Manufacturers have started producing bikes that are made from the ground up for women, instead of just continuing to churn out badly repurposed men’s bikes that “sort of” appeal to women or getting marketing departments to persuade women to buy ill-fitted unisex bikes.
These female-centric bicycles are usually adjusted in a few key ways for the rider, featuring shorter cranks, narrower bars and grips, and lighter suspension tunes. These changes result in a more comfortable and more suitable bike for most female riders.
So, I rounded up the best women´s mountain bikes below and we’re highly confident there’s something in our list that will be perfect for you.
We’ve included a wide variety of high-quality bikes that are made for ladies. These include trail bikes, mountain bikes, cross-country bikes, mountain and trail combos as well as an enduro bike.
While all the bicycles on this list are primarily made for women, not all women are the same and preferences can differ according to taste, style, height, and weight.
Hence, I’ve taken extra care to provide a breadth of choice for the rider when it comes to mountain bikes below, so you can maximize the chances of finding women-specific bicycles that truly meet your needs.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Mountain Bikes for Women
- Top 7 Best Mountain Bikes for Women 2020 – Our Reviews:
- The Bottom Line
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Mountain Bikes for Women
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the mountain bicycles for women that most people buy).
- Liv Pique Advanced Pro 29 1 Top Pick
- Juliana Maverick XO1 Runner-up
- Cannondale Habit Women’s 3 Runner-up
Top 7 Best Mountain Bikes for Women 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Liv Pique Advanced Pro 29 1
First up we have the Liv Pique Advanced 29. Unlike most bike manufacturers that are just getting into the world of female bikes, Giant, the company that owns the Liv brand, has been producing female-specific bikes for longer than anyone else. Hence, it’s now a brand synonymous with high-quality women´s mountain bikes.
The Liv Pique features an ultra-tough carbon frame with added stiffness, so this thing is incredibly strong and can really take a beating on the track or trails.
The bike has what the company term “Maestro Suspension” technology which provides an impressive 100 mm suspension on the front and back, giving you ample stability for a smooth ride on even the roughest terrains and punishing trails.
Further, the bike features the impressive Shimano’s Deore XT’s, which is a premium line from Shimano, providing clear evidence that no expense was spared when producing this beauty.
Like most mountain bikes, it comes in three sizes for the rider: XS, S, and M.
- Very tough and durable carbon fiber frame that suits any riding style when mountain biking
- 100 mm suspension on the front and back
- Impressive Shimano Deore XT’s
- Valve system levels can’t be easily adjusted by the bike owner
2. Juliana Maverick XO1
Next is the Juliana Maverick XO1 mountain bike which is a jaw-droppingly beautiful entry, much like one of our other favorites from this brand, the Juliana Furtado. Every inch of this bike has been thoughtfully designed with the best materials possible.
We’re talking a robust and super durable Carbon CC frame, RockShox Lyrik 150mm fork, SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, and SRAM Code RSC brakes with 180 mm rotors. See, I wasn’t kidding when we said no expense has been spared.
This is a bike that has a generous feature set and quality of the best male and unisex mountain bikes, but one that is truly designed specifically for women. I’m also a fan of its female-specific saddle and, more importantly, a suspension tube designed to suit lighter bodies.
The bike has 29-inch wheels and comes in three sizes and is the perfect all-round bike as it’s suitable for trail and all-mountain biking, so this is one of those bicycles that suit many riding styles and can be used as a cross-country bike too.
- Longer reach and steeper seat angle making it perfect for the female body type
- One of the most feature-rich women-specific bikes on this list
- Gorgeous style; strong carbon frame
- Variety of frame sizes
- 29-inch wheel size
- Not cheap, but worth every penny for a great women´s mountain bike
3. Cannondale Habit Women’s 3
This is one of the most impressive female-centric trail mountain bikes we’ve ever come across, ever.
This bad boy from Cannondale has a SmartForm C1 alloy frame material, a RockShox Recon RL suspension fork as well as Shimano SLX 11-speed gearsets, and complimentary Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes.
The bike’s style features innovative trail geometry with a clever 66-degree headtube angle coupled with a steep seat tube angle, which puts you in the perfect position for steep trails and gets the saddle nice and low and out of the way.
This bike has a 29″ wheel size, thick tires with impressive grip, and 130 mm of front and rear travel.
The bike also features a reversible flip chip which lets you accurately tweak the geometry of the bike at any time by simply raising the bottom bracket to make the head angle steeper.
All in all, this is a trail bike with a style that’s truly engineered for ladies without sacrificing any of the things that make the best unisex and general trail bikes on the market great.
- Beautiful SmartForm C1 alloy frame material
- Impressive hydraulic disk brakes for mountain biking
- Perfect for trails
- 130 mm of front travel and 130 mm of rear travel
- Good number of frame sizes
- Quite a heavy bike
- Not the most comfortable seat in the world for a women´s mountain bike
4. Fuse Comp 29
Now we get to the Fuse Comp 29 full-suspension bike, a true hardtail mountain bike that’s great for ambitious trails or trek. This is a hardtail bike that has been successfully built from the ground up for women and is one of the few that are truly up to the task.
The Fuse Comp 29 features an M4 lightweight aluminum frame chassis which is truly the best material for a bike body. Seriously, nothing beats an aluminum frame, and this specific frame is balanced in a way that allows you to ride playfully as well as seriously.
There’s a bunch of little things that I love about this bike that really adds up to an impressive riding experience. This includes the wide-diameter down tube which significantly boosts stiffness and the low-slung top tube which really helps when trying to maneuver around tricky bends.
This full-suspension bike features 130 mm of RockShox Recon RL suspension, SRAM level disc brakes, and an impressive TransX dropper post. Oh, it also has the SX Eagle 12-speed drive train.
