- The Giant Trance X Advanced and Fezzari Delano Peak Elite are the best trail bikes under $5000.
- For lighter, faster bikes, try the Canyon Spectral 125, Cannondale Scalpel HT and Scott Spark RC.
- For aggressive riding, get the Kona Process 153 DL, or the Marin El Roy if you like hardtails.
- The key thing in a new bike is how it fits your riding style; head to your bike shop to try some out.
If you look for mountain bikes under $5000, you have tons of options. This guide highlights the best bikes in each category that give the most for your money.
The Giant Trance X Advanced 29 2 is my top pick for all-around mountain bikes under $5000. Other top recommendations include the Canyon Spectral 125 CF for a short-travel trail bike and the Cannondale Scalpel HT 2 for a racing hardtail.
I ride thousands of miles on a mountain bike every year, and I love finding bikes that deliver the highest performance and bang for your buck. For this guide I’ve found the best mountain bikes under $5000 in each category so you can find the right ride for you.
Summary - Best Bikes for Under 5000
Don’t want to read through the whole article? Here is the quick lineup of my picks for the best mountain bikes you can buy for under $5000:
- Giant Trance X Advanced 29 2 - Best All-Around Trail Bike Under $5000
- Kona Process 153 DL 29 - Best Long Travel Trail Bike Under $5000
- Fezzari Delano Peak Elite - Best Mid-Travel Trail Bike Under $5000
- Canyon Spectral 125 CF 7 - Best Short-Travel Trail Bike Under $5000
- Scott Spark RC Team - Best Full Suspension XC Bike Under $5000
- Cannondale Scalpel HT 2 - Best Hardtail XC Bike Under $5000
- Marin El Roy - Best Hardcore Hardtail Under $5000
Giant Trance X Advanced 29 2 - Best All-Around Trail Bike Under $5000
The Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29 2 is a super capable all-around trail bike with mid-range suspension travel. Mid-travel bikes like this are a great balance for most riders, and the Trance X Advanced delivers on performance anywhere on the mountain.
Giant bikes are known for delivering amazing bikes for the price, so you can expect to get awesome value from your investment. The well-built carbon frame, fantastic suspension system, and high-value build kit make this my top pick for an all-around trail bike under $5000.
For riders with a smaller budget, the Trance also comes in cheaper models like the Trance 29 2 that still offers performance way better than entry-level bikes.
Giant Trance X Advanced 29 2 Performance
The Trance is one of the rare do-it-all bikes that handles technical descents, fast and flowy trails, monster climbs, and all-day epics with equal aptness. This bike feels ready to take on anything, and there really isn’t much to complain about.
Weighting around 30 lbs, this bike is seriously light for the capability it delivers on the trail. On big climbs, the Maestro rear suspension system stays neutral and keeps your power going to the rear wheel. Combined with the light weight, this makes for a capable climber that can charge uphill as hard as you can.
On the descents, the Trance X Advanced is ready to handle anything from swoopy flow trails to big jump lines to technical rock gardens. The 150mm front and 135 rear suspension travel are ready to take on rough trails, and the bike lets you get in a leaned back position for control and stability.
Both uphill and down, the Trance delivers a ride that feels capable, confident, and fun.
Giant Trance X Advanced 29 2 Specs and Components
The Shimano SLX 1x12 drivetrain isn’t as high end as some bikes in this pricepoint, but it’s plenty functional on this bike. The main advantage you would get with a higher end groupset is lower weight.
The 10x51 cassette gives you best-in-class gear range, and when combined with the 30-tooth chainring, you have a fantastic gearing selection both for steep climbs and fast pedaling sections of trail.
The Fox Float Rhythm fork gives you 150mm of smooth and responsive front travel. In my opinion, this is one of the best forks out there for trail bikes, and it really shines on the Trance.
The Maestro rear suspension system is well-thought out and offers progressive compression. 135mm suspension travel isn’t huge for a trail bike, but the Giant Maestro system makes the most of it.
The Tektro M750 disc brakes give you four-piston power and excellent braking control. Brakes are an often-overlooked component on bikes. These disc brakes give you extra confidence when going fast on big descents.
Wheels and Tires
The rims, hubs, and spokes are all high-end Giant-branded carbon components. These wheels are lightweight, durable, and tubeless-ready.
Tires have a huge impact on performance and ride quality in mountain bikes, and the tires fitted on the Trance X Advanced 29 2 don’t disappoint. You get a Maxxiss Minion DHF 29x2.5” tire in the front and a Maxxis Dissector 29x2.4” in the rear.
These tires are a great combination and offer tons of grip in loose surfaces without slowing you down while pedaling.
