The Juliana Bicycles Story

The Beginnings of Juliana Bikes

Written by Isaac Boyden, on June 17, 2024

When it comes to inclusivity in the sport of mountain biking, many companies have taken steps to create female-specific brands, aiming to make the sport more accessible to all. Over the years, we've seen various companies introduce female-specific bike lines and models, although not all have left a lasting impact like Juliana Bicycles. While other brands have dabbled in female-specific offerings, Juliana stands out with its rich history and significant influence. But where did it all begin?

Juli Furtado // Tim DeFrisco/Allsport/Getty Images

Furtado competes in the Women's World Mountain Bike Championships in Vail, Colorado in 1994 - Tim DeFrisco/Allsport/Getty Images

The Racer Herself

When it comes to cross-country mountain bike racers, only a few names have the privilege to have won more than five World Cups, Nino Schurter and Julien Absalon to name a few. However, few did it with the pure margins that American Juli Furtado did. There are stories of her getting a flat while racing, scrambling to fix it and still winning the race by minutes. Anyone who was a bike racing fan in the '90s remembers the fierceness with which Juli won everything from the road to the mountain. When Juli was done racing, she still remained a fixture in the cycling community and an inspiration for up-and-coming bike racers. Furtado started a company to design and produce female-specific mountain bike components since women typically need to run narrower bars with shorter stems among other components. Soon Santa Cruz bikes became involved and decided to take it to the next level developing the first female specific cross-country aluminum mountain bike called the "Juliana". And from that, the Juliana brand was born. 

The Company And The Mission 

Santa Cruz Bicycles had been setting standards in the industry for bikes and riders for years. Juliana Bicycles was founded under their umbrella after they created their first female-specific bike in 1999. Then in 2013, Juliana became its own company, not just a bike. Juliana has been in the front row of female brands since its creation, even though their bikes are not coming from a different mold than the Santa Cruz versions. Santa Cruz and Juliana bikes are the same right now, same frame and mold, but the bike is tuned and spec'd differently than a normal Santa Cruz. The Juliana bikes have a different tuned shock, based on average rider weight. Santa Cruz shocks are tuned for a rider who is 160-190 lbs, as that is the average rider weight overall, and Julianas are tuned for a 115-140 lbs rider weight. With shock tunes calibrated for lighter rider weights, along with a more female-friendly specifications and distinctive paint jobs, Juliana bikes prioritize performance and comfort for women riders.

Juliana and Santa Cruz Split down the middle showing their similarities.

Beyond product features, Juliana's overarching mission is to create inclusivity within the sport and encourage more women to embrace mountain biking. Juliana exists for the betterment of the sport, more than anything. They work with female riders in and out of the industry to create a more welcoming environment. Juliana supplies ambassador and athlete programs for women, women who can make progress in their local trail and bike communities to get more people on bikes. Juliana is on a mission to build an inclusive community for riders of all backgrounds that is supportive to all.

The Bikes 

Interested in a Juliana bike for yourself? Here is an overview of the lineup to help decide if a Juliana might just be right for you. 

Yellow Juliana Wilder in front of stairs.

The Juliana Wilder: 

Do you enjoy ripping up trails a lot more than you like to go down them? How about long days in the saddle or flow trails? If efficiency and lightweight speak to you, look into the Juliana Wilder. With a 115mm rear travel paired with a 120mm fork, this bike is great for long days, technical climbs, and flow with the occasional chunk. The Wilder is built on the Santa Cruz Blur XC platform, and it shows in the way it pedals. 

Juliana Joplin in front of stairs.

The Juliana Joplin: 

Still like long days and flow but want something to push a little harder? The Joplin is a 120mm rear, 29 inch bike with an attitude for adventure. Built on a VPP suspension linkage, this bike can be pushed harder and with more aggressiveness than the Wilder, at the cost of some added weight. A great all-round bike for the normal mountain biker, a jack-of-all-trades type bike. The Joplin is one of the most popular bikes in the Juliana lineup. 

Juliana Furtado in front of stairs.

The Juilana Furtado: 

Does the most fun possible sound good to you? The Furtado (named after Juli Furtado herself) is the bike that Juliana believes most people should be on. This bike is built on a 130mm rear travel with a 140mm fork. With an MX wheel setup, (27.5" rear 29" front) this bike is all about fun. The playful geometry and mullet wheels let you make the most of every trail, letting this bike stay poppy even on flatter terrain. Still built on a progressive ratio VPP suspension linkage, it can be ridden hard through some proper chunk as well. Sure it may not pedal as well as the Wilder or Joplin, and can feel like more of a handful on longer days, but if those aren't worries of yours, the Furtado is a blast on the trail. 

Juliana Roubion in front of cement stairs.

The Juilana Roubion: 

When it comes to Juliana bikes, the Roubion is the biggest and baddest of the bunch. With 150mm of rear travel, and 160mm up front this bike is the highest travel bike Juliana makes. The bike runs on an MX wheelset as well, perfect for park days and fast corners. Whether you're charging through berms or sending it down steep descents, the Roubion delivers unrivaled performance and agility for a bike of its size. If the sender in you is looking to break free, the Roubion may be your next steed. 

Juliana Bicycles not only offers top-tier bikes tailored for female riders but also champions a broader mission of inclusivity and community-building within the mountain biking world. With its legacy deeply rooted in the racing prowess of Juli Furtado and a commitment to empowering women on and off the trails, Juliana continues to lead the charge toward a more welcoming and diverse cycling culture.


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