The roots of Liv were planted back in 2007 when Giant launched its first women's specific line of bikes and in 2014, the brand successfully separated and took off as their own women's specific entity. The first dual suspension bikes came in the form of the Intrigue, a 140mm aluminum trail bike and the Lust, a 100mm cross country bike. Despite Liv's close ties to Giant, they designed their frames a little differently, using Global Body Dimension Studies to create Liv 3F Women's Specific Geometry. Think lower bottom brackets, shorter top tubes, longer head tubes and slightly steeper head angles - A recipe that Liv believe creates a better starting point for comfort and fit for women's body proportions.



Details
• 27.5" wheels
• 140mm travel
• 66.9° head angle with a 160mm fork
• ALUXX SL Aluminum frame
• Sizes: XS, S, M
• Weight: 13.2kg / 29.1 lbs (size medium, without pedals)
• MSRP: $4475 USD
www.liv-cycling.com


Liv Intrigue SX
With its color coordinated decals and fresh blue paint job the Liv Intrigue SX turned many heads and brought about a lot of questions.


Sales went well, confirming that higher-end dual suspension mountain bikes were going to be a hot ticket for the company, but interestingly, athletes began making some changes to the Intrigue's set up that Liv began taking note of. Leigh Donovan was running a 160mm fork on her bike, and Katie Holden had been using shorter stem than the spec. Feedback from customers, ambassadors, and real world testers were firing over similar information, and one-by drive trains were beginning to become the expectation. When the decision makers saw just what the bike could do in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park with a 160mm fork strapped to the front it, well, they really knew there was an opportunity to do something more with the platform.

Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2016
Price $4475
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch Plus DebonAir RC
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air w/ Maxle Stealth thru-axle, OverDrive steerer, 160mm travel
Cassette SRAM XG-1180 10x42, 11-speed
Crankarms SRAM X1, 30T
Bottom Bracket SRAM, Press Fit
Rear Derailleur SRAM X1, Type 2
Chain KMC X11L
Shifter Pods SRAM X1, Rear only
Handlebar Contact SL Trail, Mid rise, 31.8mm
Stem Giant Contact SL AM
Brakes SRAM Guide RS, Hydraulic disc, [F] 170mm [R] 160mm
Hubs Giant Performance Tracker Disc, 32h, [F] 15mm axle, [R] 142x12mm axle
Spokes Stainless Steel, 14/15g
Rim Giant P-AM2, Double wall
Tires [F] Schwalbe Hans Dampf, 27.5x2.35, Snakeskin, Trailstar [R] Schwalbe Rock Razor, 27.5x2.35, Snakeskin, Pacestar
Seat Liv Contact SL forward, SST tubular metalic rails
Seatpost Giant Contact SL Switch, dropper, 30.9mm

Liv Intrigue SX

Liv Intrigue Geo


Enter the Liv Intrigue SX - A bike that has been designed to tame trails into submission, and bring about self-assured two-wheeled hucking. The beefed up package includes a RockShox Pike RCT3 160mm fork, which adds 20mm of travel to the front of the bike, additional stiffness, and a head tube angle that is slackened by over a degree. Instead of an inline shock, the SX comes with a RockShox Monarch Plus RC, this piggyback style shock offers more of that supple, bottomless feeling to the ride. The SX also moves to a burlier set of Giant AM rims set up with Schwalbe 2.35 tires, a 740mm bar (our test bike came with a 780mm) and SRAM’s X1 drivetrain.


Liv Intrigue SX
The Maestro suspension system is used for all of Liv and Giant's top end bikes.
Liv Intrigue SX
The 30t chainring SRAM X1 crank set hit the sweet spot when climbing the Intrigue SX.

Liv Intrigue SX
Giant's Contact SL Switch dropper is internally routed for nice clean lines.
Liv Intrigue SX
The internal cable routing ports keeps the Liv's lines hidden away and out of trouble.

Liv Intrigue SX
The RockShox Monarch Plus DebonAir RC3 felt bottomless at the worst of times.
Liv Intrigue SX
RockShox's Pike RCT3 Solo Air definitely played a part in making the Intrigue SX feel fearless when pointed down the trail.

