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Liv expands its Embolden full-suspension mountain bike series for 2022

Two women of colour are riding Liv Embolden full-suspension trail bikes through the woods, it's wet and muddy, and they're wearing trail jackets and shorts, and have muddy legs
(Image credit: Liv Cycling)

Liv Cycling has just expanded its Embolden series for 2022, adding a 29er wheel option so riders of varying sizes can fine-tune their fit. The Embolden has been part of Liv’s range for six years now, and its 2022 refresh now features a choice of 27.5in or 29in wheels on size Small and Medium frames, while 27.5 comes as standard on XS and 29 on Large.

Designed with beginners and confidence-builders in mind, the Liv Embolden features on our list of the best entry-level women’s mountain bikes, while the Embolden E +2 sits within our buyer’s guide to the best budget e-MTBs

“First launched in 2016, the second generation Embolden series brings the addition of a 29-inch wheel option,” said Ludi Scholz, Liv off-road category manager. “Now there is even greater capability provided to the aspiring trail rider who demands a featured-packed trail bike for developing their skills.”

As one of the few women’s specific bike brands on the planet (and the only one specifically run by women for women), Liv’s latest Embolden offering has been built with all the woman-focused features and small details we’ve come to expect.

A woman of colour rides a Liv Embolden mountain bike over some slippery-looking tree roots and is about to descend a rock garden in the woods

(Image credit: Liv Cycling)

Liv Embolden features and specifications

For 2022, the revitalized Liv Embolden sees an updated proprietary ALUXX-Grade aluminum frame which, formed from raw materials in Liv’s own forging facility, is claimed to be 30 percent stiffer — and more lightweight — than traditional 6061-series aluminum. 

It uses Liv’s single-pivot FlexPoint Suspension linkage, which delivers 120mm of rear travel, combined with 130mm of travel up front.

There are two models in the range: Embolden 1 and Embolden 2. 

The Liv Embolden 1 is the higher-tier model, which comes with a Giant Crest 34 SL RCL 130mm suspension fork and RockShox Monarch R shock that's custom-tuned to suit the average female rider. It's driven by a SRAM SX Eagle 1x12 groupset with hydraulic brakes, and rolls on tubeless Maxxis tires (Forecaster for the 29er and a combination of Rekon and Ardent Race for 27.5).

The slightly more affordable Embolden 2 comes with the same wheel, tire and fork as the Embolden 1. It features a Suntour Raidon R shock, also custom-tuned for Liv, and a Shimano Deore / Praxis mixed drivetrain.

Contact points are women’s specific on both models, with the Liv Sylvia trail saddle topping the Giant Giant Contact Switch dropper seatpost.

Along with the new choice of wheel sizes (for Small-Medium frames, at least), the Embolden sees the addition of Boost hub spacing, bringing it up to date with today’s trend for wider tires and burlier builds. The rear triangle has been overhauled with 148mm boost hub spacing and 12mm through-axle, allowing a tire clearance of 27.5 x 2.6in or 29 x 2.4in.

Other proprietary Liv technologies that have now made it onto the Embolden include Overdrive, the oversized headset bearings with a tapered steerer tube, designed to provide precise front-end steering performance and stiffness, and Powercore, the oversized bottom bracket and chainstay area with asymmetric stays for additional stiffness on the driveside and stability on the non-driveside.

Liv Embolden range overview

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A side shot of the Liv Embolden 1 on a white background

Liv Embolden 1 (Image credit: Liv Cycling)
Image 2 of 2

A side shot of the Liv Embolden 2 on a white background

Liv Embolden 2 (Image credit: Liv Cycling)