Where to Buy the Giant Trance X Advanced 29 2
Kona Process 153 DL 29 - Best Long Travel Trail Bike Under $5000
Kona builds some of the best frames in the business for aggressive trail riding, and the Process 153 DL 29 is no exception. There are trail bikes out there with more suspension travel, but Kona has got this bike dialed-in, making a trail-taming machine that’s hungry for rough riding.
Kona Process 153 DL 29 Performance
With 160mm front suspension travel, 153mm rear travel, and some of the best progressive geometry you can find, the Process gobbles up even the roughest trails. Riding the Process 153 is a bit like riding a tank on two wheels, except that it’s nimble, maneuverable, and fun.
For a long-travel bike designed for riding rough, the Process 153 climbs surprisingly well. The rear suspension is well-balanced and does a great job of keeping your rear wheel planted while transferring enough power to keep you moving efficiently.
You won’t be rocketing up big climbs, but the uphill will be much more enjoyable than on similar bikes.
Kona Process 153 DL 29 Specs and Components
The Process 153 comes with a Sram NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. The 11-50 tooth cassette gives you plenty of range, and the shifting is consistent and smooth so you don’t have surprises on the trail.
In the front you get a RockShox Lyrik Select RC Charger DebonAir fork with 160mm of travel. This fork is awesome and really soaks up rocky trails.
Kona’s suspension system in the rear uses a RockShox Super Deluxe shock to keep your rear wheel planted and smooth.
The suspension system is fine-tuned and keeps you comfortable and confident in the rough stuff.
The Sram G2 RS disc brakes with 200mm front and 180mm rear rotors gives plenty of stopping power so you can charge harder downhill and brake later.
Wheels and Tires
The Kona Process 153 DL comes with WTB KOM rims that are burly and will hold up on all your rough trail riding.
Aggressive trail bikes like this sometimes skimp on the tires they include, but not this one. On the front you get a Maxxiss Agessai 29x2.5” tire and in the rear you have a Maxxis Minion 29x2.4”. This combo is designed for maximum grip and durability on seriously rough trails. These tires aren’t the lightest available, but I don’t think you’ll care.
Where to Buy the Kona Process 153 DL 29
Fezzari Delano Peak Elite - Best Mid-Travel Trail Bike Under $5000
Many people have never even heard of Fezzari bikes. This newer Utah-based company follows a direct-to-consumer model like Canyon and offers some awesome bikes with hard-to-beat prices.
The Fezzari Delano Peak Elite is a competent well-spec’d bike that outperforms most bikes in it’s price point. With a lightweight but bomber carbon fiber frame, mid-range suspension travel, and high-end components, this bike isn’t likely to disappoint.
Fezzari Delano Peak Elite Performance
If you’re on the search for bikes that can do everything well, the Delano Peak is a fantastic option.
Weighing just over 30 lbs, the Delano Peak is lighter than most mid-travel bikes. The light weight is noticeable on climbs as this bike feels responsive to your power input and makes long uphill slogs enjoyable.
With long reach and slack 65-degree head tube angle, the Delano Peak feels very confident when descending. The 150mm front travel and 135mm rear travel do a great job of keeping your wheels glued to the trail through technical sections and muting the chatter.
In all, this bike strikes a great balance and really fits into the category of do-it-all bikes.
Bike Specs and Components
The Delano Peak is fitted with a 12-speed Shimano XT drivetrain. It’s awesome to have this high-end groupset packed in at this price, and the shifting feels premium.
You’ll appreciate the massive range of the 10-51 tooth cassette which gives you plenty of gears to choose from for rides that cover a lot of different terrain. You have good low-end climbing gears, and with a 32-tooth chainring you also have good speed-down-the-hill gears as well.
The front fork is a Fox 36 Performance Elite which gives you 150mm of travel. This is a lot of front travel for an all-around trail bike like this, and it gives you a lot of confidence in attacking big rocky descents.
The rear suspension design isn’t anything particularly innovative, but it works and doesn’t feel like it’s slowing you down during long seated climbs. It uses a Fox Float X shock that is responsive and smooth enough to absorb those quick, chattery sections of trail.
With 135mm rear travel, you’ve got plenty of cushion for all but the most technical and rocky trails.
The Delano Peak Elite has Shimano XT M8120 brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear. There isn’t anything to complain about with these brakes and they give you good modulation and control when descending.
Wheels and Tires
The Fezzari Delano Peak Elite has Stan’s Flow S2 tubeless-ready 29er wheels. Like many of the bikes on this list, it comes with Maxxis Minion DHF tires with 2.5” width.
These tires are a fantastic choice for an all-around bike like this as they are durable, grippy, and relatively light weight. The extra volume of 2.5” tires makes the ride more confident and comfortable on rougher trails.
Where to Buy the Fezzari Delano Peak Elite
Like Canyon, Fezzari only sells direct on their website. You can also look around to find a used one.
