When Santa Cruz Bicycles released the original Juliana, it was to critical acclaim. At the time, the women’s specific mountain bike market (and the whole cycling market) seriously under served women in general; as such the Juliana struck a serious chord. Over the years, Juliana has expanded into a full line of mountain bikes designed with women in mind. Juliana’s newest iteration of their cross country and trail bike, the aluminum Juliana Joplin A, trickles their top-end tech to a rally-ready price point, built specifically for women.
The Juliana Joplin A full suspension trail bike starts with a 110mm rear shock which more than ever blurs the lines between traditional XC bikes and trail bikes. The Juliana Joplin offers a 110mm shock out back, and a 120mm or 130mm fork for 29er or 27.5” + tires. A 68 degree head angle, VPP kinematics, and a rear shock flip chip develops the original Joplin’s playful character into something much more capable. The Joplin uses the Santa Cruz Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension design. VPP uses two short suspension links that rotate in opposite directions as the bike moves through its travel. This results in a progressive suspension design, providing different levels of stiffness throughout the stages of its travel. This suspension design is widely-regarded as one of the most effective for isolating pedaling and braking forces from the suspension. Other neat touches include short 436mm chainstays that not only make the bike feel zippier, but distribute more weight under the rear wheel for improved grip, internal cable routing for a dropper post and rear derailleur, and a reliable threaded bottom bracket. The Joplin also offers women’s specific suspension tuning (read: lighter weight) and touch points.
The original Santa Cruz Tallboy (of which the Joplin is based) was the first bike to really nail down 29er geometry. Testers gushed that the Joplin accelerated and cornered well at speed, not just compared to smaller wheels, but in general. This bike continues the trend. Cornering on this wagon-wheeled speed machine does require some attention, anticipation and proper guidance from the helm, but put some weight on that front wheel and the bike just grips. Further, while the headtube is relatively slack, the Joplin’s front wheel doesn’t wander when climbing. The VPP kinematics maintain a firm pedaling platform, but on descents, it feels much more capable than the 110mm rear shock would suggest. Set it up as a 27.5”+ bike and reap the benefits of greater grip and rollover ability, or set it up as a 29er for higher speed and more precise handling; it’ll do both with aplomb.
The Juliana Joplin A full suspension trail bike comes in two sizes (Sm-Md) , one colorway (Dijon), and four builds in both 29er and 27.5”+ wheels:
- Juliana Joplin A D/Juliana Joplin A D+ – RockShox Recon RL 120/130mm fork, Fox Float Performance DPS 110mm shock, SRAM NX 11-42t cassette, Race Face Aeffect 30T crankset, and SRAM Level brakes. It retails for $2699.
- Juliana Joplin A R/Juliana Joplin A R+ – Fox Rhythm 34 120/130mm fork, Fox Float Performance DPS 110mm shock, SRAM NX Eagle w/10-50t cassette, SRAM NX 30T crankset, SRAM Level T brakes, and a Race Face Aeffect dropper seatpost. It retails for $3399.
27.5”+ bikes receive Race Face AR 40 rims to Novatec hubs & Maxxis Recon 2.8” tires, 29er bikes receive WTB ST i23 rims to Novatec hubs & Maxxis Minion/Crossmark tires. Juliana Bicycles offers a lifetime warranty for each frameset they sell.