Liv Embolden range overview
Model nameEmbolden 1Embolden 2
Retail price£2,149£1,849
ColorsMatte Black / Gloss Sparkling BlackPurple Ash
Sizes27.5": XS, S, M / 29": S, M, L27.5": XS, S, M / 29": S, M, L
FrameALUXX-Grade Aluminum, 120mm FlexPoint SuspensionALUXX-Grade Aluminum, 120mm FlexPoint Suspension
ForkGiant Crest 34 SL RCL, 130mm, 15x110Giant Crest 34 SL RCL, 130mm, 15x110
ShockRockShox Monarch R, 185/45, custom tuned for LivSuntour Raidon R, 185/45, custom tuned for Liv
HandlebarGiant Connect Trail, alloy / For 27.5: XS:730mm, S:750mm, M:750mm / For 29: S:750mm, M:750mm, L:780mmGiant Connect Trail, alloy / For 27.5: XS:730mm, S:750mm, M:750mm / For 29: S:750mm, M:750mm, L:780mm
GripsGiant Sole-OGiant Sole-O
StemGiant Contact / For 27.5: XS:40mm, S:50mm, M:50mm / For 29: S:50mm, M:50mm, L:60mmGiant Contact / For 27.5: XS:40mm, S:50mm, M:50mm / For 29: S:50mm, M:50mm, L:60mm
SeatpostGiant Contact Switch dropper, remote / For 27.5: XS: 75mm travel / 30.9 x 295mm S: 100mm travel / 30.9 x 345mm M: 125mm travel / 30.9 x 395mm / For 29: S: 100mm travel / 30.9 x 345mm M: 125mm travel / 30.9 x 395mm L: 125mm travel / 30.9 x 395mmGiant Contact Switch dropper, remote / For 27.5: XS: 75mm travel / 30.9 x 295mm S: 100mm travel / 30.9 x 345mm M: 125mm travel / 30.9 x 395mm / For 29: S: 100mm travel / 30.9 x 345mm M: 125mm travel / 30.9 x 395mm L: 125mm travel / 30.9 x 395mm
SaddleLiv SylviaLiv Sylvia
ShiftersSRAM SX Eagle, 1x12Shimano Deore M4100, 1x10
Front derailleurN/AN/A
Rear derailleurSRAM SX EagleShimano Deore M5120
BrakesShimano BR-MT420, hydraulic, Shimano SM-RT26 6 bolt rotors [F]180mm, [R]160mmShimano BR-MT420, hydraulic, Shimano SM-RT26 6 bolt rotors [F]180mm, [R]160mm
Brake leversShimano BL-MT401Shimano BL-MT201
CassetteSRAM SX Eagle, 11x50Shimano Deore M4100, 11x46
ChainSRAM SX EagleKMC X-10
CranksetSRAM SX Eagle DUB, 30t / For 27.5: XS:165mm, S:170mm, M:170mm / For 29: S:170mm, M:170mm, L:170mmPraxis Cadet Boost, 30t / For 27.5: XS:165mm, S:170mm, M:170mm / For 29: S:170mm, M:170mm, L:170mm
Bottom bracketSRAM DUB, press fitPraxis, press fit
RimsFor 27.5: Giant AM 27.5, sleeve-joint rim, 30mm inner width / For 29: Giant AM 29, sleeve-joint rim, 30mm inner widthFor 27.5: Giant AM 27.5, sleeve-joint rim, 30mm inner width / For 29: Giant AM 29, sleeve-joint rim, 30mm inner width
HubsGiant Boost, sealedGiant Boost, sealed
SpokesSapimSapim
TiresFor 27.5: [F] Maxxis Rekon 27.5x2.6 WT, EXO, TR, tubeless [R] Maxxis Ardent Race 27.5x2.6 WT, EXO, TR, tubeless / For 29: [F/R] Maxxis Forecaster 29x2.35 WT, EXO, TR, tubelessFor 27.5: [F] Maxxis Rekon 27.5x2.6 WT, EXO, TR, tubeless [R] Maxxis Ardent Race 27.5x2.6 WT, EXO, TR, tubeless / For 29: [F/R] Maxxis Forecaster 29x2.35 WT, EXO, TR, tubeless

Mildred is a Reviews Writer for Bike Perfect who enjoys everything from road cycling to mountain biking, but is a utilitarian cyclist at heart. Determined to do everything on two wheels, she's even moved house by bike, and can regularly be found pedaling around Bristol and its surrounding areas. She’s spent over four years volunteering as a mechanic and workshop coordinator at the Bristol Bike Project, and now sits on its board of directors. Her expertise comes from previously working in a bike shop and learning the ins and outs of the industry, and she's previously written for a variety of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. At home on slicks and knobblies alike, her ideal ride covers long distances through remote countryside, on mixed terrain that offers a bit of crunch, followed by a gourmet campfire meal and an overnight bivvy beneath the stars.


Rides: Stayer Groadinger UG, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Marin Larkspur, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike

Height: 156cm (5'2")

Weight: 75kg