I started the search for the perfect “hold your bike up so it doesn’t have to get dirty” device a while ago. Susanna (my road bike) doesn’t like being lain down, and accessing my panniers on my tourer is always tricky – you can lay the bike on the ground (derailleur side up of course), but then getting to the other pannier is hard, and everything falls out as the pannier is horizontal. Or, you can lean your bike against you and try and get stuff out, but it always ends up a bit of a juggling act.
I investigated one sided kickstands – remember riding your bike around as a kid? Spokey dokes, streamers, basket, dolly and… the obligatory kickstand. Fashionalbe, maybe not, but useful? Certainly. Yet looking further, one sided kickstands didn’t look exactly like what I was after. They are heavy (around 300 grams), which is considerable, and as the kickstand is well below the bike’s centre of gravity, it makes the bike quite unstable when resting on the kickstand especially with the added weight of panniers. Oh, and did I mention that kickstands that are designed for aftermarket installation are just ugly? They look like you’ve just bolted something onto the side of your bike. Oh, hang on, you have!
So, next up, we looked at double kickstands. These have the added advantage of being more stable than a one sided kickstand. On the downside, they are even heavier (at nearly 600grams), and again… ugly…
Enter the click-stand. I was put onto this nifty little gadget by the guys at Cheeky Monkey transport (big thanks to these guys who advised me to buy a product they don’t sell!) It’s by a guy in the states, and custom made for your bike. It comes in a couple of colours, and you can elect to have it made in 4 or 5 pieces (depending on if you prefer long and thin, or short and fat). It weighs 75 grams, which is significantly lighter than any of the kickstands out there.
To make it work, you put the supplied bands around your grips and brakes, to steady the handlebars, then you use the tent pole to prop your bike with the cradle under the top tube. Sounds complex, but it really isn’t.
Plusses? It’s super stable. As it holds the weight high (at the top tube), even fully laden, it seems really stable. It’s also really light.
Minuses? It’s not as quick as a kickstand – you have to apply the brake bands, then pull out the stand, (mine is mounted on my bike next to my bottle cage), then lean the bike over. All in all? About 30 secs, but certainly a bit longer than just kicking down a kick stand.
Look, it might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a look. I love mine!