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Best Women’s Mountain Bikes

With​ ​female​ ​participation​ ​in​ ​mountain​ ​biking​ ​growing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​as​ ​it​ ​is​ ​worldwide,​ ​there’s​ ​an ever-increasing​ ​demand​ ​for​ ​specifically-designed​ ​gear​ ​that​ ​fits​ ​the​ ​bill:​ ​clothing,​ ​accessories and ​especially​ ​bikes.​ ​From​ ​trips​ ​along​ ​the​ ​towpath​ ​and​ ​pedaling​ ​the​ ​local​ ​trails​ ​to​ ​tackling  climbs​ ​in​ ​our​ ​national​ ​parks​ ​–​ ​whatever​ ​terrain​ ​takes​ ​your​ ​fancy,​ ​there’s​ ​a​ ​women’s​ ​MTB​ ​to suit.​ ​But​ ​where​ ​to​ ​begin​ ​with​ ​all​ ​that​ ​choice?​ ​Look​ ​no​ ​further​ ​–​ ​the​ ​Hargroves​ ​Cycles​ ​guide​ ​is here.

PERFECT​ ​FOR​ ​PURPOSE

Women’s​ ​mountain​ ​bikes​ ​are​ ​designed​ ​on​ ​the​ ​basis​ ​that,​ ​on​ ​average,​ ​women​ ​have proportionally​ ​longer​ ​limbs,​ ​shorter​ ​torsos,​ ​a​ ​smaller​ ​frame​ ​and​ ​lighter​ ​weight​ ​than​ ​a​ ​man​ ​of the​ ​same​ ​height.​ ​So​ ​some​ ​key​ ​bike​ ​features​ ​such​ ​as​ ​handlebar​ ​length​ ​and​ ​suspension​ ​travel are​ ​adjusted​ ​accordingly. Fundamentally,​ ​finding​ ​a​ ​bike​ ​that​ ​fits​ ​​you​ ​​is​ ​your​ ​ticket​ ​to​ ​comfort,​ ​handling​ ​confidence​ ​and  ultimately,​ ​maximum​ ​MTB​ ​enjoyment.​ ​But​ ​with​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​options​ ​to​ ​suit​ ​different​ ​terrains, like​ ​trail​ ​and​ ​cross-country,​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​​just​ ​a​ ​case​ ​of​ ​size​ ​–​ ​but​ ​also​ ​which​ ​bike​ ​will​ ​best​ ​suit​ ​your intended​ ​riding​ ​styles.

SINGLETRACK​ ​STARS

For​ ​hitting​ ​the​ ​trails​ ​you​ ​need​ ​comfort,​ ​efficiency​ ​and​ ​technical​ ​handling​ ​on​ ​your​ ​side​ ​–​ ​and​ ​a  hardtail​ ​(front-only​ ​suspension)​ ​is​ ​ideal​ ​thanks​ ​to​ ​their​ ​fantastic​ ​versatility.​ ​While​ ​full suspension​ ​(which​ ​offers​ ​front​ ​and​ ​–​ ​you​ ​guessed​ ​it​ ​–​ ​rear​ ​suspension)​ ​delivers​ ​better efficiency​ ​over​ ​more​ ​aggressive​ ​terrain,​ ​the​ ​additional​ ​engineering​ ​and​ ​parts​ ​impact​ ​both  wallet​ ​and​ ​weight​ ​so,​ ​unless​ ​you’re​ ​expecting​ ​to​ ​smash​ ​through​ ​or​ ​over​ ​sizeable​ ​bumps, rocks​ ​and​ ​roots,​ ​a​ ​hardtail​ ​will​ ​suit​ ​your​ ​needs​ ​–​ ​delivering​ ​off-road​ ​efficiency​ ​and​ ​making lighter​ ​work​ ​of​ ​the​ ​climbs.

Specialized’s​ ​Women’s​ ​Pitch​ ​Comp​ ​650b​ ​is​ ​a​ ​great​ ​singletrack​ ​starter​ ​with​ ​a low-slung​ ​top​ ​tube​ ​for​ ​plenty​ ​of​ ​standover.​ ​It’s​ ​an​ ​alloy​ ​trail-ready​ ​choice​ ​for​ ​just​ ​£550; equipped​ ​with​ ​size-specific​ ​80mm/100mm​ ​travel​ ​‘Women’s​ ​RX​ ​Tune’​ ​Suntour​ ​fork​ ​and Shimano​ ​hydraulic​ ​disc​ ​brakes​ ​to​ ​deliver​ ​stopping​ ​power​ ​confidence.​ ​Its​ ​27.5​ ​in​ ​(650b)  wheels​ ​provide​ ​agility​ ​and​ ​they’re​ ​tougher​ ​yet​ ​lighter​ ​than​ ​29ers.​ ​Its​ ​Shimano​ ​27-speed​ ​range  makes​ ​the​ ​Pitch​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​climb​ ​just​ ​as​ ​smoothly​ ​as​ ​it​ ​rolls​ ​on​ ​the​ ​flat.     

