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It is quite unusual to buy a carbon bike, and it comes with a kickstand attached. No rider will want to spend their time picking their expensive carbon bikes from the ground or placing it up against a wall when leaving them for a while.
Carbon fiber has become the most preferred material for high-performance bike frames. Carbon fiber is a highly-adaptable miracle material that can be molded and fine-tuned to accurate requirements, matching stiffness, and exceptional functionality. Carbon fiber bike frames are expensive and can be more susceptible to crash damage than other materials. Therefore, many riders want to know whether to add a kickstand to the bike.
We will discuss the facts about a kickstand and if you can attach it to your carbon bike frame.
What Is a Kickstand?
Kickstands can keep your bike standing upright whenever you want, like during rest or repairs. They also keep the bike steady for riders to easily get on and off without any fear of damaging the pedals while dismounting.
The kickstand was introduced by William Sutton in 1869. It has been a part of all models of bikes, including expensive road bikes. Carbon road bikes are narrower than many types of bikes like mountain bikes, so they use a different kind of kickstand known as a center stand. Unlike, a regular kickstand the center stand has three legs, two to stand on the ground and one in the air to support the bike’s weight.
Can You Put a Kickstand On a Carbon Bike?
You can fit a kickstand on any bike, but installing one onto a full-suspension bike with a carbon frame is risky. The carbon frame is strong as a complete system, adding a kickstand can weaken the carbon frame if it’s not fitted properly.
Using a kickstand with a carbon bike frame may not damage it right away. Yet, it weakens the structure permanently and makes it more sensitive to severe damage even breaking. Hence, it might not be worth attaching a kickstand to a pricey carbon bike.
The kickstand seems to add extra weight you don’t need any time when riding your carbon frame bicycle. The bolt-on kickstand is more likely to damage the frame eventually. You’ll never see a pro bike with a kickstand. It’s preferable to gently lay your bike down on a side, derailleur-side up, or lean it against the side of a building or pole. There’s no need for a kickstand.
Advantages of Having a Kickstand
You can choose a matching kickstand for your bike from plenty of options. Here are some advantages of using a kickstand with your carbon bike:
The primary purpose of using a kickstand with a mountain bike is convenience. It helps in case you don’t find a wall or surface where you can lean your bike. You don’t want to lay your bike flat on the ground.
Adding kickstands on bikes can prevent scratches or damage to the grips and pedals because they don’t come in contact with any surface. Instead, your bike will stand upright wherever you want.
You might have experienced your bike falling, even though you’ve properly parked it. It might happen because the bike might not be standing upright or against a wall.
A common situation is when the bike grip or saddle shift if someone accidentally hit it while walking past your bike. But you won’t have to be concerned about it with a non-slip, reinforced steel stand. It creates a stable parking position as long as your bike stands on a flat surface. Stainless steel kickstands also come with a rubber tip that offers exceptional grip and traction. It helps make it less likely to move from position.
Downfalls of Using A Kickstand with Carbon Bikes
Kickstands can be bad for bikes in many conditions. It can damage the actual bike frame if you leave them down when they should be up and secure. Try to use it only when your bike is standing.
Kickstands Add Weight
The riders use carbon bikes to go as lightweight as possible. So, adding some additional metal to the bike will be too heavy for it.
A kickstand doesn’t add too much weight to a bike. You can also choose from kickstand options that are made from carbon fiber or any other lightweight bike alloy metals, but still, they are considered unnecessary weight for biking.
But, still few cyclists on road bikes add items to their carbon bikes that don’t help improve their ride. So, with so few cyclists using kickstands, the manufacturers of carbon bikes don’t include them in bike design.
Kickstands Increase Drag
Drag is another significant thing to reduce as a carbon bike rider. Lesser drag while riding can make a lot of difference in your speed and control.
But, drag is more issue for professional racers, while for the rest of us, it isn’t a huge issue. For an amateur road cyclist, the amount of effort you put in to reduce the drag isn’t worth the gains it offers.
Prone To Getting Caught Up In The Elements
There are many obvious reasons to not put a kickstand on your bike and the biggest one is safety. A kickstand can put you in grave danger, as it can easily get caught up in things on the road, like rocks, twigs, plants, or natural elements you might ride along.
It is true, especially when riding in the mountains where you pass through various terrains. Unlike bike parks, mountain trails can be unpredictable. The kickstand is present on the lowest-most side of your bike. It makes the bike kickstands prone to hitting things on the road since they’re near the disc brakes. Moreover, this low ground clearance can wear off your paint finish, add additional weight, and give you the feeling of an uneven bottom.
If the kickstand is caught up on some trail feature, it extends and makes you lose balance. You can lose control and crash.
Unbalanced Bike Geometry
Expensive carbon-framed bikes have their unique geometry. It signifies they have their size, measurement, and frame angles. They are particularly designed to ensure optimal equilibrium and functionality.
Putting a kickstand on your bike damages all the crucial bike geometries and its fancy features. You’re most likely to lose balance for your bike will be heavier on the left side, where you usually find the kickstand. It delivers a huge toll on your functionality and can slow you down.
Having a kickstand makes your bike look ugly. Though, many riders won’t agree with this fact. Some bikers, especially newbies might find them cool. But many experienced mountain bikers, consider them downright ugly additions to a beautiful bike.
You don’t need a kickstand because it is unnecessary for carbon biking. There is always another way to park your bike. Many kickstands, especially the low-end bike ones from a local bike shop will add pointless weight to your bike, and mess up its esthetic appeal and performance. Kickstands can weaken your frame. You might be putting yourself at risk of accidents by limiting your bike’s potential.