Juliana Bikes get updated product spec….and “Why Juliana?”

New shock tunes, lower gearing, and more affordable spec options

27.5 News Women's
After years of being sold inferior products under the guise of the “women’s specific,” why should women bother buying “women’s specific” products?

After years of being sold inferior products under the guise of the “women’s specific,” why should women buy women’s specific products?

Why should I buy a women’s specific product? It’s a question I ask myself all the time. For some items, say a sleeping bag, it’s a no brainer. For others, the decision isn’t as cut or dry.

One such area is women’s specific bicycles. Some brands such as Liv go through great pains to custom engineer frames with unique geometries and carbon layups, while others such as Juliana rebrand unisex models and ad women’s specific touches.

Juliana doesn’t believe in women’s specific geometry. The instead focus on creating a bike that fits and adapts to the needs of women, who are often lighter and smaller than their male counterparts.

Juliana doesn’t believe in women’s specific geometry. Instead they focus on creating a bike that fits and adapts to the needs of women, who are typically lighter and smaller than their male counterparts.

Ultimately it’s up to the consumer to decide what approach works best for them, but if you’ve ever found yourself asking “Why Juliana?” you should head to their website. Santa Cruz’s sister brand just added a new section that explains their approach, what’s different, and why you should care.

For 2017, Juliana has made further strides in improving fit for women, including changes to shock tune and gearing.

For 2017, Juliana has made further strides in improving fit for women, including changes to shock tune and gearing.

For the new model year, they’ve further refined their women’s specific approach. In the past, they focused on contact points such as grips, handlebars, and saddle, but this year they’re taking this philosophy a step further.

While lots of small details received attention, the various models did not receive any color scheme changes.

While lots of small details received attention, the various models did not receive any color scheme changes.

Previously their bikes shared the same shock tunes as Santa Cruz models. Going forward, each bike receives a Juliana-specific suspension tune which was developed by their female development team to better suit lighter riders.

The product spec across the board has also been updated. Previously their 1x equipped 27.5” models shipped with 32t chainrings. Now 30t is standard. This may seem like a minor update, but it’s a welcome improvement. The only bikes that do not receive this update are the new XX1 and X01 builds, which ship with SRAM’s new 1×12 Eagle drivetrain.

For 2017, the Juliana branded saddle receives minor updates to the profile, shape, and graphics. It will also be available with carbon rails.

For 2017, the Juliana branded saddle receives minor updates to the profile, shape, and graphics. It will also be available with carbon rails.

The final change in product spec is the updated saddle, which has been given a new cover, different graphics, and a sleeker shape. It will also be available with carbon rails on higher end builds.

So what does $3,599 get you? A Fox Rhythm fork, SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain, and Raceface cockpit. Not bad.

So what does $3599 get you? A Fox Rhythm fork, SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain, and RaceFace cockpit. Not bad.

All of these updates are great, but what upset me about the Juliana brand in recent years is the high cost. When the brand first launched there were a number of aluminum builds available, but the brand dropped those options when it began positioning itself as premium only.

They have not decided to bring those aluminum models back (unlike Santa Cruz, which recently announced aluminum versions of their 5010, Bronson, and Tallboy 3). But Juliana does have a lower priced 1x option that will start at $3599. This is a step in the right direction, but many women – myself included – would love to see a sub $3000 (or even $2000) build kit.

To learn more, visit www.julianabicycles.com.

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  • Ah says:

    So curious about the new shock tunes! Have a relatively new bike from them (okay, Santa Cruz) and would love to be able to get a more small person/lady-specific shock tune.

    • Saris Mercanti says:

      If you walk into a knowledgeable mountain bike shop, they could help you tune your fork and suspension using air spacers/tokens. Basically, your suspension components come with spacers inside that make them work for a wide range of users. Heavier or faster riders can add more spacers so they don’t bottom out, while lighter riders can remove spacers. It can make a huge difference.

      You can get a rough idea of what I’m talking about by checking out this review I wrote on Fox’s Air Volume Kit for forks – http://reviews.mtbr.com/fox-fork-air-volume-spacer-review

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