While the new Liv Pique 29 may have the same name as the first generation Pique introduced in 2016, the two bikes bear little resemblance. The bike has morphed from a small-wheeled trail bike into a big-wheeled cross-country race machine. The Pique 29 is Liv's first mountain bike that has a full carbon frame and, with an entirely new design, it is much better suited to cross-country racers than the previous Pique was.
While I initially thought that it was a Liv bike along the lines of Giant's Trance 29 when I spotted Kaysee Armstrong's prototype at Sea Otter in April
, it's closer to the Giant Anthem. The Pique 29 is aimed at experienced mountain bikers who are interested in XC racing and epic rides.
Liv Pique 29
• Wheelsize: 29"
• Travel: 100mm
• Head angle: 68.5°
• Chainstay length: 438mm
• Threaded bottom bracket
• 12 x 148mm rear spacing
• Fork offset: 51mm
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L
• Carbon and aluminium models available
• MSRP: $2,050 - $12,300 USD
The bike is offered in size XS through Large and there are six price points available. With aluminum models starting at $2,050 USD and the carbon models going all the way up to $12,300, the Pique 29 is sure to please high school racers' parents and World Cup regulars alike. All models have dropper posts, women's specific geometry and saddles, and 100mm of suspension that is tuned for lighter riders.
While you can ride this bike in baggies, it's more appropriate for full spandex sending.Frame Options & Build Kits
The Pique 29 Advanced Pro 0 that I rode at the launch event in Kingdom Trails, Vermont retails for a whopping $12,300 USD. That high price is largely due to the addition of Fox's Live Valve suspension - there's a Fox 32 Float SC Factory Live Valve 100mm travel fork with a FIT4 damper, and a 100mm Fox Float Factory Live Valve rear shock. Other highlights include a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain and crankset, SRAM Level Ultimate brakes, Reverb Stealth dropper post, a Giant Contact SLR XC Flat carbon 750x31.8mm handlebar, Giant's XCR 0 29 hookless carbon wheels with a 25mm inner width rim, and Maxxis Recon Race 2.25 EXO tires.
If that's way
more than you want to spend, the Pique Advanced Pro 29 1 retails for less than half that at $5,350 USD. It has a Fox 32 Float SC Performance Elite 100mm travel fork with a FIT4 damper and remote lockout, a 100mm Fox Float DPS Performance Elite rear shock, a Giant Contact Switch dropper, a Shimano XT drivetrain and crankset, Shimano SLX brakes, a Giant Contact SL XC Flat 780x31.8mm handlebar, Giant's XCR 1 29 hookless carbon wheels with a 25mm inner width rim, and Maxxis Recon Race 2.25 EXO tires.
The entry-level Pique 29 3 that retails for $2,050 USD comes with a RockShox Recon RL 100mm travel fork, a 100mm RockShox Deluxe Select rear shock, a Giant Contact Switch dropper post with remote lever, a SRAM SX drivetrain and crankset, Shimano BR-MT400 hydraulic disc brakes, a Giant Contact SL XC Flat 780x31.8mm handlebar, Giant's XCT wheels with a 25mm inner width rim, and Maxxis Recon Race 2.25 EXO tires.Frame Details Updated Advanced Forged Composite Upper Rocker Arm:
The Pique 29 has an updated "forged carbon fiber" upper rocker arm. It is no longer a solid piece, but instead has a cutout in the middle for maximum lightness, without sacrificing stiffness and strength. PowerCore bottom bracket:
An oversized bottom-bracket area with a fully integrated wide bottom-bracket design and asymmetric chainstays, which Liv says provide additional stiffness on the driveside and stability on the non-driveside.Geometry
The Liv 3F Design Philosophy guides Liv as they research, engineer and test new bike designs, apparel, and gear. Liv bikes are designed for women from the ground up and do not use the same molds as Giant bikes.
