(Last updated on November 10th, 2022)
The world of cycling is open to everyone, and it’s an excellent way to stay fit, meet new friends, and get out into nature and explore the world. Women’s cycling is becoming increasingly popular, not just from a social aspect but also from a professional side. Women are taking to racing, and the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) is putting on more races and events every year.
One thing that can be challenging to find is great women’s bikes. There are many unisex bikes on the market which are designed for men and women, but we feel they don’t offer women the perfect riding experience. In this article, we’re going to show you some of the best women’s bikes made purely for female riders split down into mountain bikes, road bikes, gravel bikes, and hybrid bikes. We will also give you a guide on what to look for when it comes to finding the right women’s bike, and answer questions we commonly get asked.
- What Do We Look For in a Woman’s Bike?
- What Kind of Bike for What Riding?
- The Bikes!
- Mountain Bikes
- Best Off Road Casual
- Best Off Road Cross Country
- Road Bikes
- Best Road Comfort Bike
- Best Road Endurance Bike
- Best Road Racing Bike
- Gravel Bikes
- Best Mixed Terrain Bike
- Hybrid Bikes
- Best Hybrid Bike
- Best Electric Bike
- Women’s Bikes Buyers Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Do We Look For in a Woman’s Bike?
Women’s bikes are very different from men’s bikes. They have different geometry and use different components. When looking at women’s bikes, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting. To get the best understanding of a bike, it’s best to break them down. Here’s what we look for.
Price is a very important factor when getting a bike, and getting the best value for money goes a long way to making a bike a good investment. All these bikes on this list differ in price greatly, but all offer an incredible product for what you’re spending.
The components are all the parts on the bike. Having good components will go a long way to improving the riding experience. It could be better climbing gears or lighter wheels. We look for bikes with great components so your bike performs the best it can for you.
The design of a bike is very important. It contributes to many factors, but the most important being comfort. If the bike has an excellent design it will be more comfortable to ride and you’re going to be able to go further and faster.
What Kind of Bike for What Riding?
If you are unsure of what bike you need to be riding here’s our handy table to help you work it out.
|Commuting in a city||x||x||x|
|Off Road trails||x||x||x|
|Bikepacking and touring||x||x||x|
|Shopping and errands||x||x|
|Bike||Frame||Gearing||Brakes||Price||Rating||Why we like it|
|Cannondale Trail 5||Aluminum||MicroShift 10s||Hydraulic Disc||$960||4/5||Value for money|
|Liv Embolden||Aluminum||Shimano Deore 10s||Hydraulic Disc||$2100||4.5/5||Excellent off road bike|
|Cannondale Synapse||Aluminum||Shimano 105 11s||Mechanical Disc||$2025||4/5||Looks excellent|
|Boardman SLR 8.9||Carbon||Shimano 105 11s||Rim Brakes||$1300||4.5/5||Performance on a budget|
|Liv Langma Advanced||Carbon||Shimano Ultegra 11s||Hydraulic Disc||$6000||5/5||Incredibly fast race machine|
|Canyon Grizl 6||Aluminum||Shimano GRX400 10s||Hydraulic Disc||$1700||4.5/5||Excellent for mixed riding|
|Trek FX+ 2 Bike||Aluminum||Shimano Acera9 s||Hydraulic Disc||$2600||4/5||Great for commuting|
|Pure Cycles Electric||Aluminum with Steel forks||Shimano Revoshift 7s||V Rim Brakes||$980||4/5||Most comfortable|
The best kind of bike for riding off-road and hitting those trails. Mountain bikes are excellent when it comes to comfortable riding on rough terrain. They are a huge amount of fun and come with features such as suspension and large soft tires.
Best Off Road Casual
1. Cannondale Trail 5 Women’s Bike
|Bike Type||Mountain Bike (Casual)|
|Wheels||27.5” (XS,S) 29” (M,L,XL)|
Cannondale is one of the biggest brands in cycling, and we love the range of bikes they have and the fact they make men’s and women’s specific bikes. The Trail 5 is one of the best value-for-money women’s bikes you will find and offers a huge amount of comfort and ability.
