Best Women’s Mountain Bike Under 500 USD

Mountain biking isn’t just for men or for those athletic lads who compete. Instead, mountain biking is for everyone.

And that includes women.

Little do people know that there are women-specific mountain bikes out there. These are for the smaller stature of women. They are lighter, more maneuverable, and have more feminine designs.

But it’s easy to be confused with the many choices out there.

That’s what this article is about. Here, we’ll show you the best women’s mountain bike under 500.

Not only are these affordable, but they’re also assured of having durable and quality structures.

Trek WSD Marlin 5

We know trek as one of the biggest bike manufacturers in the world. They build different bikes. From kids’ bikes to full-fledged cross-country bikes and even downhill beasts.

But they’ve also got their bike specially designed for women. They call it the Trek WSD Marlin 5. This is ideal for daily light adventures on and off the trail. It provides comfort but also lets the rider ride fast.

They make this possible thanks to its rugged design and aggressive geometry. It can climb fast and also shred downhill trails decently. But there is a bit of compromise in comfort because of its budget components.

Components:

The WSD Marlin 5 comes with a 29er SR Suntour XCE coil fork with 100 mm of travel. They pair this with Shimano Altus shifters and a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur. It’s also got stock Bontrager cockpit and wheel components.

Pros:

  • Design
  • Maneuverability
  • Aggressive geometry

Cons:

  • Unstable on offroads
  • Unreliable shifting

Cannondale Tango 5

Cannondale is among the premier American bike brands that manufacture bikes of all sorts. And they’ve got their women-specific mountain bike named the Tango 5.

They consider this as a trail bike because of its slightly aggressive geometry. But this is more neutral compared to other models. It does a reasonably good job of climbing and descents because of its slightly arching top tube.

It’s also got an attractive colorway that’ll surely entice ladies to ride bikes! And it comes in 27.5 and 29 models. Go for the former if you prefer maneuverability and control.

The 27.5 variant is also ideal if you are playful on your bike. But it’s best to go for the 29er if you’d want to race. This is because the bigger wheels mean you can go faster. It also makes you more stable on high-speed sections.

Components:

An all-Shimano drivetrain powers this with a combo of Altus and TX800. It has an SR Suntour XCT suspension fork. This isn’t the best because it’s not very smooth on rockies. But it does a reasonably good job if you’re into climbs. You’ll also find the Sunrace 8-speed cogs awkward. But it still works just fine.

Pros:

  • Multiple gear ratio
  • Aesthetics
  • Decent climber

Cons:

  • Unreliable shifting
  • Incapable of downhill trails
  • Weight

Vitus Nucleus 27 VR

The Vitus Nucleus 27 VR is most likely the best choice in this list because of its highly-capable components and geometry.

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What makes it even better is that it does all of this even if it’s designed for women! It’s got a long top tube that’s great for high-speed sections. It also has an aggressive geometry that keeps you in control of descents or rock gardens.

It might just come in 27.5, but that’s because it prioritizes maneuverability over anything else. After all, that’s what most women like, right?

Components:

This comes with a lot of fork travel for its price range thanks to its 120 mm Suntour XCR32 Air fork. It also doesn’t have the unreliable 3×8 group set of its counterparts. It instead has its own 2×9 Shimano Altus groupset. The tires and rims are also from WTB. Plus, it’s got Tektro hydraulic disc brakes known for their modulation.

Pros:

  • Aggressive geometry
  • Reliable shifting
  • Trail-oriented fork
  • Grippy and durable tires

Cons:

  • Weight
  • Simple design

Marin Wildcat Trail

Then there’s Marin. Another world-renowned American bike brand. They also won’t settle for less as they’ve got the Wildcat Trail. This is designed specifically for the ladies. It’s light, nimble, and has girly vibes thanks to its chic colorway.

But don’t take this lightly as this one’s not just for looks as it packs one strong punch from its frame geometry. There are two color options to choose from. These are dark teal and metallic gray. It also comes in 27.5 wheels, which is just perfect for women.

Components:

This runs on a 3×7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain. This isn’t the best group set out there. But you can’t blame Marin for putting this.

Remember, it’s a budget bike! Its brake set makes up for this, though. It has a Tektro mechanical disc brake set with 160 mm rotors. It also has an SR Suntour XCT coil fork upfront with 100 mm of travel.

Pros:

  • Efficient climbing
  • Fast-rolling tires
  • Nimble

Cons:

  • Tires lack grip
  • Unstable on downhill trails

Diamondback Lux ST

Diamondback is a reputable bike brand that has been selling bikes for decades. What separates them from other companies is their focus on quality and design.

