Liv has launched the second generation of the Embolden, adding a 29in wheel option. Originally launched in 2016, the Embolden represents the brand’s entry point to its full-suspension platforms. The Pique and Intrigue platforms sit above the Embolden in the range in terms of their frame technologies and their higher-specced components.
The Embolden is a trail bike, designed specifically for those new to trail riding, but could also be used by experienced riders who are after a full-suspension bike with a trail-oriented spec on a budget.
Liv, which is the women’s-specific sister brand to Giant, points to the Embolden’s capability, saying it can “conquer tricky climbs, rowdy descents and chunky rock gardens with confidence”.
A new 29er wheel-size option
The new Embolden is now available with 29in wheels. The first-gen Embolden was only available with 27.5in wheels. Liv says the Embolden has been “custom-designed using only women’s body dimension data and riding experience” and that offering a range of frame and wheel sizes “allows riders to find the best fit and ride experience”.
The XS, S and M frames use 27.5in wheels. The S and M frame sizes also come in a 29er flavour, as does an L size.
An updated aluminium frame
Like its predecessor, the frame is made from Liv’s ALUXX aluminium. It is, according to the brand, “[a] proprietary alloy [that] has 30 per cent additional stiffness over traditional 6061-series aluminium, while also reducing overall weight.”
The maximum tyre clearances are 2.6in in a 27.5in format or 2.4in on the 29er.
Liv uses a standard tapered headtube on the Embolden, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of forks, should you wish to upgrade. This avoids using their ‘Overdrive 2’ system which relies on a proprietary tapered 1 ¼ steerer tube.
The frame uses a BB86 press-fit bottom bracket and the chainstays are asymmetrical. The brand says this is so the driveside can provide additional stiffness and the non-driveside can boost stability. The brand says it has also revamped the cable ports.
2022 Liv Embolden geometry
The frame geometry remains unchanged from the original model in its 27.5in guise.
On a size-medium frame, there is a 74-degree seat tube angle, which is relatively slack, combined with a 430mm reach and 67.5-degree head tube angle. The head tube angle stands out as relatively steep for a bike of this genre, but Liv says it’s to help with manoeuvrability on descents.
The geometry is slightly tweaked for the 29in bike. On a size medium, the seat tube steepens to 76 degrees, the head tube slackens by half a degree to 67 and the reach lengthens to 447mm. This is more in keeping with modern geometry, but it is still relatively conservative compared to other bikes.
2022 Liv Embolden geometry with 27.5in wheels
|Seat tube length (mm)||380||406||445|
|Seat tube angle (degrees)||74||74||74|
|Toptube length (mm)||565||580||595|
|Headtube length (mm)||95||100||110|
|Headtube angle (degrees)||67.5||67.5||67.5|
|Fork rake (mm)||43||43||43|
|Chainstay length (mm)||435||435||435|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||20||20||20|
|Standover height (mm)||690||705||733|
|Handlebar width (mm)||750||750||780|
|Stem length (mm)||40||40||50|
|Crank length (mm)||165||170||170|
2022 Liv Embolden geometry with 29in wheels
|Seat tube length (mm)||405||420||440|
|Seat tube angle (degrees)||76||76||76|
|Top tube length (mm)||565||585||605|
|Headtube length (mm)||105||115||125|
|Headtube angle (degrees)||67||67||67|
|Fork rake (mm)||51||51||51|
|Chainstay length (mm)||438||438||438|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||40||40||40|
|Standover height (mm)||712||734||755|
|Handlebar width (mm)||740||760||780|
|Stem length (mm)||40||50||50|
|Crank length (mm)||170||170||170|
A trail-ready suspension design and spec
Unlike the Pique and Intrigue, which utilise the Maestro suspension system, the Embolden relies on a single-pivot ‘FlexPoint’ layout to deliver its 120mm of rear travel, as also seen on the new Giant Anthem cross-country race bike. This should make for easier maintenance in the long run and is also lighter-weight overall.
The two bikes are specced with a Giant Crest 34 SL RCL fork. The vast majority of bicycle manufacturers will use a suspension fork from RockShox, Fox or SR Suntour on their entry-level bikes.
The fork features 34mm-diameter stanchions and an air spring. Giant says volume spacers can be added to alter the spring rate, while the top of the fork features a compression adjustment dial too.
The two models each come with Giant Contact Switch dropper posts.
Both bikes in the range are designed around 1x drivetrain and, unlike the outgoing model, cannot accept a front derailleur.
Each model is equipped with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. These see a 180mm disc rotor out-front, paired with a 160mm at the back.
Both models in the range are fitted with a Maxxis Rekon tyre with EXO casing at the front and an Ardent Race, again with EXO casing, at the back. The 27.5in bikes feature 2.6in-wide tyres and the 29in bike gets 2.35in tyres.
Additionally, both tyres are tubeless-ready and they come already seated and set up out of the box.
2022 Liv Embolden model range
The Liv Embolden is available in two models:
Liv Embolden 2
The range starts with the Embolden 2 at £1,849. International pricing is to be confirmed.
The Embolden 2 uses Giant’s own Crest 34 RCL fork and a Suntour Raidon R shock.
It is equipped with a Shimano Deore M4100 1×10-speed groupset with an 11-46 cassette. There are deviations from the groupset to the chain, which is a KMC X10 and a Praxis Cadet Boost chainset and corresponding bottom bracket, with a 30t chainring.
The brakes use Shimano BL-MT201 levers and powerful 4-piston MT420 calipers, and the wheels are Giant’s own AM rims, with their own sealed hub laced together using Sapim spokes.
The Embolden 2 is available in two colours – Milky Way or Purple Ash.
Liv Embolden 1
This top model comes in at £2,149. Again, international pricing is to be confirmed.
The rear shock is upgraded to a RockShox Monarch R, and it utilises a full SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain with an 11-50 cassette.
The brake levers are upgraded to Shimano BL-MT401. The rest of the spec is identical to the Embolden 2.
It’s available in Matte Black or Gloss Sparkling Black.
Liv says the bikes will be released in the spring.