So, you want to go mountain biking? Or maybe you want to take your ride to the next level? You’ve probably noticed that the sport is growing all over the country and around the world. And now some of your friends if not all have taken to the trail. They started shredding the single track whenever the opportunity arises. But the world of mountain biking and more precisely the world of women-specific mountain biking is only a vague concept in your head. No worries, we’re here for you.
We know, the world of mountain biking has long been considered intimidating for those who want to try it. The equipment is expensive, and there are a lot of moving parts. It can also be more than a little scary. You need to learn the jargon too, and the local trails. It takes time. And it is not always easy to find patient people to teach you the techniques. Regardless of your gender, the sport shows a steep learning curve. And an even greater commitment to those who want to dive. There is no denying that it is harder for women to dive into mountain biking, as in most action sports. But that was until recently.
Women and Mountain Biking
In recent years, not only has the sport of mountain biking exploded across the country, but more women are also riding on two wheels! With this increased participation of women, incredible efforts and innovations have been made for women-specific mountain biking resources. Simply think of Liv, encouraging women to follow her example. Moreover, supporting and promoting women who have opened up the world for years. It’s a great time when the women’s side of the sport is taking momentum and getting the attention it deserves. Indeed, there really isn’t a better time than now to give it a try!
To help you navigate this complex new world, we’ve broken everything down. We’ll show each of the entire women-specific mountain biking brands, groups, gear, and effort we liked for specific women. However, keep in mind that while these resources are extremely useful to many women, most of the information in this article applies to all genders. Indeed, just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you can’t trust unisex and male sources too.
Our main recommendation is to go out and give it a try before you buy! Inquire and see if any of your friends have a bike that you can borrow or buy for cheap. There are also numerous demo days held by retailers and brands across the country. Leave your driver’s license on the table and ride a bike for free for a few hours. Simply put on your helmet, and you can hit the trails and shred.
Your local bike shop can also rent/demonstrate bikes from their shop. Although this is paid on a daily fee and can add up if you want to try out several models. It is still a good way to do. But, whatever you do, don’t shop until you get a better idea of what kind of riding you want to do. And, of course, how much you’d like to invest in the sport, both in money and time. You can also check out our article about “The Best Mountain Bikes for Women” to help you choose.
The world of cycling is flourishing, and bicycles for women-specific mountain biking have received a lot of attention. At the beginning of your bike search, keep in mind that the rise of “women’s bikes” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ride or buy a standard unisex mountain bike. Which bike you buy depends on a myriad of variables: riding style, terrain type, size and weight, geometry, suspension, price, climbing and descending ability, just to name a few. In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences and what you can do or want to pay.
Women-Specific Bike Design
The popularity of women-specific mountain biking bicycles designed is growing. And the design itself is becoming very good. You should keep them on your radar while progressing in the sports and moving to better bikes. Check out these brands to see some of the best women’s bikes on the market and see if they have bike demonstrations near you:
- Manufacturers of women’s bicycles: Liv, Juliana
- Bicycle manufacturers that produce excellent bikes only for men and women: Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Yeti, Scott, Cube, Marin
Being a woman in action sports can be quite frustrating when it comes to gear. There are often little or no specific choices for women. And the “pink it and shrink it “mentality is still big. Even if it’s unflattering fits, and boxy or just mediocre designs with little regard for diversity. It’s like manufacturers in sports have forgotten that the shape and size of the body of women is different. That we also have different tastes. And not all women love pink or aqua.
But as the sport progresses, mountain bike brands have been shown to give thoughts to women on bikes. Hence, offering an incredible variety of well-designed clothing and accessories. And, sometimes even designed by women for women. Again, there’s no reason women can’t or shouldn’t wear men’s clothing or even children’s clothing. However, with so many great options today, we think you should know where to look for some of the best brands of women-specific mountain biking clothing. And always have great fit, comfort and look.
Specific Brands for Women:
Liv, Shredly, Shebeest, Leoka Clothing, Wild Rye
Bicycle Brands that Make Excellent Equipment for Men and Women:
Zoic, Troy Lee Designs, Fox, Kitsbow, Club Ride Apparel, Gore Apparel, Giro, Dakine, RaceFace, Sombrio, Specialized, Flare Clothing, 7Mesh Inc., Trek, Scott Sport, POC Sport, DHaRCO, Pearl Izumi, Endura Sport, Maloja, Sweet Protection, EVOC, Five Ten, 100%, IXS, Ion
A good place to look for equipment and shop is Jane Dirty. An online women’s bike store that offers a wide range of brands, especially for women who want to look and feel “badass” while riding their bike. These women know what they are doing. They have created an amazing resource for the community that surrounds women on bikes. Be it mountain biking, city riding, or cycling.
