Liv launches Langma 2022: stiffer fork completes the package on the all-rounder race bike

Race bike of choice for the Liv World Tour team, the Langma now packs that bit more punch with every pedal stroke

Liv langma
(Image credit: Dan Gould/Future)

The Liv Langma 2022 has arrived. The road race chassis and bike of choice for World Tour outfit Liv Racing is now lighter and stiffer, and I've had the pleasure of putting the Advanced SL model through its paces. 

The Langma has been a lightweight bike since its inception and the redesign sees 60g shaved from the frame, but more importantly, it's enjoyed a leg up on the stiffness scale - though this only applies to the top end Advanced SL model.

It's the Advanced SL variety that I have on test, with the SRAM Red eTap AXS dressed model coming in at 6.7kg. Read on for the tech details on the Langma's facelift, as well as my own first ride impressions. 

Liv Langma 2020

(Image credit: Michiel Mass for Liv)

Liv Langma redesign: stiffer fork and greater tyre clearance

The Langma was first released into the world in 2017/model year 2018 and I was fortunate enough to attend the press launch. Whilst the bike displayed impressive numbers on the scales, it did leave me a little wanting. 

The limitless storage capacity and elephantesque memory of the internet means I can recall that in my launch story, I wrote:

“My initial impression was not of a skitty, ready to punch race machine: more one of a fairly aggressive set up that could be ridden all day without discomfort. For me it wasn't dancing with a desire to sprint out of every corner…. But the lightweight frame would help me over the hills on the way to a finish line, and I can see a lot of women enjoying climbing to the summit on the platform in years to come.”

It transpires that following feedback and development, Liv agreed with me - because the brand has constructed the Langma Advanced SL Disc from an upgraded carbon, using longer and more continuous pieces for a stiffer chassis that’s also 60g lighter. Not only that, Liv has upped the lateral stiffness of the Langma SL fork, by a claimed 50 per cent. 

Many new 2021 releases carried stiffness increases that swung the pendulum too far, for me - these bikes were stiff enough in my book. But the Liv Langma needed a little extra punch and having enjoyed a few first rides on this machine I can confirm that it now has that in spades. The very first outing on the newest iteration had me beaming from the first pedal strokes. 

Unfortunately, the stiffness boost applies only at the Advanced SL level, I've yet to ride the Advanced Pro and Advanced models, but there aren't any claimed stiffness increases here. I know a lot of Liv Langma owners who are very happy with the first-generation model, but personally, I would like to see this increased responsiveness trickle down the ranks. 

Ride quality is subjective. If the experience transpires to be too firm, the good news is that Liv has adjusted the geometry to accommodate 32mm tyres - which offer a sizeable contact patch for those seeking grip in the corners. Standard spec is a labeled 25mm, with Liv helpfully listing the measured width at 26.5mm. 

liv langma 2020

(Image credit: Dan Gould/Future)

Liv Langma redesign: aero uplift  

Like the TCR from Liv’s sibling brand Giant, the Langma (which, I have to say, shares an uncanny resemblance to the TCR) doesn’t forgo aerodynamics and it now enjoys an updated truncated ellipse tubing with a promised uplift in speed. Liv hasn’t provided any watt savings for us here, unfortunately, so we don't know how the Langma compares to the likes of the dedicated watt-saving EnviLiv frame. 

The top of the range model comes wearing the Cadex 36 disc wheels too. A 36mm wheel is a great middle-ground option, providing that little bit more versatility for lighter women than the commonly specced 45 or 50mm versions elsewhere, most aero data shows that the greatest gain comes from boosting a box section to a 30mm rim, with deeper choices yielding smaller gains.

At the front end, the Liv Langma models are fitted out with the Giant Contact SLR, Contact SL or Contact stem and a separate handlebar, with the cables exiting the bar tape and routed via the downtube and fork. 

Whilst the bike-world fashion has been moving towards total integration, I’m happy to see that Liv has eschewed this in favour of a more maintenance-friendly solution, again, in a similar fashion to the TCR. If there's one thing better than split spacers, it's not needing them at all. 

The rear end still uses a Giant Variant seatpost, which is proprietary and therefore limits swaps further down the line. However, it does offer a claimed aero uplift and comfort to boot, with carbon used across the range. Liv has tidied up the seatpost clamp area, with a new design which looks a little sleeker than the previous ‘hump’. Happily, unlike the high end TCR models, there is no integrated seat mast - so there's no cutting of expensive carbon required, with a simple hidden Allen key bolt dictating saddle height. 

liv langma 2020

(Image credit: Dan Gould/Future)

Liv Langma: geometry tweaks

Liv has adjusted the geometry on the Langma slightly when compared with the 2018 iteration.

The numbers imply the front end has become higher. As an example, my size small now comes with a reach of 377mm and stack of 532mm vs 378mm and 525mm in the previous iteration. 

However, when I enquired about this, the brand confirmed that the apparent tweak is due to the addition of a new cone spacer which is slimmer than the previous - so the corresponding height has been added to the headtube. Since I don't have the 2018 Langma here to measure the two next to each other, it's hard to compare. 

The stack is still higher than something like a Tarmac (517mm for a 52cm frame, in reality, 527mm due to an immovable spacer) or a TCR (528mm on a small). 

Liv chopped the fork steerer for me, leaving two 5mm spacers. Having enjoyed a few rides, I slammed the stem to achieve my ideal fit. I tend to prefer my test bikes to feel 'right' at half-mast - the logic being that means there's room either end for riders seeking a more aggressive or relaxed fit. 

