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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.