This thing is kitted up! It’s seriously a feature-rich women’s hardtail mountain bike that can conquer the most treacherous trails.
Want to know the best thing of all about this mountain bike?
Besides the TransX dropper post, it’s that the Fuse Comp 29 comes in 5 sizes (size XS, S, M, L, XL). So, you’re almost certain to find one that is the perfect fit for your size and weight.
Not many bicycles start from size XS, so this is a big benefit.
The Fuse Comp 29 is easily one of the best hardtail mountain bikes, and the fact that it’s engineered for women is a massive bonus. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be used as a cross-country bike.
- Comes in a wide range of sizes for a women-specific bike
- Plenty of gears with a very good range
- Exceptional RockShox full suspension mountain bike
- Great lightweight aluminum frame material
- Brilliant TransX dropper post
- Geometry could do with some improvement
5. Canyon Spectral WMN CF 9.0 SL
The Canyon Spectral WMN mountain bike boasts a style and geometry that perfectly suits most ladies.
This is because it was developed using real-life data from a database of body dimensions collected from an online fit system. A notable difference is that the reach of the cycle is 10 mm shorter.
This is one of the few manufacturers that have gone to significant lengths to create a bike specifically for women.
On a test ride on a pretty ambitious trek, the Canyon Spectral exceeded most expectations as it provided an incredibly comfortable ride, even on the roughest terrain.
The cycle features 27.5-inch wheels with 150 mm of travel on the front and 140 mm of travel at the back. The bike uses impressive Fox Factory 34 Float forks which have a lighter than average, tune making it perfect for most female riders.
The SRAM X1/X01 groupset gives you a really generous range of gears which, when combined with the light weight of the bike, allows you to effortlessly spin up long climbs or steep inclines.
- SRAM X1/XO1 group set provides a generous number of high-quality gears
- 150 mm travel on the front and rear
- Great geometry that suits most female riders
- A truly thoughtfully designed women´s specific mountain bike
- Some women find the reach a little too short
6. Calibre Bossnut Ladies
The Ladies Bossnut is a completely redesigned version of the company’s best-selling Bossnut for the female clientele.
Some have termed it an “entry-level” women´s mountain bike, but I feel that’s doing it a disservice, as this bike is incredibly feature-rich and is “entry-level” only in price.
It’s an incredibly affordable but high-quality women´s mountain bike that has a range of women-specific components and full suspension tuning. The bike is perfect for trek, trail, or general cross-country riding.
The women’s version of this best-selling bike features noticeably smaller grips, narrower bars, and a female-specific saddle. It truly is a bike made for women from the ground up.
There’s also a much lighter tube on the rear full suspension, making it a lot more suitable for women than the normal version of this bike.
There are further changes with the stem length, which is frame size-specific, with a 17.5″ stem length for the small bike, 19.5″ stem length for the medium frame size bike, and 60 mm stem length for the 21.5″ large fame version of the bike. All stem lengths have been reconfigured for women.
The bike features a Shimano Deore 2x 10-speed groupset which provides a large number of well-functioning gears.
There’s also the Shimano M447 brakes which are a reliable pair of hydraulic disc brakes. To have full hydraulic brakes in a bike at this price point is truly impressive and is evidence of the Bossnut’s emphasis on giving the best value for money.
- Incredibly great value for money for a women´s specific bike
- High-quality hydraulic brakes at a great price
- Smaller grips, narrower bars, and redesigned saddle that are very women specific
- Provides multiple touch points
- Gorgeous frame designs
- The color choice may not suit some for their ride
7. Salsa HorseThief SLX
Finally, we have the Salsa HorseThief SLX, and before we go any further, I must say that its super unique name is definitely one I’m not going to forget any time soon.
The HorseThief features an incredibly smooth Shimano SLX groupset with very strong 4 piston brakes, giving you the peace of mind you deserve when you’re on ambitious trail riding days.
The HorseThief has a short stem and wide bar, making it perfect for female riders when they go trail riding.
The bike has 140 mm front suspension and a little less at the back with 120 mm suspension. The suspension was very good in my tests and absorbed bumps on trails amazingly.
The HorseThief also has flip chip technology which is well integrated directly into the shock link mount, allowing for quick and easy adjustments to the bottom bracket height and the head tube angle with nothing more than a trusty hex key included in most bike tool kits.
- Features super high-quality Shimano SLX group sets
- Strong 4 piston brakes for a very safe ride
- 140 mm and 120 mm rear suspension mountain bike
- Well-functioning flip-chip technology built-in
- One of the most feature-rich women-specific mountain bikes
- Quite a heavy cycle, especially as it’s made for women
The Bottom Line
There you have it guys, a round-up of the best women´s mountain bikes on the market right now. I’m glad that we’ve finally entered an era where manufacturers are producing high-quality bicycles made specifically for female riders, with their unique needs at the forefront of their minds.
There’s a handful of bicycles that narrowly missed our top list that truly deserve an honorable mention, and these include the Santa Cruz Juliana Furtado, Marin Rift Zone 1, the Yeti Betty, Liv Tempt, and Liv Intrigue.
However, sometime in the future, I may do a part two of this article and include the Santa Cruz Juliana Furtado, the Yeti Betty, and Liv Intrigue, among others. Co-op Cycles is a brand worth looking into as well.
To summarise, if you’re looking for the best women´s trail bike, then the HorseThief SLX will have to take it. If you’re in need of the best trail and all-mountain bike combo, then my vote goes to the Juliana Maverick XO1.
If you want the best of the women´s bikes possible but you’re on a budget, then look no further than the Ladies Bossnut. Finally, if you want my opinion on the best all-rounder, then I would have to give that crown to the Liv Pique Advanced Pro 29 1.