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Bicycle Click-Stand Clicks with Me

I mentioned in the middle of the month that I can’t live without a kickstand or some other way to support my Surly Long Haul Trucker. After describing the benefits and limitations of my ESGE/Pletscher Double-legged kickstand, I said that a Click-Stand was on its way for review.

What IS a Click-Stand?

Think of a small sectional tent pole

The product is made of from four to six segments of Easton Aluminum tubing, from .340 to 4.33 inches around, depending on the model. The top has a rubberized “cradle” that holds the bike up and the bottom has a rubberized tip to keep it from slipping around. The segments are joined together with a bungee cord. A flick of the wrist causes it to click together.

Watch this video

It’s easier to see how the Click-Stand fits together than it is to describe it. I was showing it to my son, when four-year-old Grandson Malcolm wanted to play with it. You can see how easily it comes apart and how it fits back together. “Wow” IS the most common reaction.

How do you use it?

Is it complicated? After all, the beauty of the traditional kickstand is you kick it and it stands up.

The Click-Stand takes a little longer.

First, you have to slip one or both of the supplied brake band over the brakes to keep the bike from rolling. That has the side advantage of making the bike hard to steal. The casual jump and runner is going to be surprised when the bike doesn’t go anywhere and probably won’t think to check the brakes.

Secondly, you flick out the stand (WOW!), place the rubberized cradle under the top tube just in front of the seat tube, lean the bike over slightly and place the rubberized bottom end about 10 inches off the centerline of the bike. Your two wheels and the Click-Stick become a tripod.

How do you carry it?

It’s small enough to fit in a jersey pocket, but I don’t think that’d be comfortable. Bro Mark is going to see if his will fit under the saddle. Since I had a front rack with lots of space, I rigged something that works. I noticed that the five-segment Max-5 would just fit inside a piece of light-weight PVC sink drain that happened to be sitting on my work bench. The white color was a little ugly, so I wrapped it in black electrical tape to make it less obtrusive (and to give me a source of electrical tape if I needed it).

Velcro ties attached it to the rack and another tie made sure the Max-5 wouldn’t escape. It’s very rattle-free.

Will my bike topple over?

I was concerned about how stable the Click-Stand was and if it would have the same problems of being blown over or sink into soft soil or blacktop like conventional stands.

Mr. Click-Stand himself, Tom Nostrant, replied quickly:

Good questions. There is plan for not letting your bike blow over while being supported by a Click-Stand. The amount of lean of the bike is controlled by varying the placement of the foot of the Click-Stand. In windy or gusty conditions I lean the bike over more than typical. I have never had my bike blow over, nor has it been reported to me, but I can imagine it happening. How is that for a semi-answer?

Being able to vary the lean of your bike is helpful in other situations, particularly when parking on a slope, which is tough to do with a two-legged kickstand. The Click-Stand feet are not large, .360″, .380″, or .433″ depending on the model. They can sink in loose soil, though I think to a lesser degree than a kickstand. Because a Click-Stand contacts a bike above its center of gravity, it has a mechanical advantage when compared to a kickstand. Click-Stands & kickstands form different classes of levers. So the foot of a Click-Stand would exert less pressure on the ground than a kickstand supporting the same bike. Not an extremely satisfying answer, again; a Click-Stand will sink in loose soil, but a kickstand would have as well.

The kickstand sinking in would also be more likely to topple the bike. I have been looking for something that I could send along to put on the end of a Click-Stand if you knew it was likely to dig in, but I haven’t come up with it yet. One customer said that he carries the lid off of a two liter pop bottle for that purpose.

How well does it work?

I’m impressed. The brake band for my front brake is a little tight and takes some pulling to get over the lever. That slows me down a little bit, but I’m getting the hang of it. The stick itself deploys quickly. I wasn’t sure if I trusted it at first, but I’m getting over that. With both brakes locked, the bike isn’t going anywhere. The front wheel has a tendency to flop over when I’ve got the bar bag on it, but I’ve found the right angle to keep that from happening.

