Review: Click-Stand folding bike stand!
One of the problems while touring is what to do exactly with your fully loaded bike with XXXlbs of gear when you need a short break on the side of the road. One could always “tip the cow”, so to speak, and gently let her down on one side. But sometimes, for example when its raining and the ground is muddy and there is no street post to lean the bike against, it’s nice to keep the bike upright while you take a break or run off to take a photo.
Truth be told, few kickstands are up to the task of keeping up a fully loaded bicycle with front and rear panniers upright. We have tried, with limited success, two flavors of the ubiquitous Pletscher kickstand. Laura has the single legged kickstand which has bent under the weight of her bicycle and is rather finicky. I’ve been using the double legged version of the kickstand which works, but has a bad habit of working itself loose. There is also something that seems a little troubling about applying all that weight to the chain stays while it holds up my 100+ lb bike. I do like it however, because it acts as an ad hoc repair stand holding the rear wheel up off the ground when unloaded.
An interesting solution to this is the Click-Stand, a collapsible pole (similar bungee system to modern tent poles) with a curved cradle that holds up your bike near the seat stay cluster. The Click-Stand’s weight is negligible and collapses down to something that could fit easily in your pannier or even your handlebar bag for easy access. Each Click-Stand is customized to fit your bike, so you have to send in some basic measurements (namely the height of the top tube from the ground).
The Click-Stand is usually sold with some elastic bands that depress the brake levers. This arrests any wheel movement so the bike won’t move. I don’t use them. My rear wheel has a wheel lock and I prefer using a leather toe strap wrapped through my front wheel and around the downtube.
The question is, does it work? Yes. Surprisingly, yes. My bike weighs probably around 110lbs but the Click-Stand holds it up with ease. The tubing appears to be fairly thick and sturdy and doesn’t buckle under the weight. There are a few things you do have to get use to. It’s not the quickest stand to deploy. I have to wrap my toe strap around the wheel and the bike first (takes just a few seconds), then prop the bike up with the actual stand. All told, it probably isn’t THAT much slower than using my Pletscher where I have to dismount first to get it to work. One other caveat is that the stand works best on solid pavement. I’ve propped it up on dirt and after a few seconds the bike began to topple over because the stand was burrowing into the earth. You could easily remedy this by finding a rock first, or a little flat piece of plastic to disperse the pressure.
Another caveat is that it works best if you DON’T have a frame pump under the top tube. Fortunately, I have a park PMP-5 which is an adjustable frame pump. I’ve figured out a way to mount the pump nestled in the rear triangle of the bike – getting rid of the need of having to remove the pump every time I used the Click-Stand.
A great SECONDARY use for the Click-Stand that we’ve discovered is as a pole for our tarp! We usually use it to give us a little additional height on the low side of our tarp shelters. You can use a tree and the Click-Stand to make a good ridge line for a tarp to lay over. I usually tie a clove-hitch over the cradle and stake it to the ground. This isn’t an officially approved use of the Click-Stand and I’m still testing it out, but so far it has worked splendidly.
-can hold up a fully loaded bike very effectively
-can be used to support a tarp shelter
-less expensive than a double legged Pletscher
-Not mounted to the bike
-Takes a few seconds to deploy
-Can’t use a frame pump mounted to the top tube
-Not readily available in bike shops
I highly recommend the product. I think it’s effective and works well and simply. There are some quirks that you have to get over, but if you can deal with the extra seconds to lash a toe-strap and unfold the Click-Stand, I think you’ll like it. An unexpected plus is that it can be used when erecting a tarp shelter!
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