Liv, the women’s bike brand produced by Giant, is offering three new full-suspension models designed and tested by women: the 160 mm Hail enduro bike, 120 mm Pique race bike and 120 mm Embolden trail/XC bike.
Liv’s design process includes analyzing global body dimension studies and testing by female professional mountain bikers. Liv is now offering its complete performance range in carbon with the high-end build kits women have long been asking for. The new carbon bikes are also using a layup specifically designed for the way most women ride and their lighter weights, which affects the stiffness and compliance of the frames.
The Hail and Pique will feature Giant’s Maestro suspension technology, which promises to soak up a full spectrum of trail impacts and remain independent of braking.
Build kits listed below are for the highest-end bike in each line. All bikes feature 27.5 wheels and multiple levels of component spec. Prices and availability have not yet been released.
Hail: 160 mm enduro
- Carbon frame
- 130-160 mm RockShox Lyric RCT3 (front) with a 160 mm RockShox Deluxe RC3 (rear)
- 800 mm carbon DH handlebar
- SRAM XO1 Eagle 1×11 drivetrain
- SRAM Guide Ultimate Carbon brakes with 180 mm rotors
- Schwalbe Magic Mary tires
- Boost hub spacing
- Four models offered
Pique: 120-140 mm race/cross-country
The extensive Pique lineup features eight models, from a high-zoot 120 mm race bike with the RockShox RS-1 fork (the upside-down one) and a dropper (YES!) to two SX models with up to 140 mm of front suspension. Low and behold, these bikes will accept a front derailleur and some levels are even offered with a 2x crankset, which is increasingly rare and not at all a bad idea. It’s much easier to switch to a single-ring setup than to try and go from 1x to 2x. Aluminum models will also be offered.
Embolden: 120 mm trail bike
The Embolden is an all-new series of trail/XC mountain bikes for 2017 that will offer full-suspension performance at a lower price point. Embolden frames will feature ALUXX aluminum construction and the simpler FlexPoint Suspension System.
We assume, but are not certain, that Liv’s previous models—the Lust, Intrigue and Tempt—are going away (word is the carbon hardtail Obsess will remain in the lineup). If so, we applaud Liv/Giant’s move away from a suggestive nomenclature that wasn’t doing women riders any favors.
The hardtail isn’t dead. At all. In fact, we might be living in the golden age of hardtails, with everything from fancy carbon race bikes to steel expedition bikes easily available. Most exciting to me is the trail hardtail market and the versatility that is becoming common with the addition of new technology. Orbea’s new hardtail is a great example of that.
The Loki has a hyrdo-formed aluminum frame, Boost 148 rear spacing, Boost 110 fork, and room for 27×3 or 29×2.4 tires. The geometry is surprisingly aggressive, with a 67-degree head angle, 430 mm chainstays, long top tubes, and low bottom brackets. Match this with a 120 mm fork and a dropper post, things are looking interesting indeed.
There are three models to choose from:
LOKI 27+ H30 – $1.499
LOKI 27+ H10 – $2.099
LOKI 27+ H-LTD – $2.999
Normally a new (non-dropper) seatpost wouldn’t garner much attention. But the Digit is desigened to offer the most of the function of a dropper without the weight and complexity.
This cut away view shows the internals of this post. Upper and lower bolts set the high and low points for saddle height, and a keyway keeps the saddle from rotating when yanking it up and down while still on the bike. The quick release uses a cam that “pops” open when released, making one handed seatpost adjustment a possibility, even while riding. Assuming you have a modicum of skillz.
Will this replace dropper posts? Not a chance. But for those sick of maintain issues, looking to spend less, or keep weight down, the Digit is going to be an interesting option.
As of right now, there are no plans for this post to be offered aftermarket, and admittedly many people don’t understand why this is any better than a normal post with a QR. I think those people aren’t paying attention.
We’ll have a full review of the Loki and the Digit in the future so keep an eye out.