Best Bikes for Wheelies

Embarking on a quest to find the ultimate bike for executing perfect wheelies? Look no further! Our top pick, the Mongoose Legion BMX, excels in this thrilling skill. But we understand every rider’s journey is unique. That’s why we’ve compiled a diverse list of the 6 best bikes for wheelies, tailored to suit various preferences and riding styles.

Our selections are grounded in hands-on experience with stunt riding, insightful feedback from the cycling community, and detailed analysis of each bike’s specifications. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a budding wheelie enthusiast, our guide is designed to steer you towards your ideal match.

In this article, we frequently refer to “wheelie bikes.” This term denotes bikes with features specifically suited for wheelies, not necessarily models branded as such by manufacturers.

So why did the Mongoose Legion BMX top our list? Its compact BMX frame offers unparalleled maneuverability for wheelie tricks. Durability is a key strength too, with its robust steel frame and high-quality components that resist wear and tear. Plus, its tires provide excellent traction and width, ensuring stable and balanced wheelies.

Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the world of wheelie bikes, offering you expert insights and tips to help you elevate your riding experience

Top Choice for Wheelies in 2023: Mongoose Legion BMX

best bike for wheelies

At the forefront of our curated selection of wheelie-friendly bikes is the Mongoose Legion BMX. Revered for its agility and sturdiness, this BMX bike is an exemplary choice for both stunt enthusiasts and those keen on mastering the art of wheelies.

Versatility in Design and Style

One of the standout features of the Mongoose Legion BMX is its versatility. It offers an array of styles, catering to riders of different sizes and aesthetic preferences. This adaptability makes it a prime choice for a wide range of cyclists seeking a personalized wheelie experience.

Strength and Durability

The bike’s strength lies in its high-quality construction. It boasts a durable Hi-Ten steel frame and fork, designed to endure the rigorous demands of stunt riding, particularly wheelies. While steel frames are generally heavier, the Mongoose Legion BMX maintains a balance between durability and lightness, making it ideal for wheelie maneuvers.

Weight and Size Considerations

A notable model in this range is the Legion L80, suitable for riders between 5’6” and 6’0″ tall, and weighing just 26.5 pounds. This lightweight nature, despite its steel composition, enhances its appeal for performing advanced wheelie tricks.

Tire Width for Stability

The tire width of the Mongoose Legion BMX varies between 2.25″ and 2.4″, depending on the chosen style or size. This width provides a substantial contact area with the ground, ensuring stability and balance during wheelies and offering a smoother ride overall.

Summarizing the Mongoose Legion BMX’s Wheelie Capabilities

In conclusion, the Mongoose Legion BMX strikes a perfect balance between stability and maneuverability. Its construction is designed for durability, withstanding the wear and tear of stunt riding. This makes it a reliable and efficient choice for anyone looking to enhance their wheelie skills.

Review By a Fellow Cyclist

” This review is coming from someone who has riden bmx for over 20 years, and has worked in or been a part of the bmx industry for over a 15 years now. So I know a a few things when it comes to high end, low end and everything in between.

With that out of that way, let me say this, the L100 has a lot of good going for it. If managing to catch it for under $400 you can’t go wrong. The full 4130 chromoly frame fork and bars is a huge step in the right direction and an excellent starting foundation if wanting to upgrade the bike in the future. The sealed rear wheel, mid bottom bracket, and internal headset are also nice, but I’ll touch on those in a bit. The frame accommodates wide tires, I’ve pictured a 2.4″ eclat fireball in the rear. The forks also have ample space for large tires as well. Stock pivotal seat is pretty comfy. Brakes feel pretty solid for stock brakes.

Now, where the bike does fall short. The front wheel, it’s unsealed. At the original asking price, there are other bike companies out there in this price range offering better specs. So I would have liked to see a sealed hub here. Now, the rims on these bikes are pinned instead of welded. While not a huge deal when you take in to account who this bike is marketed to, it’s still something to make note of. The sprocket suffers from the “mass produced quickly” so it was rather bent causing some tight spots. Usually this is something you can’t avoid on complete bikes like this. Stock chain is dainty, so I upgraded to a shadow v2 half link. There was grease on the clamp area of the stem where the bars go. I’ve never in my life greased that area, and I definitely recommend anyone gets one to check it before slapping the bars on.

