The first thing I learned to fix on my bike when I was growing up was the kickstand. The friggin' thing seemed like it was always coming loose and my crank arm struck it on each pedal stroke.
Ten years later, my Fuji Dynamic 10 came without a kickstand, which I thought at the time was an amazing innovation (omitting a part an innovation?). The heavy kickstand seems to be pretty much a thing of the past, although I secretly yearned for one when touring or on mass rides where I couldn't find any lean-room.
Tom Nostrant from Aberdeen, Washington, must have been thinking the same thing. I met him at the Seattle International Bike Expo recently where he was showing off his Click-Stand, a simple, lightweight, folding bike stand.
Depending on length, the thing weighs about 75 grams — 2.6 ounces. It's made from aluminum, folds to 7 to 10 inches, and opens with a flick of the wrist. Nostrant custom-makes them in his basement to fit any size bike with any size tubing.
Folded, the Click-Stand can fit in a jersey pocket or pannier. Click it open and it supports the bike from the top tube, forming a triangle with the wheels. An elastic inner cord makes it easy to open and keeps the pieces together.
A padded cradle supports the top tube, and a rubber tip grabs the ground.
Nostrant came up with the idea a couple of years ago. He built a few and tried them out on a fully loaded bike tour of California. He fine-tuned it in his shop, and now he offers them online.
To order, you'll need to know the top tube diameter and distance to the ground. More measuring directions are at the Click-Stand website.
If you want a traditional kickstand, they're still available too. A Giant hybrid I rented in Sacramento recently came with a kickstand, which is what got me thinking about them again. Very convenient.
Alloy kickstands also are available online.