Specialized Pitch Comp

Scott’s​ ​Contessa​ ​Scale​ ​20,​ ​£899,​ ​steps​ ​up​ ​the​ ​components​ ​to​ ​a​ ​Shimano Deore​ ​groupset​ ​and​ ​an​ ​air-sprung​ ​100mm​ ​RockShox​ ​fork​ ​offering​ ​tailored​ ​settings​ ​through​ ​its  PopLoc​ ​lockout,​ ​while​ ​internal​ ​cable​ ​routing​ ​minimises​ ​mid-ride​ ​snags.

Scott Contessa Scale 20

CROSS-COUNTRY​ ​COMFORT

27.5in​ ​wheels​ ​feel​ ​playful,​ ​but​ ​for​ ​maximum​ ​comfort​ ​when​ ​terrain​ ​gets​ ​rough,​ ​or​ ​for​ ​faster rolling​ ​over​ ​longer​ ​journeys,​ ​the​ ​29er​ ​is​ ​your​ ​ally.​ ​That​ ​said,​ ​while​ ​you’re​ ​considering​ ​whether a​ ​27.5​ ​or​ ​29er​ ​wheelset​ ​is​ ​best​ ​for​ ​you,​ ​remember​ ​that​ ​getting​ ​the​ ​right​ ​size​ ​bike​ ​is paramount,​ ​and​ ​note​ ​that​ ​some​ ​MTB​ ​models​ ​match​ ​wheel​ ​size​ ​to​ ​the​ ​frame​ ​to​ ​help​ ​with​ ​fit, Cube’s​ ​Access​ ​WS​ ​Race, ​being​ ​one.​ ​This​ ​£799​ ​alloy​ ​30-speed​ ​has​ ​27.5in wheels​ ​on​ ​its​ ​13.5/16in​ ​frame​ ​options,​ ​and​ ​29ers​ ​on​ ​the​ ​17/19in​ ​versions.​ ​Kitted​ ​out​ ​with​ ​a female-specific​ ​saddle​ ​and​ ​air​ ​sprung​ ​fork​ ​with​ ​100mm​ ​travel​ ​and​ ​remote​ ​lockout,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​a bike​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​not​ ​only​ ​fit,​ ​but​ ​also​ ​comfort.

Cube Access WS Race

Its​ ​carbon​ ​sister,​ Cube​ ​Access​ ​WS​ ​C:62​Pro,​ ​£1,399​​ ​raises​ ​the​ ​game​ ​with  Shimano​ ​SLX​ ​components​ ​and​ ​stiff​ ​frame​ ​for​ ​incredible​ ​efficiency.​ ​Both​ ​models​ ​feature Shimano​ ​hydraulic​ ​disc​ ​brakes​ ​for​ ​stopping​ ​power​ ​in​ ​any​ ​condition.

Cube Access WS CL62 Pro

Specialized’s​ ​Women’s​ ​Rockhopper​ ​Pro​ ​is​ ​a​ ​quality​ ​29er​ ​for​ ​£950.​ ​The frame’s​ ​butted​ ​alloy​ ​tubes​ ​save​ ​weight,​ ​while​ ​build​ ​and​ ​geometry​ ​inspire​ ​confidence​ ​–​ ​a​ ​low bottom​ ​bracket​ ​gives​ ​a​ ​settled​ ​feel​ ​on​ ​challenging​ ​terrains,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​air-sprung​ ​Manitou Markhor​ ​fork​ ​is​ ​frame-size​ ​tailored​ ​from​ ​80-100mm.​ ​This,​ ​together​ ​with​ ​its​ ​capable​ ​Shimano  2×10​ ​SLX​ ​and​ ​Deore​ ​components​ ​makes​ ​the​ ​Rockhopper​ ​bang-on​ ​for​ ​a​ ​smooth,​ ​fast​ ​ride​ ​you can​ ​rely​ ​on.

