When I was a kid I started learning to ride around on my back wheel and it was really difficult. Then I tried doing it on a crappy CCM mountain bike we had (rather than my nice Gary Fisher Piranha) and it was much easier! I could ride around balanced on the back wheel for a full minute, and was able to do other tricks more easily as well.

For reasons unknown to me, the CCM was much easier to balance in that position. I'd like to fool around on my bike and learn some more tricks, but if I buy a new one it will be a mountain bike. Which leads to my question: What do I need to look for in a mountain bike if I want to be able to do this stuff? I can imagine it's related to the following, but I don't know exactly how:

  • Weight
  • Size
  • Shape?
  • Weight distribution
  • Other?

The CCM was heavier and taller, if that helps.

  • Do you want to use the bike for anything other than trick riding? At the extreme end you start getting into bicycles specialized for that, at the expense of true off-road or distance riding.
    – lantius
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 0:02
  • @lantius I'm more interested in theory, but as noted if I got a new bike it would be a mountain bike. I'd use it for both casual riding and the occasional muddy-trail-hell race. Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


You want a very low stand over height, short chainstays, steep headangle, and little to no suspension. If you still want to use it for general mountain biking stuff, then look at street or dirt jump bikes, rather than trials.

  • This is interesting ... the lack of suspension on the CCM would have made the front lighter, but the standover was greater and the headangle about the same. Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 17:30
  • The differences in geometry don't have to be huge to feel very different. Also your feelings towards the CCM may be very different if you rode a bike designed for tricks, it's all about perspective.
    – cmannett85
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 10:53
  • Thanks, +1. I'll be sure to keep this in consideration. Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 18:09

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