Joplin 2.1 Carbon CC Perf Elite Mountain Bike Frame
Tiptoeing the line between cross-country efficiency and trail composure, Juliana's Joplin 2.1 Carbon CC Perf Elite Mountain Bike Frame effortlessly transitions from the blistering pace of XC races to rowdy trail rides littered with volcanic outcroppings, banked turns through the trees, and elevated bridge crossings. Although many would call the Joplin 2.1 a fast-rolling XC machine in 29er form, it defies categorization with its flip-chip linkage switching between 29 and 27.5+ wheels, all without significantly altering geometry or messing with suspension kinematics. The flip-chip is key to the Joplin 2.1's dual personality, easily transitioning from the momentum-carrying benefits of a 29er to the massive traction and rock-plowing ability of 27.5+ wheels.
This top-shelf version of the Joplin 2.1 receives Juliana's Carbon CC frame for weight savings in the neighborhood of 280 grams, versus the lower-priced Carbon C frame. This is a significant weight saving that's likely to appeal to the competitive cross-country racer or discerning trail rider looking to shave every possible ounce from their ride. And even though it's lighter than Juliana's lower-priced Carbon C frame, you'll be pleased to note it's every bit as strong and stiff, so you won't sacrifice anything in terms structural integrity or ride characteristics.
Borrowing 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 (29er/27.5+). The combination of shorter travel out back with extra plushness out front makes it pedal with resounding efficiency, but with greater margin for error when you're dropping into rocky descents. Where the Joplin differs from the Tallboy lies within its female-specific shock tune, which is targeted towards the lighter bodies of female riders. By tuning the FOX Float Performance Elite DPS shock for lighter female riders, you'll find it's more sensitive tracking over roots and rocks.
The VPP suspension gets 10-millimeters of extra travel over the first generation Joplin, aligning the newest version 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-smoothing compliance from the suspension. Juliana engineered it to be more sensitive off-the-top, meaning you'll gain better traction when you're pedaling over bumpy sections of small rocks and roots. The shock's ramp-up arc remains more consistent until the end-stroke, at which point it becomes progressive to resist bottom-outs on bigger hits and steep descents. 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 with its flip-chip, 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 sizes for confident descending. Other notable geometry notes, both wheel sizes benefit from 17-inch chainstays for snappy turns around tight corners, as well as a 13-inch bottom bracket for glued-to-the-ground stability at higher speeds.
- A short travel rig the has trail chops and XC speed
- Carbon CC frame saves 280 grams from the Carbon C frame
- Flip-chip offers the ability to switch 29in for 27.5+ wheels
- 110mm of efficient VPP travel with a progressive feel
- FOX Float Performance Elite DPS shock tuned for lighter female riders
- Boost spacing increases wheel stiffness and tire clearance
- Removable mount for side-swing front derailleurs
- Threaded bottom bracket eliminates creaking