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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)




I currently ride a 2015 Liv Lust 1 (100/100) and find it a little lacking, although it's still a great bike. The Liv Intrigue Advanced is the bike that I thought would be perfect for me on paper but I wanted to demo as many bikes as possible to make sure that I found the perfect one. I thought I'd share what I found in case others are looking for new bikes too. The first thing I found is hat it is hard to find demos! There were a few others that I would have liked to have tried, but couldn't find an opportunity to do so.

I am planning to spend around $5,000 a $6,000. Hoping for GX Eagle and Guide RS or equivalents.




Liv Pique 130/120 - didn't like it. Maybe a higher end build would have been better. It didn't feel light and playful like I expected it to and didn't even feel like it climbed as well as my current bike. I wanted to try it though as I was worried that maybe the Intrigue had more travel than I needed/wanted.


Kona Process 160/153 - felt like a heavy pig couch. Made me worried that I would not want a bike with that much travel.


Kona Hei Hei Trail 140/140 - blew me away! I was very surprised. Climbed so well over roots and rocks. Felt really easy to control but still felt like it wanted to have fun when I wanted a little airtime off of small drops. Only drawbacks were the high standover height (I'm 5'2 with shoes on, 28.5" inseam) and I didn't love the colour. Least expensive of all the ones I tried with decent specs as well (GX Eagle and Guide R)


Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 130/130 and Altitude 160/150- the Thunderbolt should be the better climber of the 2, but I felt the Altitude climbed better and was more fun on the downs. I was very underwhelmed by the Thunderbolt. The Altitude was nice and seemed to fit me ok, but I wasn't blown away by it like I was the Kona.


Cannondale Habit 29er 130/130 - I really wanted to try a 29er but wasn't sure about them as I am so short. I did really like this bike. I loved how the big wheels rolled over everything but the standover was just too high. And somehow, I kept bashing my inner knees on the top tube when climbing hard out of the saddle.


Juliana Furtado 130/130 - front end felt really light so I was surprised at how wel it climbed and how planted the front end remained. It's a great bike, but again, the standover was too high and I was bashing knees. Most comfortable saddle of all I tried though!


Specialized Stumpjumper 150/150 - This is another bike that really surprised me with how much I liked it. It climbed great, was amazing in the corners and fun on the downs. Didn't love the specs on the $4,000 CAD model and the next jump up was too $$$.


Ibis Mojo 3 140/130 - This is the other bike that I thought I would absolutely love but kinda hoped I wouldn't because of the cost. I found this bike to be... ok. I liked it and would have been happy with it, but I didn't love it. Of all of the bikes that I tried, this is the one that would have taken the most getting used to. It seemed to put me in a different position too far over the front of the bike, or if not too far over the front, at least not far enough over the back??? It is a gorgeous bike, but just not the one for me.


FINALLY, I was able to demo the Intrigue even though it meant that we had to postpone our holidays by a day. I am so glad that we did!


Liv Intrigue Advanced 150/140 - This bike is exactly what I hoped it would feel like. It flew up the climbs, it felt like I was on 29er wheels, it soaked up all of the trail chatter and chunder, it felt light and playful but also planted, it cornered great. It felt like "home". It felt like my current bike with the "more" that I was looking for. I only demoed the Intrigue Advanced 2 version but I will be getting the 1 version. I'm excited to feel the difference that the higher specs and the carbon wheels make! I am also going to wait for the 2020 model as the rep told me that it will be coming in Rainbow Black/Black and that it might ship with a new seat similar to the Specialized Power Arc with Mimic.

ETA: I demoed a Devinci Troy this afternoon and really liked it as well. It rode great but felt heavier than the Liv and the Kona, especially in the uphills. It was great in the downs and in the turns though. I wanted to mention that I rode the XS in the Devinci and felt that it fit me wonderfully. I wish more bike companies would offer demos in XS sizes. According to Liv I should be on an XS but they never have any XS to demo. I refuse to buy a bike that I haven't tried and the S was fine.

Don't know how I am going to wait until September for this bike! My bike needs an overhaul but I'm too busy riding it to do it! 

In case it helps anyone,
I am 5'1.5" (5'2" with shoes) and have a 28.5" inseam barefoot. I am 42 years old and started biking 2 years ago.

Formica - Are you still loving your Intrigue? Would love an update after some long term use!





 

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^^Great reviews, thanks for sharing your experiences. Your soon to be new bike sounds great! I helped guide Orbea demo trailrides last weekend for the LBS and purposefully used my own bike rather than try out the new bike$$$. Afterward I was kicking myself, though, why wouldn't you want to try out a $7600 Rallon??? Doh!
 

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Nice reviews, thank you. I've been looking for a new bike myself this summer. I am determined to get a gravel bike since I'm enjoying the long distance riding aspect more than just the trails all the time. I still love trails and will be keeping my Liv for those. I demoed a few at my LBS. Settled on a Liv Thrive 2. I don't have a very good budget, maybe one day. Got it on layaway and should be bringing it home soon. I love the smell of a new bike over the smell of a new car.

I like your reviews and look forward to how the bike works for you.
 

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Wow, you did a great job finding bikes to demo, that was a ton of them!

I'll just throw my 2 cents in on the Furtado since my wife bought one last fall.

- she absolutely loves it!

- she's also 5'2" and, surprisingly, the small size frame fits her whereas her other bikes have all been extra small. Maybe her legs are longer than the OP's.

