Posted on December 27, 2012 by Dave Feucht
One of the downsides of having to park your bike outside, as has been noted here previously, is that your bike is open and available for abuse. Most of the time, it hasn’t been an issue, and the worst we’ve gotten is trash or other items left in our panniers or baskets. However, sometimes people do get really abusive, and yesterday when I went out to get on my bike to head to work, I noticed that my parking stand was bent forward, as if someone tried to jump on the rack or something, and the stand couldn’t hold the weight, so it folded forward. I didn’t get a photo of it, but I think from the photo above you can imagine what happened.
In any case, the bike itself seemed fine, and the rack seemed undamaged, so I talked to Clever Cycles and they said this rack is pretty scarce in the U.S. (it’s a Gazelle-specific rear rack with integrated parking stand), and I’d probably be better off just getting the Hebie center stand which is common on many European city bikes, and which they carry.
Todd (one of the co-owners) was also talking to me about a side-mounted kickstand that is mounted near the rear hub, so that it creates kind of a triangle between the kickstand, the front wheel and the rear wheel, and a very stable balance for a heavy rear load on the bike, but since I have a front rack on this bike, and often use it, I figured it might still be best to have a center-balancing stand so that loading up the front rack doesn’t cause the bike to tip over.
In any case, the Hebie stand went on in just a few minutes, and Jeremy (one of the mechanics) was able to drill out the rivets that connected the old parking stand to the rear rack, and just remove that piece altogether, as it has no structural function other than serving as a parking stand. I know he always loves an opportunity to pull a hammer and drill out, so I’m always happy when I can indulge him.
The new stand will be great, and easier to use in a lot of ways since it just springs up on its own, and you don’t have to manually click it into place. It also doesn’t get hung up on the panniers, as the other one sometimes did. It’s going to be very handy now having the locking fork, so that I can lock the bars in a straight position, as with the new stand, it tends to rest on the rear wheel, with the front wheel up in the air (as you can see in the photo). That’s not a problem normally, as it seems to sit pretty securely even with the bars swung to one side, but while loading/unloading the front rack, it will be good to be able to keep it from swinging.
Anyway, such is life. Sometimes people disrespect your stuff, abuse it, and damage it. It sucks, and especially the day after Christmas, to walk out and see your bike damaged, but there you have it. Life goes on.