The first women's-specific aero road bike, the Liv Envie Advanced Pro, is anything but a ‘shrink and pink’ job. Review by Louise Mahé

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

Liv Envie Advanced Pro


  • Great handling
  • Stiff and responsive
  • Aerodynamically designed


  • Short stem gave twitchy feel
  • Smaller or lighter riders may struggle on the deep section wheels
  • Compact chainset may be too low-geared for some


Liv Envie Advanced Pro 1



Price as reviewed:


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This product is featured in: Aero bikes: a complete buyer’s guide.

Liv is the female-specific brand created by Taiwanese manufacturer Giant and, as the first women-specific bike with aerodynamics at the forefront of its design, the Envie is anything but a ‘shrink and pink’ job.

Boasting a race-ready spec, the Liv Envie Advanced Pro 1 looks every inch a race-winning bike with its sleek AeroSystem shaped tubing, deep-section wheels and custom V-brakes all designed to reduce drag.

Having riders like Marianne Vos and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot at its disposal to test the Envie, there’s no doubt that this frameset is fast.



Neat internal cable routing should improve performance as well as looks

Giant was relatively late to the market with its men’s aero frame, but has made up for this in 2013 by being the first to create a women-specific aero bike.

With all the technology at its fingertips, it was only a matter of time before it turned its attention to women.

Despite looking markedly similar to the men’s Giant Propel, the Liv Envie boasts female-specific geometry with a slightly shorter top tube and taller head tube.

Liv has used the same AeroSystem shaping technology with advanced grade carbon composite as it does for the Giant Propel range.

Be more aero

Although it’s not Giant’s top of the range Advance SL carbon composite, reserved for the Propel SL frames, it still offers a great combination of low weight and high lateral stiffness.

The slippery shaped tubing is enhanced with neat aero-inspired details like brake caliper mounts that sit behind the fork blades and the aerofoil-shaped seat tube with built-in seatpost clamp.



Shimano’s second tier electronic groupset is near perfect

Built up with Ultegra Di2, this is a step down from the Dura-Ace-equipped steeds Vos and her team-mates ride.

>>> Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic groupset and Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset (video)

That said, the gap between the top-tier groupsets is shrinking and the seamless shifting is plenty good enough for national-level racing.


The Envie Advanced Pro is Liv’s top-end women’s bike

The choice of a compact 50/34t chainset size gave a good range of gears with the 50×11 combination plenty high enough for keeping up when the big boys started drilling it on club runs, and the 34×28 was low enough to get us up the steeper climbs.

Stronger women may need to upgrade this, though, and a mid-compact may have been a better option.


The junction box is neatly stowed, but the stem was a bit short

Much of the finishing kit is Giant’s own brand; from the bars and stem right down to the brakes, wheels and even the tyres.

>>> Buyer’s guide to road bike tyres (video)

All of these parts exceeded my expectations, with the Giant Contact SLR aero bars standing out as particularly impressive.

The narrow and compact design meant that getting tucked into an aero position felt natural and easy. My only grievance was the 80mm stem, as this made the bike a little nervous and twitchy — I swapped it for a 110mm version.


Giant’s own v-brakes add to the aero performance of the bike

Giant’s own Speed Control SL V-brakes are tucked away out of the wind to further enhance the aerodynamics and gave great stopping power and modulation.

The rear brake felt a little spongy on occasion — perhaps due to cabling — but this didn’t affect overall stopping power.

>>> How to look after your brake pads and rims (video)

In keeping with the overall aero styling, the 50mm deep-section Giant P-SLR 1 wheelset gave a stiff and responsive ride with no movement even when riding out of the saddle.


Lightweight aero wheels

Despite an aluminium braking surface, the wheels are as light as many carbon models — perfect for those wanting to race, but with the benefits of more predictable and reliable braking.

However, deep-section wheels aren’t for all conditions or riders and having these as standard means you may want to invest in something a little shallower for training. The Envie is topped off with a female-specific Fizik Arione Donna saddle.



