Adventure, adrenaline and a new social circle. Just some of the reasons women ride mountain bikes. Durban-based Karen Fortune is a BICP certified mountain bike skills instructor with Dirtschool  KwaZulu-Natal. She’s also an artist that loves hyper realism and enjoys painting old buildings and South African landscapes. But she’s also accomplished at riding South African landscapes, especially steep descending ones, on her Liv.

Which is your favourite trail? Giba Gorge is my favourite place to ride and the full 2.4km Gravity Dice trail is my absolute best trail!

How long has Liv been a part of your life? About five years. I started with a pair of black-and-white Liv gloves before I even owned a Liv bike. I totally just fell in love with the brand. My first ever Liv bike was a little 100mm-travel ‘Lust’ 27.5 that I bought second hand. I adored that bike and became a self-appointed  Liv ambassador! The geometry was perfect for me and I loved the 27.5 wheels after riding a carbon hardtail 29er from another brand for a long time. I’m a small person and maybe that’s why I liked the smaller wheels.

How did you first connect with Liv? After about a year, Liv approached me through Cyclesphere and asked if I would like to be a real ambassador and of course I jumped at the chance. My first ambassador bikes were a Liv Pique (marathon) and the Liv Hail, which was an enduro bike. Both bikes were awesome and I was absolutely sold on Liv.

Which Liv do you currently ride? The next Pique that Liv produced was amazing, 130mm upfront and 120mm back, still with the 27.5 wheels. I loved it so much I had to keep it. The following year all the Piques were 29ers and back too 100mm travel . Needless to say I had to hang on to the love of my life, we were meant to be together forever.  My trusty Hail was eventually replaced with the brand new redesigned Liv Intrigue Advanced which was just a little “less”  bike and just right for me. We are also joined at the hip now. I’m a Liv ambassador because I freely choose to be.

Why should women, looking at buying or upgrading, consider Liv? I’m a Liv girl inside and out and that’s the way it will always be. Love the brand, the bikes, the gear. Love that the bikes are designed by ladies for ladies and they just ‘fit’. The colours are always gorgeous and stand out from the crowd and that’s what us ladies want! True ladies bikes that are not just pretty colours but are specifically designed for us. There is a special camaraderie between Liv riders when we spot each other on the trails. Liv girls  will always stop for a chat and a smile.

To learn more about Liv go to

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