The Short Answer is:
Road bikes don't come with kickstands because they are designed to be sleek, fast machines that people use for exercise, group rides, and even racing. Kickstands add weight and increase wind resistance, which is not desirable for serious cyclists. However, if you still want a kickstand for your road bike, you can add an aftermarket one that fits most bikes and is easy to install.
one question that often arises in the minds of road bikers is, “Why Don’t Road Bikes Come With Kickstands?” While kickstands are a common feature on leisure bikes, they are rarely found on mountain bikes and road bikes. Some may think that bike companies choose not to include kickstands to save money, but the real reason is more complex.
In this article, we will explore the top reasons why road bikes don’t have kickstands, including the added weight and the potential for damage. So, let’s dive in and find out why kickstands are not a common feature on road bikes.
Table of Contents
Purpose and Function of Kickstands
Kickstands are devices on bicycles that allow them to be kept upright without leaning against another object or the aid of a person. However, road bikes almost always come without kickstands. One reason for this is that road cyclists aim to be as light as possible, and kickstands add weight.
Additionally, the less aerodynamic profile of a bike with a kickstand is counterproductive to a road bike’s design goals of fast and efficient riding. The sole purpose of a kickstand is to hold a bike upright while not being ridden, which is most useful when it can’t be supported by another object.
However, many riders prefer to lean their bikes against walls or other objects instead of using a kickstand. While touring bicycles may have two kickstands, one at the rear and a second in the front, road bikes are designed for speed and efficiency, and kickstands are not necessary for their purpose and function.
The Design and Weight Considerations of Road Bikes
Road bikes are designed for speed and efficiency, and as such, they are built to be as lightweight and aerodynamic as possible. This is why they do not come with kickstands. Kickstands add extra weight to the bike, which can slow it down and make it more difficult to handle.
Additionally, the added weight can make it harder to carry the bike when necessary, such as when climbing stairs or loading it onto a car rack. While kickstands may be useful for some types of bikes, they are not necessary for road bikes.
Instead, cyclists can use other methods to support their bikes when they are not riding them, such as leaning them against a wall or using a bike stand. By eliminating the kickstand, road bike manufacturers are able to create a bike that is optimized for speed and performance, without sacrificing any unnecessary weight or aerodynamic drag.
In conclusion, the design and weight considerations of road bikes are the main reasons why they do not come with kickstands. While kickstands may be useful for some types of bikes, they are not necessary for road bikes, and their absence allows for a more streamlined and efficient design.
Road Bike Aesthetics and Performance
Road bike aesthetics and performance are often prioritized over practicality, which is why most road bikes do not come with kickstands. Kickstands add weight to the bike, which can affect its performance, and they can also affect the bike’s aerodynamics.
Additionally, some cyclists prefer the clean aesthetic of a road bike without a kickstand. However, kickstands can be useful for certain types of bikes, such as two-wheel cargo bikes, bikes with child seats, e-bikes, and loaded touring bikes.
In these cases, a kickstand can provide practicality and convenience. There are various types of kickstands available, including single and double-leg kickstands, and they come in different materials and weights.
While some cyclists may not want to add a kickstand to their road bike due to weight, aerodynamics, or aesthetics, others may prioritize practicality and find a kickstand to be a useful addition. Ultimately, the decision to add a kickstand to a road bike depends on the cyclist’s personal preferences and needs.
Cycling Culture and Road Bike Practices
Cycling culture and road bike practices have evolved over time and one of the changes that have occurred in the absence of kickstands on road bikes. Kickstands are not as useful to or wanted by cyclists on road bikes, as they add weight and increase drag, which is not ideal for a sleek and fast machine designed for exercise, group rides, and racing.
Additionally, when stopping at a cafe or convenience store, a kickstand is not necessarily useful, as cyclists will want to lock their bikes up to prevent theft. While kickstands have their place on the mountain or touring bikes, manufacturers do not bother putting them on road bikes, as very few cyclists want them.
