While 29ers have proliferated to the point of seemingly threatening extinction to smaller wheel sizes, Liv Cycling has mostly waited and watched the category’s rise. In fact, the women’s-brand just released its first-ever 29er last year, the Pique XC bike. But Liv furthered its commitment to big wheels this week with the release of its first 29-inch trail bike: the 125-rear, 140-front Intrigue 29, an aluminum-framed version of a bike that’s been in its line for years always rolling on 27.5-inch wheels.
The Intrigue is built around adjustable frame geometry and implements the classic Maestro suspension of its parent company, Giant. Frame geometry is modern for a mid-travel 29er, with a 77-degree seat angle (77.8 in the high position) and 65.8-degree head angle (66.5 in high). At 430 millimeters for a size medium, reach seems a smidge short on paper, though it grows to 438 in the high geometry position. Also, the bike comes specced with a 50-mil stem, which could make the fit feel plenty roomy.
From a riding perspective, in the high position, a steeper headtube and seattube angle makes the bike handle quicker and places the rider in a more aggressive climbing position. A higher bottom bracket also improves pedal clearance, presumably meaning fewer pedal strikes, and makes the high position ideal for slower, tighter, more technical terrain. In the low position, the lower bottom bracket height, and slacker headtube and seattube angle lowers the center of gravity of the bike and places the front wheel a bit farther out in front of the rider. This position gives the bike more stability at speed, and the rider increased confidence on steeper terrain.