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Bicycle Propstands

Bike with standFor some reasons there seem to be some resistance from some cycle tourers to add a propstand or kickstand to a touring bike but to us they are a must accessory that once you have used one you would certainly miss a propstand if your bike didn't have one. Quite often I read on cycle touring forums "There is no need for a propstand, I just lean the bike against a wall, fence or tree or I just lie the bike down on the ground, why add the extra weight". Well in some areas such as Iceland or northern Finland there are no walls, fences or trees to lean a bike against. To be honest it is a pain to keep lifting up a well laden heavy touring bike from the ground and for us it doesn't seem quite right to dump your expensive touring bike on the ground. With a propstand it is just so easy, when you need to stop to take that photo or for a quick pee you can just get off your bike and quickly kick down the stand and the bike is stood up waiting for you to get back on it when you have finished.

Propstands or kickstands come in a variety of options and with a variety of strengths and qualities. In the 20 years that we have been touring I must have got through at lease a dozen or so and tried most of the various types. I broke a stand once in Ireland and the only replacement I could find in the local bike shop was a very cheap stand. I must admit I had my doubts about it when I bought it, I spent 10 minutes fitting it then loaded the bike and it promptly collapsed as we watched, a complete waste of time and money!

When choosing a prop or kick stand you must consider the weight that you are carrying on your bike. We have got through quite a few stands as there specifications haven't been up to the weight of a loaded touring bike, so check the specifications before you purchase one. We would reccomend a propstand that has a load rating of at least 30 - 50kg. When buying a propstand you will need to consider your bike wheel size although most stands have adjustable legs to fit a variety of bike sizes.

Which ever type of stand you decide to use one thing you will have to think about is how stable will it be on soft ground so you will need to look for one with a foot to spread out the weight of your bike. Several manufacturers do produce rubber feet or a shoes that can be added to the leg to make it broader and to aid in stopping the stand sinking on soft ground and giving more grip on uneven ground.

We have set out below a table showing the prons & cons of the different types of stands that are available for touring bikes.

Propstand type Image Pros Cons Notes
Centre mounted twin legged stand Center mounted twin legged stand
  • Generally a very stable stand (but see the cons).
  • Reasonably easy to fit.
  • These stands often have a high load specification, most are over 50kg.
  • You have to lift the bike up on to the stand.
  • The front wheels are left hanging free and swing to one side which doesn't make it easy to attach the front panniers to the front wheel racks.
  • Unless you have a fixing hole plate mounted between the Chain Stays you will have to use a clamp which could distort or damage the Chain Stays.
You could get over the problem of the front wheels swinging to one side by using a steering stabiliser but that seems to us to be an extra weight and added complication.
Centre mounted single leg stand Center mounted single leg stand
  • A reasonable stable stand with no problems in loading the front panniers that you get with the twin legged stands.
  • No need to lift the bike up.
  • The leg sticks out and clashes with the pedals making it not so easy to release and put the stand away when you set off or set it out when you stop.
  • Unless you have a fixing hole plate mounted between the Chain Stays you will have to use a clamp type which could distort or damage the chain stays.
  • the bike can tend to swing around in an arc.
Rear mounted single leg stand Rear mounted single legged stand
  • For us the easiest stand to use, kick it down and kick it up.
  • No need to lift the bike up.
  • No clashing with the pedals.
  • A reasonable stable stand with no problems in loading the front panniers.
  • Some stand designs have a clamp system that could possibly distort or damage your Chain Stay if you have a lightweight frame.

These stands come with a variety of fixings:

  • Some have a double holed bracket that fits some bikes which have the corresponding two holes on the chain stay or the chain stay hanger.
  • Some rear stands can fit on to the rear axle.
Click-Stand Click-Stand
  • An alternative type of stand that won't hurt or crush your frame.
  • A reasonable stable stand with no problems in loading the front panniers.
  • Light weight compared to some stands.
  • Fits all different sizes and types of bike.
  • Not quite so convenient and quick to deploy as the kickstand.
The Manufacturer supplies a couple of neat brackets to hold the click-stand on to your bike.
Front Rack kickstand Front rack stand
  • Added in combination with either a center or rear mounted single leg stand. This will certainly increase the stabilty of the bike to make a very stable stand system.
  • An additional weight to the bike ( approximately 225g)
  • An additional stand to kick down.
The Koga Worldtraveller comes with front and rear stands as standard.