Blurring the boundaries.
Not content to be a one-trick pony, the Juliana Joplin 2.1 AL Mountain Bike Frame seamlessly transitions from grueling cross-country races to trail rides where sweeping berms, rock rolls, and elevated bridges pose a challenge to your skills. Although it could be categorized as a fast-rolling XC machine in 29er form, the Joplin 2.0 doesn't like to be pigeonholed, defying its short-travel genre with progressive trail geometry, plus the ability to switch between 29-inch and 27.5+ wheels with its flip-chip linkage. This particular frame has aluminum construction for reliable strength without the higher price of its carbon brethren.
Taking design cues from Santa Cruz's iconic Tallboy, the Joplin 2.1 blurs the line between razor-sharp XC scalpel and spirited trail bike with its 110-millimeters of VPP suspension paired with Juliana's recommendation for running either a 120 or 130-millimeter fork (for 29ers or 27.5+). This combination of shorter travel out back with extra plushness out front makes it pedal with resounding efficiency, but with a bit more margin for error when you're dropping into rocky descents and sending side-hits along the trail. Where the Joplin differs from the Tallboy lies within its female-specific shock tune. By tuning the Fox Float Performance DPS shock for lighter riders, it feels more active tracking over speed-sapping rocks and roots.
The VPP suspension gets 10-millimeters of extra travel over the previous Joplin 1.0, aligning the newest Joplin with the current crop of do-it-all trail rigs with approximately 4.5-inches of travel. Not only is the travel a bit more substantial at 4.5 inches/110 millimeters, but the revised VPP platform makes it perform better, so you can squeeze every last drop of bump-compliance out of the suspension. Juliana engineered it to be more supple off-the-top, meaning you'll gain better traction when you're riding over bumpy rock and root sections. The shock's ramp-up arc remains more consistent until the end for a smooth, consistent feel, at which point it becomes progressive to resist bottom-outs on bigger hits and large rocks. This shock progression is especially important, as it allows you to use a 110-millimeter travel bike on bigger terrain where you'd normally blow through all your travel.
One of the Joplin's best features lies in the ability to switch between high and low geometry settings, and in doing so, change the fast-rolling 29-inch wheels for the voluminous traction of 27.5+ wheels. The flip-chip rotates along the upper link, allowing the shock mount to migrate between high (29er) and low (27.5+) settings, but without a drastic change in the bike's geometry. In fact, Juliana preserved the 68-degree head tube angle between both wheel sizes for confident descending when the trail turns steep and rocky, as well as keeping the short 17-inch chainstays and low-slung bottom bracket of 13 inches for nimble turning and stable handling.
- Blurring the line between trail chops and XC speed
- Aluminum frame for reliable performance at affordable price
- Flip-chip offers ability to switch 29in for 27.5+ wheels
- 110mm of efficient VPP travel with a progressive feel
- Fox Float Performance DPS with a female-specific tune
- Boost rear axle spacing increases wheel stiffness
- Removable front derailleur mount for 2x drivetrains
- Threaded bottom bracket remains creak-free