Climb high, ride hard with Liv’s new full-suss e-MTBs

New Liv Embolden E and Intrigue E cover everything from fire-road to alpine descents

Liv Cycling has unleashed two new women’s specific e-mountain bikes into the world. For those who want to explore local trails, forest roads, gravel paths and generally enjoy exploring and touring comes the Embolden E. If technical trails, climbs, descents and even eMTB racing is your thing, then say hello to the bigger, burlier Intrigue E.

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Highlights

  • Two new models of women’s specific e-mountain bikes
  • Embolden E: entry-level eMTB designed for exploring and touring
  • Intrigue E: trail/all-mountain eMTB for trail riding, eMTB enduro racing, all-mountain riding
  • All feature SyncDrive motors and integrated battery packs
  • Battery packs can be fully recharged in 1 hour 40 minutes

Liv Intrigue E+ Pro 1

The Embolden E and Intrigue E were both put to an initial test in Italy
The Embolden E and Intrigue E were both put to an initial test in Italy
Liv Cycling

Launched with the tagline ‘fuel the fire’, the Intrigue E+ is a 140/150mm travel plus-tyre trail bike designed to handle the technical terrain.

The much-reviewed and well-regarded 4-pivot Maestro suspension system is deployed here, paired with a Fox Float DPS Performance EVOL trunnion-mounted shock to give 140mm of rear travel. Up front, a Fox 36 Rhythm fork gives 150mm of travel with great small-bump sensitivity and a progressive feel that absorbs big hits effectively.

Both forks and shock have a specific light tune to suit the lighter-on-average weight of female riders, plus adapted to suit e-bikes.

The wheelset consists of Giant eTracker Boost hubs with Giant AM 27.5+ rims with 35mm inner width paired with decently robust Maxxis Minion DHF EXO Dual Compound tubeless tyres in 2.6inch width, though the frame can accomodate up to a 2.8inch tyre.

The top-level Intrigue E+ Pro 1 is fitted with the Giant SyncDrive Sport motor with the EnergyPack 500 battery. Liv claims the SyncDrive motor weighs in at 3.1kg, lighter than the Sport version of the motor fitted on the Embolden E.

The 500-watt battery pack can be recharged in as little as 1 hour 40 minutes
The 500-watt battery pack can be recharged in as little as 1 hour 40 minutes
Aoife Glass / Immediate Media

All bikes are available in four sizes — XS, S, M and L — to cover an extensive range of rider heights.

The SyncDrive Pro Motor offers five assist modes, with the highest offering up to 360% assistance, which is enough to make some of the steepest slopes a doddle.

The system is controlled by a compact and simple control panel — the Ride Control One — that sits on the bars. This consists of two large buttons to toggle up and down support modes, a power on/off button, LED displays that indicate battery level and which mode the bike is currently in, plus an additional button that can be used to control lights if fitted. Finally, the all-important ‘walk mode’ button located on the side of the panel gives a welcome boost when pushing up.

Lastly, while it might not affect the performance of the bike, the frame finish does deserve a special mention as it’s a colour-shifting, glitter-finish work of art that changes from teal to blue to purple depending on the light. Pretty damn badass.

The Ride Control One panel
The Ride Control One panel
Aoife Glass / Immediate Media

Geometry-wise, the Intrigue E+ features a trail-ready 66.5 degree head angle and 74.5 degree seat-tube angle. The size medium frame has a top tube length of 23.4 inches, a seattube length of 17.5 inches, chainstay length of 18.5 inches and and a stack of 23 inches. Handlebar, stem length and crank length is size specific.

Liv Intrigue E+ 1 ride impressions

My initial impressions of the Intrigue E, based on riding down (and up!) the loose, rocky trails of the Venosta Valley in Italy, led by the excellent guides of Vinschgaubike, are favourable.

Plus-tyres handled the loose, rocky terrain giving plenty of traction and grip, needed also to handle the added weight of riding an e-bike. Geometry and ride position felt good for both climbing and descending, and the suspension worked well on both small and large hits, helping with traction on the ascents.

E-bike specific Fox 36 forks are fitted
E-bike specific Fox 36 forks are fitted
Aoife Glass / Immediate Media

There are some elements of riding an e-bike that take some getting used to (no matter the brand), and one of the biggest is the speed at which you can climb and the technique you need for doing so. Because you’re riding so much faster, you essentially need your downhill skills for riding uphill.

There are several elements of the SyncDrive system that make it easier. First, the SyncDrive Pro motor has a shorter range of engagement from the crank, which means you don’t need to rotate the pedal as far to engage the motor. This comes into play when approaching technical features in climbs where you want to ratchet the pedals rather than put in a whole rotation.

Second, the SyncDrive Pro motor has a quicker reaction time before engagement, at 190 milli-seconds versus 500 milliseconds on the Sport version of the motor.

Finally, the q-factor — how wide the pedals project from the edge of the bike — is relatively small for the Intrigue. This is a function of designing the SyncDrive motor to be compact, and makes the bike feel more ‘normal’ and reduces the chances of accidentally catching pedals on the edge of the trail.

Liv Intrigue E+ model range

Liv Intrigue E+ Pro 1

  • Giant SyncDrive Pro motor with Giant EnergyPak500 integrated battery
  • Fox 36 Rhythm forks with 150mm travel
  • Fox Float DPS Performance EVOL shock
  • Shimano Deore XT/SLX 11spd groupset
  • Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes
  • Giant Contact Switch dropper seatpost
  • ALUXX SL-grade aluminium frame with 140mm rear travel and carbon composite rocker link
  • Giant AM 27.5 e-bike optimised rims with eTracker Boost hubs
  • Maxxis Minion DHF EXO Dual compound tyres in 27.5 x2.6
  • Chameleon blue/black frame colour
  • €4,299
Built for handling tough terrain, both up and down
Built for handling tough terrain, both up and down
Liv Cycling

Liv Intrigue E+ Pro 2

  • Giant SyncDrive Pro motor with Giant EnergyPak500 integrated battery
  • SR Suntour Aion 35 Air LO-R fork with 150mm travel
  • Fox Float DPS Performance EVOL shock
  • Shimano Deore XT/SLX 11spd groupset
  • Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes
  • Giant Contact Switch dropper seatpost
  • ALUXX SL-grade aluminium frame with 140mm rear travel and carbon composite rocker link
  • Giant AM 27.5 e-bike optimised rims with e