Giant's sister company Liv updated the 27.5" version of the Intrigue in 2018, and then came out with an aluminum big-wheeled Intrigue
last month. Now, there's another option for female trail riders with the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29, which Liv says is a "can-do quiver killer". The new carbon trail bike with 125mm of rear travel and a 140mm fork uses flip chip adjustable frame geometry to create what the brand calls "two personalities".
Make no mistake, the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 is not the same bike as any in Giant's line, and while it shares the same flip chip technology as the recently announced aluminum Trance X 29, the frames are
Liv Intrigue Advanced Details
• Wheelsize: 29"
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 125mm (r) / 140mm (f)
• Head Angle: 65.8 (Low) / 66.5 (High)
• Chainstays: 435 or 438mm
• Weight: 29.8 lbs / 13.52 kg
• Price as shown: $9,799 CAD / € 8,500
entirely different. Liv uses female-only dimensional data when designing their frames, there's women's-specific carbon tuning for each specific frame size, and every model has had the suspension tuned for women. In fact, Liv says they use a unique mold for every size of Intrigue.
The Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 comes in three different spec levels. Both the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 2 that retails for $3,200 USD (€ 4,500 / 5,299 CAD) and the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 1 that retails for $5,400 USD (€ 5,250 / $6,549 CAD) are available in the United States, while the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 0 that retails for $9,799 CAD (€ 8,500) is not.
Liv sent me the top of the line Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 0 which comes with a 125mm Fox Float DPX2 Factory Live Valve rear shock, a 140mm Fox 36 Factory Live Valve fork, a Fox Transfer Factory dropper post, Shimano Deore XT brakes and drivetrain paired with an XTR rear derailleur, Giant TRX-1 wheels, and Liv's new Sylvia SL saddle. Frame Details
Liv has analyzed body dimensions, muscular activity and strength patterns, including thousands of data points about women’s anatomy, sizing variations, muscle energy and outputs. As with all Liv bikes, this data was used to engineer the frames and complete bikes to build them from the ground up for women. Liv calls this philosophy their 3F Design Philosophy, which stands for Fit, Form and Function.
The Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 is fully women's-specific, meaning that it has a frame geometry, composite layup and shock tuning created for women. Its Women’s-Specific Advanced Composite frame has internal cable routing, uses Boost spacing, and has asymmetric chainstays. It fits up to a 2.5" tire which is slightly narrower than the 2.6" tire that fits on the 27.5" Intrigue.
New for 2021, Liv engineers have incorporated a new shape and softer material to the chainstay and downtube protectors to help keep rock strikes and chain slap damage at bay.Geometry
The 66.5 degree head tube angle on the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 in the High setting is the same as the head tube angle on the 27.5" version that was launched in 2018, but the flip chip on the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 allows the rider to choose a high or low position to make the headtube and seattube angles steeper or slacker, and the bottom bracket height higher or lower.
Depending on preference, riders can change the headtube angle by .7 degrees, a change that also alters the seat tube angle by 0.8 degrees, and moves the bottom bracket up or down by 10 millimeters.
The Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 is available in small, medium, and large sizes. There's no XS small, but that's where the 27.5" Intrigue Advanced and Intrigue come in. The Intrigue 29 is compatible with up to 2.5-inch tires while the Intrigue and Intrigue Advanced are compatible with up to 2.6-inch tires.
As for dropper posts, the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 0 has a Fox Transfer Factory dropper seatpost which means that the size small and medium have a 125mm dropper post and the size large has a 150mm dropper post. For all other models in the Intrigue series, which are spec'd with the Giant Contact Switch dropper seatpost, the small receives a 100mm dropper post, the medium receives a 125mm dropper post and the large receives a 150mm dropper post.Suspension
The Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 uses Giant's dual-link Maestro suspension design for its 125mm of rear travel. Liv has optimized the internals of their shocks with optimal oil weights and air-spring volumes for women. 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. Select Liv riders as well as Ludi Scholz, Liv global off-road category manager, worked parallel to Giant’s design and suspension team at a suspension tuning camp in South Mountain, Arizona to optimize the suspension function and ride feel for each model.Ride Impressions
The Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 is a rocket ship on climbs, despite the fact that it's a fair bit heavier than the XC race machines I'd was on during the recent XC Field Test. Even when you're in the Low flip chip position, the steep seat tube angle puts you in a comfortable and efficient pedalling position. I did end up slamming the stem so that I could really get my weight over the front of the bike for climbing, but once I did that I felt like I could climb for days.
As for the suspension, Fox Live Valve on Giant's Maestro suspension makes it feel like you've got a much lighter bike than you do underneath you since there's no bobbing and there's a quickness on the climbs that usually only comes when you're pedaling a full on cross-country bike.
Liv did a great job of speccing this bike for rowdier terrain with a 200mm front rotor, a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5" wide front tire, a modern cockpit, and a sturdy bashguard.
Squamish, BC Age:
160lbsIndustry affiliations / sponsors:
None Instagram: @smooresmoore
That being said, while the Intrigue does have a can-do attitude and the spec to match, my first impressions are that it's not the elusive "quiver killer" for a place like Squamish, BC. It was super fun and fast bike on smooth high-speed trails, and it's easy to get the wheels off the ground, but I didn't feel as at home on chunkier trails and felt like I had to work harder on those descents, even when I put the Fox Live Valve in the most supple setting.
I preferred the Intrigue's handling in the slacker 65.8-degree head tube position, but that has the downside of shortening the reach to a relatively conservative 430mm on the size medium. It's a cool feature, but I'd rather have one perfect bike than two compromises. That being said, I do look forward to spending more time on the Intrigue in the coming weeks and getting to know it better.