Our 5 Best Mountain Bikes Under R120 000

by | Jan 9, 2023 | Buyer's Guide, Bike

We take a look at some of the top Mountain Bike offerings on the South African market in the sub R120 000 price category.

Mountain bikes are expensive. Really great mountain bikes are really expensive. It is pretty crazy to think that we are looking at bikes at the R120 000 mark and we are still far from the top of the range in many manufacturers lineups! Very few offerings in the price range come with top tier suspension, drivetrains, or carbon wheels. That being said, they are still phenomenal bikes.

While our sub R90 000 bikes were pretty much all you could need or ask for, there are carbon wheels, lighter components and more electronics to be had as the price continues to increase. High performance eBikes are also becoming more available which will be what many buyers are searching for. These are our top 5 finds in the R120 000 to R91 000 price bracket. 

Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 2

Price: R106 990

Hardtail or Full Sus: Full Sus

Material: Carbon

Description: The 2022 Giant Anthem is a bike that we have spent some time with and really enjoyed! It is also the bike that was ridden by the only South African team to take stage win at the 2022 ABSA Cape Epic, Marco joubert and Pieter du Toit of Imbuko {type}DEV. The Pro 2 model gets you a carbon frame and carbon wheels with a dropper post and SLX groupset. Drop the price down to R98k for the Pro 3 model, you’ll get a Deore drive and keep the carbon wheels and dropper. The new Anthem is a world class XC and marathon rocket with a knack for descending.

The Best Mountain Bikes For Less Than R120000
The 2022 Giant Anthem is a refined race bike that any level of rider can swing a leg over and feel the performance. (c) Giant

Trek Fuel EXe 9.5

Price: R110 000

Hardtail or Full Sus: Full Sus

Material: Carbon

Description: The Trek Fuel EXe is one of the latest lightweight eBikes to enter the ring and it did so in style. This sleek looking trail machine uses a first-of-its-kind motor for an eBike, a pocket-sized lightweight “harmonic pin ring transmission” developed with the specialists at TQ delivering 50nm of torque and 250w of assistance. The riding experience on this bike has been highly acclaimed. The 360Wh battery will get you up and down a few extra laps than normal without taking the weight of the bike up into the 20s of kilograms.

The Best Mountain Bikes For Less Than R120000
The Fuel EXe took e bike design up a level in 2022. (c) Trek

Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp

Price: R99 000

Hardtail or Full Sus: Full Sus

Material: Carbon

Description: Industry leading when it comes to frame adjustability with 3 headset angles to choose from and 2 bottom bracket / chainstay lengths, you can tailor the feel of your Stumpie EVO to suit the terrain where you live or travel to ride. The Comp model gets you a top spec carbon frame with GX groupset, in-frame storage, and alloy wheels on the 160/150 mm front/rear Fox Suspension platform. An excellently finished bike.

The Best Mountain Bikes For Less Than R120000
Pushing the envelope of mainstream frame adjustability and capability. Trail or enduro, the Stumpie EVO is up for it. (c) Specialized

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8

Price: R115 000

Hardtail or Full Sus: Full Sus

Material: Carbon

Description: The 150mm travel Canyon Spectral impressed customers and bike reviewers worldwide when it launched with its incredible pedaling efficiency and superb handling on the trail. Following that they released the Spectral 125 as a compact and agile version of their trail bike with a super punchy riding experience. 140 mm of front travel (and 125 at the rear) paired with progressicve geometry gives you a bike that is very capable on the descents and feels racey to pedal. The CF 8 has superb Fox Perfomance suspension, XT groupset, and DT Swiss wheels. Contact Canyon Cafe to order in South Africa.

The Best Mountain Bikes For Less Than R120000
A pocket rocket of note. This bike takes fun seriously. (c) Canyon

Cannondale Habit Neo 4

Price: R109 995

Hardtail or Full Sus: Full Sus

Material: Carbon

Description: We talked about the Trek Fuel EXe as a great lightweight eBike for under R120k, the Habit Neo 4 on the other hand is a full powered bruiser. The 140/130 mm front/rear suspension platform feels sporty on the trail and this bike impressed us with its range and handling when we had it on for review. The Bosch Perfomance Line CX motor deliveres 85 Nm of torque and 250 W of power from the 500 Wh battery, plenty of oomph to get you up the biggest and steepest of climbs! The Deore drivetrain is best in its class and the RockShox suspension won’t let you down.

The Best Mountain Bikes For Less Than R120000
eBikes with a fancy spec are hard to come by south of R150k. The Habit Neo 4 has a sensible build with all the right things you need to enjoy your ride. (c) Cannondale

As tantalizing as all of those steeds are, they are way out of the budget for many of us. You can find our other buyer’s guides from sub R30k bikes to Sub R90k bikes here.