Thursday, February 18, 2010

Backup Kickstand?

Winter's first casualty: the Co-Habitant's Pletscher twin-legged kickstand broke.

These things have a spring inside that regulates the folding of the legs. A few days ago the spring snapped and the legs went limp, so he removed the contraption. The working theory is that the winter wind swayed the bike upon the kickstand back and forth and stressed out the spring.

Not sure that fixing it is possible, since it may be hard to find a replacement spring. Has anybody else had this happen to a Pletscher Twin Legger?

Believe it or not, the Co-Habitamt has a backup kickstand. (How many people can say that?) It's the original fold-down stand that came with his Pashley and which he never removed. He finds these annoying, but I think it looks great - especially with the lights!

24 comments:

  1. Big lame. Those Pletscher kickstands are expensive too. Has he thought about getting one of the black Hebie kickstands like Dottie has? Or one of the one Ant Bike Mike puts on his bikes? Or another Pletscher?

    BTW, a kickstand with forward points lights on it looks totally ridiculous! :)

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  2. Yikes! I just ordered one. I hope I don't encounter the same problem!

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  3. That's the first time I've ever seen a Pletscher failure like that. I've been using them since the dawn of time without issue... :-)

    Alan@EcoVelo

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  4. Yeah! I have a backup kickstand and I got to USE it! Awesome.

    Giffen-- well, these lights normally point back when the kickstand is folded up. But I like the emergency red illumination that a parked bike can have. I imagine it can also be useful for any road-side repair. I could always take the twin Cateyes off and point them at the bike, I suppose. Backup battery lights, people, don't rely on generator alone!

    Ryan-- my ride weighs 60+ lbs and the kickstand did faithful duty for many months. It _was_ windy, but after examining the spring, it does not seem like the spring would experience a lot of repeated compression from slight shifting due to wind. So, maybe I got a lemon. Or maybe the springs on these are garbage. I intend to contact Pletscher about this and point them toward this blog entry. Perhaps I can shame them into providing a replacement? :)

    Did I mention that my ride had a backup kickstand? Yeah!

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  5. I forgot to add that, to their credit, the Pletscher design remains stable with a broken spring. I only realized something was amiss when I folded the legs and experienced no familiar snap.

    I don't know about getting a replacement. One thing I didn't like was having my front wheel in the air, it would sometimes fold violently against the side of the bicycle. The Princess Pashley rests the front wheel on the ground with the same kickstand, so it's more appropriate there. As for the native Pashley fold-down kickstand, well, it places some weight on the front wheel such that my bicycle remains pointing straight (see the pictures).

    My bike simply has too much weight around the rear wheel (the large bag is full of stuff!) Perhaps I can get used to the slightly more cumbersome process of deploying this fold-down "push-thumb then kick-stand."

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  6. well boo on pletscher! and they're supposedly very reputable... they sure do cost like they are.

    hey, why not check out VO's recently introduced twin-leg stand? looks pretty neat, and it's half the price of the pletscher.

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  7. If you have a set of calipers it's usually really easy to replace a spring through McMaster-Carr. They have a fantastic website that's extremely easy to use, especially when finding something specific like that. As a custom framebuilder, I order something from McMaster on about a weekly basis; it's absolutely invaluable to me.
    Spencer Wright
    Traffic Cycle Design

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  8. Too bad about the Pletscher. I like the backup better, I bet it doesn't break ;)

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  9. Giffen - the lights point backwards when the kickstand is up : ) We kept them on when taking the picture to improve visibility.

    Thanks for the suggestion re alternative kickstands. I tried a bike with a Hebie kickstand recently and I quite liked it, but I have no idea how it compares to Pletscher. I believe Mike Flanigan (ANT) actually prefers the Pletscher in terms of performance.

    We still think the Pletscher Double-Legger is of high quality and all things considered probably the best. The one on my Pashley (same kickstand, but in black) is doing fine, and as Alan said, failure on these is extremely rare.

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  10. The backup kickstand comes with its own lights. Yessss.

