Editor’s Choice: Our 9 Favorite Enduro Bikes Under $4,000

Enduro Mountain Bikes Under $4000 - Editors Choice

Recommending mountain bikes that you should buy when you’re shopping on a budget is relatively easy when we’re talking about hardtails and fat bikes, but as the conversation shifts to enduro bikes, it becomes significantly more difficult to give budget-friendly recommendations. One reason that contributes to the higher price tags of enduro bikes is that in many ways, they represent the bleeding edge of mountain bike technology. Designed to descend almost as confidently as a downhill bike and yet still climb efficiently up the mountain, enduro bikes are in many ways the definition of the do-it-all bike. Sacrifices and compromises, it seems, are not an option.

As a result, our lists showcasing the best enduro mountain bikes often feature rigs soaring past $7,000 on their way to $10,000. To keep this list realistic, we’ve capped our choices at $4,000 MSRP. While the $4,000 cap might still seem high, it actually proved to be difficult, with our editors finding that some of the best enduro bikes on the market aren’t available in even a basic build kit for less than 4 grand.

If we had $4,000 to spend on an enduro bike, here are the mountain bikes that would make our short list (organized alphabetically).

Canyon Strive CF 7.0

As a direct-to-consumer brand, Canyon is known to provide excellent value for the price. The Strive CF 7.0 is no exception to this, with a full-carbon frame, GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, and generally excellent component specs across the board. Is the $3,999 price tag still a bit too rich for your blood? The Strive is also offered in aluminum, and the most affordable model is currently $2,599.

The Strive also features Canyon’s Shapeshifter technology, which “makes it possible to change your rig from a climbing machine to DH thrasher at the flick of a switch, adjusting the geometry, suspension kinematics, and travel,” according to Canyon. Flicking that switch changes the rear suspension from a plush 160mm to just 135mm, and it adds 1.5° to both the head tube and the seat tube angles. In addition, it adds 20mm to the bottom bracket offset. While yes, many bikes these days include a flip chip, most of them (like the YT Capra below) adjust the geometry by around 0.5°. A 1.5° change, in comparison, is massive!

While the Strive offers an impressive value for the price, this could also be the perfect bike for riders who are not willing to sacrifice climbing efficiency for slack enduro geometry. Why not have both?

-Greg

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 160mm front, 160mm/135mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5″
  • Headtube Angle: 66° (+1.5°)
  • Reach: 468mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 423mm
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • Price: $3,999; starting at $2,599

Key Components:

  • Fork: RockShox Lyric RCT3
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth B1
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss EX 1700 Spline

Commencal Meta AM V4.2 Race

Since I tested the Commencal Meta AM a couple years back, it’s blossomed into a full-blown enduro bike. The previous version blurred the line between trail and enduro, but not so with the V4.2. In terms of geometry, the Meta AM is a bit shorter in the reach measurement than other bikes here… something to consider based on your personal preferences.

Looking over the build kit, you get a helluva lot of bike for your $3,600. Of course, this is because Commencal sells their bikes consumer-direct. The Meta AM V4.2 Race build has top-drawer RockShox suspension front and rear, an Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, and 30mm wide e*thirteen rims. There’s only a light smattering of Commencal’s house brand Ride Alpha parts.

Commencal offers a ton of other builds of the Meta AM V4.2, and unlike most brands, they continue producing previous versions of their bikes and selling them for even less. Come up with an extra 500 bucks and you can spring for the World Cup build, which leaves nothing to be desired.

-Aaron

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 170mm front / 160mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5″
  • Headtube Angle: 65.5°
  • Reach: 458mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 437mm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Price: $3,599, from $1,999

Key Components:

  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RCT3
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe RT
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RE
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb
  • Wheelset: e*thirteen rims, Formula hubs

Giant Reign SX

Okay, so technically the Giant Reign SX is $80 over our theoretical $4,000 budget, but just eat ramen noodles for a couple weeks to come up with the extra money. There is a Giant Reign 2 with a respectable build for $2,755 but the Reign SX kicks everything up a notch or two. The “SX” designation has long been Giant’s tag for bikes with an increased rad factor. In this case, the Reign SX gets 10mm more fork travel (up to 170mm) and a coil sprung rear shock.

Make no mistake, the Giant Reign SX is an enduro bike through and through. It climbs okay for what it is, but you get the Reign because of how it descends. The brief time I’ve spent on the Reign only left me wanting more. With a slack head tube angle, a long wheelbase, and a spacious top tube, the Reign loves going fast down gnarly trails.

