First Ride: Juliana Bicycles Roubion and Furtado

Sep 11, 2015
by Rachelle Frazer Boobar  


Juliana Bicycles like to position themselves less about being women's specific, and more about being for specific women. The women that Juliana are gunning for are the ones who get rad, ride hard and go big. In the last year the Juliana team visited key West Coast dealers to gather feedback from the ground on what women are looking for, and with the significant changes made to this year's frames along with a myriad of options for some killer component specs and matching price spectrums, they're confident that the new Roubion and Furtado will meet the needs of their target audience.

Juliana invited us to the once bustling and vibrant gold mining hub of Downieville, California to test out these two updated bikes on the fast and flowing trails that have been lovingly brought to life by the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. Santa Cruz Bicycles have a long history in the area and it was only a matter of time until they brought a gaggle of media and dealers out here for a launch to show off their adopted backyard's treasures. So, as bedraggled and glittery Burning Man humans entered Reno from the north, their trailers and wild cruiser bikes caked in the thin white sand of the playa, another group of us arrived in Reno to head east into the mountains, to ride mountain bikes in gold dust.

Juliana Bicycles
Juliana Bicycles

Juliana Bicycles
Juliana Bicycles





Juliana Bicycles
The 2016 Roubion.
Juliana Bicycles
and the Furtado.


2016 Frame Updates

Both the Roubion and the Furtado receive some pretty significant frame updates for 2016, a trickle-down effect of changes that stem from recent Nomad updates. These tweaks provide geometry improvements, increased stiffness and performance as well as pure aesthetic indulgences.

Roubion: The Roubion recieves a few updates this year that should polish the bike into an even more capable all-mountain machine. The head tube angle is one degree slacker at 66 degrees, an alterations that's intended to increase it's capacity for aggressive downhilling. The bike's reach has also been lengthened by 20-25mm (size dependent) to allow for the use of shorter stems on the bike and better fit options for riders. The seat tube has been shortened allowing the use of a 150mm dropper without topping out and for more sizing flexibility - the goal being to encourage people to size their bikes based on reach rather than standover height. The seat tube angle is also now .8 degrees steeper putting the rider in a better pedaling position and the chainstays have been shortened by 6mm for better cornering. In another move, Juliana have also switched to 12 x 148mm rear spacing this year, and moving forward this will be the norm across the range. If two by is your thing there is a front derailleur mount and internal cable routing available to keep your bike looking cable clean.

Other major changes include the link placements, the upper link has been beefed up, and moved up and forward which allowed designers to provide better standover height, a win for the shorter folks that puts the bike on par with its competitors. The lower link is now tucked away inside the frame making the lines cleaner and providing better clearance.

Furtado: The Furtado will see's all of the same updates as the Roubion with a few exceptions. The Furtado's chainstays have been shortened by 8mm and the head tube angle adjustment of one degree brings the Furtado to 67 degrees. The Furtado also gets an extra 5mm travel this year, bringing the bike to 130mm in the rear. Also new for 2016 the Furtado will be available in extra small, something many smaller riders should be happy to hear.


Juliana Bicycles
FOX's Factory Float Evol has a revised tune this year for better small bump sensitivity.
Juliana Bicycles
All of the Roubion and Furtado models will have RockShox suspension. The Pike RCT3 150 Solo Air will come on the XTR, XT and XX1 Models.

Suspension

Juliana has revised the rear shock suspension tune on the bikes this year, and all models will come with Fox Float's with EVOL air sleeves for better small bump sensitivity which should also meant better traction. The progression on this tune has a flatter overall curve rate, which basically means you should get a consistent feel as you move through the travel on the bike and as you get to the bottom of the travel, the shock will ramp up to provide that bottomless feel we're all after out on the trail. All models of the Roubion will come with RockShox forks and the Fox Float Evol rear shocks for 2016.

Juliana Bicycles
Juliana Bicycles


Component Check

Juliana offer a few small points specifically for the ladies, color coordinated grips being one, a Juliana saddle being another and colorways unlike any other you've probably seen out in the wild rounding out the mix. Juliana are no longer making their own handlebars, and in a move to further align the brand with Santa Cruz Bicycles, will now instead come with Santa Cruz's 760mm bars and either Race Face or Easton 35mm stems.

