Liv/Giant: Bikes For Women By Women
I really like my job. But some days I really really like my job. These days usually involve escaping the office, as was the case last week when Liv/Giant whisked some media folks out of Manhattan and into East Hampton to eat and ride and talk about bikes. All. Day. Long.
Liv/Giant is a division of Giant dedicated to serving female cyclists. What makes it so unique, though, is the fact that its entire staff is composed of women. That means the people designing, engineering—and in some cases even building—your bike were women who understand what you need and want in a ride. As a result, in addition to producing awesome bikes—that aren’t all covered in pink flowers—Liv/Giant has also been leading the charge in women's-specific innovation, selling the first female cyclocross bike and adding integrated seatposts to the Avail Advanced SL 0. We’re even hearing rumors about a women’s-specific aero bike due out in early 2013.
Once in the Hamptons, we kicked off our day by pedaling four miles into town for lunch on the Escape, a sporty bike that’s durable enough for bike paths, but comfortable enough to cruise down main street.
Love the cute bike bag!
After our lunchtime jaunt, the Liv/Giant girls surprised us with our second ride of the day: Avails equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting. I had only ever tried Di2 while riding a bike on a trainer, so I was eager to get it out on the open road.
The Avail series of bikes (there are 12 of them!) run the gamut from entry-level aluminum rides to light, stiff, carbon-fiber race bikes. My Avail Advanced 0 was a joy to ride—smooth and comfortable—perfect for a century or gran fondo. The electronic shifting was seamless, though often so quiet that I wasn’t sure whether I had actually switched gears. One downside: A few miles into our ride, two girls lost their battery packs—which attach to the left chainstay—rendering them unable to shift. So while the Di2 was fun to toy around with, but I’m not sure the technology is worth the extra hassle at this point, for me anyway. I’m still fairly new to cycling so I stick to the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) method as much as possible.
Riding around in the sun on awesome bikes was amazing, but to be honest, my favorite part of the day was seeing Giant’s general manager Elysa Walk ride with a bandaged right leg. A woman with road rash running a major bike company? That’s a brand I can trust.
(L to R): Myself, Liv/Giant marketing manager Jackie Baker, and GM Elysa Walk post ride
—Danielle Kosecki, Associate Editor
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