Bike Check: Raphaela Richter & Tanja Naber Form Juliana Free Agents EWS Team

Apr 15, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  


German enduro racers Raphaela Richter and Tanja Naber have created a new EWS pro team, the Juliana Free Agents, for 2021. Up until now, the two have raced separately as privateers, but since both already represented Juliana as part of Juliana's existing Free Agents program, it made sense to team up and become official with the EWS.

Raphaela, age 23, exploded onto the enduro race scene while still in optometry school, earning a career-best 2nd place in Les Orres and a 3rd in Zermatt in 2019 alongside her several German national titles. She can throw down on a downhill course, too, as she was the highest-placed German at the 2020 Leogang World Champs with a 6th place in the Elite Women's field.

Tanja, age 33, will handle most of the administrative work for the team, but she's also a strong racer, with several top-20 EWS results and a respectable Trans Provence campaign in 2019. Tanja and Raphaela said they have had a great dynamic together from the start, and their goal is to create a positive team atmosphere with Raphaela's brothers as mechanics and support crew. The pair will travel in camper vans, which they say reflects their racing approach and team name.

While the two share Juliana, Intend, and SQlab as sponsors, they also each have individual supporters. Raphaela represents Levelnine, Schwalbe, and Dahlmeyr, while Tanja rides for iXS, Trickstuff, Maxxis, Tunap, and trailguide.net.


Raphaela Richter // Juliana Free Agents
Age: 23
Height: 1.65 m / 5'5"
Riding weight: 60 kg / 132 lbs
Hometown: Bayreuth, Germany
Instagram: @raphaelarichter

Tanja Naber // Juliana Free Agents
Age: 33
Height: 1.78 m / 5'10"
Riding weight: 70 kg / 154 lbs
Hometown: Freiburg, Germany
Instagram: @tanja_naber

Raphaela Richter's Custom Juliana Maverick
Frame: Juliana Custom Maverick Carbon CC, size M
Shock: Intend Hover, 160mm
Shock pressure: 310psi
Shock rebound: 2.25 turns from closed (out of 3.25)
Shock LSC: Fully open
Fork: Intend Bandit USD 170mm
Fork pressure: 80psi
Fork rebound: 3 of 6.25 turns from closed
Fork LSC: Fully open
Rims: Santa Cruz Reserve 30 29"
Hubs: DT Swiss 350
Tires: Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity Ultrasoft (F), Big Betty Super Gravity Soft (R)
Tire pressure: 14.5-16psi front, 16-17.5psi rear
Shifter, derailleur, chain: SRAM Eagle XO1 12-speed
Cassette: e*thirteen Helix Race Cluster, 12 Speed, 9-50T
Crankset: e*thirteen LG1 Race Carbon Crank 170x73mm, 30t chainring
BB: e*thirteen 68/73mm BSA
Chain guide: e*thirteen TRS Race SL Composite Chainguide
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Rotors: Trickstuff Dächle 203 / 180 mm
Handlebars: Levelnine prototype bars
Stem: Levelnine limited edition 40mm stem
Headset: Cane Creek 40 IS Integrated Headset
Saddle: SQlab 6OX Infinergy ERGOWAVE active
Pedals: Funn Components Mamba
More info: Juliana Maverick

bigquotesI am extremely looking forward to the races that I hope will take place and I believe that my winter preparations have been good. I am confident that under Tanja's organization and good humor we will have a good season!Raphaela Richter

Raphaela's Juliana Maverick uses a Megatower frame, unlike the standard Maverick model, which is more or less a Hightower. Raphaela needed more travel than what comes stock on any of the existing Juliana models, so she gets a special one.

The bike is complete with stylish frame protection.

It was important for Raphaela and Tanja to maintain their own individual relationships with sponsors. For example, Raphaela rides for Schwalbe while Tanja is on Maxxis tires.

Their drivetrains are a mix of SRAM and e*Thirteen.