Canyon Spectral 125 CF 7 - Best Short-Travel Trail Bike Under $5000
Short-travel trail bikes are an easy-to-overlook category, but they can be massively fun. The Canyon Spectral 125 CF 7 combines serious capability with a flickable fun factor that’s impossible to ignore.
Canyon’s direct-to-consumer business model lets them offer bikes at a much lower price than competitors that rely on brick and mortar stores. You’ll get fantastic value with any Canyon bike. If you’re looking to save a little more cash, you can also get the Spectral 125 AL at a more entry-level price point.
Spectral 125 CF Performance
The Spectral 125 delivers a fun, nimble, capable machine that feels ready for anything. It’s aggressive enough to take on rough descents, but at the same time its light weight and efficient design make it ready for all-day epics.
The Spectral 125 feels very comfortable and quick when climbing. It’s easy to get into a good position and find a rhythm while powering up big climbs.
With 125mm rear and 140mm front suspension, the Spectral 125 is on the lower end of travel for trail bikes, but it definitely doesn’t feel outclassed on fast descents. The super slack 64-degree head tube angle gives you a confident and stable control over the rough stuff.
While the Spectral 125 won’t perform the same as bigger, long-travel bikes, it still feels really fun on technical trails.
The Spectral 125 feels most at home on long-distance backcountry trails where you don’t want to be weighed down but still need the capability to handle technical sections.
Spectral 125 CF Specs and Components
The Sram GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain has an unbelievable 520% gear range with it’s 10-52 tooth cassette. This setup gives you fantastic low-end gears for winching your way up gueling climbs while still having high-end speed.
The RockShox Pike Select + fork gives you 140mm travel in the front. This fork really shines at softening out small bumps at high speed while having good progressiveness toward the end of it’s travel as you take on big drops and hits.
The rear shock is a RockShox Delux Select + that works well with Canyon’s 125mm rear suspension design. This setup is very efficient while pedaling and keeps the rear tire glued to the ground over chattery trails.
Sram Code disc brakes and 200mm front and 180mm rear rotors give you tons of braking power. If you’ve never had four-piston disc brakes before, you’ll love the extra power and modulation they deliver.
Wheels and Tires
The DT Swiss M1900 are fantastic aluminum wheels that balance weight with strength and are tubeless ready. The 30mm internal width gives your tires room to reach full volume.
On these wheels you get a Maxxis Minion and Maxxis Dissector: both in 2.4” width. These tires offer great grip and durability while still being efficient for long rides with lots of pedaling.
Where to Buy the Bike
Unlike other major brands that rely on distributors and bike shops, Canyon bikes are only sold direct through their website.
Scott Spark RC Team - Best Full Suspension XC Bike Under $5000
If you want a bike under $5000 for chasing podiums on race day, the Scott Spark RC Team has you covered. This lightweight full suspension bike is smooth, fast, and ready to dominate the competition.
There aren’t many bikes that can compete with the Spark RC in the same price range. The innovative design, great components, and dialed in refinement of this bike really stand above the competition.
Scott Spark RC Team Performance
The Spark RC Team gives you a ride that is both efficient and confident, both nimble and capable. It emphasizes speed and efficiency, but still holds it’s own when things get more technical.
Coming in under 26 lbs, the Scot Spark RC Team is one of the lightest full suspension bikes you can get. This makes it feel incredible on the climbs. The rear suspension works so well, it’s easy to forget it’s even there on climbs except for the extra traction as it keeps your rear wheel grounded.
While the geometry isn’t as aggressive as some other bikes, the Spark still handles well on fast descents. You won’t want to charge down the steepest, rockiest drops, but for flowy trails with some technical sections, this bike feels right at home.
Scott Spark RC Team Specs and Components
The 12-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain that comes on the Spark gives you great gear range with the 10-51 tooth cassette. You can expect consistent, reliable performance from this groupset.
The Spark RC comes with a Fox 34 Float air fork with 120mm suspension travel. This is a great fork for XC riding and is smooth off the top for flattening out small bumps and trail chatter.
The most unique element in the Spark RC is the integrated rear shock design where the rear shock is tucked inside the seat tube. This let Scott add a lot of stiffness around the bottom bracket and rear suspension without increasing the weight.
The integrated rear suspension is a great example of innovation in a market crowded with similar bikes. It also looks super slick.
The Shimano XT M8100 disc brakes offer plenty of stopping power for cross country riding while being very lightweight.
Wheels and Tires
The wheels are Silverton Syncros with 30mm internal width rims.
The tires are Maxxis Rekon 29x2.4” front and rear. These tires offer a great balance of weight, rolling resistance, durability and grip. 2.4” wider than most tires on cross country bikes, but the extra grip and comfort of a wider tire is welcome on rougher trails.