The aero detailing extends to the bars

After switching to a longer stem, the handling of the Envie was spot-on. The Overdrive2 tapered head tube made for precise and responsive steering, giving confidence to really push it to the limits.

The combination of the stiff and responsive frame kitted out with aero specific finishing kit meant as soon as I got on the bike it felt fast.

Getting up to speed felt easy when wanting to press on during efforts, while long, steady rides on it were comfortable and relaxed.



Ultegra Di2 throughout

A quick run through the spec sheet leaves you in no doubt as to where every penny of your hard-earned £3,699 goes.

A frame of this quality kitted out with Ultegra Di2 and rolling on deep-section wheels means that few racers will be left with a shopping list of must-have competition add-ons.


This bike consistently impressed on everything from long, hilly training rides to circuit racing. Hardly surprising when you consider the Liv Envie frameset has been ridden to victory in the last two years’ women’s World Championship road races. Input from experienced female pros means the Liv’s geometry is just right for women and allows you to get a perfect fit on a top-notch aero frameset. The high level spec means the Liv’s ready to race straight out of the box


Frame:Advanced-Grade Composite
Fork:Pro-Spec, Advanced-Grade Composite, Full-Composite OverDrive 2 Steerer
Shifters:Shimano Ultegra Di2, 11-speed
Front Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra Di2
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra Di2
Crankset:Shimano Ultegra, 50/34
Chain:KMC X11SL
Cassette:Shimano Ultegra, 28-11
Brakes:Giant SpeedControl SL Ti
Bottom Bracket:Shimano, Press Fit
Handlebars:Giant Contact SLR Aero
Stem:Giant Contact SL
Seatpost:Giant Vector Composite
Saddle:Fizik Donna Manganese
Wheels:Giant P-SLR 1 Aero WheelSystem
Tyres:Giant P-SL1, Front and Rear specific, 700x23mm
Colours Available:Charcoal
Sizes Available:XS (46.5), S (50), M (52)
  • Roger

    On the positive side, at least it’s not SRAM.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Its because Shimano offer the dealers and bike manufacturers much more profit than campagnolo,I agree with your wife but I am a campag man.

  • Why oh why does everything have to come Shimano equipped? My wife would be seriously interested in this bike if it came with Campag Chorus.

  • sosopan

    I managed to get hold of ‘the Giant Envie Advanced 1 at the end of 2014 . It was imported from Holland courtesy of Giant Swansea. The only main difference really to the Pro is that the Advanced 1 sports a blue yellow colour scheme and that it comes with Ultegra ( which is still quality ) and PR2 wheels which are fine. I have recently upgrade and purchase the SLR wheels for races and use the PR2 to train.

    WOW this bik is a dream. Its super fast ,lightweight, firm and offers a responsive ride without compromising on comfort. I love it.

    My best description for the Envie is ‘ its like a whippet!
    It wants to go go go, Its acceleration is outstanding. It copes well on hills and wants to drive forward.Gear change is efficient , effective and smooth.,Im not the best downhiller but descending our extremely steep hills and cornering I felt invincible ! Just riding along it feels effortless , as though I am being magically pulled along by an invisible magnet, even when against the wind!

    I would say the Envie Advanced 1 is perfect for the competitive cyclist , time trialist or triathlete.. Can it be used as a sportive bike? Certainly ,In short its an all rounder. Superb.

    If I have to make a criticism ( and these are very minor indeed ) the only things I can think of is firstly the saddle. which is a Fizik airone donna. For me, it and my rear did not get on! At the end of the day we all know saddles are like marmite! You either love it or you don’t. Second, would be the white handle bar tape – never a good option – it too has been replaced!

    If you are seeking a super fast dynamic road bike to lower those times, then hesitate no more.
    Its a Pocket Rocket.
    And, when your flying ahead of all your competitors you will certainly be the Envie of all !