The best women's electric mountain bikes can make every ride better, where climbing is easy and you don't get tired. What's not to love?
E-mountain bikes are driven by a battery and motor which adds power to your pedal stroke, allowing you to go faster, travel further and maximize the fun. They’re great for exploring bigger areas, helping you keep up with friends, making short lunchtime adventures doable, and generally making mountain biking accessible to more people.
And if you think riding the best e-MTBs stops you from getting a physical workout, you’d be wrong. You still use a lot of energy when climbing, pedaling and handling it down the descents, and a lot of riders say that they actually ride more since it makes it easier to get out when the weather's bad or time is limited. They’re also just a whole lot of fun to ride; talk to anyone who’s ridden one, and you'll see a smile a mile wide.
There’s also the new generation of lighter weight, more lightly powered e-MTBs such as the Specialized Turbo Levo SL, which add just a bit of extra support, rather than doing most of the work for you. You won’t zoom effortlessly up climbs, but you’ll be able to ride further and longer without fatiguing while shifting them in and out of vehicles and houses isn’t such a huge effort.
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When it comes to women’s specific electric mountain bikes, there isn’t a whole load on the market. By women’s specific, we mean bikes designed for women, which usually means aspects like a women’s specific saddle for comfort, handlebar and cranks designed to suit the average woman's body dimensions by bike size. In some cases such as bikes designed by Liv Cycling, frames are specifically developed for women using only women’s body dimension data.
While many women find women’s specific bikes work brilliantly for them, you don’t have to ride one, and plenty of women also get on fine with unisex bikes, though you might want to swap out the saddle - check out our guide to the best women’s MTB saddles if that’s the case.
That’s why our list of the best women's electric mountain bikes includes women’s specific models and unisex models, so you can find the right bike for you. And if you don’t spot what you’re looking for, check out our best e-MTBs article for even more choice.
As one of the few brands to make bikes purely for women, based solely around women’s body dimension data, the Liv Intrigue X E+ is a rare beast - an e-MTB specifically designed from the ground up for women riders, with distinct frame geometry, suspension tune and parts.
This Intrigue X E+ is a trail-ready e-MTB with 29er wheels, 150mm of front travel, 140mm of rear travel and a powerful motor that feels surprisingly natural when you’re riding. Sizes from XS to L cater to riders from 5ft to 5ft 11in, and like a lot of 29er bikes, the smallest size, XS, has 27.5in wheels rather than 29in, so handling and fit aren’t compromised.
The chunky travel and trail-ready geometry make short work of technical descents and climbs, and encourage you to ride further, push your skills, and generally have a whole lot of fun. Controls are easy to use and handlebar-mounted, with a whopping five different levels of assist, from eco mode up to one that provides 360 per cent assistance that will have you flying up the steepest, longest climbs.
The Intrigue X E+ 1 is the range-topper, so if you want a great bike but don’t want to spend quite as much, opt for the lower-priced Intrigue X E+ 2 or 3.
Contessa is the women’s specific range within Scott and, in this case, it denotes the fact that Scott has fitted this version of the Genius eRIDE 910 with women’s specific contact points and suspension tune. This makes this super-capable e-MTB better set up for comfort and performance for the women who’ll be flying up mountains and down trails on it.
While the bike comes with 29in wheels it can also take 27.5in if you want greater mud clearance, and with 160mm of front travel and 150mm of rear travel, it’s an all-mountain adventure-ready ride that’ll handle bike parks and uplift days as well as technical climbs and descents.
In addition to a powerful Bosch Performance CX motor and PowerTube 625Wh battery, four-piston brakes offer the strong stopping power needed to maintain confidence and control on technical terrain. Scott’s TwinLoc system allows you to firm up the front and rear suspension with the flick of a switch on the handlebars, making long climbs even more efficient.
Based around an aluminum frame, this women’s specific hardtail e-MTB from Canyon is ideal for those just getting into mountain biking or anyone who wants a bike that’s going to be great for a variety of riding. It’ll handle local parks, long fire roads, it’s spot-on for bike touring, and will make short work of climbs even when fully laden with luggage - though you will need to bring the charging cable and stay somewhere with plugs, or be very selective with your power assist.
With 120mm of front travel and size-specific wheels, this smaller size also means shorter riders are well catered to.
Powered by the new, more powerful, more efficient and longer-lasting Shimano Steps EP8 motor with a more compact, lighter Shimano STEPS 504Wh battery, with simple handlebar-mounted controls, it also boasts a USB charging socket (not available on XS). This means you can charge up your phone, GPS, lights or GoPro on the go.
- What to look for when buying an e-MTB
- Best e-bike accessories and upgrades
- Best women's mountain bikes
One of the most popular e-MTBs on the market, and with good reason, the Specialized Turbo Levo combines a powerful motor, great handling, a sturdy aluminum frame, and 160/150mm of plush suspension that’ll make short work of steep techy stuff, whether you’re going up or down.
Specialized doesn’t make women’s specific bikes; instead, it has an approach to design based on its own body dimension database with measurements from both men and women. The result is a bike that’s built model by model, size by size with the parts and components designed to suit the average rider of that bike but the riding experience remains the same across the board.
You can splurge a lot more on the Turbo Levo if you fancy a lighter carbon-framed version, and there’s also the Levo SL which provides less assistance but is also much lighter in weight.
What happens if you combine proven, popular trail-slaying frame geometry, a mullet wheel configuration (29er front, 27.5in rear), and the new, powerful Shimano EP8 motor? You get a bike that rockets to the top of the hill and then rockets all the way back down.
