The Juliana Joplin wins women's Trail Bike of the Year 2018

Juliana’s Joplin 29er steals the show in our women’s Trail Bike of the Year awards

After months of testing, and more trails and terrain types than you can shake a stick at, it’s time to reveal that the winner of our 2018 women’s Trail Bike of the Year is the Juliana Joplin R.

The Joplin is a short-travel 29er with a playful nature that encourages you to ride further, faster and squeeze every last drop of fun out of the trail on whichever trail your find your wheels on.

The Juliana Joplin R

The Juliana Joplin R wins Women's Trail Bike of the Year 2018

While many of the bikes in the women's trail category veered more towards the all-mountain or cross-country side of riding, the Joplin managed to handle everything that was thrown at it.

Yes, it’s built for the XC side of things, but it’s very much on the trail side of XC rather than vice versa. It’s fast and stable at speed, feels great in corners, and with a little effort put into the suspension it's wonderfully playful and fun.

It’s a rewarding ride too, and despite being a short travel 29er it even handled technical descents on a number of downhill tracks in the UK and San Remo, Italy.

If you’re looking for one bike that will shine on 90 percent of the riding that 90 percent of riders do and that will be poppy and fun on undulating tracks, but handle things when they start to get rough and techy, the Joplin is your girl.

Anna Cipullo, one of our BikeRadar testers, had this to say about the Joplin: “This bike feels like an enduro bike on the descents, yet climbs as efficiently as any other short-travel trail bike I’ve ridden. It’s fun and it’s fast, and it’s definitely more than the sum of its parts!”

The finalists

Specialized Rhyme Carbon Comp 6Fattie/29

The two bikes that completed the final top three shortlist were the 150mm Specialized Rhyme 6Fattie and the Canyon Spectral WMN, which are each quite different.

Plush, plus-sized and packing a whole lot of grip, the Specialized Rhyme
Plush, plus-sized and packing a whole lot of grip, the Specialized Rhyme

The Specialized Rhyme 6Fattie is, as the name suggests, a 650b plus bike with a ride-feel that’s brimming with confidence in corners and on steep, techy descents.

A SRAM GX 1x11 groupset on the highly-upgradable carbon frame makes a good pairing, and those plus-size tyres give welcome grip and traction in wet, slippery conditions.

Canyon Spectral WMN CF 9.0 SL

The new Canyon Spectral WMN with women's specific design
The new Canyon Spectral WMN with women's specific design

For those who are looking for a bike that provides exceptional value for money despite it’s high price tag, and for a bike that works well for smaller riders, the brand new Spectral WMN delivers.

The Spectral WMN now boasts a women’s specific frame geometry that Canyon claims gives the average female rider the same on-bike position and ride experience as the average male rider achieves on the men’s version of the Spectral.

From its SRAM Eagle groupset with carbon cranks to the Fox Factory 34 forks and Float DPS Evol shock, this build has pretty much all the whistles and bells, and great performance to match, though our testers did have mixed feelings about the new geometry.

Women's Trail Bike of the Year contenders

Bike of the Year 2018

BikeRadar, in association with Cycling Plus magazine and MBUK magazine, has spent months putting the best road bikes and mountain bikes on the market to the test.

Our testers have ridden thousands of cumulative miles to put each bike through it's paces on a range of terrain and in all weather conditions to bring you the best advice possible to help you choose the right bike for you.

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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