The Liv/Giant Avail Composite 1 comes from a very prestigious family. The Giant Defy Advanced won the Cycling Plus Bike Of The Year 2013 title and other Defy siblings have consistently performed well in tests.
Thankfully, the sister of the family hasn’t let the side down. Featuring much of the same endurance geometry as seen on the Defy Advanced, the Liv Avail Composite 1 manages to combine being stable and nippy, agile and comfortable, all at the same time.
The bike has excellent acceleration, responding instantly to your pedalling, making sure that even on days when your legs aren’t in the mood, your average time isn’t too embarrassing to upload to Strava.
The 11-28 cassette offers a fairly wide range of gears so things don’t get too tricky when it comes to climbing, helped by the 7.97kg weight. The Shimano Ultegra groupset is also impressive at this price.
As the Liv Avail is part of Giant’s endurance range,you’d expect it to be good over distances and a great sportive option, and it is – apart from the saddle. It’s very wide and heavily padded, which means it’s lovely and comfortable for about an hour, then about five minutes later the larger surface area results in more pressure points and you start to experience some discomfort.
Saddles are easily changed, though, and other than this, there is very little to fault on the Giant. The frame is sturdy and fast, racy yet comfortable, and as well as all the practical elements it has a great image, the red and grey moving away from any stereotype of what a ladies’ bike should look like.
This article originally appeared in Cycling Plus - Women's edition