More women on bikes: how Liv advances women at the Tour, in the industry and beyond

The future is here

Shirin van Anrooij young rider at the 2022 Tour de France Femmes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The return of a women’s Amstel Gold Race in 2017, a first-ever Paris Roubaix Femmes in 2021 and this year, finally, the revival of a women’s edition of the most recognizable cycling event in the world, the Tour de France Femmes. There’s no doubt that women’s cycling is on the rise and momentum is building.

You may have even noticed it for yourself. There’s professional women’s racing on TV, an unprecedented offering of women’s cycling gear in the stores, and visibly more women meeting at trailheads and coffee shops to head out on a ride.

What’s more, there are women designing the bikes you ride and fixing your mechanicals, writing the articles about your favorite riders, advocating for mountain bike trail access in your region, organizing races, leading group rides and teaching skills to the cycling stars of tomorrow.

Among the biggest champions of this new era of cycling is Liv, a brand that stands out for not only producing some of the most popular bikes for women, but for employing and involving women in every role and at every stage in the bike design and engineering process.

Founded in 2008 by industry pioneer Bonnie Tu, Liv is a comprehensive cycling brand dedicated solely to women, and even asserts to “invest 100% of [its] resources into supporting women and creating more opportunities in the sport of cycling.”

Tu is a passionate cyclist and savvy businesswoman, and, as a founding shareholder and current chairperson of the world’s largest bike brand, Giant Group, she’s arguably the most powerful woman in the entire bike industry.

The idea of Liv was born from Tu’s own need for cycling equipment after failing to find a bike and clothing to fit her as she prepared for the 2007 Tour of Taiwan.

“In 2007 I was planning to join the former Chairman who was riding the Tour of Taiwan, a 900km ride that circumnavigates Taiwan. When I went to the store, I was shocked to realize I couldn’t find a bike or women’s clothing for the ride,” Tu recalls.

Some 14 years later, the Liv brand is now well-known for its presence across all disciplines of elite-level racing, sponsoring road and gravel cyclists, triathletes and XC and enduro mountain bikers alike. Some of the best female cyclists have seen success aboard a Liv bike, including Marianne Vos, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Anna van der Breggen, Lisa Tertsch, Rebecca Rusch and Linda Indergand.

Far more than just an equipment provider, Liv’s relationship with its athletes is a symbiotic one.

While Liv supports them in their on- and off-the bike pursuits, the athletes in turn are involved with everything from the brand’s product research and development to hosting community events and skills clinics.

The end goal? To get more women on bikes and on the podium.

“You can’t grow the Women’s WorldTour without getting women and girls into bikes in the first place. Both demographics are equally important and it is essential that mission driven companies like Liv uplift both,” Liv Racing Xtra racer and POC advocate Ayesha McGowan told Cycling Weekly.

With her 2021 contract extension, McGowan realized her dream to become the first African American woman to get signed to a professional road cycling team.

“Liv has gone above and beyond to support both my individual goals and my community goals. It was challenging for other brands to understand that I wanted to be both a professional athlete and a community advocate. Liv as a company made sure I had the resources and support to achieve both.”

At the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift in July, Liv supported two WorldTour teams, Liv Racing Xstra and Team BikeExchange-Jayco. Both teams raced aboard the Liv Langma, a bike that consistently ranked among our editors’ favorites.

“Giving women the chance to compete in the most prestigious race in road cycling shows young girls they too can achieve their dreams and aspire to compete at cycling’s highest level—something Liv has been committed to since day one,” said Tu.

Liv recognizes that the Tour de France Femmes wasn’t just the making of history – it's the making of the future as well. To that end, the brand has stepped up as a major financial supporter of the monumental race by sponsoring the Best Young Rider Classification.

This award, signified by a white jersey, recognized the best rider under the age of 23. At the end of each stage, the woman leading the young rider classification (meaning, the young rider with the lowest overall time), was celebrated with a podium ceremony. On the opening stage, it was Bonnie Tu herself who awarded the white jersey to future talent, Maike van der Duin of the Le Col Wahoo team. 

The 2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift was a great showcase of women’s cycling, and one we’ve been waiting for since the 1980s. If you missed it, you can catch up on all the excitement at or (opens in new tab)

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