Mountain bikes have different parts.
And one of the most infamous parts is the kickstand.
Yes, it has its own purpose and function for a bike. But it’s not really that necessary, especially if you’ll have it on a mountain bike. This is why many mountain bikers prefer not to have a kickstand.
But there are still many who are curious and ask, “Why no kickstand on mountain bike?”
Well, that’s what this article is about. Here, we’ll be giving you the reasons 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 stand upright. You need not put your bike on the side of a wall and have its grips touch the surface. You just use your feet to slowly kick the stand found on the lower left side of your frame. Hence, its name “kickstand.”
Kickstands are usually made from cheap plastic. But there are also some that are made from aluminum alloy. We commonly find these on stock mountain bikes. It is connected to the left side of the frame’s chain stay via bolt.
Advantages of Having a Kickstand
The primary reason some bikers prefer kickstands is because of its convenience. Having one means that you need not find a wall or surface where you can lean your bike on. You also don’t have to lay it flat on the ground.
This means that the grips and pedals won’t have any scratches or damages because they won’t touch any surface. Instead, your bike will just stand upright wherever you want. Kick it, and viola!
You might have experienced seeing your bike fall to the ground, even if you’ve just parked it. This might happen because it might not have parked properly against a wall.
A common scenario is when the grips or saddle move after somebody accidentally hits it as they walk past your bike. But you don’t have to worry about this when you have a kickstand. It provides a stable parking position as long as you park it on a flat surface.
Most, if not all kickstands also have a rubber tip which provides grip and traction on the ground. This makes it less likely to move on its own.
Related: 7 Best Mountain Bike Kickstand
Why You Don’t Need a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike?
Prone to getting caught up to the elements
There are a lot of obvious reasons you don’t need a kickstand on your mountain bike. And one of the biggest reasons is safety. A kickstand puts you in grave danger because it can easily get caught up on rocks, twigs, plants, or some natural element you might ride along.
This is true, especially that you’re riding in the mountains where you come across varying terrains. The trails are just so unpredictable. You’ll find the kickstand on the lowest-most side of your bike. This makes them very prone to hitting something.
And what happens when your kickstand hits or is caught up on some trail feature? They extend fully and makes you lose balance. You then lose control and crash! You surely don’t want to experience that, right?
Unbalanced bike geometry
Mountain bikes have their own geometry. This means they have their own size, measurement, and frame angles. These are specifically designed to ensure optimal balance and performance.
Putting a kickstand on your mountain bike just messes up all these crucial bike geometries. You’re most likely to lose balance because your bike is heavier on the left side. This is where you’ll find the kickstand.
This takes a huge toll on your performance and can slow you down. It just messes things up in simpler words.
Ugly to look at
We know it’s frank and vocal. But that’s what it is. Having a kickstand makes your bike look ugly. Though, others won’t agree to this.
Some bikers, especially the newbies, might even find them cool! But we, real and experienced mountain bikers, know that they’re downright hideous! Like what we’ve said earlier, it just messes up the look of your bike. Just leave your bike as it is and without a kickstand.
Why no kickstand on mountain bike?
The answer to that is simple. You don’t need it because it is unnecessary.
This is because there is always another way to park your bike. Having a bike kickstand means that you’re just too lazy to find that way.
And as a mountain biker, have the initiative to look for other means to solve issues. In this way, parking your bike! This issue is just very minor. And you need not depend on a certain part or component just to park your bike!
Not only are you just adding unnecessary weight on your bike. But you also mess up its aesthetic appeal and performance.
Here are some of the most common parts to use when parking your bike aside from using kickstands:
- Rear tire
You can park your bike by putting its grips against a wall. You can even use the saddle in case you don’t want to have your grips touch a wall.
Also, you can use your rear tire as a leverage for parking on any surface, whether it be a wall or tree. Lodge your pedal on a rock, boulder, or tree stump. And you’ll have your bike standing upright in no time. There’s just a lot of ways to park your bicycle without using a kickstand!
Comparing the Importance of Kickstands on Mountain Bikes and Road Bikes
How it is used
Mountain bikes are built for rugged off-road use. While road bikes are meant for smooth usage because they’re just used on paved roads. This means that mountain bikes are designed to get a good amount of beating.
This makes having a kickstand unnecessary because you can just park your mountain bike anywhere. You don’t have to worry if they get scratches because they’re built tough, right?
Compare that to road bikes which are very delicate and sensitive. That even a light impact can damage and break the frame. Hence, you need a kickstand to ensure that it won’t get scratches or any kind of damage from touching surfaces.
Where it is used
Mountain bikes are used in the mountains and trails. While road bikes are used on paved roads. That is an obvious fact that gives an obvious answer. And that mountain bikes are expected to have scratches.
The number one reason some have kickstands on their mountain bikes is because they don’t want their bike to get scratches.
That kind of thinking is very wrong because you’re going to have scratches, eventually. You might ride across a thick brush. Or accidentally hit a tree or have some rocks blasting down your frame.
This means that kickstands are more okay on road bikes compared to mountain bikes.
Mountain bike kickstands have their purpose. They are also undoubtedly useful. But is that enough reason why have them on your mountain bike? Nope.
Not only are you putting yourself at risk of crashing and getting injuries. But you also limit your bike’s potential because you mess up its geometry and aesthetics.
There are many ways to park your bike without using a kickstand. You just need to have the initiative and creativity. And a real mountain biker should have lots of those traits!
So, why no kickstand on mountain bike?
It’s because it’s all about riding safe and free.
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.