Watching older kids doing wheelies down the street is what first inspired so many long-term riders to take up biking.
There’s something forever and almost inexplicably cool about someone excitedly riding past a crowd on one wheel, half-suspended in the air as they watch on in amazement.
A wheelie is one of those things that even if it’s been seen a million times before, never ceases to turn heads and garner respect from fellow bikers. Also, even though most bikers would not like to admit it, they’ve wanted to carry out the perfect wheelie for almost as long as they’ve been riding a bike.
While the skill of the rider has a lot to do with it, landing the perfect wheelie is also largely dependent on your bike. Since you’re reading this, I can imagine you’ve already spent some time trying to find the best bike for wheelies.
However, it’s useful to remember that there are a few key elements that the bicycle has to nail for you to be able to execute a jaw-dropping wheelie, time and time again, and knowing these things will help you find the best bike for wheelies.
Firstly, There’s the drive train which gets a lot of abuse, especially when doing wheelies frequently and over long distances. The best bicycle for wheelies needs a train that delivers.
Secondly, and understandably, there is the rear brake. Utilizing the rear brake effectively is essential to a good wheelie.
Next up are the gears, which also need to be a cut above average if you’re looking for the best bicycle for wheelies.
Then, there is the body itself. It has to be super strong and durable but also nice and light. These characteristics are essential in the body when looking for the best bike for wheelies.
Last are the wheels. A good wheelie bike has the sort of wheels that are used to the one-wheel, unequal weight distribution torment that bikers put them through regularly when doing a wheelie.
Still, how on earth are you going to find the best bicycle for wheelies that scores highly in all these areas? Well, you’re in luck, as I’ve tested dozens of bikes to find the best bike for wheelies.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Bikes for Wheelies
- Top 8 Best Bikes for Wheelies 2020 – Our Reviews:
- 1. Diamondback Bicycles Full Suspension Mountain Bike
- 2. Tommaso 2018 Gran Sasso 29er Bicycle
- 3. Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike
- 4. Mongoose Men’s Fireball 8 Speed Bicycle
- 5. Diamondback Bicycles Hook
- 6. Savadeck Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
- 7. PL 26 BMX Race Cruiser
- 8. Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike
- What to Consider When Buying Bikes for Wheelies?
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Bikes for Wheelies
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the bikes for wheelies that most people buy).
- Diamondback Bicycles Full Suspension Mountain Bike Top Pick
- Tommaso 2018 Gran Sasso 29er Bicycle Runner-up
- Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike Runner-up
Top 8 Best Bikes for Wheelies 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Diamondback Bicycles Full Suspension Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Full Suspension Mountain Bike is an exceptional mens mountain bike made of a super-tough hydro-forged aluminum frame. It comes in a gorgeous array of colors, and my favorite is the striking red.
These mountain bikes, as the name suggests, really shine in the suspension department, something that is crucially important to landing the best wheelies.
The rear suspension on these mountain bikes has combined “Level Link” design with impressive Shimano XT M8000 hydraulic disc brakes for exceptional suspension that is incredibly safe, which is comparable to the m315 hydraulic disc.
These Diamondback mountain bikes have been around for a while and over the years DiamondBack has developed a whole bunch of bicycle ranges, e.g. Release 1, Release 2, etc. with each release coming in a large number of wheel sizes.
That’s another thing we love about Diamondback. Not only have they produced an exceptional wheelie bike, but the level of choice within this product is almost unrivaled and includes popular colors like black and popular sizes like 26 inches. Going down the Diamondback route allows you to find something that suits you precisely.
The Diamondback really is the ultimate mountain bike for wheelies.
- High quality, light body
- Brilliant front and rear disc brake system
- Multiple color choice for the stylish rider
- Excellent suspension
- Great mountain tires and wheels
- Chain guide on the bike could be better
2. Tommaso 2018 Gran Sasso 29er Bicycle
Tommaso is a name often associated with road and adventure bikes, but they recently decided to venture into the mountain bike world and created their first MTB—and we’re pleased to say, they nailed it!
The Tomasso 2018 Gran Sasso 29er, is, in their words, an entry to mid-level mountain bicycle and it’s meant to effortlessly take on varying terrain with ease.
All the elements of the Tomasso work wonderfully together to allow you to land head-turning wheelies time and time again, especially the 29″ alloy frame with an SR Suntour SF15-XCM fork and the all Shimano train providing an incredibly impressive number of gear options with a nifty heads-up display on the shifters.
The whole bicycle really does seem almost like it was designed to be a wheelie bicycle.
