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The Best Women's Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes give you the freedom to pursue the most exciting trails in the great outdoors. A mountain bike is specially designed for off-road use with wide, knobby tires and a tough, durable frame. The best mountain bikes for women are designed specifically for the unique proportions of the female body, which differs in key areas from the proportions found in men. With a women's specific design, or WSD, you'll get a much better fit.

Designed for You

A women's specific design features altered top tube and seat tube measurements that align better with the average proportions of women. Women usually have longer legs than men in proportion to their height. In addition, a shorter torso and arm length requires a shorter reach in the top tube for optimal riding position. Women's specific mountain bikes use longer seat tubes and shorter top tubes to compensate for these differences in proportion and usually come in much smaller frame sizes than the men's varieties to allow for the petite builds of some female cyclists.

Getting Wild In Style

A women's specific mountain bike still needs all the capabilities of a men's bike, so look for features such as suspension in the frame and fork, extra clearance for big tires and durable frame materials such as steel and carbon fiber. A mountain bike designed specifically for women will also feature a wider seat and narrower handlebars to fit the slim shoulders and wide hips of most women. Bike measurements are an approximation, not an exact science, so be ready to do a lot of testing on bikes built for both genders to find a perfect fit.

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About the Author

Max Roman Dilthey is a science, health and culture writer currently pursuing a master's of sustainability science. Based in Massachusetts, he blogs about cycling at MaxTheCyclist.com.

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