Level up your off-road riding experience with a bike that’s sturdy, reliable and responsive. Whether you’re just getting into the sport and are looking for a highly-rated budget model or you want to upgrade to a bigger and bolder bike for serious training and racing, we’ve got you covered. Scroll down to shop for the best mountain bikes for women, with plenty of options for every budget and skill level.
A fun alternative is an electric mountain bike.
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1. Trek Marlin 6Price: $699.99Pros:
- Doubles as a fun commuter bike with rack mounts and a rear kickstand mount
- Eight-speed Shimano Altus M315 shifter for rapid gear changes
- Great starter cross country bike
- 2x drivetrain more prone to chain drop
- No dropper post
- Relatively heavy
Trek’s popular Marlin 6 women’s mountain bike offers a comfortable, versatile and sporty ride. While it’s marketed as a dependable starter cross country women’s mountain bike, Marlin 6 is just as suitable for all-around off-road riding.
While the Marlin 6 is designed for men and women, its extra-small and small frame sizes cater to smaller riders. The extra-small frame generally fits riders from 4’5.9″ to 5’1.0″ with an inseam between 25.2 and 28.7 inches. The small frame caters to riders from 5’0.2″ to 5’5.6″ with an inseam range between 28.3 and 31.1 inches. These smaller frame sizes offer ideal standover heights and confident handling on the trails.
Aside from the obvious difference in frame sizes, the smaller Marlin 6 bikes have 27.5-inch tires instead of the standard 29ers that the rest of the lineup sports. The same Bontrager XR2 Comp tires and double-wall Bontrager Connection rims are found across the line.
You’re in luck if you’re looking for a bike that won’t hold back out on the trails. The Trek Marlin 6 women’s mountain bike features a sturdy Alpha Silver Aluminum frame with internal cable routing to a cleaner look and better protection in all conditions. An SR Suntour XCT 30 front fork with 80mm travel (extra-small) or 100mm travel (all other sizes) absorbs vibrations for smoother rides. All forks feature hydraulic lockout.
Its 2x drivetrain brings out some of the bike’s best abilities on steeper climbs. Having a wider range also means smoother transitions between gears. However, a 2x drivetrain comes with a higher risk of chain drop compared to the simpler 1x drivetrain.
An eight-speed Shimano Altus M315 shifter is well suited for rapid gear shifting, to the point where you can rapidly downshift three gears in a single stroke. A numbered gear display shows the precise positioning at a glance.
Marlin 6 is undoubtedly a trail bike, but details such as rack mounts and a rear kickstand mount make it ideal for daily commuters. This Trek mountain bike also features an innovative Blendr stem that lets you clip your gear directly to the frame.
If the stock VP-536 pedals aren’t your style you can easily swap them out for your favorite SPD cycling pedals.
You can save some money by opting for the Trek Marlin 5. However, only the Marlin 6 has a 2×8 drivetrain for smoother shifting and more efficient climbing. The SR Suntour XCT 30 on the Marlin 6 is also slightly higher quality than the SR Suntour XCE 28 found on the Trek Marlin 5.
2. Stone Mountain Women’s Mountain BikePros:
- Removable derailleur guard
- Responsive front fork dampens vibrations
- Well-equipped bike for beginners
- Indexed derailleur needs to be tuned periodically
- Derailleur guard can get caught on external objects
- Relatively heavy
If you’re just getting into the sport and aren’t ready to commit to a pricey mountain bike, the Stone Mountain women’s bike is a solid choice. From its durable components to its solid ride, we think this is one of the best mountain bikes for women who want to test the waters on an affordable mountain bike.
This entry-level bike is equipped with standard 26-inch tires that comfortably handle varied terrain. The 26 x 1.95-inch tires are responsive and lightweight, especially on fast terrain that isn’t too technical.
A responsive Kolo 1200 suspension fork dampens vibrations for a smoother ride on any surface. You’ll also find a padded seat to keep you comfortable when the terrain gets rough. The sides are stitched to ensure the saddle holds up nicely with time. A steel three-piece steel crank adds an element of durability.
Whether you’re cruising on the pavement or tackling your favorite trails, you’ll have dependable components at your disposal. The indexed Shimano rear derailleur offers predictable performance, although it should be tuned occasionally to ensure it’s in optimal working condition. There’s even a derailleur guard to protect the bike’s components in the event of a low-impact lateral fall or side hit. However, derailleur guards can bend or get caught on external objects. This one is removable if you prefer to ride without one.
At the front of the bike, you’ll find a micro-shift twister that puts 21 gears at your fingertips. From hills to flats, you’ll have the right gears for all types of riding.