However, the two elements that mostly make it an outstanding wheelie bike are the all-aluminum frame construction which makes it light, and the 100mm suspension which absorbs almost all of the impact.
- Incredibly high build quality throughout
- Very easy to assemble
- Carefully selected components for very effective riding
- Brilliant disc brakes
- Seat is a little uncomfortable
3. Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike
Now we turn our attention to the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike. The brand needs no introduction as they have been making high-quality bikes and wheels for a very long time.
The Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike is made from a light but ultra-strong aluminum frame body with high profile, double-wall alloy rims, and alloy cranks that are equally and surprisingly light.
This combination of light and strong makes the Bonafide incredibly well-suited to landing wheelies, as I found out in my tests.
One of the biggest stand-out features of this bicycle is the Schwinn suspension fork, which, as promised by the manufacturer, soaked up small to even larger bumps when riding on rougher terrain.
The bicycle is packed with 24-speed Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifters, which are coupled with Shimano derailleurs. No wonder shifting gears a breeze!
The bicycle also features strong front and back mechanical disc brakes which makes braking super simple even when landing the most ambitious wheelies.
- Hardtail suspension provides great climbing power
- Lightweight and strong aluminum frame
- Exceptional suspension make these some of the best bikes for wheelies
- A large number of high-quality gears
- Front suspension is not the locked kind
4. Mongoose Men’s Fireball 8 Speed Bicycle
The Mongoose Fireball Bike is ideally made for off-road dirt jumping, but the features that make it an excellent dirt jumping bike also make it incredibly effective at wheelies. Some might even argue that dirt jumping is just a more intense version of a wheelie.
As it’s an off-road dirt jumping bike, it’s made to withstand a lot of impacts, which is best for wheelies, and this bike does it more effectively than any other in this review so far. The set of wheels is made to effortlessly absorb really rough landings from long dirt-jumping sessions, so the impact from wheelies really is a piece of cake for this bad boy’s 100 mm travel suspension fork.
The bike also features alloy rims and thoroughly impressive Tektro Novela disc brakes with 160 mm rotors, both helping when dirt jumping, and by extension, when executing ambitious wheelies.
On this bike, we also have 31.8 mm steel rise handlebars coupled with an alloy 6061 front loader stem which goes a long way in helping you maintain balance on large dirt jumps.
The balance greatly aids maneuverability and it’s this maneuverability that’s greatly overlooked by bikers who are looking for a bike that does wheelies best.
It’s all well and good doing a great wheelie, but you have to be able to control your bike effectively when on your short on wheels for the wheelie to be truly impressive and successful.
- Incredible, sturdy build for off-road and downhill biking
- Suspension can withstand extreme terrain easily
- Great set of wheels
- High-quality handlebars make these the perfect bikes for wheelies
- Somewhat dated design
5. Diamondback Bicycles Hook
Next up we have the Diamondback Bicycles Hook. The bike sports what is known as a “low-slung” frame which makes it long at the front and considerably shorter at the back.
There’s a purpose to this design; it makes the bike incredibly easy to maneuver which makes controlling it while doing wheelies a joy.
The bike uses a 120 mm DR Suntour fork, which provides incredibly good impact resistance allowing you to wheelie on more uneven and unpredictable terrains.
The SRAM X3 1×8 speed train allows you to keep spinning, even on hilly areas, and also aids greatly when trying to execute ambitious wheelies, and the Tektro mechanical disc brakes ensure you can stay safe when carrying out ambitious wheelies.
Another element that really stood out was how comfortable this bike was, we noticed a lot of attention to detail to both the seat and handlebar, which helped tremendously as I attempted long wheelies across long stretches of road.
- The “low slung” frame makes the bicycle super easy to maneuver
- Incredible impact resistance provided by the 120mm DR Suntour fork
- Very comfortable seat and handlebars for wheelies
- Amazing build quality throughout
- Drive train on these wheelie bikes could be better
6. Savadeck Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
I love this Savadeck bicycle! It’s got a gorgeous, lightweight but ultra-strong TORAY T800 carbon fiber body which makes it difficult to not do wheelies on this bad boy!
Carbon fiber is probably the ultimate material for a mountain bike, especially if you want to do wheelies, but many manufacturers shy away from using it due to cost and tooling.
The bike also features high-quality suspension forks with a nifty lockout feature and handles an impressive 100 mm of suspension.
The Shimano M2000 derailleur system built into this bike will ensure best in class maneuverability with little to no shifting. This is crucial to good wheelies, as many forget that effective control of your bike when you’re on one wheel can make or break a wheelie.
