These days, the only bikes which appear to regularly exit the factory complete with a kickstand already installed are kids’ bikes and cruiser bikes. Where kids are concerned, teaching them to use the kickstand is a good policy. Not only does it reduce scrapes and scuffs, but it also lessens the chance of them abandoning their bike flat on the driveway, right out of sight of your reversing car.
Cruising bikes are essentially standard daily use bikes. You might use a cruising bike when hanging out with the kids, shortening the trek to the coffee shop, or even commuting to a local place of work. They’re best used on roads and uniform surfaces.
You’d be lucky to find any other kind of bike with a kickstand set in place for your convenience. Touring bikes tend to be too slender or (conversely, depending on make) too heavy. Kickstands on mountain or racer bikes will cause cycling club pals to raise their eyebrows at you over the tops of their NASA-class water bottles.
Shoving those prejudices aside, some of us need the kickstand. Perhaps you have poor balance and need it for stability while you’re stationary. Perhaps you want to attach a child seat. Perhaps you need your cruising bike to stay put while you load up your shopping.
We’ve had a look at the most popular options, those recommended by the “Bikers Who Know”, and sifted the customer feedback about the bestsellers on the market. Read on for a filtered list of center-mount, rear-mount and double-legged stands. If you have time, check out the buyer’s guide, which summarizes the key points you might want to take into consideration while picking the right kickstand for your bike.
Top 5 Bike Kickstands
OUR TOP PICK
This stand is not only Amazon’s choice but also the darling of most bike shops and blogs. Made of aluminum alloy, the stand is light (0.56lb/9 ounces) and comes with components which allow you to fix them to bikes both with and without mounting plates.
Once the stand is mounted, the length can be adjusted without a wrench, Allen key or spanner in sight. You simply release a latch to telescope or retract the stand as your circumstances require, and then close the latch. The extending ‘foot’ of the stand is made of reinforced plastic. It features a wide, grippy base to help your bike keep its balance on muddy or boggy surfaces.
It also features a strong, responsive spring, which makes the stand ideal for commuter bikes used in heavy traffic. The moment the lights shift from red to green after a lengthy hiatus, you want to be off and away into a safe lane, not struggling to get your momentum going. Incidentally, BV is hugely popular in the Netherlands, where waiting for canal bridges to close and roads to reopen is just part and parcel of the daily commute.
A word to the wise: there are a couple of measurements you need to take before you purchase. Turn your bike upside down, and check:
- that the distance between the inside of the pedal crank (facing the spokes) and the wheel’s center is at least 2.75 inches
- the junction where the chain stays meet, between the wheel and the shaft joining the crank arms for the pedals. The distance between the outside of the chain stay and the bolt which secures both chain stays together at the junction must be at least 1.9 inches.
There is a clear photographic image of the measurements to be taken on the Amazon page if you scroll down to the product specifications.
One thing to bear in mind is that the kickstand does not come with instructions. You will receive a bag of component parts. This may frustrate those who have never had to install one before.
- It’s lightweight and durable
- Easy for experienced riders to install
- Flicks neatly into place
- No instructions
- Doesn’t quite provide enough support for bikes with panniers
You might want a double-legged kickstand if: you spend a lot of time furbishing, repairing or priming your bike; you have a tandem bike; you’re riding with babies or toddlers in rear or front-mounted seats; you’re the family packhorse and use baskets and panniers to carry shopping, or if you have a hearing loss which comes with a substantial loss of balance. In the three latter cases, you want the bike vertical and stable before you swing your legs off at awkward angles.
It is difficult to make a double-legged stand elegant in any way, but the Lumintrail Center-Mount has several solid functional selling points.
Firstly, the cyclist’s convenience is clearly at the heart of the design. Both legs of the kickstand are independently adjustable with the use of the push-release button. As with the BV adjustable stands, there is no need to carry tools around. You can even stabilize your bike by making one leg longer than the other while on a slope.
It’s versatile for most day-to-day, non-sporting bikes, fitting neatly onto most hybrid, commuter and cruise bikes that have a wheel diameter of 24-28”, and a ground clearance of between 11.5 and 13”.
Please be advised that this stand is unlikely to fit a bike with fat wheels, which can be as broad as 2.16” in the rim and 3.8” in the tire.
