Furtado Carbon 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike
If you're on a hunt for a one-trick pony for enduro or cross country riding, we suggest turning away. The Juliana Furtado Complete 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike doesn't like to be limited. It's more of a warm-blooded mare, packed with athletic abilities, sensible demeanor, and plenty of get-up-and-go. The Furtado has long be hailed as one of the most versatile steeds in the Juliana lineup, and this one is no different. It maintains the geometry we saw last year, with a lively feel for bucking off of rollers without putting a hitch in your giddy-up, and plenty of confidence for steep and rowdy descents, thanks to its slacker head tube that makes light work of steep, chunky rock gardens. If you're looking at the numbers between this year and last year's Furtado you might be wondering what the difference is. The answer is: there isn't one, she just got a sleek new paint job to ring in the new year. The bike maintains the same 2.3in tire width that provides traction without the added rolling resistance and slow rebound of a larger tire, and the frame maintains the same ride quality that's been long coveted.
The little sister to Juliana's enduro-bred Roubion, the Furtado emphasizes surgical precision, especially on tighter trails where trees and rocks pose clearance issues. That being said, this bike doesn't sacrifice much in the way of descending composure versus the Roubion, thanks to a reinvigorated geometry that's longer, slacker, and low-slung. The 67-degree head tube angle keeps you confident and composed when you're dropping into steep descents littered with rocks and sudden drops. Plus, it retains one of the lowest bottom brackets in Juliana's line at a mere 13.1 inches, keeping you glued to the trail when you're charging at high speeds and railing around corners. Another notable geometry number, the 16.7-inch chainstays are shorter than your average trail bike, making it quick to change direction around corners.
It's loaded with 130-millimeters of travel (just a tick over five inches) of VPP suspension, which balances responsive pedaling with bump-smoothing compliance over rock gardens and forest roots. Surprisingly, the engineers at Juliana made this 130-millimeters of VPP travel feel a bit deeper than the numbers suggest, making it suitable for conquering all but the most technical of trails. And because Juliana gives it a custom shock tune for lighter female riders, you'll find its more sensitive and responsive than a shock designed for heavier male riders.
This particular version of Juliana's VPP suspension recently underwent a subtle redesign in the top suspension linkage, now attaching it to the top tube for greater stiffness and extra stand-over clearance for shorter riders. The lower linkage is neatly tucked above the bottom bracket, protecting it from flinging rocks and trail debris. As always with VPP, you'll find it strikes a nice balance between pedaling efficiency on the climb and rock-smoothing plushness on the descent, making it complementary to the Furtado's balanced geometry.
Juliana's Carbon C frame makes the Furtado impressively stiff, meaning rider energy is better directed into forward motion with every turn of the cranks. This particular R build kit comes with a Fox Rhythm 34 130 fork, which provides stiff tracking and precise handling with its 34-millimeter stanchions and 130-millimeters of plush travel. It's finished off with the SRAM Eagle NX drivetrain, which gives you the Eagle 50-tooth climbing gear and a wide usable range without having to deal with a front derailleur. Given the 11-tooth top end cog, it's not the fastest possible drivetrain, but your speed on the trail is determined by how you ride it, and while you love getting a new PR, you're really here for the experience.
- A lively trail steed capable of galloping up climbs, charging rock gardens
- Slacker and longer geometry helps inspire confidence
- 16.7-inch chainstays create nimble handling in tight terrain
- 130-millimeters of smooth, responsive VPP suspension
- Boost axle spacing for a reliably stiff wheel build
- Carbon C frame for exceptional strength and stiffness
- Fox Rhythm 34 fork offers a stiff chassis
- NX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain with massive range of usable gears