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The women's-specific bike brand Liv today launches the latest EnviLiv, its flagship performance bike.
Undergoing a total redesign, the range now includes the EnviLiv Advanced SL frameset and updates to all models, and will debut on the 2023 WorldTour under Dutch team Liv Racing TeqFind and Australian Team Jayco AlUla, as well as German Liv Racing triathlete Lisa Tertsch, all of whom had a hand in the redesign of the bike.
While the bikes undergo a complete overhaul, the aero purpose remains, with its 'build to win statement' still standing strong.
We last saw the Liv Enviliv Advanced Pro back in 2020, and liked it so much we presented it with a Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice award, where we noted its capabilities and exceptional ride went far beyond its aero label.
“Designed with input from our athletes, our intention is to give women a bike that matches the commitment they put into their training and the race results they want to achieve,” says Meg Hung, Liv Global Bicycle Category Manager.
“The EnviLiv was redesigned for performance-minded road riders whose goals include breaking personal records, riding at the front of the pack, and having every advantage possible to achieve that – from aerodynamics to light weight to the latest components.”
Liv says that this third generation of the EnviLiv sees three main construction re-works, specifically in relation to optimized aerodynamics, frame construction and more seamless integration than previous models.
Liv EnviLiv frameset redesign
Comparing old with new, it's clear to see that the latest frame has undergone a significant remodelling. Liv says that this AeroSystem Shaping Technology enhances aerodynamic performance at every yaw angle, gaining a claimed 3.9% aerodynamic improvement.
It's a tricky one to verify. Reading back through previous EnviLiv iterations you'll see similar claims, and looking at generations two and three of the bike, you can clearly see changes, but building on what had gone before.
But this latest redesign however sees bold remodelling. Liv claims that when combined with the new Contact SLR or SL Aero cockpit and Giant SLR 50 WheelSystem, the EnviLiv Advanced Pro series improves on aerodynamic drag by 9.21 watts over the 2019 version. This apparently equates to 40 seconds over 40 kilometres at 40kph.
While that might seem a negligible saving to be had, a quick stat check, thanks to the work of ProCyclingStats, sees that average speeds of the women's WorldTour regularly knocking on the door of 40kph.
In fact had Quinty Ton, originally Liv Racing Xstra, now Liv Racing TeqFind, been on board the new Liv EnviLiv at the 2022 Dutch national championships that was run off at an average speed of 40.91kph, she could have won by around 10 seconds.
I'm being facetious of course, but the case in point remains. If these bikes really do reduce aero drag this significantly, then there's a chance the WordTour team rankings could be about to be reshuffled.
But is it all down to a frameset reworking? Even the brand's admission there are other factors at play. When in the the wind tunnel lab, the 2019 EnviLiv was equipped with a Cadex 65 rear wheel and Cadex 42 front wheel with 25mm Cadex Race tyres on both. The 2023 EnviLiv kept the same tyres, but was, however, set up with Giant SLR 50 front and rear wheels. So not quite an apples for apples comparison.
The two visual comparisons above between the 2019 and 2023 bikes is enough to demonstrate the frameset redesign, but theses changes have also meant updated geometry too, with all frame sizes changing, as highlighted in the table below.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Generation two (2019)||Generation three (2023)|
|Seat tube length (mm)||500||500|
|Seat tube angle||74.5°||74.5°|
|Top tube length (mm)||524||524|
|Head tube length (mm)||127||135|
|Head tube angle||72.0°||72.0°|
|Fork rake (mm)||45||49|
|Chain stay length (mm)||405||405|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||68||70|
The standout numbers here are is the longer head tube on the new EnviLiv, more trail and increased rake, shifting the front end out more and giving the frame a very slightly elongated wheelbase of just 3mm.
The longer head tube tube also increases the stack, not only creates a very aesthetically pleasing bike thanks to much smoother tubing transitions, but should also allow riders to get shoulders in line with the front end of the bike when giving it full gas without it loosing stability or agility.
Liv EnviLiv new construction techniques
The top of the range new Liv EnviLiv gets a new Advanced SL-Grade composite, which the brand says is stronger and lighter than the versions that have gone before. It's something that we've seen on the company's sibling brand of men's bikes for a while now, most recently the latest Giant Propel 2023.
