Do Mountain Bikes Have Kickstands?

Mountain bikes are quite versatile as they can be ridden off-road as well as on road. Especially if you want to use your mountain bike for commuting or urban cycling, a kickstand would come in quite handy. Do mountain bikes have kickstands?

No, a genuine mountain bike that’s designed for off-road use, does not come with a kickstand nor has mounting points for it. A kickstand doesn’t suit a mountain bike’s purpose, adds weight, and is also a safety hazard, as it can get caught on obstacles along the trail.

When I started mountain biking myself, I first thought I really needed a kickstand on my bike. A couple years later, I look at kickstands very differently. After reading this article, you might also reconsider fitting a kickstand on your bike as they can be a safety hazard!

Do Mountain Bikes Have Kickstands?

Mountain bikes do not come with kickstands. However, we’re referring to a genuine mountain bike that’s designed to perform off-road. There are bikes with kickstands that, at first glance, look like a mountain bike, but definitely don’t classify as a mountain bike. Why that’s the case, you’ll understand after reading this segment.

mountain bike leaning against bench
Mountain bikes don’t come with mounting points for fitting a kickstand

We’ll now go through the reasons why a genuine mountain bikes doesn’t have a kickstand.

Kickstands Are Heavy

Although weight isn’t actually main reason why mountain bikes don’t come with kickstands, I’ll still include it in this article. Of course, loosing 100-300 grams on a bike is great, but that’s not what’s it’s all about. At least, not in this day of age.

Mountain bikes have become heavier instead of lighter over the last few years. The wheels got bigger and the frame got more sturdier. Manufacturers nowadays focus more on the design of the bike rather than its weight. They believe that that’s were performance comes from.

Kickstands Are A Safety Hazard

Before you make the decision on fitting a kickstand to your mountain bike, think well and hard about how you are going to use your mountain bike. With fitting a kickstand, your bike becomes more of a city bike and less of a mountain bike. There is no bike that can do it all.

If you use a mountain bike with a kickstand in off-road conditions, there are a few safety hazards:

  • A kickstand can get caught on vegetation and rocks. In off-road conditions and especially on narrow singletracks, there’s a good chance that a kickstand can get caught on surroundings.
  • A kickstand might come down during a ride. Although this won’t happen easily on pavement, on a bumpy off-road trail, it’s more likely.

The scenarios as described above can cause you to fall over and become injured.

Kickstands Damage Your Frame

Kickstand will protect your frame and other components by not having to put your bike against a vertical object. But on a mountain bike, a kickstand can also damage your frame. This has to do with the fact that, unlike a city bike, a mountain bike has no mounting points for a kickstand.

Universal kickstands usually clamp around the frame which can damage the paintwork.

Why Put A Kickstand On A Mountain Bike?

We’ve established that mountain bikes don’t come with a kickstand as this doesn’t suit its purpose. So why would someone want to fit one? Well, there are actually many occasions in which a kickstand would come in quite handy. Let’s look at some.

Commuting With A Mountain Bike

If you are a mountain biker and have a limited budget or no space for multiple bikes, you’d have to pick one bike for all your purposes. I can fully see why you’d pick a mountain bike. With a mountain bike, you can ride off-road as well as on pavement; something that you can’t do with a city bike for example.

Commuting or urban cycling can be done on a mountain bike, but it does bring some challenges. For instance, you are more likely to get wet and dirty in the rain, and there’s no bike carrier to carry your things. But moreover, a kickstand would prevent you from having to look for a vertical object to lean your bike against.


Cleaning or performing maintenance to a mountain bike without a kickstand, can be quite frustrating. You’d first have to find a sturdy post, wall, fence, bench or tree, and then make sure it would not fall over or glide off.

A kickstand wouldn’t fully prevent your bike from falling over, but it sure would make your life a hell of a lot easier.


By not having to put your mountain bike on the floor or against a tree, your frame and other parts of your bike are less likely to get scratched up. Especially if you do a lot of commuting on a mountain bike, a kickstand will definitely protect your precious paint. However, kickstands can’t cope with heavy winds.

Please keep in mind that, although a kickstand can protect your frame, it can also cause damage. As mentioned earlier, kickstands for mountain bikes usually clamp around your frame and can chip the paint.

Alternatives To A Kickstand On A Mountain Bike

So is there no hope for people that want to use their mountain bike for commuting as well as mountain biking? Luckily, there are a few alternatives that are safe, don’t damage your bike and don’t add weight.

We’ll now go through some alternatives. Some of them are for off-road use and some are for use in a public space.

Lean Your Bike Against A Tree

Although we’ve discussed that leaning your bike against a vertical object may cause damage, there are ways to do it safely.

Above all, never lean your mountain bike against a tree with the drive-side facing the tree! If can damage your derailleur if the bike slips off and falls on the drive side.

Other than leaning your frame against a tree, you can also use a bar end, pedal, saddle or your rear wheel. If you protect your frame with a protective film from RideWrap for example, you can actually lean your top tube against a tree without damaging it.

Use A Stick To Stand Your Bike Up

This alternative to a kickstand is more of a life-hack and mainly used for for taking photos of your bike. It’s basically a temporary kickstand made from stick that you’ve found on the floor.

To stand up your bike, find a strong stick that’s about 12 inches long. The best place to put the stick, is between the rear brake disc and the non-drive-side chainstay. If you now look at your bike from the drive-side, the stick will be hidden behind your derailleur which is great for pictures!

There Are Bike Stands Everywhere

Think about where you are going to park your mountain bike. If you use your bike for commuting and always travel to the same place, consider your parking options. Be creative! Maybe your workplace has an unused room that you can use to store your expensive bike. Public places often also have bike stands to do a better job than a kickstand.

Get/Build Your Own Bike Stand

If the solution above isn’t an option, you might want to look into getting your own bike stand. There are various models and setups available on the market or you can build your own. A bike stand is a great solution for storing or cleaning your bike. Just Google ‘mountain bike stand’ to get an idea.

homemade mountain bike stand
Mountain bike stands are great for storing or cleaning your bike. Buy one or build one yourself

The big downside of a bike stand, is that it’s not a portable solution that you can easily carry around.

Summary Including My Personal Advise

In this article, we’ve seen that a mountain bike that was designed for mountain biking, doesn’t come with a kickstand. A kickstand is not suitable for off-road use as it can be a safety hazard. Mountain bikes that do come with a kickstand from factory, aren’t real mountain bikes and only have the looks of a mountain bike.

If you are still considering a kickstand for your mountain bike, I’d strongly advise your to think about how you are going to use your bike. Only if you use your bike on pavement exclusively, I’d suggest you to fit a kickstand.

In every other case where you are still going to use your bike for mountain biking, think of other ways to park up your bike. You are otherwise limiting the abilities of your mountain bike massively. Anyway, you definitely don’t need a kickstand for taking a break next to the trail. Just get a stick!