User-friendly linear pull brakes bring the bike to a safe stop. This women’s mountain bike also comes with kickstand.
3. Juliana Furtado C XT Complete Mountain BikePrice: $5,999.00Pros:
- Stiff and responsive carbon frame
- Progressive geometry suits female riders
- RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post for improved performance
- Only comes in one color
- Riders over 5'9" should look at other options
- Limited availability
Now in its fourth iteration, the Juliana Furtado features several tweaks and upgrades to make your ride even better. From its variable chainstay lengths to a lower standover height to a bottom bracket that’s a little bit higher to accommodate additional travel, the C XT Complete mountain bike caters to seasoned riders.
If you’re not familiar with the name behind the brand, Juliana (Juli) Furtado is a world-class mountain biker with an impressive resume that includes winning the cross-country event in the first official Mountain Bike World Championship in 1990 and a first-place finish in the Downhill World Championship in 1992.
Following her retirement from the sport, Furtado started her own company designing and producing female-specific components for mountain bikes, including seats, stems and smaller handlebars. She eventually joined forces with Santa Cruz Bicycles and launched the Juliana, the first women-specific mountain bike on the market, in 1999.
The Juliana Furtado C XT Complete Mountain Bike is as fast and fierce as its namesake thanks to its lightweight yet ultra-strong Carbon C frame, proportional chainstay lengths and progressive geometry that’s quick, fun and comfortable for any woman cyclist.
You might not even notice when the trail starts to get rough thanks to the RockShox Pike Select+ fork, which absorbs vibrations for a smoother ride. A trusted Shimano XT groupset offers dependable shifting and braking that’s compatible with your favorite trails.
One of the most noteworthy updates to this bike is the addition of its RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, which features an extra bushing overlap, a shorter overall post length, new travel options and more tweaks to better suit riders of all shapes and sizes. Rounding out this premium women’s mountain bike is its vibration-reducing Santa Cruz Carbon handlebar and dependable hydraulic disc brakes.
In terms of sizing, you’ll notice that the largest available frame size for this bike is a medium. The bike’s extra-small through medium frames accommodates riders between 4’8″ to 5’9″.
4. Roadmaster Women’s Granite Peak Mountain BikePros:
- Lightweight steel mountain frame
- User-friendly twist shifters
- Seat post can be adjusted without tools
- Doesn't have quick-release wheels
- Only comes in one size
- Stock saddle isn't the most comfortable
The Roadmaster Women’s Granite Peak Mountain Bike is lightweight and nimble, which makes it an equally fun choice for the trails and pavement. This all-around bike is also easy on the wallet, making it one of our top picks for beginners.
A steel mountain frame keeps you feeling confident as you head off-road, while a front suspension fork makes rides more comfortable by absorbing bumps and jolts. Standard 26-inch wheels allow you to react quickly and are most enjoyable on faster terrain. Alloy wheels add an extra element of stability.
From hills to flats, the bike’s 18-speed twist shifters put effortless gear changes at your fingertips. You’ll also find front and rear linear pull brakes to safely bring the bike to a stop.
This bike comfortably fits most riders between 5’4″ and 6’2″. The seat post can be easily adjusted without using tools, so you don’t have to worry about wasting valuable time if you need to make adjustments on the go.
5. Hiland Aluminum Mountain BikePros:
- Choice between two wheel sizes
- Fun color combinations
- Sturdy aluminum alloy frame
- Lacks rear suspension
- Doesn't have a kickstand
- Heavy frame
Affordable isn’t synonymous with dull, as you’ll quickly see with this vibrant Hiland aluminum mountain bike. This fun women’s mountain bike is available in mint green and purple frames to help you stand out from the crowd.
Even seemingly small details can make a mountain bike better suited for female riders. This Hiland aluminum bike features a sloped upper tube and a compact frame for smaller cyclists.
A choice between 26 and 27.5-inch frames opens up more opportunities to ride and explore at your own pace. Opt for the standard 26-inch wheels if you want a lighter bike with a speedy reaction time. Upgrading to the 27.5-inch wheels gets you a more efficient ride and better traction than the 26-inch wheels.
To ensure you have all the necessary gears for your favorite off-road rides, Hiland has outfitted its aluminum women’s mountain bike with 24-speed shifters. Dual disc brakes quickly stop the bike at any time.
6. Micargi Women’s M50Price: $239.95Pros:
- Step-through frame for easy on and off
- Grip shifter offers quick gear changes
- Standard 26-inch wheels keep the bike light
- Only available in one color
- Not recommended for riders under 5'4"
- Some similarly priced bikes have more gears
The ride quality of the Micargi Women’s M50 can be summed up in one word: effortless. Dependable 26-inch tires keep you in control without adding unnecessary weight to the bike. Combined with 18-speed gear shifters, we highly recommend this Micargi bike if you’re looking for a women’s mountain bike for beginners.
