Best Women's Mountain Bikes

Women's Mountain Bikes - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Women's Mountain Bikes

Need Help Choosing Women's Mountain Bikes?

Women's Mountain Bike Buyers Guide

You may think that mountain bikes are unisex, and anyone can ride them without any issues! But that's not true. You will find some unisex options in the market, but buying a gender-specific bike is essential since riding a bike on a mountain needs more control and stability.

If you are a woman who wants to enjoy biking on trails, then you need the best women's mountain bike. Choosing a mountain bike isn't easy, and when it comes to choosing it for women, things can get more complex.

The size, weight, and suspension are the foremost factors when buying a mountain bike. To make things easier for you, we are here with a comprehensive buyer's guide that will assist you in buying the best bike.

Go through the guide and note down the essential factors you should check before selecting a bike.

Why is it essential to check this buyer's guide?

Buying a mountain bike isn’t just checking the brand and the price. You need to check a lot of factors to ensure that you have a decent experience with the bike. A mountain bike has to withstand a lot of impacts and wear and tear, so it should be durable, lightweight, and comfortable.

Ease of riding

If you select a mountain bike with the help of this buyer's guide, then you get a bike that's easy to ride. Generally, women have different body posture than men, so their bikes should also be different.

Better control

The best women’s mountain bike will reward you with better control. Mountain biking is all about control due to the rough terrain and hard-to-ride paths. Choosing a bike based on the below-mentioned factors will assure that you get a bike that offers better riding control.

Comfortable

Riding comfort comes from a plethora of things such as suspension, seat, and tires. In this guide, we have mentioned these things in detail so that you get ultimate comfort while riding.

Factors to look for when buying a women’s mountain bike

Trying to find out the best women’s mountain bike? You are at the right place. The factors listed below will help you in selecting a suitable mountain bike that’s fully under your control and helps you in unleashing your performance.

For ease, we have classified these factors into multiple categories, so buying a bike becomes easier for you.

Types of mountain bikes

When choosing a mountain bike, you will come across multiple types. Each type has its pros and cons on different terrains, so it becomes even important to choose the right type.

Cross-country mountain bikes

Commonly known as XC bikes, these are ideal for efficiency and speed. If you want good speed to use the bike for racing with your buddies, then these can be an ideal choice. Cross-country bikes are light in weight, and that's what makes them fast and efficient.

You will find multiple XC bikes are available in both full suspension and hardtail options. The typical suspension range is somewhere around 80mm to 120 mm. The wheel size is around 29er. These bikes are easy to handle and come with disc and regular brakes.

Also, you can carry the bike on your shoulder as these are lightweight.

Trail mountain bikes

Trail mountain bikes are what most ladies buy when looking for mountain bikes. These sporty bikes are perfect for different terrains, and you can ride them up or down the trails. The design of the bike is neutral, and you cannot lean with it.

These bikes usually feature rear and front suspension to absorb the impact while giving the rider optimal comfort required while riding. Also, the suspension can travel between 110mm – 150mm. Trail mountain bikes are lightweight and made using sturdy materials like aluminum.

Fat mountain bikes

Fat-tire bikes have extra thick tires that can go up to 5" in thickness. The tires are ideal for riding the bike even on low pressure. If you want to ride the mountain bike in an area with snow, then fat mountain bikes are the best.

You won't find any suspension system in these bikes as these are not built for going up and down the trail. Also, you will get predictable handling due to the neutral geometry, so handling the bike is easy. Comfort won’t be an issue as the thick tires can absorb the impacts.

Downhill mountain bikes

These mountain bikes are perfect for going down the trail with extreme speeds. The bikes have a durable frame and an excellent suspension system that can easily absorb the shock and impact. You cannot use these bikes to ride up the hill, and that's why these are suitable for competitions where you can use the chairlift to take the bike up.

The burly rear and front suspension have an excellent travel of 170mm – 250 mm. When choosing the tires, you will get options such as 29er and 27.5er. The geometry of downhill mountain bikes makes them best-suited for the trickiest terrains where the rider needs more riding confidence.

All-mountain bikes

Commonly known as enduro bikes, these are the better version of trail bikes, and obviously more expensive than them. You can climb up or down the hill with these bikes because these are ideal for technical, fast, and steep slopes.

You will love to ride these bikes on technical terrains and while performing jumps. The slacker head tube angles give you the confidence required while biking, so you get better control over the bike. These bikes feature front and rear suspension systems so you can rest assured about the comfort.

Frame materials

The frame material influences multiple things, including performance, weight, ride quality, durability, strength, and much more. You need to select a mountain bike that's made with high-quality material so that the frame doesn't crack while riding.

