Hi, my name is Courtney Snowball, I’m a 15 year old girl who loves riding mountain bikes. I have been riding competitively for around 4 years now, both my parents and my younger brother ride mountain bikes competitively also.
I have spent the last 3 years riding my mum’s old 29 inch ‘Element 905’ Rocky Mountain and have recently upgraded to a Liv Giant ‘Obsess’ 27.5 inch, thanks to my local bike shop DM Cycles who helped me out. My new ‘Obsess’ weighs in at a crazy 3kgs lighter than my old Rocky, it’s a weapon waiting to be tamed!!
I live in Warrandyte and spend a lot of time around the local trails which is all XCO, my style of riding, but sometimes tend to wander out to Westerfold’s park or Smith’s Gully. As often as possible, we also take a day trip out to Lysterfield or the You Yangs as a family and enjoy the sweet trails these places have to offer. Bright is our primo destination of choice when we go away for weekends, it always has an awesome atmosphere and of course, great tracks.
DM Cycles supply Giant bikes and I’m fortunate enough now to be riding one of the fastest and lightest bikes around. I had never previously owned a Giant but had seen enough at races and had heard great things to be excited. I did do some research for myself as I was unsure of what to expect, I looked up reviews and found out one of the best worlds riders, Yolanda Neff rides the exact bike that was being sent my way, this of course thrilled me and made me possibly a bit too keen to receive my new machine.
The day I went to pick up my ‘Obsess’, Derek, the owner of DM cycles had built and set up my bike to the correct seat height, put new pedals onto the cranks, pumped up the tyres and changed anything I thought wasn’t right; I was able to ride it straight out of the store and feel 100% comfortable.
A short while after, I attached my Garmin and all the different gadgets. I initially had some troubles figuring out where to fit my Garmin as I have a Garmin 705 and it is a bit more bulky and longer than most others; the gooseneck on the ‘Obsess’ is considerably shorter than my last bike which was a temporary dilemma, not to worry though, I found a solution after some serious use of brainpower and dad’s dexterity.
My overall thoughts on this bike is that it’s pure awesome!! I am so lucky to ride a bike this easy to control and have it be an all-round sweet ride. Because it’s a Liv bike it is built specifically for girls and women to feel comfortable on;
The frame doesnt look too girly (which is what I was worried about) but still curves a little bit just under the seat. The handle bars are easy to reach, they may be a bit too wide for me but i will take some time to adjust. The seat is comfortable to sit on for prolonged periods of time, my wheels are very attractive Shimano carbon rims, are light and very easy to manoeuvre.
Having come from a 2 x 9 and now riding 1 x 11 there is a very noticeable difference. More practise, leg strength and training (Coach Adz) on it will help me adjust. The suspension is much more forgiving and has helped me get through any rock garden with ease, it even has the luxury of a funky handlebar suspension lever instead of constantly leaning down.
So far my Obsess has experienced all that summer has to offer plus more. Rocks, dust, heat, steep climbs and tricky descents. This morning I set my ‘Obsess’ a new challenge - to handle a rain soaked plunge back down the Mystic Bright Hill, made famous as the launching platform for para-gliders on those cloudless Bright summer days.
Commencing with a slippery fire road descent and breathtaking views above the cloud line, i dropped down alongside the vast barren scar of earth where pine trees had only recently been harvested, i then hooked into Eiger which took me part way down the mountain i had spent a good part of the morning climbing. When Eiger came to an end, we linked onto a continued descent known as Corkscrew; the name spoke for itself, yet again that finished and we joined onto Grevid’s way which then let us finish with a bang on Gorilla Warfare. The ride was worth it, even if the weather wasn’t absolutely exquisite and my Obsess made it all the more better.
To wrap it up, I would just like to say a massive thanks to Adz for giving me the chance to do this review and of course DM cycles for supporting me with the bike.
Can’t wait to shred it up on a race track in the New Year!