Liv Langma
Photo Credit: Liv/Jeff Clark Photography

Liv Langma Road Bike Review: The Climber Women Have Been Waiting For

Let’s just say the all-new Liv Langma Advanced Disc range is untouchable in the women’s-specific road bike category.

The Liv Langma’s pronouns are undeniably she/her. She’s featherweight and ascends as if with wings. She’s exceptionally aero, too — you can take her confidently into any road race, descending catlike through corners. And she’s perfectly comfortable, too, hauling your ass on a mountain pass or an endurance ride, over many days and many miles.

In short: I’ve been riding this beauty — the top-of-the-line Advanced SL Disc RED model — for the last month. And I’ve never smiled so much going up a hill. I consider myself more of a mountain biker, the trail kind.

But for the first time in 20 years, since I was deep in the triathlon scene, I am reaching for my road bike first. The Langma has reawakened everything I forgot about climbing on the road.

liv langma climbing
The pro-level Langma Advanced SL Disc RED is designed to climb. Photo Credit: Stefan Myers

Liv Langma Women’s Road Bike Review

If you are a roadie — even an ex-roadie who could be swayed — the Liv Langma is an investment that won’t let you down. The 2022 Langma Advanced SL Disc climbing machine is bars-to-wheels brand new since the all-around performance bike line debuted in 2017.

Let’s be clear: This is a women’s road bike from a women-led brand. Liv unapologetically applies female body dimensional data to get the right geometry for a specific height range (145-183 cm / ~4¾-6 feet tall) — and riding experience.

This laser focus shows up in better fit, efficiency, and handling. The first is obvious right out of the box. The latter two will have you laughing the first time you ride this ultralight powerhouse up a mountain.

Liv Langma Upgrades: Lighter, Stiffer, Faster, Comfier

There are plenty of performance improvements, especially on the professional-grade Langma Advanced SL Disc. Let’s touch on the standout features and how I put them to the test.

First, the continuous carbon fiber frame is 60 g lighter than the first-generation Langma. Pedaling this bike uphill will paste a perma-smile on your face. I tried it from my house at 8,300 feet above sea level, up one of the steepest sets of switchbacks on Denver’s Front Range — the shortcut on the way to 14,000-foot Mount Evans.

I felt like a feather. And occasionally, I felt pangs of guilt because I wasn’t working as hard as I had to on my decades-old road bike. But then I let that go and kicked some butt at altitude.

The Langma is also stiffer, in a good way. A truncated ellipse tube versus the traditional teardrop shape affords more weight savings and less wind drag. A reengineered aero composite fork creates 50% more lateral stiffness, according to Liv’s research.

That will buy you precious seconds in a race, or just make you feel fluid descending or riding in headwinds.

liv langma - liv racing team
The Liv Racing WorldTeam demonstrates the Langma’s cornering capabilities. Photo Credit: Liv/Michiel Maas

I hit some side winds on a few test rides. This is the only scenario where I could have trusted the Langma more. This road bike is so light and so aero — a hybrid of effects unmatched in the market — that I hesitated, worried that I’d lay it down if I went any faster.

I hit the brakes, and that, my friend, is a user error. Luckily, the Contact SLR aerodynamic handlebar, with an ergo grip and optimized drop, kept me in control. In fact, for sheer comfort, it’s one of my favorite components on the new Langma.

Liv Bike Overhaul: Brakes, Post, Wheels, and More

Disc brake integration is a no-brainer on most road bikes these days, but the Langma’s drive train is dialed further with electronic shifting on the Advanced SL Disc model. Once you’ve experienced the effortlessness of a cable-free gear change, you’ll never go back.

And let’s talk about seat posts. You’ve probably never seen one like the Langma’s 141g carbon Variant SLR. It’s obviously super light, but also super sleek-looking, if that kind of thing matters to you. Plus, it’s so simple to adjust, it’s newbie-proof.

And the Liv Alacra SLR saddle? Oh, it held in all my precious parts, alleviated pressure on the most sensitive sections, and prevented awkward numbness where the sun doesn’t shine. And sometimes that’s worth the price of a bike.

riding the liv langma
The Colorado-based author climbs out of her neighborhood on the way to Mount Evans – Photo Credit: Stefan Myers

While there’s a lot to talk about on this beauty of a bike, let’s wrap with one more important feature: the tubeless CADEX 36 Disc WheelSystem. It’s called a system, not just a wheel, for a reason — these race-worthy rollers hold a wider, smarter tire for gripping the road without giving up momentum.

In fact, in the same way the Langma’s lightness assists climbing, the wheel system moves the bike with noticeably more inertia. On test rides along rolling roads in Steamboat, the CADEX carried me at a more sustained tempo — with far less shifting required.

liv langma riding
Liv Global Ambassador Shequaya Bailey takes the Liv Langma Advanced SL Disc RED up Montana’s Beartooth Highway. Photo Credit: Liv/Jeff Clark Photography

Conclusion

I’m out of words to convey how gorgeous, how capable this bike is — the photos alone reflect that. And it should be, considering it’s five figures! Undoubtedly, it’s more bike and is more finely tuned than most riders require.

But true hammerheads and those who enjoy speed as much as suffering will truly notice what an elegant machine this is.

When the hotel bellboys handling my precious cargo couldn’t stop asking questions about the Liv, I knew this one was for the ages. The Langma (based on the Tibetan word for Mount Everest) is coming with me on more mountain trips — and will carry me far into my road-riding future.

The 2022 Langma Advanced Disc road bike will be available in the U.S. market in August, with four core models ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.