I stopped in the West Palm Beach’s Woodlawn Cemetery to look for a memorial to the victims of the 1928 Hurricane and spotted this child’s gravestone from 1927. Figuring that it would only take me a couple of minutes to take the picture, I depended on my double-legged kickstand to hold my bike up.

A gust of wind toppled the bike. Fortunately, no harm done, but I don’t think it would have happened with the Click-Stand.

It comes in four basic flavors

  • Click-Stand Classic – This is the original Click-Stand. It is made from .380″ diameter Easton aluminum tubing and can be ordered with either 4 or 5 segments. It folds to less than 10″ and weighs approximately 70 grams.
  • Click-Stand Mini-5 – The Mini-5 is made from .340″ Easton aluminum tubing and is divided into 5 segments. It folds to approximately 8 1/2″ and is small enough to fit into a jersey pocket or pannier.
  • Click-Stand Mini-6 – The Mini-6 is the smallest Click-Stand. It is made from .340″ Easton aluminum tubing and is divided into 6 segments. It folds to approximately 7 1/2″ and is small enough to fit into a coat pocket or small to medium-sized seat or handlebar bag. (This is the one my brother has; in fact, he shot this picture of his.)
  • Click-Stand Max – The Click-Stand Max is made from .433″ Easton aluminum tubing and can be ordered with either 4 or 5 segments. The Max is intended for tandems, cargo haulers, and loaded touring bikes. (This is the one I have.)

Each Click-Stand is a custom product

Before you can order your Click-Stand, you have to provide the company with two measurements:

  1. With the bike stranding upright, measure from the “contact point” where the Click-Stand will support the bike, straight down to the ground.
  2. Measure the diameter of the top tube.

My 52CM Surl LHT measured 29″ from ground to contact point and the top tube was 1-1/4″.

I liked the demo unit Tom sent me well enough to order my brother, Mark, a world-renowned weight wienie, one for his Trek Madone. His bike was the same 29 inches as mine, but his top tube was some kind of funky triangular shape. Tom guessed correctly that the 1-3/4″ cradle would be perfect.

If your bike has bar-end shifters or for any other reason you can’t slip a pair of brake-bands up to the brake levers, you have to order them unassembled. Putting them together is no big deal, but a pair of pliers to do the crimping helps. As it turned out, I re-routed my bar-end cables, so I could have gone with the pre-built ones.

In addition, you have to tell Tom how many segments you want. More segments equals shorter length, but bigger bundle.

Bro Mark’s first impressions

Here is what I can say about the product -
Fast turn around in the customized order. It is light.  It is small.  It is easy to use.  It is everything it said it would be.It holds the bike very easily, as in it holds it firmly and the execution of using it couldn’t be any easier.I will most likely start out carrying it in my jersey pocket (so that it is easier to get to).

Thanks for the early birthday gift, this is really quite neat.  It will be a while before I can get out and use it, but I suspect that at least one person I know will want it.

Here’s an application Tom doesn’t advertise

I was showing the Click-Stand to a guy who carries a car antenna as a self-defense weapon since he regularly commutes through some sketchy neighborhoods where he attracts some unwelcome attention. He liked the idea of the light-weight stand as a substitute.

“I guarantee none of those guys have seen anything like this. When I pull it out and it click-click-clicks into some kind of long, pointy thing, I think it will be a great persuader,” he said.

I could see where it might be useful against an aggressive four-legged animal. Or might be used as an impromptu camera stand for low-level, slow shutter speed shooting.

For more information

For more information or to place an order, go to the Click-Stand web site.

Alan Barnard reviewed the Click-Stand on his web site in November. Our impressions were similar.

Disclaimer

I have no affiliation with Click-Stand, but Tom was kind enough to send me a demo unit to review. I liked it well enough to order one for my brother.

I’ll post more impressions after I’ve had a chance to use it for a couple of months.

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