Should I put a kickstand on my mountain bike? Cyclists have debated the answer to this question for a long time now. While some folks say that mountain bikes and kickstands may go together, others don’t even want to hear these words together in a single sentence.

You can install a kickstand on your mountain bike, but it is not ideal. While there are advantages to doing so, it is essential to assess whether the disadvantages are worth ignoring. It would be best to consider factors when adding a kickstand to a mountain bike.

Should I Put a Kickstand on My Mountain Bike?

If you are new to mountain biking, you may be asking, “should I put a kickstand on my mountain bike?” The answer to this question varies depending on whom you are talking to. But understandably, you think of putting a kickstand on your mountain bike.

This piece of equipment is helpful as it lets you quickly put your bike on the side of the trail whenever you are at a stop. But does a kickstand fit on a mountain bike?

Mountain Bikes and Kickstands

The bike industry-built mountain bikes differently. Since this type of bike needs to go through rough and bumpy trails, the materials used for making MTBs can withstand abuse. It means mountain bikes are durable, so you do not have to worry about damaging your bike when you lean them on rocks or accidentally fall over.

So, do you need to put a kickstand on your mountain bike? Not really. But this does not mean that you should abandon your thought of installing a kickstand on a mountain bike.

Whether you should install a kickstand on your MTB or not entirely depends on you. However, it is essential to note some advantages and disadvantages to adding this equipment to your mountain bike.

DIY MTB Pro Tip: Want to install a kickstand on your bike? I’ve got step by step instructions in this article. -> How to Install a Kickstand on a Bike

Factors To Consider Before Installing a Kickstand

If you want to put a kickstand to your MTB, here are some factors that you need to take into consideration:

1.    Added Weight

Integrating a kickstand into a mountain bike means adding extra weight to it. Kickstands consist of steel so that they may add drag to the bottom part of your mountain bike. Such can decrease your bike’s speed or make it more challenging to maneuver.

2.    Ground Clearance

Ground clearance is crucial for mountain biking. Since trails are full of obstacles, you need to ensure that no part of your bike can get caught up on rocks or twigs to prevent accidents.

So, before installing a kickstand on your mountain bike, check whether its position can ruin your ground clearance.

3.    Kickstand Type

There are three major types of kickstands:

  • Portable Kickstand – lightweight and detachable
  • Rear Kickstand – a single leg stand that attaches to your mountain bike’s rear wheel, particularly on the chainstay
  • Center Kickstand – either a single or double leg stand placed close to the mountain bike’s pedals

When installing a kickstand on your mountain bike, choose the one that best fits the environment where you take your bike and the bike itself. This way, you can reduce the chances of getting into an accident caused by your kickstand getting caught up on a rock or a tree root. (source)

Kickstands On Mountain Bikes: The Good and The Bad

Pros and Cons on Mountain Bike Kickstands
Pros and Cons on Mountain Bike Kickstands

Should I put a kickstand on my mountain bike? If you consider a kickstand as an addition to your bike, you may want to look at the pros and cons.

Pros

Kickstands Make MTBs Easy to Load And Unload

Some bikers prefer to travel to various cities to discover new trails. In such cases, they need to load and unload their mountain bike on their vehicle to make traveling easier.

Kickstands make loading and unloading the bike a lot less complicated. Positioning the bike inside a vehicle is also hassle-free as there is something to support the bike even when no one is holding it upright.

It Makes It Easy to Clean Your Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes are easier to clean when upright with a kickstand to support them. This way, you will not have to support the bike with one hand while cleaning it.

It Prevents Mountain Bikes from Falling Over

Kickstands are great for supporting your bike when you are not riding it. It decreases the chance of the bike falling over and acquiring scratches.

However, cyclists use mountain bikes on terrains where there are obstacles that can scratch or even cause minor damage to your bike. Such is why MTBs are more durable than other types of bikes. So, while installing a kickstand can be beneficial, it does not add value to your MTB since it is already durable with or without a kickstand. (source)

Cons

Kickstands Weigh Down Your Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes need to be as lightweight as possible. As mentioned, installing a kickstand can add weight to your bike, thus making it difficult to reach your destination. Such is especially true if you are pedaling uphill.

Adds Unnecessary Complexity to The Bike

Manufacturers built bike kickstands to fit any bike. You will not find a kickstand constructed specifically for the mountain bike model you have. While you can install any kickstand as long as it fits your MTB, doing so may result in a clunky ride.

Your Mountain Bike Will Still Fall

Cyclists drive their mountain bikes in places with many obstacles, such as bumps on the trail. So, even with a kickstand, your mountain bike will take a lot of falls. That said, installing a kickstand seems pointless after all.