All in all, I purchased this for my wife to pedal around with me at skateparks so I wasn’t expecting to be wowed. However I wasn’t let down by the quality. Mongoose may be known as a department store brand, but they do have quite the bmx heritage. I think if you can score this bike on a deep discount, or sale and swap out the wheels, chain, perhaps stem and cranks at some point. You’ll have a solid bike. Straight out of the bike, it’s great for beginnera and intermediate or that old guy getting back in to it after years off the bike.

Also, one thing to note, some of reviews are of people who bought a bmx bike and don’t really understand what they bought. So for those reviews noting the chain guard or a kick stand. This isn’t meant for a kickstand. And the chain guard is there because it has to be, you really aren’t expected to keep it on the bike.” Kei

Pros and Cons for a Comprehensive Understanding

Pros:

  • Compact and maneuverable for wheelie tricks.
  • Lightweight design despite a steel frame.
  • Robust Hi-Ten steel frame and fork for longevity.
  • Wide tires aiding in balance during wheelies.

Cons:

  • Brake assembly may require professional assistance.



Other Best Bicycles for Wheelies

Below are the best bikes for wheelies according to CycleSimply:

Huffy Hardtrail Mountain Bike

#2 Best Bike for Wheelies

Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike

#3 Best Bike for Wheelies

Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike

#4 Best Bike for Wheelies

Schwinn Sting Pro and Predator Team BMX Bike

#5 Best Bike for Wheelies

Tony Hawk Aftermath 24″ BMX Bike

#6 Best Bike for Wheelies




Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike – #2 Best Bikes for Wheelies

Our Review

The Huffy Hardtail MTB comes in various sizes you can pick from based on your size. We are specifically looking at the 17-inch frame with 26-inch wheels.

The aluminum frame is lightweight and sturdy, which is optimal for wheelies. The Shimano rear derailleur on this 21-speed model allows you to shift between gears seamlessly.

Huffy Hardtail’s 2″ wide knobby tires grip dirt and provide good traction. This is another factor that is important for doing wheelies. You need tires with decent traction if you want to balance on the rear wheel alone securely. The width and thread pattern of the tires makes this bike ideal for off road riding too.

Having the right posture and position on your bike is vital when it comes to doing wheelies. The Huffy Hardtail MTB comes with an adjustable seat so you can set it just the right height for you. The slight-rise handlebars are also ideal for wheelies as they support an upright, more balanced posture.

The durability, balance and support this MTB provides makes it a good bike for wheelies. It’s a great entry level bike and good value for its price point

Pros

  • Lightweight frame optimal for wheelies
  • Various size options to pick from
  • Knobby tires provide good traction
  • 21-speed rear derailleur to tackle climbs
  • Adjustable seat
  • Good value

Cons

  • Alloy linear pull brakes (typically inferior to disc brakes in terms of braking performance although these also provide decent stopping power)
  • Hard seat
  • Might need an expert’s help in assembly/fine tuning



Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike – #3 Best Bikes for Wheelies

Our Review

We like the Mongoose Switchback hardtail MTB as a “wheelie bike” since the bike’s aluminum frame is lightweight and durable. The bike’s frame has the kind of strength we would want to see in a bike on this list. Its stability also makes you feel in control as a rider, which is very important for wheelies.

The Mongoose Switchback comes in various types and sizes. We are specifically looking at the Sport version with a Small frame which fits riders 5’3″ to 5’6″ tall. The mechanical disc brakes offer great stopping power and the bike performs nicely when it comes to light off road riding.

This 16-speed MTB offers a stable ride with its 27.5″ x 2.1″ wire bead tires on aluminum double wall rims and helps you feel more in control while performing wheelies. The Shimano front and rear derailleurs on Mongoose Switchback offer smooth shifts between gears.

The main disadvantage of this the Mongoose Switchback sport is that it comes with a hard saddle that isn’t exactly comfortable. However this is is obviously something that can be replaced fairly easily.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable aluminum frame
  • Mechanical disc brakes are quick and efficient
  • 2.1″ wide tires offer stability and good traction
  • Shimano front and rear derailleurs offer smooth gear changes

Cons

  • The saddle is hard and not really comfortable



Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike – #4 Best Bikes for Wheelies

Our Review

The Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike can certainly be considered a “wheelie bike” with its strong and lightweight aluminum frame. It comes with 29-inch wheels and sturdy double wall alloy rims.

