The Juliana team fully acknowledges that the Maverick is more similar than it is different from the new Santa Cruz Hightower. If you don't get why Juliana is a separate brand from Santa Cruz, they're totally fine with you completely ignoring this article in favour of Mike Kazimer's review of the Hightower
. In fact, they welcome it, which may seem counterintuitive but actually makes their followers that much more ardent.
Some women love women's branding and product, some women hate it. Turns out, women are not a homogeneous group and Juliana is unapologetic about the fact that their brand only speaks to a small group of women. You'll know if that's you, and if it's not, they're more than fine with you moving along.
• Wheelsize: 29"
• Travel: 140mm
• Head angle: 65.2° or 65.5°
• Chainstay length: 434mm
• Threaded bottom bracket
• 12 x 148mm rear spacing
• Fork offset: 44mm
• Sizes: S, M, L
• Color: Hot Tomato Red
• Weight (claimed): 29.81 lb / 13.52 kg
• MSRP: $8,299 USD as shown
The Maverick, which means "rebel" or "an unorthodox or independent-minded person," is a new model for Juliana, and the first longer-travel 29er in the brand's lineup. It's also the first bike that they're offering in a size Small through Large instead of XS through Medium. There are four price points available, all of which come with a 140mm rear shock that is tuned for lighter riders, a Juliana women’s saddle, and Juliana grips.
The base model complete Maverick C R is priced at $4,299, with a parts kit that includes a RockShox Yari RC fork, Fox Float Performance DPS rear shock, SRAM NX 12-speed drivetrain, and Guide R brakes. The $8,299 Maverick CC X01 Reserve above is the one that I rode during the bike's two-day launch in Buena Vista, Colorado. It gets a SRAM X01 drivetrain, Code RSC brakes, a RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, RockShox Super Deluxe Select Ultimate shock, and Santa Cruz's Reserve carbon wheels.
The Maverick uses the same VPP design as the Strega and Roubion.
The Maverick's carbon frame with its lower-link mounted shock VPP design looks similar to the Roubion, but has bigger wheels and 10mm less travel front and rear. It's available in both the high-grade carbon frame known as the “CC” and the regular "C" carbon.
Coil shocks are not compatible with the frame, and neither are the Fox Float X2 or Cane Creek DB Air. Juliana recommends the RockShox Super Deluxe, Deluxe, Fox DPX2, or Fox Float DPS.
Other frame details include a shuttle guard, a downtube protector, a fender that keeps mud away from the shock, a ribbed chainstay protector, room to mount a water bottle on the top of the downtube on all sizes, a threaded bottom bracket, and ISCG-05 tabs for mounting a chain guard. You can run up to a 36t chainring on the Maverick. Geometry
You can ride the Maverick in one of two geometry settings, High or Low. There's a flip chip on the link where the shock mounts that allows you to switch between the two settings. Juliana recommends starting in the Low setting, which gives the bike a 65.2° head tube angle, and then if you find yourself hitting your pedals, moving to the High position.
Juliana's geometry chart for the Maverick is based off of a 150mm fork with a 44mm offset. They don't recommend riding the bike with less travel than 150mm as the bottom bracket will get a bit low, but they have no problem with riders bumping up the travel to 160mm if that's your preference. In fact, the Juliana-SRAM Pro Team riders have all been riding their Mavericks with a 160mm fork.
The Maverick is compatible with 27.5 x 2.8" tires in addition to the 29 x 2.4" spec that comes on the bike. If you do decide to ride smaller wheels on this bike, Juliana recommends that you ride in the High BB setting with a 160mm fork to keep the BB height in the right range.
This is the first Juliana offered in a Large, but you'll notice there's no XS frame size for the Maverick. Juliana says that the longer travel in a 29” platform makes it hard to make that size. Product Manager Amy Nelson is 5'1" though and she looked comfortable riding a size small.
