A first look at the Liv/giant Brava SLR, the first women’s-specific disc brake bike.
With our women-focused Issue 21 about to head to the presses, including an article about what factors make a cyclocross bike’s geometry suited for women, the timing couldn’t be better for Liv/giant to unveil their latest offering: the first disc brake-equipped bike designed specifically for women. Currently, only Raleigh and Liv/giant have women’s-specific bikes on the market, the Raleigh RX1.0 Women and the Liv/giant TCX-W. Now, with a sub-1200-gram frame, disc brakes and Liv/giant women’s geometry, the all-new Brava SLR is rolling out to hit shelves in August.
Liv/giant, the cycling brand dedicated to female riders, is introducing an all-new cyclocross bike featuring “cutting-edge design, technologies and frame materials that make it the lightest women’s-specific cyclocross bike in the world.”
Inspired by cyclocross world champion Marianne Vos, the Brava SLR is designed to “give women ’cross racers and riders of all levels more confidence and control.” With its 3F women’s-specific geometry and a purpose-built frame, they claim that it’s “faster in sprints, easier to hoist over barriers and equally at home on a cyclocross course or adventurous rides on pavement and dirt.”
“The Brava SLR is designed to meet the needs of avid cyclocross racers by offering a true women’s-specific fit,” said Abby Santurbane, Liv/giant’s Global Category Manager. “But recreational and elite racers all deserve a lightweight ’cross bike that’s easy to handle as well—it’s something the industry has been missing for a while.” While the lightweight frame is nice, we’re excited that disc-brakes have finally shown up on a women’s bike: last season, even the best women cyclocrossers were still running cantilever brakes, so it will be interesting to see who’s running discs this season.
The lightweight Brava SLR frameset, less than 1200 grams for a size Medium frame, was engineered with a new Giant proprietary alloy technology called ALUXX SLR. With the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any aluminum used by Liv/giant, the triple-butted frame tubes are 20 percent lighter than those of previous Liv/giant ’cross bikes.
One of the key additions to the Brava SLR is disc-brake technology. It’s the first women’s-specific cyclocross bike in the world to feature disc brakes, which we know give riders more braking power and control in all types of conditions.
“Dealing with changing conditions, riding a lightweight bike is so important,” said Giant Factory Off-Road athlete Kelli Emmett, who will race the Brava SLR this fall. “Plus the increased confidence that comes with disc brakes can make all the difference on technical courses. This bike is really going to help me push my limits against the competition.”
Another addition to the Brava SLR is its 15mm front thru-axle design, which enhances steering and braking precision. Combined with the OverDrive 2 steerer tube—an oversized, tapered design that claims to further boosts steering stiffness—the Brava SLR’s front end “inspires confidence while cornering or riding tricky terrain.”
In the rear of the frame, asymmetrical chainstays are used to improve pedaling efficiency and add compliance on rough terrain. To add to that feeling of smoothness, they opted for a proprietary D-Fuse SL Composite seatpost, which applies a D-shaped design to reduce vibration on choppy roads and trail. It boasts internal cable routing, which “helps keep dirt and mud from contaminating braking and shifting precision.”
The Brava SLR will be available through Liv/giant retailers starting in August, with the Brava SLR 0 retailing for $4800 and the Brava SLR 2 at $1600. At Cyclocross Magazine, we’ve been working on reviewing the lower-level model, the Liv/giant TCX-W, so stay tuned for that review coming soon as well!