-Aaron

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 170mm front / 160mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5″
  • Headtube Angle: 65°
  • Reach: 473mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 435mm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Price: $4,080, from $2,755

Key Components:

  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RCT3
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Coil RT
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX 1×11
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS
  • Seatpost: Giant Contact
  • Wheelset: Giant P-AM2

Ibis Mojo HD4 NX Build

I recently tested the Ibis Mojo HD4 and I came away from that test convinced that this bike could be my daily rider. I was impressed with the balance struck between aggressive geometry, pedal-ability, component spec, and overall design of this bike. Some enduro bikes push a bit too far for my tastes. Others don’t push quite far enough. The HD4 is just right.

While I fudged the $4,000 price limitation by $99, getting a full-carbon frame and a respectable build kit from a boutique manufacturer like Ibis for just over $4,000 is downright shocking. This is also the only carbon bike on this list that’s not sold by a direct-to-consumer company.

Bonus: if you didn’t immediately fall in love with the fiery red or more subdued silver colorways that the HD4 was originally offered in, you can now get the bike in murdered-out black, pictured above. Slay those trails in stealth mode!

-Greg

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 160mm front / 153mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5″ / 27.5+ (accommodates tires up to 2.8″ wide)
  • Headtube Angle: 64.9°
  • Reach: 455mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 430mm
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • Price: $4,099

Key Components:

  • Fork: Fox Float 36 Performance
  • Shock: Fox Float Performance DPX2
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX 1×11
  • Brakes: SRAM Level
  • Seatpost: KS LEV-Si Dropper
  • Wheelset: Ibis 738 Aluminum

Pivot Mach 6 AL

The Pivot Mach 6 is a great bike, but for many years it was out of reach for those looking to spend less than $4,000 on an enduro bike. Fortunately, the company introduced an aluminum version of the popular bike in late 2015, and managed to keep the current XT build just barely under our limit at $3,999. Looking at the spec list, it’s clear that Pivot didn’t cut too many corners to get to this price point–it’s still a great bike, even if it’s at the bottom of the line.

Like the other full suspension bikes in the Pivot lineup, the Mach 6 utilizes the dw-link suspension system, which is arguably the gold standard when it comes to mountain bike suspension design. The Mach 6 takes full advantage of dw-link, offering incredibly active and plush suspension, with a full 6 inches of travel to slay even the gnarliest enduro stages. It’s no slouch on the climbs either; I’ve found this bike climbs just as well as any enduro bike, and even better than some trail bikes with less travel.

I test rode a carbon version of the Mach 6 a few years ago and it opened my eyes to the fact that it’s possible to build an enduro bike that’s actually fun to ride uphill. The latest version of the Mach 6 promises to perform even better.

-Jeff

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 160mm front / 155mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5″
  • Headtube Angle: 65.8°
  • Reach: 460mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 430.5mm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Price: $3,999

Key Components:

  • Fork: Fox 36 Performance
  • Shock: Fox Float Performance
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX 1×11
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer 150mm
  • Wheelset: Sun Ringlé Duroc 30mm

Santa Cruz Nomad R

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I love the Santa Cruz Nomad. After test riding 5 enduro bikes in a span of 24 hours late last year, I decided the Nomad was my favorite among a really strong field. The crazy thing is, none of the other bikes in my test (aside from the Santa Cruz Bronson) can be had for less than $4,000. So not only is the Nomad my favorite enduro bike, but it’s also one of the most affordable. Go figure!

What’s so great about the Nomad? Well for starters, it’s got a ton of travel–170mm front and rear. That may sound like overkill for a lot of riders, but as I noted in my recent review, “I could see myself riding the Nomad on my local trails […] without feeling like I was pushing around too much bike.” Singletracks readers seem to agree, choosing the Nomad as the third best enduro bike of 2017.

Of course, the Nomad I tested retails for over $7,000 (!) and the “R” version I’m recommending here isn’t nearly as blingy. But the thing is, Santa Cruz keeps the Maxxis Minion tires (the 3C version, not even the less expensive dual compound version) and offers solid component choices like a Rockshox Yari fork and SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain. The “R” build comes in at $3,599 which is under budget, but truthfully I would be willing to beg, borrow, or steal to trade up to the $4,299 “S” build which includes a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, RockShox Lyric fork, and e*thirteen wheels with wider rims.

