Jill of all trades.
It's no secret the Furtado is the most popular bike in Juliana's line, seeing its versatility lends itself to everyone from first timers just learning the ropes of mountain biking to seasoned trail riders sampling everything from backwoods singletrack to slickrock mesas. That's why we're a bit surprised to see it get a major redesign for the 2019 model year, seeing just how darn capable the bike already was. That being said, the clever engineers at Juliana have shown their deep expertise and foresight in the mountain bike world by consistently delivering better and better female-specific bikes, year after year. The newest Furtado is no different, seeing it represents the one bike that pleases anyone lucky enough to throw a leg over its top tube and pedal it down the trail.
For 2019, the third generation of Furtado is longer and slacker for better composure at high speeds—all without compromising its sharp handling characteristics that make it carve up tight trails with near-telepathic precision, seeing it retains a low bottom bracket just over 13 inches. New for this generation is the addition of a flip-chip, which gives you the ability to fine-tune its geometry to your particular riding style and local terrain at hand, as well as Juliana's "new" 2.6-inch plus-sized tires for bump-smoothing plushness without excessive weight.
In the high setting you'll find the geometry has slackened a touch, from the previous bike's 67-degree head tube angle down to 66.5 degrees. If you desire an even slacker geometry for steep descents with intimidating rocks and roots posing a threat, you can slacken it even further down to 66.2 degrees. These slacker figures make it all the more capable on terrain that used to be a bit overwhelming for the Furtado, allowing this trail bike to drop into terrain where you'd normally want an all-mountain bike. Besides being slacker, the Furtado has a 15 millimeter longer reach for a better overall fit on a trail bike of this pedigree. And to compensate for the slacker, longer geometry, the seat tube angle is steeper by one full degree for an optimal pedaling position where you can really lay down power on long climbs.
Juliana now offers the Furtado in their "new" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires, which deliver all the traction and bump-smoothing benefits of traditional 2.8-inch plus tires, but without being overly vague in handling, prone to burping while cornering hard, and way too heavy for pedaling long distances on the trail. This higher volume 2.6-inch tire size really gives you the confidence to monster truck your way across the rockiest stretches of trail without worrying about the tire squirming while cornering and braking hard, which is something that's posed a problem for larger 2.8 and 3.0-inch tires in the past.
As you'd expect from a Juliana, the Furtado retains the high degree of bump compliance, pedaling efficiency, and bottom-out resistance of its VPP suspension platform. While others in the Juliana line have moved to a lower-link mounted shock, the Furtado retains its upper link-style VPP platform, seeing it's not as gravity-oriented as the Roubion or Strega. This particular Carbon CC 27.5+ XO1 Eagle build benefits greatly from a FOX Float DPX2 Performance Elite Shock, which gives you a more supple feel with heightened traction while pedaling over bumpy sections of trail.
The carbon CC frame found on this particular build represents the top-of-the-line carbon construction, saving anywhere from 250 to 280 grams (we don't have definitive figures on hand) on many of their popular bike models, but without sacrificing anything in terms of structural stiffness or strength. It's even backed by an outstanding lifetime warranty, so you'll have extra peace of mind while pummeling across rough terrain on the trail.
One thing that hasn't changed for 2019 is Juliana's commitment to delivering an optimal fit and riding feel for female riders with a lighter shock tune that's developed exclusively for females, seeing they're on average 30 pounds lighter. There's an extra-small available for even the shortest of females, meaning you'll finally have a bike that's custom tailored to your shorter stature without having to ride a larger bike and make major compromises. What they haven't done is water down their dialed geometry with a swooping top tube, higher front end, and shorter reach like much of the competition, which only leads to major compromises in ride quality and handling when you're actually riding hard and fast on the trail.
- Juliana's flagship trail bike is more versatile than ever
- Slacker, longer geometry increases confidence at high speeds
- Retains low bottom bracket and short chainstays for agility
- Flip-chip switches between 66.5° and 66.1° head tube angles
- "New" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires for plow-anything ability
- 5in of VPP travel balances efficiency with bottom-out resistance
- Carbon CC frame saves weight without sacrificing stiffness
- Shock tuned specifically for needs of lighter female riders