Kickstand Plate Fetish

Civia Kickstand Plate
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OK, I’ll admit I have an irrational fondness for well-designed kickstand plates. It’s just that I’ve had to fuss and fight with clamp-on kickstands for too many years, and because I depend upon them nearly every day, a solid interface between the frame and kickstand is a big deal to me. As a matter of fact, not so long ago right here on this blog I vowed to never buy another bike without a kickstand plate. Call me weird, but this wasn’t an insignificant factor in my decision to go with my new Civia and its turbo kickstand plate with integrated fender mount and slots for control cables on both sides (check out the design process that went into its development here).

How about you? Do you feel a kickstand plate is a necessary part of a purpose-built commuting/utility frame or is this just much ado about nothing?

Do you feel a kickstand plate is a necessary part of a purpose-built commuting/utility frame?

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27 Responses to “Kickstand Plate Fetish”

  • James Fisher says:

    Kickstand plate on every bike? No. On utility cycles/transport cycles? You bet!. We are not talking about integrated stands like my Schwinns of old but give me something a bit classier than a sandwich clamp on my Dummy or Troll. A tree works fine for the Steamroller

  • Bob Bryant says:

    Civia has the best kickstand mounts this side of a Chicago Schwinn or Workcycles Dutch bike.

  • Michael says:

    It seems kickstand plates are a giant exception rather than a rule. Are there even other bike companies that implement plates on most of their bikes, other than Civia and Rivendell? I think most hybrids from Trek, etc., do but I’m not sure about companies specializing in steel frames.

  • voyage says:

    Didn’t have training wheels growing up, so it’s always been difficult for me to understand the point of kickstands (which I’ve also never had): do you lock them to something? Sorry. I blame my father.

  • Alan says:

    @Michael

    “Are there even other bike companies that implement plates on most of their bikes, other than Civia and Rivendell?”

    Raleigh is doing a good job of speccing their transpo bikes with kickstand plates. Then there’s the Soma Saga, Velo Orange Polyvalent, all of the Breezers, various Globes, Public, Novara’s transpo models, Electra, A.N.T., etc – I’m sure there are others. Not all of those are steel, but they’re transportation oriented. The situation actually seems to be improving, which I think is super!

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @voayge

    For me, the appeal of kickstands is that they make it a lot easier to load and unload the bike when I’m at the grocery store or train station.

    Alan

  • John L. says:

    I like being able to use a bike for multi-modal transportation, which means being able to put your bike on the bike racks at the front of busses. Unfortunately, in auto-centric Southern California, many bus stops have no convenient place to prop up your bike. On top of that, try balancing your bike with one hand, managing a backpack or messenger bag, and putting the bus bike rack up or down at the same time while the bus driver and passengers wait impatiently. To me, it just makes sense to have a kickstand plate on a commuter/utility bike. I wish more companies would provide models with that option. This is one more reason I’ll be watching your Civia reviews with interest, Alan.

  • eddie flayer says:

    i love that, is it stainless steel, fixing bolt? nothing like it.

  • Mark A says:

    @voyage

    Imagine being able to stop and admire at the scenery or take a picture without finding somewhere to prop the bike. It’s actually quite liberating. Plus what Alan says.

    Has to be said though, I didn’t get on with Alan’s fave stand, the Pletscher Double. Very clever and liked the way it could work as a workstand, but the bike was barely stable on it. Have a Greenfield now and am much happier.

  • eddie flayer says:

    i do bird watching from my Rambouillet. and while i prefer the sveltness of no kick stand, a birding bike really needs one. gotta be able to get off, get the binos up to the eyeballs. if you gotta do all that and lean or lay the bike every time, you don’t get to see the birds. just the quick snap of the kickstand makes it work right.

  • Ted Lewandowski says:

    I have a German-built Raleigh city bike (Richmond XT – Raleigh-bikes.de) that has the typical European kickstand placement on the left rear chainstay – not sure why none of the domestic frame builders/bike companies don’t use this ingenious setup? Very convenient to use – and out of the way if you do not need to use it – and actually works well as a frameguard.

  • Ken says:

    Has anyone had a chance to try or find any reviews of Civia’s double kickstand? I’d be interested in seeing how it performs compared to the Pletscher. I acknowledge that they are two different animals: Pletscher has the retract to one side mechanism and Civia is a solid U-type. Still, I’d be interested in seeing the pros and cons of both. Was there any length cutting involved to fit the Pletscher to the Civia Bryant frame?

  • Alan says:

    @Ken

    Pletschers almost always need to be trimmed. I like to trim them so that I have 3.5″ under the rear wheel.

    Alan

  • Rob Halligan says:

    ESGE of ESGE-Pletcsher made a lotta plates. Here’s mine:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robhalligan/4551845298/in/set-72157623138990561/

  • lee says:

    I just installed a Pletscher twin-legged kickstand on my 52cm Surly cross check last night and there is such little clearance that I had to file a channel in the top bracket section so my front derailleur cable wouldn’t get pinched.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36781373@N03/5554595321/in/photostream/

    It’s not a perfect fix and although a cross check isn’t really a purpose-built commuting/utility frame a kickstand plate would have been appreciated.