    Maybe you just got a "Friday afternoon" kickstand, MDI. These things happen even on high end gear. I'd be interested to hear what Pletscher has to say; I'm sure they are proud of the products they produce and if it's still in warranty will offer a replacement. At the very least, a spring...

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  11. If there's one thing I dislike about my lovely bike it's its lack of a kickstand. But it does give me the chance to do that 'balancing the pedal on the curb' trick that, when it comes off, looks quite impressive.

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  12. +1 Traffic Bikes. This should be a relatively easy fix with a McMaster-Carr spring. I can't imagine that even a company like Pletscher would use a custom spring for this application.

    www.mcmaster.com

    No sense in throwing out a fine durable good over a broken spring!

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  13. The problem is that these are permanently sealed with a pin. I would have to hammer the pin out and it could possibly distort the soft aluminum in the process. I think they weren't meant to be taken apart once assembled.

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  14. MDI, 60+ lbs.? Is that a bicycle or a small ATV?

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  15. FYI to all. Veloorange.com is now offering a new two-legged kickstand with length adjustable legs (no more cutting) for about half the price of the Pletscher twin leg kickstand. Lenny in Mid-MI

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  16. I have used them for years and never had a failure.

    MDI, you do realize that the stand can be shortened (by cutting the legs down)so that the front wheel can rest on the ground? I have a tendency to leave mine long because I am A) lazy and B) quite often park on soft ground and it sinks in a bit.

    Aaron

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  17. While I usually cut the single-legged Pletscher stands to desired length, I kept my double-legger long for extra width and, as 2whls3spds remarks, for better anchorage on softer grounds.

    Yet more psychoanalysis of the kickstand: If you examine the construction of the stand in its deployed state, the compression of the bicycle's weight should not damage or even remotely affect the spring. Slight shifting might induce repeated small compressions, but properly tempered springs should be able to handle these indefinitely within their specified compression range. Even though my bike is heavy with luggage, I still think I got a lemon that wasn't able to cope with regular use. Maybe the extreme wind chilled the metal too much and it snapped from the slightest shifting? I'm afraid we'll never know...

    As far as repair, well, again, this $50 product appears to be semi-permanently sealed and pinned so a repair is not immediately practical. I don't even have the proper tools to safely reshape and remove the pin and later replace it.

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  18. I looked at the VO twin legger and while the design is interesting, I suspect it may interfere with my chain guard when folded.

    I'll have to wait until someone installs it and photographs it on a real bicycle.

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  19. Have you read this: http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2010/01/06/the-mother-of-all-centerstands/comment-page-1/#comment-14221 ?

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  20. Frits B-- thanks for the link. It's good to know that the Pletscher twin-legger has some competition. Although, expensive and massive looking niche product competition. I am not sure if these would integrate well with my Pashley. I might just opt to keep the fold-down stand, who knows... Getting used to only having one kickstand will take some getting used to, no doubt.

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  21. I put one of these on Robert recently, and haven't been completely happy with it, especially given the cost. I think that part of it is that the bridge plate on the bike rusted out and failed the week after I bought it, and the connection has never been particularly stable clamped down on the chainstays, and I've had a hard time keeping it straight (and therefore level).
    I think that if I had to do it again, I would have bought one of the adjustable ones.

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  22. My Greenfelder broke on me when my bike was loaded! That sucked big time.

    I never had a ESGE/Pletscher break on me, yet.

    I hear good things about the ClickStand also. Have you guys checked that one out? I am thinking of trying one on my next bike.

    Peace & Health :)

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  23. I´ve had one like this for 10yrs, w o any problems. I have tried to live with out it, just becoause its a bid heavy, but I just can´t. Its so good, and acts like a workstand when I need to fix the bike on the roadside.

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  24. Feels weird to post a comment here over a year later, but my pletcher bipod has a sticker that clearly states that the beast has a 25kg (@55lbs) max weight limit. So, using it on a 60lb bicycle with additional luggage seems like a situation where failure might be expected. I got the thing about 2 years ago, if memory serves me correctly.

    hth
    -rob

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