Some experimentation has been done on fitting the double-leg stand to folding bikes, but this is best investigated and carried out at a bike shop. If you want to check out minimum requirements for your folding bike, you need to ensure that:
- There is a mounting space in front of the rear wheel
- There is a 2” clearance (minimum) between the mount point and wheel
Given the width of the stand, it may reduce the folding capacity. If you have a very short carrying distance for your compressed bike and ample storage space, then this may not present a problem.
Fully extended, the kickstand legs are 13.5” long and the plastic, non-slip feet sit set 9” apart for a wide, stable base. The stand itself is made from a tough, durable aluminum alloy. Because it’s a robust bit of kit, it does weigh in at a significant 1.16lb, but it’s still light for the level of functionality, and customer feedback indicates impressive durability despite initial anxiety about the plastic feet of the stand.
- Easy to install
- Easy to adjust
- Great for heavier electric bikes
- The good height makes it easy to change or fix flat tires while out and about
- When in the ‘up’ position, the stand folds back to 120º and not the full 90º which makes it horizontal to the ground. If you’re using this kickstand on an electric or hybrid bike (and corner sharply on a frequent basis), then this can grind down the kickstand’s feet.
This stand has no bells or whistles, but it does the job in 80% of cases on a uniform surface. It’s gentle on the wallet and it’s designed to be fixed to bikes with no inbuilt-mount. These are just a couple of reasons why the Greenfield kickstand has become an Amazon bestseller, and widely recommended by the bike bloggers who don’t look down on kickstands.
The single moving part significantly reduces opportunity for failure, and it is exceptionally strong. It comes in two sizes for bikes with a 22” wheel and under (11.2” long) or 12” for bikes with a 22” wheel and over.
You can cut the stand down if you need to. Happily, the stand comes with instructions on how you do this, and there are marks on the metal which show you where you can cut. So long as you’re happy to invest some active time setting the stand up, and you’re okay with not taking your bike onto unfriendly or uneven surfaces, then this could be the go-to for you.
The aesthetics are pretty basic: it looks like a black-tipped spike bolted to your chainstay. The black tip comes from the grippy little rubber shoe. You can order this stand in black or basic brushed aluminum.
- Easy to adjust and install on a wide range of bikes
- Ninja-discreet when you’re on the move
- Not adjustable on the move: once you’ve picked your length, you’re committed
- Best on uniform surfaces
- You can put this stand on a bike with a mount point available, but you’ll have to buy a shorter hex bolt.
We’re back to BV for our fourth kickstand recommendation, this one for a stand which fits onto the chain stay at the rear of your bike. No more squinting with the bike turned upside down while you establish whether your bike comes with a mount or not, or indeed which bolt and plate set you should use to install the stand safely between wheels and pedals.
Rear-mounted kickstands have a lot going for them, and this one is particularly popular for its adjustable height, durability, grippy foot, and the easy installation.
An early warning: this clamp will only work on oval or rectangular chainstays—not cylindrical ones. That said, this stand is pretty universal in design and will fit most types of bikes of 24”-28” wheel diameter.
Essentially, the mount has three parts. The stand itself, which is adjustable in height (using the latch mechanism mentioned with the KA76 center-mount design).
The leg feeds into a powerful spring mechanism, which brings the leg parallel to the chain stay while you’re on the go. The whole mechanism is fixed to the bike using the bolted clamp. It’s light and robust enough to be suitable for mountain or trekking bikes. If you stow an Allen or Hex key in with your personal gear when you travel, then you can always loan the kickstand to someone who needs it more if you need to. And you can do it quickly, with no tools.
- Super-easy to install and secure
- Strong spring
- Sturdy support in the foot of the stand
- Limited to oval and rectangular chainstays
- Robust, but not specifically durable or long-lasting
Our final choice is a second rear-mounted stand, but this product can be mounted to both lower and upper chain stays together for a more reassuring grip. This is a great option if you have narrower chain stays, or ones which are cylindrical.
The clamps are padded, offering grip (and paint protection) to a range of stay shapes, and very easy to install because you can adjust the top clamp through a minimum 180º to get the right angle to grip the top chain stay.
The double-mount is helpful for bikes which are carrying a heavier load. The wide foot cover with the anti-skid surface keeps your bike upright even on slippery surfaces. It is also adjustable with a push button, so you can change your prop height as you need to as you change terrain or gradient.
This stand will fit adult mountain bikes with 24, 26, 28” wheels, or 700C 27.5” tires.
- Great for enhanced stability
- Intuitive design for unguided installation
- Can be applied to a wide range of bikes
- Good value for money, but not a budget option
- Have a 4.5 Allen wrench available when you order the stand (it is not provided)
Best Bike Kickstands Buying Guide
In the product reviews above, we’ve incorporated several suggestions as to which kickstands would (or would not be) suitable for different types of bike, but we’ve brought a few of your buying choice considerations together here for your convenience. We’ve also hunted down answers for three very frequently asked questions posed by those who describe themselves as “not even remotely bike-savvy.”
What kind of bike do you have?
A kickstand can fit on pretty much anything except racing or ‘road’ bikes, stunt bikes, or mountain bikes used in club racing. These three designs of bike need to be as lightweight and compact as possible to reduce aerodynamic drag and to minimize the powers of gravity. The build of the frame is not designed to accept sustained pressure from below, whether the joining point is central or at the rear. Kickstands on a stunt bike are more likely than not to cause injury.
If you have a paintwork damage-fearing teenager who wants to use their bike at a stunt or skate park, then persuade them to use walls to prop their bike up (weight on the rear wheel) and to use the Velcro strap trick to stop the front wheel swinging around and sending their bike crashing over. The trick is simply to fasten the outside handle to the top bar of the chassis to stabilize the weight and balance).
Got a tandem? Provided you have great communication skills and a solid synchronicity with your cycling partner, then a double-legger might be the way to go.
Do you have a snow or traction bike with fat tires? Most double-legged stands won’t fit, so you might want to look at double-mounted side stands.
Main function of bike
We’ve separated this from ‘type’ of bike. The function is really the main consideration after discounting issues such as frame fragility.
There is no rule which says that you cannot attach a kickstand to a mountain bike on principle. What if you’re gifted a mountain bike which you plan to use as a daily cruiser? If a kickstand will be useful for rides out with your family, and if there is the opportunity to fix a kickstand, then there is no reason you shouldn’t do so.
Where will you be using your bike?
If you’re sticking to uniform surfaces (with or without hills) then you can probably get away with the simplest form of stand, which is essentially a stick on a spring. You can often buy these in family packs which feature various sizes depending on the height of the wheels. Or you can pay not a great deal more and buy as many adjustable kickstands as you have bikes, in the safe knowledge that they’re completely interchangeable.
On a final note of encouragement…
Don’t let the fact that you’ve never installed a kickstand before unduly influence your choice. Rear-mount stands are very easy to install and even the center-mound stands (with no provisional mount on the bike) are easy and rewarding to figure out if you type the name and model of the kickstand into YouTube. There is an abundance of instructional videos available for instant tuition. And of course if you find it hard to bend down, or if you’re fixing the bike up for someone else (and therefore very nervous about compromising their safety), just make an appointment at the bike shop the day after you expect your kickstand to arrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you measure the ground clearance of a bike?
The ground clearance is measured from the lowest central point of the chassis and the ground. This will typically be beneath the joining point of the chain stays, which underpins the junction of the body and seat tubes.
I’ve never owned a bike before: how do I find out what all the parts are called?
A Google image search using the keywords “Anatomy of a bike” will produce more options than you can count for road bikes, mountain bikes, and racing bikes. Take your pick.
Why are kickstands apparently so taboo these days?
Honestly, they’re only taboo in very, very serious cycling groups. Having a kickstand on a mountain or road bike can kill your street cred in seconds because the chances are that you’ve invested a lot of money in a super-light but sturdy bike which can keep up with club rides, only to add weight back onto it.
That is an attitude ‘obstacle’, however, and one you can feel free to ignore if you’re happily thick-skinned. A more important concern is whether the supremely lightweight frame of a mountain or racing bike can handle the stresses imposed by a kickstand—particularly those with narrow chain stays. As most competitive bikes have compression strength rather than resistance to vertical pressure, it’s easy to understand why eyebrows might raise in horror at the prospect of a foreign body being introduced which runs the risk of warping any part of the highly expensive frame.