Skip to main content

Best women’s gravel bikes: the perfect machines for off-road adventures

Best women's gravel bikes
(Image credit: Cannondale )

The best women’s gravel bikes are perfect for exploring, discovering, bikepacking, traveling on- and off-road, or just blasting around miles of forest track and gravel roads. These drop-bar bikes are designed to handle rough ground, providing a winning combination of comfort and performance. We’ve gathered together the best women’s gravel and adventure bikes on the market to help you find the perfect steed for everything, from endless rides to fast-and-light long-distance racing, and there’s something here for everyone. 

Some of the best gravel bikes are built specifically for women, featuring a geometry and design based on data from female riders, like the Liv Devote. Others, such as the Juliana Quincy and Scott Contessa Addict, have a unisex frame with women’s specific contact points like the saddle, while some brands, such as Trek, have moved away from women’s specific bikes altogether and have focussed instead on providing a wider size range in a unisex lineup. 

What all these bikes have in common are their adventure credentials. They feature dropped handlebars, flared in some cases to offer better off-road handling and room to fit a bar bag, wide gearing that makes short work of long climbs when heavily laden, and plenty of attachment points for popping on racks and bags so your only limit is your nerves and leg strength. 

If you’re planning a bikepacking adventure, don’t forget to check out our ultimate bikepacking kit list so you make sure you have everything you need (and nothing you don’t), and some helpful tips for keeping a lightweight bikepacking setup.  

Jump to: what to look for in a women’s gravel bike

Best women’s gravel bikes

Liv Devote Advanced Pro

(Image credit: Liv Cycling)

Liv Devote Advanced Pro

Comfortable, capable and a joy to ride for mile after mile after mile

Sizes: XS, S, M, L | Wheel size: 700c | Groupset: SRAM Force eTAP AXS | Weight: 8.36kg (XS) | Price: $6,150 / £4,999 / €5,749

SRAM Force eTAP AXS wireless groupset
Lightweight carbon frame
Women’s specific design
Supremely comfortable with confident handling
Slick tires don’t offer great grip in the wet

Load it up, ride it out, go explore. The Liv Devote is a versatile gravel and adventure bike that is ideal as the one-bike quiver for anyone who can’t resist the call of the wild. 

The Devote is also a rare beast: a gravel bike specifically for women, with a frame geometry and component list designed to suit women, based on women’s fit and ride data, and created by a team of women engineers.

The spec is tasty to say the least, comprising a premium carbon frame with a layup that smooths out rough surfaces without losing traction or energy, but that also feels efficient on smoother surfaces and climbs. Add to that a SRAM Force AXS wireless groupset which offers smooth, reliable shifting, carbon wheels fitted with fast-rolling but bump-smoothing chunky Maxxis Velocita 40c tires, and plenty of clearance left should conditions get muddy. 

In action, the Devote is comfortable for mile after mile, has all the attachment points so you can load it up for long adventures, but also feels fast and fun if you want to use it for a regular road ride too. Plus, gearing goes low enough to make spinning up long steep climbs a piece of cake. If you prefer your gravel chunkier and your adventures more rugged, then the good news is that the Devote is dropper-compatible and can take chunkier tires, up to 45mm.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Women’s 4

(Image credit: Cannondale)

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Women’s 4

An adventure-ready bike with comfort designed into the frame

Sizes: XS, S, M | Wheel size: 700c | Groupset: Shimano GRX 800/810 | Weight: Not listed | Price: £3,200 or Topstone Carbon 5 $3,200

Comfort thanks to Kingpin suspension system
Good gear range
Multiple accessories attachment points
Limited sizes in women’s version

The Topstone is the more wallet-friendly gravel and adventure-ready bike from Cannondale and it’s rated all-round as a comfortable yet fast off-road machine. 

Cannondale uses its Kingpin suspension system to make the bike super comfy on rough ground, which essentially allows the seat stay and seat tube to flex, absorbing knocks and bumps from the ground before they reach the rider's derriere. 

The carbon frame and forks are complemented by a Shimano GRX groupset, powerful Shimano GRX hydraulic disc brakes, and attachment points on the top tube, forks, downtube (inside and below the frame) and seat tube for attaching bottles and packs so it’s adventure-ready. 

