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Liv Langma Advanced SL Disc review

13 Aug 2021

Page 1 of 2Liv Langma Advanced SL Disc review

Verdict:

An attractive and well-rounded bike that is built for women and rides all the better for it

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Women-specific build • Subtly attractive looks • Top-end spec

Liv is Giant’s sister brand, producing a full range of women-specific bikes right up to WorldTour-level race bikes for its Liv Racing team.

The newly redesigned Langma race bike sits at the top of the product tree, and at the top of the 11 models in the new Langma lineup is this Advanced SL Disc, which has already been ridden to victory by Lotte Kopecky at Le Samyn des Dames in March and the Belgian National Championships in June.

The eagle-eyed will notice this latest model shares a number of traits with its cousin, the recently redesigned Giant TCR. The tube shapes and silhouette are very similar, as are the skinny fork and the seat tube/seatpost cluster. But that doesn’t mean the Langma is just a ‘shrinked and pinked’ version of the Giant bike.

While Liv and Giant share expertise and technology, the two companies are separate, and Liv insists every element of its bikes is designed with its female customers in mind.

As product manager David Ward puts it, ‘There are separate clothes for men and women, shoes for men and women. We’re built differently so why aren’t our bikes?’

So despite the apparent visual similarity the Langma shares barely any numbers on the geometry chart with its nearest TCR equivalent, and is instead better suited to women’s bodies, according to Liv.

In practical terms, this means a slightly taller stack and shorter reach than on the men’s bikes and the use of more women-appropriate components such as narrower bars and shorter cranks.

More of everything

Among the improvements Liv says the new model brings to the table are lighter weight, a stiffer fork for better handling, and enhanced aerodynamics.

In the Advanced SL Disc, Liv has used longer, more continuous pieces of carbon fibre across the frame tubes and junctions to ensure stiffness while saving on weight.

The result is a frame that is 60g lighter than the previous Langma Advanced SL, making for a complete bike (size small) at just 6.65kg.

The fork stiffness is claimed to have improved by 50% and the new tube profiles promise less drag across a wider range of wind yaw angles, especially when paired with the new Cadex 36 Disc wheels and redesigned aero seatpost.

Get more information on the new Liv Langma now

No expense has been spared with the spec. Alongside the 1,302g Cadex wheels (Cadex is the premium wheel brand under the Giant umbrella), the top-end SL model comes with a top-end groupset, which means that when the bike is available in August, it will be dressed in all-new Shimano Dura-Ace. We won’t know the price of the Langma SL Advanced until then.

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The next step down in the range – the Advanced Pro Disc 0 AXS – doesn’t quite have the same magic under the carbon skin, but still boasts weight and stiffness improvements and costs £5,599.

At the other end of the range, the Shimano Tiagra-specced Advanced Disc 3 comes in at nearer £2,000.

The hills are alive

The name Langma derives from ‘Chomolungma’, the Tibetan name for Mount Everest, which gives an idea of where Liv is pitching the bike: ‘The Langma is designed as an all-around performance bike that excels on climbs.’

Everest might be a bit far away for a test ride, but the Lake District boasts some of the most brutal climbs in the UK, and I was keen to see how the bike would perform against them. I think it’s fair to say the bike was better prepared for the hills than the rider was.

The lightness was immediately noticeable on the climbs, offering a virtual extra gear. The bike’s responsiveness was unhesitating thanks to the stiffness of the frame and the Cadex wheels, which also contributed to excellent handling without ever feeling harsh.

As someone who normally rides a unisex – read: men’s – bike, did I notice the women-specific geometry at work? In short, yes.

I never once felt any ache in my upper body, even after a day when I was straining more than usual, and the adjusted ergonomics of the narrower handlebars afforded me greater control when out of the saddle or sweeping through hairpins.

I took the Langma to some of the steepest and longest passes in the Lake District in an attempt to find any cracks in its armour, but the only one who cracked was me.

Get more information on the new Liv Langma now

What’s more, there is also no denying that this is a very good-looking bike. The colour appears almost black in the shade but as soon as a ray of light hits the frame it transforms to a deep, shimmering purple that reveals the carbon fibre construction beneath the glossy surface.

What makes this bike so good? There’s the technology and components, yes. However what I truly love is the feeling that the bike has been built for me, which makes me feel like a child at Christmas whenever I go out for a ride.

Pick of the kit


Pactimo Divide Wind Vest, £67, pactimo.co.uk

This gilet really helps with the early morning what-to-take-what-not-to-take conundrum. It’s incredibly light, allowing for easy movement and perfect for packing away in a rear pocket.

This doesn’t mean Pactimo has compromised on warmth: the MicroTek Suprem fabric across the front and shoulder panels works to block wind chill, while the Zero-Weight mesh in the side panels and back offer breathability.

It’s ideal if you need an effective extra layer but don’t want to feel like a packhorse when the sun decides to shine.

Buy the Pactimo Divide Wind vest now

Alternatively…

Gone with the wind

If your racing style is more about straight-line speed than gliding up mountains, the EnviLiv Advanced Pro 0 Disc (£5,699) is Liv’s pure aero bike.

Order your Liv EnviLiv Advanced Pro 0 Disc now from Rutland Cycling

Grand Canyon

One of the few other brands doing women-specific geometry for race bikes, Canyon’s Ultimate CF SL 8 WMN Disc Di2 (£4,349) offers an equivalent spec to the men’s Ultimate, with contact points for women.

Order your Canyon Ultimate CF SL 8 WMN Disc Di2 now

Spec

Frame Liv Langma Advanced SL Disc
Groupset Sram Red eTap AXS
Brakes Sram Red eTap AXS
Chainset Sram Red eTap AXS
Cassette Sram Red eTap AXS
Bars Liv Contact SLR
Stem Giant Contact SLR
Seatpost Giant Variant SLR
Saddle Liv Alcara SLR CS
Wheels Cadex 36 Disc; Cadex Road Race Tubeless 25mm tyres
Weight 6.65kg (small)
Contact liv-cycling.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£6,498.99

Page 1 of 2Liv Langma Advanced SL Disc review