Juliana






Juliana Bicycles

The Roubion

With the launch of the Juliana SRAM Pro Team and a healthy ambassador program behind it, the Roubion has become a go-to 150mm all-mountain ride for many mountain biking women. Although the Evergreen paint job of yesteryear was an eye-catching hit, the team have come up with what they're calling Stonewash Purple for 2016, a cool violet hue with a grey undertone that had my co-worker Mike Kazimer craving a serving of berry flavored ice cream. The Juliana Pro Team are excited about the new slacker head tube angle and other geometry changes this year on the Roubion and after riding the bike for the first time over the two days we spent with them, they were confident that the updates were all positive. In addition to the geometry updates, the Roubion will come with Easton's Arc 24 wheels which are lighter than the ARC 27's you'll find on the Roubion's brother, the Bronson. Also new for 2015 is a the C level carbon frame option, a slightly heavier and cheaper version than the CC you'll find used at the top end of the range. With the entry level Roubion clocking in at $2999, this option will likely be a big hit for the cost conscious buyer. The top of the line Roubion 2CC will set you back a cool $8099. Don't forget to squirrel away some extra coins if you're looking for the color coordinated ENVE rims.

Ride Impressions: The Butcher Trail is a long, mostly high-speed descent to the valley floor with some good technical sections thrown in along the way. The Roubion was eager to get going, and I found myself oversteering out of the gate trying to keep up with what the Roubion wanted to do underneath me. Once I'd adjusted and got the front end under control, the Roubion felt very snappy. It would rip through corners, with the rear end zipping through the apex and rocketing out the other side. The bike was also quick to respond when asking it to get airborne over roots and rocks and provided that bottomless feeling when coming back down to earth. The Roubion's jovial on trail personality is tempered with an air of stability that provided extra reassurance and the further we made our way down the trail the more the Roubion dared me to push myself a little harder and as I worked to keep Sarah Leishman's tail in sight the Roubion seemed to taunt me and say, "Come on, is that all you've got?" We didn't get a ton of sustained climbing in on the bike, but the Roubion's geometry recipe seemed pretty user-friendly with the climbing position feeling comfortable and far from sluggish.




Juliana Bicycles


The Furtado

The Furtado is Juliana's best seller, the jewel in the crown so to speak. Looking to keep the Furtado on point, a few additional changes have been made to the line. This year the Furtado gets an additional 5mm of rear travel, which will bring the numbers both front and back to 130mm. Also new this year for the Furtado is an extra small size frame, both it and the small will be kitted with a 125mm dropper post. The Furtado will be rolling out of the factory floor sporting a refreshing looking Spearmint green coat of paint. Expect heads to turn. The Furtado will be available in four build kits starting at $2999 for the 2C and topping out at $8999 for the 2CC model. Again, If you're after matching ENVE rims you'll need to keep a little more coin aside.

Ride Impressions: Mill Peak Trail descends into the valley via a thin ribbon of smooth fast single track that's peppered with squirrel catching rocks (and actual squirrels - I nearly caught one in my front wheel) that require fast navigational responses from the rider. The Furtado was quick to react to any direction I gave it and provided a very light yet stable ride. The Furtado feels far from flimsy, in fact I think this bike would could stand up to some decent trail torture. As with the Roubion the suspension felt bottomless, which cements my feeling that this bike could stand up to burlier trail than I rode it on. The Furtado loved to accelerate as I stood up to climb on trail and kept great traction, up and over technical ascents. Although you won't find a huge weight difference between the Roubion and the Furtado, you will find the Furtado a little easier to wrangle on trail and quicker and easier to navigate up hill.


Juliana Bicycles
  Look out for Sarah Leishman and Anka Martin on their 2016 Roubion's at the final two rounds of the Enduro World Series in Spain and Italy.

Final Thoughts:
bigquotesIt might be a little too soon to say, but the latest incarnation of the Juliana range could be the most well spec'd women's bike that we've seen yet. Juliana have put together two great options in the Roubion and Furtado that provide quality components, a number of price points and great ride. All you will need to do is determine the type of terrain you will primarily be riding and how much you want to spend and make your choice. - Rachelle Frazer



Visit the high-res gallery for more images.


