Isla Short is the current reigning UK XC and XC Marathon National Champion and World Cup Privateer. Isla has put together her own program for 2022 with long term sponsors including Hunt wheels on board along with Endura and Juliana. This bike has been built from the ground up to be a World Cup race bike. Isla's setup is unique: because of her height and products available from sponsors, she has ended up with some pretty weird things.
That being said Isla's Juliana Wilder is one hell of a good-looking bike and I guess that's no surprise, as that is something that Juliana put a lot of time into. But don't let that fool you, this is a serious race bike that has the tech to back up its good looks and allow Isla to compete at the highest level of XC racing. It's no heavyweight either, with the build weighing in at 10.2kg with pedals, although the bike being a small might help with that a little.
The Juliana Wilder is a unique mix of XC race bike and trail bike. The head tube angle is 67.1 degrees and reach on Isla's small frame 412.3mm. It's interesting to see that the head angle is a touch steeper and and the reach a little shorter than its Joplin big sister, keeping the build aggressive enough to meet the demands of cross country racing. However, the Wilder’s seat tube angle is a touch slacker and the chainstays are a little longer than on the Joplin to make sure the bike is plenty stable on descents. The Wilder also has custom chainstay lengths for each size, which helps maintain the geometry throughout the whole size range.
Isla has a few differences between her race and training bikes. Her training bike is wrapped in Invisiframe to try to maintain resale value. After all, Isla is a privateer and these things really matter when you are running your own program on a tight budget. However, she wanted to keep the race bike as light as possible so on that bike, she keeps the frame bare.
Out front on Isla's Wilder is a set of Fox 32 Factory step cast forks running 120mm of travel with Fox's signature Kashima coating on the stanchions. Isla isn't the biggest of people so it's no surprise to hear there are no tokens in the fork and it's only running 60psi. Isla changed to the Fox 32 step-cast from the standard 34 that the Wilder is fitted with from Juliana because after testing both, Isla felt she couldn't get the front end low enough using the 34 to suit her preferences.
On the right side of Isla's handlebars is the remote lockout for both her Fox 32 and her Fox Float Factory DPS. This isn't the normal position, but it works for Isla and with 100mm KS Lev dropper seat-post taking up the left-hand side, it's really the only sensible place it could go. It also allows Isla to unlock the suspension and drop the post at the same time. Isla's dropper has had its travel increased in length from 66mm to 100mm. She said "I don't really like long droppers for XC (although definitely likes riding a dropper) but I've increased the length on the one fitted for this bike due to the steep seat angle on the Wilder - it rides way better with 100mm."
Hunt Wheels has been a sponsor of Isla's for a while and the wheels are one of the areas where Isla's race and training bikes are different, with her training bike running Hunt's XC Race Wides. On her race bike she has a brand new set of their prototype wheels. She couldn't give me a lot of detail on them, but they look like they were almost at a production stage and they are super light.
When it comes to tyres, Isla has gone for a set of Schwalbes, with a Racing Ralph up front and a Thunder Burt behind. These are both tan walls, because why not! They are set up tubeless with 16psi in the front and 17psi in the rear.
It's a total Shimano XTR brake set up for Isla, with organic pads fitted and 160mm discs fitted front and rear
Thanks to Isla for her time and help putting this together.