Intend Suspension and SQ Lab: Some finer things in life.

I'd bet money that we'll see Raphaela on an EWS podium this year.

Tanja Naber's Juliana Maverick
Frame: Juliana Maverick Carbon CC, size L
Shock: Intend Hover, 140mm
Shock pressure: 325psi
Shock rebound: 2 of 6 clicks from closed
Shock LSC: 3 of 12 clicks from closed
Fork: Intend Blackline Ebonite 170mm
Fork pressure: 65psi
Fork rebound: 2 of 7 half rotations from closed
Fork LSC: 4 of 15 clicks from closed
Rims: Santa Cruz Reserve 30 29"
Hubs: DT Swiss 350
Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29"x2,50WT, DD, MaxxGrip (F), Maxxis Minion DHF 29"x2.50WT, DD, MaxxTerra (R)
Tire pressure: 20psi front, 25psi rear
Shifter, derailleur, chain: SRAM Eagle XO1 12-speed
Cassette: e*thirteen Helix Race Cluster, 12 Speed, 9-50T
Crankset: e*thirteen LG1 Race Carbon Crank 170x73mm, 30t chainring
BB: e*thirteen 68/73mm BSA
Chain guide: e*thirteen TRS Race SL Composite Chainguide
Brakes: Trickstuff Piccola
Rotors: Trickstuff Dächle HD 203 / 180 mm
Handlebars: SQlab 30X, 12°, 780mm
Stem: Intend Grace FR, 35 mm
Headset: Cane Creek 40 IS Integrated Headset
Saddle: SQlab 611 ERGOWAVE active
Pedals: HT T1
More info: Juliana Maverick

bigquotesRiding and racing bikes, traveling and hanging around in the campervans is so much fun with Rapha especially when you can support and push each other! Crossed fingers Corona will kind of disappear soon and let the race season begin! We are definitely ready and bloody motivated.Tanja Naber

Tanja's Juliana Maverick.

Tanja started running the Blackline Ebonite fork last summer and decided to keep running what works for her, rather than switch to the newer Bandit that Raphaela rides.

Trickstuff Piccola brakes are the lightest MTB brakes around.

The very similar bike builds are personalized to each rider's preferences and individual sponsors.

Both of their bikes strike a nice balance with parts from small, niche companies and tried-and-true household names.

Tanja is the team's multitasker as a racer and the team's chief organizer.

These two are a team to watch this season.



80 Comments

  • 131 4
 intend. making the sexiest forks i think I have ever seen.
  • 16 1
 I wonder how they compare to Fox and RS. Nice looking for sure.
  • 11 2
 @h-beck83: probably however you want them to!
  • 19 147
flag Charlotroy (Apr 15, 2021 at 5:46) (Below Threshold)
 ugliest fork ever made
  • 27 2
 @h-beck83: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-intend-infinity-dual-crown-usd-fork.html

What I really want is a review of the Hover shock. Its much more dramatically different than their forks are.
  • 12 2
 The shock is sexy af as well
  • 34 1
 I imagine owning an Intend fork would produce a circle of dudes swarming you at every parking lot asking to push down on your handlebars while peppering you with a little-too-excited questions.