The previous generation of the Pique was built around 27.5" wheels with a 69.4° headtube angle, 72.5° seat tube angle, 430mm chainstays, and a 404mm reach on the size Medium. Liv's priorities with the new Pique 29 were to build a bike with 29er wheels, with a short rear center, aggressive XC geometry, 100mm of travel, and a suspension leverage curve to work smoothly with the complete geometry design. They've accomplished this with a headtube angle that is a degree slacker a 68.5°, a seat tube angle that is a degree and a half slacker at 74°, 438mm chainstays, and a 427mm reach on a size Medium.
Their goal was to be able to fit even the most petite women on this bike without sacrificing stiffness or weight for XC racing, while fitting a water bottle on all sizes.
Studio photography by Jeff Clark Photography Suspension
The Pique 29 uses Maestro Suspension which has four pivot points and two linkages that work together to create a single floating pivot for active, efficient and independent suspension system on the trail. The Pique features 100mm of travel using Giant’s Maestro suspension technology.
More than just setting the rebound and air pressure, Liv has optimized the internals of their shocks for female riders. Within Liv’s 3F design philosophy, they used a variety of different women’s body types and riding styles to find what they believe is the best suspension feel for women. They’ve refined the suspension's shim stacks, volume spacers, and air pressures to match the female rider based on extensive testing with their female athletes and ambassadors.
The standard weight range the Pique 29 was tuned for is 52-73kg (114-161 lbs). A rider outside of this standard tuning weight range would want to have their suspension serviced to best respond to their weight.
I rode the Pique 29 Advanced Pro 0 for two days at Liv's launch event at Kingdom Trails in Vermont. The network boasts over 100 miles of singletrack that cross through the private property of over 50 landowners. It's an impressive partnership. Riding bikes and eating as many different maple syrup products as possible seems to be the priority in the area, so I fit right in. Maple creemees, Vermont's version of a soft-serve ice-cream, were a particularly hot commodity. I highly recommend the maple sugar sprinkles.
As for the trails, they were fast and flowy, with gradual climbs and descents and barely a root or rock in sight. Coming from Squamish, I found the number of easy trails refreshing, and it was great to see some many beginners out on the trails. At the same time, I would have liked to have a couple more technical trails to test the bike on since World Cup courses these days have drops, steep chutes, gnarly rooted steep climbs, and rock rolls. Kingdom Trail's black trails were oddly similar to their green trails and lacked features that could really push the bike's limit.
Squamish, BC, CanadaAge:
155 lbs Industry affiliations / sponsors:
None Instagram: @smooresmoore
I rode a size Medium Pique 29 Advanced Pro 0 during my time in Vermont. The climbing position and 427mm reach on the Pique 29 were comfortable and I didn't feel like I needed to make any changes to the cockpit other than dropping the stem. Once we started riding, I was impressed with the lightweight Pique 29's ability to hold speed into climbs, and then rocket up them with remarkably little effort. It felt like a bike with World Cup climbing pedigree, which it is. Liv Global Racing's Kaysee Armstrong will be racing the bike in the Snowshoe World Cup next month alongside her Canadian teammate Sandra Walter.
The Fox Live Valve system on the Advanced 29 Pro 0 means you don't even have to think about locking out your bike and can just focus on pushing hard on the pedals. I really appreciated the no-fuss system and think it would be fantastic in an XC race setting since it allows you to keep focused on your competitors instead of twisting knobs and turning dials.
The sensors react much faster than you or I can, which means that the bike is locked out for those short, punchy climbs that you wouldn't bother to use a remote lockout on. The mode changes in 3 milliseconds –100 times faster than the blink of an eye and senses a bump at the front wheel and opens the fork before the rider feels it. Descending
As for descending, the bike felt light and poppy and was much more fun to descend than I had anticipated. I chose to ride the Fox Live Valve system in the middle setting, which seemed to give the right amount of efficiency on the climbs without being harsh and losing traction on the descents. Liv has done a great job with the handling on the 29er wheels and the steering felt precise and intuitive. What the Kingdom Trails lack in technical terrain they make up for in corners and the Pique 29 wove through them quickly and seamlessly.
All models come with dropper posts, there was a 125mm dropper post on the size Medium I tested, and that coupled with the big wheels made me feel comfortable on the bike at speed and descending.