From my research the best mountain bike for wheelies is the Salsa Mukluk Advent X because it contains all the characteristics of a mountain bike that helps you to do wheelies.
The factors a mtb must have which help you to do wheelies are it must be a hardtail or rigid bike, the wheels should be 26 inches, and the tires must be wide. Plus it should have hydraulic disc brakes for feathering, a short chainstay, short stem, and a slack head tube.
All these factors help to bring the weight to the rear of the bike, keep the bike stable and lightweight, and ensure good control and balance while doing a wheelie. I have found mountain bikes which have as many of these factors as possible. Check them out below.
Review of the Best Mountain Bikes for Wheelies
1. Salsa Mukluk Advent X
The Salsa Mukluk Advent X is a rigid bike so it has no suspension. This is great for wheelies because the back tire won’t bounce around at all. The wheels are 26 inches which is lighter than larger size wheels so it is easier to lift up the front wheel.
The tires are 4.6 inches wide which is great for someone who is a beginner at wheelies. The wide tires help you to stay in a wheelie longer because it helps you to balance the bike more easily. The brakes are hydraulic disc brakes which you can easily feather so you won’t jerk the bike when slowing down.
The chainstay is 440mm and the head tube angle is 69 degrees which both help in keeping the weight and center of gravity toward the rear. The stem is 35mm. The shorter the stem the easier it is to lift up the front wheel.
If you want an even wider tire the Mukluk has 197mm of rear spacing so a tire as wide as 5 inches can be used. The frame of this bike is aluminum and inside the frame triangle there are 2 bottle mounts.
You can choose from a wide range of crank Q-factor choices because the bottom bracket is 100mm and threaded. The Mukluk is designed with a low rearward center of gravity for maximum stability when riding on rough terrain.
There are 10 gears to choose from. The shifters are MicroShift Trail Pro and the rear derailleur is MicroShift Active Motion RD+ with a clutch. Shifting is smooth and reliable. The brakes are Tektro HD-M275 and the rotors are 160mm with 6 bolts giving you maximum and precise stopping power.
2. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0
The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 will help you to do good stable wheelies. It is a hardtail mountain bike so the rear wheel has no suspension. The wheels are 26 inches making the front wheel easier to lift. The tires are 2.1 inches wide so you will need a little bit of skill when balancing compared to the Mukluk which has wider tires.
In order to gradually slow down without jerking the bike it has hydraulic disc brakes. The head tube is 69 degrees which is as slack as the Mukluk. The chainstay is 430mm, the shorter the better for keeping the center of gravity toward the rear which helps in maintaining a wheelie.
I was not able to find out the stem length of this bike. From the looks of the picture it is short. A good stem length for wheelies is less then 40mm. This mountain bike is 31 pounds, most of that weight is toward the back making the front lighter.
The frame is made of 6061 aluminum which is lighter than steel. The lower part of the fork is made of aluminum to lighten the weight. It is a SR Suntour suspension fork with 100mm of travel for a smooth ride over rocks, roots, and bumps.
You have 21 gears to choose from because it has a 3 x 7 drivetrain. So in addition to wheelies you can climb all types of hills and ride over all types of terrain. The Shimano rear derailleur provides smooth gear changes even when you are in the middle of a wheelie.
What do real riders think.
The first rider I found using this bike said he likes the shocks in the front. The handlebars have excellent control. The frame is very sturdy and makes him feel safe when riding on rough terrain. This mountain bike has been very good for his lower back.
The next rider said that this bike was comfortable from the start. It rides very smoothly and easily. She has taken the bike on dirt trails, through sand, and over grass areas. There was never a problem. She likes that the brakes really stop the bike well, and the 26 inch wheels are very maneuverable. It climbs hills easily.
The third rider explained that when he first picked up the bike he thought it would be too small but it fit perfectly. The 26 inch wheel size is just right because you can gain speed and keep the speed easily. He really likes the 2.1 inch width tires, they roll over everything.
3. Cannondale Trail 5 – 2021
The Cannondale Trail 5 is one of the best 27.5 inch mountain bikes for wheelies. Even though the wheel is larger the width of the tire is 2.25 inches. This will give your wheelie good stability. Plus the bike overall is only 32 pounds so lifting up the front wheel is pretty easy.
This bike is a hardtail so there is only front suspension. The fork is a SR Suntour XCM and has 100mm of travel. When you bring down the front wheel after doing a wheelie the front tire won’t crash into the ground. It will absorb the impact due to the fork suspension.
This mountain bike is the slackest for doing wheelies with a head tube angle of 68 degrees compared to the two above bikes which were 69 degrees. The slacker the head tube the easier it is to keep the front wheel up in the air. The chainstay is 440mm keeping the center of gravity rearward.
The frame is made of durable SmartForm C3 alloy. This material is lightweight and gives you an efficient smooth ride. There are 10 gears to choose from using its MicroShift Advent X rear derailleur and shifter. Ensuring smooth shifting up and down the gears.
