Just the right balance.
For a majority of dedicated trail riders, mid-travel bikes hit the sweet spot between terrain-smoothing plushness and quick-turning agility, making them superior for hitting the dirt in search of punchy climbs, swooping berms, and flowing descents. Filling the role of spirited trail bike, the Juliana Furtado 2.1 Carbon R Complete Mountain Bike emphasizes quick-handling playfulness over brute force and bottomless travel, meaning it's better equipped for the needs of real world riders seeking a well-balanced bike that's both intuitive and fun to ride.
Representing the smaller sibling to Juliana's enduro-bred Roubion, the second-gen Furtado emphasizes surgical precision on trail networks where uphill switchbacks, technical rock gardens, and narrow openings between trees pose a challenge to your handling skills. That being said, the Furtado doesn't sacrifice much in the way of descending composure from the longer travel Roubion, thanks to a reinvigorated geometry that's longer, slacker, and low-slung.
The 67-degree head tube angle keeps you confident when you're opening it up at higher speeds and dropping into steep descents littered with boulders and roots. Sitting at only 13.1 inches, the exceptionally low bottom bracket keeps you glued to the trail when you're roosting around corners and sweeping berms. Furthermore, the Roubion has ridiculously short chainstays of only 16.7 inches, meaning it's quick to change direction when you're diving into tight corners.
It's packing 130-millimeters (just a tick over five inches) of VPP suspension, which balances responsive pedaling with bump-smoothing sensitivity over rock gardens and forest roots. Because it's a firm pedaling platform, the VPP suspension works nicely with the Furtado's balanced trail manners, meaning it's always eager to pedal without losing momentum to unwanted bobbing motion. Moreover, the engineers at Juliana made the Furtado's 130 millimeters of travel feel a bit deeper than the numbers suggest, meaning it's capable of handling all but the most technical of terrain. And to ensure it's properly tuned, Juliana employs a custom shock tune that makes it more sensitive for lighter female riders.
This particular version of Juliana's VPP suspension recently underwent a redesign in linkage location, with the top linkage not attaching to the top tube and the bottom linkage neatly tucked above the bottom bracket. The overhaul makes the bike's upper linkage all the more stiff, as well as increasing stand-over height for shorter riders and protecting the bottom linkage from damaging rock debris. Changes in suspension lay-out transfer to its performance, meaning it's more sensitive off-the-top when you're riding over small bumps, as well as being more supportive through the mid-stroke for a more consistent feel over trail imperfections. As you've come to expect with VPP, the suspension ramps up hard at the end to prevent you from harshly bottoming out.
Delving into the particulars of this build, you'll enjoy the SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain for its wide range of usable gears without dealing with a pesky front derailleur. On the front end, the Fox 34 Rhythm does an admirable job of handling the rough stuff with its stiff 34-millimeter stanchions paired with 130-millimeters of smooth travel. Other notable features include a 125-millimeter Race Face Aeffect dropper post for on-the-fly changes in saddle height, as well as women's-specific touch points, such as the Juliana saddle and grips.
- Injects playfulness into every trail ride
- Carbon C frame lends exceptional strength and stiffness
- Refined geometry is slacker, longer to inspire confidence
- 130-millimeters of smooth and responsive VPP suspension
- Women's-specific shock tune for a more sensitive ride
- Boost axle spacing creates stiffer wheels for precise tracking
- Fox 34 Rhythm fork handles rough stuff with 34mm stanchions
- SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain offers wide range of usable gears