We can see these on their women’s bike called Lux ST. It’s got an old-school geometry but is still very capable of handling slightly rough trails and mellow descents.

This is also one of the most efficient budget hardtail bikes out there. This is because of its neutral top tube angle. It looks nice, feminine, and feels comfortable on various terrains.

Components:

This has a short 80 mm-travel SR Suntour XCT coil fork. It’s heavy and, frankly speaking — useless. It doesn’t move smoothly and functions just like a rigid fork. The drivetrain is a combination of Shimano’s 3×8 Acera and Tourney. The brakes are also mechanical hydraulic, so there’s no need to worry about descents.

Pros:

  • Agile and nimble size
  • Weight
  • Versatile geometry

Cons:

  • Trail-incapable forks
  • Awkward control because of mismatched cockpit
  • Unreliable shifting

Iron Horse Maverick 2.1

The Iron Horse Maverick 2.1 is one of the best-selling women’s mountain bikes out there. It might be far from good-looking. But many still love it because of its simplicity, practicality, and affordable price!

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It’s also smaller than the competition, which makes this easy to maneuver in urban areas. The frame geometry is also neutral. This is ideal for climbing and descending trails and asphalt roads.

This one’s also comfortable to ride on pavement. But it’s the exact opposite if you’re on trails because of the short wheelbase. Nonetheless, this one’s a splendid choice if you’re still starting in the sport.

Components:

It has an SR Suntour coil with a short 80 mm of travel. They couple this with a 3×8 Shimano Alivio drivetrain and a brake set with 160 mm rotors. It also has an 11 – 34 teeth cassette from Sunrace.

Pros:

  • Cost value
  • Fast-rolling tires
  • Durable frame construction

Cons:

  • Grip shift is unreliable
  • Mismatched cockpit creates imbalance

Giant ATX 3

Bike reviews won’t be complete without Giant. This world-renowned Taiwanese bike brand is revered for its focus on quality. And a good example of that is the Giant ATX 3.

This is their budget women’s bike. But don’t underestimate it because this one’s loaded with features that make biking fun and safe! It’s also a superb choice if you’re into urban riding and climbing mellow trails.

Just be careful when riding through rocky single tracks because it won’t be that comfortable. But you don’t need any of those if you just want to exercise, right?

Components:

This has the shortest-travel fork in this list because it only has 75 mm of travel. This comes from its SR Suntour M3030A coil fork.

There are two fork sizes to choose from. You either go for the 26er or the 27.5 variant, depending on your bike size. The ATC3 runs on a 3×8 Shimano Tourney drivetrain. They pair this with Tektro mechanical disc brakes. The tires and wheels are also stock from Giant.

Pros:

  • Aesthetics
  • XC-oriented
  • Progressive geometry
  • Durable frame construction

Cons:

  • Thin tires
  • Lacks grip and traction

Schwinn Bonafide

The Schwinn Bonafide is another choice you might want. This is a woman-specific mountain bike that has modern geometry and affordable but quality components. It looks simple and minimalist. But that’s what makes this light and an efficient climber.

What’s best about this aluminum bike is that it’s a 29er. This makes it stable in high-speed situations. It also runs fast on flat sections and uphills.

Other bikes at this price range skimp on tires. But Schwinn didn’t as it’s got decently durable rims and trail-ready tires.

Components:

This runs on Shimano’s 3×8 EZ drivetrain combined with its trigger shifters. It’s got stock Schwinn forks, cranks, and wheels as well.

Pros:

  • Decent climbing
  • XC-focused
  • Stable on high speeds

Cons:

  • Weight
  • Stock-everything
  • Unreliable shifting

Conclusion

Best Women's Mountain Bike Under 500 - conclusion

Mountain biking is for everyone. And that includes women.

We also know that the pandemic has brought many people closer to mountain biking. Not only does this serve as safe transportation. But this also lets you enjoy the outdoors without too much risk of catching the virus.

This is also the reason why the number of mountain bikers is increasing. And most of them being women.

Remember that you need not spend too much on mountain bikes. If what you’re after is just for exercise and light enjoyment. Note, though, that this compromises many things like ride quality, design, performance, and safety.

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But don’t worry too much because the best women’s mountain bike under 500 we’ve listed are a bang-for-your-buck.

Also read:

Best Mountain Bike Under 300 USD

Best Mountain Bike Under 600 USD

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