The Liv Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.
The original Langma was launched ahead of the Giro Rosa in 2017, where it made its racing debut as the bike of choice for Team Sunweb.
Liv introduced the disc-brake version shortly afterwards, and it’s a welcome addition to the range.
Liv Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc frame
Weighing in at an 7.69kg, the frame is constructed by Liv’s sibling company Giant Bicycles who has an impressive pedigree in frame construction.
Liv itself is dedicated to producing women’s specific bikes with bespoke, well-researched geometry based on body-dimension databases and the company’s own analyses, plus pro-rider and athlete feedback.
While the Langma might be a race bike, it’s one that sits more towards the multi-day stage race with mountain climbs end of racing, and as such, blends attributes, such as as stiff carbon wheels for speed with a slightly more forgiving body position for comfort.
High-quality carbon construction lies at the heart of this bike, with an Advanced Grade carbon composite frame and fork with size-specific layup that shaves excess weight, and is designed to ensure the optimum blend of stiffness and compliance where needed.
A nod to speed can be seen in the aerodynamic profiling seen across the frame and build, such as the bladed seatpost and aerofoil-inspired down tube. Internal cable routing keeps the bike looking sleek and further reduces drag.
The chunky OverDrive steerer, which compared to standard 1.125in steerer designs oversizes both ends of the headset and the steerer (1.25in top, 1.5in bottom and a larger 1.25in steerer) on the carbon forks gives the bike a surefooted feeling of control when steering, even at speed, and increases the stiffness of the front end.
An oversized Powercore bottom-bracket area provides complementary noticeable stiffness, which gives an immediate feeling of acceleration when pedalling.
Tubing around the top tube and seat tube is almost impossibly fine, and serves a dual purpose. One, reducing mass and therefore weight, and two, allowing flex that increases the vertical compliance of the bike to help absorb road vibrations for a more comfy ride.
And it mostly works, though as a rider that’s heavier than the average racer, I did notice additional flex when climbing or working hard, which hinders a smooth, rhythmic cadence.
Liv Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc kit
The Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc comes spec’d with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset, which gives smooth, reliable shifting.
The shifters offer adjustable reach and bite point, which means they can be tailored to fit your hands —particularly important for comfort and control over long distances and descents.
An Ultegra crankset with 50/34t chainrings is paired with an 11-30t cassette. Between them they offer a wide-enough range to cover most ride and race environments, plus a little extra on the low end than you’d usually see on a race-focused bike, to help ease the legs on long climbs.
Ultegra hydraulic brakes provide strong, powerful braking in all weathers with a wonderfully smooth, subtle level of control, which is great for shaving off a little speed here and there.
Although there are other bikes at a similar price with similar specs, the fact the Langma is spec’d with a quality set of carbon wheels – Giant SLR-1 Disc 30 – certainly sets it apart. These add noticeable stiffness and at 1,650g a pair contribute to the low weight of the bike.
They’re fitted with a set of Giant Gavia AC 1 tyres, set up tubeless and ready to ride. These are 700x25mm, but if you want something plusher for a more cushioned feel or greater traction, the frame allows up to a 28mm tyre to be fitted.
In terms of finishing kit, Liv has opted to spec alloy bar and stems on the Langma, with size-specific handlebars for each size of the bike. The carbon composite seatpost is carbon, however, and combined with a neat seat-clamp integrated into the frame, helps smooth the ride further.
Liv Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc ride experience
In action, the Langma is nimble and agile, and can change direction on a pinhead. The trade-off is it needs a strong rider to keep it in hand, as nimble can almost turn to skittish at speed. If you handle it confidently, it’ll reward you with great performance.
Comfort-wise, the compliance in the frame combined with the carbon seatpost does a great job of ironing out rough surfaces, though there’s almost a little too much, and I did notice some frame flex when pushing hard on long climbs, which compromised some efficiency.
Liv Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc verdict
As a package, it’s hard to argue with what you get for the money. In many ways the Liv Langma outperforms similarly priced bikes if you’re looking at pure spec. All components are high-performing, quality choices, and there’s nothing that immediately asks to be upgraded.
As a race-focused bike, it sits more towards comfort and high-performance over long distances rather than pure out-and-out sprint speed.
The flex in the frame helps make this one of the more comfortable performance bikes out there, but does hold it back a little.
It’s still a very impressive piece of kit, and it’s not hard to see how it’s provided a winning platform for the pro-peloton. For riders who like to ride hard, ride long and tackle cols, it’s a great choice.
Liv Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc specifications
- Sizes (*tested): XXS, XS, S, M*, L ( XXS not available in the UK )
- Weight: 7.69kg
- Frame: Advanced Grade carbon composite
- Fork: Advanced Grade carbon composite with full composite OverDrive steerer
- Chainset: Shimano Ultegra 34/50
- Bottom bracket: Shimano Pressfit
- Cassette: Shimano Ultegra,11×30
- Chain: KMC X11SL-1
- Mech: Shimano Ultegra 22 Speed Hydraulic
- Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
- Wheelset: Giant SLR-1 Disc 30 WheelSystem
- Tyres: Giant Gavia AC 1, tubeless, 700x25c
- Stem: Giant Contact SL, 100mm
- Bar: Giant Contact SL, 400mm
- Saddle: Liv Contact SL (forward)
- Seatpost: Giant Variant, composite
- Brakes: Shimano Ultegra, hydraulic disc 140mm rotors
Liv Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc geometry
- Seat angle: 74 degrees
- Head angle: 72.5 degrees
- Chainstay: 40.5cm
- Seat tube: 48cm
- Top tube: 54cm
- Head tube: 15cm
- Fork offset: 4.5cm
- Trail: 6cm
- Bottom bracket drop: 6.8cm
- Wheelbase: 981mm
- Stack: 54.6cm
- Reach: 38.4cm