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Liv Avail Advanced Pro 1 review

10 Sep 2019
Verdict:

Liv has cranked up the 2020 edition of the Avail Advanced Pro 1

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
A versatile, comfortable ride • Smooth gear changes • Copes well on tough terrain without challenging the high-spec components
Against 
Some riders may prefer narrower tyres particularly if they are riding mainly on smooth roads

Built with endurance rides in mind, Liv has designed the 2020 Avail Advanced Pro 1 to be light, ride smoothly and be comfortable over long, undulating distances, potentially off the beaten track.

Typically, the woman riding this would be doing sportives or other long-distance adventure rides on road, with a bit of gravel or pavé too.

Frame

The advanced grade carbon frame and fork have been tweaked to accommodate the 32mm-wide tyres (where they were 25mm on the 2019) and thus give the bike a sturdier profile than before. This is helpful given that some rides will go up and down twisty and sometimes rough roads often encountered in sportives around the UK and beyond.

Regarding the stack - the vertical distance from the handlebars to the bottom bracket - Liv has made this shorter than previous models, putting the rider in a slightly less upright position. This helps give more control as you zip around corners or over bumps. Overall, the geometry is geared towards long-distance rides, while keeping the female morphology in mind.

For those recording their ride statistics a RideSense port on the frame can accommodate a RideSense Bluetooth Low Energy unit that provides connectivity to your Bluetooth devices, including Android and Apple.

Gears and brakes

A significant upgrade to the Avail Advanced Pro 1 is in the installation of the wireless electronic Sram Force eTAP AXS shifting and hydraulic brakes, where previously Shimano Ultegra was used. With 46/33 front chainrings and a 12-speed 33-10 cassette there is a very wide range of gears, giving the confidence to tackle steep climbs, as well as powering full gas along flat roads.

Buy the Liv Avail Advanced Pro 1 from Rutland Cycling

Changing gears couldn’t be easier. To change down on the cassette you press the left gear shifter, while pressing the right shifter moves the gears up. Moving between the two chainrings is done by pressing the buttons on both shifters simultaneously.

There is a very slight time lag in the gear change compared to mechanical shifters, though it is not so slow as to become problematic.

The fully charged shifter batteries last for two years, while derailleur batteries last around 60 hours – roughly 1000km – in normal use. I am not sure what abnormal use is, so I am guessing it might mean accidentally leaving the shifter button continuously pressed.

Helpfully, colour-coded lighting on the derailleur indicates the charge level when riding: green >25%; red <25%; flashing red <15%.

Wheels and tyres

The Avail Advanced Pro 1 is equipped with Liv SLR 1 disc 30 wheels. Very usefully, their thru-axles have a quick release lever so no tool is needed when removing them. Just like with last year’s model, tubeless tyres come as standard, though for 2020 Liv has fitted 32mm Gavia Fondo 1.

Some people will love wide tyres, particularly if they are riding on rugged roads such as on cobbles or 'strade bianche' type roads. If you were to use this bike in your local crit race it would be better to change down to 25mm tyres.

The ride

For this test, as a woman whose height is 1m66, I rode the size S. The first time I saw it was when I picked it up from Liv in Crystal Palace, immediately before doing the RideLondon 100-mile sportive.

At first sight the Avail Advanced Pro 1 looked neat, especially with the few cables being routed internally. Its charcoal colour conveyed to me an impression of being an efficient, industrious mare rather than a zippy, frisky filly.

When I first pedalled it after riding my usual Boardman Team Carbon I distinctly noticed the difference in weight. It’s not that my own bike is heavy, it’s just that the Avail feels very light at a shade under 8kg.

Climbing was a treat as I glided up those initial slopes at Sawyer’s Hill in Richmond Park, and the 15% gradients of the Surrey Hills. For the later lumps at Wimbledon and Kingston this was more challenging for me, as my lack of fitness showed. Thankfully, spinning in 33 x 33 gear was a saving grace.

The gears changed smoothly and I didn’t notice the delay when I used the gear shifters. On a few occasions when I unexpectedly faced a hill after rounding a corner and needed to change down rapidly, the correct gear was ready for me in time to tackle the climb.

Reaching over to the handlebars and their width felt like the exact fit for me. In fact, the riding position I had on the bike really felt like it had been designed with me in mind.

Even on a day where I rode 120 miles on the Avail Advanced Pro 1 I had no issues around comfort, so the Contact saddle and the D-Fuse seat post had done their job.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the Avail is a comfortable ride. Although it is fast enough to use in a road race, it will not provide the agility of the Langma or Envie racing bikes. The Avail is more of an all-rounder than a highly specific steed, but with a light carbon frame, the latest Sram Force eTAP AXS wireless groupset and absorbent D-Fuse technology, Liv has cranked up the 2020 edition of the Liv Avail Advanced Pro 1.

Buy the Liv Avail Advanced Pro 1 from Rutland Cycling

Spec

Frame Advanced Grade Composite
Groupset Sram Force eTap AXSc
Brakes Sram Force AXS hydraulic disc
Chainset Sram Force AXS, 46/33
Cassette SRAM Force AXS, 10-33
Bars Liv Contact SLR D-Fuse [XXS, XS, S, M] Giant Contact SLR [L]
Stem Liv Contact SLR Flux
Seatpost Giant D-Fuse SL, composite
Saddle Liv Contact SL (forward)
Wheels Giant SLR 1 Disc 30 WheelSystem with composite rims
Tyres Giant Gavia Fondo 1, 700x32, tubeless
Extras RideSense Bluetooth
Weight 7.8kg (XS)
Sizes XS, S, M, L
Colour Gloss Charcoal
Contact liv-cycling.com
Price: 
£4,799

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