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Since a few years, as more and more women are joining the mountain biking family, there is a question that came up a lot. What are the best mountain bikes for women? At first, I thought that was a weird question. Isn’t a bike, a bike, regardless of the rider. But, no, when you think about it a little further there are differences between men and women riders.

What Is A Mountain Bike for Women?

Just as there is no female body type. So, there is neither a unique geometric shape nor a set of features that distinguish women’s bikes from men’s or unisex bikes. But most brands agree that the average woman is shorter or lighter than the average man.

Women’s bikes are often small in size and are not offered in unisex versions, including the XS and XXS. Some companies, like Specialized and Santa Cruz, believe that a good bike doesn’t need a different geometry to work with male or female riders.

All the offerings of the women’s models of these brands include suitable shock absorbers for the lighter rider and contact points specific to women, such as the female saddle, shorter cranks and narrower handlebar. Other brands, such as Liv and Canyon, go even further, believing that women benefit most from tight-fitting frameworks based on empirical research on female musculature.

6 women mountain bikes

Women’s mountain bikes meant smaller, pinker versions of men’s bikes. Fortunately, times have changed. Today, “especially for women” means geometrically adapted unisex models designed on purpose.

We are currently witnessing a turnaround. Brands continue to enter the women’s market for the first time. While brands that have been in the women’s game for centuries (including Liv, Trek and Cannondale) are constantly improving existing products.

There is currently a wide variety of options specifically for women. But ultimately the best bike for you depends on your budget, skills, physique and riding style. To narrow down your choices, choose a price range and take your list on a test drive. Or, at least, sit on a few bikes at the store. Here are 10 cycling summaries of the best mountain bikes for women in 2020.

Best Mountain Bike Under $1,000

For this price, look for an alloy hard tail (front suspension only) with forks with coil springs for quiet driving on and off the road.

2020 Trek WSD marlin 5 Women Mountain Bike

1. Trek WSD Marlin 5 Mountain Bike 2020

The Marlin 5 is designed to move from the Pavement to the Trails.

Price: $660 CAD
Frame Sizes: XS–ML
Wheel Sizes: 27.5″ (XS-S), 29″ (M-ML)

Trek pioneered women’s bikes with a specific design (WSD) in the 1990s and has been strong ever since. If you’re new to off-road, but also need a bike to travel, see Marlin 5. Designed to move from curb to track, it has a 100mm Suntour fork. Plus, there is a kickstand and rack mounts for tearing around town. Do you plan to spend more time off the road than on the road? WSD Marlin 6 or WSD Marlin 7 are excellent (but more expensive) options.

2. Marin Wildcat Trail WFG 1 Mountain Bike 2020

Updates for 2020 include a new frame, hydraulic discs and more travel.

Price: $580 CAD
Frame Sizes: XS–L
Wheel Size: 27.5”

Wildcats are specifically designed for women. And Trail 1 is ready to welcome you into the world of mountain biking. Updated for 2020, the all-new frame and updated geometry mean the head tube angles are a degree freer. And the seat tubes are one-degree steeper. Also, hydraulic discs have been added, and the fork travel is 130mm (instead of 100mm). Available in metallic gray or dark turquoise.


3. Cannondale Tango 5 Mountain Bike 2020

Tango 5 is ideal for field beginners.

Price: $700 CAD
Frame Sizes: XS–L
Wheel Sizes: 27.5″ (XS-S), 29″ (M-L)

Founded in the attic above a pickle factory in 1971, Cannondale has been in the cycling world for almost 50 years. In the latest women-specific lines, beginner off-roaders should look at the latest Tango 5. Tang’s new SmartForm C3 alloy frame comes in an understated meteor gray color. It gives 100mm on Suntour forks. And it is designed to be light, stiff and strong all good.

Best Mountain Bikes Between $1000 – $3000

Expect a better-quality alloy frame and better-quality air forks/coil-sprung, ready to ride on the trails. And at the top of this price range, you can easily move on to the premium area of ​​hard tail and full suspension.

4. Trek Women’s Roscoe 6 Mountain Bike 2020

Wide and greasy tires make it ideal when cycling luggage is a regular day.

Price: $1,230 CAD
Frame Sizes: XS–ML
Wheel Size: 27.5”

Ready and eager for big days on the track, the big tires of this hardtail (27.5″ x 2.80″) set it apart. Indeed, it’s providing traction and momentum over ruts and roots. When cycling luggage is regular, these wider tires are ideal for carrying heavy loads. The female model has narrower handlebars, and a female-specific saddle. Moreover, a color option between Matte Black and Glossy Miami Green Pale and Matte Mulberry/Glossy Rose Gold. It also comes with SR Suntour XCM 32 fork with a travel of 120 mm. Big budgets and serious bikers should check out Roscoe 8 for women as well.