Basically, the opposite of showing up on a new e-bike I imagine, with "is that a motorcycle" yelled anonymously from the distance.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I agree, I contemplated it before buying the EXT Storia3, but I just sold that with my bike, so I'm keen to possibly buy the Hover for my new bike and swapping out the DHX2
  • 3 0
 Yeah metal finish very sexeeeeee.
  • 3 3
 I dunno, they look unfinished to me.
  • 3 1
 @50percentsure: But what if you have a eMTB with Intend suspension?
  • 4 0
 @megatryn: that would break the laws of physics and probably create a black hole
  • 57 1
 Sexiest bikes on the EWS. Also, love the Julianna colors even more than the Santa Cruz ones
  • 24 0
 It seems in most cases women’s specific mtbs have much better paint schemes than men. I wonder why that is the case. Not all dudes want a black or matte black bike. Ha.
  • 11 1
 @extratalldirtrider: Eh. Its mainly SC has colors that a toddler picked for some bikes. Ill never forget when they decided to use the painful pink on their Bronson and Nomad.
I will say that from the Liv bikes that I have seen, I did not like any of the colorways.
All to each their own. I like raw and black... that sounds wrong...
  • 2 0
 @extratalldirtrider: I have a buddy that got a Norco Optic in the women's-specific colours last year (bright blue C2). It looks sooooooo good and the only difference was colour and maybe saddle? He got it because it was the only one his size in stock, but after seeing it in person, he realized how much he lucked out.
  • 3 0
 @big-red: sweet bike. I believe the stock bars would have been more narrow too, but yeah not a huge difference between women’s and men’s models.
  • 24 0
 I think Raphaela's Maverick is actually a repainted Megatower with the adjustable rear dropout and the cable routing at the headtube. A 160mm rear travel would also make more sense to be paired with the 170mm fork.
  • 6 0
 I think you're right. You can tell from the flip chip at the dropout and the way the cables are routed at the head tube
  • 3 0
 @hansbauck: Good eyes! Yes, it is a repainted Megatower, just in a really really nice color Wink
  • 6 0
 You can also tell because of this caption under one of the photos "Raphaela's Juliana Maverick uses a Megatower frame, unlike the standard Maverick model, which is more or less a Hightower. Raphaela needed more travel than what comes stock on any of the existing Juliana models, so she gets a special one."
  • 2 0
 @MattyBoyR6: in his defense the article didn’t appear to have that caption when first posted.
  • 20 0
 So both are running 140 in the back, 170 in the front? Interesting to see such a big gap there, when the standard Maverick comes as 140/150. What's the reasoning behind this?
Edit: Just saw that there is no 29er Juliana with more than 140 mm rear travel. Guess that answers my question.
  • 8 0
 I wouldn't be surprised if they run custom linkages if they need extra travel. The CC linkages typically boost by about 10mm
  • 4 0
 The SC Hightower is actually approved up to 170mm forks, by the way
  • 2 0
 I think it has also to do with the fact that the other juliana models have ridiculously short reach.
  • 2 0
 If you look at the rear axle of both bikes you will notice that raphaelas bike has a flip chip wich the maverick doesn't have.
  • 4 0
 Photo caption "Raphaela's Juliana Maverick uses a Megatower frame, unlike the standard Maverick model, which is more or less a Hightower. Raphaela needed more travel than what comes stock on any of the existing Juliana models, so she gets a special one."
  • 22 2
 I came here for one thing, Cornelius Kapfingher. He is not here
  • 13 0
 When I think about privateers I think about bikes that are hold together by zip ties and Gaffa tape and not abot having the most bling bling parts available
  • 2 0
 Those bikes are wild! They better win.
  • 9 0
 I do like SQ Lab saddles. They are the only ones that will work for me and the customer support is great. Had a crack in one of my saddles and all I needed to do was take a pic of it, send it to SQ Lab, and I had a new saddle a couple of days later.
  • 2 0
 Same. Only saddle that doesn't make me go numb.
  • 1 0
 my bike shop didn't want to order them. they say the customer service isn't good. so I ordered the saddle online. It's great, but two of them
  • 1 0
 Best saddle ive ever used. All day comfort
  • 10 0
 14psi in the front tyre? Yowzers
  • 2 0
 I was thinking the same thing... maybe they're running tire inserts but didn't list them in the build?
  • 1 0
 I got away with running the super gravity casing in the fron without an insert @ about 70kg rideready, without flatting. But if you ride rocky trails I wouldn't recommend it because you can feel the rim having contact on square edged rocks. Its ok for mellower stuff tho.
  • 8 1
 Just what do they Intend to do with that suspension?
  • 4 0
 Flexing
  • 4 0
 why the 2 pot brakes? i get that trickstuff are massively powerful but still
  • 8 0
 if you don't weight over 150lbs I don't think you really need 4pot even going as fast as these girls are going
  • 2 0
 I’m rooting for them! Once shared a gondola ride with Rapha during a local race in austria without realizing who she was. Such a nice and outgoing person. Also, she nearly chased my ass down on the next stage!
  • 6 6
 good looking bikes, astonishing forks. other than that, thanks for another nonsense bike "check" that is nothing else than a partlist.
- why choosing a maverick over a rubion?
- why the different forks?
- why different brake brands?
- rafaela riding super low tire pressure even considering her weight, how that?
  • 6 2
 Most of that is explained in the words of the article....
  • 4 4
 @Afterschoolsports: well i obviously missed it then. even after reading the photostory a second time.
would you be so kind and answer my questions? thanks Smile
  • 3 3
 @sack-zement: They ride Intend suspension because they are sponsored by Intend. I guess the brakes are just personal preference, although with the Trickstuff ones it's because they are extremely lightweight.
  • 3 3
 @sack-zement: They ride different fork models out of personal preference as well. Not sure about the tire pressure, but I would guess personal preference? Same with the frame probably.
  • 3 0
 The tire pressure could be just one setup of many, depending on where she rides. Also schwalbe sg tires have a pretty stiff sidewall compared to double down but they are also heavier I think
  • 12 0
 @sack-zement: Lazy bastard, read the text
  • 2 1
 Pity they don't make the Juliana bikes in XXL ...

