QUESTION: Why is there no kickstand on a road bike? I am coming back to bicycling as an adult and was shopping for road bikes, and none of them have kickstands. When I was a kid, almost every bike had a kickstand and it was much easier to keep them in the garage. What gives? – Randy H
ANSWER: If you look around in the bike shop, you’ll find that there are indeed still bicycles that include a kickstand. Most of them, however, are cruiser or hybrid types of bikes on the low end of the price spectrum. Once you start looking at more expensive bikes, you’ll rarely see a kickstand. And especially with road bikes, kickstands are just not something you’re going to see.
There are several reasons why road bikes don’t have them. Road bikes are designed to be sleek, fast machines that people use for exercise, group rides, and even racing. A kickstand is relatively heavy and can add a pound or more to your bicycle. It also catches the wind and makes your bicycle less aerodynamic.
Lower quality kickstands can also rattle or interfere with your pedaling. You probably a remember at least one bike from your childhood that made a ticking sound with each pedal stroke as the cranks would knock into the kickstand.
If you stop at a cafe or a convenience store on your road ride, a kickstand isn’t necessarily even that useful, because you’ll probably want to lock your bike up so that it is attached to something to prevent someone from grabbing it and putting it in a vehicle and driving away to cut the lock later.
With all that being said, there are two categories of road bikes where a kickstand does make a lot of sense. Ebikes are generally quite heavy anyway and weigh more than 50 pounds. Because of this, you don’t really want to lean them someplace where they might come crashing down. And heavy duty touring bikes or bikepacking style bikes might also have a kickstand so that you don’t have to lay your bicycle loaded with bags on its side, potentially spilling out all the contents.
And hey, if you still want a kickstand for your regular road bike, you can still add one. Who’s to say you can’t set up your road bicycle exactly the way you like it? There are even fancy carbon fiber kickstands. Many of the new ones attach to your rear chainstay on the non-drive side of the bike so that it’s out of the way and won’t cause that ticking noise. (Plus, with most modern road bikes there isn’t really room to put one anyplace else.)
There’s one company called Upstand that even makes an ultralight, removable kickstand, although we’ve never tried to to see how well it works in practice. https://upstandingbicycle.com/shop/the-upstand/