This 24-speed MTB allows for smooth gear changes with its Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifters and has durable alloy cranks.

Its front and rear mechanical disc brakes are efficient and offer good stopping power. A secure braking system is very important when performing wheelies. A good rear braking system is especially important and this bike certainly has it.

Schwinn Bonafide also comes with 2.25″ wide knobby mountain tires that grip the earth. Tires that provide good traction are better for wheelies since they make balancing on the rear wheel easier.

These tires, along with the well-performing front suspension fork on this model, absorb bumps and allow for smoother rides. The Schwinn Bonafide is certainly an MTB that can take on rough terrains.

Pros

  • Strong and lightweight aluminum frame
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes offer good braking power
  • Powerful front suspension fork absorbs bumps, makes for smoother rides and wheelies
  • Knobby mountain tires allow for more balanced wheelies

Cons

  • Pedals might wear down over time, in which case they would have to be replaced



Schwinn Sting Pro and Predator Team BMX Bike – #5 Best Bikes for Wheelies

Our Review

This Schwinn BMX bike is one of our favorite wheelie bikes we’d like to give a shout out to. Similar to the Mongoose Legion BMX, the Schwinn Sting Pro and Predator comes with a Hi-ten steel frame that is durable and sturdy.

This Schwinn model, like other BMX bikes, has a compact frame that is easy to maneuver. It comes with an adjustable laid-back seat post and a classic BMX handlebar that helps put you in the optimal posture for doing stunts like wheelies.

This model also has strong and lightweight aluminum rims and a rear caliper brake that allows for quick and efficient braking. Additionally the bike’s tires offer decent traction, which helps you perform more balanced wheelies.

The single speed Schwinn Sting Pro and Predator BMX offers an easy, low-maintenance and stylish ride with high quality parts and vintage-inspired details.

Pros

  • Durable Hi-ten steel frame
  • Easy to maneuver thanks to compact BMX frame
  • Adjustable seat post
  • Rear brake offers good stopping power
  • Vintage look

Cons

  • Might have to replace the seat with a more comfortable one



Tony Hawk Aftermath 24″ BMX Bike – #6 Best Bikes for Wheelies

Our Review

The Tony Hawk Aftermath 24″ BMX bike is a top-of-the-line bike that is perfect for both experienced riders and those just starting out. One of the standout features of this bike is its sturdy and durable frame, which is built to withstand the demands of intense riding and stunts. The bike’s geometry is also well-suited for doing wheelies and other tricks, with a low center of gravity and responsive handling that makes it easy to control.

All of its components work together to provide a smooth and efficient ride. The bike also has a great set of tires which are durable and can handle different terrains well.

In terms of design, the Tony Hawk Aftermath 24″ BMX bike is a real head-turner, with a sleek and stylish look that is sure to impress. The bike also comes in a variety of color options, so you can choose the one that best suits your personal style.

Overall, the Tony Hawk Aftermath 24″ BMX bike is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-performance bike that is built to last. Its durability, responsive handling, great components and design make it one of the best bikes in the market. This bike is great for riders who want to take their riding to the next level and perform tricks and stunts.

Pros

  • Durable steel frame
  • Easy to maneuver thanks to compact BMX frame
  • Adjustable seat post
  • Alloy rims and alloy kickstand
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Some riders reported missing components


Guide for Buying a Bike for Wheelies

It’s important to have the right bike for wheelies to minimize the possibility of damage coming to you or your bike while performing these tricks.

We will now talk about which characteristics a good bike for wheelies should have.

Bike Frame and Material

The ideal bike for wheelies is on the smaller side and lightweight so it’s easy to maneuver. Your ability to control and maneuver your bike is key when it comes to wheelies. That’s why you should go for a lightweight bike that is not large or clunky.

Due to their smaller frames and easy maneuverability, we recommend looking at BMX bikes and mountain bikes.

Your bike should also be durable and sturdy. When you are doing a wheelie you are basically concentrating your weight on the rear side of the bike. That means the rear portion of the frame bears your entire weight.

If your bike isn’t sturdy it could result in bends to the frame. So it’s best to go for a material that is durable and lightweight at the same time. For that purpose we would recommend an aluminum frame.

