As my partner-in-adventure and partner-in-life will tell you, I’m a pragmatic person. And I’m hyper pragmatic about outdoor gear. I buy quality equipment and then spend years enjoying that quality. I don’t rush to upgrade to “newer and better” models. Case in point: I’ve been riding the same (great, I thought!) women’s-specific mountain bike for fifteen years.
So when I jumped in the saddle of a new Liv Pique 29 XC mountain bike I assumed I was in for a modest upgrade. Sure, I’d been watching my daughter eat up trails all over the West on her Liv. But I had no idea. No. Idea. My first ride on the Pique 29 felt as close to flight as I’ve ever been without actually leaving the ground. And I accidentally left my (male) riding partners in the dust.
Here’s why it flies: The lightweight ALUXX SL frame is geometrically optimized for women’s physiques using Liv’s 3F Design Philosophy. So for every downstroke on the pedals you get more velocity. And because the frame is designed to distribute weight optimally, every downstroke takes you further, quicker, faster.
This is the result of Liv’s investment in years of comprehensive design work and testing bikes specifically for women. Liv is unique in its approach. As Bonnie Tu, founder of Liv Cycling says: “If there is no difference between women and men cyclists, then let’s design bikes for women, and men can add men’s-specific components and touch points.” Plus, Liv also has an awesome track record of getting more women on bikes. Check out Liv Committed to see how they’re supporting women in various cycling disciplines, from beginner to pro.
In a time where we all feel weighted down in place, the Pique 29 has felt like freedom.
MSRP: $2,050-$5,700 depending on model
Pros: With remote lockout and dropper post plus Maestro suspension, the Pique 29 eats up steep climbs as well as it floats over technical sections of trail. Super responsive to rider and terrain, it corners and maneuvers well. And it practically rides itself through flatter terrain.
Cons: It’s not cheap. But neither was my old favorite bike at the time.
Where I took it: All over Colorado’s Front Range.