Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Somewhere between heaven and hell
Bikes: '09 Jamis Komodo, '09 Mirraco Blend One, '08 Cervelo P2C, '08 Specialized Ruby Elite, '07 Yeti AS-R SL, '07 DMR Drone
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It's easier to pedal the bike up in a granny gear, and easier to keep the wheelie going in something slightly burlier. The key is finding a balance. I suck at getting the bike up, so when I want to wheelie I end up running it ridiculously low...something like 22 up front and whatever the second easiest gear on an XT cassette is in back, and then just pedaling like nuts to keep my front wheel up. But that's not really functional for anything but steeps and wheelies, and would probably suck on a fixie. Most people can run something burlier though.
Weight makes a little bit of a difference, but not as much as you might think. Positioning makes more of a difference...short stem, higher handlebars, and more upright position makes it easier. Short chainstays help too.