2020 scott genius 900 ultimate axs
25 Sep 2019

For 2020, there are more mountain bikes pushing past the $10,000 barrier than we have ever seen before. Here's a look at the most expensive bikes coming to Australia this year!

With most brands having recently unveiled their latest mountain bikes for 2020, there have been a few themes we’ve noticed across the board. There are of course a tonne of new e-MTBs hitting the market for this coming season, and we’ve also seen more big-travel 29ers arrive too. There’s another theme that has stood out like the proverbial sore thumb though. And that is just how many mountain bikes are pushing beyond the $10,000 barrier for 2020.

Note: Since publishing this story, more $10K+ bikes have launched in Australia. We’ve updated the story to include these bikes, which takes the total up to 17!

A mountain bike costing ten grand certainly isn’t unheard of – boutique brands like Intense, Yeti and Ibis have been dabbling in that price bracket for some time. But bikes from mass production companies like Giant, Merida and Norco? Well, that’s a little more unusual.

fox live valve 2020 giant anthem advanced
The arrival of Fox Live Valve and SRAM AXS has led to brands like Giant producing top-end models that will sell for over $10,000 in Australia.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 2020 mountain bikes that will be selling in Australia for $10,000 or more. We’ve attempted to limit this list to bikes that are completely new platforms for the 2020 model year, but as you’ll see, there are a couple of exceptions that, well, we just couldn’t leave out. All the bikes in this list come from big, well-known bike brands that are available in Australia, and for the most part, they’re bikes that you could see on the showroom floor of a bike shop. There are plenty of smaller niche Euro and US brands that offer super-dooper custom build options that would comfortably fit into the price spectrum we have here, but we’ve focussed on common production offerings.

Enough of the caveats, let’s get stuck into the most expensive mountain bikes for 2020!

16. Norco Revolver FS AXS 100: $9,999

2020 norco revolver axs 120
Norco has a new Revolver for 2020, and the top-end carbon model comes decked out with a SRAM AXS wireless derailleur and dropper post.

Canadian brand Norco released the new Revolver full suspension XC bike earlier this year, though technically it actually released two Revolvers; one with 100/100mm of travel (Revolver FS 100), and one with 120/120mm of travel (Revolver FS 120). The lightweight carbon frame is exactly the same between the two, but a longer stroke shock and a longer fork pushes up the travel on the FS 120 model, giving it more of a marathon/svelte trail bike vibe.

Both top-end Revolver FS models are selling in Australia for one dollar short of ten grand, which we believe is a first for Norco. At that price, the bikes are decked out with super trick DT Swiss XRC 1200 wheels and a SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS wireless shift system. The FS 100 gets lighter race tyres, a carbon fibre SID Ultimate fork and SRAM Level Ultimate brakes, whereas the FS 120 specs 4-piston G2 brakes and a Reverb AXS dropper post. On a bit more of a budget? The 2020 Norco Revolver line kicks off at $5,499 for the FS 2 120.

15. Giant Reign Advanced Pro 29 0: $10,299

2020 giant reign advanced pro 29er 0
We’ve been expecting a long travel 29er from Giant for a while, but we weren’t expecting the Reign 29 range to top out at over ten grand!

Ever since Giant released the Trance 29er last year, we’ve been waiting to see just how much bigger the Taiwanese brand would go with 29in wheels. That answer was provided last month when Giant released the Reign 29er – a 160/146mm travel enduro smasher that’s pushing some of the most progressive geometry figures we’ve seen from the brand.

Also raising eyebrows was the price of the top-end Advanced Pro 29 0 model shown above. At $10,299, this Reign 29 isn’t just the brawniest 29er we’ve seen from Giant, it’s also one of the most expensive. Thankfully Giant is offering a full range of spec levels, with the alloy Reign 29 2 kicking off proceedings at $3,999. Check out the full range and our first ride review right here.

14. Trek Rail 9.8: $10,499

2020 trek rail 9.8
It should bloody come with a motor for that price!” Well yes, the 2020 Trek Rail 9.8 does come with a motor – the new Bosch one to be specific.

While we’d enjoyed our time with Trek’s previous long-travel electric mountain bike, the Powerfly LT, there were elements of the bike that did let it down – like the gargantuan 475mm chainstay length. Addressing that, and a bunch of other niggles, the Rail is a brand new e-MTB for 2020 that is loosely modelled on the Trek Slash. Using 29in wheels with a 160mm travel fork and 150mm of rear travel, the Trek Rail is a behemoth of a bike that’s designed for the roughest of singletrack descents, and climbs.