Liv Intrigue SX
The cockpit is simple and clean with just SRAM's Guide Brakes, the SRAM X1 shifter and the Contact SL Switch dropper lever.
Liv Intrigue SX
Liv and Giant recently put a lot of time into designing their Contact saddle range. This is the forward-position SL which suits women with a forward leaning pelvis, there's also an upright version which is sold separately.






I managed to rustle up some friends and spent three days in Sydney sweltering through 40 degrees Celcius / 100 Fahrenheit temperatures, and fought off heat exhaustion (actually) to put the Intrigue SX to the test.

The tight, technical and at times steep climbing trails around Sydney instantly had me working to get my weight over the front of the SX. The 50mm stem made the steering pretty sharp, and my front wheel did tend to wander a bit. I was experiencing that niggling feeling of falling into the back seat. Switching the Monarch Plus rear shock the “mid” trail mode assisted in keeping me elevated and helped reduce the sensation of the SX riding so high in the front. Giant have been using their Maestro Suspension platform for years, and Liv get to cash in on things being pretty dialed here, so despite my weight wanting to be pushed into the back of the bike, I found that the platform transferred pedal power without sinking further into the suspension, or feeling any unruly bobbing.

The Aluxx aluminum frame felt quite light and as a package, the 29 pound bike wasn't too strenuous to push up the hills, especially with the 30t chain ring, which was a spot on choice for the trails I was riding. Despite fighting that wandering front wheel and the taller ride height, the SX was actually a competent climber, but would be most at home on wide meandering climbs where you can have a chat and enjoy the view.

It was when I pointed the Intrigue SX down the hill that everything began to make sense. This is a bike that likes to lock in its line through sputtering rock gardens and encourages you to get your two wheels off the ground when there’s a chance to “send it”. Any hesitation I had with hitting new foreign trails were quickly put aside after spending approximately 3.5 minutes descending on the Liv. The only thing that would hold this bike back was going to be me.

The suspension spec really came alive for me here. There’s been enough hoopla around the RockShox Pike to know that this fork churns out some smooth butter, and combined with the Monarch Plus shock, riding the SX felt like diving into a bed of marshmallows. Combined with the shorter stem and wider handlebar of the SX's there was a nice sense of stability when navigating the steep and tech. Riding the SX down the hills was confidence inspiring, and just plain fun.

Liv Intrigue SX
Liv Intrigue SX


The cockpit was pretty compact for a size medium but it was also fuss free (hooray). The guide brakes were smooth and powerful, the Contact SL Switch dropper post lever was ergonomic and easy to engage and the post operated without any glitches during testing, however a, few more mm's of drop would have been appreciated for the steeper descents.

When it came to cornering, the SX held its lines pretty well, but it did tend to try and keep me upright, and so it took added intention to drive my weight forward in order to be balanced over the suspension as I hit the apex of a turn. The faster rolling, lighter weight Pacestar compound of the RockRazor rear tire may not have been up to the chunky terrain of Sydney, as I flatted it three times. The tires are tubeless ready, and a tubeless set-up may have potentially saved me some of the headache of trail side flat repairs but so would have a more durable tire. If you want to go tubeless you’ll need to get yourself some valves and sealant to make the switch, and you could shave a couple of grams off the bike as an added bonus.

The women’s specific design of the SX might not make sense to some of the numbers nerds out there as it lacks some of the progressive geometry that's currently en vogue but if you put the geo charts aside for a moment and focus on what the bike does offer, well, there are a few points that could score with many female riders. It’s a bike that likes to point and shoot, it likes to eat up chunder and like good partner that's worth their salt, it wants you to succeed. It’s a comfortable, easy to get used to, fun enhancing type of bike, and that right there is a winning lottery ticket for so many women. Ok, so it doesn’t climb like a bat out of hell, but I wouldn’t feel uneasy about having to spend a long day out on the SX.


Pinkbike's Impressions:
bigquotesThe Intrigue SX is a well put together package that's easy to jump aboard and get ripping on quickly. It has all the right elements for the rider who has her climbing game tidied up, and who is now looking to smash the descents and really feel confident about it. - Rachelle Frazer



Visit the high-res gallery for more images.


www.liv-cycling.com.


