Like all the best bikes designed for women, the Diva shouldn’t be ruled out by smaller male riders. It’s a classy looker with a few detail tweaks that’ll make it a great choice for a lot of women riders, but the main emphasis is very much on ride quality.
Its relaxed handling makes it fun to ride on the most demanding trails and it’s well enough equipped to be a superb starter bike for those who are tempted by the occasional competitive outing. The Diva offers the perfect blend of uphill, downhill and technical singletrack competence. The weight is about average for a bike at this price and, while we’ve seen £900 bikes with better drivetrains, the rest of the parts are well chosen and there’s absolutely nothing that lets it down in action.
Ride & handling: Neutral and well-balanced
The Diva offers an easy going and forgiving ride: forgiving in the sense that it’s never too demanding on the handling front and feels fairly comfy over rough terrain. The sat-forward ride posture, emphasised by an inline seat post, helps you to work the suspension fork while the relaxed head angle allows you to run the fork soft without the occasional dive through the full 100m of travel on harder hits unduly upsetting the steering.
The 15in bike comes with a 55mm stem, which works well with the geometry assuming you want a bike with a short stretch from the saddle to the bars. But there’s loads of adjustment on the saddle rails and the handling still felt neutral with an 80mm stem ﬁtted.
Frame: Ideal balance of strength, stiffness and compliance
The Diva’s 6061-T6 aluminium frame tubes are shaped to create the ideal balance of strength, stiffness and compliance. Geometry is slack enough for reassuringly neutral handling at the front end while a 74-degree seat angle accommodates the typically shorter female torso, spreading the rider’s weight right across the centre of the bike, for a comfy ride position and well balanced handling.
Equipment: Well-built wheels and well-chosen parts
The RockShox Recon fork is air sprung, so it’s fairly light and easy to adjust to rider weight and ride feel preferences. Compression damping is factory-set and there’s a rebound damping adjustment dial at the base of the right leg.
Our 15in test bike came with 170mm cranks, skinny bar grips and WTB’s Speed She saddle. 2.2in Continental Mountain King treads are grippy in all conditions and have a big enough proﬁle to boost comfort. We suspect the wishbone seat stays and 27.2mm seat post will also do their bit in helping to take the hard edges off bumpy terrain.
Componentry wise, it’s very well equipped: the wheels are well built with Mavic XM119 rims and Shimano Deore hubs, a 27-speed drivetrain twins Shimano’s ‘no-group’ cranks with an SLX rear mech, Alivio up front and Deore shifters, brakes are powerful Avid Elixir 1s.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike