Monday, May 17, 2010
Take A Stand ... Or Two!
As we've discussed in a previous post, the pursuit of balance can take many forms, both mental and physical, when applied to cycling. Today's post is regarding balance of the physical nature.
To ride like the wind and be free ... yes, this is the longing we share. But what does one do in the midst of such a ride when one must stop and step off one's bike to meditate whilst consuming mass quantities of caffienated beverage? One must, of course, lean, lay down, or otherwise "park" one's beloved steed. Provided there exists such amenities to safely support the bike, leaning it or laying it down may suffice. For me, that is most often not the case, and I cannot bear the thought of adding scratches or other debris to my frame that is not the result of some epic ride that I can replay in my head or tell as a short story to others. No, no ... there has to be a better way ... and there is! The solution is a kickstand! Equipped with such a clever device, one may easily park one's bike almost anywhere, almost any time, and step back to admire the beauty of your ride while resting, refueling, texting, chatting, or yes, drinking coffee.
For those of you who already have a kickstand mounted to your bike, you're already experiencing the convenience ... but you will still appreciate the following information, and may even find a desire to upgrade. If you don't have a kickstand, it is time, my friend, to consider it.
Many of the new breed of commuter and urban bikes on the market are now being equipped with kickstands. That's great news, and a very welcome addition that shows the manufacturers are actually listening. However, many of the road-oriented bikes out there do not have kickstands, as they do certainly add a bit of weight, which is something most roadies do not care to have. I happen to believe the benefits far outweigh (pun intended) the weight.
Pletscher Twin-Leg stand to my Surly LHT. This highly-regarded and long-tested model is quite stout, like a Guinness made in Ireland. But every ounce is an ounce of strong metal, and the design is great. Both legs swing up together behind the bottom bracket and to the left of the rear wheel, tucking away nicely and never in the way of pedaling.
When opening, the legs swing down and separate to their respective sides under the bike. The bike then balances with the two legs and either front or rear wheel, depending on whether your bike is front or rear weighted. The other wheel is lifted slightly off the ground. This can be quite helpful for minor maintenance, by the way.
Click-Stand. It is perfect for road bikes that have no place to mount a kickstand, or for those of you who just don't want the extra weight on your bike. They are custom made to order for your bike's frame size and tube dimensions.
It weighs almost nothing, and amazingly folds up so it can fit into a jersey pocket or bag.
The soft rubber cradle at the top hooks under your top tube near your saddle, place the other end about ten inches to the side, and simply lean your bike on the stand.