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Upstand: The (Almost) Vanishing Kickstand for Weight Weenies

by Ted Johnson

There are basically two kinds of people who would use the Upstand™:

  1. Weight weenie roadies who miss the usefulness of having a kickstand, but wouldn’t want to be seen with one mounted to their carbon-fiber status symbol.
  2. Mountain bike warriors who don’t want a kickstand that might deploy unexpectedly, or catch on a rock they are surmounting.

I’m neither, but I fancy myself the latter.

I’ve been trying to believe that my old mountain bike is not a commuter bike. I’ve always refused to put kickstand on this bike. And over the last year I’ve started to take off the vestiges of commuterism, thinking I will once again ride for recreation.

Still, the majority of miles I put on this bike are commuting.

Upstand tab

The Upstand tab

I probably went on two non-commuting trail rides all summer. (And they were very nice.) The rest of the time my mountain bike sat in the garage watching my wife’s cheap Costco bike get all of the quality time with my butt.

But in December, winter finally arrived to Flagstaff, and that’s when I turn my mountain bike into my winter commuter.

I removed my still-pristine looking WTB Weirwolf tires, and put on the Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tires, which are three winters old, and actually show signs of use.

And while I was at it, I installed the Upstand — just a pokey little tab that goes under the quick release.

The other part to the Upstand is a thing that looks like a magician’s magic wand. It is segmented like one of those hollow nested aluminum tent poles with an elastic shock cord running through it.

You unfold it, and stick one end on that tab. It is held in place by a strong magnet.

And then you are ready for a bike-commuting adventure, such as waiting in line at a bank drive-through.

Upstand going through the drive-through of a bank.

Holding my place in line while I step away from the fumes.

I’m pretty happy with it. I don’t really care how much it weighs, but the people who manufacture the Upstand are very conscious of the weight weenie market. They go way out of their way to emphasize that the product itself is made from carbon fiber, 6061T 6 anodized aluminum, a neodymium axial magnet, and other words to impress your roadie friends.

It weighs as little as something you roadies surely have with you at all times anyway: a single shot of GU Energy Gel. (I had to Google that to find out what it even is.)

Light
Added weight to your bike is only 15 grams. The stand alone is 25 grams. Total product weight is 40 grams.

My intention was to store it in my saddle bag. But — Oops! There I go again being not the target market for this product.

Roadies — if they use a saddle bag at all — have a minimalist saddle bag, such as an Ortlieb Micro.

I tried to put the Upstand in several saddle bags:

Timbuk2 Lightbrite Seat Pack Saddle Bag

Timbuk2 Lightbrite: Nope.

Vaude Tool Saddle Bag

Vaude Tool Saddle Bag. Still too small.

Ortlieb Plus Saddle Bag

Ortlieb Plus: Barely.

Then I thought outside the saddle bag. Commuters rush in where roadies fear to tread.

Vaude Cruiser Wedge Pack

Vaude Cruiser Wedge Pack: Just right.

Vaude Triangle Wedge Pack Saddle Bag

Vaude Triangle Wedge Pack: Another good fit.

Banjo Brothers Barrel Bag for Saddle or Handlebars Saddle Bag

Banjo Brothers Barrel Bag: Works as either a saddle bag or a handlebar bag

It made me wonder why they can’t segment it into three sections, and make it more compact — like those aforementioned nested aluminum tent poles. It would have easily fit into the smaller saddlebags. But then again it may have added a few forbidden grams to the weight, or have lost some of the needed strength.

I ended up putting it in the back pocket of my pants, or in my jacket. Because I may be fine with teasing roadies, but I’m certainly not going dress up my mountain bike with that cargo-carrying useful stuff.

The Upstand sells for $39 from Upstanding Bicycle Company.

And that’s my review. You can stop reading now.

But here’s where it gets weird…

The whole time I was testing the Upstand, I kept thinking about a magician’s wand that I handled when I was about seven years old.

I was chosen as the volunteer from the audience. The magician handed me his wand, and it immediately went flaccid. He took it back and it was rigid again. Handed it to me again; floppy again.

Breakaway Wand

A “Breakaway Wand” (not an Upstand)

And, being a brat, I figured it out. I had to use two hands, but I made that wand straighten out. I was pretty proud of myself, so it’s been good memory for me — but just a memory.

Then, just the other day, while the Upstand was still triggering this memory, I was going through a pile of photos taken by my father, and I came across this photo of me in my moment of triumph.

 

Ted with Breakaway Wand

And for my next trick, I will make my foot disappear up this little brat’s butt.

Yes, that’s me. I didn’t even know this photo existed.

 
BOB Trailer Sale

10 Responses to “Upstand: The (Almost) Vanishing Kickstand for Weight Weenies”

  1. R.White says:

    I found it humorous that the roadie target market can’t carry it. Won’t fit in a seat bag, and the weight description reads as if you shouldn’t take it with you anyhow, because it would add more weight to your bike. (Added weight to your bike is only 15 grams. The stand alone is 25 grams. Total product weight is 40 grams.) If you carry the stand in your pocket, I guess that weight doesn’t count?

    • Ted Johnson says:

      The minimalism of the Upstand means that it has no hinge, or ability to “kick” up — which keeps the weight down, and makes it technically not a kickstand.

      Roadies will need to find somewhere to keep it — if not in a saddlebag. A jersey pocket, probably.

      I only know enough about the roadie stereotype to make fun of it. Perhaps there really are roadies who think that weight carried on their person doesn’t count, but that’s not part of the stereotype I poke with a carbon-fiber stick.

  2. norm says:

    It’s clever! I like the fact that people in the cycling community are experimenting with new ways to do things. This is a stand I might not loathe.

  3. Tom Bowden says:

    As a sometimes roadie, I don’t see any problem here that some carbon fiber or titanium doohickeys mounted to your water bottle bosses (with titanium screws, of course) would not cure. Or maybe a custom carbon seatpost with a retainer clip so that you could remove the seatpost and slide the stand into it.

  4. Being both road and mountain bikers here our goal is to provide a way to stand up our bikes while not in use. When I arrive at my office, or set my bike indoors at home. (I will admit I do find my bikes nice addition to the family room, however my wife does not see the beauty.) Weight is always a consideration when building anything and in this case also important. We have a storage clip on the way that can be used below the water bottle cages. Thank you for your time. We are committed to making useful products to make our riding experience more complete.

  5. Kevin Love says:

    I rather like the centre kickstand on my Pashley Roadster Sovereign. It holds the bike upright whilst I am loading it with groceries. See:

    http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/roadster-sovereign.html

  6. Josh says:

    Looks like a lighter version of the Click-Stand, which has the advantage of not needing a bracket, so can be used on however many bikes you have.

  7. Matt H says:

    When I see a product like this I think of the expression of incredulity I saw on a fellow bike store customer’s face when the sales clerk told him that he’d have to pay extra for a kickstand. As a cynical boomer I learned the lesson of “follow the money” from an unfortunate political event in the 70′s. IMHO, kickstands, along with fenders, went away because they were added expenses to the manufacturers. Then the job was to convince the customer that it was “what you want.” Less weight, ability to customize, looking cool… all meant that the manufacturing costs would go down (notice, not the sale price) and thus more funds in the pocket of the supply chain. Since most Americans saw bikes as toys – for kids and adults alike – not transportation, taking away features that actually made a bike practical was easy to do.

    That said, hurrah for these creative thinking entrepreneurs to give back what was taken away while we were asleep.

  8. Dave T says:

    Nice concept. I’ve been using the Click Stand http://www.click-stand.com/ for my touring bike. Also a lightweight alternative. Perhaps a bit simpler than this.

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