About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 30 something • Height: 5'6” • Inseam: 31" • Weight: 116lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Rachelle's relationship with mountain biking began when she moved from Australia to Whistler, B.C., in 2005, where she swiftly fell in love with downhilling thanks to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Her love for mountain biking has grown over the years to include all types of riding, and she is currently working on taming the unruly rock gardens of the East Coast of the USA where she now lives. Rachelle Frazer


A side note on Sydney, Australia

Sydney may not come to mind as hot ticket mountain biking destination - it’s a bustling city of over four million people better known for its 100+ beaches and beautiful looking people, but set back from the ocean, hidden in the dense, sandy bush is a network of technical tracks to explore. The mountain bike culture is growing with the continual introduction of new trail centers thanks to the work of advocacy groups working with local governments throughout the region. Liv are right there and involved in the Aussie scene too:
bigquotes
It's a really exciting time to be involved in the Australian bike industry. We have an amazing group of Ambassadors located all around the country that are hosting social rides, workshop nights and training camps to make cycling more accessible and a mainstream activity for women. - Caitlynn Hargreaves - Liv Brand Specialist, Australia.


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Must Read This Week

135 Comments

  • + 75
 would it kill bike companies to make "women's" bikes in a large, as some of us are 6ft or taller, as their paint schemes look pretty bangin' next to the fairly drab "men's" frames.
  • + 9
 We had this issue when looking for a bike for my wife, and she's only 5'8". We started looking at mens bikes, but she wanted something pretty. I couldn't argue with her, you gotta love what you ride. She wound up with a Specialized Rhyme.
  • + 26
 I am a man and I work at a large retailer for Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, and Santa Cruz, and I have to say; the women's paint schemes are often so much better than some of the guy pain jobs. My coworkers and I all drool over the high-end female bikes that come in.
  • + 2
 @visser62: I prefer the look of my wife's Rhyme Comp to my Process. I would ride it!
  • + 12
 You cant buy cool. Paint it your self if you don't like it. With that said for the price of high end rides you should be able to chose the color scheme for the paint on top end models.
  • + 0
 @properp: you can with the project 1 treks

anyway... I agree with the womens paint jobs, especially the Yeti Beti SB5-c and many of the Liv bikes
  • + 24
 Interestingly, I got more comments from men about how good they thought the SX looked than I did from women.
  • + 12
 No lie, I have walked into a Giant shop & been all stoked on a liv for at least 5 mins before I realized it was women's specific. The guys at the shop were like "yea, happens all the time."

It doesn't help that main Giant's colorways of the last few years have been the MTB equivalent of "bourge-mobile brown."

to cap off that reference, I'll add that "their colorways are so unhip it's a wonder their bums don't fall off."
  • + 6
 Odd that the industry has decided that light blue and pink are the mandatory colours for woman specific gear.... on the bright side, at least your kit will always match your bike.
  • + 3
 Get a Yeti Smile
  • - 3
 @GumptionZA: yes that's grate but it's still a Trek
  • + 3
 @GumptionZA: yes you can customize the paint job in project one....... for well over $10,000
  • + 5
 @giant-35: he did say top end models.....

And think about it from a manufacturing and logistical perspective, custom painting each and every frame differently according to customers personal requests, and then delivering those specific frames from your plant in taiwan america or wherever to their LBS is a mammoth task compared to just sending a couple hundred frames in that each size to that country.

Yeah, the project one treks are expensive, but I'm sure that you can still spend just as much on another bike and not get to be as specific with your colour choice, in fact im surprised that its offered at all!