If you’re not familiar with the name, Micargi is an independent bike manufacturer that was founded in 1997. Since the company opened its first distribution center in Los Angeles, California, it’s been developing and designing mountain, BMX, cruiser, road, fixed gear, single speed and tandem bikes.
You won’t find any unnecessary add-ons or frills on the M50, which makes it a practical investment for budget-conscious cyclists. Instead, the bike has a sturdy steel mountain frame along with steel handlebars, rims and a Hi-Ten steel fork to dampen vibrations. Even the seat post is made with steel to cushion bumps as you head off-road.
This 18.5-inch bike comes in one size and has a low step-through frame to easily get on and off the bike. However, it’s best suited for riders who are 5’4″ and taller. If you need a smaller bike, consider the 24-inch Micargi Women’s M40 mountain bike.
7. X-Treme TC-36 Women’s Step-Thru Mountain Electric BikePrice: $899.99Pros:
- Dependable seven-speed Shimano shifter and gears
- Front and rear JAK disc brakes
- Efficient 350-watt zero resistance rear hub motor
- Not designed for aggressive trail riding
- Only comes in one size
- Headlight isn't covered under warranty
Not only does the X-Treme TC-36 women’s electric mountain bike have an accessible frame for easier mounting and dismounting, it’s also equipped with a zero-resistance rear hub motor for unlimited fun out on the trails. This step-through ebike one of our favorites for women who are shopping for an entry-level electric mountain bike.
There are many advantages to owning a bike with an integrated motor. For starters, it simply allows you to go faster when you want.
This women’s electric mountain bike has a top speed of over 20 miles per hour, which is sufficient for most riding situations. Plus, a range of 30 miles per charge means you explore new trails and parks without worrying about running out of steam. A 36-volt 10Ah lithium-ion battery is paired with a dependable 350-watt motor to give you the most out of every ride.
Even the best electric mountain bikes can be quite heavy. This bike has sleek 26 x 1.95-inch tires to minimize excess weight without compromising the ride quality, especially on fast and flat terrain. The frame is 100 percent aluminum for confident off-road handling. A twist throttle provides access to variable speed control or pedal and power-assisted modes at your fingertips.
To ensure your ride is as smooth as possible when you venture off the pavement, this women’s mountain bike features a front fork to dampen vibrations and seven-speed Shimano gears and shifters for uninterrupted gear changes. Front and rear JAK disc brakes bring you to a safe stop.
Whether you’re heading home in the dark after a long day in the saddle or work, the bike’s bright LED headlight will guide you home. You’ll also find an integrated cargo rack to safely transport your belongings.
This entry-level women’s electric mountain bike weighs 52 pounds and can support up to 350 pounds.
8. Trek X-Caliber 7Price: $1,099.99Pros:
- RockShox 30 Silver suspension fork with 100mm travel
- Lightweight Alpha Gold Aluminum frame
- Internal cable routing
- Doesn't have a carbon fiber frame
- Only available in one color
- Pedals don't have great grip
Between its dependable Shimano 1x drivetrain to a lightweight and responsive Alpha Gold Aluminum frame, the Trek X-Caliber 7 is one of the best value women’s mountain bikes on the market today. While it caters to entry-level riders and racers, this capable bike is one that you won’t have to worry about outgrowing over the years.
Words like “affordable” and “entry-level” might make you question the bike’s durability, but the X-Caliber 7 is outfitted with premium components for peace of mind. For example, a RockShox 30 Silver suspension fork with 100mm travel, lockout and an easily adjustable air spring smoothes even the roughest rides. Tubeless-ready wheels inspire you to explore new terrain and go faster and farther on your favorite trails.
What’s more, this affordable women’s mountain bike features internal cable routing for a sleeker look and greater protection during your rides. The versatile platform invites you to add a dropper post and other components you might need for an upgraded ride.
The Trek X-Caliber 7 is available in a wide range of sizes, from small through extra-large. In general, cyclists between 4’5.9″ and 5’1.0″ with an inseam between 25.2 and 28.7 inches should comfortably fit on the extra-small bike. The large frame fits most riders with a minimum height of 5’9.7″ and an inseam of at least 32.7 inches.
A more affordable but nicely equipped alternative is the Trek 820 WSD. This bike’s step-through frame makes it easy to mount and dismount the bike, and blurs the line between mountain and hybrid bike performance. The women-specific saddle offers the appropriate amount of cushioning for a day of exploring.