In Japanese bike culture, transporting kids to and from school is a common practice, and some even practice the tradition of ‘sannin-nori’ – or three-on-a-bike. However, in the US, kickstands are not a common feature on road bikes, and cyclists prefer to lean their bikes against something or lock them up when not in use. Ultimately, the absence of kickstands on road bikes is a result of the evolution of cycling culture and road bike practices.
Alternative Solutions to Kickstands
While kickstands are not commonly found on road bikes, there are alternative solutions available to park your bike without one. Here are some options:
- Click-Stand: This is a great alternative to the kickstand and does the same job. It is made of connected sections of tubing connected with a shock cord. A rubber-coated cradle on one end rests under the bike’s top tube, while a rubber foot on the other end grips.
- Upstand: Similar to the Click-Stand, it is also made of connected sections of tubing connected with a shock cord. However, it is made of carbon fiber and has a neodymium magnet on the “bike” end instead of a cradle.
- Chain stay kickstand: You can choose to mount a kickstand on the chain stay. For different bikes, their chain stays could be round, oval, or square.
- Wall mount: You can use a wall mount to park your bike. This is a great option if you have limited space.
- Lean your bike: You can lean your bike against a wall or a tree. This is a simple and free option.
- DIY kickstand: You can make your own kickstand using a piece of wood or metal. This is a cheap and easy option.
In conclusion, while kickstands are not commonly found on road bikes, there are alternative solutions available to park your bike without one. These options are affordable, easy to use, and can help keep your bike upright and safe.
Pros and Cons of Using Kickstands on Road Bikes
Kickstands are a popular accessory for bikes, but they have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of using kickstands on road bikes:
- A kickstand provides a convenient way to park your bike upright at a standstill, without having to lean it against a wall or other object.
- It can help prevent scratches or damage to the bike’s frame or components that can occur when leaning the bike against a rough surface.
- It can be useful for carrying cargo or making repairs, as it allows you to keep the bike upright and stable.
- Kickstands can add weight to the bike, which can affect its performance and handling.
- They can also add drag to the bottom of the bike, which can decrease speed or make it more challenging to ride.
- Some kickstands can be unstable or wobbly, which can be dangerous if the bike falls over.
- They can interfere with pedaling or get in the way when riding off-road or on rough terrain.
Overall, whether or not to use a kickstand on a road bike depends on personal preference and the specific needs of the rider. Some riders may find the convenience of a kickstand outweighs the added weight and drag, while others may prefer to keep their bike as lightweight and streamlined as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Road Bike Kickstand:
Can I install a kickstand on my road bike if it doesn’t come with one?
Yes, you can install a kickstand on your road bike even if it doesn’t come with one.
Are there any specific techniques or methods for propping up a road bike without a kickstand?
Yes, there are several techniques and methods for propping up a road bike without a kickstand. Some of these include using a bike rack, leaning the handlebar against a wall or tree, turning the bike upside down on the floor, hooking the bike’s bar over a fence or railing, and using kickstand alternatives such as the Click-Stand or the Upstand. Another technique is to dismount next to a curb and use your foot to spin your cranks counterclockwise until the pedal rests on the curb.
Do professional road cyclists use kickstands during races or training?
No, professional road cyclists do not use kickstands during races or training. Kickstands are not commonly used on road bikes, as they add weight and can affect the aerodynamics of the bike. While kickstands may be useful for mountain or touring bikes, they are not necessary for road bikes and are not typically used by professional cyclists.
Conclusion: Why Don’t Road Bikes Come With Kickstands?
In conclusion, road bikes are designed for speed and efficiency, and the addition of a kickstand would add unnecessary weight and drag. While it may be inconvenient to not have a kickstand, there are alternative solutions such as leaning the bike against a wall or using a portable kickstand.
Ultimately, the decision to include a kickstand on a road bike is up to the individual rider and their specific needs. However, it is important to understand the reasons why road bikes typically do not come with kickstands.