Utilising the Bosch Performance CX Drive motor, an OCLV Mountain carbon fibre chassis, and premium RockShox suspension with Trek’s Thru-Shaft damper for the rear shock, the Rail 9.8 is the top-end spec option in Australia. Don’t have $10,500 to wax on a new e-MTB? Then $8K will get you the alloy model with the same Bosch system and geometry. Check out the full range and Mick’s first ride review and video on the 2020 Trek Rail here.

13. Giant XTC Advanced 29 SL 0: $10,699

2020 giant xtc advanced carbon 29er hardtail
The only hardtail in our list comes from Giant. As well as not having a rear shock, it also doesn’t have a dropper post!

Barely a week after we first published this article, Giant decided to launch its brand new 2020 XTC hardtail range. As a purebred XC race speedster, the new XTC is of course handcrafted from carbon fibre, and particular attention has been paid to both weight and stiffness. In fact, Giant says this new hardtail has the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any hardtail it’s made. It’s also the lightest production mountain bike that Giant has ever made too, with a frame weight that comes in at less than 3/4 of the old frame.

There are three XTC models coming into Australia for 2020, including the XTC Advanced SL 29 0 – the top-of-the-range option that is selling for $10,699. That is quite unreal, especially when you consider that it has neither a rear shock, nor a dropper post. Then again, high performance don’t come cheap. Check out the full story on the 2020 Giant XTC Advanced hardtail here.

12. 2020 Canyon Lux CF SLX 9.0 Race LTD – $11,049

2020 canyon lux cf slx 9.0 race ltd
The 2020 Canyon Lux range is topped by this model – the extraordinarily high-end CF SLX 9.0 Race LTD.

One of the newest bikes to join our list comes from a brand that is much more well known for its value-oriented packages rather than super-dooper expensive bikes. This is because Canyon sells its bikes direct-to-consumer, which means you purchase the bike online, and then within the fortnight, a bike box arrives on your doorstep having been sent directly from Canyon HQ in Germany. By cutting wholesalers and bike shops out of the equation, Canyon is typically able to offer more bang for your buck. Because of this, we rarely see Canyon mountain bikes notching over the $10K barrier.

The Lux CF SLX 9.0 Race LTD is a notable exception, which has just been launched alongside all the other 2020 Canyon Lux models. The Race LTD is the top-banger in the range, and it features a build kit to match the incredible price tag. There’s Black Label carbon wheels from Reynolds, a RockShox SID Ultimate fork with a carbon one-piece steerer and crown assembly, and wireless shifting courtesy of SRAM. On top of that you’ll find a carbon dropper post, as well as carbon brake levers and carbon saddle rails. That all leads to a very lightweight bike – 10.1kg by Canyon’s reckoning. Less weight = higher prices right?

12. 2020 Specialized Kenevo Expert: $11,400

2020 specialized kenevo e-mtb electric mountain bike
Specialized has updated the 2020 Kenevo in a very big way, and we mean that in more ways than one!

In perhaps what we might have to refer to as the ‘Year Of The Long Travel e-MTB’, Specialized has come to the party with a complete overhaul of its Turbo Kenevo – a 180mm travel self-shuttling behemoth. The 2nd generation Kenevo looks nothing like the previous version, having adopted the new Sidearm frame design, a larger battery that now slides inside the big alloy downtube, and the fabulously smooth Specialized 2.1 motor.

There are two Kenevo models coming into Australia for 2020, including the top-end Expert model shown here. This sucker gets the RockShox Boxxer fork up front, a coil-sprung Super Deluxe shock, 4-piston SRAM Code brakes, and 2.6in Specialized Butcher tyres that come equipped with the heavy-duty BLK DMND casing. At nearly 25kg, it’s easily the heaviest bike in our list, and it’s the only all-alloy bike here too! Check out the full story on the Kenevo range here.

11. Giant Reign E+ Pro 0: $11,499

2020 giant reign e+ pro 0 e-mtb electric mountain bike
Another new Giant creeps into the list, this time it’s the Reign E+ Pro 0; a Kashima-laden electric mountain bike that also has motors inside the rear derailleur and dropper post.