The Small size comes with a 125mm dropper, the Medium comes with a 150mm dropper and the Large comes with a 170mm dropper. That being said, I was able to throw a leg over the Medium that Juliana-SRAM Pro Team's Brittany Phelan was riding and found I could comfortably fit a 170mm RockShox Reverb Stealth with a 27" inseam.Suspension
The custom shock tune of the RockShox Super Deluxe was developed based on the leverage rate curve of the Juliana Maverick and the intended user of this bike. The DebonAir air spring has 1 volume spacer, a light check valve, and a light rebound compression tune.
• 1 volume spacer – corresponds to the progressiveness of bike’s leverage rate curve. If the rider is looking for a more linear feel they can remove this token. More progressive? Just add a token.
• Light check – provides less damping (for a “fluttery” or lively feeling) at slow shaft speeds (rider input, pedaling, light braking, moving the bike to change directions, etc.).
• Light rebound – provides the best range for a lighter air spring setup given the bike’s leverage rate curve.
• L1 compression – provides the best damping combination of support, comfort, and control that still allows the wheels to get out of the way upon impact.
I rode this bike for two days in Buena Vista, Colorado, at the Juliana launch event. The first day was spent on the aggressive cross-country "Downtown" trails, which were dry and dusty, with lots of smooth high-speed sections, flat corners and great names like "Bacon Bits" and "Broken Boyfriend."
The second day, we took a shuttle up to the Vitamin B trailhead, which sits at just under 10,000 feet and drops down to about 8,000 feet. The trail was a succession of chunky rock moves, short but steep rolls, and high-speed traverses littered with rocks. It was the kind of trail that felt awkward the first time we rode it, but then flowed really well the second time we went down it and knew all the places to huck, keep left and stay wide. With a good mix of technical and smooth climbing and high and low-speed descents, it was a great testing ground for the Maverick.
Squamish, BC, CanadaAge:
155 lbs Industry affiliations / sponsors:
None Instagram: @smooresmoore
Despite being way above sea level and never having quite enough air in my lungs, climbing was a pleasant experience on the Maverick. I rode the bike in the Low setting for the two days and had no issues with pedal strikes. The bike felt light underneath me and was easily maneuverable on the tight switchbacks and rocky climbs we encountered. The biggest difference I found between the Maverick and the Roubion was the ease at which I could roll over uphill obstacles and trail features. Initially, I kept pedaling too hard and building up too much momentum and flying over rocks I expected to only just make it up and over.
There was a bit more movement in the rear shock than I had anticipated when climbing on wide-open fire roads, but dialing in a couple clicks of compression provided the support I was looking for. I didn't notice the movement on singletrack and the bike had great traction. On the slower steep climbs, I found that if I just kept moving my legs, I could trust the bike was able to crawl up features I didn't think I had the energy or speed to make it up. Descending
Looking at the big wheels and 450mm reach numbers on paper, I didn't think that the Maverick would be as much fun to descend on as it was. Fast? Quite likely. Fun? Leave that to the smaller wheeled Roubion... At least that's what I thought would be the case. However, as soon as I pointed the bike downhill all of my preconceptions were proven wrong, and I found that the Maverick was at least as playful as the Roubion, if not more. It didn't take me any time to get used to riding the bigger wheels on the corners and I felt comfortable on the bike almost immediately. So familiar in fact, that I had to remind myself that that probably wasn't a good idea to really push into corners and pop off trail features and ramp it up to 100 on my first lap on the bike.
The Maverick is not a "hold on and pray" type bike, and allows you to carefully choose your lines. It won't have you wishing for more bike when you're tired at the end of a long day and have a long descent to get back home. The 140mm of travel on the Maverick hits a sweet spot, where I never felt like the rear wheel got in the way of my riding and instead I just benefited from the smoothness over chunder and plushness on square edges and sharp runouts.
My initial impressions are that the Maverick is well-suited to someone who wants a bike that's fast and efficient for long days in the saddle but won't have you wishing for something burlier on the descents. It's a bike that is capable, fun and equally well suited to racing enduro as it is to all-day excursions in the backcountry.