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Best women’s road and adventure bikes 2021

Tried and tested bikes for racing, sportives, gravel, commuting and more

Female cyclist riding a Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2 woman's road bike

If you’re after a new women’s road bike, we’ve picked the cream of the crop to help you choose, with prices starting from £999 / $1,300 / €1,100. Each of these bikes has been extensively ridden and tested by our team of reviewers.

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Whether you’re after a bike for racing, enjoying long rides or bikepacking and adventures, we’ve got some great recommendations.

This selection combines bikes that have been specifically designed for women, such as those by Liv and Canyon, as well as those with a unisex frame, such as those by Trek and Sonder.

The best women’s road and adventure bikes in 2021

  • Liv Devote Advanced Pro
  • Sonder Colibri Ti Force 22
  • Juliana Quincy CC Rival
  • Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2
  • Trek Domane SL5
  • Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2

Liv Devote Advanced Pro – Best for gravel/adventure

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Liv Devote Advanced Pro women's gravel bike
The Liv Devote Advanced Pro, the first women’s-specific gravel bike from Liv.
Phil Hall / Immediate Media
  • Designed specifically for women riders
  • Comfortable on and off-road
  • Lightweight carbon frame and mounts for mudguards, luggage and accessories
  • Features Giant’s CXR-2 carbon gravel wheelset
  • £4,699 / $5,700 / €5,399 (as tested)

For adventurous riders who love bikepacking, gravel racing, touring or just want a do-it-all bike, it would be hard to go wrong with the Liv Devote.

This model tops the range and is built for fast and light racers and riders, but there are builds designed for tough, technical off-road riding that feature chunky tyres and a dropper seatpost, too and lower price points – making this an accessible bike for riders who don’t quite have this top-end budget to splurge.

Sonder Colibri Ti Force 22 – Best for road riding

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Sonder Colibri Ti Force 22 women's road bike in silver
A very capable and comfortable bike that will take you on new adventures.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • The robust titanium frame will last for years and is very upgradable
  • Excellent value for money
  • Impressive spec for the price
  • £2,449 / $3,220 / AU$4,441 / €2,711 (as tested)

The brilliant Sonder Colibri Ti Force 22 was crowned our women’s road bike of the year 2020. Accessibly priced and with lower-priced options, the titanium frame combines comfort over long distances and rough surfaces, with a spritely feel that’s a pleasure to ride.

It’s a versatile bike with lugs aplenty for mudguards and luggage, making the Colibri suitable for everything from long road rides and tours to commuting.

Juliana Quincy CC Rival

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Juliana Quincy CC Rival
A beautiful-looking bike and the perfect crossover purchase for the indecisive roadie/gravelista.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • A very comfortable, capable carbon adventure bike
  • Premium carbon frame comes with a lifetime warranty
  • The frame geometry makes this well suited to off-road adventures
  • £3,699 / $3,499 (as tested)

A premium ride, but one that’s oh-so-good that it’s worth considering if you have the cash to splash.

With a ride feel that’s as good as its looks, the carbon unisex frame feels planted and secure on rough ground and will see you tackling fire roads, gravel paths and bridleways in search of adventure. Lugs mean you can attach luggage for longer adventures, too.

Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2 – Best for endurance riding

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2 women's road bike
Beautifully light bike with agile handling that’s built for speed and performance.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • Impressively light with a nimble, agile ride-feel
  • Designed specifically for women riders
  • A great choice for smaller riders
  • £3,499 / $4,100 / €4,099 (as tested)

A stalwart of the Liv road bike range and incredibly popular, the Avail was completely redesigned in 2020. This carbon-framed version features hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano Ultegra gearing and a range of features that make it well suited to smaller riders, such as brake/gear shifters that sit closer to the bars with a wider pad making them easier to use with smaller hands.

The ride-feel is light, precise and nimble, comfortable over long race distances, and a lot of fun, though it can feel harsh over rough ground.

We tested the 2020 model but a newer model for 2021 is now available.

Trek Domane SL5

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Trek Domane SL5
Great stability and comfort mean long rides are no problem on this purple-hued steed.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • Super comfortable thanks to the Isospeed tech in the frame
  • Unisex bike design with an extensive range of sizes available
  • Storage integrated into the down tube
  • £2,550 / $2,900 / €2,950 (as tested)

The carbon-framed Trek Domane has been the recipient of numerous Women’s Bike of the Year awards at BikeRadar, and for good reason.