then once youve gotten your project 1 trek, had it for a few months/years (you just spent 10k on a bike, you get upgrades pretty often) on it, and now its time too sell, but suddenly you have to chop a good amount of value off your bike because you are literally the only person in your area who actually likes the paintjob on your bike. This is going to get downvoted out of existence, but whatever, yolo.
  • + 5
 It would be way more profitable to just hire the person who did the paintjobs on the Liv bikes to do your whole range
  • + 2
 @visser62: ...the same sentiment extends to color schemes for clothing, imo...
  • + 1
 get a bronson?
  • + 3
 roubion in light purple, sick ass frame, but dang juliana/ santa cruz frames are pricey, but at least i have the choice of canyon bikes and they do their women's bikes in large sizes as they use the same frames as the blokes.
  • + 4
 Less than 1 out of 1,000 women are 6'+ tall. And then you throw in how many are mountain bikers and you get a really small group which makes it cost prohibitive for bicycle manufacturers to produce a Large frame for the 8 ladies that will be buying them. 8 women out of 100 are 5'8"...still a small group. I would bet you'd fit a man's large perfectly.
  • + 1
 @rachellefrazer do you know if there are any women ride days around Sydney. I bought my Wife an Intrigue for Christmas and she has been riding with me and my mates at places like Ourimbah and Wylde. She loves riding but feels like she is slowing us down (even though we don't mind waiting) and therefore doesn't come out as often.
  • + 1
 ..
  • + 2
 @GumptionZA, and all color fanatics out there: check out Droessiger bikes (droessiger.de , no English site i think). They do custom color configurations for all their bikes and they're pretty competetive in pricing. So it's not that hard apparently.
  • + 2
 @Gronzdog: Not sure of specific ride groups but I do know some rad ladies to ride with in Sydney!
  • + 1
 @Gronzdog: Yes there are. Check out on fb Northern Beaches Social Riders. They don't always ride the NB but they do have a ton of women's specific rides and classes. Having said that, i've never participated in one of their women only events.
  • + 1
 gah double post
  • + 1
 @rachellefrazer: I think we know the same women although i don't live in Sydney any more
  • + 34
 Yeah my wife turned "30 something" a few weeks ago. She's been "30 something" for a few years now. I just nod my head and don't ask questions.
  • - 37
flag davidsimons (Apr 4, 2016 at 5:52) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, weird how people are reluctant to tell their age but like to appear in the media. Ego or something ?
  • + 57
 @davidsimons: I'm just still getting over the fact I'm not 27 anymore.
  • + 3
 @davidsimons: Hey, I'm still 28...
  • + 5
 @rachellefrazer: You & me both, & I'm told guys aren't supposed to care, or something
  • + 35
 I've been told it's rude to ask women how old they are so now I just ask how much they weigh ;-)
  • + 2
 @davidsimons i am 40! cheers from Taipei, Taiwan ❤
  • + 19
 What an intriguing review! I'll let myself out.
  • + 27
 I liv for comments like that.
  • + 9
 it was sx-y
  • + 1
 sorry posted twice Frown
  • + 1
 Looks like a Trance
  • + 12
 @rachellefrazer, it's 2016 and you put tubes in your tubeless tires on a top of the line trail bike?!? I've never had a flat on any tires in any terrain in almost three years since going tubless, you should try it :-) .
  • + 1
 Very good review otherwise!
  • + 5
 Some people prefer the feel of riding with tubes. More solid and less side to side movement, especially at lower pressures. Makes for a stiffer ride feel. I agree with you though, and I wouldn't go back to running tubes any time soon.
  • + 15
 Can't believe people rag on peoples choice of equipment. Why does it matter?
  • + 5
 @dirtspanker: honestly I tried to delete my comment because you're right, there is really no reason to be negative, but apparently you can't delete your own comments on pinkbike... It just stood out to me that in a bike review the reviewer mentioned that they were getting flats, but weren't running the tires tubless...
  • + 19
 @Trilliamiano: I only had access to the bike for a very short amount of time, so I rode it how it came to get an impression that reflects how it would arrive to the consumer. Definitely makes sense for someone who will have the bike long term to get their hands on the accessories and make the switch though.
  • + 6
 @rachellefrazer: Fair play, thanks for a good review. The bike looks great!
  • + 2
 You can put sealant into tubes. If you don't have a tube with a removable valve core, you can put sealant into a tube by cutting a small hole in the tube, adding sealant, and patching the tube. Sealant lasts a very long time in a tube because there is little air loss, which means the sealant can't evaporate. I did this once after a ghetto tubeless setup failed, using a Schrader valved tube. Rode the wheel with the tube for a few years at least. When I replaced the tire once, there were multiple spots where small punctures had been sealed. The tube had shifted at some point with the second tire, putting a hole in the tube at the base of the valve stem, which usually means you have to replace the tube. It held air for I don't know how long, and I re-used the tube with a third new tire. I ride tubeless now.
  • + 3
 Just flatted yesterday and it wouldn't seal. I love tubeless but it's not 100%.
  • + 1
 @stoicbear: It doesn't work the same. Mostly because of the thickness of the tube compared to a tire. It's like the difference between a car tire and an mtb tire... which one seals up more easily?
  • + 1
 @trialsracer: I never ever noticed when the tube with Stan's sealant was punctured. It must have sealed quickly every time. My point was about using sealant in a tube, instead of going tubeless, because it worked for me. I prefer the more supple feel of tubeless over using tubes.
  • + 9
 Its really great to see more and more companies making bikes specifically for woman. Keep it up!
  • + 5
 My wife said it looks nice but how does it ride. That is what it is all about. Ride quality not looks. Yes looks are great but good looking is not all ways the best preforming. Don't get it just because it is pretty.
  • + 5
 Liv is also one of the big culprits of the "men's bikes are named after being tough" while "women's bikes are named after things that imply being a sex object." Though I'll give them Intrigue as being an improvement over "Lust."
  • - 2
 But how many people walk into a bike shop and dump thousands on something that "looks pretty"?
  • + 6
 @Pikasam: The answer to your question is: Enough to make it worth spending dollars on designers to make your bikes look good, not just perform good. Or so it would seem from the amount of designers employed by the bike industry.
  • + 2
 Liv is separate from Giant in terms of design. Women decided on the names, colours, specifications etc. Liv is not a bunch of dudes shrinking it and pinking it.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: LUST=Ladies Ultimate Shred Tool
  • + 1
 @coltenmoore: I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of it, because people just decide I'm being a SJW, & the conversation devolves into pointlessness, but making a backronym out of it doesn't really change anything, & neither does the fact that women came up with it.