Although at Cycling Weekly we usually hate making direct references or comparisons to 'men's' and 'women's' bikes , it is worth picking up that there are a lot shared features between the EnviLiv and the Propel that make it impossible not too.
These communal construction methods have allowed for more continuous carbon fibre technology on both bikes, which the brand says makes for greater strength and less weight, as well as improved impact resistance. Better fusion processes have also been adopted by the bikes, which also contribute to lighter framesets and stronger frame junctions.
The later would account for the new Liv EnviLiv doing away with the 'beefy' tubing junctions as seen on generation two of the bike.
In terms of outcomes, Liv tells us that by significantly reducing the shape and size of every frame tube this latest generation EnviLiv Advanced Pro saves 205 grams and EnviLiv Advanced 292 grams over the older version of the bike.
Doing a bit of back-of-an-envelope math, this should take the overall bike weight down to around 7kg for the Advanced Pro. Factor in the even lighter Advanced SL frameset, and you're looking at an knocking an additional 106.5 grams on top of that.
Losing this frame mass does have a knock on impact, good and bad.
It's interesting that this decision to slimline the frameset has created a claimed 3.9% decline in pedalling stiffness between old and new framesets. However, according to Liv, overall frameset stiffness has increased by 5%, which means a 1.5% improved total stiffness.
If you're a bit of a data geek, then you'll like knowing that thanks to the 40g saving on the all-new Liv Contact Aero SLR carbon handlebar and 55g saving on the new Giant Contact SLR Aero carbon stem on the Advanced Pro there is, apparently, a 13.67% improved total frameset efficiency, aka stiffness-to-weight ratio, over the old version.
You'll have to do your own stiffness-to-weight ratio calculations if you build up the Advanced SL frameset with the same finishing kit (and we're still checking on the after market availability). It'll also sit right on top of the UCI weight limit zone, so go steady with any more lightweight options if you do go down this route.
Liv EnviLiv front end improvements
One of the biggest updates that I'm most pleased to see is a claimed dramatic improvement of the cable routing.
It was about the one thing that jarred with me on the last model and something that I wrote about already needing a redesign as soon as the bike was launched.
Liv believes that what the improved 'user-friendly' cable routing solution, new OverDrive Aero fork steer tube and corresponding spacers deliver is much neater than before.
The brand also adds that "not only does this keep things visually clean and aerodynamic, but also allows for easier servicing compared to fully integrated handlebar and stem designs". Music to my ears indeed.
Liv EnviLiv specifications, prices and availability
In total there are three different series of the new EnviLiv to choose from, unless you live in the USA where the bike isn't available. I've been lead to believe this has been the case since 2020. You can however purchase the bike in Canada, but you'd need to factor in import duties on top.
The Advanced SL series is currently frameset only, Advanced SL-Grade Composite frame and fork (12x142 thru-axle disc) and Giant Vector SLR full carbon composite seatpost. This series is only available in the limited sizes of extra small, small and medium and will set you back £2,899.
Full bikes start with the EnviLiv Advanced Pro, which uses Advanced Grade Composite frame and a Advanced SL-Grade Composite frame and fork (12x142xx thru-axle disc). Both Shimano Ultegra Di2 and SRAM Force eTap will be on offer, and come with crank based power meters. Both use the same Giant Contact SLR Aero cockpit and Giant Vector seat posts. Giant also provides the SLR 1 50 carbon wheelsets, shod in CADEX race tubeless 25c tires. All sizes, XXS to L, are available and prices start from £6,699
EnviLiv Advanced series also contains two models the EnviLiv Advanced 1 at £4,499 and EnviLiv Advanced 2 at £2,999. The Advanced 1 comes with SRAM Rival eTap 12sp and Advanced 2 with Shimano 105 11sp. Both are kitted out with a slightly lower specced Giant Contact SL Aero cockpit and Giant Vector composite seatpost. Both bikes also come with Giant P-A2 wheels dressed in Giant Gavia Course 1 tyres. Again these are also come in sizes XXS to L.
Most of the range will be available to buy now, with a follow-up release date of March 1 due to current embargo dates.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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