If you're looking for an e-bike that works well for women, there are plenty of options out there. While true women's specific e-bikes are rare, many unisex e-bikes are entirely suitable.

If you’re looking for the best women’s e-bike for mountain biking, you can choose between a bike specifically aimed at women, or a unisex model that fits the bill. Things to consider include what sizes are on offer, how much power you need from the motor, battery life and suspension travel.

There are two approaches to women’s specific bike design. The first is where a unisex frame is fitted with women’s specific touch points like saddle and potentially grips, with a suspension tune to suit the lighter on average weight of women, and often comes with a different colourway and it’s own brand identify. This is the approach of brands like Juliana, the sibling brand to Santa Cruz bicycles.

Women in the woods on eMTBs

The second approach is fully women’s specific, where the frame itself has a distinct geometry designed specifically for women using only body dimension data from women, as well as different contact points, suspension tune and brand identity. Liv Cycling is probably the best example of this, and as a whole company has women designers, engineers and mechanics.

Or of course opt for a unisex bike. As with any new bike, you may prefer to switch over the saddle if the supplied saddle doesn’t suit, and tweak the suspension to your weight, location and riding style.

Liv Intrigue X E+ 1 white background

Liv Intrigue X E+ 1

Liv Intrigue X E+ 1

A great riding bike

Frame: 150mm | Motor: Giant SyncDrive Pro | Battery: Giant EnergyPak Smart 625wh 36v | Rating: 10/10

Pros: Sorted sizing, powerful motor

Cons: Charging port tricky to open

On the scales the Liv is no featherweight, but this is offset to an extent by the powerful motor, extra suspension travel and dynamic ride. If you spin the pedals, rather than churn a big gear, the Intrigue X E+ 1 feels fun and responsive. As such the Liv Intrigue X E+ 1 is a fantastic women’s e-bike and easily deserves top marks.

Read our full test review of the Liv Intrigue X E+ 1

Scott Contessa Strike eRide 910 studio pic

Scott Contessa Strike eRide 910

Scott Contessa Strike eRide 910

More about sizing than gender

Frame: 140mm travel | Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX | Battery: Bosch Powertube 625wh 36v | Rating: 8/10

Pros: Reliable motor, great mud clearance

Cons: Fast tyres lack grip, crowded cockpit

Excluding the saddle, grips and custom shock tune, the Contessa Strike eRide 910 is identical to the Scott Strike men’s bike. It’s enough to set it apart however, as the rear suspension works really well for lighter riders. The proportions and low handlebar height on the Contessa may not suit taller women with long legs though, but then they have the option of the men’s version.

More importantly, Scott offers an extra small frame for shorter riders. So the Contessa Strike eRide 910 is a seriously sleek e-bike with a powerful motor and superb brakes – it just needs a better fork and tyres to really start motoring.

Read our full test review of the Scott Contessa Strike eRide 910

best womens e-bikes being tested on singletrack

Photo of the new Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS eMTB

Trek Fuel EXe

A brilliant, all-round mid-powered unisex e-mountain bike

Suspension: 140mm frame, 150mm fork | Motor: TQ | Battery: 360Wh removeable

Pros: Great geometry and sizing, handling blurs the line between enduro and trail riding, TQ motor is easily the quietest to date.

Cons: Shock tune is a little too firm in compression, BITS tool rattles in the steerer tube, would benefit from a front tyre with a more pronounced edge.

The model tested here is the range-topping Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 with all the whistles and bells, including wireless SRAM AXS groupset, but there are lower priced models available. And this could be a great option for the rider who doesn’t want to compromise much on either handling or power. This mid-powered option, in fact, ticks nearly all the boxes.

With 140mm frame travel and 150mm fork travel, it’s beefy enough for most trail and all-mountain needs, and the design means that lighter or smaller riders will feel like less of a passenger than they do on the majority of beefy e-bikes.

That firm shock tune will feel especially harsh to lighter riders, so if you opt for this you’ll definitely want to look into getting the shock tune tweaked to suit you. Also note that it’s not available in smaller than an size small, which could rule it out for riders under the 5’1″ or 155cm recommended lowest height.

Read the review of the Trek Fuel EXe

Specialized Turbo Levo SL

Excellent lightweight unisex e-bike

Suspension: 140mm frame, 150mm fork | Motor: TQ | Battery: 360Wh removeable | Rating: 9/10

Pros: Superb suspension and impressive range

Cons: All sizes could be longer.

With its Sidearm frame design, seamless electronic integration and 150mm of travel, you could be forgiven for thinking the Specialized Turbo Levo SL Expert is simply a standard Levo with a smaller 320Wh battery and compact 35Nm motor fitted to save weight. Well, it’s not.

From the get-go, the Levo SL impressed us with its pitter-patter suspension response and balanced handling. And we can’t emphasise how much better the Fox 36 GRIP 2 fork makes the current Levo SL ride.

And as impressive as the ride quality and suspension on the Levo SL is, it was actually the surprising range of the 320Wh battery that really won us over. In full power mode it is relatively easy to knock out almost 1,000m of climbing on a single charge.

While the Specialized Turbo Levo SL – which comes in Specialized’s own sizing range – only goes down to an S2 which has a recommended lower height limit of 5’2″ or 158cm, the fact that the sizing comes up a little short could work in favour of smaller riders.

Read the full review of the Specialized Turbo Levo SL

Also consider

Liv Intrigue X E+ 2 product pic

Liv Intrigue X E+ 2

Liv Intrigue X E+ 2, £5199

Dropping down a rung on the Intrigue ladder doesn’t translate to a loss of power as the SyncDrive Pro motor and 625Wh internal battery pack are identical to our test winner. The spec is not quite on par though, with harder dual-compound Maxxis tyres and less sophisticated suspension components. You’re saving £600 though, so you could easily spend some of that on a softer compound front tyre that would boost cornering confidence.

Liv Intrigue X E+ 3 product shot

Liv Intrigue X E+ 3

Liv Intrigue X E+ 3, £4,699

Entry point to the Intrigue range is theXE+3anditgetsastout35mm RockShox Gold suspension fork and Fox Float DPS shock to soak up the hits. It also gets my favourite Shimano BR-MT420 disc brakes as standard. Longer brake levers are perfect for smaller hands and they’re also consistent, with none of that on/off feeling you get with Shimano XT. With the same frame, motor and battery as the other models, you get the same range and power too.

How we tested

All of the bikes featured in the above test have been ridden thoroughly for several weeks on a variety of terrain. Bikes have been tested for performance while climbing and descending, handling, battery and motor performance.

Do I need a women’s specific electric bike?

That’s the big question, and the answer is that women don’t have to ride a women’s specific bike, but many women find elements of the fit and performance suit them better than unisex bikes, and vice versa.

In some cases, this is due to sizing. Not many brands produce unisex bikes in a size small, even fewer will make an extra small, and since many women are on average smaller than men, that restricts choice. Women’s specific brands are also used to catering to smaller riders, so will have worked on design and spec that suits the performance of these smaller bikes, like wheels and cranks, considered geometry, and things like brake levers that are easy to adjust for smaller hands and therefore better control.

Taller women sometimes find that women’s bike brands don’t do bikes in big enough sizes for them, or that they get on better with unisex bikes.

When it comes to e-bikes, there are very few women’s specific electric mountain bikes. One option to broaden your choice is to go for one of the latest lightweight or midweight e-bikes. These don’t have quite the same power as full-power e-bikes, but are much lighter and handle more like a regular bike. Check out our guide to the best lightweight e-bikes to see the full range.