Condensed Answer: BMX bikes designed for stunts do not have a kickstand because the accessory adds weight and can make the execution of tricks dangerous. Also, the function of the kickstand isn’t essential when using a BMX as intended.
Why BMX Bikes Do Not Have Kickstands
Regardless of how strong the spring is, a kickstand can open easily when riding aggressively.
If the kickstand opens accidentally, it can easily cause a crash by catching an external object or the ground after a landing. In some extreme cases, the kickstand may directly pierce the rider’s leg.
Since the function of a kickstand is basic comfort when the bike is not in use, the benefit is too small to ignore the potential danger that the rider is exposed to.
Consequently, you will never see a kickstand on a BMX bike used for street or race.
- Non-esthetically Pleasing
Truth be told, the vast majority of cyclists find kickstands extremely non-aesthetically pleasing and avoid them at all costs for the looks alone.
A kickstand is considered non-cool in the world of BMX too. Riders want their bikes to be minimalistic, fresh, and aggressive. A kickstand does not fit the criteria and is therefore never installed.
- Extra Weight
A kickstand adds weight to the bike without improving performance on the bike. For that reason, the extra grams are considered pointless.
- Non-essential Function
A kickstand is supposed to keep the bike standing when the rider is not holding it or supporting it via an external object. This function is useful when you have a fully loaded touring bike for example, but when it comes to BMX it’s not a priority.
BMX bikes are thrown around constantly anyway. Riders would often lay them on the side without a care in the world. The bikes are designed for abuse and do not mind being “uncomfortable” while in rest mode.
In what cases is a kickstand acceptable on a BMX?
Installing a kickstand on a BMX makes sense only when the bike is used for “calm riding” such as commuting. If you plan to use the bike even for simple tricks, a kickstand is still dangerous. However, a kickstand isn’t harmful when the bike serves the role of a commuter or a learning machine.
What kickstand can I install on a BMX?
Since most BMX bikes do not have kickstand mounts by default, the most common choices are kickstands that clamp onto one of the chainstays.
Alternatively, you can also get a model that attaches to the chainstay bridge. The first option is a bit easier to install while the second could be more discreet. When installing a clamp-on kickstand it’s recommended to cover the frame area in protective material to avoid scratches.
How do I store my bike upright without a kickstand?
If you want a kickstand mainly to store your bike upright in your garage or apartment, it would be better to get a dedicated bicycle stand because those are more stable. If you rely solely on a kickstand, the bike can easily fall to one side after a slight contact.
The stand stabilizes one of the wheels and prevents the bike from tilting. I prefer a stand that holds the front wheel because in that case all movement of the bike is limited. If you use a stand for the rear wheel, then the front can still turn.
One benefit of rear wheel stands is that some allow you to spin the pedals and thus perform some repair and maintenance.
Another option would be a stand that elevates the entire bike to the ceiling.
If you don’t want to pay for a stand, you can easily make one from cheap pine boards (e.g., palette wood) and a few brackets from the hardware store.
I want to put a kickstand on my commuter BMX, but I am afraid that people will make fun of me.
If the bike is used only as a commuter and therefore the dangers of using a kickstand are non-existent, then it would be worth it to overcome the external critique that might come your way.
Truth be told, most people are too concerned with themselves and what other people (you included) think of them to pay attention to you.
Also, a small thing like a kickstand on a bike shouldn’t be a source of insecurity. If you are so concerned about how you look in the eyes of others, you will never be good enough even if you replace your entire bike with the newest Ferrari.
If you want a kickstand, and it fits your riding style, put one on and see how you like it. It can easily be removed later anyway.