Gear Talk: Kickstand Reviews

29 Aug

“A kickstand? Why would you want a kickstand?” That was the response from the guy promoting Chris King‘s new line of Beloved Cycles at Mellow Johnny’s in Austin, when we were there last February for the Handmade Bike Show. Take a look at these two lovely bikes. Nice lines, beautiful colors, a delightful retro appeal. Perfect for trips to the coffee shop, to the drugstore, to visit friends except for one thing: no kickstands.

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard prejudice against kickstands. It’s a rare thing that roadies and mountain bikers agree on. But kickstands are useful, even necessary, for certain bikes and certain situations. Here’s my take:

  • Road bike for racing or day rides: NO kickstand.
  • Mountain bike racing or trail rides: NO kickstand.
  • Any bike with a basket or rack for carrying stuff: Kickstand REQUIRED.
  • Any bike for errands around town, locking up for quick stops: Kickstand DESIRABLE.

I have kickstands on my bikes with racks and I love them. Since only one actually came with a kickstand, I had to research and decide on which kickstand was right for each bike. They’re not all the same.

Standard Single Leg Kickstand
This classic design represents probably 90% of the kickstands in use worldwide. It attaches to the frame  between the chain stays just behind the bottom bracket and flips up by simply straightening the bike and kicking it back. Dick installed one from Greenfield on the singlespeed he rides on our bike dates. I originally had one on Zella Mae, my errand bike, until I wore it out from putting too much load on it.


  • Available almost anywhere for less than $10.
  • Some models have an adjustable length so you don’t have to cut the leg to fit your bike.


  • Does not fit some bikes, especially performance road bikes, that don’t have space between the bottom bracket and the wheel for the mounting bracket.
  • Obstructs the pedals when down, which isn’t an issue until you roll your bike backwards, say in the garage or parking area.

Chainstay Single Leg Kickstand
Instead of mounting behind the bottom bracket, this kickstand mounts near the rear axle. I originally got this Greenfield kickstand for Lily, my old steel road bike, since she doesn’t have space for a standard kickstand’s mounting bracket. We also installed them on our touring bikes to handle a heavy load on the rear rack.


  • Works on bikes that don’t have room behind the bottom bracket for the mounting bracket.
  • Does not obstruct pedals.
  • Costs about $20.  More than the standard kickstand, but still pretty cheap.


  • Harder to find, and only available in black.
  • A heavier load in the rear of the bike can make the front end swing around.
  • Looks a bit dorky, doesn’t it?

Double Leg Centerstand
Most commonly found on motorcycles, this kickstand leans the bike fore and aft vs. leaning to one side. The two legs fold neatly to one side when not supporting the bike. I installed this Pletscher ESGE on Juliett, my Dutch bike due to her portly size. I liked it so much I installed another one on Zella Mae after I wore out her original kickstand by carrying too many heavy groceries.


  • Supports heavier bikes and heavier loads.
  • The bike remains upright, which makes it easier to load.
  • Even your friends that would never own a bike with a kickstand will think it’s cool.


  • More expensive. About $50 for the Pletscher ESGE model shown here.
  • Load must be evenly distributed left to right or it will tip over.
  • With more weight in the back, the front wheel flops into the frame unless you have a wheel stabilizer.

Do you have kickstands on any of your bikes? If yes, which type works for you? If not, when would you consider installing a kickstand?


Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Gear Talk


28 responses to “Gear Talk: Kickstand Reviews

  1. Brian

    August 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I love my classic Greenfield kickstand!

    This has to be the Internet’s most comprehensive and enthusiastic page about kickstands.

  2. Hans

    August 30, 2011 at 7:20 am

    A double-leg kickstand is mandatory if you pull a trail-a-bike! I love my cheap (18.99) stand from Crow Cycles:


  3. ladyfleur

    August 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Thanks, Brian, for the compliment. Hans, nice find, and adjustable too! It looks like it doesn’t come with a mounting plate. Does your bike have a built-in mounting bracket, or did you have to find one separately?

  4. velogirl

    August 30, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I LOVE kickstands and would love to find a nice high-end one for my Sycip road bike since I use it for teaching (and often-times end up laying her on the ground during clinics). Any suggestions?

    I have the dual-stand on my touring bike and have never had an issue with tipping to the sides — I guess I’m just laterally balanced. The other nice thing about this kickstand is you can vary the weight to the front or rear wheel to aid with repairs and adjustments.

  5. ladyfleur

    August 30, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Lorri, I think the one that mounts at the rear triangle would work. It’s very quick and easy to install and remove too, so you could slap it on before the clinic and remove it afterwards.

    I can see how the centerstand is great for touring, but I have had times loading and unloading my grocery bike where I turned away with only one pannier full and it fell over. With the rear mounted one, I just make sure I load that side first and I’m good. It’s not a problem on the Dutch bike, though. She’s so heavy it takes a lot to knock her over.

  6. fiedlerin

    April 6, 2012 at 5:40 am

    This article reminded me of the German Postal Service bikes. They are meant for frequent stops and of course they are fully packed with mail.

    Here is the link

    Maybe not very practical for the regular commuter but I always loved them 🙂

  7. Guido

    May 22, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I’m using the rear kickstand on my commuter bike. MTB and Race Bike have none – but I don’t need them on these bikes and it would look a bit strange to these pure sport bikes. Rear kickstands works better for me as I have two panniers ( one for clothes / shoes – one for the “OffIce” ), so the Commuter bike is pretty stable with both panniers.

