ugly to look at
Let’s not mince words here—having a kickstand makes your bike look ugly as sin.
Others won’t agree with this. Some bikers, especially the newbies, might even find them cool, but to each their own! But some (including myself) just find it downright hideous!
This is a subjective take, so you may disagree with me on this. But considering the safety concerns it brings to your biking, I’d rather not have a kickstand on my mountain bike. And did I mention they look terrible?
You don’t need a kickstand because it is unnecessary for mountain biking.
There are other ways to park your bike.
In fact, you need not depend on a certain part or component just to park your bikes. Here are some of the most common parts to use when parking your bike aside from using mountain bike kickstands:
- Rear tire
Also, you can use your rear tire as leverage for parking on any surface, whether it be a wall or a tree. Lodge your pedals on a rock, boulder, or tree stump near the trail to make your bike stand upright.
There is no need to buy the best kickstand in the market for your bicycle or bother getting double-leg kickstands if you’re into the real thing.
Comparing the Importance of Kickstands on Mountain Bikes and Road Bikes
Kickstands on road bikes are a different matter altogether.
First, mountain bikes are built for rugged off-road use. This means mountain bikes are designed to get a good amount of beating. And if it gets scratches and nicks from parking differently, so what? Trust me, your mountain bike will do just fine without a kickstand.
On the other hand, delicate and sensitive road bikes are for smooth, paved roads. Even a light impact can damage and break the frame of most road bikes.
The same is true for a touring bike and a commuter bike, which are very fragile due to their light structure.
Therefore, a road or commuter bike needs a kickstand to prevent it from major damage.
Mountain bike kickstands have their purpose. They are also undoubtedly useful.
But, ultimately, you’re putting yourself at risk of crashing and getting injuries.
My opinion? Don’t get a kickstand. There are many ways to park your bicycle without using a mountain bike kickstand.