Liv/giant, the cycling brand dedicated to female riders, today unveiled the world’s first full lineup of women’s-specific off-road bikes featuring 27.5-inch wheel technology. With new XC, trail and enduro bikes, in both composite and aluminum frame options, Liv/giant is making a major commitment to helping female riders enjoy a better fit and superior performance on the trail.
For 2014, a total of five new Liv/giant series and 13 global models feature 27.5-inch wheel technology. Each of the new bikes has been in development for the past two years, and several have already been ridden to major race wins by Liv/giant athletes who played key roles in developing them.
“Our research led us to believe that the 27.5-inch wheel platform offers an ideal way to reduce overall bike weight, improve efficiency, and deliver better control for female riders,” said Liv/giant product developer Abby Santurbane. “We worked with a team of pro riders who confirmed those benefits and more.”
When combined with Liv/giant’s 3F (Fit, Form, Function) women’s-specific fit geometry, the 27.5 bikes—each of them purpose-built for a particular terrain and riding style—grant the traction and stability of 29er bikes but without the compromises in fit and weight. The new 27.5-optimized frames offer more stand-over clearance and a shorter wheelbase to improve a rider’s control and confidence.
One of the athletes riding an early prototype model was road and cyclocross world champion Marianne Vos, who is racing select XC events this year in a build-up to the 2016 Olympic Games. Vos rode a prototype Obsess Advanced model—the world’s first women’s-specific XC-focused 27.5 composite hardtail—to wins in XC and short track at the Sea Otter Classic in April.
“Some of my teammates had been racing on 29er bikes, which offer some added stability, but for many women riders the large wheels present a challenge,” said Vos. “The 27.5 feels just right. It’s quick and light the way I want it to be, but also has better control and stability than the 26-inch-wheel bikes I’ve ridden. I don’t have to put as much effort into going fast on my 27.5-inch bike. It’s effortless.” Along with Vos, U23 XC World Champion Jolanda Neff has also played a major role in helping test and refine the 2014 Obsess Advanced.
For more technical XC terrain, Liv/giant developed Lust Advanced, the world’s first women’s-specific, full-suspension composite 27.5-inch bike. The Lust Advanced is Liv/giant’s flagship bike, designed for the most discerning XC and trail riders. It features an Advanced-grade composite frame and Maestro Suspension technology with 4 inches of travel. The Lust series is also offered in a lightweight ALUXX SL aluminum frame.
For aggressive trail and enduro riding, Liv/giant is introducing Intrigue, which features 5.5 inches of Maestro rear suspension technology and an ALUXX SL aluminum frame. Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Kelli Emmett helped develop both the Lust and Intrigue platforms, and she has been competing on both at XC and enduro events.
“The difference with 27.5 is really incredible,” said Emmett. “In both the Lust and the Intrigue, I can immediately feel the boost in quickness and my ability to maneuver the bike. For XC racing with Lust Advanced, the fit and acceleration is so much better than a 29er. And for enduro racing with the Intrigue, it’s a perfect blend of stability, control, and agility to easily handle any terrain on the course.”
In addition to all the new performance models, Liv/giant makes 27.5 technology available to more women riders with a full line of 27.5 aluminum hardtail bikes called Tempt. The Tempt series is ideal for beginning and sport-level mountain bike riders, and features a low standover height and excellent fit.
For 2014, Liv/giant is offering the following off-road series with 27.5 technology:
Obsess Advanced (Advanced-grade composite hardtail XC)
Lust Advanced (Advanced-grade composite full-suspension XC)
Lust (ALUXX SL aluminum full-suspension XC)
Intrigue (ALUXX SL aluminum full-suspension trail and enduro)
Tempt (ALUXX aluminum hardtail XC)
The 2014 Liv/giant 27.5 off-road bikes will be available later this summer through Giant and Liv/giant retailers.