I am planning to buy an MTB for learning stunts...(BTW my family wont allow me to buy a BMX because of its height). So my question is shall I go for MTB with front suspension or not and with gears or not?

What i think is i should consider bike with gears,although they add extra weight but they can be removed later if i find them annoying... However i have no idea about front suspensions whether they will make a bicycle stronger/flexible for stunts or not...

and which one will you prefer for my requirement btwin or schnell

  • 1
    I would talk to your family. I'm not sure why they object to a BMX because of height, but always get the right tool for the job. If you're doing vert/park riding, it's going to be awkward on a mountain bike, and quite possibly dangerous for you and other riders. Some parks may have restrictions not allowing it as well. Figure out what style of riding you want to do, then gather your arguments and present them to your family.
    – JohnP
    Apr 10, 2014 at 15:36
  • While I was in college, I admired some fellow students that was able to do stunts on mountain bikes (year 2000~2003ish). They might have been hard tail bikes, but they was not BMX. They was able to go from the ground to top of trash cans and balance on the back wheel then jump on the nearby bench and back to the ground. I would provide this as a answer if I had better memory of what they rode.
    – BPugh
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:00
  • I want to answer, but the "Height" requirement is an issue as in "WHY" are opposed to the "Height" of the BMX? The bars? Wheelbase? Wheel size? Top tube? (The top tube of my MTB is dropped, lower than my BMX) Without knowing this, trying to find you a bike is just guessing what you might want and shooting in the dark (Some suggested 26 vs 29, but it THAT going to be an issue? 700s? And what kind of "Stunts" are you doing? Flatland? Street? Dirt? Park? Watch the "Stunts" section in "Quicksilver", they had BMX riders like Martin Aparijo doing flatland on 10-speeds. Maybe Chinese acrobats?
    – BillyNair
    May 31, 2015 at 22:04

3 Answers 3


If you want to learn BMX type tricks then rigid

  • BMX bikes come rigid
  • BMX bikes also come single speed

Suspension and gears cost money. Put that money into better frame and components.

In a mtn bike don't worry about dedicated single speed. A single speed conversion kit lets you go to gears later. Even if you don't want to convert it for yourself it will tend to have better resale

Get mtn bike with a low slung frame and a tube that lets you go way down with seat
(some seat tubes have a bend).

Consider a 26" used mtn bike with a nice frame that has a worn out shock and gears and convert it to rigid single speed. Since mtn bikers want 29" there are some really good deals on used 26" mtn bikes.
Especially 26" mtn bikes without disc brakes. You don't want to go so old that it has the 1" treaded fork. You want a 1-1/8˝ threadless steerers.

  • On a non-horizontal drop out frame, chances are you need a chain tensioning pulley anyway to go single speed, and a redished wheel if your wheel takes more than 1 gear in the back. Its not entirely trivial.
    – Batman
    May 29, 2014 at 23:58
  • @Batman I consider a single speed conversion kit with tensioner trivial.
    – paparazzo
    Jul 28, 2014 at 17:10
  • @Batman And kits do not require a redished wheel. They just use spacers.
    – paparazzo
    Oct 27, 2015 at 19:25

If you plan on doing slopestyle/dirt jumping, you'll want at least front suspension in the range of 80-120mm (80-100mm being preferred) and no rear suspension. With larger slopestyle type jumps you may want a full suspension bike, but it's not worth it when you are just learning.

On the other hand, if you are looking at doing more street BMX and park style riding, you can get away with a rigid fork, but a suspension fork wouldn't be unusual here either.

For gearing, most dirt jumpers and street riders ride single speed and just vary the ring/cog sizes as needed to suit their pedaling needs.

As for brand, I would say Schnell, but neither of those brands look like they make a good trick-related bike. I would spend some time researching Dirt Jump/Slopestyle bikes, you can get one for the same price new or used and it will fit your purpose much better.

  • You could certainly get a suspension front fork with lockout.
    – JohnP
    Apr 10, 2014 at 15:38
  • 2
    @JohnP Yes, but hitting jumps and whatnot with a locked-out fork is definitely not recommended as it can damage your fork.
    – Aaron
    Apr 10, 2014 at 15:50
  • True, but which is worse, doing some of these tricks with less momentum/velocity because the fork absorbs energy, or eventually ruining the fork? :)
    – JohnP
    Apr 10, 2014 at 16:16
  • @JohnP I'd saying ruining the fork! It's money, plus if it fails while riding your could seriously injure yourself! And a stiff 80mm fork, won't kill too much speed, that's what I use.
    – Aaron
    Apr 10, 2014 at 16:59
  • 1
    There are forks that are designed for dirtjump, and they are in the range of 80mm. Please, never use a XC fork for stunts or dirtjump, the travel may be the same, but they aren't built the same way.
    – Jahaziel
    Jul 29, 2014 at 20:43

I will interject that there is a whole discipline/style of riding called "trials" and they have bikes that are tuned/designed for "stunts". They share more in common with BMX style bikes probably than anything else.

Really it depends on what your definition of stunts is. Any number of flatland, freestyle, freeride, slopestyle, dirt jump or trials bikes could be applicable. I would recommend visiting your LBS and having a in depth conversation with someone knowledgeable to find out what kind of riding you are planning to do.

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