The frame is lightweight aluminum, and the bike weighs only 31lbs. It has a Suntour suspension front fork which gives 100mm travel and takes all the bumps out of the road. It has an amazing MircoShift 1×10 gearing system which gives you an incredible ability to get up hills easily.
It comes with hydraulic disc brakes for excellent stopping power in all weather conditions. One thing that really impressed us was that depending on the size of the frame, you get different-sized wheels to help control and comfort. 27.5” on smaller frames and 29” on larger frames.
The Cannondale Habit 5 is a great women’s bike that will give plenty of off-road fun. It’s great for light trails and is equipped with good components. The travel on the suspension is limited so it won’t be great for aggressive trails, but it is a very good bike overall.
Best Off Road Cross Country
2. Liv Embolden 2 XC Mountain Bike
|Bike Type||Mountain Bike (Cross Country)|
|Suspension||Giant Crest 34 RCL 130mm|
|Gearing||Shimano Deore 10s|
|Wheels||27.5” or 29”|
Liv is a part of the Giant brand, but the bikes are only made for women. This means they have better geometry and are designed with a female body in mind. The Embolden 2 is an excellent mountain bike of theirs and had to be on this list.
The first thing to mention is the lightweight aluminum frame which is Giant’s famous ALUXX metal. It’s lightweight, it’s strong, it’s fast, but best of all, comfortable. It has dual suspension consisting of the Crest 34 RCL on the front with 130mm travel and a rear shock with 120mm travel. It makes for fun, comfortable riding and is great on challenging trails.
The bike has a Shimano Deore 10-speed groupset which has a wide range and incredible Shimano reliability. It also comes with hydraulic disc brakes to stop you quickly and safely. The wheels come in two sizes, 27.5” or 29”, and they are paired with Maxxis tires. We love the fact this bike also comes with a dropper post for those super technical downhill trails.
The Liv Embolden 2 is an excellent mountain bike that offers so much as far as performance and ability goes. It looks amazing and will be a great mountain bike that will give you a lot of confidence. The only thing we didn’t like was they are using the Deore 10s groupset when the latest model is all the way up at 12 speed. That’s all it is missing.
Related: Best Women’s Mountain Bike
Road bikes are what you will see in the Tour de France. They are excellent for smooth road riding and going fast. With skinny tires and lightweight frames and forks they make going long distances quickly very easy.
Best Road Comfort Bike
3. Cannondale Synapse Women’s Bike
|Bike Type||Road Bike|
The Cannondale Synapse is one of the most popular women’s road bikes available and is perfect for long-distance cycling and enjoying days out on the tarmac. The bike itself looks amazing with its sleek blue and white design and internal cable routing.
Its Cannondale’s lightweight aluminum frame paired with a carbon fiber fork coming in at only 21lbs, which is incredibly light. It has excellent geometry, which offers speed and comfort. The gearing is Shimano’s 105, and this offers a full 22 gears and a huge range of climbing and descending gears on a 2×11 system. It’s silky smooth to use and will give you thousands of miles before it needs a service.
The brakes are TRP’s mechanical disc brakes, and they are reliable and easy to use but are not as powerful as hydraulic ones, which the other bikes have. The wheels are 700c and standard road bike size. They are equipped with Vittoria 30c tires, and these are a great mix of performance, puncture protection, and comfort.
The Synapse is an excellent bike from the Cannondale team and boasts some excellent specifications. It is perfect for long-distance cycling and would be great for bikepacking too. The only thing that we thought wasn’t ideal was the mechanical disc brakes, and we would have loved to have seen hydraulic ones.
Best Road Endurance Bike
4. Boardman SLR 8.9 Women’s Bike
|Bike Type||Road Bike|
|Frame Material||Carbon Fiber|
The SLR 8.9 Women’s bike is an incredible machine, and that’s what we have grown to expect from such a great brand such as Boardman. The SLR is one of their most popular models and is commonly used in road racing and endurance cycling.
The first thing to mention is the full carbon fiber frame and forks. This bike is incredibly lightweight and comes in at 19.8lbs, making it an amazing bike for climbing up a hill quickly and easily. The groupset is the Shimano 105 2×11, which is very popular because it offers excellent performance at a low cost.
