Liv Cycling wasn’t the first women’s specific cycling brand, but they are certainly one of the most industrious—with a huge line of bikes that spans from road to kids and nearly every two-wheeled disciple on earth. Along with this huge offering of bikes, Liv champions women riding with the brand’s various community-building events, like clinics, social rides and other meetups. While some might scoff at the likes of these events as marketing tools, Liv authentically supports women riding simply by making great bikes.
One of those great bikes is the Intrigue. First launched in 2014, the Intrigue was applauded by riders as being a solid women’s specific, all mountain bike that gave women a fairly comparable bike to Giant’s Trance for men (Giant Group is the parent of Liv Cycling). Things have only gone up from there. While other bike brands have moved away from the women’s specific geometry, Liv has doubled down their commitment and is the only women’s comprehensive bike brand. Liv’s geometry is informed by the pro-women who ride their bikes. Literally designed by women, for women—when riders buy a Liv, they’re supporting women mechanics, designers, athletes, marketers and the women’s riding community.
There have been a few iterations since that first launch of the Intrigue, but the latest 29er version seems to be one of the best yet. This Intrigue comes in an advanced-grade composite material frame (aka Carbon.2) and is equipped with a Fox 34 Factory Live Valve 140mm set and 125mm Maestro suspension in the rear. As such, the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 1 is still a remarkable allrounder whose mission is versatility. There might not be a better place to test that versatility than the Yukon. And like Liv, the Yukon mountain biking scene is focused on community and blending riding with purpose.
Starting out on the Dream Trail, on the Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün and Ta’an Kwäch’än, is a 6.5 km out-and-back trail with a 650-meter climb that puts you on top of Grey Mountain overlooking Whitehorse. Developed by the Youth Achievement Centre (YAC) and the City of Whitehorse, the Dream Trail was a community project built over a five-year period and features a burly yet manageable climb to the alpine, where it opens up, and also ridiculous scenic alpine segments that rival some of the better known mountain biking destinations in the world. After cruising the uphill due to the balanced nature and firmer suspension from the Live Value, the Advanced Pro 29 1 was able to keep up with more gravity-specific bikes playing on the slab at the true summit of the Dream.
Further south in Carcross on Montana Mountain are community-made world class trails. Carcross Tagish First Nation, Montana, managed by Carcross Tagish First Nations with their land claims (read more on the Yukon First Nations land claims and how the Yukon is on the forefront of self-governance in Canada here), is home to Singletrack to Success (S2S), a nearly two-decade-long community trail building and riding organization for First Nations youth. With the goal to keep youth engaged, S2S has hand-built and restored over 40 km of single track on the 2,205-meter mountain. S2S now has three generations of builders that work in mentorship models to support future generations of trail builders. S2S’ work is so successful that they do contract work outside for various clients, like Yukon Parks, and have collaborated with the likes of Mt Sima, the local ski hill in Whitehorse.
There are a variety of trails on Montana from long, flowing XC green and blue trails that have breathtaking views of Bennet and Nares Lakes to heavy black trails that have earned the respect and have challenged some of the most talented riders. Many people choose to shuttle to Montana since there is an access road. And, those who are lucky enough to visit Icycle, (the Yukon’s premier bike shop) on a slower day at their Carcross location, could be treated to a shuttle in an F-150 Lighting. However, since the Advanced Pro 29 1 can climb, why not try the newer up tracks designed for self-powered ascents. While hitting big drops wasn’t on the menu for this tester, smaller drops, jumps, slabs and rock gardens were. The Advanced Pro 29 1’s beefy and grippy Maxxis Minion DHF tires really excel in technical sections where you want good balance and cornering.
Back in Whitehorse, on the Mount McIntrye (Mt Mac) XC trails, is where the Advanced Pro 29 1’s Live Valve system got to perform. The Live Valve system is designed to provide real-time and automatic adjustments via sensors to suspension settings based on the terrain and rider inputs, enhancing both climbing efficiency and descending performance. On the long and root-laden flatter trails at Mt Mac, the Live Valve worked overtime to create the smoothest ride. These are the same trails where the 2023 Canadian XCM MTB Championships were held and on the more gnarly double black trail Rock Lobster, the Advanced Pro 29 1 handled all the steep rolls and slabs, proving once again its versatility. Whether you believe that women’s specific bikes should be made or not, one thing that no one can dispute is that Liv Cycling is putting in effort and listening to what their riders want.