Giant has had a bunch of new bike releases for 2020, though none caused quite the stir that the Reign E+ did. Essentially a Trance E+ on steroids, the Reign E+ is a hulking e-MTB equipped with 170/160mm of travel and a striking hydroformed alloy frameset that’s engineered around Giant’s SyncDrive motor and battery system (built by Yamaha).

It’s one of the new breed of self-shuttling, DH-capable e-MTBs to hit the market this year, and as such it comes setup with burly components like SRAM Code brakes, a Maxxis DoubleDown rear tyre, and a big-volume piggyback shock. The top-end model shown here adds in a SRAM AXS wireless shifter and dropper post to the equation, which pushes the price point into new territory for Giant. We suspect there’ll be seeing a few more of the $8,699 and $7,699 models on the trails though. Check out the full story on the 2020 Giant Reign E+ here.

10. Merida eOne-Sixty 10K: $11,999

2020 merida eone-sixty 10K ebike emtb electric mountain bike
e-MTBs will always come with a price premium due to the additional motor and rechargeable battery. We’re still surprised to see a Merida go well over the $10K mark though!

Another surprising entry into this list is from Merida – a brand that’s more well-known for its value-oriented bikes and sharp pricing. It isn’t that the new eOne-Sixty isn’t packed with value (it is), it’s just that Merida is really pushing the redline on this one with its stunning 10K model, which confusingly actually costs $12K. Uh-huh. A twelve thousand dollar Merida!

The previous eOne-Sixty has of course been a stunningly popular e-MTB for Merida, and it’s hoping to continue that with the 2nd generation version that’s just been released for 2020.

Featuring a new carbon fibre mainframe that cleanly integrates the latest generation Shimano internal battery, the eOne-Sixty is very much on trend with a mullet 29/27.5in wheel setup and robust, aggressive 2.6in wide tyres. You don’t need $12K to get one of these though – Merida has carbon models starting at $6,699 and alloy models from $5,499. We’ll have a detailed rundown of the eOne-Sixty range coming soon, but in the meantime take a look at the Merida eOne-Sixty 9000 we currently have on for long term testing.

9. Trek Supercaliber 9.9 XX1: $11,999

2020 trek supercaliber supercalibre 9.9 axs
No motor here – the 2020 Trek Supercaliber is a Formula One race machine with an incredible carbon fibre frame and IsoStrut suspension system.

After Trek brought out its new Top Fuel – a previously 100/100mm travel XC bike that was repurposed for 2020 as a lightweight 120/115mm travel trail speedster – everyone was left wondering what Trek was going to offer the XC purists. That question was answered a few weeks ago with the arrival of the new Supercaliber – a super short-travel World Cup XC race bike that’s built around a svelte carbon fibre chassis with the unique IsoStrut suspension system.

Trek has four Supercaliber models on offer, starting from a paltry $6,500 for the Supercaliber 9.7, and going up to a more robust $11,999 for the Supercaliber 9.9 XX1 shown here. There is also an AXS model in certain markets, and for those who really want to set fire to their wallets, it’s also available on the Project One program, where you can customise the build kit and paint job. Whatever the price point, and whatever your thoughts are on the 60mm of rear travel, there’s no denying that frame is a mighty impressive feat of engineering. Read all about it in our Supercaliber story here, and take a gander at Jolanda Neff’s superb acting skills in the launch video here.

8. Liv Pique Advanced Pro 29 0: $11,999

2020 liv pique advanced pro 29 0 fox live valve
Liv (sister brand to Giant) has made an incredibly bold statement for 2020 with the women’s specific Pique Advanced Pro 29 0 and its Fox Live Valve suspension spec.

The 2020 Pique is big news for Liv Cycling this year, given that it represents several firsts for the women’s specific brand. For a start, it’s the first 29er that Liv has ever made, and it’s also the first full carbon, full suspension bike it has ever offered. On top of that, it’s the first Liv mountain bike to crack through the $10K barrier, and this particular model – the Pique Advanced Pro 29 0 – has done that by some margin.

As you’ll be able to tell by the little battery pack at the base of the downtube, this is also the first (though definitely not the last) bike in our list to feature the Fox Live Valve suspension system. Live Valve only comes on the top-end Pique, though being a lightweight 100/100mm travel XC race bike, it’s something that will appeal to the most competitive racers who will appreciate the automated, efficiency-boosting suspension system. You can read all about the $12K Liv Pique Advanced Pro 29 0 superbike in our story here.

