No 'girly' colors on the Liv/Giant Brava. © Cyclocross Magazine

No ‘girly’ colors on the Liv/Giant Brava. © Cyclocross Magazine

When Liv/Giant announced that they were coming out with the first women’s-specific disc brake bike to hit the cyclocross market back in July, we couldn’t wait to see it. We just reviewed the TCX-W, the cantilever aluminum model in Issue 22 of Cyclocross Magazine, and in Issue 21, we looked at what makes a bike women’s-specific, chatting with Raleigh and Giant, the only two companies with women’s bikes on the market.

The Brava SLR with sub-1200-gram frame, disc brakes and Liv/giant women’s geometry is finally here. 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.”

It’s equipped with SRAM Red 11-speed and hydraulic disc brakes, Rocket Ron Schwalbe tires, and Giant’s own tubeless-ready wheelset. The MSRP is $4800.

“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.

Internal cable routing and disc brakes make this bike look lean and mean. © Cyclocross Magazine

Internal cable routing and disc brakes make this bike look lean and mean. © Cyclocross Magazine

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.

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.”

Asymettrical chainstays on the Brava SLR. © Cyclocross Magazine

Asymmetrical chainstays on the Brava SLR. © Cyclocross Magazine

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.”

Stay tuned for first ride impressions as we put it through the paces tomorrow!

  • Sizes: XS, S, M
  • Colors: Black/Light Blue/Silver
  • Frame: ALUXX SLR-grade aluminum w/ hidden rack mounts, electronic ready
  • Fork: Advanced-grade composite, full-composite OverDrive 2 steerer
  • Handlebar: Giant Connect SL, 31.8mm
  • Stem: Giant Connect SL, OverDrive 2
  • Seatpost: Giant D-Fuse SL Composite
  • Saddle: Fi’zi:k Donna, MG rails
  • Shifters: SRAM Red 22
  • Front Derailleur: SRAM Red 22
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM Red 22
  • Brakes: SRAM Red, hydraulic disc, 140mm
  • Brake Levers: SRAM Red 22
  • Cassette: SRAM Red 11×28, 11-speed
  • Chain: SRAM Red 22
  • Crankset: Rotor 3DF, 36/46
  • Bottom Bracket Rotor 3DF
  • Rims: Giant P-CXR1 WheelSystem
  • MSRP: $4800
  • More info: GiantBicycle.com