Suffice it to say, people who devote their lives to studying human behavior see problems with it, & if you take the time to actually understand their arguments, they make a lot sense.
  • + 2
 @groghunter: Agree. Liv bike names are trite rubbish.
  • + 0
 So I test rode this bike a couple of days ago and I wasn't the biggest fan. It didn't have the stability in the back end and it didn't want to get off the ground. This bike didn't make me feel like a better rider. I usually ride a Kona Process 134 and I love it.
  • + 4
 My girlfriend loves her Intrigue (non SX). It was literally one of a very small selection of bikes she could stand-over, and the only all-mountain option we found that she could try. Very stoked this bike is finding success for the very short shredders out there. She's hoping for a carbon version next year.
  • + 3
 Good on ya Rachelle for ignoring the numbers and concentrating on the ride. Too many people are too concerned about HA. Everything in mountain biking is a compromise - slack head angles are good at some things and bad at others.
  • + 2
 Props to the first men I see on a "women's -specific" bike. If you love the paint jobs so much and they fit right, why not consider it? There's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Afterall, us women have been riding 'mens' bikes for years without it causing widespread identity crises. I've seen quite a few smaller guys who would benefit from this kind of geometry. I would love to see a guy so confident in his sexuality that shredding on a Juliana or Liv bike wouldn't phase him.
  • + 3
 women aren't just small men in disguise...
  • + 2
 For example, I'm fairly small, I could even fit a women's bike on casual inspection, but I wouldn't on a real fit: I have the exact opposite body characteristics: short femurs, ape like arms.
  • + 3
 You may be missing the point of women's bikes entirely... re-read the article. The body geometry of most women is different than most men, significantly enough to design the bike differently (i.e. whereas I can tweak my bike to be different than yours with stem, cranks etc, our bodies are similar enough that we can start with the same frame, perhaps only differently sized, a female might be better off starting with a totally different frame design.)
  • + 1
 @trialsracer: I agree that some men would fit "women's" bikes better and some women would fit "men's" bikes better.
  • + 1
 If it was a frame only, i'd consider it but not buy it new. The colours for women are what? pink, light blue, purple ?? f*ck that, not voiding a warranty to get a decent colour scheme. Buying completes is for entry level riders, so where's the option for those of us who know what we like ?
  • + 3
 While I wouldn't agree that buying completes is for entry level riders (I work at a shop and it's still usually better for me to buy a complete and swap to parts that I like rather than going completely frame up), I have to agree that this falls right in line with the rest of the women specific colours. Also the linkage is ugly. I'm all over the Trek Lush colours other than the base one... which you can't say is women specific anyway because they use it in the remedy and slash as well. Decent options slowly getting out there!
  • + 4
 Gotta disagree with you on both points. Last years intrigue was black and red and definitely didn't fit the girly colour scheme, as for this years SX (which I own) I don't consider the colour to be girly at all, and the matte finish is genius, I'm far from an entry level rider and my biggest gripe with most bikes is that glossy paint job that doesn't last unless you cover it with a tonne of 3M tape!