The braking system on this bicycle works incredibly well, too. This is to be expected though, as it uses a full Shimano BD-MT200 hydraulic brake system.
- Super strong but light TORAY T800 carbon fiber body
- M2000 Derailleur system ensures best in class maneuverability
- Exceptional BD-MT200 hydraulic brake system
- Size of these wheelie bikes makes it less suited to shorter people
7. PL 26 BMX Race Cruiser
Something a little different now. Here we have the retro-looking PL 26 BMX Race Cruiser.
Yes, a BMX bike, but this thing is a cut above conventional BMX bikes.
Don’t let the retro design of this BMX bike fool you into thinking this set of wheels is outdated though! Nothing could be further from the truth.
The PL 26 is souped up with the latest innovations and can wheelie like nothing we’ve seen before!
The bike features a Chromoly steel red-line frame as well as fork which provides durability and sturdiness without adding a tremendous amount of weight to the bike.
The PL 26 sports a suspension chrome alloy which I found very effective at dampening shocks when I was riding around different environments.
I also love that the frame has a bottom bracket which gives you regular, ongoing support—essential if you’re going to be doing a lot of wheelies.
This bike being billed as a BMX for kids is actually a benefit.
Due to this, it has a smaller, more compact form factor, making it great for a kid but also for an adult who appreciates the ability to easily maneuver. Plus, it’s lighter than the average mountain bike which makes doing wheelies a breeze.
The bicycle´s riding position does take some getting used to though.
You loved your BMX as a kid. Now, you can love it as an adult too!
- Frame and fork both made of chrome alloy
- Rear bracket for extra support
- Small form factor for easy freewheeling and wheelies
- Great beginner bike for wheelies
- Some may not like its small form factor and retro design
- Some may not like the riding position required
8. Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike sports a strong, sturdy, and robust aluminum frame that is understandably very lightweight which makes it the right sort of material if you’re planning on spending any length of time on one wheel.
The hardtail bike features SR Suntour XCT 80mm suspension forks which greatly aids in both comfort and control and allowed me to really absorb a lot of shocks when trying out wheelies on this bike.
The Overdrive Hardtail’s 3×8 drivetrain components spoil me when it comes to gears and lets me do wheelies on even the most demanding and challenging areas.
The Tektro Aries front and rear mechanical disc brakes were very responsive in the tests, meaning you can maintain the highest safety when executing ambitious wheelie tricks.
I find that the Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail bicycle is a product that hits all the major points that make it great for doing a wheelie on a bike, including a strong but light body, impressive wheels, great suspension, drivetrain and brakes, and attention to comfort.
- Super lightweight but sturdy and strong aluminum body
- Awesome impact resistance provided by the SR Suntour XCT 80mm suspension forks
- Very responsive Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes
- Not the easiest bike in the world to assemble
What to Consider When Buying Bikes for Wheelies?
We know how tricky it is to find the best product as manufacturers often don’t let you know which of their bikes are most suitable for wheelies.
However, that’s where I come in. I assessed a bunch of bike factors that we know to be important to wheelies and based on these factors, I decided which bikes would let you wheelie the easiest and for the longest.
To make sure you find the bicycle perfect for the trick, consider these factors:
Bikes that are most suited to wheelies have gears that most efficiently transfer power to the back wheel resulting in smooth as butter wheelies. Additionally, bikes that lack gears on the front is actually a good factor from a wheelie perspective as it results in a lighter front that makes wheelies easier.
The frame weight and length have a huge impact on wheelie ability. You’ll want a frame that is light and not too long, so the best frame materials to choose are either aluminum or carbon fiber.
When it comes to wheelies, the bike´s suspension becomes crucially important, not only for absorbing impact but also for preventing injuries when landing back on the ground on your front wheel.
When it comes to wheelies, the brakes, especially the rear brakes, become very important.
You want rear brakes that are strong but not too strong as too much rear brake strength hinders effective wheelie execution. Hydraulic disc brakes provide the best balance in this respect.
So, there you have it guys! After hours of doing wheelies on dozens of bikes on countless terrains, above is a shortlist of the best bikes for wheelies on the market today.
Every single bike in the list above satisfies the above criteria well enough for you to be able to land some impressive wheelies. However, the bike that satisfies all the criteria to the fullest, in my opinion, is the Diamondback Bicycles Full Suspension Mountain Bike.
It has an almost perfect mixture of having a strong and light frame that isn’t too big or small, gears that help and don’t hinder wheelies, brilliant suspension to absorb impact, and the ever-impressive Shimano XT M8000 Hydraulic disc brakes.
Plus, it has a wide range of wheels and color options so you can find the perfect fit for you!