American long-distance mountain bike racer Kaysee Armstrong was spotted on this Liv prototype during the XC race at Sea Otter. Kaysee is a part of the Liv Racing team and has competed in the Absa Cape Epic along with a host of cyclocross, enduro, XC and gravel races.
Liv staff were willing to let me take photos of the prototype she's racing on but wouldn't provide any information on it. My guess is that it's an updated version of the Liv Pique since that bike was introduced in 2016
so is likely up for an update after three years on the market. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pique, it was the Lust's replacement and was dubbed an aggressive XC bike with 120mm of travel, 27.5" wheels, and a 70º head angle.
Whether it's a Pique or something entirely different, one thing we can see for sure is that the new bike now has 29er wheels. There are definite similarities between the prototype Liv bike and the Giant Trance 29 that Daniel Sapp and I tested
during last year's Pinkbike Field Test so we're guessing it may take even more cues from that model than just the wheel size.
The Giant Trance 29 uses the Maestro suspension layout with a carbon upper link, and it looks like that has carried over to this Liv prototype. Daniel and I were impressed with the aggressive spec that the Trance came with and the progressive geometry, 66.5-degree head angle, 74.5-degree seat angle, and 435mm chainstays, so it would be great to see something similar available on the Liv side.
Rolling on bigger wheels...
Comparing the seattube to that of the Giant Trance 29 (right), this is definitely a different frame.
The spec on Kaysee's bike isn't as aggressive as the Giant Trance 29 we tested last summer, but that could just be because it's set up for the fast rolling course at Sea Otter.
Looking pretty close to being ready with the plastic protection bits dialed.
Link pivot bolt still looks crap in silver but love the freedom to route cables/hoses on either side of the headtube unlike 90% of CF frames. I'd buy one for that reason alone.
But i agree, it does look kinda weird (I have it on the Reign i'm selling).
Maybe that's why there's so much flex in those links?
A thicker bolt is also heavier. Though i do admit that the upper linkage main bolt and upper shock bolts are relatively thin compared to the bottom bolts.
Also, looking at pictures of 2018 Trances, it has the exact same arrangement bolt wise. A single stainless bolt on the seat tube-rocker pivot. In some cases on the driveside, in others on non-DS.
EDIT: looking at the video, it's the exact same setup as on my Reign. main lower rocker pivot bolt goes through the lower shock eyelet, the nut is on the driveside, behind the chainring. The swingarm-lower link pivot has the arrangement reversed. The seat tube-rocker pivot was mentioned before, the rocker to swingarm bolts screw into the swingarm and while on my Reign there was bolt with a nut through the rocker plates and the shock, there are two small bolts going through the rocker directly into the shock, which has threads in it due to it being a trunnion mount shock. So yeah, more or less the same concept. Might be different for 2019, but i really doubt that they changed anything.
Sorry for the confusion!
You use titanium for stuff for weight reasons, not 'structural reasons'.
And titanium is a more dull gray than that, it's not as silver.
It IS titanium...
So yeah. An expert. The bolt on the 2015 Reign IS, in fact, steel. And i bet it IS also on the Trance that me and jclnv were talking about most of the time.
It might be titanium on the proto above in the article, but that'd be a damn minuscule weight saving of a grand total, on two bolts, of around 5 grams. Given the size of the pivot and given bolts on other bikes, the axle could be aluminium. Having a titanium axle in there would negate any weight savings and would mean a weight gain. Screwing a titanium screw into an aluminium axle would be a god damn genius move, since the two metals are almost at complete different ends of the galvanic potential and wreak havoc when used with one another without proper care.
While i do not know what the bolt on the proto is made of, looking at the pictures and comparing it to the one on my desk, i'd say it's too bright to be titanium. I could be wrong though. What i do know is that there has to be a damn good reason or somebody has to have some really weird decision making logic to use titanium bolts on that pivot.
Wouldn’t a man and a women of the same height require the same set up?...
Narrow shoulders would just be dealt with via handle bar width.
I understand female/male saddles.
smaller hands is just a grip and lever situation.
I don't get how there's a female frame, like what is custom about it?
And with that I wouldn't think there is "male" frame, just unisex overall.
I don't get how that justifies an entire company built around women bikes.
I'm all for this idea of this and getting women into the sport, I'm just trying to wrap my head around what this company does specifically to customize bikes towards women.
Some brands do a separate women's brand to differentiate more, others just say 'bike xxx women's'. Different companies, different strategies.
Then you have the geometry. It might seem trivial to just do what you mentioned (i'm not an expert on geometry, but looking at women specific bikes, this would seem to be what is done to them), but it is a completely new bike when you do that. The suspension can be moved around as well to give the correct antisquat values, etc.
Look at Canyon, they made a completely different women's Spectral.
The more i'm looking at it, it does appear the average woman has the proportions (height-wise) of a man in the 2,5th percentile with the woman in the 97,5th percentile the proportions of the average man.
I'd really like to read more about this. It has always been said women have shorter torsos but it might be that they are just smaller all around and that that makes the difference.
A short man would need the exact same thing.
I always thought the long leg/short torso thing was true, but #science