Here are the common materials used to manufacture mountain bike frames.

Aluminum alloy

Most mountain bikes are made using aluminum as the material is sturdy, lightweight, and cheap. You can consider aluminum for some regular riding tasks such as going up and gown or riding on flat trails. Also, the frame is resistant to rust, and that is another benefit you will get with an aluminum frame.

Carbon fiber

Carbon fiber is relatively lightweight as compared to aluminum. Also, you have to spend more to get carbon fiber mountain bikes as the material is expensive. You will see a lot of fat bikes, downhill bikes made with carbon fiber.

However, the material is prone to cracking, and the frame can get damaged due to high impacts. You have to be extra careful when riding a mountain bike with a carbon fiber frame.

Titanium

Titanium is a highly durable and sturdy material that can easily bear the impact without getting damaged. Only a few bikes come with titanium frames as the material is exorbitant, and you have to spend thousands of dollars to buy the bike.

Biking enthusiasts usually go for titanium frames as the bike is lightweight and sturdy.

Brakes

Brakes are another most essential component of mountain bikes, as everything depends on it. While going downhill, you need powerful brakes that can stop the bike so that you have better control over it. Mountain bikes come with two types of brakes that are as the following.

Disc brakes

Most mountain bikes come with disc brakes as these have replaced the regular rim brakes. But that doesn’t mean that rim brakes are useless. You should choose the brakes depending on why you need a bike and where you will be using it.

Disc brakes

These brakes feature a disc that comes covered with pads. When you press the brake lever, the pad restricts the movement of the disc, and it ultimately stops the bike. You will find two options in the disc brakes i.e.

Mechanical

These brakes require more power as a cable connects the brake lever and the braking mechanism. These are available on inexpensive bikes.

Hydraulic

Hydraulic brakes are easy to use, and just a touch is enough to decrease the bike’s speed. These brakes need more maintenance, but these are suitable for technical trails.

Pros

  • The brakes have better braking power as compared to rim brakes.
  • You get excellent braking in all weather, including wet.
  • The braking system prevents skidding, so you will enjoy them on downhill trails.

Cons

  • Brake pads require timely servicing and maintenance.
  • The complex braking mechanism and the brakes are expensive.

Rim brakes

Rim brakes are what you see in the regular bikes. A pair of rubber pads is attached with the wheel rim, and it helps stop the bike. These brakes are available in entry-level bikes only.

Pros

  • Economical and easy to maintain
  • You can easily replace the brake pads whenever required

Cons

  • The braking isn’t powerful
  • Not effective in wet conditions and you will have a hard time stopping the bike

Suspension system

The suspension system of the mountain bike will influence comfort. Also, you will feel the difference when riding the bike on different terrains. All women's mountain bikes come with a different suspension system.

Hardtail suspension

These mountain bikes feature a front suspension that absorbs the impact caused on the front wheel. On the back or rear side, you will not see any suspension. Hardtail mountain bikes are usually cheaper as compared to other mountain bikes.

If you need a bike for regular mountain biking, then these should be your choice. However, jumping and downhill biking is not possible with these bikes as you need a better suspension system.

Generally, cross-country bikes come with hard tail suspension. Furthermore, these are easy to maintain and don’t need much servicing as compared to other suspension systems.

Rigid suspension

Rigid suspension mountain bikes don’t have any suspension, neither at the front nor at the rear. You will find the system in fat tire bikes that have thick tires to absorb the impact. You cannot ride with these bikes on technical trails as there is no suspension at all.

However, these bikes are affordable, and you should get them for regular mountain biking.

Full-suspension

Full-suspension system bikes have suspensions both at the front and rear. These bikes are perfect for technical trails, and you will not feel the impact as the suspension will absorb it so that you can ride it comfortably.

There are multiple options available in the full-suspension system. Also, the suspension system can feature lock-out so you will get better comfort and ride quality while getting your bike on the trails.

Wheel size

The size of the wheel has a significant impact on the performance of the bike. The wheels vary from small to large, and these can influence the speed and efficiency of the bike. Here are some common wheel sizes you will get while choosing a women's mountain bike.

26- Inches

These are among the smallest tires available in mountain biking. With these tires, you can paddle quickly while reaching up to a good speed. However, the tires can be a problem while crossing puddles. If you are short, then this tire size is ideal for you.

27.5- Inches

You will find these tires on both hard tail rigs and full suspension bikes. The tires make the bike highly maneuverable and comfortable, which is why most mountain bikes come with this tire size.

29- Inches

Mountain bikes with this tire size are slower as compared to 27.5 and 26er. Cross-country bike riders love these tires as these can quickly cross the obstacles such as puddles. Maneuverability can be an issue with the bikes, so these are suitable for expert riders.

