Pedal Magazine - - Test Gear - BY MAG­GIE COLES-LYS­TER

The Liv Pique Ad­vanced 1 is another ad­di­tion to the now-pop­u­lar Trail cat­e­gory of moun­tain bikes. The days of full sus­pen­sion bikes be­ing heavy, poor climbers un­able to ad­just to a va­ri­ety of ter­rain are over. The bike in­dus­try is now fo­cused on re­fin­ing th­ese rides to fit a va­ri­ety of rid­ing styles, trail con­di­tions and evolv­ing life­style of rid­ers.

Liv is a women’s-spe­cific bike com­pany that was formed as an off­shoot of Gi­ant Bi­cy­cles back in 2014. The fo­cus of the com­pany is to cre­ate bikes and prod­ucts that “help women dis­cover new pos­si­bil­i­ties through cy­cling.” To­day, Liv op­er­ates as a stand-alone brand with Liv con­tact stores start­ing to ap­pear across the globe.

Although still in its in­fancy, the Liv Pique Ad­vanced 1 has ben­e­fited from Gi­ant’s many years of en­gi­neer­ing top world-class bikes. Like its brother the Trance, the Pique has the abil­ity to climb like a cross­coun­try bike and tackle most tech­ni­cal de­scents like a down­hill bike.

The frame of the Pique Ad­vanced 1 uses Gi­ant’s in-house ad­vanced­grade com­pos­ite tech­nol­ogy for the main tri­an­gle cre­at­ing a light, stiff and aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing look. The rear tri­an­gle uses their pro­pri­etary ALUXX SL alu­minum with an Ad­vanced Forged com­pos­ite up­per rocker. The com­bi­na­tion of th­ese ma­te­ri­als helps to in­crease the stiff­ness and ride qual­i­ties when mar­ried with the shock and fork.

The Pique Ad­vanced 1 uses the Fox Float CTD Fac­tory fork with 120mm of smooth ab­sorp­tion travel and a Fox Float Fac­tory EVOL in the rear. To­gether, along with the frame and rear tri­an­gle, they are the fin­ish­ing touches to bring­ing Gi­ant’s Mae­stro Sus­pen­sion Sys­tem to life.

A time-proven full sus­pen­sion moun­tain-bike sys­tem, the Mae­stro is built around four pivot points and two link­ages, which al­lows the sus­pen­sion to set­tle in and aid trac­tion when climb­ing and then to float and ad­just to a va­ri­ety of ter­rain con­di­tions from small to large ob­sta­cles on de­scents.

The Pique Ad­vanced 1 ben­e­fits from Gi­ant’s in-house man­u­fac­tur­ing by be­ing spec’d with their pro­pri­etary Con­tact SL han­dle­bar and stem which pro­vides a light and stiff feel to the front end. I es­pe­cially loved Gi­ant’s Con­tact SL Switch/R Trail seat­post, which al­lowed for a smooth, user-friendly ride. This drop­per post was quick and easy to change for climb­ing and de­scend­ing. To top it off, the Liv Con­tact SL For­ward sad­dle pro­vides women’s-spe­cific com­fort for a long day on the trails.

With the chang­ing of wheel sizes over the past few years, it is great to have the 27.5 as the go-to choice for trail bikes. The wheels on the Pique Ad­vanced 1 al­lowed for good, re­spon­sive con­trol on tech­ni­cal ter­rain, yet still car­ried high speeds while ham­mer­ing on the flats. Gi­ant also sup­plies the Pique with its own XCR 1 Com­pos­ite DBL wheel sys­tem.

The bike is out­fit­ted with a full Shi­mano De­ore XT group. The hy­draulic disc brakes come stock with 160mm ro­tors, pro­vid­ing smooth on-trail mod­u­la­tion and solid stop­ping power. Hav­ing con­fi­dence in the brakes al­lowed me to chal­lenge steeper, more tech­ni­cal ter­rain while still keep­ing both feet on the ped­als.

The 11-speed driv­e­train setup con­sisted of a 30T front ring and an 11x46 cas­sette. Over the years, and the re­fine­ments of a sin­gle ring setup, I was im­pressed to find I had all of the gears to spin up the climbs and still win the day-end sprint to the car.

The ma­jor­ity of my off-road ex­pe­ri­ence has been con­fined to a hard­tail, and although I knew that bikes like th­ese ex­isted, it wasn’t un­til I got out on my lo­cal trails on the Pique Ad­vanced 1 that I be­came aware of how amaz­ing a bike like this can be. I im­me­di­ately fell in love with the fem­i­nine, bold colours of the paint job and then was to­tally blown away by the con­fi­dence it pro­vided to ven­ture out­side of my com­fort zone on the trails. A bike like the Liv Pique Ad­vanced 1 is def­i­nitely on my wish list!

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