Oh and I'm far from and entry level rider (and yes I have changed some components on my bike) but I think bang for your buck it's a pretty well spec'd bike.
  • + 2
 Thanks Stinky - I've always wanted to know what my level of riding was. After more than twenty years of racing bmx, DH, xc etc. and beating ninety percent of the competition, podiuming in national level competitions when I was younger, plus plenty of trials and DJ, I finally know I'm 'entry level'. I'll ask my sponsors to stop paying my races fees, throwing team jerseys my way and making sure I'm on the latest bikes. Now I can sit on the couch all day and eat chips instead of training.
  • + 0
 @j-t-g: What makes the colours offensive is how they're used exclusivly for womens products across the entire range--lids, jerseys, shorts, shoes, bikes, gloves, undies.... There is no "womens specific" colour until a brand markets it as such and they flog it to death. My favourite colour is green, I have 4 green bikes. Why are there never any green bikes ? I can't be arsed to buy another complete and weigh up if I might like it better with components I prefer. I'd rather get just the frame and know the components aren't going to be where any issue is.
  • + 1
 @Stinky1138: again, look at trek. Most of their women specific bikes share identical colour schemes with unisex bikes, as does most of the bontrager apparel for 2016
  • + 1
 We had a guest here at our lodge at Mt Buller,she just left yesterday.She unpacked this exact bike from her bag and my Fionce's eyes near popped out of her head!We both had a test ride,obviously not set up for my weight but it felt super plush and just"right".The girl rode hard for 3 days,they did the epic(40kms with some wicked climbs and serious fast descents,over 10kms worth)all the cross country and yesterday the downhill trails.She couldnt sing its praises enough.Now hopefully there will be some left about in june when the 2017 range come in and the price for these drops abit-my missus will be on one for sure!
  • + 4
 I think the front rotor size is 180mm not 170
  • + 4
 i want one!!!! 顏色好好看,好想要!
  • + 3
 Hey look it's a Giant! oh wait...
  • + 3
 very steep for a 160mm forked bike.
  • - 2
 Lol? 160mm and you go down at rampage without problems !!
  • + 0
 72.8deg seat angle on an enduro bike...does giant ride those things before putting them into production? I still have knee pain from having to pedal forwarts instead of downwards on my 2013 reign.
  • + 7
 Try to longer legs.
  • - 1
 @passwordpinkbike: am on a large size bike with the 350mm almost seatpost fully extended. Clearly thats not the problem here, and whoever reign owner am talking to seems to have the same problem.otherwise a great bike
  • + 1
 What shoes are those?? Nice article btw, as a short rider (5' 3") these ladie's bikes have always Intrigued me, the colors are spot on too!
  • - 1
 At first I was like, "I hope the guy didn't shave his legs for this review, and wear pink shorts", but then mid way down the images I began to clue in, and by the end of scrolling through my suspicions were confirmed.
  • + 2
 looks just like a reign/trance.
  • - 1
 Who would have guessed they'd look the same you know being the same company and all, you forgot to mention it looks like a glory too lol
  • + 1
 pretty sure thi bike i hredable by a men !!! it looks like a reign and reign rock so! !!
  • + 1
 I like women who can appreciate a raw frame.
  • + 1
 It kinda looks like Giant trance
  • + 1
 Nice review! The trails look fun too!
  • + 0
 Honest question, is it really different from a Reign despite name and colour?
  • + 8
 It's a hell of a lot more like a Trance SX than a reign, a few things change across the two, mainly in the kit that come on the bikes, the frames differ in head angle, reach and seat angle, with the seat angle being slightly steeper in the Intrigue to compensate for women having longer femurs relative to tibia. Liv do the same on their road bikes relative to the Giant road bikes to make the bikes fit better out the box.
  • + 4
 @ddfc

if you look at the Giant Propel in medium (52cm) and Liv Envie (women's Propel) in medium (52cm) the seat tube angle is identical. This is a good thing.

