You’re looking to buy a good BMX. When you’re shopping how do you know if you’re supposed to look for a kickstand, or if you will need one. You notice that none of the bikes in the shop have a kickstand. Should you ask the sales associate in the store if BMX bikes have kickstands?
BMX bikes do not have kickstands as they can get in the way and catch on something when racing or performing tricks. The kickstand poses more of a risk than convenience and can cause crashes that could otherwise have been avoided.
In this article, we’ll look at why BMX bikes don’t have kickstands, and why you don’t need one. We’ll go over their major drawbacks and the possible dangers that you could encounter while riding a BMX with a kickstand, and then we’ll look at some alternatives ways of propping up your bike.
Why BMX Bikes Don’t Have Kickstands
It’s unnecessary to have a kickstand on a BMX bike. A kickstand is a part of a bike that functions to keep the bike upright when not in use. It attaches to the lower rear bar just beside the wheel. It’s usually a cheap piece of metal that flips down to hold the bike from falling.
A BMX bike is designed to perform tricks and stunts, many of the maneuvers done on a BMX bike require your feet to move from the pedal to other positions on or around the frame. Doing these types of stunts is a lot more dangerous with a kickstand getting in the way.
It’s simply an extra piece of equipment that you don’t need to have. Your leg or an item of clothing could easily get caught on this pesky piece of bike propping apparatus and so it gets a big thumbs down from the BMX community. Added to that they often create unnecessary noise and movement while you’re riding.
Then there’s the issue of added weight. Every effort has been made to reduce the weight of BMX bikes for better performance. A kickstand can weigh one pound to a pound and a half all by itself, an added weight that can and should be avoided.
Another problem is they then tend to pop from the up position to the down position when bumped or jostled. This again can be incredibly dangerous. Now the kickstand could catch on any root, rock, or oven just skid across the pavement causing you to fall and get injured.
Kickstands pose the potential for impaling you if the bike were to land on you from a mid-air stunt. Although rare its a possibility, and one that’s easily avoided. When in the down position they’re completely unsafe and could injure you if they break off of the frame. Furthermore, they could damage your bike in such an incident. It’s another piece of equipment that could tear cables or puncture wheels in a fall.
Finally, they’re usually poor quality and don’t even hold your bike up. It’s relatively easy to lay your BMX on the ground or prop it up on a wall. A lot of people think that the scratches and scrapes add character too. Your bike is probably scratched up riding and performing tricks on park features already.
Problems with Kickstands
There are several major problems with kickstands:
The ideal BMX bike is 24.5-25 pounds if not lighter. A lot of people argue that 23 pounds is the perfect weight. Most professionals are always trying to lighten their BMX bike any way they can without compromising quality. With your kickstand weighing in at a whopping 1-1.5 pounds, that’s unnecessary weight.
Every trick you might want to perform on a BMX is easier with less weight on your bike. From airs and aerial maneuvers to rail grinds. Obviously you’re going to have a lot more speed with less weight making it easier to commit to tricks.
While riding on trails that added weight is going to prevent you from optimal downhill speed and make those uphill treks a lot more work. Simply put no one wants extra weight on their BMX bike.
When the kickstand gets bumped out of its upward position it becomes very dangerous. Imagine your riding down a trail and the kickstand springs to the downward position. Suddenly it’s riding directly above the uneven trail. It will most likely catch on something causing you to fall. You’ll probably be catapulted over the handlebars. You could break bones, get some gnarly abrasions, or even need stitches.
If the kickstand were to dislodge in the park there are all kinds of potential problems. While riding up a wall if your kickstand dislodges you’ll certainly be eating pavement. There’s just no reason to have this piece of equipment on your BMX as it increases your risk of injury. If you get hurt you can’t get out and ride, and no one wants that.
Unreliable and Unnecessary
Most people who own and ride BMX bikes are not using them for transportation purposes. A kickstand is primarily used by commuters who need a place to stand their bike frequently. This is simply not an issue for the typical BMX rider.
In fact, you should be riding your BMX the majority of the time. You only really take a couple of breaks during your sesh. During this time you’ll surely find a tree or spot for your BMX to safely rest nearby. Another positive of not having a kickstand is that you will have eyes on your BMX which will prevent theft.
In addition to being unnecessary, most of the time they are a cheap part that doesn’t even work. Your BMX will still fall over as they often don’t function for the very job they were built for. A small breeze usually blows a bike on a kickstand right over. Now parts on your BMX might become damaged as it falls down due to kickstand malfunction.
Almost all public places have bike stands these days. If you’re stopping to get food somewhere there’s usually a bike rack you can chain and lock your BMX to. There’s really very few situations where you need a kickstand.
When you’re at home your hopefully performing maintenance, and caring for your bike. In which case, it’s most likely spending a bit of time on the work stand. If its not, then the walls in the garage are a good place to stand your BMX up.
What are Some Alternatives to kickstands?
You can buy bike stands at your local store or online for your BMX. There are a lot of freestanding options that you can slide the wheels of your BMX into. These are a relatively cheap and secure option for home storage. There are also hanging racks. They can be mounted on doors or in the garage. You rest the frame of your bike on the rack, and they’re completely out of the way.
Most people simply lean them up against a wall in their garage or living room. They’re meant to have some character so most people aren’t too concerned if there are a couple of chips in their paint. You’re BMX is not going to perform any better or any worse based on aesthetics. Your BMX will perform better without a kickstand, and you’ll be safer too.