Upstand: The (Almost) Vanishing Kickstand for Weight Weenies

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.)

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.

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