It’s hard to look for room for improvement on the Liv Flourish 1 (part of Giant’s women’s bike range). It comes already fitted with all the essential components you need on a bike and then some, and is a pleasure to ride.
It features a classic and ultra-low step-through ALUXX aluminium frame and chromoly fork in a glossy matte black with subtle and vintage-styled silver text and curlicues. Basket, bar grips and saddle are all in a matching natural tan shade, which fits well with this aesthetic.
Good design is clearly important here, as even the chainguard and integrated pannier rack come in matching black, with the guard low-profile enough to give the bike a slightly sleeker look while still providing sufficient protection of clothing from the chain.
There are more integrated features than you can shake a stick at. As well as the pannier rack, the Flourish 1 is also fitted with a deep front basket with a supporting frame mount that allows an impressive deal of weight to be carried without caving in.
We also love the hub-dynamo powered front and rear lights, which means lights when you need them and no more charging or trying to find tiny batteries. There’s even a kickstand so you can park it up easily — handy for loading and unloading the basket and pannier rack.
The women’s-specific Liv Comfort saddle is sprung, which takes a lot of the rough out of the road – even making cobbles bearable. Hub gears, such as the Shimano Nexus 7 built into the Flourish, are a good choice for those who aren’t mad keen on maintenance, as the sealed system lets in little dirt so gears run smoother for longer.
A RevoShift grip shift provides the gear changing capabilities, and while feelings can be mixed with regard to gripshifts, we found that these work smoothly with just a twist of the hand to shift up or down. Mind you, chunky grips might be a little big for smaller hands.
This is a wonderfully comfortable bike, easy to steer with great gearing for getting around town, and the Liv Flourish 1 has everything you’d want in a city bike and more besides: room for bags, great gearing, sleek looks and practical details like hub gears and hub-dynamo powered lights. Put everything together and you have a hard-to-beat package in terms of spec, looks and value for money.