Strange also that brands need to have a different named female version of their bikes. But maybe is due to the not as great color choices for the men's bikes?
  • 4 0
 Trickstuff brakes + Intend suspension * chefs kiss*
  • 4 0
 I don't care what the riders weigh, I want to know what the bikes weigh.
  • 2 0
 NGL, the green one looks absolutely ace. Kinda steampunky with that gold and polished chrome over olive green.
  • 2 0
 I don't know about the steam punk, but it is indeed one fine looking mountain bicycle!
  • 2 0
 @TerrapinBen: Yeah steam punk probably isn't the right word for it but with the polished chrome, royal flush coating and the clean lines and edges it's got that industrial design kinda vibe to it.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: I would agree with the industrial design vibe. I really like the contrast between polished and matte components. A bike that is clean, mean, and not messing around!
  • 1 0
 I commend Intend on trying something different but I can’t remember what the advantages of the fork not being a Triple clamp were
  • 1 0
 Well, the torsional resistance difference is much bigger from a single crown to this setup than from this setup to a full triple clamp. So it's an optimized rigidity/weight ratio.
  • 2 0
 Some seriously good looking bikes.
  • 2 1
 If one of these forks/ shocks breaks during competition, who is going to fix them on site?
  • 1 0
 That’s not a maverick, that’s a repainted megatower, maverick doesn’t have a cs flip chip.
  • 2 0
 Jesus suspensions that are more then the frame!!!
  • 2 0
 I'm dead convinced Tanja's is the best looking bike I've ever seen
  • 2 0
 The maxxis logos are not centered on the valve.....so triggered!
  • 3 2
 i thought triple clamp forks werent allowed in ews?
  • 14 0
 its a 2.5 clamp, they are good Wink
  • 2 0
 damn i want that bandit
  • 1 0
 Wow. These bikes look intendse.
  • 1 0
 1,5 crown. Never go full enduro.
  • 2 2
 intend and trickstuff on mass produced made in china boutique, it's like lipstick on a pig.
  • 1 0
 Wait, so is Juliana just rebranded Santa Cruz frames?
  • 1 0
 they probably Intend to cruz over tricky stuff :p
  • 1 0
 Those are some absolutely epic looking bikes.
  • 1 1
 I don't like them yet I don't dislike them
  • 3 5
 Sick squish tubes. But why the cheeper 350 hubs?
  • 6 0
 Why not? They just work...
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