  • Brendan says:

    Alan,

    Quick question, could you let me know the specs on the bolt you used and where you got it (or if it was provided with the Pletscher or Bryant)? The only suitable bolt I could find at my local hardware store had too large a head and wouldn’t fit into the slot so I used some spacers and washers and put on top of the plate rather than sinking it into the slot like you did.

    Also, I had a Surly Cross Check for about 10k without a kickstand and have about 3 k on the Bryant and I will never again have a commuting bike without a double kickstand. I run rear panniers and the ability to stop anywhere and grab something out of my bags without having to find a fence or poll and worrying my heavy ass bags will topple the bike because it’s inherently top heavy with panniers. Also underrated is the ability to tweak or work on the bike. Because the Pletscher double lifts either the front or rear wheel up, you can check true, fender clearance, tire issues, whatever without having to hold the bike with one hand and crack the pedal with the other (or flip it upside down, which isn’t possible with a handlebar mounted head lamp).

    Anyway, my thoughts on the matter.

  • Alan says:

    @Brendan

    Unfortunately, I don’t know the specs for the mounting bolt. I took the bolt that came with the kickstand to my local Ace Hardware and rifled through the metric stainless bolts until I found one with the proper length and head diameter. I’ll see if I can figure out what it is and get back to you.

    Alan

  • Brendan says:

    No need to. Sounds like we did the same thing, I just need to find a bigger hardware store. Thanks!

  • John Ferguson says:

    I feel the same way about kickstands that I do about electric motors on bicycles. On cargo bikes only.

    If you’re talking about a true cargo bike like a big dummy or other longtail (Yuba Mundo, etc) that you’re likely to be carrying a bunch of stuff on, then yes but in that case a sidestand won’t do it – go for the center stand so you can really stand the thing up. If it’s a commuter bike, then no need. I hang my commuter on a hook in my garage, on a hook on the ferry or lean it up against my office wall. Those are the only places it is at rest, unless I’m making a quick trip to the store in which case it’s in the bike rack. No use for a kickstand on a commuter for me.

  • Pete says:

    What I don’t get is that providing the plate doesn’t mean you HAVE to use a kickstand, just that it’s much easier to add one of you like. Same thing with rack braze-ons. Just because you don’t use a rack right now, why wouldn’t you want to have the option?
    Since I commute with a single office pannier, loading the bike is a real nuisance without a kick stand. If I used a backpack, I guess it wouldn’t matter. Similarly, I find that loading any substantial front load on a bike is really troublesome without a double-leg stand.

  • John Ferguson says:

    Even though I’m not particularly interested in the kickstand plate, I appreciate Alan’s fine photography which shows the nice smooth welds on his Bryant at the chainstay/bottom bracket junction. This is one of the hardest places to weld a bicycle frame because of the space constraints, and the pic shows a very nice job done by an excellent Taiwanese welder. Confidence inspiring..

    Off topic question for Alan, as I know he reads all of these. Were the rear dropouts straight and true to 135mm when you got it or did you have some cold setting of the rear triangle to do before installing the rear wheel? Thanks in advance.

  • Alan says:

    Good eye, John. You’re right; the welds are very nice on this bike.

    The bike came boxed with the rear wheel installed. I’ve removed the wheel a couple of times and the tolerances are good. Belt alignment is fairly critical, so I’m guessing they may be taking some extra care on these frames.

    Alan

  • Thor says:

    I love kickstand plates :-) on the appropiate bikes of course.
    I will see that I can get short bolts and will add them to my website. They will be cost prohibitive to sell alone, due to flat rate shipping/etc cost. but surely a good choice when somebody buys deluxe top plates and double shoes and kickstands of course.

    Than picture is pure ecstasy of course, again and agin … how you do that ALan ?

    all the best
    Thor

  • Joe says:

    RE: Raleigh and kickstand plates, the Detour Deluxe has one, but my Alley Way (next model up and identical frame w/o built in rack)) does not.

  • Mike T says:

    Do these double legged kickstands allow the cranks to spin freely? Does it depend on the brand and/or model?

    thanks,

    Mike, Calgary

  • Alan says:

    Hi Mike,

    My experience is that it depends on the brand and model of kickstand as well as the particular bike. Crank length and the width between the cranks play a role as well.

    Alan

  • Tim says:

    On cargo bikes a kicker is a must,try going without one and you will be handicapped.But really on about any bike I would want a kickstand,I guess if your in the city all the time it’s not so troublesome without a kicker but try going without one out in the sticks with no trees.

    It kills me to watch the neighbor kids jumping off their bikes and letting them just fall to the ground.All cause their to lazy to put their kickers down.

 
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