Furtado 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike
Enduro bikes may be all the rage these days, and we get it. Buzz words are pretty catchy, but when we think about the bulk of the riding we do on any given day, trail is where our heart truly lies. We pedal hard, we earn our descents, and we love the flexibility that trail bikes offer, with the ability to soar over ribbons of smooth singletrack, or thread the needle through techy rock gardens. And so we need a bike that's as flexible as we are, like the Juliana Furtado 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike. The Furtado marks one of our favorite go-to, all-around bikes that's lively and playful on the trail, ripping lines with confidence on the descents thanks to its slack head tube, while snappy short chainstays make pedaling back up to the top a breeze. Last year we saw a frame redesign, which is carried through on this generation, but with a spiffy new paint job that stands out against the trail. The new redesign shifted the shock position, and followed the trend of longer-slacker, while still keeping a steep seat tube for a perfect perch when it's time to pedal. It offers 130mm, or just over 5-inches, of VPP suspension to soak up rough trails, and smooth out square-edge bumps along the way.
The Furtado retains the high degree of pedaling efficiency and bottom-out resistance of the previous version, but has a slightly revised suspension curve that is basically flat for the first 30% of the travel and progressive for the last 70% of the travel. This improves small bump sensitivity while making the mid-stroke more supportive compared to the falling rate of the previous version. The new upper and lower links improve frame stiffness, and while other DH-oriented frames in the Juliana line have moved to a lower-link mounted shock, the Furtado retains its upper link-mounted shock as to not lose the pedaling efficiency and bottom out resistance needed for the reduction in travel. The Fox Float Performance DPS shock is tuned by Juliana specifically for lighter, female riders, maximizing sensitivity and response without bobbing when you lay down the power.
The Furtado's headtube is now slacker than ever, relaxed to a 66.5-degree head tube angle in its high setting and a more DH-friendly 66.2-degree head tube angle in the lowest setting. The inclusion of the flip-chip allows for this subtle change giving you the ability to tune the bike's geometry for different terrain and riding styles. Looking to hit the lifts or shuttle and let gravity assist your day's riding? Go low. Planning on knocking out that 6-hour pedal fest deep into the woods you and your buddies have planned out for a bit? Go high, and you'll be treated with a bike that pedals well and doesn't flinch in the face of technical trail problems on steep, rowdy terrain.
As noted above, the flip-chip not only allows you to ride with a couple of geometry options, it also provides the clearance needed to run wider tires. Juliana outfits this particular Furtado with 2.3in tires on 25mm internal width rims, which offer the most precise handling, and is your best bet if you prioritize responsiveness and low rolling resistance. The rims on this build will easily support a 2.5in wide tire, but if you want to run something wider like a 2.6 or a 2.8, you'll want to change your rims.
The other geometry updates include its slightly longer reach that's grown by around 15 millimeters across sizes for a bit roomier feel in the cockpit, as well as increased stability at higher speeds. To keep efficient pedaling in check, the seat tube is a full degree steeper placing you in an optimal pedaling position while you're climbing those thousands of vertical feet where the fun begins or simply muscling up a short, punchy climb with rocks and roots standing in your way.
This build comes with a sturdy aluminum frame backed by Santa Cruz's renowned lifetime frame and pivot bearing warranty. The NX Eagle drivetrain has a seriously wide gear range capable of tackling steep terrain both up and down the mountain, with a 50t bailout gear for exceptionally tough climbs, all while delivering precise shifts for quick accelerations. When you have to keep that momentum in check, SRAM Guide T brakes do it well with plenty of stopping power and modulation. On rough terrain, Fox suspension does an exceptional job damping the trail with intuitive adjustments to dial in the settings for your weight and riding style. Lastly, proven Maxxis rubber keeps the bike glued to the ground on everything from fast hardpack straightaways to super loose silty corners, and comes set up tubeless for self-sealing peace of mind out on the trail.
- Race through XC ribbons, or conquer rock gardens on the ultimate trail bike
- Redesigned frame with new upper and lower links adds stiffness
- 130mm of smooth yet efficient VPP suspension travel
- Longer, slacker geometry for better composure at speed
- Steeper seat tube angle keeps things pedal-friendly on the climbs
- Low BB height and short chainstays let this bike rail corners
- Flip-chip switches between 66.5° and 66.2° head tube angles
- Fox suspension and NX Eagle drivetrain are packed with value