We take a look at some of the top Mountain Bike offerings on the South African market in the sub R45 000 price category.
It used to be easy to find a decent full suspension mountain bike for under R30 000. Those days are now, unfortunately, past. Will it ever be the case again? We can only hope. In the meantime if we want full suspension goodness to conquer the mountains, the starting price will be in the R45K to R30K range.
While in the sub R30K range, it is nigh on impossible to find a carbon framed bike model, at the 45-30K bracket we might start seeing more of this lighter material. Does that mean we have to jump at the first carbon bike we see? Is carbon always better? Is lighter necessarily better? No. Aluminium is pretty darn great as a frame material and you’ll likely not notice much difference (if any) between riding an alloy bike and carbon bike of the same spec!
If you’re looking for lighter weight and fancier components, you’ll often stumble along some great gems in the second hand market. You can find our second hand mountain bike buyer’s guide here. Let’s dive into our top 5 mountain bike finds in the R45K to R30K price range.
Trek Top Fuel 5
Price: R45 000
Description: A very popular design from Trek and for good reason. The Top Fuel is built as a marathon bike that leans towards a more trail riding focused design, or you could even say a trail bike that errs on the side of climbing and marathon riding efficiency. If you’re into big rides and appreciate an efficient pedalling bike but equally enjoy making the most of the descending trails, this is the kind of bike that will be right up your alley. This bike would be a fantastic stage race companion from the Cape Epic to sani2c. With in-frame storage, 120mm of rear travel paired with 130mm up front, and the robust Shimano Deore drivetrain, this sensible build will have all your bases covered.
Specialized Stumpjumper Alloy
Price: R45 000
Description: The Stumpjumer is an iconic trail bike and the most recent iteration of the design from Specialized is bang on the money for what a modern trail bike should be. 130/140mm of travel rear/front is up for anything you can find on South African soil. The SRAM SX drivetrain is not as highly praised as Shimano’s Deore in the budget category but it should get the job done. Worth noting is that this bike comes with a fantastic set of tires from Spez, the Butcher with their sticky T9 rubber compound up front is going to be all you’ve ever wanted on the trails!
2022 Giant Revolt Advanced 3
Price: R44 865
Description: Maybe it is a gravel bike that you are looking for? Giant’s Revolt is an award winning gravel bike design with plenty of frame mounting options for bike packing, a very compliant frame for rough roads, and an innovative chainstay length adjustment that allows for increased tire clearance if desired. Looking for a gravel riding adventure worth doing? Check out the Cederberg Circuit here.
GT Sensor Carbon Elite
Price: R41 995
Description: GT’s Sensor Carbon Elite is a bike that we have had in for testing and were really impressed by. It sports 130mm of rear wheel travel and a 140mm fork. The biggest takeaway from our time on the bike was a balanced feeling in the corners and a confidence inspiring build. The bike feels very sturdy underneath you, up for some pretty rowdy terrain!
Titan Racing Cypher RS Dash Aluminium
Price: R35 999
Description: Our previous article on bikes for less than R30 000 featured the Titan Cypher RS and it is such good value for money that we have included the next higher spec option here! For the extra cash you’ll get a SRAM SX drivetrain with an extra gear and more range instead of the microshift option and also a dropper post.
Once you’ve got your new mountain bike, you can check out where to spend on component upgrades and where to save your cash!