On this bike, they have gone with rim brakes. They are very light and aerodynamic but don’t offer the power or ability that disc brakes do. Boardman uses 700c road racing aluminum wheels on this bike and has gone with small 25c Zaffiro Pro tires, which are very fast but lack puncture protection.
The Boardman SLR 8.9 women’s bike is the lightest on this list and will boast incredible performance, especially on a climb. It does lack some of the modern technology, such as disc brakes and wider tires, but as a race bike will be incredibly fast.
Best Road Racing Bike
5. Liv Langma Advanced 0 Women’s Bike
|Bike Type||Road Bike|
|Frame Material||Carbon Fiber|
|Gearing||Shimano R8000 Ultegra Electronic|
|Brakes||Hydraulic Disc Brakes|
The second Liv on our list and one of the best money can buy. This full carbon fiber frame and fork Liv has every advantage you might need when racing on road. The bike weighs an incredible 15.6lbs, which is less than 1lbs above the UCI legal limit for the minimum weight of a bike.
It has a Shimano electronic groupset which gives you instant smooth changes and has the ability to self-adjust for the perfect chain line. This is paired up with Shimano hydraulic road disc brakes, which give incredible stopping power and work perfectly in all conditions, even snow.
It has aerodynamic wheels, which are about 40mm. They are great for slicing through the wind, but the hookless technology and lightweight composite material make them great for climbing. These are paired up with Cadex racing tires in a 25c which is perfect for road riding.
The Liv Langma Advanced Pro is an incredible bike that will make riding easy. It’s got everything from aero wheels to electronic gearing and a super lightweight frame. This bike doesn’t come cheap though, and it does require hookless tires, which aren’t cheap either. If you have the budget, why not?
Gravel bikes are excellent when it comes to mixed riding. You might want to ride on the road one day and on a trail the next. A gravel bike is perfect for a bit of everything and classed as cycling’s do it all bike.
Best Mixed Terrain Bike
6. Canyon Grizl 6 Women’s Bike
|Bike Type||Gravel Bike|
|Gearing||Shimano GRX 400|
|Brakes||Hydraulic Disc Brakes|
Canyon is making some of the best bikes currently on the market, and we consistently see these bikes win races. They are constantly bringing in new technology, which shows with the Grizl 6.
The first thing to mention is its lightweight aluminum frame and carbon fiber forks. The geometry is made for all day long comfort, speed, and also control. It comes with a gravel groupset, the GRX400, which gives you 20 different ratio options and a huge range of climbing gears for sharp hills and loose terrain. This comes with the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, which you will need for those off-road adventures.
The wheels are 700c and come from the excellent wheel makers at DT Swiss. These are equipped with 45mm Schwalbe tires and, being such a large size, can tackle a variety of different surfaces. Another great feature of this bike is the suspension stem, which can take the vibrations out of rough roads and give you extra comfort while riding.
The Canyon Grizl women’s bike is fast, fun, and will take you anywhere. We love the way it looks, and as a mixed terrain bike is incredible. It’s very bright and not the lightest, but it’s an incredible bike.
Hybrid bikes are an excellent choice if you are looking for a bike to pop to the shops on or go out for a leisurely ride with friends. They are incredibly comfortable and made with rack and fenders to carry everything you need for you journeys.
Best Hybrid Bike
7. Trek FX+ 2
|Bike Type||Hybrid Bike|
|Brakes||Hydraulic Disc Brakes|
The Trek FX+ 2 is the best non-electric hybrid bike on the market currently, in our opinion. It looks incredible and is one of the most versatile bikes. It can be used for commuting, long rides out at the weekend, and even carrying the shopping home.
It looks great with a sleek black aluminum frame and fork, and the yellow detailing is a lovely touch. It is made for maximum comfort and has a geometry that gives you the ability to ride with no discomfort. The gearing is the Shimano Altus groupset which is a 2×9 giving you 18 gears, with the majority made for hills and flats. When it comes to stopping quickly, you have hydraulic disc brakes from Promax and large rotors to dissipate the heat.
The bike comes with 700c wheels and large oversized 40mm tires, which will be great for mixed terrain riding and add to the frame’s comfort. The bike also has lighting, fenders, and a rear rack.