Some adjustments were also made to accommodate the wider tyre. The head angle on my build sits at 71 degrees, one integer slacker than the 72 degrees on the 2018 version. This is also slacker than a similarly sized Giant TCR (72.3). However, I didn't detect a hint of slouch in the handling, in fact, I felt more in control on this bike than any I've tested in recent months. 

The 977mm wheelbase is suitably snappy, with a 74.5 degree seat angle positioning me nicely over the bottom bracket. 

liv langma

(Image credit: Dan Gould/Future)

Liv Langma: first ride impressions

First things first, the model I have on test is the Liv Langma SL Advanced Disc with SRAM Red eTap. This will be available in the US, but UK riders will have to wait until later in the summer for an Advanced SL build. The first batch of UK models will utilise the Advanced Pro and Advanced frame and fork constructed from lower grade carbon.

So far, I've covered about 200 kilometres aboard the Liv Langma Advanced SL Disc, but first impressions are always the most informative - and in this case they’ve been gold standard. 

My impression of the previous Liv Langma has always been of a magic carpet ride with thrillingly low weight, but with a compromise in the stiffness department. With the new iteration, that single niggle has been entirely eradicated - this is now a thoroughbred race bike, and one that I’d joyously select as my season’s race bike of choice. 

I’ve yet to pin on my first road race number following the Covid pandemic, but from the get-go on this bike, my legs were longing to attack every short sharp climb, and on the first ride I was only 1 second off a 2019 Strava PB which I’ve attempted no less than 179 times. Since I was running late to meet my ride buddy, I had an opportunity to really assess the handling ability when chucking the Langma around a roundabout, fast, and it handled the bend with a feeling of effortless total control. 

Over the course of a 100km weekend ride, I grew even more attached to this bike. The ride quality reminds me distinctly of the Specialized Aethos I loved so much, the difference is that here there's no need to sacrifice aero features. 

I wanted the stem slammed, which makes me wonder if those seeking a more aggressive fit might find it lacking - that's the only 'con' I've uncovered so far.

It is almost impossible to ignore the Langma's similarity to the TCR. However, whilst my internal jury is still very much out on the need for women’s specific geometry, the perfectly fitting contact points make for a very compelling argument. 

The fact is that the Langma is one of very few top-end race bikes that arrived with me ready to ride. I didn't have to swap the saddle or disassemble fresh tape to put on a narrower handlebar in order to unlock the handling potential - a constant irritation that doesn't befall my male colleagues. There’s nothing I needed to change out of the box, and that matters when you’re buying an expensive carbon race machine. 

I'll need to ride the Langma for a little longer to bring you the full review, but this will be published in due course. 

Liv Langma 2021: models and specs

The SRAM Red eTap model I've been testing is available in the US, but not in the UK. A comparative spec build will be arriving later this summer - unfortunately, groupset delays mean this has to remain under covers for now. With rumours swirling around expected new releases from Shimano, it's not hard to anticipate what we can expect to see the top-tier bike wearing.

UK builds:

- Langma Advanced Disc 2 - £2,349

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact stem (alloy), Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact handlebars (alloy), Shimano 105 (36/52 chainset, 11-30, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant PR-2 tubeless wheels, Giant Course 1 tubeless tyres 

- Langma Advanced Disc 1 - £2,599

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact stem (alloy), Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact handlebars (alloy), Shimano Ultegra (36/52 chainset, 11-30, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant PR-2 tubeless wheels, Giant Course 1 tubeless tyres

- Langma Advanced Disc 1+ - £3,149

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact stem (alloy), Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact handlebars (alloy), Shimano Ultegra (36/52 chainset, 11-30, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant SLR-36 tubeless wheels, Giant Course 1 tubeless tyres

- Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc - £3,999

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact SLR stem, Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact SL handlebars, Shimano Ultegra (36/52 chainset, 11-30, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant Power Pro power meter, Giant SLR-36 tubeless wheels, Giant Gavia Course 1 tubeless tyres

- Langma Advanced Pro 0 Disc-AXS - £5,599

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact SLR stem, Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact SL handlebars, SRAM Force eTap AXS (35/48 chainset, 10-36, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant Halo power meter, Giant SLR-36 tubeless wheels, Giant Course 1 tubeless tyres

US builds

- Langma Advanced Disc 2 - $2,500

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact stem (alloy), Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact handlebars (alloy), Shimano 105 (36/52 chainset, 11-30, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant PR-2 tubeless wheels, Giant Course 1 tubeless tyres

- Langma Advanced Disc 1+ - $3,400

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact stem (alloy), Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact handlebars (alloy), Shimano Ultegra (36/52 chainset, 11-30, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant SLR-36 tubeless wheels, Giant Course 1 tubeless tyres

- Langma Advanced Disc 1+ AR - $4,000

Advanced Grade Composite, Giant Contact stem (alloy), Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact handlebars (alloy), SRAM Rival eTap AXS (33/46 chainset, 10-36, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Giant SLR-36 tubeless wheels, Giant Fondo 1 tyres

- Langma Advanced Pro SL Disc-Red - $10,000

Advanced SL-Grade Composite, Giant Contact SLR stem, Giant Variant carbon seatpost, Liv Contact SL handlebars, SRAM Red eTap AXS (35/48 chainset, 10-46, hydraulic disc, 140mm front rotor 160mm rear), Quarq DZero Power Meter, Cadex Carbon 36 tubeless wheels, Cadex Road Race tyres