Behind the Scenes of the Liv Hail Shoot in Whistler - Video

Jul 29, 2016
by LivCycling  
Views: 11,225    Faves: 31    Comments: 0


We were somewhere deep in the Garbanzo Zone, high in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, when the stoke began to take hold. Leigh Donovan pushes her Hail Advanced 0 through the bushes. Leonie Picton follows with the Hail 1, ducking under a branch.

“Oh my God,” Leonie starts with her Aussie twang, “I totally forgot these brakes haven’t been broken in! I couldn’t scrub my speed at all going into that drop... I can’t believe I pulled that off. This bike is so stable! I feel like I’ve been riding it for months.” “Me too! It was awesome! Leigh’s voice was already beginning to fade from the yelling and excitement on day one of the Hail video shoot.

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC
  Leigh Donovan and Leonie Picton.
2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC
2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

A blanket of clouds comes crawling over the snow streaked hills in the distance. It doesn’t feel like the beginning of July, but the Canadian Coast Mountain Range does not surrender to the monthly temperature averages.

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

Liv Hail

Leigh and Leonie’s attire does not match the weather, but they don’t complain. Instead, the two girls session the hell out of a rock slab. Their movements become more precise, and the bikes roll faster over the backside of the rock. Guffaws of pure joy ricochet back up.

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

“Rolling,” comes from the camera crew, somewhere deep within the trees below. “Dropping!” Leigh jumps on her bike and goes from zero to blazing in a moment of seconds. Leonie is half a beat behind, playfully taking the line that Leigh passes by. Through the fading dust and thicket of trees the production crew watches Leigh and Leonie scream through a tight turn before disappearing down the trail.

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

Their job is not easy. It may be tempting to glamorise the task of nailing yoked trails in Whistler on a sick new bike to make a video, but after ten-hour days on the mountain, these girls are exhausted, hungry and cold. Yet, their enthusiasm never wavers. They crawl back through the woods for another round.

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

The crew at the top, layered in jackets and scarves, rush in from the sidelines and open their packs to a galaxy of snacks: trail mix, water—sparkling and flat, apples, mango slices, crackers and almonds, you name it.

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC
2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

The late summer sun is setting, and the team congregates. “And, that’s a wrap. Moving on!”

Bags are dropped to the ground and the heavy cameras are carefully laid on their cradles. Slapping sounds from high fives mix with the labored breathing from the scramble of the day. Moments pass, then Leigh and Leonie jump back on the bikes to rip their way to the bottom, while the crew grabs their gear and hikes back up to the chairlift for a final ride down.

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

Leigh turned to the group and winced at the sun setting behind Whistler Mountain. “So, only two more days of shooting and I have to give this bike back and go home?” Someone in the Liv crowd apologetically shrugs, but offers a promise of a special delivery in the fall for the Ms. Leigh D. “Thank God!” Leigh shouts as she wheelies off toward the hotel with a big, loud belly laugh.

bigquotesSo, only two more days of shooting and I have to give this bike back and go home? - Leigh Donovan

2017 Liv Hail Whistler BC

The Hail has been a long time coming. After being in the bike industry for around thirty years, Leigh is familiar with research and development. Yet, Hail was different—this bike was huge, and she wanted it to be perfect. She had ridden prototypes, looked at countless mock ups, yet now it was here. Now she was riding it for the first time. Up until this moment, Hail had been a dream. What if riding it snapped the dream into a bitter harsh reality? Yet, when Leigh had jumped off the bike from the first run down the mountain the day before, her relief was palpable and her open-mouth grin simply could not be wiped from her face.

Learn more about the New 2017 Liv Hail: HERE
Learn more about Leigh Donovan: HERE

Liv Hail


MENTIONS: @LivCycling / @WhistlerMountainBikePark / @ichoosebikes / @Rabbit09



Posted In:
Press Releases



29 Comments

  • + 19
 Leigh Donovan was out of the bike industry for a while after her retirement from pro racing in 2001, doing her retail business and we were so stoked to have her come back to the bike industry and share her skills, stories and love for mountain biking a couple of years ago. Proud to be a partner with her, since 1994! #mips #d3helmet #a1helmet #tldwomen
  • + 28
 So many hashtags I thought I was reading a 16-year-old girl's FB post.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 30, 2016 at 3:57) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-towns: screw you, MIPS possibly saves lives. #safety #responsibility #ethics #yesyoushould #youoweittoyourfamily #youshouldbesorryifyoudontlike
  • + 9
 That vid is the first thing that has ever made me want a WSD bike. Advertising to women done right--as in, it's an ad that would appeal to any humanoid who loves going fast on two wheels!
  • + 6
 And then we find it weird that bike company's make less dh bikes.. these video's! Shredding Schleyer on a trailbike... Sweet riding though, need more woman that rip on bikes.
  • + 8
 Well done Liv/Giant - Sick Hail!
  • + 7
 Last time I heard the end of that comment the bloke had a brown shirt on.
  • + 6
 Yah, any edit that makes me wanna grab my bike NOW, like...RIGHT now...is a good edit.
  • + 3
 The female version of the Reign, I was looking at picking up the girlfriend a DH rig and keep her Advanced Lust for trail riding, I think this one would suit both DH and trail riding. Great to see a bike company make killer bikes for women. Thanks Giant.
  • + 2
 Quite impressed with Giants offering .. only complaint would be the P-AM wheelset (aka boat anchor) spec'd rims on all 3 (of 4)models except the highest end carbon fibre Advanced version.