Putting a steeper seat angle on a women's bike is a quick "cheat" to reduce effective reach, but can often cause an issue for women because the longer femur dictates that the saddle is pushed further back to get the knee positioned correctly over the pedal axle.

The femur tends to move in a more horizontal plane during pedaling, with the tib/fib moving more vertical. The longer the femur, the more pronounced this horizontal plane.

I see this issue a lot when I do bike fits for women, with the front of the patella too far forward, relative to the pedal axle. Saddle position is absolutely critical for a good bike fit, after foot correction.



I've had female customers we have moved onto a men's bike with a more relaxed saddle angle (normal) to accomodate long femurs and short tib/fib
  • + 3
 This is not the same frame as the men's. In the article she states that the tubes are different. Unlike other brands like Santa Cruz, Liv is not just the men's frame with a different paint job.
  • + 4
 @hampsteadbandit: Dude, I haven't commented in about a year, but this comment is so f*cking spot on that I have to say 'thank you'. Thank you for pointing out the fit requirements and physiological differences that might require a gal to look at something other than 'women's specific'. They're great, but, like any other bike, not for everyone. Thank you for such an incredible comment that was so body-specific. Thank you, thank you, thank you... From the bottom of my long femur-ed, black little heart.
  • + 2
 @ambatt: I am glad you've commented after such a hiatus. Contrary to what you wrote on another website, you did (and do) have support from some PB brethren.
  • + 2
 @ambatt:

cheers!

It's an interesting and perhaps troubling development in the bike industry that women's specific models tend to have steeper seat angles, whereas from a biomechanical POV the reverse is what you want, within reason of course. The longer femur and shorter tib/fib is very prevalent among women according to all the available data.

From a recent article where Cervelo where asked why Cervelo don't offer "women's specific models":-

"If I were going to sell someone a bike I wouldn’t ask if they were a man or a woman, I’d ask what they want to do with it. I do think there are times when you could actually physically make different products that could be more suited to different people, but it might be less related to gender and more related to use patterns.”

From a bike fitting perspective, a good fit is a good fit. When a client comes in and says "Do you have a 52cm bike in stock?" my question would be "What is your bike fit?".

A recent example was a lady at 6'2" who according to manufacturers data should have been a large in a men's bike.

She ended up on a men's small endurance bike which could accomodate her long leg extension and short torso / short reach. The women's models I tried her on could not deal with her long femurs. Looking at the body data will allow the fitter to find something suitable with adjustment
  • + 2
 @hampsteadbandit: I've been wondering about that data and reasoning (and personal experience) for a while -- it's never made sense to me why there are gender-specific bikes rather than size and skill-specific bikes, or body proportional bikes. I mean, I totally support the efforts that companies are making, but it's a small piece of the pie, especially when you have polar opposites in size, physical proportions and gender, but similar skill levels. My best friend is 5'2"-3" and 120 lbs... And male. Small hands, small torso, small legs. Women's-specific frames fit him extremely well, but I can't smash myself into one for the life of me. My arms are tiny but my torso is loooong, and my femurs are giraffe-sized, but my calves have left me half-built at 5'8". Great for power, not great for bike fit. Razz

In other words: You're the first person I've talked to online who has cited data to back up the theory of physiological bike building; not to say it's not out there, but even some bike fitters are massively confused with my crazy proportions and the needs of other similarly-built women. I'm not an anomaly, though. It seems that taller women (tall = anyone over 5'6") often seek out non-women's specific bikes. Is this a coincidence? Likely. But I wonder if there's a standard of fit in the future where people are fitted for body size/proportion and riding style/skill rather than gender... But then again, shimano might come out with a women's-specific derailleur and change everything. Wink