As with the Grand Canyon:ON, the Spectral:ON WMN is built around a unisex frame with women’s specific finishing kit like the saddle, suspension tune, and size-specific elements like handlebars and cranks. The new Shimano EP8 motor offers more power and more range in a lighter-weight package. Combine that with a plush 150mm of RockShox suspension front and rear and you have a bike that’s super-capable.
You can also purchase a Canyon frame case which allows you to stow your essential bits and bobs like tools, tubes and snacks without strapping a bag to your bike.
For more insight into how the bike behaves, it's worth reading our review of the Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8, which is essentially the same bike sans the running gear and components.
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What to look for in a women's e-MTB
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If you've perused this list and still aren't sure of what qualities you should prioritize, then here are some key considerations to make when choosing the right women's e-mountain bike for you.
1. Motor and battery
When it comes to the best e-MTBs the location of the motor and battery can vary greatly, however, when it comes to electric mountain bikes you should always opt for a mid-drive motor system. Since they're the heaviest parts of the bike, having the motor and battery placed in the center and close to the ground will help distribute the weight evenly and keep you feeling planted and stable.
It's not just about weight either. Mountain biking as a sport tends to involve lots of technical climbing, and mid-drive motors perform at their most efficient when cadence is low. They often feature sensors that measure your pedaling efforts, so they can tailor the level of torque to your needs, to help maintain grip and predictable handling. You'll often find that they're optimized for trail use, and feature several levels of assistance including a low-watt 'eco' mode, all the way up to a gradient-flattening 'turbo' mode.
If you're planning long days on the bike, don't skimp on the battery. Batteries' output is measured in Watt-hours (Wh), and the higher the capacity, the further you can make it on a single charge. However it's worth bearing in mind that higher capacity batteries will also come with an added weight penalty, so be realistic about how much juice you'll actually use.
2. Frame and components
Most e-MTBs will be built around a robust aluminum frameset, though we're also seeing more carbon options being rolled out all the time. Since adding a motor and battery comes with a weight penalty, it stands to reason that carbon frames are more appealing, to mitigate that extra load. However, since carbon e-MTBs are still pretty new in the segment, you can expect to pay a hefty price for one.
As with unassisted mountain bikes, dual-suspension reigns supreme, though there are hardtail e-bikes on the market such as the Canyon Grand Canyon:ON listed above. Whichever option you decide to go for, choose something with robust suspension and a fork that has at least 34mm stanchions. Getting the suspension tune right will make all the difference to your descending.
With all that added weight from the motor and battery, it's important to consider braking power. You'll need a lot more force to brake your speed when you're hurtling towards an unexpected obstacle, so look for a bike with four-piston brakes and 200mm rotors to be on the safe side.
Finally, the wheels need to be built solid, because they're carrying a lot of extra weight while also taking a beating on the trails. Opt for a high spoke count and tubeless tires that are at least 2.5in wide. You don't need to worry about rolling resistance so much when you have the power of a motor backing you up, so look for something with a puncture-resistant casing or an aggressive tread pattern.
3. Women's specific features
We've touched on this already, but when looking for the right women's electric mountain bike for you, you should consider your physique and frame, and whether you would better suit a women's specific bike or not.
Whether they build women's specific frames or unisex frames with women's specific components, brands can only cater to so many people at once. This means it's inevitable that some women will find women's specific frames a revelation, while others may find them too cramped, for example.
A good case in point is Liv Cycling; it's one of the only women-led and women-serving bike brands in the world and it specializes in women's specific bikes built from the ground up. Using female body dimensions data to inform the final product, it relies on averages and often produces bikes that will work exceptionally well for petite women, going down to XXS in some cases, and tailoring the suspension tune for lighter-than-average riders.
However, if you're more on the tall side, you may struggle to find a Liv e-MTB that fits you (especially seeing as L isn't available in all countries), and you might prefer the fit of a unisex frame. There's nothing wrong with that at all, and the most important thing to get right is the fit so you can comfortably ride your bike for as long as you want.
If you decide to opt for a unisex frame, you should consider swapping out some components for women's specific ones that will be much more comfortable for you. These include the saddle, grips and potentially the handlebars if they're too wide or narrow for your needs.
Regional e-MTB restrictions
The power kick that e-MTBs give you is part of what makes these bikes so much fun to ride, but different countries have different rules and regulations about what’s allowed, covering things like speed, power output, where they can be ridden, and who can ride them. This mostly boils down to whether e-bikes are classified as bicycles, or as mopeds/scooters.
In the UK, bikes are limited to a top speed of 25km/h and a maximum of 250 watts of power assist, and can only be pedal-assist, which means you have to be pedaling for the motor to work; throttle bikes are not permitted. Riders must be at least 14 years old, and e-MTBs can be ridden legally where non-electric bikes are permitted to ride.
In the US, the situation varies from state to state, and there are different rules for many national forests and parks. For example, 30 states classify e-MTBs as ordinary bicycles, while 20 label them in the moped and scooter category or as something else. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service all regard e-MTBs as motorized vehicles, which limits where you can ride them. That said, there are local exceptions, so have a look at this excellent map by the People for Bikes and MTB Project for a more detailed view of your local region.
Australia permits both pedal assist and throttle e-MTBs, with motor output limited to 250 watts on the former and 200 watts on the latter, and both limited to a maximum speed of 25km/h.