Steel is also a good option but steel frames tend to be heavier than aluminum ones. If you are looking at a BMX bike, this shouldn’t be much of a problem though since BMX bikes have relatively small frames. They tend to be fairly lightweight even if they are made of steel.

Bike Tires

Bike tires are an important component of a wheelie bike. The tires should be durable as well due to the same reason explained above: the rear tire will bear the brunt of your weight during a wheelie so you don’t want it giving out.

The tire should also have good traction for stability since you will balancing on one wheel. A tire with nonexistent grip might slip and result in you losing your balance.

A set of extra grippy tires with decent traction will help you achieve a more stable wheelie. A good way to check is to look at the thread pattern on the tires. Knobby bike tires are best for traction and therefore used a lot on the trails.

For balance reasons, it’s also best to go with wide tires.

Braking System

When you are performing wheelies, you should be able to de-accelerate quickly and efficiently. That’s why having a good braking system on your bike is essential.

This applies to both front and rear brakes although it’s worth admitting the rear brake takes on a more significant role while performing a wheelie.

There are two main brake types on bikes: rim and disc. Disc brakes offer greater stopping power than rim brakes. That’s why they’re better suited to perform wheelies.

Among the two disc brake subtypes (hydraulic and mechanical), hydraulic disc brakes are better when it comes to quick and efficient stops. So we’d recommend hydraulic disc brakes over mechanic disc brakes.

Quality of Components

You should invest in a bike that has high-quality components if you are planning on performing wheelies on it.

The reason is that your bike will probably be more susceptible to damage due to how the rear portion bears more of your weight compared to the front whilst performing a wheelie.

So it’s important to have high quality components that won’t break or wear down easily. These parts could include the rear derailleur, wheels, tires, seat post and saddle among others.

Adjustable Seat and Handlebar

For your comfort and safety, you should find the best seat and handlebar height for you for the purposes of performing a wheelie.

Typically wheelies are done with a lower seat height compared to casual riding and the handlebar should be set sufficiently higher than the seat post. To be able to make these adjustments, you need to have an adjustable seat and handlebar on your wheelie bike.

FAQ

What is the best type of bike for doing wheelies?

BMX bikes and mountain bikes are typically considered the best options for doing wheelies. They have a strong and durable frame, as well as a low center of gravity and responsive handling, which makes them well-suited for stunts like wheelies.

What are some tips for learning how to do a wheelie on a bike?

To learn how to do a wheelie on a bike, it’s important to start with a bike that is well-suited for the task, such as a BMX bike. You should also find a safe and open area to practice in, and wear appropriate safety gear. Start by riding at a slow speed and practice balancing the bike on the rear wheel. As you become more comfortable, you can try to ride further and for longer periods of time.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when doing wheelies on a bike?

Yes, it’s important to take safety precautions when doing wheelies on a bike. Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as a helmet, gloves, and knee and elbow pads. Find a safe and open area to practice in and always be aware of your surroundings. Start with a slow speed and progress as your skill level improves.

Can any bike be used for doing wheelies or are certain types better suited?

While any bike can technically be used for doing wheelies, certain types of bikes such as BMX bikes are better suited for the task due to their strong and durable frame, low center of gravity, and responsive handling.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when performing wheelies?

Performing wheelies can be fun, but it is important to prioritize safety. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as knee and elbow pads. Choose an appropriate riding location, preferably away from traffic and pedestrians. Practice in open areas with ample space and a smooth surface. Start with small wheel lifts and gradually progress to higher lifts as you gain more confidence and control.

Our Verdict

We hope this article helps you pick the best bike for you to perform wheelies on. We presented what we believe to be the best bikes for wheelies on the market right now but it all comes down to your needs and preferences as a bike rider.

Our top pick is the Mongoose Legion BMX. We like that it has a durable Hi-ten steel frame that is sturdy, lightweight and easy to maneuver thanks to its compact size. We also like that it comes with tires that grip the earth and are wide enough for balanced wheelies. If you like this BMX bike as much as we do, you can click here to check it out on Amazon.

Happy cycling and feel free to reach out with comments and questions! Check out our articles Best bikes for large people and Best Bikes for Teens if you are looking for larger bikes.

About the Author

About the Author

Hey, what's up? Ali here. EDM addict, gym rat, and Tame Impala fan of the Cycle Simply Team.