Specialized Rockhopper Pro

THE​ ​MOUNTAINS​ ​ARE​ ​CALLING

If​ ​your​ ​heart’s​ ​set​ ​on​ ​conquering​ ​super-steep​ ​and​ ​technical​ ​conditions,​ ​you​ ​need​ ​a​ ​bike​ ​that  tackles​ ​obstacles​ ​and​ ​delivers​ ​grip,​ ​traction​ ​and​ ​control​ ​on​ ​the​ ​descents​ ​–​ ​and​ ​full-suspension bikes​ ​deliver.​ ​The​ ​alloy​ ​full-sus​Specialized​ ​Women’s​ ​Camber​ ​650b,  £1,700,​ ​serves​ ​up​ ​130mm​ ​of​ ​travel​ ​–​ ​pairing​ ​an​ ​X-Fusion​ ​02​ ​Pro​ ​RL​ ​shock  with​ ​a​ ​Women’s​ ​RX​ ​Trail​ ​Tuned​ ​RockShox​ ​Recon​ ​fork​ ​–​ ​for​ ​more​ ​control​ ​in​ ​extreme conditions,​ ​bolstered​ ​further​ ​by​ ​the​ ​hydraulic​ ​disc​ ​brakes.​ ​For​ ​climbing​ ​agility​ ​the​ ​Camber​ ​is equipped​ ​with​ ​front​ ​and​ ​rear​ ​lockout,​ ​while​ ​its​ ​SRAM​ ​1x​ ​(10-speed)​ ​drivetrain​ ​serves​ ​up effortless​ ​shifting​ ​with​ ​less​ ​weight.

Specialized Women's Camber 650b

Scott’s​ ​full​ ​suspension​ ​Contessa​ ​Spark​ ​930​,​ ​£1,999,​ ​features​ ​a​ ​lightweight alloy​ ​frame​ ​and​ ​20-speed​ ​Shimano​ ​Deore​ ​components.​ ​Up​ ​front​ ​the​ ​air-sprung​ ​RockShox Judy​ ​fork​ ​provides​ ​120mm​ ​of​ ​plush​ ​travel​ ​matched​ ​out​ ​back​ ​by​ ​the​ ​X-Fusion​ ​shock​ ​which features​ ​three​ ​modes:​ ​lockout,​ ​traction​ ​control​ ​and​ ​descend​ ​for​ ​cross-terrain​ ​versatility,​ ​while the​ ​Syncros​ ​remote​ ​dropper​ ​post​ ​enables​ ​you​ ​to​ ​quickly​ ​switch​ ​saddle​ ​height​ ​from​ ​speedy ascents​ ​to​ ​control​ ​on​ ​the​ ​downs​ ​at​ ​the​ ​press​ ​of​ ​a​ ​button.

Scott Contessa Spark 930

We​ ​can​ ​all​ ​dream​ ​–​ ​and​ ​for​ ​a​ ​stunning​ ​full-suss,​ ​full​ ​carbon​ ​option​ ​to​ ​tackle​ ​all-mountain​ ​and trails​ ​alike,​ ​the​ ​£3,899​ ​Scott​ ​Contessa​ ​Genius​ ​720,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​1x​ ​12-speed​ ​with  Scott’s​ ​Virtual​ ​4-Link​ ​rear​ ​suspension​ ​linkage​ ​design​ ​made​ ​to​ ​fit​ ​straight​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​box,​ ​with women’s-specific​ ​saddle,​ ​shorter​ ​stem​ ​(40-50mm)​ ​and​ ​a​ ​narrower​ ​handlebar​ ​than​ ​on​ ​the unisex​ ​build.​ ​Again,​ ​wheel​ ​size​ ​depends​ ​on​ ​frame​ ​size,​ ​with​ ​27.5​ ​suiting​ ​the​ ​configuration​ ​of the​ ​S/M​ ​frames​ ​and​ ​shorter​ ​riders,​ ​while​ ​the​ ​29er​ ​wheels​ ​of​ ​the​ ​L/XL​ ​sizes​ ​keep​ ​the​ ​geometry spot-on​ ​for​ ​taller​ ​women.

Scott Contessa Genius 720

Like​ ​the​ ​Spark,​ ​suspension​ ​versatility​ ​is​ ​at​ ​the​ ​heart​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Genius;​ ​the​ ​Fox​ ​NUDE​ ​Trunnion shock​ ​provides​ ​a​ ​three-mode​ ​remote​ ​which​ ​enables​ ​full​ ​150mm,​ ​partial​ ​compression​ ​to​ ​110mm travel,​ ​all​ ​the​ ​way​ ​to​ ​full​ ​lock​ ​out,​ ​thanks​ ​to​ ​a​ ​TwinLoc​ ​handlebar​ ​remote.​ ​It’s​ ​paired​ ​with​ ​the proven​ ​three-mode​ ​Fox​ ​34​ ​Float​ ​Performance​ ​Air​ ​fork.

Once​ ​you’ve​ ​picked​ ​your​ ​MTB,​ ​you’ll​ ​be​ ​set​ ​for​ ​your​ ​year-round​ ​off-road​ ​adventures,​ ​so​ ​check out​ ​our​ ​range​ ​of​ ​clothing​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​you​ ​warm,​ ​dry​ ​and​ ​comfortable​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ride –​ ​with​ ​the​ ​best,​ ​or​ ​worst,​ ​that​ ​the​ ​British​ ​weather​ ​has​ ​to​ ​throw​ ​at​ ​us!

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