Alternatively, the Procaliber 9.7 is a fun and fast cross country hardtail bike that’s specifically designed for cross country racing. In addition to a lightweight and responsive carbon frame, the Trek Procaliber 9.7 features carbon wheels, a carbon seat post and an IsoSpeed decoupler for maximum performance.
9. Mongoose Status 2.2 Women’s Mountain BikePros:
- Sloped top tube for easy on and off
- Dependable aluminum mountain bike frame
- Riser handlebars for comfortable riding
- Only available in one size
- Relatively heavy
- Not for aggressive trail riding
The Mongoose Status 2.2 has everything you need on an entry-level women’s mountain bike, and nothing that you don’t. For example, its 26-inch wheels roll confidently over most terrain without adding extra weight to the bike.
An entry-level bike should inspire confidence on rugged terrain, and the Mongoose Status 2.2 does just that with its sturdy aluminum mountain bike frame. The bike also features hydroformed tubing and a stable front suspension fork to cushion your ride.
Whether your ride takes you over hills or along flats, the bike’s 21-speed shifters provide smooth and reliable gear changes on varied terrain. Dependable front and rear linear pull brakes allow you to quickly and safely bring the bike to a complete stop.
Riser handlebars keep you in a comfortable riding position so that you can explore for longer periods of time without discomfort. This bike weighs just over 44 pounds.
Mongoose suggests a rider height range between 64 and 74 inches tall, which is approximately 5’3″ to 6’1″.
What Is the Best Women's Mountain Bike?
Regardless of its price tag, the best women's mountain bike has a sturdy frame, dependable tires that can roll over rough terrain, and a suite of components for tackling off-road surfaces. Whether you're looking for the best women's mountain bike under $500 or over $1,000, we've covered every budget and skill level.
Many bike companies have expanded their lineups over the last several years to offer a wider variety of smaller bikes for women. Some even include women-specific handlebars and seats for a more comfortable riding experience. Smaller 26- and 27.5-inch tires are still the norm, but an increasing number of compact frames boast large 29ers for serious off-road fun.
The best mountain bike for women looks vastly different from one cyclist to the next, which is why we've compiled a comprehensive list of options depending on your budget, desired performance, must-have features and more.
Planning a weekend getaway? You can load several bikes at once onto a tailgate bike rack.
What Should I Look for in a Women's Mountain Bike?
Choosing a bike isn't always an easy task. Whether you're shopping for your first or tenth mountain bike, there's a lot to keep track of in terms of size, components, performance, features and price.
As the industry shifts away from women-specific bikes in favor of a broader selection of unisex sizes, you can still find a comfortable and well-equipped women's mountain bike for your skill and experience level.
Most manufacturers provide a size guide to help you determine the appropriate frame and even wheel size. Others may also offer women-specific features, such as extra-small and small frame sizes for shorter riders, sloped top tubes for easy on and off, and narrower handlebars for increased comfort.
Can a Woman Ride a 29 Inch Bike?
Although 29-inch bikes often feature larger frame sizes, manufacturers are becoming increasingly adept at including well-balanced smaller 29ers in their lineups. This is great news for women and smaller cyclists who want improved traction and better tire roll compared to the more traditional 26- and 27.5-inch mountain bike tires that dominate the market today.
The average American woman stands 63.5 inches tall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To overcome the natural discrepancies that tend to arise when trying to fit a larger tire onto a smaller frame, including added weight and reduced handling, some manufacturers are returning to the drawing board to come up with a sensible solution.
One example is Trek, a company that's renowned for its high-quality hybrid and mountain bikes. If you're looking for a 29er that's suitable for women and smaller riders, check out the Slash 8. This enduro mountain bike features 29-inch wheels across its lineup and caters to riders who are 5'0.2" and over with a wide range of available frame sizes.
Which Is the Best Mountain Bike for the Money?
We've rounded up several options so that you can decide which is the best mountain bike for the money. Maybe you're shopping for a high-end bike with performance-oriented features, or you're testing the waters with an affordable mountain bike. Either way, we've carefully selected and reviewed the best women's mountain bikes on the market today to offer something for every rider.
If you're in the market for a premium ride, you can't go wrong with a well-equipped bike such as the Juliana Furtado, which flies down hills and leaves the competition in the dust as you race it to the top of the steepest climbs.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you'll find affordable bikes such as the Roadmaster Women's Granite Peak Mountain Bike. This women's mountain bike covers the basics and is a dependable bike if you're just getting into the sport.
You can also browse our best affordable mountain bikes with several entry-level and budget-friendly models.
Looking for gift ideas? Here are this year's best mountain bike gift ideas for all levels.