This equipment will only add unnecessary costs to your bike maintenance amount. (source)

DIY MTB Pro Tip: Wondering why so many MTBs don’t have a Kickstand? Problem solved in this article -> Do Mountain Bike Have Kickstands?

Alternatives To Using a Kickstand

Keeping your mountain bike upright rather than leaning it on the wall seems appealing. You will not have to worry about your bike falling over and acquiring damage. For this reason, some mountain bikers think of installing a kickstand on their bikes. But if you prefer not to, here are some alternatives to using a kickstand:

Lay The Mountain Bike on The Ground

One of the safest ways to park your mountain bike is to lay it flat on the ground. This position prevents the bike from having scratches or damage. You only need to ensure that the pedal is up to support the entire bike’s body.

In addition, make sure to lay the bike with the derailleur facing up. If positioned correctly, the only parts of your mountain bike that will contact the ground are the tires, pedal, and handlebar.

Lean The Bike Against an Object

You may think that leaning your mountain bike against an object, a tree, or a huge rock, for instance, can scratch it. However, if you lean the bike correctly, you can prevent damage from happening.

When leaning your mountain bike against an object, try to lean it with the three contact points:

  • rear tire
  • saddle
  • handlebar

If these contact points can’t touch the object, you are leaning your bike to, try to make at least the rear wheel come in contact when positioning the bike. There is less chance for your mountain bike to fall over if the handlebar or front-wheel flicks.

Use A Stick (A Sturdy One)

If you are on a trail, there are instances when you will not be able to find a clear ground to lay your bike on or an object to lean it into. The solution is to stand your mountain bike upright using a sturdy stick in such a case.

Look for a stick that measures approximately 12 inches long. Then, place it between the rear swingarm and the disk on the bike’s non-drive side. The bar will serve as a kickstand, only that you can dispose of it once you are ready to go biking again.

Lean The Bike Against Another Bike

You can only do this trick if you are biking with a friend. Place the bike a foot or two away, with one of the bikes facing left and the other facing right. Next, lean the bikes carefully against each other.

You will not need to lay your mountain bike on the ground or lean it against a tree in this position. (source)

DIY MTB Pro Tip: Is your kickstand loose? Wobbly? Let’s get it fixed with this article. -> How to Fix a Loose Bike Kickstand

Final Thoughts

Should I put a kickstand on my mountain bike? The answer depends on your decision. You can install a kickstand on your mountain bike if you want. However, make sure to consider some factors.

Are kickstands beneficial to a mountain bike? Not really. While there are benefits to installing it on your mountain bike, the downsides counter these advantages. For instance, a kickstand can prevent your bike from falling over when you park it. But cycling on a trail will inevitably make the bike fall down several times.

So, a kickstand may be an unnecessary addition to your MTB.

Do you have any questions regarding this article? Leave them in the comment section, and we’ll try to answer them!


Looking for Some More Ways to Help Your Bike Last


David DIY MTB

David Humphries is the creator of DIY Mountain Bike. For me a relaxing day involves riding my mountain bike to decompress after a long day. When not on my bike I can be found wrenching on it or casting a fly on a small mountain stream. Read more about David HERE.

Sources

  1. International Police Mountain Bike Organization. The Complete Guide to Public Safety Cycling. USA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 2007. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=OWeDspfAdKcC&pg=PA41&dq=Factors+To+Consider+Before+Installing+A+Mountain+Bike+Kickstand&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjfu8OAvej3AhXwtlYBHbICBa8Q6AF6BAgKEAI#v=onepage&q=Factors%20To%20Consider%20Before%20Installing%20A%20Mountain%20Bike%20Kickstand&f=false.
  2. C. Calvin Jones. Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair: 4th Edition. Park Tool, 2019. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=CDcLEAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=how+to+park+a+bike&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjxlbfNwOj3AhX-gFYBHUfZAa4Q6AF6BAgGEAI#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20park%20a%20bike&f=false.
  3. Vic Armijo. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cycling. DK Publishing, 1999. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=w4cYE5flGIMC&pg=PT199&dq=should+i+install+a+kickstand+on+my+mountain+bike&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi198a2vuj3AhUrpVYBHUaHCbAQ6AF6BAgKEAI#v=onepage&q=should%20i%20install%20a%20kickstand%20on%20my%20mountain%20bike&f=false.

Brian Lopes. Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. USA: Human Kinetics, 2017. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=CvJ6DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA237&dq=how+to+lean+a+bike+properly+on+an+object&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiq96_vwej3AhVCqFYBHehIC684ChDoAXoECAYQAg#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20lean%20a%20bike%20properly%20on%20an%20object&f=false.