LIV PIQUE ADVANCED 1
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!