www.julianabicycles.com


99 Comments

  • + 123
 That moment when the colors of Santa Cruz's female bike brand look more manly than Santa Cruz's colors.
  • + 5
 I was thinking the same exact thing.
  • + 48
 Man if you can't rock a pink bike while you are shredding, than you are doing it wrong
  • + 3
 light purple fellas, not grey...
  • + 15
 No one mentioned anything about grey...
  • + 1
 Assumed "more manly" insinuated grey, not light purple…thats all.
  • - 1
 Gender equality guys,.
  • + 58
 @chyu In that case, shouldn't you say "gender equality, people."?
  • + 32
 Color doesn't define you... Strava does! Wink
  • + 3
 for beter or for worse
  • + 1
 gender equality here now means that with these bikes, my wife has a reason to hide how much she spends on bikes from me... Wink
  • + 4
 Matte anything, I'll take it. I think my wife might actually let me spend what I want for my bike. As long as I get her one of these.
  • + 0
 So I reeeeeeeeeeally want a Peppermint (or whatever SC calls it) Solo or 5010 as SC call it with Santa Cruz decals on it...
  • + 3
 It's more like "battleship lilac."
  • + 30
 SC/Juliana make decent bikes. It's just a shame that they are priced into the stratosphere up here in Canada. Also, where is the "girls" nomad? And how is Juliana even a thing? Seriously, make an entire brand name around a new paint job and different saddle? The corporate leader of Juliana is nothing other than the world's laziest product manager.

The meeting that created Juliana:

Rob - "OK, guys....we already make the world's most unnecessarily expensive bikes. We're damn near the Apple of the bike industry. So, what can we do to target women?"

Cedric - "you mean, without actually making a women's bike?"

Rob - "Cha man, of course without actually making anything new".

Cedric - "Well I know Jules is looking for a job right now."

Rob - "Yeah, let's use her name because she's a good rider. Then we can make her the head of product development and she can pick new paint colours, make a new logo and...yeah, let's go all-in with this. She can pick a new saddle and cut down the bars by 10mm."
  • + 8
 I should just start a vinyl decal design business just for converting juliana colored frames to say santa cruz and look like they're stock, because these colors are better than the other bikes by far, and I know I'm not the only dude that would ride one...
  • + 4
 Slik Graphics does exactly this. You can get the decals in any color you want.
  • + 5
 The mint V10C I've seen in Whistler is the tits though.
  • + 27
 'an entirely new range of womens bikes developed by former World Champion Juliana Furtado', should just be an entirely new range of Santa Cruz colours
  • + 0
 I would be so psyched to see a real women's specific MTB; women are typically shorter, lighter, have a different CoM, different leg/torso lengths, and typically adopt a slightly different riding style. There's SO MUCH to tweak in the frame design and build kit to work better for women. Different colorways is a money grab and an insult.

I'd like to see higher leverage ratio frames, lighter fork tune, slight change to antisquat, attempts to bring down the bar height, a more weight-sensitive build kit... That'd be rad!
  • + 0
 Dimension debate aside, building a more weight sensitive build kit sounds like breaking a lot of wheels, bars, and frames to me. Doesn't sound worth the investment to me..at least for a build on the Roubion..
  • + 0
 Giant's Liv range have frames and componentry designed for women.
  • + 22
 Just put a sticker on it and call it a women bike!
*heard during a marketing meeting
  • + 8
 Its a shame. My girl needs a girls bike, she have body not like man.
  • + 2
 LIV makes women bikes
  • + 4
 Pinkbike really should be addressing this in reviews. It's the exact same bike as another bike but with different saddle and grips. I think at least. It would be good to know.
  • + 2
 and rims, and sizes, and bar....and...and
  • + 1
 Looks like they're using the same bars now. Or maybe not. It would be good to know.

Women considering these bikes might want to know what makes it better suited for them. Or is it just marketing fluff?

I also have seen men riding furtado bikes because they like the colors and were going to swap out saddle and grips anyway.
  • + 1
 Looks like the bar on the 5010 and Furtado are both 760mm, The bar on the Bronson is 800mm but the Roubion stays at 760mm
  • + 1
 The frames are the same size (in other words the same frames), the only difference is women don't get an XL frame.
  • + 2
 but women do get an XS frame that men don't.
  • + 1
 They only have small, medium and large on their website.
  • + 2
 They talk about it in the audio on other web interviews.
  • + 3
 Many women need a women's specific bike like Liv. Many do not because they are tall enough or long enough. If SC spends years perfecting geo and ride why mess with it? Unless you are super short you can fit and rally any men's bike or even better a good looking Juliana.
  • + 2
 For the types of riding these bikes are meant for, maybe there isn't enough differences to a "women's specific frame" to justify redesigning an entirely new frame.
  • + 0
 The press junket I read said the womens line uses narrower bars and lighter wheels for the comparable mens bike
  • + 5
 The Roubion, Bronson, Furtado and 5010 all got a lower standover height this year that puts them on par with the standover height that Liv, Specialized and Trek offer on their women's lines. The Roubion and Furtado come with 760mm bars and the Bronson and 5010 get 800's. The Roubion get's a lighter wheelset than the Bronson, and the Furtado, their best seller, will be available in extra small.
  • + 0
 @rachellefrazer The standover is the EXACT same as the SC bikes!