-Jeff

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 170mm front / 170mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5″
  • Headtube Angle: 65°
  • Reach: 460mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 430mm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Price: $3,599

Key Components:

  • Fork: RockShox Yari RC 170
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Air R
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX 1×11
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R
  • Seatpost: Race Face Aeffect Dropper
  • Wheelset: WTB ST i25

Specialized Enduro Comp 29/6Fattie

The Specialized Enduro was chosen by Singletracks readers as the best enduro bike of 2017, and for those on a budget, the entry-level Enduro Comp 29/6Fattie offers a great value. The aluminum Comp frame features identical geometry to the top-of-the-line, carbon S-works version, but at just $3,200, it’s less than half the price.

Love them or hate them, Specialized is known for producing performance-oriented, race-worthy bikes. But in my experience, the company’s 6Fattie bikes, running 27.5+ tires, tend to be much more laid back and dare I say, fun to ride, than their straight-laced brethren.

Specialized offers a pretty decent component selection at this price, and the fact that the Enduro Comp 29/6Fattie can run either 29er or 27.5+ wheels makes it a great choice for tinkerers or those who prefer upgrading over time.

-Jeff

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 160mm front / 160mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5+
  • Headtube Angle: 65.5°
  • Reach: 462mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 433mm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Price: $3,200

Key Components:

  • Fork: RockShox Yari RC
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus w/ Auto Sag
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX 1×11
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R
  • Seatpost: Specialized Command 125mm
  • Wheelset: Roval Traverse, 29mm internal

Transition Patrol GX Build

I’m sensing a theme here in my picks, as all of them have 27.5″ wheels and 170mm/160mm of travel. Oh, and you can bet that they all have provisions for carrying a water bottle inside the front triangle. After owning a bike without one for a few years, it’s a deal-breaker for me.

Anyways, Transition’s revamped Patrol gained travel, got a lot longer, and considerably slacker. All of Transition’s new bikes are built around their “Speed Balanced Geometry” concept. A super slack head tube angle — 64° in this case — is paired with a shorter offset fork, which Transition contends improves weight distribution front to rear. I haven’t yet swung a leg over the current Patrol, but I did ride previous models. On paper at least, the new Transition Patrol looks like more of a good thing.

The GX build featured here sits in the middle of Transition’s aluminum offerings between the NX build ($2,999) and the X01 build ($4,999). One potential strike against the Patrol is its hefty weight; a medium frame with shock and hardware weighs over 9lbs! But if you’re like me and are prone to breaking things, that might be a selling point.

-Aaron

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 170mm front / 160mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 27.5″
  • Headtube Angle: 64°
  • Reach: 475mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 430mm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Price: $3,999, from $2,999

Key Components:

  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RC
  • Shock: Fox DPX2 Performance Elite
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb
  • Wheelset: e*thirteen rims, Novatec hubs

YT Capra 29 CF

While I don’t own a YT bike myself (at least, not yet), it seems that I can barely pen an article without mentioning the direct-to-consumer brand that’s destroying barriers both on the race course and at the cash register. YT is known for low prices, but that hasn’t stopped them from innovating–their line has been completely overhauled for 2018.

The Capra was the latest bike to get overhauled, and it’s now available in both 27.5″ and 29″ versions. I chose to include the 29er here, as long-travel 29er enduro bikes still aren’t as prevalent as their 27.5″ counterparts.

The Capra 29 CF boasts an impressive parts kit–that should go without saying at this point. Get the full deets on the build kit below. But perhaps what’s most impressive is getting a complete enduro rig with a full-carbon frame for just $3,699. And if you’re keeping score, that’s right: all three of my enduro bike selections at or below $4,000 MSRP are built with the fantastic plastic. While there’s nothing wrong with aluminum, if you can get carbon for the same price (or less), why wouldn’t you?

If you just can’t justify a $4,000 spend, don’t worry: there are two aluminum models of the Capra, starting at just $2,499.

-Greg

Key Specs:

  • Travel: 160mm front / 160mm rear
  • Wheel Size: 29″ (27.5″ also available)
  • Headtube Angle: 65.5°/66°
  • Reach: 465mm (large)
  • Chainstay Length: 435mm (large)
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • Price: $3,699, from $2,499

Key Components:

  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RCT3
  • Shock: RockShox Superdeluxe RC3
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT 11-speed rear derailleur, e*thirteen TRS+ cassette
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RS
  • Seatpost: e*thirteen TRS+
  • Wheelset: e*thirteen TRS

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