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Road Cycling

First Impressions: Liv Langma Road Bike Review

Designed by women, for women. How did we get on with the new addition to the Liv family?

We travelled to Italy last month to check out Langma, Liv’s new women’s-specific road bike. A lightweight, the top-of-the-line spec model which features a full carbon frame and fork and SRAM Red eTap drivetrain.

Liv Explain: Why female specific bikes suit the average woman

A few years ago, the road bike offering at a top female level was a very different place to today. Female roadies will know that not too long ago, the argument for women specific bikes was a much quieter one. Getting a good bike was a case of finding a unisex frame and tweaking it to find a better fit for a woman’s body. A high-performance road bike, built from the ground up for a female body, either sat only at the uber expensive custom level or felt simply non-existent.

Nowadays, the movement for female specific frames is growing, along with consumer demand. Recently we went out to Follina in Italy with Liv, one of the bike brands that changed the female market, to catch up with the developments on this interesting discussion and meet their new offering, the Langma.

First Impressions: Liv Hail and the Liv Pique

Liv is a brand that lives and breathes women’s cycling at every level, putting time and engineering into making high-end performance bikes using bespoke female geometry, based on a global body dimension database, the expertise of top feel engineers and guidance from its pro riders.

Langma, the most recent offering from the Liv school of thought, is a bike two years in the making that claims to be developed for riders who need the lightest of bikes for racing while requiring technology designed for climbing efficiency and to help you ‘fly to the summit’. Joining the Envie and Avail on Liv’s line up, it fills the super lightweight model space for the company.  

 
First Impressions 

Over our two days of riding, one thing about this new bike became clear, the Langma is definitely more than capable when facing a climb. As we tackled the mighty Passo San Boldo, a 10km beast with 18 switchbacks and an average of an 8-degree gradient, the Langma’s super lightweight frame and fork weight of 1.155 kg and built weight of 6.05kg (size small) came into its own. Both smooth and responsive, the bike provided the support for consistency in thought climbs. For such a light bike, the frame manages to feel surprisingly tough and stays nimble and incredibly responsive, without feeling twitchy. 

Liv has done very well in its ambition to create a climbing and racing bike with absolutely no sacrifices in weight, with the Langma coming in 1.5kg lighter than Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX. The low weight of the Langma has been engineered through the use of Giant’s advance grade composite frame material at all levels, using clever site specific layups to minimise clunkiness across the frame.

When you look at the Advanced SL level, even more has been done to reduce weight. A has been achieved primarily through the use of Liv/Giant’s advanced grade composite frame material, which has been whittled down so it’s only chunky in key areas – Liv call it ‘tuned stiffness’. At this Advanced SL level, Liv has also applied ‘continuous fibre technology’, a process that results in fewer junctions to create a sturdier frame and larger composite areas to save precious weight. In short, this bike is crazy light, without any sacrifices in strength.

The most noticeable thing that I took away from my two rides on the Langma was that for a bike primarily designed for racing, it provided outstanding comfort on tough climbs and long rides, giving real weight to the argument for female specific frames and proving Liv’s stance.

For such a light bike, it never felt flimsy on the hard climbs and although it has a fairly aggressive racing position, I didn’t feel bent out of shape or have any aches or pains after hours in the saddle. Liv have managed to find that thin line between comfort and stiffness, providing the optimal amount of each. The tread worked to minimise bumps effortlessly in the background, meaning this effort in the smooth ride went unnoticed until far on, when the usual pains of long descents failed to show. 

I wasn’t sure of what to expect of its qualities as a racing bike and having made the assumption that it would excel in endurance, I thought I might not feel any great amount of aggression in its acceleration or real willingness to fly. The Langma proved me wrong however, while it wasn’t the fastest off the mark, it’s racing set up, alongside added lightweight comfort means that it fairs well in hill races. With Team Sunweb’s success on the bike this current season shows that it is indeed a bike capable of hard racing and would possibly show this further on a longer test run away from the climbs.

The Langma is a very supportive ride and has power in its strength, along with its lightness and great aerodynamic features. I enjoyed testing its graceful climbs and nimble descents, along with the benefits of its racing position and weight. 

This is just a first impressions from two days of riding. Further testing would certainly reveal a more of the nuances and strengths of this exciting new model from Liv.

The Langma is available in a number of different models with varying colour-ways, specs and price-tags. For more information on the bikes, head over to the Liv Bikes website here. Since the press camp took place, Liv has announced they will be offering disc brakes on a number of the Langma models – so, if you’re looking for a little more braking power than traditional rim brakes offer, then Liv will have these available soon.

The Liv Langma 2018 line up

  • Langma Advanced SL 0: $9,800 (Tested bike)
  • Langma Advanced Pro 0: $4,600
  • Langma Advanced Pro 1 Disc: $3,250
  • Langma Advanced Disc: $2,375
  • Langma Advanced 1: $2,300
  • Langma Advanced 2: $1,700

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