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Reviews: Best 2018 – 2019 Women’s Mountain Bikes for Beginners Under $500 – $1000

If you are a woman interested in getting into mountain biking, then you might be having a difficult time determining what is best women’s beginner mountain bike. That is because most places seem to only give you a list of the top men’s beginner mtbs and rarely even mention the good mtbs for the ladies.

Well, that ends now! I want to share with you our top picks when it comes to good entry level mountain bikes for women. We’ll also give you some tips on what to look for in a new mtb as a new trail rider.

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What To Consider Before Buying

When choosing a mountain bike, you will need a set budget in mind. However, you may not want to spend your entire budget on a bike so you can set some aside for accessories.

You don’t want to forget about shoes to clip into the bike or clipless pedals. You could also want new tires that are better suited to your terrain.

You will also need to tune gearing and may want to customize the shape and size of the bike. Keep these things in mind when setting a budget.

Get the Right Size: Everything else is secondary to the right frame size. Don’t rely on the stated size, since there isn’t a standardized idea of what is considered a large, for example. One brand’s large may be another brand’s medium, so choose the size based on your height and other requirements.

You want to make sure the bike is the right fit for you. Look for reach (distance from the saddle to the bars) and stack, (the distance from the center of crank to med head tube). Don’t be afraid to go longer than what you would go with for a road bike.

However, don’t go so long that there isn’t any standover clearance. You only need a couple of centimeters for this. A short seat tube will give you good standover and great room for maneuvering, but you still want to be able to get full pedaling height without overextending.

Get the Right Wheel Size: The most common size is 27.5 inches, but 29 inches will likely be coming in the next few years. There should be bigger hoops for bigger miles and smaller and stronger ones that are designed for trails. Plus sizes are more sensitive to tire pressure.

Don’t Worry As Much about Weight: The weight of the bike is important but not as important as some other decisions. When it comes to the bike you don’t want something flimsy. Accuracy and cornering can suffer if the bike is too flimsy and it’s worth the few extra pounds to keep the bike out of the hedge and workshop.

Be Aware of Flashy Trinkets: Don’t be fooled by too many flash gimmicks. A quality mech is important, but so are cranksets and shifters, so don’t be fooled by a nice mech. Lower spec components are heavier and not worth paying a big price for.

Choose Suspension Quality: Use reviews to check the shocks and forks on the bike you are looking at. Decent air spring and quality damping will do far more for any extra amount of travel.

2019 Picks: Our Favorite Cheap Women’s Mountain Bikes (beginner-friendly)

To help you decide which of the mtbs listed above is the right choice for you, our editors selected their favorite models to share with you. Check out those reviews below.

1. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1W Women’s Bike

This bike is designed for women and is tailored to provide a better fit for the typical female body. It has a shorter top tube, narrower handlebars, short stem, and a specific saddle for women.

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1W Women's Bike

The difference is only a couple of centimeters in the measurements, but there is a big difference in comfort. There are 24 gears to help you conquer a variety of terrain.

The rear derailleur helps deliver a smooth and precise gear change. The hydraulic disc brakes will also deliver reliability when stopping on and off the road, regardless of any weather conditions.

Hydraulic discs are rare on a bike of this class. These discs can help give you feedback you need in order to adjust speed precisely.

This can be the difference between a crash and burn or nailing the berm.

The suspensions forks’ aluminum lowers are lightweight and will provide 100 mm for a smooth ride. The suspension can help soak up bumps while still keeping the weight of the bike down.

There are three sizes of bike available: XS, S, and M. The weight of the bike is 30 lbs. and 4 oz. The wheel size is 27.5 inches.

2. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2W Women’s Bike

The bike is designed to help fit women’s bodies and has a shorter stem, shorter top, narrower handlebars, and a saddle that is designed for women. The differences are subtle when it comes to measurements, but there is a big difference in the comfort that is felt.

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2W Women's Bike

The Shimano Deore Shadow rear derailleur is under the frame, which will help prevent it from banging on brush or rocks as you are going down the trail. The travel fork will absorb the rougher trails so your body doesn’t have to absorb the shock.

You can also switch the suspension off without taking your hands off the grips, and you can climb without bobbing so you can preserve your energy. The internal cable routing is ready for a dropper post upgrade.

The internal cable routing helps offer a cleaner look and protect cables from grime.

There are four sizes available: XS, S, M, and L. The bike weighs 30 pounds and 6.7 ounces and the wheel size is 27.5 inches.

3. Cannondale Foray 3 27.5″ Women’s MTB

This bike features Cannondale aluminum to deliver a light, refined, and great bike that is versatile enough to handle any terrain.

Cannondale Foray 3 27.5

There is a front suspension to smooth out bumps. The disc brakes and integrated rack and fender mounts make it composed on any surface, no matter what the conditions are.

The 7-speed derailleur provides 21 gears. The cable-actuated disc brakes are powerful and easy to maintain. The wheels help deliver a combination of control and agility for the right mix of fun and fast rides.