If you’re looking for serious comfort over distances long and short, it’s hard to find better, though there is a bit of a weight penalty. The feature-packed bike has lots of brilliant features and it looks pretty awesome too.

Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2
An endurance bike that offers an electronic groupset at a reasonable price point.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • Excellent value for money and a great all-rounder
  • Women’s-specific design
  • Size range goes down to 3XS with smaller wheel sizes to suit smaller riders
  • £3,399 / $3,999 / €3,399 (as tested)

Canyon has developed a women’s-specific frame for the Endurace, and it’s one of the bikes you might see ridden by the Canyon//SRAM pro women’s race team.

A carbon frame and fork with Shimano Ultegra groupset represent excellent value for money from the direct-sell brand and the size range caters to smaller riders with its 3XS and 2XS options.

Comfortable, versatile and fun to ride, it’s one to check out.

Buyer’s guide to women’s road and adventure bikes

If you’re looking to clock up the miles, fly up climbs or race, the right road bike can make all the difference to your comfort and performance. Even if you want to venture onto rougher surfaces or want a bike that can handle off-road riding, the latest crop of gravel and adventure bikes will help you transition between on and off-road adventures smoothly.

If you’re not sure what kind of road bike to go for, this buyer’s guide will help you choose the best bike for you based on what kind of riding you’ll be doing on it and what your budget is.

Want more information? Read our comprehensive women’s road bike buyer’s guide.

What makes a road bike?

Road bikes, as the name suggests, are first and foremost designed to be really efficient at riding on hard surfaces such as tarmac and concrete — leaving adventure bikes aside for one moment.

They tend to have a handlebar that curves around and down, known as a ‘drop handlebar’, which allows the rider to place their hands in a range of positions for comfort and efficiency.

They will have a stiff frame and, bar a few examples, no suspension built in, unlike mountain bikes.

Long-distance, speed or adventure?

Once you’ve decided that a road bike is what you’re after, the next question is what kind of road bike you need.

Endurance road bikes are designed to be comfortable over long distances. Some are focused on long-distance race events, such as multi-day stage races, others are more specifically for touring.

They tend to place the rider in a relatively upright position, have gearing that makes spinning up long climbs a little easier, and will often have lugs for mudguards to be fitted.

Race bikes are designed for out-and-out speed. They will have a stiff frame for optimum power transfer from pedal-stroke to drivetrain, gearing that facilitates high-speed sprints and a frame geometry that places the rider in an aggressive position to enable them to push out plenty of power.

Adventure or gravel bikes have become increasingly popular, and are essentially road bikes that have been designed to be ridden off-road.

They’re built sturdier to handle rough ground, take chunky tyres to provide better grip in wet and muddy conditions, and will have a frame that’s designed to be comfortable and cushion the rider from the worst of off-road knocks and bumps – some even include suspension.

Popular for bikepacking and multi-day adventures, they’ll usually have plenty of lugs to allow luggage to be fitted to the bike, like panniers and frame bags.

What road and adventure bike to get for your budget

Once you know what type of bike you’re looking for, the next question is what can you get for your money.

You can find good road bikes from about £600 / €660 / $780. These will tend to have aluminium frames and a good entry-level 2x groupset, such as Shimano Sora.

At about £1,100 / €1,220 / $1,445 bikes will start to have hydraulic disc brakes, which provide really good wet-weather braking power.

At £2,000 / €2,200 / $2,600 you’ll start to see bikes with good quality carbon frames and higher-level gear groupsets, such as Shimano Ultegra. Electronic gearing starts to make an appearance at £2,500 / €2,800 / $3,300.

If you want to grab a bargain, it’s worth considering buying a bike from a previous model year or looking for a second-hand bike. If you decide a used bike is the way to go, don’t forget to read our guide to buying a second-hand bike to make sure you get a bargain rather than a dud.

Do I need a women’s-specific bike?

The short answer is no, but many women find them more comfortable, so they are definitely worth considering.

For some women’s-specific bikes, the only difference is a saddle that’s designed for women. This can have a huge effect on comfort, but it’s also something you can change yourself later if you don’t get on with the saddle on your new bike.

Other women’s bikes are designed entirely for women with a completely different frame design. Both Liv and Canyon take this approach.

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If you’d like to know more, check out our article on approaches to women’s-specific bike design.