Should You Put a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike?

If you have just bought yourself a new mountain bike, it may surprise you to notice that your MTB does not have a kickstand. You may consider it a manufacturing defect, but it is normal, and there is nothing wrong with your bike.

Whether you should put a kickstand on a mountain bike or not should be a matter of your preference. There are pros to installing a kickstand in an MTB, such as it helps to rest and wash your bike easily. On the other hand, there are some cons, such as unnecessary weight and fear of falling.

You may want to ask what the verdict is here. Should you put a kickstand on a mountain bike or not? Before I can give a conclusive answer, you will need to know the pros and cons of this idea in detail. Here we go:

Should You Put a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike

Should You Put a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike?

If you are a beginner, I will encourage you to put a kickstand on your mountain bike. For experienced cyclists, I would suggest you avoid doing so.

In the beginning, a kickstand in your MTB may help you focus more on learning to ride on rough terrains and less on preventing the bike from falling. But, as you grow more experienced, a kickstand may get in the way of your advanced maneuvers on a mountain.

Also, note that if you have any disability or back injury, a kickstand will prove to be your true companion in the mountains.

Moreover, a quality kickstand does not cost much and is easy to put on or off a mountain bike. So, if in doubt, try riding your mountain bike with a kickstand on for a few days and without a kickstand for a few days. This way, you can experience firsthand which way you prefer it more.

Do Mountain Bikes Have a Kickstand?

No, by default, quality mountain bikes do not have a kickstand.

Some lower-end mountain bikes or bikes intended for kids may come with a kickstand, but it is not the standard.

Mountain bikes are targeted at more experienced riders who ride rough terrains and perform advanced tricks on their way up and down a mountain. A kickstand gets in the way of their riding style. So, a mountain bike does not come with a factory-installed kickstand.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Kickstand on a Mountain Bike?

I want to explain the pros and cons of having a kickstand on your mountain bike. This way, you will be well-equipped to decide if you should adore your bike with a kickstand or not. Let’s discuss:

Pros

  • If you are a beginner or have some back injury, a kickstand may help as an added support.
  • If you use your MTB for a general commute throughout the city, you will also find a kickstand helpful to rest your bike.
  • If you find it difficult to wash your mountain bike in an open space, a kickstand is a good way to upright your bike and wash it.
  • If you find it cumbersome to stand your bike upright on rough terrains, a kickstand will help you with that and make your bike fall less.

Cons

  • A kickstand makes your mountain bike heavier. This small weight may compound quickly and make you tired, especially on your way up the mountain. 
  • A kickstand is, at best, an unnecessary luxury. Mountain bikes are made quite sturdy and stable. They rest and stand up very well without any support. Even if the added weight is small, it is unnecessary weight.
  • A kickstand may be caught up in something and make you fall. Riding on rough terrains is tricky, no matter how experienced you are. The last thing you will want is that your bike has a curled protrusion that may hook into some objects and disbalance you.
  • A kickstand may cause some damage to your mountain bike as well. MTBs are made as lightweight as possible. A cheap kickstand not made following the same standards may cause damage to your MTB’s frame, especially when the bike falls.

What Kind of Kickstand Do do You Need for Your Mountain Bike?

Now that you know the pros and cons of having a kickstand on your mountain bike, hopefully, you will be able to decide if you want one for your bike or not. If yes, here are some features to look for in the best kickstand for your mountain bike:

Right Size

The size is of utmost importance here. Measure your bike’s ground clearance and order a kickstand of a matching size. Even better, if you order a stand with an adjustable size feature.

Stand Type

Kickstands for mountain bikes come in two variations- one-legged and two-legged. My favorite is one legged version because on rough mountain terrain, I could never make use of a two-legged kickstand as the surface is rarely flat.

Low Weight

Try to find a kickstand of as low weight as possible, for you do not want to make your MTB much heavy. The weight of the kickstand depends on the material used. I would advise you to order a kickstand made of aluminum or carbon fiber. The stands are lightweight as well as sturdy.

Mount Position

You will find two options here. Some kickstands will require you to install them on the bike frame near the bottom bracket, while others will require you to install them on the bike frame near the derailleur. The latter type of kickstands is more useful on typical mountain terrain.

Durability

This goes without saying. Mountain bikes are made for sturdiness and stability. The same standard should go for kickstands as well. A reputed brand’s kickstand made with aluminum or carbon fiber. Such materials signal durability.

The Best Kickstand for a Mountain Bike?

Here are two of my favorite kickstands for mountain bikes to save you the hassle. Both are high in quality, and you can bet on either one of the two. Here you are:

BV Adjustable Alloy Mountain Bike Kickstand

A long trail of happy customers vouches for the quality of this kickstand for mountain bikes. If you have a fitting punch hole near your bike’s bottom bracket, this kickstand will be the best worth your money.

The kickstand is an adjustable one. You can use the top bolt for the fitting and the next bolt to adjust the height of the stand. The height adjustment covers all bikes from 24” to 29” heights.

The durability of this kickstand is plausible. The alloy material gives the stand the necessary strength while keeping the weight low. The reinforced plastic foot reinforces the stand’s strength and prevents it from slipping.

BV Adjustable Rear Mountain Bike Kickstand

This is another kickstand from the same brand with exceptional quality. If you like to install a kickstand near the derailleur and not near the bracket bottom, this model is the right one for you.

This kickstand also comes with an adjustable height that is suitable for bikes of 24” to 28” heights. The kickstand is easy to install and does not require punching a hole in the bike’s frame.

The use of alloy material gives this kickstand the necessary strength and is lightweight. Moreover, the good track record of the brand and ultimate customer service makes it a good purchase.

Is There Any Alternative to the Kickstand on a Mountain Bike?

Yes, an upstand is a good alternative, not a wise alternative, to kickstands for mountain bikes. It is a detachable stand that uses a magnet mechanism to attach or detach from the bike.

But, to be honest, I would advise you against resorting to an upstand as the magnet is not as stable as bolts. You can not compromise your safety and stability on a round ride on mountain terrains. So, avoid being cheap here and buy an MTB kickstand only.

How to Rest Your Mountain Bike Without a Kickstand?

However, if you decide not to go the kickstand route and want to keep your mountain bike kickstand free, here is a quick tutorial on how to rest your bike properly. Here you are:

  1. Find a surface as flat as possible.
  2. Learn the rear wheel of your bike against a tree, boulder, or anything similar.
  3. If you can not find anything to take support against, lay your bike on the flat surface. Do not worry; a quality mountain bike can take it.

Conclusion

Here you go! You know well whether you should put a kickstand on a mountain bike or not. Moreover, you also know how it will help you and how it will limit your maneuvers.

So, if you go the kickstand way, do not compromise the quality of the stand. To save yourself all the hassle, you could purchase one of the two kickstands recommended in this article. They are time-tested by several riders on some of the toughest terrains. Thanks!

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