The Best Women’s Bikes of 2015

(Michael Karsh)
Photo: Michael Karsh Specialized

The best rides of the year for trail and pavement. 
Axie Navas

(Michael Karsh)

Bianchi Infinito CV Dama Bianca

Best For: Long Days

The tall headtube and upright position of the Infinito ($4,500) kept testers’ necks and shoulders loose—one rider claimed she would happily take it for back-to-back centuries. Bianchi embedded the carbon frame with a razor-thin film, developed for the aerospace industry, to eliminate vibration. Our model’s Shimano Ultegra components worked flawlessly, and testers also appreciated the super-comfortable women-specific Fizik Vesta MG saddle, which comes stock. The Infinito is snappy enough that we’d consider racing it, as long as we upgraded to crisper wheels.


(Michael Karsh)

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Women's RED

Best For: Going Fast

Most road racers—with their short wheel bases and steep drops—are stiff and twitchy, which is great in a criterium but uncomfortable for longer days. The 15.2-pound SuperSix ($4,440), on the other hand, is responsive but compliant. Cannondale achieved this by building flex into the chain- and seatstays and engineering the carbon fork to absorb shock. It’s not as plush as an endurance roadie like the -Bianchi, but it’s more aggressive. Ours came with a SRAM Red drivetrain, which saved weight but proved finicky, and shallow drop bars that worked well with small hands. 

(Michael Karsh)

Specialized S-Works Era

Best For: Big Climbs

The sister of the Leadville 100-winning Epic, this carbon cross-country racer ($11,000) made climbs feel effortless. It’s a lightning-fast and supremely nimble 29er, thanks in part to a low front end and aggressive positioning that makes for razor-sharp steering. The top-shelf components don’t hurt—a SRAM XX1 drivetrain and Magura’s MT8 XC disc brakes—nor does the fact that it weighs just 22 pounds. The inverted RS-1 fork, with 100 millimeters of travel, was noticeably smooth in small, rough chatter, but it got a bit overwhelmed on steep, rocky descents.


(Michael Karsh)

Juliana Roubion LL XX1

Best For: The Rough Stuff
This aggressive, 150-millimeter-travel machine ($8,299) boosts confidence on technical single-track, demolishing techy descents while feeling as quick and agile as lighter, shorter-travel bikes. The 25.8-pound bike’s pedaling efficiency comes from its VPP suspension, which was stiff enough to keep riders from feeling like they were stomping on pillows but still gave that downy cushion on waist-high step-downs. Small testers particularly appreciated the fit. Though it’s mechanically identical to the Santa Cruz Bronson, we’re thrilled to see such a capable bike sized for us.

(Michael Karsh)

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