Astonishingly light (12.79kg), versatile and incredibly capable, the new Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 really does live up to its ‘play the trail’ strapline, handling a huge range of terrain with ease, from long natural descents to UK bike parks.
- The Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019 and has been crowned our Women's Trail Bike of the Year. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women's bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub page.
The carbon front triangle and alloy rear end combine to deliver a taut, efficient feel when flicking the bike through turns or pumping undulating terrain. Liv’s 3F design philosophy means the Intrigue has a short 432mm reach, which is only marginally longer than that of the Spectral WMN, although a lower stack height (13mm) and more standover make it feel less cramped.
A 66.5-degree head angle and 74.5-degree seat angle help to keep the handling lively and confident, as well as the pedalling efficient when you’re sat down and cranking up climbs.
At 438mm, the chainstays are the longest on test, which makes the bike marginally less flickable, but helps when it comes to weighting the front end through turns and tackling steep ascents. Like the Juliana Furtado R Carbon C review and Canyon Spectral Wmn CF 8.0, the Liv is available in three sizes (however, a large is available in other territories), and I tested the largest available, which is the size medium.
A SRAM GX Eagle transmission with Truvativ Descendent cranks gives performance that’s not far off that of SRAM’s pricier 1x12 groups. The 10-50t cassette provides a massive 500 percent gear range, which, combined with the Liv’s light weight and minimal suspension bob, makes it one of the best climbers on test.
While the own-brand dropper post performed consistently, 100mm of travel just isn’t enough for a bike of this size. I fitted a 150mm post, which was better for my 5ft 8in height.
Liv is ahead of the competition with the light Giant TRX 1 carbon wheels, which feel stiff without being too harsh and track through without losing that satisfyingly direct feel. The Maxxis High Roller II tyres boost how efficient the Intrigue feels on flatter trails and climbs.
Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 ride impressions
Finding the right balance between being fun to ride on flatter trails and capable enough to tackle bigger terrain is hard, but Liv seems to have found the magic formula, and makes a strong case for women-specific design in the process.
The Intrigue always feels composed and lightning-fast, yet is forgiving enough for you to get away with the occasional slip and slide.
There’s enough give in the frame and wheels, and enough compliance in the tyres so that, despite it feeling like a rocket under power, it’ll still snake through tricky cambered rock sections, confidently holding its line.
Liv/Giant’s Maestro suspension system, controlled by a Fox DPX2 Performance shock, gives an efficient but supple ride with excellent traction and plenty of support through the mid stroke.
It’s also progressive enough to handle heavy landings unfazed. Paired with the more enduro-focused, 150mm-travel Fox 36 fork up front, this means the Intrigue manages to tread that fine line between feeling fast and agile on flatter trails and climbs, and totally capable when the going gets tough.
The Taiwanese brand has done a good job of placing the rider in an aggressive yet comfortable position too, which, combined with the supportive suspension and confident geometry, encourages experimentation with bigger, badder trail features. That said, the Intrigue is still agile and efficient enough that technical climbs and steep switchbacks are easily dispatched.
The bike feels just as at home on trail centre blue runs as it does on day-long adventures, and it’ll take uplift days in its stride too. I just wish it were a touch longer in terms of reach (or that Liv offered the large size that's available elsewhere in the world in the UK) and that it came with a longer-travel dropper post. If that were the case, the Intrigue would get a full five-star rating.
Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 details
Advanced-grade composite: Giant/Liv use two different types of carbon fibre. Advanced is the slightly less refined option, here used to create a monocoque (one-piece) front triangle
Tyre space: There’s room to fit chunky 2.6in tyres on the Intrigue, or you can go narrower for better mud clearance
Carbon linkage: The chunky rocker link is also made from carbon, using a high-pressure moulding process, to save weight and increase stiffness
Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 specifications
- Sizes (*tested): XS, S, M* L (L not available in UK)
- Weight: 12.79kg
- Frame: Advanced carbon fibre front triangle, ALUXX SL alloy rear end, 140mm travel
- Fork: Fox 36 Float Performance Elite FIT4, 150mm travel
- Shock: Fox Float DPX2 Performance
- Chainset: Truvativ Descendent 6K Eagle, 30t
- Bottom bracket: SRAM DUB press-fit
- Cassette: SRAM GX Eagle, 10-50t
- Chain: SRAM GX Eagle
- Groupset: SRAM GX Eagle (1x12)
- Shifters: SRAM GX Eagle
- Hubs: Giant Level 2
- Axles: 110x15mm Boost (f) / 148x12mm Boost (r)
- Rims: Giant TRX 1
- Spokes: Sapim Laser
- Tyres: Maxxis High Roller II 3C EXO TR 27.5x2.5in WT (f) and EXO TR 27.5x2.4in (r)
- Wheel weight: 1.97kg (f), 2.46kg (r), inc. tyres
- Stem: Giant Contact SL 35, 35mm
- Bar: Giant Contact SL TR35, 780mm
- Grips: Giant
- Headset: Giant
- Saddle: Liv Contact SL
- Seatpost: Giant Contact Switch S, 100mm
- Brakes: SRAM Guide RS, 180mm rotors
Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 geometry
- Seat angle: 74.5 degrees
- Head angle: 66.5 degrees
- Chainstay: 43.6cm / 17.17in
- Seat tube: 44.5cm / 17.52in
- Top tube: 59.5cm / 23.43in
- Head tube: 10.5cm / 4.13in
- Fork offset: 4.4cm / 1.73in
- Trail: 11cm / 4.33in
- Bottom bracket drop: 1.5cm / 0.59in
- Bottom bracket height: 33.7cm / 13.27in
- Wheelbase: 1,167mm / 45.94in
- Stack: 58.7cm / 23.11in
- Reach: 43.2cm / 17.01in