Its Shimano disc brakes provide reliable stopping power and control. Control is especially important when you want to slow down during a wheelie. The brakes are Shimano MT200 hydraulic, and they have 160mm RT10 rotors. The stem is 31.8mm.
The first rider using this Cannondale Trail 5 explained that the drivetrain is very quick and the braking is really good. It is an amazing value for the price. He rides it on dirt trails and singletrack trails. He likes the wide handlebars because they give him effortless control on technical trails.
The next rider really likes this bike. Says that the suspension is great and she likes the color even more in person. She was happy to spend some extra money on a good mtb. The tires which she likes because they are extra wide make her ride much more stable.
The third rider has ridden this bike so far for 50 miles on rocky Northern California single track. He says it is lightweight and it floats down hills even on rough terrain even though it is a hardtail. It feels good going around corners and the brakes are excellent. At first the gears were a bit off, but after a little adjustments it worked great.
4. Haro Steel Reserve 1.2 Mountain Bike
The Haro Reserve 1.2 is a freestyle dirt jumper mountain bike. Riders who like to be airborne also like doing wheelies. This hardtail is made for doing tricks on your bike and riding wheelies is considered a cool trick and skill.
The tires are only 26 inches in diameter making it easier to lift up the front wheel and control it. The tires are 2.3 inches wide which gives the back tire lots of contact with the ground increasing your balance and stability.
The brakes are Tektro Auriga MD-M275 hydraulic disc brakes which gives you consistent stopping power in dirt and wet conditions. You have accurate control of the braking power so you don’t jerk the bike while in a wheelie when you need to slow down.
The head tube is pretty slack at 69 degrees and the chainstay is very short compared to other bikes at 399mm. Both of these factors help to keep the weight toward the rear of the bike which helps you to maintain a wheelie for longer time.
The frame is made of chromoly steel which is very strong and stable. The suspension fork in the front has 100mm of travel. This will give you a smooth ride over rough terrain like rocks, roots, and bumps.
The Haro is a single-speed bike so there is just one gear. But one gear is all you need for dirt jumping and doing wheelies. You’ll be able to maneuver the rear wheel more easily without the added weight of a multi-gear bike.
5. Marin Palisades Trail 3 – 2021
The Marin Palisades Trail 3 is the slackest mountain bike for wheelies of this group. It is a full 3 degrees slacker than the 2nd most slack bike. Its head tube angle is 65 degrees. This will make it that much easier to lift up and keep up the front wheel and fork.
This bike has no rear suspension making it a hardtail. The wheels are 27.5 inches but the extra degrees of slack more than makes up for the added 1 and a half inch of wheel size compared to a 26 inch wheel.
The tires are a good width of 2.6 inches which increases your ability to balance the bike during a wheelie. The brakes are Shimano MT401 hydraulic disc. These allow you to just feather the brakes as you slow down. It prevents you from stopping to hard and jerking the bike to a stop.
The chainstay is 430mm in length which moves the center of gravity towards the rear. The stem is 45mm which is good. You want to have a shorter stem for better control of the front wheel. The front wheel will absorb a lot of impact as the travel is 140mm.
There are 11 gears to choose from. The drivetrain is a SRAM NX 11-speed which is reliable and sturdy when riding on rough terrain. This is supported by a Series 3 6061 aluminum frame that is lightweight and durable for mountain biking.
The first rider using this Marin thought this bike climbs hills very well. It has all the right specs for the price. He used to ride an enduro with full suspension. Compared to that he thinks this hardtail is great. His one negative was the tubeless tape would leak air through the spokes. He fixed it by retaping the rims to set the wheels tubeless.
The next rider was riding a 26 inch hardtail and compared to that bike really loves the Marin. He says the bike is very light and nimble and a lot of fun to ride compared to his Specialized. He was very happy at this price range to find this bike with a dropper seat. The shocks are very smooth he explained.
The third rider said the riding quality and performance of this mountain bike is excellent. It really climbs hills well and has good traction and balance on the way down.
The Savadeck is a hardtail so there is no suspension in the back. This means your wheelie will be more stable, no bouncing from a full suspension bike. The wheels are 27.5 inches and the tires are 2 inches wide giving you increased traction and stability.
Amazingly you can choose from 27 gears. You can pick the right gear for any time of terrain and get maximum power when pedaling. Both the front and rear derailleur are Shimano Altus RD-M2000’s. Easily and smoothly change gears.
When it is time to slow down use its double hydraulic disc brakes. The provide maximum stopping power in case of an emergency. The stopping power is gradual so you won’t go flying over the handlebars.
The frame of the Savadeck is strong and lightweight because it is a Toray T800 carbon fiber frame. Therefore this bike is only 27 pounds which makes it that much easier to perform wheelies and hold them for a long time.
At the front of the bike is a hydraulic suspension fork with lockout that gives you 100mm of travel. Coming down from your wheelie the impact will be absorbed, its excellent damping system will be with for all types of terrain. Giveing you a smooth ride.