  8. Dave Erskine

    June 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Another version of the chainstay single leg stand
    Need to be careful that the tab is aligned but it get completely out of the way while peddling.

    • ladyfleur

      June 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      I’ve only seen the UpStand online before, but Lorri of VeloGirls uses that stand for her road bike when she teaches her skills classes. She got tired of picking up and setting down her bike to demo skills. I think she takes it off between classes.

      Do you use it all the time on your bike?

      • Lorri Lee Lown -- Savvy Bike

        June 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        I like the UpStand a lot. I use it for all my clinics and occasionally use it when riding. As Dave noted, you definitely have to align the tab just right or it won’t hold. You also have to tighten the QR skewer down very tightly, which concerns me wrt hub tuning (although the founder says this isn’t a problem). I’d use it on more rides but putting the stand in my jersey pocket is a bit awkward since it’s kinda long.

        I have the first-generation model and I’ve seen later models. One nice improvement is that they now include a nice velcro strap to hold it together securely (improving the jersey pocket issue).

  9. el timito

    June 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Hmmm, now that I think of it, all my bikes have kickstands except the tourer. I’m not a big fan of the standard single-leg – too many tip-overs, given my obsession with bringing a pannier. I used the chainstay single-leg for years, though now my daily ride has the Pletscher.
    The Xtracycle-specific double-leg stand is great – you can sit on the bike and relax. The bakfiets has an even burlier version.
    Perhaps the handiest stand for an unusual application is the Click-Stand ( which keeps our tandem upright even when loaded with front and rear bags. Maybe I need to get one for the touring bike too!

    • ladyfleur

      June 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      That Click-Stand is really cool. I may have to order one of those for our tandem.

  10. pinkbicyclesociety

    July 2, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Great article!y

  11. Paul

    July 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    I have a mountain bike that I use for commuting, and when the bike is parked up at home, I really needed a stand. However the bike didn’t come with one, but it did have a mounting system that allowed for certain types to be installed. So I got a Pletscher stand from these guys: and it works like a charm!

  12. Molly

    August 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I have the Civia Double leg kickstand. It is smooth to engage and works on a bicycle without a plate, but is not adjustable in height. So for certain sizes of bicycle – fabulous! Other bicycles – decorative!

  13. Parker

    October 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    My bike came with an ordinary Greenfield kickstand (on a nice little bracket welded to the chainstays near the bottom bracket). I noticed that most police bikes use the rear-triangle type (police often carry a heavy bag on their rear rack), so I added one of those. As an experiment, I left BOTH kickstands on, and after many miles and carrying many pounds of cargo, I like it! The dual stands keep both wheels on the ground, providing four points of contact, with a wider stance than the two-legged Pletscher I have on another bike in the family. And the combination is cheap. My friends at the local bike shop tell me a number of other local riders have a similar arrangement. Disclaimer: I’m not out for a “chic” award. 🙂

    • ladyfleur

      October 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      That’s a clever idea to use both the standard single leg and the rear triangle one. I can see how that would work well.

  14. Jim Fenton

    January 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    A problem I have had with the chainstay single-leg kickstand on my wife’s bicycle is that it’s too far rear of the center of gravity of the bicycle. If the bike isn’t balanced carefully, it will fall over.

    Another type of stand that I love, although not technically a kickstand, is the Rhode Gear Flickstand. It’s a small clip that keeps the front wheel from turning (left/right or around) which makes the bike more stable when it’s leaning against a wall or bike rack. I don’t think they’re made any more; I found mine on eBay.

  15. Mari Lynch

    January 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you! In working with the boys at the Monterey County Youth Center bike class, the kickstand on my bike (vs none on the bikes of the other teachers) has made for some good-natured chat.

    When a boy was working on a bike for his mom, I encouraged him to add a kickstand if she runs errands by bike. Next time the boys are pondering our little box of used kickstands, I’ll tell them about your post. I’ve also added a link to your post to Bicycling Monterey’s “Shopping by Bike” section.

    Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for bringing this post to my attention.

  16. gasstationwithoutpumps

    January 24, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I have a long wheelbase recumbent (a Vanguard). I have yet to see a kickstand that has any chance of working with it. I’ve also found that kickstand is not that essential (even with a Trail-A-Bike or when grocery shopping). I always park my bike against a post or U rack (so I can lock it securely), so I’ve not often had it fall over.

  17. تمويل

    August 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers?
    I’d really appreciate it.

    • ladyfleur

      August 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Sorry about your comment getting eaten and thanks for taking the time to chime in again with the compliment!

      Advice on blogging? That could be a blog post. 🙂 The first things that come to mind are to keep it true to who you are and where you live, and dig a little deeper to get to the emotion behind or an underlying truth of the story you’re telling. And use photos to tell the story. You don’t need to be a photographer to do that. I take all of mine with my cellphone.

  18. Fred Schlomka

    January 7, 2016 at 7:38 am

    I installed a Pletscher double stand on my Oxford Bikes tourer, and it tips over very easily. Why would that be? I am now looking to replace the kickstand.

    • Sunlight Daylight

      March 3, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Did you leave the legs too long? Are they cut to the correct length. Maybe you cut too much off.

  19. Adam Tipps Weinstein

    August 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Came across you post while looking at kickstand info. Just thought I’d tell you my daughter’s name is Zella Mae. Weird!


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