So some people name their first car, I name my bike.
Let me introduce you to Livi – and I promise this won’t be technical.
Livi is a Giant Avail 3 (2015) compact road bike from Liv Cycling, a brand devoted to women in cycling. In addition to providing women with tailored bikes and cycling gear, their brand is all about making cycling more approachable and appealing to women. They “believe that women can discover the possibilities within themselves through cycling” a statement I very much agree with!
Livi was a present for Christmas, birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s and every other occasion imaginable from my boyfriend Matt. Luckily, although winter isn’t the best time for riding, it makes it the best time to buy as they are much cheaper! Reduced from an RRP of £669 Matt managed to get my bike for £380 from Je James Cycles and you can see this model here.
Now my bike wasn’t a surprise, in order to make sure I got the right size I tried getting onto a few bikes in a shop in Leeds. This proved rather difficult wearing tight jeans which I had worn in the rain. I think the guy in the shop was slightly worried that I was going to be let loose on the roads when I struggled to get on a stationary bike inside! As a bit of a short arse at 5’5 (I have short legs but a long body) Matt ordered me a size medium which was the right decision.
One of the best things about bikes from Liv is that they are built with women specific geometry taking into consideration position of the brakes as women typically are smaller with smaller hands and a shorter reach.
As with most introductory bikes it has an aluminium frame. These types of frames are extremely popular and common as they are lightweight, have good resistance to rust and are much more affordable for beginners like me – in comparison to carbon fiber or titanium bikes (which I’ve heard are the bee’s knees).
First thought when I saw the saddle was “My bum is way too big for this”. It’s the Liv Connect Forward saddle which has a specific female profile and centre channel which means it’s hopefully more comfortable for you know where.
Matt’s plan is to get me onto cleat pedals (I am so not ready for that). In the meantime, I have wellgo pedals with toe clips which I still sometimes have trouble getting my feet into straight away!
It took a few adjustments and me cycling around our underground garage for an hour to get everything correctly in place. Obviously tried the saddle at different heights, the brakes needed to be re-positioned and Matt has kindly added some bottle cages and lights for me. It’s very useful having a keen cyclist for a boyfriend!
I do need to learn this all for myself now though so if I ever get a flat tyre I can fix it myself, I don’t want to be a stereotypical damsel in distress! If you’re a keen cyclist and you’re reading this you’re probably shouting at the screen ‘YOU HAVE MISSED SO MUCH OUT’. I apologise – but you never know in a few month’s time I may be able to explain all of that techy stuff!
Wish me luck….