Liv gets serious with full-carbon enduro bikes for hard-riding women

New 160mm Hail joins short-travel Pique and Embolden in refreshed MTB range

Liv, Giant Bicycles' women's-specific branch, has entered the enduro market with a 160mm carbon bike designed for all-mountain, all-day riding. The new Hail is designed to climb well, handle technical descents, and is the first full-carbon performance range the brand has offered to the rapidly growing female mountain biking market.

It's a bike that – on paper at least – means business. It's joined by the 120mm travel full-carbon Pique and the recently released 120mm alloy Embolden. 

Ground-up female-friendly design

Liv is keen to emphasise that its bikes are designed from the ground up. These aren't the unisex frames offered by Giant in different colour ways and with different finishing kit – they're complete different bikes. Liv has based its engineering decisions on a global database of women's body dimensions. It has also brought in pro-rider expertise, with women like former DH mountain bike world champ Leigh Donovan providing expert testing and feedback. 

While the frame is a new design, the technology on the Hail and Pique has the benefit of Giant's engineering resources. All the new bikes are built from Giant's carbon composite. 

They also feature Giant's proven 'Maestro' suspension system. It's a dual-link setup comprising four pivot points, which has consistently impressed BikeRadar testers with its efficiency, neutrality and handling of both small bumps and big hits on bikes ranging from cross-country whippets to full-on downhill rigs. The system is designed to be efficient with materials, reducing weight without sacrificing stiffness. 

Liv Hail women's mountain bike

Liv's Hail looks like it means business…
Liv's Hail looks like it means business…

The new Liv Hail is available in four models: the top of the range Liv Hail Advanced 0, the Liv Hail Advanced 1, the Liv Hail 1 and the Liv Hail 2. 

It's a 160mm-travel bike aimed squarely at the enduro/all mountain market – riders who want to ride fast and confidently through technical terrain and descents, while maintaining good climbing capabilities. 

The top-line Hail Advanced 0, pictured above, features a 130-160mm RockShox Lyrik RCT3 dual-position fork, 160mm RockShox Deluxe shock, plus the shiny new SRAM X01 Eagle 1x12 drivetrain and powerful SRAM Guide Ultimate Carbon brakes with 180mm rotors. 

As with the Pique and the Embolden (more on which below), the Hail features 27.5in wheels with Boost hubs. In the case of the Advanced 0, these are carbon-rimmed and wrapped with Schwalbe Magic Mary rubber. 

Liv Pique women's mountain bike

Liv's Pique is a 120mm XC machine
Liv's Pique is a 120mm XC machine

There are two lines in the cross-country focused Pique range – the standard Pique, which has six models, and the Pique SX which has two. 

The Pique line runs from the Advanced 0 at the top down to the 3. The Advanced 0 features a RockShox RS-1 fork and RockShox Deluxe RT3 shock, each with 120mm of travel, as well as SRAM's XX1 Eagle 1x12 drivetrain and XC Ultimate brakes. SRAM Rise 27.5in wheels with Boost spacing, 750mm Giant SLR carbon composite handlebars and Giant Contact SL dropper finish off this rather nice piece of kit. 

The Pique SX is likewise aimed at XC riders, but has a little more travel up front courtesy of a 120-140mm RockShox Revelation RL fork. The only spec details we have are for the Advanced SX, which includes a SRAM GX 1x11 drivetrain and Guide hydraulic disc brakes. 

Liv Embolden women's mountain bike

The alloy Liv Embolden is another short-travel design
The alloy Liv Embolden is another short-travel design

The Embolden is a 120mm trail bike with a single pivot point suspension system and alloy frame. It's also based on 27.5in wheels, as with the rest of the new additions to the Liv women's mountain bike range – we'll update this section with more detailed information as it comes through. 

Aoife Glass

BikeRadar Women Contributor, UK
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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