Liv Intrigue 2 review

A shred-ready bike for serious mountain bikers

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,499.00 RRP | AUD $2,799.00 | USD $2,825.00

Our review

A fun, agile bike that’s ripe for upgrading, but great to ride as is. Better tyres and a dropper would be nice though!
Buy if, You want a quality mountain bike for the money that's fun to ride, performs competitively, will help progress your riding and is a joy to ride
Pros: The Maestro suspension system and RockShox suspension makes for a confidence inspiring ride. The Intrigue beats similarly priced competitors on component spec
Cons: Wooden tyres don’t give enough traction for wet and rooty British riding. No dropper seatpost or quick release means mid-ride faffing
Skip to view product specifications

The Intrigue is a women’s specific trail bike by Liv, the women’s specific sister brand to Giant. Liv bikes in general benefit greatly from a wealth of engineering and design know-how from Giant, coupled with a recognised dedication to providing women with bikes that ride and perform to the highest level. The Intrigue is no different; it’s ideal for getting rough and ready on technical terrain, climbing mountains and shredding back down. 

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There are two models of the Intrigue available; the Intrigue 1 which prices up at £2,199 / US$2,825 / AU$2,799 and the Intrigue 2, tested here, which comes in at £1,499 / US$3,200 / AU$3,599. While the Intrigue 2 may be the cheaper of the two models, it’s built around the same aluminium frame as the Intrigue 1 and features some better than average componentry for the price.

Both Intrigues have a unique women’s specific geometry (no repurposed ‘unisex’ frames here) with a wonderfully low standover. I tried the size M bike, which had a comfortable reach for my 5’8”/176cm height. The range has three sizes: XS, S and M – great for shorter riders, not so much for taller ones. That said, I found the medium framed bike fitted well. 

The RockShox Sektor Gold RL Solo Air forks provide 140mm of reliable front suspension, and the RockShox Monarch R shock works with the Giant Maestro suspension linkage system giving excellent traction on climbs and a smooth but lively feel on technical terrain.

One gripe is the lack of dropper post, (yes, the fancier Intrigue 1 has one) and in fact, the lack of even a quick release seat clamp! Instead you have to break out the Allen keys to adjust your saddle. Messing about with multi-tools to drop the saddle mid-ride is not a lot of fun, and a decent dropper post would be the first upgrade we’d make here. However, not many mountain bikes have dropper posts at this price point, so it’s perhaps not outside the norm that it doesn’t have one as sold. 

Quite simply, I loved riding this bike and would highly recommend it
Quite simply, I loved riding this bike and would highly recommend it
Russell Burton

We’re also not massive fans of the Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance tyres, which give far less grip than the more expensive Trailstar and Pacestar versions. The harder rubber compound used here may resist wear, but the tyres slip and slide easily in wet or slippery conditions – the norm for the UK. This is another area that’s ripe for an upgrade. 

The Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing and Shimano M395 hydraulic discs aren’t the lightest or flashiest, but do their job effectively and well. Bike weight is 13.14kg/28.9lb.

I appreciated the handling and control the wide 730mm bars gave, as all too often women’s bikes are spec’d with very narrow handlebars. On the flipside, the 80mm stem was a touch on the long side and I’d want to switch it for something shorter which would give more responsive steering.

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Overall, the Intrigue 2 has a lively, fun feel, climbs well and is agile enough to handle tight corners, pop off drops and roll through rock gardens without losing traction. It knocks the socks off a number of other women’s specific bikes at this price point in terms of performance and ride feel — and to be honest, it beats a few pricier bikes too. I loved riding it, and it gets the BikeRadar seal of approval. 

Product Specifications

Product

Name Intrigue 2
Brand Liv/giant

Available Sizes XS S M
Rear Tyre Schwalbe Nobby Nic 275.x2.25", TL Ready Performance folding
Wheelbase (in) 44.45
Standover Height (in) 28.53
Seat Tube (in) 22.83
Chainstays (in) 17.56
Spoke Type Stainless steel
Brake Levers Shimano M396
Weight (kg) 13.14
Stem Giant Connect
Shifters Shimano Deore 20 speed
Seatpost Giant Connect, 30.9mm
Seat Angle 73.5
Saddle Liv Contact Forward
Rims Giant S-XC 2 27.5" Wheelset
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch R
Bottom Bracket Shimano PressFit
Rear Hub QR15
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore Shadow+
Head Angle 68
Handlebar Giant Connect TR 25mm rise, 730mm
Front Tyre Schwalbe Nobby Nic 275.x2.25", TL Ready Performance folding
Front Hub Giant Tracker
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
Frame Material ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum, 140mm Maestro Suspension
Fork RockShox Sektor Gold RL Solo Air, 140mm travel, 15mm thru-axle, Tapered
Cranks Shimano Deore 22/36
Chain KMC X10
Cassette Shimano HG50 11x36
Brakes Shimano M395, 180mm [F] 160mm [R]
Frame size tested M