The Liv Brava SLR is the women's specific cyclocross and gravel bike from the Giant ladies only brand. This 'one-bike-does-all' aluminium off-road model is built to be versatile to allow female riders to go anywhere the like and as fast as they like.
The Liv Brava is from appearances, first and foremost a cyclo-cross bike but it's one that Live says can also be taken on gravel adventures. As with other Liv bikes, rather than this being a smaller version of the men's bike, the Brava uses geometry specifically designed for female riders. There's isn't a huge difference though between the Brava and the Giant TCX though, the effective seat angles are steeper and the head angles are slacker on the Brava and reach figure and top tube, for example, have been adjusted to make them similar to the TCX. The XS Brava does come with a substantially shorter seat tube and narrower bars though and across the Brava range shorter stems are used and shorter cranks too on the larger sizes.
With a 530mm top tube, a 135mm head tube, a 70.5 degree headangle, a 374mm reach the bike isn't too far off the geometry of Giant's Adventure bike the Revolt, it'll be interesting to see how these small geometry adjustments affect the bike and its suitability as a gravel bike. Rachael also has an alloy Revolt 1 in for test and comparison, albeit it in a different spec and using a different grade of alloy to this Brava.
We know CX isn't really our bag here on off-road.cc (we usually leave that kind of thing up to our mates at road.cc) but with the more adventure orientate 2019 Liv Invite still awaiting its 2020 update we thought we'd give the 2020 Brava a spin. We test plenty of bikes that claim to be versatile in terms of gravel and road riding, this one claims to be equally versatile in the CX and gravel fields.
The Brava SLR costs £1,799 at full retail, for that you get an alloy frame with a full carbon fork with an Overdrive 2 steerer tube. This means the bike uses Giant's oversized headset bearings (1 1/2” lower, 1 1/4” upper) which they say "provide supreme steering stiffness". The alloy used is ALUXX SLR-Grade 6011 to give higher strength to weight ratio than other bikes in the brand's range that use different grades of alloy. Liv says "state-of-the-art microscopic grain manipulation and advanced butting allows for 20 percent thinner and lighter tube shapes than ALUXX SL framesets", for examples sale.
Elsewhere the frame gets thru-axles front and rear, a threaded bottom bracket, internal cable routing through the down tube and the chainstays, mounts for mudguards near the axle and a neat little chain guide atop the chainring. There also looks to be a little more room for wider tyres if something more voluminous takes your fancy.
The groupset uses SRAM Apex 1 kit giving a 1x drivetrain with an 11-42 cassette and 40T chainring. With SRAM Apex you get hydraulic brakes too, this bike has 160mm discs front and rear.
The bike rolls on Giant's own brand P-X2 700c wheels, fitted with Maxxis All-Terrene 33c tyres which looks super knobbly, although not that wide. If anything about this bike screams muddy cyclo-cross race its these tyres, the pronounced tread looks like it'd grip in some abysmal conditions whilst perhaps not giving the wide tyre comfort we've become accustomed too on today's gravel bikes.
In the cockpit there is mostly Giant branded parts, 380mm wide bars on this size small bike, a 80mm stem and Giant's D-Fuse seat post. The 'D' shaped composite seatpost is designed to give more compliance and smooth out the ride.
We will get back to you soon with a full review of the Liv Brava SLR and be following this shortly with a 'Best of Guide' to the best women's gravel bikes you can buy.
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