Best Bike Kickstands: A Brief History
Kickstands are used to keep your bike upright when riding it on rough terrain or even while riding over uneven ground. There are several types of kickstand available today. Some have a simple hinge design which allows them to fold up flat for storage, while others use hinges with locking mechanisms so they cannot easily be opened from the side. Most modern models come equipped with both features.
The first bicycle kickstand was invented by the Englishman John Stearns in 1879. His invention made it possible to ride a bicycle without having to carry a bag around. However, it took another thirty years before someone else came up with something similar. That person was William Feltner of Germany. He patented his idea in 1902 and sold his patent rights for $1,000 (around $4,500 in 2016).
At the time, it seemed like a good deal. But then, in 1912, another German inventor named Karl Kappel patented his own version of a bicycle kickstand called the “Kappel Stand”. It had two folding legs and could be folded up into its original shape to make room for a small backpack.
In 1915, American engineer Charles Dornberger designed a new type of bicycle stand called the “Dornberger Stand” which featured three legs instead of just one. Later, it was improved upon by another American inventor named William Schwenck and given the name of “The Schwenckstand”. The new kickstand could fold up sideways as well as backwards. This made it more convenient for storage and transportation.
Kickstands have come a long way since they were first invented. And they continue to be developed and refined to make sure they are durable and sturdy enough to support heavy bicycles while they are parked on uneven ground.
What is a kickstand and how does it work?
A kickstand offers a convenient way to park your bicycle. They can be folded up flat against the side of your bike and are simply thrust forward when you want to use them. They are mostly used when parking your bike on an incline so that it stays upright. If you do not have a kickstand, you can lean your bicycle against a wall or another fixed object instead.
Some kickstands are more reliable than others so it is a good idea to check reviews before you buy one. The best ones will be made from metal and have a wide base so that they do not slip away under the pressure of the bike. Cheaper models are often made from plastic which can break easily and are less reliable. This means they are likely to slip when you park your bike causing it to fall over. It is a good idea to check the weight rating of any kickstand before you buy it.
What are the different types of kickstand?
Kickstands can be divided into two basic categories: those which fold up against the bike and those which fold out to the side.
Folding up against the bike: These kickstands are generally very simple in design and easy to use. They consist of a metal bar or rod which is hinged on one end. When you lift it up and over to the other side, it props up against your bike’s frame at a 90 degree angle. This allows the rear wheel to rest on the sloping frame at an angle so that it stays upright. Most folding kickstands are fitted with rubber pads or brackets to stop them from damaging the paintwork on the frame.
They can also be folded up completely flat against the frame if necessary. Folding kickstands are usually held in place by a simple latch.
Folding out to the side: These kickstands are slightly more complicated than folding up against the bike but offer more support for your bicycle. They are attached to the frame at one end and then have a long rod or arm which folds out to the side, propping up against the tire at an angle. The rear wheel rests against this at an angle to keep the bike upright. They are usually held in place with a latch at the front which is attached to the frame.
Other kickstands: There are also other types of kickstand available on the market besides the two described above. Some have elaborate spring mechanisms which flip out and grip the ground as well as rubber tips to avoid scratching the frame. There are also ones which clamp directly to pannier racks or are bolted directly to the frame.
Sources & references used in this article:
Motorcycle kickstand by D Shipman, R Bunker, W Bunker – US Patent 3,712,640, 1973 – Google Patents
Bicycle kickstand by RL Diekman – US Patent 4,556,230, 1985 – Google Patents
Investigation of magnetic couplers in bicycle kickstands for wireless charging of electric bicycles by HZZ Beh, GA Covic, JT Boys – IEEE Journal of Emerging and …, 2014 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Kickstand supporting device by MC Maranell, S Reichenberger – US Patent 4,474,387, 1984 – Google Patents
Combination kickstand and footrest for motorcycles by JEJ Polley – US Patent 3,384,389, 1968 – Google Patents
Versatile bicycle stand by J Kamysiak – US Patent 6,257,419, 2001 – Google Patents
Magnetic couplers in kickstands for wireless charging of electric bicycles by HZZ Beh, GA Covic, JT Boys – 2014 IEEE Applied Power …, 2014 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Bicycle kickstand by RF Humlong – US Patent 3,622,180, 1971 – Google Patents
Kickstand support base for motorcycles by DA Rethman, DA Rethman – US Patent 6,340,166, 2002 – Google Patents