- IMO, the bike is relatively heavy so pay attention to that if weight is important to you. I probably shouldn't have mentioned that to my wife as she's now thinking up a whole list of xmas gift ideas aimed at shaving some grams off her ride. I really don't think I can swing carbon wheels this year...
 

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OK whew sorry about that.
Yasss.... Love my new Intrigue. I bought it blind just waited for the new version. Part of this is that I am an "unofficial" Liv Ambassador for my local shop and they give me a really good break on it. I did demo a few other things but nothing that would make me change my mind.

What she says. It's smooth, it eats up chatter and junk, climbs like a champ and corners beautifully. The geometry changes are total improvements. Way less pedal strikes, jumps better, corners better, climbs better. The dropper has more drop on it than the original but my one complaint is that the nature of the triangle design is such that you can't "slam" the dropper all the way into the frame.

Interesting tho - it's only .5 lb lighter than the aluminum one I had before.

When I had them build it I went for some discreet bling like red rotor bolts, stem, bar ends and not much more.

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle fork
 

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Just wanted to say thanks to the OP for the detailed reviews, I've been on the hunt recently for a new ride. I had shoulder surgery (rotator cuff) last winter & am just getting back on the bike, & would like to replace my '07 Fuel EX7. I test rode a Trek Remedy 8 last week, but boy was it heavy. I looked at an Intrigue 2 in a shop that day, & now I know for sure that it will be my next demo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The colour, the brakes and the price. The colour is now Rainbow Black and Black, the brakes have been upgraded to Guide RSC from Guide RS, and the price has gone down by $100. As far as I can tell, everything else is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm curious whether you tried a Scott or not. Is there a lack of availability with this maker? I don't see many of them around.
No, I didn't try a Scott. They didn't offer any demo days in my area and no dealers in my area allow you to actually try any of the bikes that they have in stock. It feels like it was super hard to find opportunities to try new bikes.
 

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MLeier... Thanks for the info. I'm looking for an upgrade to my wife's 2000 Juliana. She is about 5'1". I can't seem to be able to find an XS bike with a 1x drivetrain that has good components. REI was having a 20% of Cannondale sale so I'm waiting for her Habit 2 AL 650b to come in but it was brought to my attention that it might be too slack being it has a 66 HTA. So I'm thinking about cancelling. Would you have purchased it if it was the XS 650b version? I've looked & looked for a LIV but they are sold out on XS in most models. There is a 2020 Liv Embolden coming soon that has more of an XC HTA. I think it's 68 degrees. I also looked at the Intrigue but thought it might be too much bike for her being that it has more travel & has a slack head tube angle. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Primalspy: I was pretty set on the Intrigue even before I tried it as I loved the Liv that I had. I demoed lots of bikes, but when I finally got on the Intrigue, I absolutely knew it was the one for me. I did like the Habit, but it just didn't fit me right. I'm not sure whether or not I would have liked the model with 27.5" wheels because they just feel so much different from 29ers. The 29er felt good and rolled over things so well, but the top tube was just too high.

I'm also only 5'1" (5'2" with shoes) and I should also be in an XS, but I like the extra stability of the bigger bike.

How much are you looking to spend? Aluminum or Carbon? The carbon is so light and is absolutely amazing. I think it's the carbon wheels that make the biggest difference and makes the bike climb and roll over things as if it had 29" wheels on it.

I would not go for the Embolden. The Embolden is a very entry level bike. I don't think that either of you would be happy with it for long. If you felt that the Intrigue was too much bike, you could look at the Pique. I thought that the Pique was ok. It felt like my Lust. Maybe I wasn't blown away by it because it was the base model. I really just can't even put in to words just how much better my new Intrigue is compared to my old bike though. I honestly find that my Intrigue climbs sooooo much better and also feels amazing on the descents. I don't think it's too much bike at all. I'm not sure about the model down, but my model has 3 settings on the suspension open, trail, and closed. I ride it in trail most of the time and switch it to open for the big downhills. If you are looking at carbon, you could look at the Pique SX. If you aren't looking to spend so much, both the Pique and the Intrigue come in alloy models.

If she likes her Juliana, has she looked at the new ones? I was pretty impressed with it. I just kept bashing my knees.

If you/she are absolutely set on an XS bike, I really, really liked the XS Devinci Troy too. It did feel like it fit me really well. It just didn't feel quite as light and sprightly as the Intrigue. Maybe playing around the suspension could have changed that though.

I also rode a friend's Trek Fuel 9.8 today and found that it really felt smaller than my bike and so many others that I tried. Maybe check them out too? Hers was also carbon and also felt really great!

Another thing that I found with so many other bikes is that my knees also sometimes rub on the frame where the seat stays meet the seat post. I never seem to have that problem on my Liv.
 

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I'm sorry that I forgot to mention that she is totally a beginner & when I ride with her, we go slow. She's a beginner.
Her current bike, the Juliana, has 26" wheels & rim brakes & it's so tiny that it almost looks like a kid's bike.
I'm looking for an alloy bike, 650b, 1x11 or 1x12 drivetrain, dropper seat post, hydraulic disk brakes, with a low stand over height. My budget is around $2,000 dollars. I was originally looking for a used bike but difficult to find in her size, the began looking at entry level new bikes & kept increasing my budget. I thought about getting her the entry level Juliana & stretching my budget to the $2800 price but that's difficult to do since we have no way to test ride it & would be a special order.
Honestly, the Embolden would be a huge upgrade to what she has. I just want her to be safe & be able to handle our rocky terrain & stop well.
Thank you for your help.
 
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