The first rider biked all summer with this mountain bike. He explained that the Savadeck is light and smooth. It is a great ride. He liked it so much he will buy one for his sone next year.
The next rider thought the bike looks amazing. He rode it on singletrack trails and says the quality is high and it gave him good control going around turns.
The third rider said the bike is great. It is light and responsive on the trails. The only thing he did not like was the seat, so he just switched it out for a more comfortable one.
7. Diamondback Overdrive
The Diamondback Overdrive is for mountain bikers who are more highly skilled at doing wheelies. There are a few factors when combined will make this bike a little challenging to do wheelies. First the wheels are 27.5 inches in diameter compared to 26 inch wheels which is lighter to lift up.
The tires are knobby which may give you a little bounce depending on the terrain you do your wheelies on. I could not find how wide the tires are but since there are knobs on the tires I can assume the tires must be a bit wide in order to fit the knobs on them. The width will increase the stability.
The next factor is the brakes, they are Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes and not hydraulic. This may make braking during a wheelie not as smooth as it could be. If you are skilled at doing wheelies then these factors should be no much of a problem for you.
The frame of the Diamondback is an aluminum alloy hardtail frame. It is custom formed and has butted tubing for an increased balance of strength and weight. The front of the bike has a SR Suntour XCT 27 coil spring fork with 80mm of travel.
There are 24 speeds to choose from by using its Shimano 3 x 8 speed drivetrain with Suntour cranks. This large range of gears will enable you to climb hills at maximum speed. Plus you will shift smoothly and accurately, no gear skipping.
The first rider said this bike is great. It was very easy to put together for him. He says the instructions were straight forward. It took around an hour to get the tire and chain on, to adjust the seat length, and align the handlebars correctly. After he rode it, he explained the shocks absorbed everything, the gears shifted well, and the bike coasts well.
The next rider said he loves the color and overall the bike is great. Assembly was easy. Everything worked after he put it together, he only needed to adjust the rear derailleur. He likes the performance of this bike, and it is very smooth to ride.
8. Redfire Mountain Bike
The Redfire is a mtb is for a stronger man or woman who likes to do wheelies and or is skilled at doing them. This bike is a hardtail and weighs 35 pounds, so you need to have some strength to lift up the front wheel and hold it there.
The wheels are 27.5 inches and the tires are 2.1 inches wide which helps you to have more stability and balance. The wheels have alloy rims for increased strength and they are lightweight. The brakes are dual disc brakes for maximum stopping power.
The frame is made of aluminum which is lightweight and strong. Aluminum is durable and can absorb severe impacts from the trail and terrain. The front suspension cushions you while riding over rocks, roots, and bumps. I did not find how much travel the fork has.
There are 21 speeds you can use to go up hills and over all types of terrain. The drivetrain is a Shimano Tourney 21-speed with Shimano EF shifters. They provide quick precise shifting. The shift and brake cables are routed through the frame for a clean simple look.
The first rider of this bike is 6 foot and 160 pounds. He said it took about an hour to put it together. He finds the bike to be light and rides very smoothly. This bike gives away many useful accessories. The only negative was the seat which he replaced with his old bike seat.
The next rider said this bike is excellent for the price. He finds the bike well built and has nice Shimano gears. It performs very well in the Florida mountains. The bike rides great and is smooth on gravel and rough paths. Only negative is the back wheel does not have a quick release mechanism.
9. Schwinn Bonafide Best 29er for Wheelies
The Schwinn Bonafide is a great mountain bike for wheelies. Just because it has 29 inches wheels does not mean you can’t do a wheelie on it. You just have to have some strength and some skill. It is a hardtail so this will help with balance and stability.
Even though the wheels are 29 inches the tires are 2.25 inches wide, so once you lift up the front tire the width of the back tire will help you balance and keep the bike stable. There are front and rear mechanical disc brakes. Just make sure you gradually squeeze the shifters.
The frame is made from aluminum which is strong and durable. Aluminum is normally lightweight but I won’t call it that since this bike is 39 pounds. That is 10 pounds heavier than the average mountain bike. So if you are a bigger guy or gal this bike is for you.
There are 24 speeds to choose from using the trigger shifters. The front and rear derailleur makes changing speeds easy and smooth. You get steady gearing because of its durable alloy cranks which also means less annoying maintenance.
The first rider using the Bonafide said the bike looks really nice. It has a very sharp paint job. She thought the bike is super light weight and is a high quality bike. Her husband was able to put it together very easily.
The next rider says the 29 inch wheels are big but very light weight. He likes the black and orange colors, very cool. He explained the bike goes downhill very fast, and it did very well going up hill in the snow. He just wishes there was one more lower gear.
I hope this group of mountain bikes will help you choose the best one for doing wheelies with. Think about your skill level and your body size and one of these bikes will be the perfect match for you.