For 2019, the Liv Intrigue has returned to the women’s specific brand line-up. This is after taking a couple of years off in 2016 to allow for the Pique SX and Hail Enduro bikes to make an entrance.
I attended the product launch for the new Intrigue, which was held in Squamish, BC, and I made some very good first impressions with the bike. However the model I tried was not one of the ones available in the UK.
The Intrigue Advanced is aimed at women who want to push their riding further, by balancing good climbing with a confidence inspiring setup when descending. It claims to be the all-around-capable mountain bike of the Liv range.
Looking at the full Liv range, the Intrigue sits between the Pique SX and the Hail. For those after a lightweight XC bike with 120mm rear travel, 140mm up front, the Pique SX would be your bag. At the other end, the Hail comes with a generous 160mm rear, 170mm front travel and a relaxed head angle aimed at steep, technical terrain.
Offering a seemingly perfect balance of the two, we have three models in the Intrigue range.
Of the three models in the range, our UK options are the Advanced 1 and 2 in XS, S and M sizes.
The model I gathered my first impressions on was the Advanced 0 from the US range, which features a DVO custom-tuned fork and shock compared to Fox suspension throughout the UK range. The US model is available up to a size L, which unfortunately isn’t considered to be needed by us here in the UK.
The cheapest in the range is the Advanced 2 at £2,999, featuring Fox 34 Rhythm forks at 150mm and a Fox Float DPS shock. It comes with a SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, SRAM Guide T brakes and is available in a gloss black/teal gradient.
The Advanced 1 is the top of the UK range with upgraded Fox 36 Performance Elite forks, Fox Float DPX2 shock, GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain and SRAM Guide RS brakes, putting this model at £3,999. This model is available in a gloss black/metallic red gradient.
I have spent a total of five months testing the Intrigue Advanced 1, with the intention of seeing if this bike is being targeted correctly, and if it can withstand UK weather. Being sold as a trail bike for riders that want to push themselves, it sounds like the step you’d take before getting yourself an enduro bike.
Let’s take a closer look at the build.
Straight out the box this bike looks great. The gradient paint design with a gloss finish is devilish-looking with a feminine edge to it, and the colour coordination is just enough to look considered without it being overkill. As standard the Advanced 1 comes with a great spec that is balanced out with several Giant components to keep the cost down. Bars, stem, seat post, saddle and rims are all courtesy of Giant Bikes, the older brother of Liv.
The frame is a combination of a carbon front triangle and an aluminium rear triangle, and is built following the Liv 3F Design Philosophy – an engineering and design process based on Fit, Form and Function.
To start with, it takes data on women’s geometry, proportions, strength and muscular activity when riding a bike and uses all that information to come up with an initial frame design. Liv then uses its sponsored athletes to test the prototype, taking all feedback on board in order to produce the final design.
The head angle has been updated from the 2016 model, previously 68° now at 66.5°. The new Intrigue also has a steeper seat tube angle of 74.5°.
So on paper, this updated frame design is a more aggressive than the previous model, hence the target audience being riders who want to up their game.
Working alongside the women’s specific frame geometry, the bike comes with fork and shock tuned to suit female riders. As previously mentioned, our UK models come with Fox suspension. We’ve got a 36 Float Performance Elite 150mm fork upfront, and a trunnion mounted Float DPX2 Performance shock to the rear.
As for the drivetrain, there’s not really a bad word I could say about a full SRAM GX Eagle setup – I never had the gears slip, never dropped the chain and I also neglected to clean the bike on many occasions, so that should give you a good indication of the performance.
Other frame features include a built in bash guard, internal cable routing, a very well designed chain guard (it didn’t move once) and room for a bottle cage on all sizes/models.
The Advanced 1 comes with carbon 27.5in Giant TRX 0 Boost wheelset, 30mm internal width with tubeless Maxxis High Roller II, 2.4in front and 2.5in rear. The wheelset is compatible up to 2.6in. The hubs are Giant Level 2 with an XD driver body, so the option is there to throw a 10T cog on and increase your gear range.
Before moving on to the finer details, it seems fair to let you readers know my riding background to put some perspective on my review. I threw myself in the deep end when I started mountain biking, happily taking up any invitation to a gnarly uplift or a race out of my capabilities, which has given me a good level of confidence and the ability to get myself through rough terrain.
In recent years I’ve found my happy place – natural trails with big climbs that earn me my technical descents. Through enjoying my riding more I’ve become a lot faster and more controlled, which in turn has made me much more confident in the air, however I enjoy being challenged by line choices more than big jumps and drops.
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2019 Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 Specifications
- Frame // Advanced-Grade Composite front triangle, ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum rear triangle, 140mm travel
- Fork // Fox 36 Float Performance Elite, 150mm travel, FIT4 Damper, Boost 15x110mm KaBolt, tapered steerer
- Shock //Fox Float DPX2
- Hubs // Level 2 hubs (F) Boost 15x110mm, (R) Boost 12×148, XD Driver body
- Rims // Giant TRX 1, 30mm inner width, 27.5 hookless carbon WheelSystem
- Tyres // Maxxis High Roller II 27.5in, Front 2.5in Rear 2.4in
- Crankset // TruVativ Descendent 6k Eagle Dub, 30
- Rear Mech // SRAM GX Eagle
- Cassette // SRAM GX Eagle, 10×50
- Brakes // SRAM Guide RS
- Stem // Giant Contact SL 35, 35mm
- Bars // Giant Contact SL TR35, 780x35mm, 20mm rise
- Seatpost // Giant Contact Switch S dropper post with remote lever, 30.9mm
- Saddle // Liv Contact SL
- Size Tested // Medium
- Sizes available // XS, S, M
- Weight // 12.8kg
- RRP // £3999