For the coming season, the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 1 has been thoroughly revised and now has less travel and big 29” wheels. We were curious to see how the bike performed on the trail and whether the concept also works for petite riders.
We all know: sometimes less is more. Less time on your smartphone means more time for the important things in life. Driving less means doing more for your health and the environment. But does less travel on a trail bike necessarily mean more riding fun? Well, by looking at the trend of the past few years, we’d say exactly the opposite. All the more were we intrigued to see how the concept of the women’s-specific brand LIV catches on with the new Intrigue Advanced Pro 1. The bike has 140 mm of travel up front and 125 mm at the rear. The big 29” wheels offer better rollover characteristics and, in combination with the special geometry of the Liv, ensure a more comfortable riding position for long rides. Like all Liv full-suspension bikes, the Intrigue relies on Giant’s proven Maestro linkage, which was designed to be super-sensitive downhill yet efficient on climbs. The frame is made of carbon with enough room in the front triangle for a water bottle. While all cables are routed internally through the frame, several TPU protectors prevent the elegant paint finish from getting damaged by stray rocks – and also make for a surprisingly quiet ride.
The spec of the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 1
The Liv Intrigue is available in two alloy variants for € 2,999 and € 3,999 respectively, and two carbon versions, which are designated by the ‘Advanced’ suffix. Our test bike, the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 1, costs € 4,999 and the flagship model with electronic FOX Live Valve system, which automatically adjusts the chassis to the ground, sets you back € 8,299.
Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 1
Fork Fox 36 Performance Elite 140 mm
Rear Shock Fox Float DPS Performance 125 mm
Seatpost GIANT Contact Switch Vario 100-150 mm
Brakes SRAM G2 R 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem GIANT Contact SL 35 50 mm
Handlebar GIANT Contact SLR TR35 Carbon 750 mm
Wheelset GIANT TRX 2 29 Carbon 29"
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF EXO/ MAXXIS Dissector EXO 2.5"/ 2.4"
Size S M L
Visually, the Intrigue Advanced Pro1 in the “chameleon mars” finish is a real eye catcher. The carbon frame features flowing, organic lines and the paint finish exudes quality. For the spec, Liv rely on a FOX chassis consisting of an excellent Performance Elite fork and FLOAT DPS shock. The 12 speed SRAM GX drivetrain with a 30 t chainring and a 10–52 cassette offers a gear range of up to 520% and thus takes the edge off the steepest climbs. To keep the weight low, Liv use an in-house GIANT TRX2 carbon wheelset, which at this price point is by no means a given. Also the MAXXIS tire combo with a Minion DHF up front and DISSECTOR at the rear are a very sensible choice. Light riders are well served with the standard SRAM G2 brakes, but heavier and inexperienced ones who are still building up their confidence, may want to consider upgrading to more powerful stoppers. Speaking of confidence, the dropper post of the size S frame has a meager 100 mm travel. The reason for this is the pronounced kink in the seat tube, which limits the insertion depth of the dropper. With its wide 750 mm handlebars and long 50 mm stem, the cockpit is perfect for small riders. At 12.94 kg, the weight is pretty reasonable, especially considering the wide and very robust tires.
The geometry of the Liv Intrigue in detail
The geometry of the Liv Intrigue matches that of a modern trail bike. The size S has a reach of 415 mm, a rather conservative 65.8° head angle and a pleasantly steep 77° seat angle. The chainstays measure 438 mm across the board and the bottom bracket has a whopping 40 mm drop. All data above refer to the low setting, which can be adjusted via a flip chip in the rocker link. If you’re not too much into geo tabs, don’t worry, in our riding impression we will tell you how the bike rides on the trail. At 425 mm, the seatpost looks unnecessarily long and limits the freedom of movement in combination with the short 100 mm dropper post.
|Seat tube||425 mm||435 mm||460 mm|
|Top tube||558/ 557 mm||574/ 573 mm||599/ 597 mm|
|Head tube||105 mm||110 mm||125 mm|
|Head angle||65.8°/ 66.5°||65.8°/ 66.5°||65.8°/ 66.5°|
|Seat angle||77.0/ 77.8°||77.0/ 77.8°||77.0/ 77.8°|
|Chainstays||438/ 435 mm||438/ 435 mm||438/ 435 mm|
|BB Drop||40/ 30 mm||40/ 30 mm||40/ 30 mm|
|Wheelbase||1160/ 1160 mm||1177/ 1176 mm||1205/ 1204 mm|
|Reach||415/ 424 mm||430/ 438 mm||451/ 460 mm|
|Stack||620/ 614 mm||625/ 618 mm||639/ 632 mm|
*measurements with flipchip set to high/ low
The Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 1 2021 in review
Liv’s engineers definitely achieved one thing: the Intrigue is both comfortable and efficient, providing the perfect base for long days in the saddle. The riding position is central, not excessively upright but not too stretched either, while the big 29″ wheels integrate you with the bike. This ensures a very balanced weight distribution and prevents the front-end from lifting, creating a great feeling of safety. Uphill, the chassis is incredibly efficient even without the activated climb-switch while offering good comfort and plenty of traction on technical climbs. Once you’re sitting on the Intrigue, you don’t want to get off. Thanks to the light wheels (and despite the bulky tires), the Liv accelerates willingly and feels pleasantly nimble. Uphill, the concept of a comfortable, long-distance trail bike really works!
Uphill, the Liv accelerates willingly and feels incredibly comfortable
Downhill, the Liv is good-natured and predictable from the get go. The same pleasant feeling of integration you get on the way up recurs when you lower the dropper to shred your way back into the valley. The Intrigue responds to rider input quickly and directly but always feels composed. In combination with the sensitive chassis and well-defined rear end, the bike delivers endless fun on flat and flowing trails. The Intrigue loves to be pumped and accelerates willingly. Inexperienced trail riders and ambitious tourers who are constantly alternating up and downhills, will love this bike. However, there are also situations in which the Intrigue Advanced isn’t as comfortable: fast, steep and very technical trails. With its 140 mm of travel, the fork works smoothly and harmonises with the 125 mm rear-end. However, the chassis reaches its limits on bigger drops and with harsh impacts, passing a lot of information onto the rider. In addition, the bike lacks smoothness at high speeds, where it’s still relatively easy to control but fails to inspire confidence.
Tuning-tips: Bigger brake rotor at the rear | Depending on your leg length, a dropper with more travel
Let’s answer the question we asked at the beginning of this review: Yes, less travel can translate into more fun! The Liv scores with a playful, predictable and good-natured handling and generates great propulsion. It’s a keen climber and incredibly playful on flowing trails. However, it’s not designed for fast and challenging trails, where it still feels safe but struggles to keep up with more capable bikes.
- Good-natured, easy handling
- Efficient chassis
- Good value for money
- Twitchy at high speeds
- Unnecessarily long seat tube limits freedom of movement downhill
For more information head to liv-cycling.com
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Words: Antonia Buckenlei Photos: Finlay Anderson