First Impressions: Liv Intrigue SX

The chunky trails at Bootleg Canyon served as a prime testing ground for Liv's refined 5.5-inch bike

The new Intrigue SX was the highlight at the Liv booth at Interbike's Outdoor Demo, which kicked off Monday morning at Bootleg Canyon outside Las Vegas.

Liv product managers smartly made a few key component changes to the 3-year-oltd 5.5-inch-travel trail bike, such as replacing the 2×10 drivetrain with a single-ring option, upgrading to a 160-millimeter-travel RockShox Pike RCT3 fork–that slackened the headtube angle 1 degree to 67 degrees–and a RockShox Monarch Plus Debonair shock and choosing a modern wide handlebar-short stem combo for better handling and control upfront. The SX model also gets SRAM Guide RS brakes with a 170-millimeter rotor in the front and a 160 in the back, a zero-offset Giant Contact dropper post and Giant 27.5-inch P-AM 2 rims with a 2.35-inch Hans Dampf tire in the front and a 2.35 Rock Razor in the rear. The parts are hung on the same lightweight aluminum frame that has been the centerpiece of the Intrigue since it first came out.

liv intrigue SX

liv intrigue SX

The result is an aggressive trail bike that exuded confidence on the sharp rocks characterizing the trails at Bootleg Canyon, but could still capably conquer the technical, rocky ascents. The slacker headtube angle strikes a nice balance between descending prowess and climbing–it's not so slack that the front wheel wanders on steep, punchy uphills.

The Liv Intrigue SX retails for $4,475–a very competitive price for a complete bike built with such top-notch parts–and Liv also offers the entry-level model at $3,200.

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