Sunday, January 20, 2008

Where have all the kickstands gone?

Image of bicycle kickstand
From the Chicago Tribune, 01.20.08:

News flash: Bicycle builders are kicking around the idea of bringing back free kickstands on certain comfort models preferred by Baby Boomers for commuting and casual bike path riding. Bike industry analyst Jay Townley, a principal of the Madison, Wis.-based Gluskin-Townley Group, picked up the buzz at this fall's Interbike Show for cycling industry types held in Las Vegas.

"I asked what's new and heard about kickstands and lights on comfort bikes," he said.

This is huge.

Bicycle kickstands are a thorny issue for a certain level of consumer. We're not talking about the enthusiast or triathlete in cycling togs who pumps thousands of miles a year on a $2,500 racer. He wouldn't be caught dead with a kickstand.

Too much weight. (Read more.)
I have kickstands on my commuting bikes, though not my road or mountain bikes. And I love having a kickstand. These truly useful accessories disappeared from most new bikes in the U.S. for about 30 years. This extensive article--slow news day?--details the absence of kickstands on American bicycles as makers chased the sporting cycling consumer. The growth of the commuter bike market appears to have inspired a new respect for the lowly kickstand, as well as other useful cycling items like fenders and lights.

Image: Web capture.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Marrock said...

All my bikes have kickstands.

I can't see the point of removing a rather useful piece of equipment like that and have to find other ways to prop it up, increasing the chance of the bike winding up in the dirt and possibly damaged.

I even added one to my BoB trailer to make parking easier when I head for the store, instead of using that origami folding technique they recommend in the manual.

Fritz said...

That's a pretty good article. My wife's Breezer came with a kickstand.

SiouxGeonz said...

When I bought my GIant I didn't get a kickstand based on stuff I'd read, tho' they *offered.* Went back three days later and had 'em install it. For heavier bikes it makes sense.
The Gazelle has one.
The Schwinn has one.
Only my aluminium hyb rid doesn't.
THey're crazy if they don't bring 'em back.

Kim said...

Not having a kickstand is a real pain. Finding a double-legged version here in South Korea has turned out to be quite a pain in the rear-end. Here's hoping!

Katia said...

When I was about in middle school, my mom upgraded me to a bigger bike (not only was I taller, but banana seats were getting embarrassing). That one was a Mongoose mountain-style bike, and we had to buy the kickstand separately, to my astonishment. When I got my Raleigh C-40 hybrid in high school, I was relieved to find that the kickstand came with it. I've always been of the opinion that the basic accessories should come WITH the purchase--what's next, having to buy the chain separately?