How are you supposed to define and categorise a decent mountain bike for female riders? Some sort of adapted geometry figures? A new colourway? But ask Liv, and they’ll tell you there’s a hell of a lot more to it than just bright colours and female-specific saddles and grips. Developed by women for women, what’s the verdict on the Liv Intrigue SX?
Built around the same aluminium frame as the Intrigue 1 and its 140 mm of travel, the Liv Intrigue SX is the brand’s downhill-orientated whip, seeing it boost the travel to 160 mm RockShox PIKE forks to go along with its Monarch Plus rear shock, grippier tires and a SRAM X1 1×11 drivetrain.
The spec of the Liv Intrigue SX
- Forks: RockShox PIKE RCT3
- Rear shock: RockShox Monarch RC3 140 mm
- Brakes: SRAM Guide RS
- Shifting: SRAM X1
- Seatpost: Giant Contact SL Switch-Remote
- Stem: Giant Contact SL AM
- Bars: Giant Contact SL RiserBar
- Wheelset: Giant PAM-2 Disc Wheelset
- Tires: Schwalbe Hans Dampf/Rock Razor
- Weight: 13.2 kg
- Price: € 3,699
The geometry of the Liv Intrigue SX
|Head tube angle
|Seat tube angle
The Liv Intrigue SX on the trails
Riding the Liv Intrigue, our 160 cm-tall test rider rode a size S and her verdict was affirmative: upright, comfortable, and boasting a mean kick on the flat. The 13.2 kg weight is hard to deny on the hills though, and the riding position feels pretty far back given the length of the forks. On steep climbs, it felt like we were just riding the back of the bike (seat angle 72.8°). Plus, long climbs would have welcomed an even easier granny gear. Although the rear shock can’t be fully locked-out, the Liv still rides with an efficiency that means every trail head will be reachable (albeit not at QOM-breaking speeds).
For descents it’s wise to set at least 30% sag at the rear to keep it properly planted; from here, it’ll soak up a string of hits with aplomb. As expected, the RockShox PIKE RCT3 perform reliably, and can be tuned to suit lighter riders with ease.
The 27.5″ wheels are the ultimate bed for the bike, creating a great riding position with the small frame and lively ride characteristics, meaning the Liv skirts round corners. Despite its 160 mm of front travel, the Intrigue is a bit twitchy on technical trails, and if you’re a mega quick rider then you’d probably appreciate a slacker head angle. On steep descents we were gagging for a seatpost with more adjustment – mainly to avoid bruises and feel more confident at throwing the bike down trails.
Suited for female riders that are keen to push their limits, the Liv Intrigue SX definitely boasts a serious level of agility that’ll see it carve corners on your home trails with effortless cool. For fearless riders that don’t hold back from going full-on down the trails, the Liv and its 140 mm of rear travel might not pack enough punches. Given the spec and how it rides, the € 3.699 price tag seems very reasonable.
For more information head to liv-cycling.com
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Words: Antonia Buckenlei Photos: Christoph Bayer