Liv is the sister brand to Giant Bicycles, and the Liv Contact SL Forward is part of its range of saddles designed to suit female anatomy.
The saddles are aimed at both road riders and mountain bikers, but saddle options come in ‘Upright’ and ‘Forward’ variations. Upright is designed to support the body in a more vertical position while, you guessed it, Forward is for riders who adopt a more aggressive, forward on-bike style, which is where this saddle sits.
There are three saddles to choose from in the Contact range, and the Contact SL is the mid-range option. This model is constructed from tubular metallic rails with a composite base and smooth microfibre cover, while the entry-level comfort model has a more thickly padded profile and the range-topping SLR has a carbon composite base and carbon rails.
The side profile has a flat mid-section, slightly downward curving nose and upward curving tail. From the rear, the overall shape is convex with a depression where the cut-out is located.
A long, slim shape includes a pointed wing shape and central channel that reaches from the rear of the saddle to four-fifths along the saddle length. It measures 218mm x up to 50mm, with a small cutout measuring 20mm x 15mm.
Liv Contact SL Forwards saddle performance
The curved rear platform works if the saddle fits, providing good comfort for the sitbones. If the fit isn’t quite right the saddle can be unforgiving due to the curve. This can also make it tricky to get your on-bike position consistently correct when riding in different positions, especially if you’re in and out of the saddle a lot.
The sharp angle of the wings plus the narrowness of the wings, tail and nose did cause clothing to occasionally get snagged when moving to the back of the bike.
The wider mid-section chafes slightly on the upper legs when leaning forward on prolonged climbs, but feels fine for most trail riding and descending.
While the central channel isn’t particularly deep, it’s enough to keep soft tissue pressure-free.
The end of the pressure-relief channel has a slight up-turn in the nose of the saddle, which again, on prolonged climbs when weight is rotated further forwards, puts uncomfortable pressure on the labial area.
The Liv Contact SL is suited to short, intense rides and a more performance-focussed or aggressive riding style, but for longer rides it isn’t the most comfortable saddle on the market.