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I am using a sturdy 2nd-hand-bought diamond-framed Crescent Sport bike which I like to use for random touring.

I have seen a cyclocrosser using the kickstand to spin the pedals while cleaning and lubricating the chain. I'd like to be able to do that.

I've seen a parent load a huge amount of groceries onto his touring bike, and want a kickstand that is stable enough to let me do that.

I have a middle-of-the-bike kickstand that doesn't let me do these things. What should I be looking for?

Resources

  • generally about kickstand here
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Sorry, yet another "list the..." question. From the FAQ: "you should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." –  Мסž Feb 25 '11 at 4:36
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I completely rewrote the question. I think it's better now; I hope others agree. –  Jay Bazuzi Feb 25 '11 at 16:33
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"The question is specific" - Yes, it is now that you mentioned a) what bike you have b) what you use it for and c) the purpose for which you want to use a kickstand. –  ChrisW Feb 25 '11 at 17:37
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For what it's worth, I think kickstands are a waste of precious weight on a touring bike. Of course, my view might just be colored by the fact that you probably couldn't get a kickstand to work reliably on loaded touring tandem. –  Benson Feb 26 '11 at 5:06
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One related tip you might think about is taking some long velcro straps on your bike. One to wrap around the brake lever to lock it, one around the front wheel and frame to keep it from flopping around. This can help keep your bike from more stable when on a kickstand or even just leaning against something, especially when you're on an incline or uneven ground. –  Marc Charbonneau Feb 26 '11 at 16:30
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6 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I find that a standers, one-legged kickstand doesn't work well with a full touring load (as you've found). I used a two-legged stand mounted to the frame just behind the bottom bracket, and while that worked well, it scraped up the frame where the kickstand was mounted.

Touring without a kickstand was my solution for quite some time, until I found the click-stand. It's a kickstand substitute, essentially a modified tent pole with a cradle on the end. It's custom sized by the manufacturer so it'll fit with your bike. It's particularly well-suited to loaded touring bikes, and is much more stable than traditional kickstands. However, It takes a little time to deploy, and I'm not sure it'd work reliably with a load of loose items such as groceries unless they're very tightly packed. (More information, including pictures here.)

However, none of these will let you spin the pedals while the stand is down, unless you have very long chainstays; as far as I know, most bikes, except for cruisers, do not. A kickstand mounted to the rear triangle, just in front of the rear axle, will allow you to spin the wheels while the bike is parked, if you balance the bike on the front wheel and the rear, deployed kickstand. The Greenfield stabilizer kickstand has a good reputation in the touring community. We have one on one of our bikes, a Trek Navigator. It seems stable, but we haven't brought that bike on tour just yet. (With the Greenfield on the bike, I was able to balance the bike with panniers on it, so it looks good.)

Summary: If your frame is particularly sturdy and you're not worried about scratching it, a two-legged kickstand on the chainstays behind the bottom bracket will work best. If this is not the case, a kickstand on the rear triangle would work well for you.

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+1 for Greenfield stabilizer kickstand –  user652 Feb 26 '11 at 4:36
    
+1 for click-stand. Touring right now with one for the second time, and it's one of the most useful things I have for my bike. –  Stephen Touset Aug 27 '13 at 23:03
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Ok, just to be clear you're looking for a stand that will:

  1. support a full touring load (and survive)
  2. should be easy to extend/retract when your hands are full
  3. shouldn't get in the way of the pedals when you're cleaning the chain

It has been a long time since I used a kickstand, but I used to have a very heavy duty (and it was quite heavy, likely all steel, but cheap!) spring-loaded stand on my old touring bike. It folded up on the left side and mounted across both rear stays just behind the bottom bracket, so would only have fit on a touring or hybrid frame (road frames often don't have enough clearance here because of the shorter wheelbase).

It was easy to kick in/out with one foot and I bent it further out in order to support a full (4 panniers) touring load. But at this angle it didn't work very well when the bike had no panniers (often fell right over). Plus it would not have allowed the pedals to turn completely either.

A double-legged stand might be closer to what you need but may be difficult to operate hands-free (you usually need to lift the bike a bit).

Hopefully others will chime in with something that meets all of your criteria.

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For lifting the rear wheel of a loaded bike you may find that you need to have a stand that drops down behind the rear rack rather than under the bottom bracket, because so much weight is behind the stand. I've also found that narrow stands don't work well with loaded bikes because when the legs sink into the ground even a little the whole thing falls over. The heavier the bike the more likely this is to happen, and for a centre-mounted stand it has to be narrow to avoid your heel when you're pedalling.

This link has a useful discussion of the commercial options for centre stands: http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-401020.html

If you're looking at a longtail bike there are great stand options for those, and some of the ideas might carry across to a loaded touring stand.

I would look at the axle-mounted hoop stands you find on asian/european bikes. I'm really struggling to find them online because I don't have the right search terms, but then neither does this ebay seller or this one. I have seen a modern version of that style of stand made in Germany, sorry I can't find a link. Since the bottom of the stand is behind the rear wheel when the stand is up, it's easy to make it as wide as your panniers and put decent side feet on it (the one I saw had ~50x30mm feet).

If I wanted something like that I'd be looking at German websites or making my own (I have thought about it, but these days my load bikes don't need stands because they have more than two wheels).

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+1 a lot to investigate, the term "Rear kick stand" returns some results –  user652 Feb 26 '11 at 13:54
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I have used a Porteur Double Kickstand on my Surly LHT for touring. It is very stable and reasonably priced. Velo-Orange sells three different double-legged kickstands. I know that the Porteur and Plescher are quite popular and well thought of. http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/accessories/chainguards-stay-protectors-kickstands.html

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I have the Porteur as well, and I think it is the business. Pro tip: when you can park your bike with a little running room in front, it's quite possible to put your foot in front of the stand, then roll the bike forward a few inches. Bike comes off stand, which can then be kicked back. No need to lift the bike. –  dsalo Jul 5 '13 at 20:15
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I have one of the older Pletscher/Esge stands fitted near the rear wheel hub. Using the optional shoe at the end of the stand it is extremely stable. On the way back from a cycling holiday I had my fully loaded bike leaning on the stand in a train while it was traveling at speed over lots of points, the bike never even moved.

Another time I had the bike parked on the side of the road, within a few inches of trucks moving past at 80-100km/h and even then it never moved.

Those stands are extremely stable, can't recommend them enough. Just make sure the stand touches the ground outside your center of gravity.

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I think the suggestions here are great, but I wanted to post an answer in favor of minimalism. This answer won't help you spin the wheels while the bike is standing up, but I think it's interesting because the physics of a loaded touring bike are surprisingly different from a light road rig.

In short, I was surprised to find on my tour that I didn't need a kickstand at all. A traditional kickstand is more of a liability than anything because the distribution of weight on a touring rig is so high that your bike effectively ends up trying to balance on the head of a pin. I found that this high weight distribution could easily be taken advantage of by simply standing the bike against a vaguely sturdy object. All you need is a bush, a fencepost, a wall, a picnic table -- anything that's harder to displace than the bike itself, and a loaded touring frame will basically do the rest. It actually seemed to work best when the bike was barely leaning at all, as then most of the mass was centered over the axles and wheels, so at that point you really only needed a little bit of friction to prevent the bike from moving forwards or backwards.

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