Thanks for the very informed conversation. Lots to think about (and Google)!
  • + 1
 You know what, this review was
  • + 1
 Excellent review.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the thumbs up @ambatt.
  • + 2
 @rachellefrazer: Always! Accidentally fat thumbed and neg-propped you, but it really is an awesome write up with important information. Keep up the excellent work.
  • + 1
 Hello, Giant Smile
  • + 1
 $4500? hahahaha
  • + 1
 Bottlerocket
  • + 1
 Petit
  • - 3
 Looks like a ready-to-go from the store package with some smart component. However, $4400 is bit steep for an alloy bike with a mediocre house dropper and wheels.
  • + 19
 I like how suddenly aluminum is an "entry-level" material. It's maybe more than you could get a "direct-sale" aluminum rig for, but on par with other aluminum bikes with this level of spec. Aluminum, you can still make bikes out of and they are a-ok Wink
  • + 9
 I prefer aluminum over C.F... I know it's going to last.. The bike Tech at my lbs says he sees at least 1 broken carbon fibre frame every week during the summer.. That's something I don't want to deal with..
  • + 1
 Spec looks pretty good to me for the price!
  • + 2
 @BeerGuzlinFool: I'v rode since the 80's and never broke a aluminum frame ever. I have broke 3 carbon fiber Jekyll's in a row now. 3 broken upper carbon seat stays all in the exact same spot.. My next bike will be ti or aluminum.
  • + 1
 @properp:
That sucks..
  • + 2
 @properp: I've cracked two aluminum frames in the last year. One Turner and one Niner. Turner customer service was spot on at least.
  • + 1
 @phalley: Cannofsnails said sorry we don't have any seat stays for a year old model. Cannofsnails also refused to warranty the stay's. Cannofsnails said you can buy the last years model at a discount. 1/2 off. That was the same bike I broke and needed the seat stay to. That would be grate if I had a extra 4'500.00 I didn't know what to do with. I'm sure every rider wants to buy the same bike they broke 3 times in a row.
  • + 1
 @properp:
I would try and get a refund.
  • + 2
 I own 3 alloy bikes and 1 carbon bike and I love my alloy stumpy. I do not consider alloy entry level in the least...I just think the wheels and dropper are garbage for this price point. It's also a standard frame that doesn't really differentiate itself from the competition (except for the sweet colors).

Look at LBS models this thing is at least $500-$700 over what I think it's worth. Glance at the Trek Remedy 8 and 9. The 9 is the same price and is spec'd a bit better (wheels and dropper). The 8 is a $1000 less and is very comparable. The Yeti SB5 is a full carbon bike and it sells for $4500. Granted the shocks are a smidgen back but if that was my budget I'd go with either of the above bikes. Then look at Commencal and YT's line-ups and this thing becomes even less competitive. Cool, but not worth $4400.
  • + 7
 @ryan83 mediocre house brand dropper? the Giant Contact SL Switch is quietly the most reliable dropper on the market.

look at the most recent PB dropper article, the comments section is full of people talking about how the giant dropper is their favorite. it's definitely my favorite, and it's been problem-free since day 1, going on 18 months or so
  • + 2
 @ryan83: The Reverb post instead of Giant's house brand post is a close call at best. Reverb is riddled with reliability issues. I can't declare a winner there and the wheels are arguable as well. Everything else is pretty much identical in spec to the Remedy at the same exact price.
  • + 2
 @xeren: its the favourite in our store, too. way less problems with them than with the other brands. and easy to service and easy to install. and alot cheaper!
  • + 1
 @BeerGuzlinFool: When Cannondale was in Pennsylvania they always were spot on for me. Now they are just rubbish when it comes to service. I sure miss the days when you could pick up the phone and chat with a human on the phone about your issue.
  • + 2
 @Stralov: I installed Contact dropper on my wife's Lust. It was easy and stealth routed. Works well and cheep compared to my reverb. Good post for the money for sure. It sure is nice that you can run cable stealth or external.
  • + 2
 Also that post uses the same cylinder as your office chair to go up and down.
  • + 3
 @properp: i love my office chair
  • + 1
 @ryan83 People need to stop bashing a bike because of the material it's made from. The material a bike is made from is irrelevant! To an extent of course. I suppose if you wanted a carbon frame for that the components could be compromised further!
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