Like to shred the trails before work, instead of work, and on the weekends? Whether you are looking for your first dual suspension mountain bike or are simply caught in the delightfully circular n+1 vortex, we have taken the liberty of comparing five of what we think are the best all-around trail 29ers (100-130mm travel dual suspension) for the girls and the boys, from $3000-$4000.
We have used both women's specific bikes as well as unisex bikes we believe are perfectly suitable for women, with a few small 'tweaks' such as a women's specific different saddle and the shocks set for a woman's weight.
Let's get started! The 5 bikes we have chosen are:
Specialized Rumor Elite (2015)
Specialized have been working hard in the women's cycling arena and have done a great job with the Rumor range, as far as full-suspension performance trail bikes go.
110mm of travel allows for use on a wide variety of trails from single track to rockier terrain and women's specific features such as a tapered head tube, an ultra-low standover height, and shocks which cater for lighter weight riders - good news considering standard shock tuning means many women aren't able to utilize all of their suspension travel.
Top all of this off with a women's specific saddle and grips, (the all-important contact points with your bike), and we rate the Rumor Elite a great choice for your budget.
Niner JET 9 3-STAR XT (2015)
If you weren't able to tell by their name, Niner are a company completely dedicated to 29ers, so it's fair to assume they know a thing or two about the geometry.
Not only is the Jet 9 a lightweight alloy, cross country trail eating machine, it has several features we just love. Firstly, short chainstays on the dual suspension frame give the Jet 9 the ability to navigate tight switchbacks - normally one of the downfalls of the duallie when pitted against a hard tail.
With Shimano XT all over, reliable RockShox, and cool colors, the Jet 9 isn't only an impressive bike to look at, it also doesn't lose any energy to compressing suspension when pedalling due to Niner's unique frame design, making for a fun ride all day long.
Trek Superfly FS 9.7 SL (2015)
The FS 8 made the list for the "Top 4 duallies under $3000 for 2015" as a top flight race bike for aspiring XC racers. Now that we've got a bit more budget to play with, we're including her big sister - the Superfly FS 9.7 SL.
If there's one thing we love, it's a girl shredding it on a "boy's bike". Even better if she's beaten them to the podium. If there's any bike on this budget that's going to get it done, it's the Superfly 9.7. Carbon frame in female-friendly sizes as well as other racy features such as Trek's patented G2 geometry, which tightens control and handling as well as shortening the reach and making the steering more responsive.
Not for the faint-hearted, but if you're serious about trail riding he Superfly FS 9.7 won't let you down.
Santa Cruz Tallboy LT CC R (2015)
The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT complete carbon bike is possibly one of the sleekest around. Designed with a combination of Shimano XT, Deore, and SRAM parts, Santa Cruz have built the Tallboy LT with both quality and price in mind - and what a result!
As you'd expect, the 29" wheels make longer rides a breeze and, as a result of the added momentum gained through the Tubeless Ready tires, you get all of the benefits of UST Tubeless without any additional weight - making this lightweight trail machine even faster.
By all accounts, the Tallboy LT makes even the bumpiest of terrain smooth, with the Rockshox Sektor Gold RL 140 Forks making the most of every millimetre of travel.
Cannondale Rush 29 1 (2015)
We may have covered the Cannondale Rush before, but the Rush 29 1 incorporates the best elements from the Cannondale range combined into one all-purpose dual suspension trail bike. Aluminum - yes, but light enough to compete with the carbon 29ers up the hills and, with balanced front/rear suspension, more than enough travel to get you to the bottom on serious all-mountain terrain.
A low standover height also helps if you are of the shorter female variety - altogether a pretty sweet deal for the price and weight. We'd probably even recommend speccing up and adding a few female-specific components with the few hundred you may have left over...