The Trek FX+ 2 is an amazing hybrid bike. It’s designed for long comfortable days out riding and to be a useful tool for daily life. It’s not a racing bike. It’s a practical bike with many uses and is perfect for commuting.
Best Electric Bike
8. Pure Free Step
|Bike Type||Hybrid Electric Bike|
|Brakes||V Rim Brakes|
If you’re looking for a bike with the ability to give you some assistance, look no further than the Pure Cycles Free Step Electric. It’s a shopper style step through frame with a powerful 250w motor attached to it.
This electric bike’s frame is made of aluminum and is paired with steel forks for strength and comfort. The bike has an electric 250w motor and this runs alongside a 313Wh battery. It will give you around 28 miles of assisted riding and has a top speed of 15.5mph. It has a 7 speed Shimano Revoshift groupset and you can easily ride this bike without assistance if required.
The brakes are standard V rim brakes, they are equipped with 700c wheels with large 38c tires. To add to the bike’s comfort you have a Selle Royal Saddle Freeway Comfort saddle which is color coded to the grips.
The Pure Cycles Step is the most comfortable bike on this list and is perfect for cycling without having to challenge yourself up each climb. It’s an incredible price and has good components, but we would have loved to have seen disc brakes.
When it comes to getting a women’s bike, it can be challenging to know what to look for. In this next section, we’re going to get through the questions you should be asking yourself before buying the right bike for you.
Is It Designed for Women?
When shopping for a women’s bike, it’s important to get one that is either designed completely for a woman or a unisex bike. Women’s bikes are easier to get on and off, have a slightly different frame design and come with saddles that are designed for women. You need a bike designed for you as a woman or a unisex bike at least. For more information check out this youtube video.
What Riding Do I Plan On Doing?
If you plan on going on tough trails, you’ll want to get a mountain bike, riding on roads, a road bike, if you want a bike that can do both, a hybrid or a gravel bike. Before buying a bike, it’s important to think about the riding you want to do and buy the bike to suit it. To learn more about different types of bike check out this video.
Carbon frames are the lightest and stiffest but the most expensive. Metal frames such as aluminum and steel are heavier and more flexible but offer comfort and are much cheaper. If you’re looking to win races, go carbon. If you are just happy with a bike to get from A to B comfortably, go with aluminum or steel.
When we talk about components, we’re talking about gearing, wheels, and brakes. The more money you spend, the better they will work, and typically the longer they will last, essentially though they all do the same job. We recommend women’s bikes because they use smaller cranks, thinner bars, and have gearing, which is much more suited to women’s size and their typical leg power. To learn more about bike parts check out this video.
The reason why the top brands, like Canyon, Trek, and Cannondale, sell so many bikes is because they do make excellent bikes. We highly recommend going to a top brand because you get a lot for your money, and they are typically of a very high-quality standard.
Cycling is becoming more popular for women every year. Compared to men’s bikes, you do get fewer choices. We recommend getting a women’s specific bike as it will be much better suited to your body and offer a much better experience for you as a rider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Women’s bikes are designed to suit women better. It will have different geometry and will have components such as women’s saddles, smaller cranks, and gearing much more suited to women’s riding.
The best thing to do is to pick the bike you like and then get the correct size of that bike for your height. Most bikes have sizing guides, but these can differ greatly between brands and styles of bikes, so use a guide from the manufacturer of that bike.
Women can ride men’s bikes, but getting the right bike fit might be more challenging and generally require a smaller size that might not be available. We don’t recommend it. A unisex would be better.
The easiest way is to google the name of the bike and its specifications. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, you can generally tell by the frame, as most women’s bikes have a sloped top tube.
I’m Robbie Ferri, a writer from Norfolk in the UK. I love cycling, the gym, and have a huge passion for sharing my stories and knowledge to anyone with the time to read them. My main passion is cycling. I started eight years ago. In that time I have broken world records, cycled all over the world in Ultra Bikepacking races, and am lucky enough to have enjoyed some incredible times on two wheels with some incredible people. I have also worked in a bike shop and with some of the industries leading brands, not just promoting products but designing them too.
Under it all I am just someone very passionate about exploration and living a healthy lifestyle. Everything I do I put 100% into it and feel that life is for living. Never should you have a dull day.