The tires feature low profile knobs to perform well on the road and off. The bike weighs 32 pounds and 1.6 ounces.

The wheel size is 27.5 inches. And there are five sizes available, ranging from XS to XL.

4. GHOST Lanao 4.7 27.5″ Women’s Mountain Bike

The aluminum frame of this bike is lightweight and features a low standover height and geometry that is specifically designed for women.

GHOST Lanao 4.7 27.5

The 27.5-inch wheels offer a mix of speed, maneuverability, and control. The drivetrain will optimize shifting performance and gives you 18 gears.

The hydraulic disc brakes and rotors provide powerful one-finger braking. The tires are great for the toughest of trail conditions, including muddy terrain, as well has hard packed and rocky conditions.

The bike weighs 30 pounds and 13.8 ounces and has a wheel size of 27.5 inches.

Past Top 5 Women’s Entry Level Mountain Bikes Under $500 – $1000 Picks

For the woman on a budget, there are some great affordable beginner mtbs that will fit a budget of $500 – $1000 or less. To make your comparison shopping a bit easier, check out our favorite models for 2016 with the reviews below. Choose any of the following models and you’ll be making a great investment for this new hobby.

1. Diamondback Bicycles Women’s Lux Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Women's 2015 Lux Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike review

>> See Price On Amazon <<

If your budget is $500 – $1000, then this model is the most that you can get for your money. It features high quality components and comes from a brand that is known for making superior bikes.

This women’s hardtail mountain bike is a great value for the money because it works well for beginners but can also grow with you as you move on to more advanced tracks. You will not have to change bikes when you are no longer a beginner because this one can handle the other trails out there.

You get a comfortable ride that you feel confident on, which is important because you don’t want to feel as if your bike is going to pitch you off it. This is hands down the best women’s beginner mtb for the money. If you can, do yourself a favor and buy this one over all the others.

2. Schwinn Women’s High Timber Mountain Bike

Schwinn Women's High Timber Mountain Bike review

>> See Price On Amazon <<

This cheap Schwinn women’s mountain bike is also available in a men’s model, in case you want to get a matching frame for when you ride with a partner. As you may know, Schwinn has a good reputation when it comes to making affordable bikes. Of course, with something this cheap, you aren’t getting the same quality and features that you would with the Diamondback above. That being said, this is a perfectly functional mtb and honestly one of the best at this price.

Shifting is smooth for the most part and the ride is comfortable. Though for long rides, you’ll likely want to get the seat replaced.

Getting this one all tuned up can be challenging though, so it’s best if you take it to a local bike shop and let a pro take care of that for you. Depending on where you are, it will cost around $70. So, keep that in mind when considering this bike.

3. Polaris Ladies 600RR Mountain Bike

Polaris Ladies 600RR Mountain Bike review

>> See Price On Amazon <<

Though not much of a well known brand, this Polaris women’s mtb is actually a pretty solid choice with a low price. Sure, it’s not as awesome as the Diamondback up above, but still a respectable mtb for beginners. It is also a great mountain bike for teens.

The components on this bike are decent enough for the money. Yeah, the shifters could be better, but you get what you pay for at this price. You can upgrade any part of the bike that you wish though. And I suggest that you definitely get a more comfortable seat for this one.

Overall it is a good looking bike that rides well enough to get you through the beginner stage of mountain biking. It won’t last you for years, but long enough for the money.

4. Mongoose Women’s Status 2.2 Full Suspension Bicycle (26-Inch Wheels)

Mongoose Women's Status 2.2 Full Suspension Bicycle review

>> See Price On Amazon <<

I really love the look of this bike with it’s nice bold colored frame. Mongoose has a bit of a mixed reputation when it comes to their bikes, but they offer a good value for the money. Sure, you get a lot more when you buy a Diamondback, but that bike has a much higher price tag than this Mongoose. For the money, you get some nice features and decent quality with this women’s Mongoose mtb.

This bike gives you a smooth ride, though the seat does seem a bit on the small side. So you might want to upgrade that if it bothers you. Getting it tuned up is a bit of a challenge, so budget in an extra $60 or so to take it to your local bike shop and let a pro handle it for you. Other than that though, this is a pretty solid choice for the money.

5. Mantis Women’s 26 Orchid Full Suspension Bicycle

Mantis Women's 26 Orchid Full Suspension Bicycle review

>> See Price On Amazon <<

This is the cheapest bike on this list. It has some decent components and some really cheap components that won’t last you. However, it is a good choice for people who are not sure if mountain biking will be their thing or who are shopping for a good cheap mountain bike for teens.

If you want to get serious about mountain bike, then this model is best avoided. It does not ride nearly as smooth as the other and it not as high quality. For the money though, it is the best that you can get at this price point. And it is perfect for people who can’t afford to spend much but still want a new mountain bike.

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