Liv/giant began life as a Giant off-shoot aimed at catering for the Asian women’s market. However in 2010 it was re-launched as their global brand for female cyclists, replacing Giant for Women. Liv/giant is now unique in that it is the only major bike manufacturer entirely run by women. It’s not just the management, but the designers and engineers of the bikes as well.
What drives Liv/giant is the desire to make bikes that are genuinely designed from the drawing board up for female riders. The company have been openly critical in the press of other manufacturers’ attempts to cater for the female market. They believe that women’s cycling needs are sufficiently different that shortening a couple of frames from your men’s range and making them pink and sparkly won’t do; women’s bikes should be designed for women from the ground up. Liv/giant have had enough initial success and raised enough brand awareness, thanks in part to sponsorship of Marianne Vos, that the parent company seem happy enough to give them carte blanche to do this.
Amongst the key modifications that Liv/giant have made to cater to their customers’ needs is a reduced wheel size. From 2014, all their new bikes will feature 27.5” wheels, which they believe are better suited to female riders. The lighter weight will, they claim, give better control. For the 2014 season they also launched the first women-specific cyclocross bike to feature disc brakes. The Liv/giant range is wide, offering everything from entry-level aluminium road bikes to lightweight composite competition models.