First thing that needs to go is the wheels and tires .. after that, you'll have a very capable bike with excellent part specs.

Overall well done (except the rims)
  • + 1
 I was hoping to read something constructive in this "review". Bit it was all girly squeals and high fives. What a stereotype. Oh the t heboys can choose our specs for us, and work out the angles. Its just too much for us...All I know about bikes is a nice pink paint job with flowers. What an insult to us that love the sport and our bikes.
NB. The specs are always crappier than the unisex models. Its next years Giant Reign if you haven't figured it out. Disappointed pinkbike and GIANT!!!!
  • + 4
 How come paint schemes on girl's bikes are way better than the regular ones?
  • + 1
 same goes with other products.
  • + 1
 Hey Giant, maybe spec something other than the thinnest walled Schwalbe tires on your bike and your riders won't have to be changing a flat in an ad for your bike, especially one that is considered a "gravity" bike. I can't be the only one frustrated in buying one of your bikes only for the tires to shred or puncture within the first handful of rides. Oh, and a 2k+ bike should come with tubeless ready tires. The other 2 big brands do it, just sayin'.
  • + 2
 All the manufactures do it so their bike feels as light as possible when comparing them in the showroom. A lot of people pick bikes based on how much they weigh. It takes a few years to relize that unless you are racing, the reliability of stronger components makes it worth the extra weight.
  • + 1
 @carym: it's more due to cost. Cheap tires keep the bike cheaper. Tires are a consumable.
  • + 1
 @bonfire: if it was a small brand I can see that. But when you are competing with brands that DO spec more durable tires on a similar bike, at a same or lower cost, the argument is invalid. Even more so when you are a giant like Giant and the OEM cost of a better tire is marginally higher. Think, the average cost of a thicker Schwalbe (SG vs SS) is $5 retail?-pulled from CRC. So OEM, maybe closer to $2. I'll pay an extra $10 on the cost of a bike, just to not have to buy a new tire (or explain to a customer why they need a new tire) after it slices in a matter of a few rides.
  • + 1
 @carym: I can see that if the customer is buying an XTC, Anthem, or even the Trance. But when a customer is looking at a their gravity bikes like the Trance SX or Reign, they are already looking for that more durable, bigger-hit bike- and weight is USUALLY not as much of a priority. Yet Giant will still spec SnakeSkins on the rear of these bikes, regardless of what the pricepoint is. Specialized does it on their Enduro with Controls too. Then the customer comes back within about a week, sometimes just short of throwing a temper-tantrum about how they just spent $4k+ on a bike and the tire didn't last for sh!t. For some people, that's A LOT of dough, and now being told they have to pay for a new tire, install, sealant, etc it often doesn't settle well. In a lot of cases, the customer thinks it is a reflection of the shop, and feel the shop should "warranty" the tire- and Giant sure isn't going to do it. This leaves either the shop or the customer to eat the cost, the latter of which leaves the customer frustrated and unhappy. All that for a few $$ or grams?
  • + 1
 Oh, Thanks for mentioning their attire. That's really important in a bike review, says the other Leonie in her broad Aussie Twang. Oh Blimey, said Leigh, I could just ride and ride forever, on my new Hail. The clouds parted. its time to finish this dreadful piece of bad Grade 7 creative writing, said Leonie, and go and read about Giant's other fab bikes on someother site. Oh, your so RAD, said Leigh. lets have one mre run.....
  • + 3
 Yeah Leonie and Leigh, that was great, makes me wanna buy a girls bike!
  • + 3
 Here's another video from a while back of Leonie and I in Squamish for anyone interested. www.pinkbike.com/video/427048
  • + 3
 Awesome vid, more please Giant
  • + 2
 Love the look of the Hail! Looks like a really fun bike even on the rainiest of days.
  • + 0
 Why are there no geometry specs on the Giant site(s)? Unless I missed them...
  • + 1
 link doesn't work from here, but found it. Thanks.
  • + 1
 Sick riding.

where's that roller at 0:45?
  • + 1
 Ride Life Ride Giant!!!
  • + 1
 hhuummm leonie picton

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