Small Bronson - Standover (200mm) 727
Small Roubion - Standover (200mm) 727

Same goes for the 5010 and Furtado.
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal why is that an issue though? I've never heard of any women who ride the Roubion having any problem with the standover on the frame.
  • - 1
 @bikesandfun Not an issue for myself. But I only know one female with a 5010 before that she was on a BLT. No idea about her thoughts on the standover though.

The issue is the Juliana frames are identical just with slightly more feminine colour-ways. I guess the counterpoint to that could be women looking to purchase these bikes are a more advanced rider and would've been riding a mens bike anyway.

The Liv Intrigue SX is an interesting bike. I'd like to hear a review or test of that bike in the future.
  • + 13
 Compare this bikes to new SantaCruz 2016. Identical bikes.
  • + 19
 Correct.
  • + 5
 ahh, duh.
  • + 8
 "It might be a little too soon to say, but the latest incarnation of the Juliana range could be the most well spec'd women's bike that we've seen yet."

It might be a little too soon, but this could be the most meaningless statement we've seen yet.
  • + 9
 My question isn't why does Santa Cruz produce a women's bike that's a more/less just a different color, but why does Pink Bike (and other sites) have 2 articles that are stories on what is essentially the same bike?
  • + 5
 What happened to the affordable yet still equally capable single-pivot alloy bikes? A starting price of $3600 is a far cry from the Heckler's $2300. I am sure there are many female riders that would appreciate an affordable option.
  • + 1
 you pay a premium for a marketing company to tell you the bike is womens specific. and seeing as how its the same bike, in a different color combo, that is a marketing feat worth paying for.
  • + 1
 @cmcrawfo Very well put, lol.
  • + 2
 I showed my wife both the Juliana and Santa Cruz articles this morning and she thought the Santa Cruz looked way better. She asked what the difference was besides color?? I said "uhm, that's it". What a way to build a company!

Last year I thought the Juliana's colors were better than the Santa Cruz's (except for the blue/pink Nomad). Go figure...
  • + 2
 What if you could buy a used Santa Cruz look-a-like, barely ridden for 40% less than a used, "well ridden" Santa Cruz?

All the Juliana I see for sale are:
1 Barely ridden, like new
2 Much cheaper than corresponded SC

Too bad don't make or sell many XL, otherwise I would not mind to tape over logo and head badge.
  • + 1
 LOL. I was thinking of doing the same thing, not as many women ride bikes as men, which should mean less people will be interested, which also means you could buy one for a very good price. so why not find one and have a nice "Santa cruz" that retails nearly 10k.
  • + 1
 I'm a woman and I've ordered the new bronson 2 instead of a juliana. They are identical but there are cheaper more affordable versions of the bronson starting at £3000, the roubions start at just over £5000. I also dislike the pastel colours and have gone for the loud in your face bright pinky purple bronson, or rhubarb and custard as I see it. I already have a women's saddle on my current bike to transfer across to the bronson, I'll try the wider bars but if I dont get on with them I'll just swap them for smaller ones. I also am not going to give my money to juliana pretending to be women's specific when I can get the exact same but cheaper from sc. If they are going to be this way why not just stick to sc branding and offer bikes in size ranges xs-xl with 3 or 4 different paint themes and the option of choosing your saddle and bars as male or female specific? Also santa cruz please can you make the small frame size available for demo rides, in the UK at least only medium, large and extra large are available for demo rides. You have to hope the store or demo weekend has the Juliana if you want to test the small and they often don't have any. It also makes it impossible for women and smaller guys to test ride the nomads. Most people want to demo a bike worth several thousand pounds before buying!
  • + 5
 Whats the difference with the Santa Cruz bikes except the colours?
  • + 12
 The frames are exactly the same, but the Juliana bikes get women's specific saddles and grips, and slightly narrower handlebars.
  • + 1
 That's it? Seem's insane that that's all it takes?
  • + 2
 Colours, they also change the colours Big Grin
  • + 9
 nothing dude. Shrink'em and pink'em, that's all.
  • + 4
 They've not even shrunk them though?!
  • + 7
 'It might be a little too soon to say, but the latest incarnation of the Juliana range could be the most well spec'd women's bike that we've seen yet.'

So changing the saddle and grips to women specific defines this statement? That's like saying stickers make you faster.
  • + 10
 Stickers don't make u faster?!
  • + 3
 Clearly you haven't tried it Wink
  • + 1
 The difference:
You can buy these used for much much cheaper than SC and barely ridden.

