Interbike Mtbr

Liv Interbike Show

Living Liv

Liv/Giant has been the moniker of Giant's women's-only offerings for the past several years, but for 2015 Liv is going solo. Six years in the making, Liv is much more than adding women's saddles and grips to a men's design, or "shrinking and pinking," according to brand management. No, the switch in naming corresponds with a fundamentally different approach and product outcome.

Liv bikes are designed for women from the ground up, using specific body measurements to rethink geometry (for example, adjusting the center of gravity to better fit the way a woman rides-more from the legs, less from the torso), a women's-specific carbon fiber lay-up that shaves off unnecessary weight, and paint jobs that turn heads. Liv is also positioned as an inviting "one-stop shop," offering women everything they need to get out on the trail, including gear, apparel, bikes, and community.

To arrive at this sweet spot Liv has some of the fastest women in the world, including Marianne Vos and Jolanda Neff, but also a less competitive (but no less passionate) crew of Liv Brand Ambassadors providing input on the product and the brand. Those insights, combined with those of Liv's mostly-female product and brand team-not to mention Giant's manufacturing prowess-have resulted in a truly inspired 2015 lineup.

First Ride: Liv Lust Advanced 0

Weighing in at an impossibly light 22 pounds, the $8,050 Liv Lust Advanced 0 is the kind of bike you pick up and just go "wow." At Outdoor Demo, we took this 27.5-inch wheeler for a rip and found its low weight added a ton of control and power to our riding, and made climbing, dare we say, fun. It soared when we asked it for a little air, and on the descents-partly thanks to its Giant-branded dropper post-we found it hard-charging and confidence-boosting. This bike also comes with carbon wheels that help it stick into the corners and accelerate out.

"A lot of trail bikes were described as 'trail bikes you could race.' The Lust is a purebred race steed that you could also feel 100-percent comfortable taking out for a gnarly trail ride."

For 2015, the Liv Lust Advanced 0 comes fitted with a 120mm RockShox SID. The extra 20mm over the 2014 version makes us comfortable taking it onto some aggressive XC trails, while its other luxurious bits, like SRAM XX1 and Avid XX brakes make it absolutely race-ready, too. A lot of trail bikes we spied at the show were described as "trail bikes you could race." For us, the Liv Lust Advanced 0 is a purebred race steed that you could also feel 100-percent comfortable taking out for a gnarly trail ride.

Liv Lust Advanced 2

Though the Liv Lust Advanced 0's MSRP is a little steep, the $3600 Liv Lust Advanced 2 delivers great bang for the buck on the same carbon chassis.

The Lust Advanced 2 steps down in price considerably at $3,600, while the aluminum (non-advanced?) versions are well-spec'd and reasonably affordable at $2,450 for the Lust 2 and $2,125 for the Lust 3. With rigs like these, it's an exciting time to be a woman in mountain biking.

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This article is part of Mtbr's coverage of the 2014 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. For more from Interbike CLICK HERE.