If you like the Topstone and you’re either a taller rider or don’t like the color, fear not because the women’s specific element of this bike is pretty much just limited to the paint job. The Topstone Women’s 4 and the Topstone 4 are the same price, frame geometry and spec, down to the same unisex saddle, with the exception that the Topstone 4 runs up to a size XL, so you could always go for that instead. 

Best women's gravel bikes

(Image credit: Scott Sports)

Scott Contessa Addict Gravel 15

The new gravel-focussed Addict

Sizes: XS49, S52, M54, L56 | Wheel size: 700c | Groupset: Shimano GRX | Weight: Approx 8.69kg | Price: $2,999 / £2,399 / €2,599

Aero frame features
Tires provide good off-road grip
Women’s specific Syncros Celista 2.0 saddle
No mounts on forks for luggage

Blending on-road performance features like aerodynamic frame profiles with a new geometry that’s designed to offer comfort and performance off-road, the new Contessa Addict is a bike that’s built for serious adventures. It’s fast, light and focussed. 

Contessa is the women’s specific line within Scott’s range, and in this case means a unisex Addict frame with women’s specific contact points such as the Celista saddle. 

Neat routing on the bar and stem means that cables are tucked out of the way, so attaching bar bags is a whole lot easier. There are also attachment points on the top tube, seat tube and downtube, both inside and underneath the frame, but sadly none on the fork blades, though there are points to attach fenders. 

Built around a carbon frame and forks, the Contessa Addict features Syncros SL wheels with toothy Schwalbe G-ONE Bite Performance tires, a Shimano GRX groupset and alloy handlebars. While this model is set up with a 2x groupset, you can also run the Contessa Addict as a 1x. 

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

(Image credit: Trek Bicycles)

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

A great value versatile unisex gravel and adventure bike

Sizes: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61 | Wheel size: 700c | Groupset: Shimano GRX/105 | Weight: 10.17 kg (56) | Price: $2,199.99 / £2,150 / €2,449

Size-specific parts like cranks and handlebars
Great size range
Durable build with alloy frame and carbon forks
Tire size limited on smaller sizes due to toe overlap

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great bike, and you don’t have to go carbon to have a comfortable ride. Made from premium aluminum, the unisex Checkpoint ALR from Trek gives you everything you need for a bike-based gravel adventure. 

A blend of Shimano GRX and 105 gearing gives plenty of range for hefting a laden bike up steep climbs or flying along light and free on the flat, while a carbon fork provides vibration damping to help keep arms and hands feeling fresh. 

Chunky 40mm tires add more comfort and have enough tread to provide some nice off-road grip, though something toothier would be good for wet conditions. There’s plenty of tire clearance in the frame and the Checkpoint can take up to 45mm tires. 

There are attachment points galore, so you can bolt on any number of bags and pannier racks for big adventures, and there’s even a sliding dropout which means if you wanted to change the Checkpoint to run as a single speed, that’s an option. 

Canyon Grizl CF SL WMN 6

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Grizl CF SL WMN 6

Huge tire clearance and plenty of mounts make this women’s gravel bike ideal for proper off-road adventures

Sizes: 2XS, XS, S, M | Wheel size: 700c (650b on XS, 2XS) | Groupset: Shimano GRX | Weight: 9.52kg | Price: $2,199 / £2,199 / €1,999

Great value for money
50mm tire clearance
2XS size which is great for smaller riders
Luggage mounts galore
10-speed gearing

This bike caused quite a stir when it launched, and no wonder; a carbon gravel bike at this price point offers great value for money, especially one that’s as well-thought-out as the Grizl. 

Based around a unisex frame, the Grizl CF SL WMN 6 features women’s specific contact points in the form of size-specific handlebars and a WTB Diva Comp saddle, while all other components and the frame geometry are the same as the unisex model, for the same price. 

The carbon frame and fork are complemented by a vibration-damping VCLS carbon seatpost, and Ergospeed handlebar tape on the alloy handlebars helps smooth out the feel of rough gravel providing comfort and keeping you fresh-feeling for longer. 

