We’ve had our eye on Juliana Bicycles and their eye-popping pastel mountain bikes for quite some time. The bikes aren’t flashy; nor are they painted to look like a Barbie under the pretense of meeting women’s needs. Instead, the Juliana line is comprised of excellent mountain bikes optimized for smaller sizes and lighter weight riders. We knew that they had an eye for not just being women’s specific, but for making mountain bikes specific to women who love to get rad on the trail. With the backing and technology of Santa Cruz Bicycles, it was only natural that we bring on Juliana Bicycles as our newest line of women’s specific mountain bikes.
A bit of history: The Juliana name comes from Juliana ‘Queen of the Dirt’ Furtado. Furtado is the definition of a world-class athlete. After knee injuries dashed her hopes of skiing success, she took up cycling and won the US National Road Championship. Soon thereafter, Furtado went on to achieve serious success mountain biking, racking up more first-place finishes than any other pro mountain biker, male or female. During her short 6-year career in road and mountain biking, Furtado won five national titles, represented the USA at the Olympics, and absolutely dominated both cross country and downhill racing.
The ‘Queen of the Dirt’ is similarly an innovator; after working with Santa Cruz, they worked together to release the Santa Cruz Juliana, the world’s first women’s specific mountain bike. The Juliana was a foreign concept in 1999, as it wasn’t just marketed toward women, but it was a step toward gender equality in a time when bicycles and their marketing was aimed squarely at men. These changes made all the difference; not only was it a hit in the cycling market, but it paved the way for Furtado to extend her reach even more. More women have joined the company rankings since, making Santa Cruz (and by extension, Juliana) a much more diverse workplace. In the years since, she has become a key player in creating and building up Juliana Bikes, a full line of mountain bikes for women who ride just as hard as men, and who need bikes to fit those needs.
Today, the Juliana Bikes line consists of four full suspension mountain bikes, each made with women in mind. Why buy a Juliana? Besides women’s specific touchpoints and gearing, they offer bicycles that are appropriately-sized, with low standover heights and geometry that doesn’t compromise proper suspension kinematics and handling on the trail. This is of major benefit to smaller riders; no longer must one sacrifice proper sizing for requisite technology, and vice versa. Further, because female riders are on average 32 lb lighter than males, Juliana Bikes offer custom suspension tuning to keep suspension supple for lighter riders. These points sound simple, but on the trail they make all the difference between a good ride and a truly stellar one.
Santa Cruz makes excellent bikes, but Juliana might be the brand of mountain bikes we’re more excited about. While Juliana offers the same technologies and lifetime frame/pivot point warranty as Santa Cruz, the Juliana crew of dedicated female product testers have pored over all the subtle details a modern female mountain biker wants. The details matter to them as much as they do to us, which makes Juliana our perfect partner in mountain biking grime.
The Juliana Joplin formula is simple: take the already-impressive Santa Cruz Tallboy trail bike, and perfect it for women who demand technology, capability, and a refined package. Available in an aluminum frameset and two types of carbon fiber, it covers a wide range of pricing, kit options, and levels of capability. Prefer a planted ride that grips well in all terrain, while being more forgiving over rough terrain? Juliana offers a 27.5”+ wheel size option. Need a nimble feel that offers precise handling? Each model is available in a 29er wheel size. Each bike comes with requisite Juliana goodness: smart parts spec, the latest in suspension technology, and the capability to be both a race weapon or the perfect lunch ride companion. The Juliana Joplin is not as much of a cross country mountain bike or a trail bike as it is a bike designed for fun on the trail.
The Juliana Furtado, named after Juliana Bicycles founder Juli Furtado, is a 130mm travel full suspension trail bike. It’s a bike handler’s dream; the 27.5” wheels combine with short chainstays to make for a bike that is very nimble and is easy to pop over features. A slack 67 degree head tube angle and long reach measurements provide plenty of rider confidence through steep descents, and it’s wide size range fits riders as small as 4’8”. Women’s specific suspension tuning allows for active suspension early in the stroke with plenty of reserve for the bigger hits, while it’s carbon frame and rear triangle keep weight low and performance high. Needless to say, the Furtado is the distillation of the brand’s desire to ride and build the highest performance mountain bikes in the world, specifically for women.
We would be remiss to not offer products that didn’t provide the best riding experience possible. Juliana mountain bikes aren’t flashy and flowery. Instead, their line is comprised of excellent mountain bikes optimized for women, without sacrificing on component spec or handling capability. Above else, they aim for substance over showiness, and execution over glitz. We wouldn’t have it any other way.