Liv's Prototype XC Bike - Sea Otter 2019


American long-distance mountain bike racer Kaysee Armstrong was spotted on this Liv prototype during the XC race at Sea Otter. Kaysee is a part of the Liv Racing team and has competed in the Absa Cape Epic along with a host of cyclocross, enduro, XC and gravel races.

Liv staff were willing to let me take photos of the prototype she's racing on but wouldn't provide any information on it. My guess is that it's an updated version of the Liv Pique since that bike was introduced in 2016 so is likely up for an update after three years on the market. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pique, it was the Lust's replacement and was dubbed an aggressive XC bike with 120mm of travel, 27.5" wheels, and a 70º head angle.

Whether it's a Pique or something entirely different, one thing we can see for sure is that the new bike now has 29er wheels. There are definite similarities between the prototype Liv bike and the Giant Trance 29 that Daniel Sapp and I tested during last year's Pinkbike Field Test so we're guessing it may take even more cues from that model than just the wheel size.

The Giant Trance 29 uses the Maestro suspension layout with a carbon upper link, and it looks like that has carried over to this Liv prototype. Daniel and I were impressed with the aggressive spec that the Trance came with and the progressive geometry, 66.5-degree head angle, 74.5-degree seat angle, and 435mm chainstays, so it would be great to see something similar be available on the Liv side.
Rolling on bigger wheels...

Comparing the seattube to that of the Giant Trance 29 (right), this is definitely a different frame.

The spec on Kaysee's bike isn't as aggressive as the Giant Trance 29 we tested last summer, but that could just be because it's set up for the fast rolling course at Sea Otter.

Looking pretty close to being ready with the plastic protection bits dialed.