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About Women's Specific Design

Frequently Asked Questions About Liv's Bike Design

At Liv, we want to be clear on our philosophy and the research we put in to get there. Simply put: we make bikes from the ground up for women. Still have questions about women’s-specific design? Scroll down to read our most frequently asked questions about how we make women’s bikes.

  1. Aren’t Liv bikes just Giant frames with a different paint job and components?

Nope! We love our brother-brand Giant, but each new Liv bike starts with a blank sheet of paper. We have a team of designers and engineers who carefully craft everything specifically for women's physiology - from frame design and stiffness, component design and selection, and positioning, the entire bike build maximizes women’s power. That isn’t to say there aren’t perks with being part of the awesome Giant family. For instance, we get to share tried and true technologies like Maestro Suspension in our off-road bikes, Advanced-Grade Composite Technology to make our carbon frames, and more to bring top-notch bikes to all women.

  1. Can’t a woman ride a men’s bike?

Women can ride bikes made for men, but according to our research, the majority of women will be more comfortable and efficient on a bike designed for them. When we look at data, average anatomical and physiological differences between women and men lead us to the conclusion that most women need a bike option other than men’s or unisex bikes.

  1. Where does the data that you base your research on come from?

We gather information from more than 15 reputable sources, listed in our Data Reference section (bottom of the page).

  1. Do women’s bikes always have a shorter top tube and more rise?

No, not always. We build bikes from the ground up based on ideal body posture for the type of riding. As a result, a handful of bikes do fit that generalization, but each bike carries its own geometry criteria.

  1. Do women’s bikes always put the rider in a more upright position?

Absolutely not! Although we do study anatomical differences between men and women to determine proper fit, we put them in the ideal position for the type of riding they’ll be doing and nothing less. The average man and average woman achieve the same ideal riding posture on different frames.

  1. I am a woman, but I do not have long legs! Are women’s-specific bikes for me?

Even if you are a woman that does not have “average” torso to leg length proportions, there tend to still be differences that may affect your positioning and the way you ride a bike. We have found that a larger percentage of women’s strength comes from their lower bodies, while the same is true but to a lesser extent for men. This directly affects weight distribution and how men and women are balanced over the bike. We can use this knowledge to our advantage when we design women’s-specific frames. Not only do we create a geometry that balances the rider over the bike, we also tune stiffness and compliance by adjusting the layup of our Advanced-grade composite material in our carbon frames.

  1. Can’t I just buy a men’s bike and change out the components?

Women’s-specific components and overall component selection are important parts of making a bike comfortable and efficient for female riders. Unisex and men’s bikes generally come with components that are more aimed at male riders: wider handlebars, longer cranks, longer stems, and men’s saddles. While you could certainly change out these components to suit your preferences, the balance point, reach and angles of the frame cannot be adjusted by merely changing parts on the bike. Liv bikes are thoughtfully built with women’s-specific saddles that complement the position the rider will be in on the bike, crank lengths that match the size of the frame, handlebar widths that are appropriate for the average shoulder breadth to height ratio, and stem lengths that offer the best handling for female riders. Our goal is to make a bike that is as close to perfect as possible, right out of the box.

  1. Does Liv make bikes solely based on info from data and statistics?

No, we realize that building a bike solely based on statistics isn’t enough.  We use many more sources that give insight and statistics on dimensions, strength and muscular activity, and importantly, we field test our products. Testing prototypes with our professional athletes and select riders is a big part of our design process at Liv. With multiple rounds of testing, we are able to fine tune geometry, adjust the stiffness and compliance on our composite frames and choose the best components for each bike.

  1. What about the color of women’s bikes?

We know that every woman has different tastes when it comes to aesthetics. At Liv, we try to appeal all women and offer bikes in a variety of color options. We take special care to offer a wide variety of color options for each bike line: blacks, pinks, purples, reds, greens and blues – and designs that range from conservative to wild! 

  1. Are women’s-specific bikes less strong than men’s bikes and do they have lower quality components?

Historically, many women’s bikes were not made with the same quality as men’s bikes because the industry didn’t think women would want to spend big money on a nice bike. Thankfully, that is changing and Liv was one of the pioneering companies driving this change. We believe women deserve the same variety of choices men enjoy when it comes to buying a bike. Heck, if she wants a full carbon mountain bike with top-of-the-line spec, she should be able to find that bike with a women’s-specific geometry that will make her more comfortable, confident and fast. That’s why Liv was there, making the first truly women’s-specific 27.5 carbon XC bike with SRAM’s XX1 groupset, released in July of 2013. Earlier that same year we made the first aerodynamic carbon road race bike, made specifically for women. In 2016, we launched a complete line of carbon off-road performance bikes featuring the first composite enduro bike with 160 mm of travel made with geometry tailored for women. And in 2017, the Langma was born - the lightest weight road bike currently being made by Giant or Liv. We will continue to push the boundaries to create bikes that are made to fit the female body, fit her style and perform at the highest level.

  1. Do you make products for expert riders only or for the more casual cyclist?

No matter the rider’s level or style, Liv provides a full range of products. We offer women’s specific bikes that cover On-Road, X-Road and Off-Road and that range from lifestyle builds to casual fitness builds all the way to world-class performance builds.

  1. Is “women’s-specific” just marketing?

No, at Liv it's intentional and thoughtful product design. 

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