7. Trek Top Fuel 9.9 AXS: $12,999

2020 trek top fuel 9.9 axs
The 2020 Trek Top Fuel has been completely redesigned for this year with more travel, slackened geometry, and a more trail-ready build kit.

Trek enters the list for the third time with another new bike release that stands as the most expensive option in its entire mountain bike line; the Top Fuel – a bike that has been completely redesigned for the 2020 model year. Far from being just a bit of a tweak over the old model, the 2020 Top Fuel gets an entirely new personality courtesy of an increase in suspension travel to 120mm up front and 115mm out back. It’s still meant to be tight and efficient for endurance and marathon racing, but its boosted travel puts it into the short-travel trail ripper territory.

There are seven Top Fuel models available in Australia for 2020, and the range starts at $4,499 for the Top Fuel 8. At the other end of the room is this bike – the Top Fuel 9.9 AXS, which (as you can probably guess) comes with SRAM’s new wireless AXS groupset, which includes a Reverb AXS dropper post. There’s a RockShox Super-Ultimate-Radical-Extreme-Deluxe suspension package, Bontrager carbon wheels, and carbon, well, carbon EVERYTHING. If you feel like the $12,999 price tag is holding you back though, you could always Project One it.

6. Scott Genius 900 Ultimate AXS: $13,649

2020 scott genius 900 ultimate axs fox live valve
The 2020 Scott Genius is the first mass production bike to combine Fox Live Valve suspension with SRAM AXS wireless shifting. Sheesh!

We told you it wouldn’t be the last Live Valve bike in our list!

The 2020 Scott Genius 900 Ultimate slots in as a stupendously pricey bike that (as we understand) is the first mass produced mountain bike to combine Fox Live Valve suspension with SRAM AXS wireless shifting into the one exotic, electrified package. Yes, there are three batteries on this bike that you’ll need to stay on top of charging, and it’s not even an e-MTB!

For that reason we’ve included it in our list, even though it’s not a brand new platform for 2020 – the frame, geometry and suspension design is unchanged from 2019. Completing the package is a set of Syncros carbon wheels, a Kashima-coated Fox Transfer dropper post, and that striking one-piece carbon fibre handlebar/stem. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, this bike will probably do it.

5. Santa Cruz Megatower CC XX1 AXS RSV: $14,999

santa cruz megatower
Santa Cruz released the new Megatower for 2020, and with the top-end trim, this sucker will set you back $15,000.

Santa Cruz is a brand that has spent a considerable amount of time playing in and above the $10K price bracket, so it’s no surprise to see the Californian brand enter our list here. There have been several key 2020 releases for Santa Cruz, including the new Hightower and the radically slack Tallboy, though it has been the big-travel Megatower that has caught most of the attention this year, given that it’s an entirely new model from the tyre’s up.

Being a premium piece of kit, the Megatower is only available in carbon fibre, with complete bikes starting at $8,699 for the Megatower C S model. Got $15K to spare? The top-end spec comes with Santa Cruz’ own Reserve carbon rims, a Fox 36 Factory Series fork, and SRAM XX1 AXS wireless shifting to sate your appetite for bling. But what’s it ride like? And is it for everyone? Mick went along to the launch of the new Santa Cruz Megatower, and you can check out his review and video on the bike here.

4. Specialized S-Works Enduro: $15,000

2020 specialized s-works enduro
Another big-travel 29er, the 2020 Specialized S-Works Enduro is not only the brawniest model yet, it’s also the most expensive Enduro ever.

More big-travel big-wheelers have hit the market in 2020 than ever before, though it was the Specialized Enduro that produced the biggest shockwaves with its radically low-slung frame and Demo-derived suspension design.

Previously available with alloy or carbon frames and with 27.5in or 29in wheels, the 2020 Specialized Enduro hones its focus and goes full race spec with a dedicated carbon fibre chassis and 29in wheels only. The S-Works model shown here drops a bit more weight by going to carbon fibre suspension links, while electing for a slick Shimano XTR 1×12 groupset, Roval Traverse SL wheels, and Fox Kashima-coated suspension. Add in a $1,200 Reverb AXS dropper post and you’ve got yourself one of the most expensive stock enduro bikes on the market. Get the lowdown on the 2020 Specialized Enduro, including all the spec and pricing details on the four spec options available in Australia right here.