A pro tip: If you feel that mountain bikes with 26er tires are a bit bigger for you, then go for bikes with 24er wheels. These bikes are suitable for kids, but women that are short can also prefer to ride them.

Gears

You will find mountain bikes for women with 30 or no gears depending on the model and budget. Bikes with gears make it comfortable for the rider to ride on different terrains by putting the bike into the ideal gear.

You can reckon the number of gears by multiplying the sprockets on the cassette with front chainrings. The selection of the gears depends on where you will ride the bike. If the terrain has a lot of steep hills, then bikes with multiple gears will be beneficial.

If you want to ride on flat terrain, then there is no need to look for multiple gears. Also, the availability of gears impacts the weight of the bike, as more gears mean the bike will be heavy.

You can even install a gear system on a bike whenever you need it, so if you aren't sure, go with a bike that has no gear system.

Seat

The seat of the bike will decide the comfort, so you should be careful when checking the seat. Go for mountain bikes that have a comfortable seat with height adjustment support. These bikes will allow you to adjust the seat’s height depending on your comfort level.

Furthermore, the seat should be durable enough to last longer. Some mountain bikes even allow the rider to change the bike seat with customized seats, and you should check it beforehand.

Fit

The mountain bike that fits right according to your height is best for you. You will find options available as S, M, and L. Most manufacturers follow these sizing options to help buyers in selecting the bikes. Always check the size chart to make sure that the bike is ideal for your height.

Generally, women are shorter as compared to men, so the bikes are also short of giving better support. Not all manufacturers sell women's mountain bikes, and you should check the right size to have a good experience with the bike.

Budget

The price of mountain bikes can vary based on the brand and type of bike you want to buy. Some of these bikes can even cost you around $1500, so it would be great to make your budget before searching for the bike.

By making a budget, you can select the best bike that comes under your budget.

Tips you need to know while buying a mountain bike.

No matter whether it is your first time buying an MTB or you know how to buy it, these tips are essential to know. In the excitement to buy a bike, you can make mistakes, which will impact the performance of the bike.

  • Don't think too much about the weight.

Some bikers think that lightweight MTBs are the best for outdoor adventures. The bit you shouldn't compromise with the quality of the frame for the sake of weight. Always look for durable and sturdy frame bikes and keep the weight as a secondary option.

  • Choose the suspension wisely.

When choosing the suspension, focus on quality and not quantity. Make sure that a trusted brand makes the suspension system, and the bike has no aftermarket suspension. Some cheap mountain bikes can promise full suspension but you have to be aware of these things while buying.

  • Buy the right size

Check the size chart to ensure that the bike is perfect according to your height. Women's mountain bikes are shorter as compared to MTBs for men, so checking the right size is essential.

Accessories to buy with women’s mountain bike

So you have decided on what mountain bike you will buy? Great, now have a look at some accessories you will surely need with the bike.

Protective gear

Protective gear such as helmets and safety essentials will protect you from injuries. Riding on a trail can be dangerous, so you should use all the protective gear required for it.

Bike light

With a bike light, you will see what's happening around clearly in the dark. These lights are ideal for mounting on the bike and come with rechargeable batteries.

Water bottle

So the bike you have selected has a built-in bottle holder? Now get a bottle that fits into the mount and keeps you hydrated.

Inflation pump

Keeping an inflation pump is essential when you are out on the trails. Buy an inflation pump that comes with a built-in pressure meter so you can check the pressure while filling the air.

FAQs: Best Women’s Mountain Bike

Q: How to mount the bike on an SUV?

A: To mount the bike on your vehicle, you need a bike rack. The rack keeps the bike secure in place, and you can travel with the assurance that the bike won't fall while you reach the biking spot.

Q: Are these mountain bikes ideal for men?

A: No, women's mountain bikes are designed, especially for women keeping in mind their body posture. Men will find these bikes uncomfortable and short, that's why these are best for ladies only.

Q: Which mountain bike is good for city riding?

A: You should go for hardtail mountain bikes as these are cheaper and good for riding in a city. Some riders also use these bikes for commuting as well as for mountain biking.

Q: Should I buy a used mountain bike?

A: It depends on the condition of the bike and how it has been used. We recommend you to buy a brand new bike as you get the manufacturer’s warranty with it.

Conclusion

Now that you know what factors to look for when buying a women’s mountain bike, it is the time to select one! Make a list of bikes that fall under your budget and compare them based on these factors. It is essential to select a bike that has the right suspension system according to your needs and is the right size as your height.

Make sure to check the brand and look for customer reviews to know more about the particular bike. Be extra careful when selecting the suspension and tire size as these are the two major components of a mountain bike.

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