There are a huge amount of attachment points for bags on all the tubes including the forks, which is perfect for riders who like a long-distance adventure or just don’t pack light. 

Juliana Quincy Carbon CC Rival

(Image credit: Juliana)

Juliana Quincy Carbon CC Rival

Off-road loving women’s adventure bike that makes light work of technical terrain

Sizes: 49, 52, 54 | Wheel size: 700c | Groupset: SRAM Rival with Easton EA90 crankset | Weight: 8.8kg | Price: $3,849 / £3,699

Rugged, off-road build
Capable, confident ride feel
Great tire grip
Handlebars are a little narrow 
1x groupset won’t suit all riders
Limited attachment points

Juliana is a brand most usually associated with mountain bikes, so you know that when it creates a gravel and adventure bike, it’s going to be one that’s more than capable of handling proper off-road riding, trails, singletrack and whatever chunky terrain you throw it at. 

Based around a unisex frame, shared with the Santa Cruz Stigmata, the Quincy features women’s specific contact points including an Ergon SR10 Sport Gel Women’s saddle and size-specific Easton EA50 AX handlebar with a slight flare. 

Mounting points on the seat tube and downtube, inside the frame and below, mean there’s space for three bottles, but if you want to attach bags you’ll need to strap to the frame as there are no attachment points on the forks or top tube. 

This is a brilliant bike for fast and fun off-road riding, cyclocross, or for fast and light bikepacking; simply strap on a bar bag and a saddle pack and head on out. The chunky, toothy Maxxis Ravager EXO tires in a wide 40mm size offer plenty of grip in slick conditions and smooth out rough ground so they’re perfect when gravel turns to dirt, grass or mud. 

What to look for in a women’s gravel bike

Not all bikes built to go off-road are made equal, so while you may know what you’re looking for in a mountain bike, picking the best women’s gravel bike requires other considerations. You should look for certain features so you know that what you’re buying is capable of doing the kind of rides you’re planning.

As far as being women’s specific, a women’s gravel bike should come with a women’s saddle, narrower handlebars, and a wide range of sizes to accommodate shorter riders.

That’s not all though, so here are some other things to consider when choosing the best women’s gravel bike for you.

Tire clearance

Gravel bikes need wide tires to cope with mud and loose surfaces, providing off-road traction while also offering added comfort. On average, gravel bikes tend to come with 700c wheels and tires that are around 40mm wide, while most can offer clearance for up to 45mm of rubber.

However, when it comes to women’s gravel bikes, you can expect a wider range of sizes, and at the smaller end of the spectrum, you’ll most likely find 650b wheels to keep everything in proportion. With a slightly smaller wheel comes the opportunity to fit a slightly wider tire, so some gravel bikes can take up to 2.1inches of tire, which makes them especially good for muddy rides.

Low gearing

Whether you’re racing across continents or taking a slow roll along canal towpaths, you’ll usually find low gearing on a gravel bike. Since it’s designed to tackle dirt tracks and unpaved paths, it needs to cope with higher rolling resistance, not to mention steep off-road climbs. Add to this the likelihood of loading it up with bikepacking bags, the lower gearing of a gravel bike can make it much easier to get about. This means you’ll often find the gravel-specific Shimano GRX groupset specced on most gravel bikes, though the more premium options may come with electronic shifting.

Mounting points

If you’re buying a gravel bike, there’s a chance you’re planning to try out some bikepacking or long-distance ultra racing. Either way, it’s only natural that you’ll want to load it up with cargo, so of course most gravel bikes will feature a wealth of mounting points for essential accessories. You might find several options for bottle cage positioning, or mounts on the fork for extra storage.

The key message here is if you’re planning to go out into the wilderness, make sure the gravel bike you buy has enough mounting points for what you need to take with you.

Gravel geometry

Contrary to what some people think, gravel bikes aren’t just road bikes with big tires, they also come with their own geometry tailored to off-road riding with a drop bar. Compared to a road bike, a gravel bike will have a slacker head angle for more control on the descents, a lower bottom bracket for a more planted center of gravity, and longer chainstays for overall stability while fully laden.