Where to Buy the Scott Spark RC Team
Cannondale Scalpel HT 2 - Best Hardtail XC Bike Under $5000
If you’re on a quest to find the lightest, fastest, nimblest bikes around, you’ll want to check out the Cannondale Scalpel HT 2. With it’s featherlike weight, responsive carbon frame, and Cannondale’s Lefty Ocho fork, this is a bike is built for speed and efficiency.
Cannondale Scalpel HT 2 Performance
With it’s super light and stiff carbon frame, this bike excels at power delivery from your legs to the wheels. Cannondale really nailed every small detail on this bike, from the speed-focused geometry to shaped chainstays that help soften trail chatter at speed.
The Scalpel HT, as you would expect from a hardtail this light, is a beast when climbing. It’s designed to put you in the most efficient and powerful riding position. At 23 lbs, this ridiculously light bike is super easy to maneuver up and over obstacles on technical climbs.
With a slack 66.5-degree head tube angle, the Scalpel HT is also surprisingly confident and capable when descending. You definitely won’t be ripping down the roughest, steepest trails like you would on long-travel full suspension bikes, but you’ll feel capable and comfortable going fast on flowy descents.
Cannondale Scalpel HT 2 Specs and Components
This bike is fitted with a Shimano XT 12-speed groupset, which sits one level below Shimano’s top-of-the-line XTR. This drivetrain offers crisp, reliable shifting and an incredible 10-51t cassette to give you monster gear range.
The Lefty Ocho Fork may be odd-looking to some, but it is the lightest XC fork available and offers incredible performance. I’ve consistently been impressed by how the Lefty fork makes 100mm of travel feel like a lot more because of how smooth and responsive it is.
Combined with the flex zones in the rear triangle, the Lefty fork delivers a surprisingly comfortable ride for such a race-oriented bike.
The Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes on the Scalpel HT 2 have plenty of stopping power and great modulation. It would be nice to have larger rotors than the 160mm ones that come fitted with these bikes, but it’s enough for the trails you’ll expect to ride on a superlight hardtail.
Wheels and Tires
This bike comes with Stans Crest MK4 rims. For tires it is fitted with a Schwalbe Racing Ray on the front and Racing Ralph on the rear. Both tires are 2.25” width.
This setup makes a lot of sense for this bike. These tires definitely aren’t the grippiest or most aggressive, but they are light and fast-rolling.
Where to Buy the Cannondale Scalpel HT 2
Marin El Roy - Best Hardcore Hardtail Under $5000
For a hardtail design to ride on the toughest trails, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many bikes as capable as the Marin El Roy. With a supple cromoly steel frame, long reach, and slack head tube angle, this bike is made for rough riding.
Marin El Roy Performance
The Marin El Roy is one of those bikes that makes you smile the moment you get on it. There’s something about the combination of the smooth-riding steel frame, hard-charging geometry, and hardtail simplicity that makes this bike really shine.
With the steel frame, it’s no lightweight, but it still doesn’t feel sluggish on uphills. It’s efficient enough of a climber to make the laps back to the top of the trail enjoyable.
Where the El Roy really comes to life is on the descents. This bike has fantastic aggressive geometry, and it shows when compared to other bikes in the category. The El Roy feels right at home slashing down technical trails at high speed, ripping around berms, and sending big jumps.
To sum it up, the El Roy is flat out fun.
Marin El Roy Specs and Components
The Marin El Roy comes with a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain. This is a lower-spec’d drivetrain than most of the bikes in this list, but this bike is also much less expensive than the other bikes.
You’re not likely to be disappointed by the Deore drivetrain. It’s not as lightweight as higher end models, but it shifts smoothly and reliably and gives you great gearing range for trail riding.
The Marzocchi Z1 air fork gives you 140mm of front travel and performs really well on rough terrain. It absorbs chatter and big hits and keeps you rolling smoothly.
On the El Roy, you get Shimano BR-MT420 hydraulic disc brakes with a 203mm rotor up front and 180mm rotor in the back. These four-piston disc brakes combined with the big rotors give you loads of stopping power so you feel confident on the steepest descents.
Wheels and Tires
The Marin-branded tubeless ready wheels are 29ers with 32mm internal width so you get the most out of your tires. These wheels are fitted with Maxxis Assegai 29x2.5” tires that offer awesome grip in all trail conditions.
Where to Buy the Marin El Roy
About THE AUTHOR
I love mountain biking and live in Salt Lake City: a central hub for the MTB community. I started biking four years ago when a series of injuries put me out of commission for trail running. While biking started as cross-training, I fell in love with the sport. I mainly enjoy using my bike as a tool for exploration, I've done 50-mile all-day epic rides in the mountains and have been to some amazing places on my bike.Read More About Jakob Thygerson