- Disc brake
- Climbing capabilities
- Not much!
Price as reviewed:
Even with most bike manufacturers now having an aero bike listed, female specific aero bikes are still not that common place, but the Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc absolutely smashes it, and that’s why it’s on our Editor’s Choice list for 2019.
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Being part of the Giant bikes family comes with some perks, mostly your own composite factory in which to make your own High-Performance Grade raw carbon material, using, what Liv say is ‘state-of-the-art materials and manufacturing techniques’.
This Advanced-Grade Composite, aka carbon fibre, used for the Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc has been designed to balance light weight and stiffness with optimal compliance – in theory the holy grail of bike construction.
As an aero bike, the Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc uses what Liv call Aerosystem Shaping Technology. Its tubing shapes have been engineered using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind-tunnel data to optimise each tube shape for superior aerodynamic performance.
In practice this means oversize, angular tubing profiles which flatten out towards the rear of the bike, with the top tube almost a pentagon at the front end, and transitioning to a ever narrowing triangle by the time it meets up with with the seat tube.
The full carbon forks fully benefit from the addition of disc brakes allowing them to be kept as sleek as possible. Liv believe it not only delivers in terms of aerodynamic capabilities, but also offer extraordinary lateral stiffness, steering performance and control, thanks to the use of an oversized headset bearings (1 1/4-inch top and 1 1/2-inch bottom bearings).
As a women’s specific bike, Liv has taken great lengths to ensure that geometry wise, an aggressive aero fit, will in fact still actually fit women and want to be ridden by women. They use a 3F Engineering and Design platform for all of Liv’s bike ranges, which in essence is Fit, Form and Function.
This information is based on body dimensions, muscular activity, and strength patterns data, designing bikes which Giant says you’ll fall in love with looks wise, and what it says is the union of frame design, componentry, and state-of-the-art technologies.
With it’s integrated aero bar and stem, Giant SLR-1 Aero wheel system, which comes with a 45cm front rim and 65cm rear one, and Giant Vector carbon seat post, I have to admit, the end result of the Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc is very easy on the eye, as it certainly looks the part in terms of an aero bike I want to climb aboard.
I’m a bit of an awkward customer when it comes to bike sizes. I’m around 5″7, but my height is all in my legs, and I’ve inherited short arms, which means that I have to inevitably ride a smaller bike size than it says I should on paper. So I was slightly concerned about the already titled ‘aggressive’ geometry of the Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc, knowing that I would need to make it even steeper with a lot of seat pin to display in order to get the right leg length on the size small frame. And what would this do to the front end in terms of spacers?
I needn’t of worried, some how the bike, despite it’s 127cm top tube, thanks to the clever folk at Liv, an impressively designed set of spacers that follow the aero tubing profile at the front, but are rubber bands at the rear, which combined with a ‘flap’ each side at the rear of the stem enable the bike to turn corners without loosing it’s fully cable and tubing integrated aero profiling.
It’s the most exciting bit of innovation I’ve seen on a bike in a long time. It also means that the front end now gained enough height to deliver a really comfortable, yet still aero position.
I am slightly concerned as to, having had to assemble the front end, exactly how much is shoehorned in to the stem and spacer system. Thankfully the hydraulic fluid for the Shimano 105 disc brakes will be more or less happy at any angle, but it is so tightly packed in there that it wasn’t as smooth feeling as I would like it to be with cable and tubing outers clearly sitting cheek by jowl and protesting with some slight resistants.
Out on the road however, and any front end woes are soon forgotten with the Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc handling and riding like a dream. It balanced that sweet spot of responsiveness and predictability so well, which when combined with the great performance of the Shimano 105 shifting and disc braking delivers a confidence inspiring package.
I don’t doubt the contribution that the, as standard, 25mm Giant Gavia AC 1 tubeless tyre made to this feel, so knowing that the bike can take up to an 28mm tyres is even more music to my ears.
Even in pretty strong head and side winds, I didn’t feel overly blown around, and fully expecting a wind grabbing ride due to the oversized side tubing profiles and deep section wheels, it was noticeably surefooted.
Its power is impressive, with every pedal revolution distinctly creating forward propulsion. It is a harsher ride than a standard road bike, with road buzz evident, but with slightly less tyre pressure than the 95psi I opted for dry sunny day riding, or sticking on some fatter 28mm tyres, would probably take the edge off this sufficiently.
Most of the testing terrain that the Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc has had has been in The Peak District, which as its name suggests is not flat. It could be considered questionable territory for an aero bike, but the stats don’t lie.
On one ride alone that was just over 30km long and had 610 meters of climbing, the bike gifted me two Strava QOMs, a rack of podiums and a fist full of PB’s. I fear my only option is to either buy the bike or retire as I’m going to struggle to match that day out again on another bike.
With a pigeon hole ‘aero’ categorisation of the Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc I can see some folk over looking the bike’s full capabilities and thinking that for the £3.5k swing tag, they’d rather something more ‘rouleur‘ like. But I honestly can’t recommend the bike enough. It does it all and does it exceptionally well.
The women's specific Liv Enviliv Advance Pro 2 Disc is an exceptional ride that delivers far beyond its aero label. A bike that won't disappoint no matter what road you throw at it.
Frame: Advanced Grade Composite
Fork: Advanced Grade Composite (full composite)
Groupset: Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Handlebar: Giant Contact SLR Aero
Stem: Giant Contact SL Aero
Seatpost: Giant Vector Composite
Saddle: Liv Contact (Forward)
Wheelset: Giant SLR-1 Aero 42/65 Disc WheelSystem
Tyres: Giant Gavia AC 1, Tubless 25mm
Weight: XXX (Small)
Colours: Gloss Rainbow White only
Sizes: XS - M