3. Yeti SB165 T-Series X01 AXS ZIPP: $15,990

2020 yeti sb165 x01 axs fox dhx2
The SB165 is the newest mountain bike from Yeti, and the Colorado-based brand hasn’t exactly held back with this one.

Much like Santa Cruz, Yeti Cycles was always destined to secure an entry into our expensive bike list, and given how busy the Colorado-based company has been over the past year, there’s certainly plenty to choose from. The SB130 and SB150 29ers were the first of the new breed of the brand’s ‘Super Bikes’, though this year it’s all about the 27.5in models – the SB140 and the SB165. The latter is the newest model from Yeti, and it currently stands as the longest travel option in the yard.

How expensive is it? A Yeti SB165 T-Series frame on its own sells in Australia for $5,890. Complete bikes kick off with the SRAM GX Eagle spec for $9,990, and top out at an extraordinary $15,990 for the X01 AXS ZIPP model. That particular spec is basically the same as the bike shown above, complete with Fox Factory Series suspension and dropper post, albeit with an upgrade to those new ZIPP 3ZERO MOTO carbon wheels that we currently have on test. Holy toledo!

2. Pivot Mach 4 SL XTR Team Live Valve: $16,499

2020 pivot mach 4 sl xtr live valve
Pivot Cycles unveiled its new Mach 4 SL this year, which is the first bike it’s built from the ground-up with the Fox Live Valve suspension system.

As another one of the US boutique brands alongside the likes of Intense, Yeti and Santa Cruz, Pivot Cycles has been cranking out high-performance mountain bikes for over a decade now, starting out with the original Mach 4 back in 2007. Fast forward to this year, and Pivot has pulled the wrappers off its brand new Mach 4 SL – a lightweight, 100mm travel full suspension XC race bike that features one of the best looking frame designs we’ve seen from the Arizona-based company.

Being a premium race bike, the Mach 4 SL is only available in carbon fibre, though there’s a few spec options available, with prices starting at $7,999 for the XT model. The bike we tested at this year’s Port to Port however, was the all-singing, all-dancing, all-juggling Mach 4 SL Team XTR Live Valve model, which (please grab a seat right now) has a list price of $16,499. Is it possible to spend more than that? Why yes, yes it is! There’s a $16,999 model with SRAM XX1. Wowsers.

Is it that good? Chris and Wil have both ridden it, and they say ‘YES!Check out our review on the Pivot Mach 4 SL here.

1. Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo: $18,000

2020 specialized s-works turbo levo ebike emtb electric mountain bike axs
And the priciest bike in our list? That would be another Specialized S-Works model – the Turbo Levo e-MTB, which sells for a cool $18,000. AY CARAMBA!

And that leaves us with number one. The final, and most expensive bike in our list is the 2020 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo – a high-performance carbon fibre e-MTB that is selling in Australia for $18,000. Like the Scott Genius, the Turbo Levo isn’t strictly new for 2020, but we just had to include it in this list. Because, well, $18,000!

The new generation Turbo Levo was actually launched late last year, and for 2020 the same FACT 11m carbon fibre chassis carries over along with the huge 700Wh battery and Brose 2.1 motor system. The S-Works model has been updated for this year with several new spec features, including the RockShox Reverb AXS – a wireless dropper post that sells for $1,200 on its own. There’s also a Kashima suspension package from Fox Racing Shox, carbon wheels from Roval, SRAM Code RSC brakes, a Deity stem, carbon Specialized handlebars, carbon Praxis Works cranks, and a titanium-railed saddle. Pretty bonkers hey?

If $18,000 is just a little too much to spend, you’ll be happy to know that the 2020 range kicks off at $7,600 for the alloy model. For those who are curious as to how it rides, make sure you check out our long term review of the Specialized Turbo Levo Expert right here.

Tell Us What You Think

And that concludes our list of the most expensive production mountain bikes for 2020! So what do you folks think? Have you been wooed by the state-of-the-art tech? Are there bikes here that you’re lusting to own yourself, or is your budget somewhere further down the line? And do you think mountain bikes are becoming more expensive in general, or is it just these flagship models with their Live Valve and AXS components that are pushing up the price ceiling compared to previous years?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, so make sure you leave us your comments and questions below!

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