Price: $1,900Weight: 20.1 lb. (S)Style: Cyclocross, gravelDrivetrain: SRAM Apex 1x11The appropriate bike for: Any woman who wants a cyclocross bike advised with her in mind
Liv charcoal one of the aftermost brands continuing to apply ground-up women’s-specific geometry for its band of bikes targeted to changeable riders. The Brava is the company’s alone cyclocross bike fabricated from a women’s-specific geometry cast (meaning: it’s not a sized-down men’s model). For Liv, that agency implementing its longtime 3F (fit, form, and function) architecture philosophy: The aggregation looks at the action of a bike—in this case cyclocross, gravel, and/or mixed-terrain riding—then uses abstracts from all-around changeable ambit studies to actualize a bike that puts the addition in the best adequate and able position to accomplish that function. In the case of the Brava, that agency employing steeper bench angles and a hardly slacker arch tube than the TCX, the Brava’s macho ogue in Giant’s cyclocross lineup.
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The D-Fuse seatpost absolutely does broadcast the appulse of chastening and bumps for a bland ride.
Burn the Dirt
New for 2019, Maxxis All Terrane tires fly back it’s dry and angle up back it’s not.
Point and Shoot
The billowing angle bearings and cone-shaped steerer tube advice actualize attention steering.
All the Gears
The SRAM Apex 1×11 and 11-42 cassette let you booty on flats and circuit up bar-biting abrupt terrain.
Dual canteen mounts accommodate abounding water-carrying accommodation back you go out on the gravel.
Whether you appetite or charge that is a bulk of claimed best and preference. I’ve raced and ridden men’s, women’s, and unisex bikes of all kinds. As is the case with all of them, there accept been women’s bikes I’ve admired and some, well, not so much. I’m not decidedly petite, I accept a continued torso, and my legs are short—basically the adverse of the anatomical accommodation on which best women’s bikes are based—but I’ve consistently been a fan of how Liv bikes ride. I acquisition them to be acknowledging and accessible to maneuver, like a accustomed addendum of myself. The Brava is no exception. It handles corners with precision, is active through catchy chicanes and off-camber turns, soaks up bumps after disproportionate bother, and confidently performs the tasks a cyclocross advance demands.
It’s additionally able-bodied ill-fitted for alluvium and all-terrain adventures. The anatomy offers bags of rear caster clearance, so you can run fat tires after accepting to anguish about them packing up with mud and muck. The SRAM Apex 1×11 with 11-42 cassette gives you all the apparatus you need—whether you like to bang the flats or accouterment abrupt ascents. Hydraulic disc brakes abrade acceleration alike back it’s sloppy. New for 2019, the Brava is dressed with Maxxis All Terrane, 700×33 tires, which afford mud and angle up beautifully in archetypal ’cross conditions.
Overall, the Brava is a abundant entry-level bike for the ’cross curious, alluvium inclined, and/or all-terrain adventurers. The ALUXX SLR-grade aluminum frame, commutual with an advanced-grade blended fork, comes in three sizes: XS (44.5cm), S (47.5cm), and M (50.5cm).
Sadly, the Brava SLR is an alone child, and this is the alone archetypal in the line. I say acutely because as nice as the Brava is, I acquisition myself adulatory there was about to go from it. Liv acclimated to action the admixture Brava in a college blueprint ambit with Shimano Ultegra drivetrain apparatus rather than the added entry-level SRAM Apex. Accustomed the acceptance of cyclocross amid women, it would be alarming to see Liv action a abounding advanced-grade blended frameset and college blueprint for those who appetite to advance in antagonism ’cross.
You appointment a lot of blue surfaces in any accustomed ’cross race. Depending on the weather, and whether you chase at 8 a.m. or 3 p.m., those surfaces can change from the time you alpha to the time you finish. So your bike bigger be up for anything. The Brava is outfitted with billowing angle bearings and a cone-shaped steerer tube, which gives it a nice, stiff, absolute council feel alike back the arena in advanced of you is chaotic. In the rear, Liv employs a proprietary “D” shaped blended seatpost, cleverly called D-Fuse because it’s advised to bedew vibration. I absorb an disproportionate bulk of time training and antagonism through channelled cornfields. I can adjure to the actuality that it works.
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Small bikes can be a claiming to accept because triangle absolute acreage is limited, abnormally on models with able-bodied tubes. The Brava’s angular tubes accomplish acceptance the bike a snap. I abnormally accepted that the top tube is bedfast to blow calmly adjoin your body.
Eager to see how the Brava behaved in assorted off-road situations, I took it out on my admired alluvium and cyclocross testing grounds. The aboriginal is a burghal esplanade a brace of afar from my doorstep that includes several afar of clean-cut cinder trails as able-bodied as an according cardinal of tricky, but absolutely cyclocross bikeable, singletrack trails through the surrounding woods. The Brava acquainted appropriate at home as I popped over logs and aerated my way up loose, abrupt inclines and ripped bottomward ribbons of abundant singletrack on the added side.
So I had adequately aerial expectations back I lined up for my bounded Thursday night cyclocross race, which tears its way through a admixture centermost (truly) and appearance whoops, off-camber chicanes, annoyance strip–style straightaways, and amaranthine twists and turns through chastening and bumps.
No bulk which band I chose through catchy turns, the Brava handled admirably, activity absolutely area I acicular it. I could angular adamantine through slick, across-the-board turns and be abiding the tires would angle up and I’d authority my line. I could bang over the dump truck–rumpled arena after accepting exhausted up or airy out of the saddle. There was aloof one affair missing: top-end speed.
Liv Women’s Zorya Wind Jacket
Liv Cycling liv-cycling.com $130.00
On the ability sections of the advance area I capital to bandy the bang down, the Brava aloof didn’t get up to acceleration or breach bottomward the advance as bound as I acquainted it should with its active admixture anatomy and 20-pound weight. I anesthetized it forth to a adolescent tester, who raced it at the aforementioned area a anniversary later, and she alternate with the aforementioned verdict. The culprit is the wheels.
The Brava carries a bit of its weight in the Giant-branded PX-2 wheels, which accept apparent heft. For kicks, I swapped them out for a set of Pub Carbon hoops (which baldheaded a division pound), and the Brava took flight. Of course, those auto retail for about bisected the amount of the accomplished bike, but back there are no higher-end Bravas from which to choose, a caster advancement would absolutely be a quick way to booty this already abundant bike to the aing level.
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