2020 Cannondale Habit Women's 3 Mountain Bike

5. Cannondale Habit Women’s 3 Mountain Bike 2020

2020 Habit Women 3 is truly worth a visit.

Price: $2,700 CAD
Frame Sizes: XS–M
Wheel Sizes: 27.5″ (XS), 29″ (S-M)

This full-suspension alloy frame, optimized for women, was redesigned in 2019. Using Cannondale’s philosophy of proportional response size specific engineering aiming at giving every rider a safer ride. It’s better equipped for moving on trails than ever before. You should expect a wide handlebar, 150mm travel, 29-inch wheels / 27.5″ on XS frames, a telescopic seat and an ergonomic front seat.

6. Canyon Spectral Women’s Mountain Bike AL 6.0

Upgrading to the entry-level AL 4.0, the AL 6.0 offers a 12-speed manual transmission.

Price: Approximately $3,300 CAD
Frame Sizes: 2XS–M
Wheel Size: 27.5”

Canyon launched its first mountain bikes specifically for women in 2018 and has since improved its offering. With a 150mm fork travel, the Women’s Spectral was created by analyzing more than 70,000 data entries in its online sizing tool. New for 2020, the AL 6.0 is an upgrade to the entry-level AL 4.0, with 12 gears (instead of 11).

Best Mountain Bikes between $3000 – $5000

Expect top-of-the-line alloy frames with better suspension and a complete component and upgrade.

2020 Liv PIque 29 Women Mountain Bike

7. Liv Pique 29 2 Women’s Mountain Bike 2020

Fully suspended off-road machine of the only brand especially for women.

Price: $3,300 CAD
Frame Sizes: XS–M
Wheel Size: 29”

Giant’s sister company Liv was launched in 2008 as the first and only brand of bicycles specifically for women. Indeed, all bikes are designed by women for women and are optimized for women’s build using a global body database. If you’re a fan of the 29ers, try the Pique 29 2. This is a new bike for 2020. And this full-suspension crossover was created for speed. It also has a front and rear travel of 100mm, a lightweight alloy frame and 29-inch wheels that roll quickly.

8. Norco Sight A2 Alloy 27.5 Women’s Mountain Bike 2020

With the Sight A2 you can adjust the bike to your metrics.

Price: $4,600 CAD
Frame Sizes: S–XL
Wheel Sizes: 27.5″ or 29″

The 2020 Sight full-suspension series uses Norco’s Ride Aligned™ design system to adapt each bike to the rider. In fact, it uses individual statistics, precise suspension kinematics, and app-based help technology to optimize your personal preferences. The A2 features for women include a long travel dropper seat. And also features a rear travel of 160 mm and a front travel of 170 mm.

Best Mountain Bikes $5,000 and Up

Top quality carbon or alloy frames and some of the best suspensions and components you can buy.

9. Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 Women’s Mountain Bike 2020

Award-winning and quite beautiful, Liv is full of surprising features.

Price: $5,300 CAD
Frame Size: XS–M
Wheel Size: 27.5”

Now you are serious about the saddle, and when you are not riding, you dream of tracks. The award-winning Intrigue Advanced 1 is awesome. Extremely light (about 28 kilograms) with a carbon front and alloy rear. You should expect a Fox 36 fork with 155mm of travel at the front and 145mm at the rear. The latest improvements include sleek black and new brakes, upgraded from SRAM Guide RS to SRAM G2 RSC.

Juliana Maverick 2020 Women's Mountain Bike

10. Juliana Maverick Women’s Mountain Bike 2020

Maverick’s built-in flip chip allows you to control angles.

Price: $5,695 CAD
Frame Size: XS–M
Wheel Size: 29”

This all-mountain bicycle is designed to stand out. With 140mm of rear track and 150mm of front, the little Maverick won’t come down or climb. Indeed, the VPP forearm suspension and 29-inch wheels give you efficiency and confidence when turning the pedals. And the integrated folding chip allows you to detach the headtube and release the lower bracket. Available in Hot Tomato and Purple, this bike is ready to use.

These are the best mountain bikes for women in 2020. However, there are, of course, a lot more models available to you. The final choice will always depend on your budget, your riding style and personal preferences. And indubitably the best way to decide which one is right for you is to try as many as you can.

Let me know what’s the best mountain bikes for women, or for men, in your opinion?

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