These days, there are a lot of resources available to you. For beginners and advanced riders, different avenues are at your figure tips. You can simply jump on your bike, find a trail, and start pedaling. It might be the easiest way to start, but it’s also the hardest way to learn. You can choose to read articles like “Beginner’s Guide to Mountain Biking” or “5 Basic Mountain Bike Riding Tips”. They are great, but you also need to practice, and practice, and practice again. And one of the best ways to do so is by finding a great riding group or camps and clinics.
To learn about local routes, group rides, women’s initiatives, and all things mountain biking in your area, it’s best to visit your local bike shop also known as your LBS. Women’s groups exist in most mountain towns and villages. They allow women of all skill levels, ages, and experience levels to gather and share trails in a low-pressure environment. They are also encouraging and helpful to learn new skills. Furthermore, they often end up gathering with a cold beer after the day, which never hurts!
You can always check out some of the national groups that are dedicated to attracting more women to the sport. Indeed, most offer mountain bike lessons, rides, and clinics across the country designed for women-specific mountain biking. Some examples of this are SheJumps, And She Dope Too, MudBunnies, ShredSisters, and Outdoor Women Alliance.
Riding Camps, Clinics, Courses
Another great way to start mountain biking is to attend a skills clinic, course, or skills camp. These are also great to help you take your riding to the next level. And not only can you spend some quality time working on your riding skills with professional instructors, but you’ll enter the world of women-specific mountain biking in its purest form. You’ll discover a whole new community of women.
Today, there are so many different options, both for mixed groups and just for women. However, some companies stand out. Whether you are new to mountain biking, a seasonal rider with a few races below her belt, a repurposed rider who wants to shred, or just hoping to use your technique on two wheels, these national programs should be on your radar:
Camps, Clinics, And Special Programs for Women:
Liv Ladies AllRide, Little Bellas, ROAM events, Grit Clinics, Bell Helmets Joy Ride Program, Trek’s Dirt Series, KEEN’s Rippin Chix, Yeti’s Vida MTB Series, Dirt Divas, and many others!
Camps, Clinics, and Programs for Women Only and Mixed Options:
Sundance MTB Skills Clinic, Sacred Rides, REI, Better Ride, Chasing Epic Specialized, ZEP techniques, and more.
There are also a lot of professional riders who have started their own training clinics. Indeed, you should check these out: Alison Dunlap Adventure Camps, Lorraine Blancher Training and Guide, I Choose Bikes Leigh Donovan, and Rebecca Rusch.
Another great way to start mountain biking is to participate in one or more women-specific mountain biking events. Or even nonspecific mountain biking events. Some of our favorite big brands are in fact hosting such events. Indeed, they range from trips, races, and festivals on mountain bikes to larger outdoor events that gather women outdoors from all walks of life, including mountain biking! More and more of these events are popping up in every state, province and country. But if interested here are a few of our favorites to check out:
Solid Dirty Enduro Series
The world’s first women’s enduro racing series with race locations in Washington, Oregon, and California!
Yeti’s Beti Bike Bash
The world’s largest mountain bike event for women only, with racing, clinics, and fun!
Liv Ladies AllRides
There are signature Ladies AllRide events in epic riding locations around the world. Indeed, these events are designed to helping women to face fears, believe in themselves and get RAD on their mountain bikes.
Super fun three-day outdoor weekends designed for women. This is perfect for those who want to try mountain biking and other activities for the first time!
And She Dope Too Rendezvous
“Safe, non-judgmental camps for women ready for more adventure, regardless of their skill level.” Women can choose from many types of activities, including mountain biking!
SheJumps Bike Events
SheJumps is a national non-profit organization dedicated to involving more women and girls in outdoor activities. And luckily mountain biking events are one of their specialties! With local branches nationwide in small mountain towns and big cities.
SheJumps also offers a lot of training related to cycling and women’s entertainment opportunities. There will certainly be something near you.
Being a woman in mountain biking today is great. A lot of activities are indeed tailored to us. To our needs and way of learning and doing. The world of women-specific mountain biking is one that is getting bigger each day. And it’s one worth joining. So, grab your handlebar and start shredding. See you on the trail!
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