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The Longest Climb: Taiwan KOM Challenge

Carlee Taylor Races the Taiwan KOM Challenge on the Liv Langma Advanced SL

105 km

3275 m elevation

27.3% maximum gradient

“The Taiwan KOM Challenge was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!” – Carlee Taylor, professional road cyclist.

I arrived in Taiwan two days before the KOM Challenge, a race unlike any other where cyclists set out to climb straight up the tallest mountain on the island. I immediately went to Liv Taipei where I was set up on the Liv Langma Advanced SL for the race. First of all, I was blown away by Liv Taipei, a complete bike shop dedicated to women! The store had everything I needed and is such an awesome asset for the women of Taiwan.

I had two days to get used to a new bike, recover from travel, and get ready to climb a 3275-meter berg in 105 km from sea level… it wouldn’t be easy. After having my offseason and not having done any long rides, I was pleasantly surprised that I raced 5 hours with an average heart rate of 172 bpm and still came in 7th place in the female pro division. I think that shows how good I felt on this new-to-me bike!

In 2016, I raced for Liv Plantur and had the pleasure of riding the Liv Envie Advanced Pro throughout the season. But, after the climbing-adept Langma was released this year, I have been itching to give it a try. Being a hill climber, I naturally think about the weight of my bike, and the Langma just felt so unbelievably light. Additionally, every time I came off the saddle during the race it responded quickly like it just wanted to go! I wasn’t expecting this bike to be as light as it was while being responsive and comfortable. Even at the finish on top of the mountain, though I was tired I still felt comfortable throughout the entire climb.

In addition to the geometry of the bike being obviously made for women like me,  I also really loved the Liv Contact SLR Forward saddle. When I first sat on it, I instantly thought, “Oh, that’s nice!” Normally I don't have many problems with saddles, or teams have gone to extreme lengths to measure pelvic rotation and seat bone width, and consequently, tell me what seat I 'should' be riding, yet I got on that saddle and felt like I wasn't sitting on a bike seat.