Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Kickstand Dilemma + Gear update

Many people will make the argument that kickstands are just extra weight. Most people will just lean their bikes up against a pole, parking meter, tree, or whatever is around. Touring cyclists often just lay their bikes down. However I didn't want to go that route of having to lay my expensive Arkel GT-54 down in the mud and dirt. So I opted to get the Pletscher 2-legged kickstand.

A lot of people swear by this kickstand, I've read many rave reviews about it. However, despite my anticipation, I was disappointed as soon as I got it installed. The default bracket that comes with the kickstand was troubling. After reading the warnings of others about the installation of the stand on the Surly LHT I was being pretty careful. I wrapped the chain stays in inner tube and tried to mount it.

I had trouble getting it tight enough that the stand wouldn't move around, yet I was being careful not to over-tighten it and ruin my bike frame. I took it off temporarily and opted to order the "Deluxe Top Plate Bracket" from ThorUSA. This Bracket has rubber grommets and an anti-slip design. After I got this (which cost $10 and $17 to ship, blech) I tried to install it again. The bolt that came with it was not long enough, and the mounting system was clumsy. I took the lock washer off and the bolt was just long enough, and managed to get it on there. After fiddling with it I noticed this had happened to the inner tube.

The bottom part of the kickstand mount started cutting through the inner tube and zip-tie. And after removing the tube and ties I saw that it had started scratching into the powder coat (but luckily not all the way through).

I have two concerns: 1) That I won't tighted it enough and the kickstand will flick into my spokes causing disaster, 2) that I will tighten it too much and ruin my bike causing disaster. Because of these two things I have opted to get rid of the Pletscher 2-Legged kickstand and extra deluxe top plate. If anyone wants to buy it, comment and I'll shoot you an email. Just because I don't feel comfortable with it doesn't mean it's not a good stand, lots of people use it and are happy with it.

I have now decided to go with a much less intrusive, less heavy, more useful, and neater stand! The Click-Stand (ignore "touch for a close-up" stole from Click-Stand website).

It is made out of expedition quality aluminum tubing connected via elastic cord, much like tent poles. There are 4 different varieties made of 3 different tube diameters and each click-stand is custom made to fit your bike! The stand folds up to about 10" for the big one and about 6" for the smallest, and it holds your bike via the rubber coated cradle under your top tube, near your seat tube, and it only weighs about 100g.

People who own them rave about them. I'm planning on getting one as soon as I can sell the Pletscher. Along with the side mount that mounts the stand along side one of your water bottle cages.

I recently received some packages in the mail!
The first one I'll talk about is a DVD I ordered. The Cross Canada Project is a documentary made by and about Mike Beauchamp as he rode his bicycle across the country. It was a great watch! I highly recommend anybody who is thinking of touring for the first time to buy it, support a fellow cyclist and indie film maker.
I also recieved my Planet Bike HardCore Touring/Hybrid 45mm Fenders, 3 Topeak water bottle cages, and my 2 27oz and 1 18oz wide mouth Klean Kanteen bottles, all from REI is kind of like MEC but housed in the USA. They have a better selection than their Canadian counterpart, but the shipping to Canada is crazy expensive.

Here is the bike all decked out with it's new toys, overlooking Conception Bay South and Kelly's Island, as well as Little Bell Island.

I also have my Black Brooks B17 saddle on the way, along with a very ineteresting mini pump that is only 100g, the entire body is CNC machined aluminum, and it has a detachable hose that hides in the handle and actually screws onto presta and schrader valves.

Lots more stuff to buy for touring/camping, and I'll talk about it more when I get more stuff!

Don't forget if anyone is interested in buying a brand new, only used once outside Pletscher 2-legged kickstand, let me know! I would love to sell it.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I look forward to your posts and pictures; but I wonder why you always take a picture of your bike from the backside? generally, you want to take pictures of the drivetrain side of the bike.
    otherwise, thanks for your detailed updates!

  2. Never really thought about it to be honest! With the kickstand pictures I was just trying to show it as best as possible and the chain rings would have been in the way. But I think you're more-so referring to the pics above the town. In that case my bike would have been tilted down in that spot and probably would look funny. But I could have found another spot I suppose.

    I'll keep it in mind!

  3. Thanks for the plug!

    I actually just bought the same pump (but the high volume version) for my mountain bike project. Wish I would have had one of their pumps a long time ago actually. Very slick.. I have their seat-bag as well.

  4. Hey Hughie,

    It's good form to credit the photographs you "borrow" from other folks' sites. otherwise, people might think you're stealing. And before you think that reprinting someone else's photos without permission is not stealing, than you probably wouldn't mind if I "borrowed" your bike without asking.

  5. Well Photog Pete, I don't see where I did not credit the photographs. Only two photographs I didn't take was the one of the click stand, where I said specifically the pic is from the click stand website, and the pic of the pump from the lezyne website.

    I try to credit all my borrowed photographs actually and also provide a source link. If the pic of the click stand bike is yours then you'll have to excuse me, as I said I merely took it from the click stand website and I did link and credit that site.

    I try properly crediting and sourcing any pics I use, but more over I am not profiting or promoting anything using these pictures. I am just informing and trying to spread bike culture. If you think I have improperly credited something, please provide me with a name and source material via email (h dot newman dot iii at gmail) and I will see to it that it is removed or properly credited. There is no need to get snippy about it.

    And besides, I didn't leave my bike lying around on the internet. If you put pictures on the internet without watermarks or in a format people cannot download, it is pretty much unavoidable someone will use it.