An Introduction to “Sylvia” – my Avail Advanced Pro 1
Many of you will know from my Instagram stories that I generally get very excited about things that happen in my life, however small. So, you can imagine my excitement when I received a message from Liv Cycling UK asking if I would be interested in testing their new Avail Advanced Pro 1. I simply couldn’t contain my excitement and ran into HWMBO’s ofﬁce to tell him the news, he remained as always cool calm and collected while I continued to jump up and down behaving not in a dissimilar way to my 5-year-old granddaughter.
Cycling is a relatively new sport for me. I rode a bike as a child and when we lived in Norway I remember cycling down a steep hill going headlong into a sand box, ﬂew off my bike, over a fence and into a garden with a large dog in, not a pleasant experience. Some years later when I lived in London I cycled to work every day until tragically a friend of mine sadly lost her life after a cycling accident, I didn’t go near a bike for a long time after that until 1999 when I took part in the BallBuster Duathlon.
In December 1919 I entered the Ride Across Britain – Lands End to John O’Groats, 980 miles over 9 days. At the time of entering I didn’t even own a road bike – just a small technicality!
I’m not good at the technical stuﬀ so here is a description of the bike from the Liv Cycling UK’s website:
|Sizes||XS, S, M, L|
|Fork||Advanced-Grade Composite, full-composite OverDrive 2 steerer|
|Handlebar||Liv Contact SLR D-Fuse [XXS, XS, S, M] Giant Contact SLR D-Fuse [L]|
|Stem||Liv Contact SLR Flux|
|Seatpost||Giant D-Fuse SL, composite|
|Saddle||Liv Contact SL (forward)|
|Shifters||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Front Derailleur||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Brakes||SRAM Force AXS hydraulic disc|
|Brake Levers||SRAM Force AXS hydraulic|
|Cassette||SRAM Force AXS, 10×33|
|Chain||SRAM Force AXS|
|Crankset||SRAM Force, 33/46|
|Bottom Bracket||SRAM GXP, press fit|
|Rims||Giant SLR 1 Disc 30 Composite WheelSystem|
|Hubs||Giant SLR 1 Disc 30 WheelSystem|
|Spokes||Giant SLR 1 Disc 30 WheelSystem|
|Tyres||Giant Gavia Fondo 1, 700×32, tubeless|
Liv bikes are designed speciﬁcally for women, as they say on their website:
So we don’t just make a “woman’s bike.” A bike for “not men.” A bike for shorter legs or shorter rides. It’s not that simple. And neither are we. No, we don’t just make a “woman’s bike.” We make a lot of them. We design every bike for women, from the ground up.
This bike is designed as an endurance road bike – perfect for me. Sylvia was delivered to my favourite bike shop in Tenterden, RM Cycles – they sorted me out with pedals as well as giving me a bike ﬁt, essential before riding any bike. No bike is the same without a touch of pink (my favourite colour), so bright pink bottle cages have been added, they go perfectly with charcoal!
The following morning, I headed out for a couple of hours to test out this magniﬁcent machine. I found the ride very comfortable, even going over bumps in the road was more comfortable than Pebbles had been. The saddle worked well for me and the 32c tyres were a huge asset especially as the road was a bit icy, giving me more conﬁdence. I absolutely loved the electronic gears, so easy to use. With one ﬁnger I gave a light press on one of the leavers either left or right and the gear changed up or down and if I wanted to go into the larger/smaller cog I pressed both together – so simple!
There were no signiﬁcant hills on the route I took so on the next outing I took myself up Forge Hill in Pluckley to test out the gearing, they certainly didn’t disappoint making the climb seem much easier. Downhill riding is something that still scares me so I have yet to test Sylvia on a steep descent, but she handles well with the lesser ones I have been on so perhaps this will give me renewed conﬁdence to challenge my fears. I have planned many long rides for Sylivia over the next few months and I look forward to being able to test her further, but for the moment I’m over the moon to be riding such a beautiful bike!