Why Don't Mountain Bikes Have Kickstands?

Why Don’t Mountain Bikes Have Kickstands?

Imagine your first mountain bike just got delivered, but you can’t seem to find a kickstand in the box. No need to stress! Mountain bikes rarely come with a kickstand.

For novice mountain bikers, it’s essential to learn your bike’s fundamentals before hitting the trails, including why you don’t normally see kickstands on mountain bikes.

Let’s explore this topic a little further.

What is a kickstand?

If you have a bike or used to have one, you would already know what a kickstand is.

But for those who don’t know, a kickstand is an accessory that helps keep your bike upright when you have nothing to lean on or hang when it is at rest.

When you are not riding your bike and want to park it, you can use the kickstand to balance it upright. On most bikes, you can find the kickstand on the chain stay of your bike’s frame.

The reason why people call it a kickstand is that you use your feet to lower it. 

Generally, you’ll only find kickstands on commuter bikes or casual mountain bikes that are more for commuting purposes than for actual trails.

They add more convenience for beginner riders as they can park their bikes anywhere. But, if you are a more experienced rider, you do not need (nor want) a kickstand on your mountain bike frame.

Why Don’t Mountain Bikes Usually Have Kickstands?

If you go to a bike shop and explore all the mountain bike options, you’ll quickly see a pattern: pretty much none of them will have a kickstand.

They are usually displayed using custom stands made only for showcasing purposes. Even if you ask the sales reps at the shop, they will tell you that mountain bikes don’t come with kickstands. This might confuse you a little because many bikes you see daily usually have a kickstand on them.

But with mountain bikes, things are a bit different, as they have a completely different use case.

The main reason is to eliminate extra weight from the bike. You might be thinking, how much additional weight can a kickstand really add to a bike?? But the reality is that every ounce starts to matter when you’re climbing difficult terrain. By removing even the slightest additional weight, manufacturers can make their bikes easier to climb and maneuver.

This increases efficiency for cyclists as they can push harder and ride their bikes for longer durations.

Adventurists get a mountain bike to ride on rough and remote routes full of bushes and rough patches. These trails have all sorts of obstacles, like bushes, wires, roots, etc., that can snag onto the stand, causing an accident.

Getting injured in a remote area with no people and no immediate medical care nearby can be extremely dangerous for a rider.

To provide maximum safety, manufacturers avoid adding kickstands to their mountain bikes.

Why You Don’t Need a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes fulfill a specific purpose. People use them to ride on rough terrain, trails, and off-road routes, which can be very challenging. Hence, their bikes must be sturdy, balanced, light, and reliable.

A Mountain Bikes Weight Make It Unbalanced

Cyclists take their mountain bikes on mountains and trails. To get better acceleration, they often start with high-intensity peddling.

The entire design of a mountain bike follows a specific geometry to help cyclists get and maintain their balance on uneven terrain. If you add a kickstand to the bike, the entire geometry will be thrown off, and your centre of gravity will be shifted.

Kickstands Make Your Bike Heavier

Cycling in the mountains is one of the most physically demanding exercises. Hence, manufacturers aim to make mountain bikes as light as possible while not sacrificing the strength or integrity of the bike.

To achieve that, they omit parts that carry little value but add weight to the bike. Kickstands make your bike heavier, and you do not want that when you are on a challenging ride.

They Can Get Snagged On Things As You Ride

Mountain trails have leaves, roots, trees, and numerous other obstacles. The kickstand of your bike extends outwards from the chain stay. It can easily snag onto various things on the path and might cause an accident.

Imagine this: you are flying down a mountain, and suddenly your kickstand snags on a tree or a branch. You could imagine how easy it would be to fly off your back and not only damage it but potentially suffer some serious injuries yourself.

Kickstands Can Potentially Hurt You While Mountain Biking

Manufacturers don’t add kickstands to mountain bikes for safety reasons. Since it is an additional accessory installed on the chain stay, it can easily come off if it gets snagged onto roots or bushes on the trail. If it gets snagged, you can lose your balance and fall off.

On top of that, it can also hit you as it comes off while breaking. In both cases, the kickstand can hurt you.

How To Safely Lay Down a Mountain Bike When You Don’t Have A Kickstand

So how do you park your mountain bike if it does not have a kickstand? Here are a couple of simple options:

  • You can gently place the bike on either side, ensuring it rests on the pedals and handles. Do not worry about your bike getting scratched. At the end of the day, it will have scratches if it is a mountain bike.
  • If there is a tree, a pole, or an enormous boulder nearby, you can gently rest your bike’s frame on it and lay it down. Ensure you do not park it in the middle of the trail, where it may impede other cyclists. Search for a tree on the side of the trail and park your bike there.

Besides that, you can also buy and install a kickstand if that is something you want.