The similarity:
Those are bought by the same wealthy people who buy SC (husband buy x wife)
  • + 1
 and the Juliana comes in XS, and the wheels are lighter. I didn't hear anything about shock tune but that might also be the case due to lighter riders.
  • + 9
 Yes, the air in the rear shock is women's specific. In fact, it might be a little too soon to say, but the latest incarnation of the air in the rear shock could be the most well spec'd rear shock air that we've seen yet.
  • + 1
 How are you all so offended by this?
  • + 1
 bishopsmike, you are aware you can tune a shock more than air right?
  • + 1
 Could anyone tell me my Santa Cruz have made a brand out of a model of bike? Why didn't they just call it a Juliana Roubion and make it part of the range under a women specific category of bikes?
  • + 0
 I wish we had women who ride bikes like that and shop local. The most expensive women's mountain bike I have ever sold was $700, and that is not because I am incompetent at bike sales. We just have shitty clientele out this way.
  • + 1
 You can buy a mountain bike for $700?
  • + 0
 Yeah shitty ones.
  • + 1
 Ah, but imagine how much it could sell for if it had colour-matching grips?!!
  • + 1
 NIce bikes and builds, but that price range is seriously ouch, feel like there are a lot more options in the "guys" range that are more affordable.
  • + 3
 Pretty sure Missy don't do 'pastel' lol.
  • + 1
 lol
  • + 2
 What is the goal to put DHR on front wheel?
  • + 2
 The goal is winning my friend
  • + 3
 The dhr2 works great as a front and rear tire. Maxxis marketing is just weird. Companies in the know spec dhr2's as front and rear. I have extensive time on dhr2's and Dhf's and I prefer the dhr2 on front and rear. Also, the dhr2 has less rolling resistance than a Dhf or a high roller. This is a known fact to those like myself that obsess over tire choice. I can definitely say I'll take any of the 3 mentioned above over a schwalbe Magic Mary, rock razor, and especially Hans dampf. Hans dampf is the worst tire I've ever ridden. No good side knobs to depend on in a leaned over aggressive turn.
  • + 1
 Wow, dude! Thx a lot! Really didnt know. Especially about rolling dhf vs dhr, i thought.. i even could swear that dhf rolls faster.
  • + 1
 DHRII is my current favourite tire at the moment. Front, rear, 26, 29 it doesn't matter. Once the HRII and DHRII came out the DHF became pointless in my mind.

I'll likely run the new Maxxis Minion SS out back paired with a DHRII next spring/summer.
  • + 1
 Is there any Juliana owner here? Anyone? I'm wondering how can you convince a woman to buy a bike for 8k$.
  • + 1
 Just ask some one who rides a santa cruz. Wink
  • + 2
 Convince anyone to buy a bike for $8k. Everyone's in the same n+1 boat..
  • + 1
 I am. And I love the color now. I wasnt happy with it at first, but i did get the bike slightly used for a really good deal, so wasnt going to complain about the color.

it grows on you and looks way better in person.

As for the actual bike, I personally really didn´t care to buy roubion or the bronson, whichever one will end up being cheaper and less hassle. At the end of the day, is a dreamy ride, and I love it. Who cares if it is women specific or not, as long as i pass the boys on the way up or down.
  • + 1
 Oh oops i thought i was reading the santa cruz article again..bikes are way to much alike.
  • + 1
 Rear shox or not my babe rides liv
  • + 1
 hmm,ok,it doesnt look like a bronson
  • + 1
 i really love the colors
  • + 1
 Colours are good, just maybe not worth making a whole new company for.
  • + 0
 @bishopsmike they're marketed towards women, find something else to complain about...
  • + 0
 the color is amazing
  • + 0
 Boost. Boo to that
  • + 0
 wow I love the colors
  • + 2
 Really? I was just thinking how awful the colours looked. Why is women's specific gear always in pastel colours?
  • + 1
 I wonder how many more they would sell if they made them in black
  • + 3
 I'm with you on awful colours. Why the hell does girl always = cupcake? it's bad enough on clothing, much less on an arm-and-a-leg expensive bike.

Trek made the Lush in an amazing deep red an couple of seasons back ... now that's a colour I would die for, but I'd definitely take black.
  • + 1
 @Pikasam: I own one of these in light purple, got it cheap (read used and almost never ridden) and was wary of the color for a while. it started to grow on me after a while. The pin point was my mechanic whined to me how guys dont get such cool colors on their bikes.


In short, it looks way better in person.
  • - 1
 These are incredible...
  • - 12
flag GetMounted (Sep 11, 2015 at 4:17) (Below Threshold)
 so your mom too
Below threshold threads are hidden

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