Joplin Carbon CC X01 Eagle Reserve Mountain Bike
Not a one-hit wonder, the Juliana Joplin takes on hits way bigger than we'd ever throw at the first several generations of wagon-wheel bikes. That's because, like the queen of rock for which it's named, the Joplin effectively revolutionized its genre. It proved that 29ers aren't limited to cross country riding on smooth ribbons of serene hardpack. The current model is even more aggressive, charging into terrain with progressive trail bike geometry and the increased efficiency and tracking of Juliana's lower-link VPP suspension. Discerning riders will appreciate this XO1 Eagle Reserve build kit that truly needs no upgrades. Standout features include Juliana's top-grade Carbon CC frame that shaves 1/2lb of weight over the Carbon C model without sacrificing an ounce of strength, as well as Santa Cruz Reserve carbon rims for more responsive handling on the trail.
Following the trends of its deeper-travel siblings, the current Joplin moves to a lower-link VPP suspension platform that offers improved traction and support in the roughest terrain, while an extra 10mm of travel helps soak up additional rocks and roots that the previous Joplin would have shied away from. This makes the new ride more confident than ever, ready for bigger trails, rutted-out lines, brakes bumps galore, and even turning the odd set of rollers into doubles — but not at the cost of climbing. The new suspension is designed with the same engineering principles as the brand's longest travel bikes, making it just as at home riding cross-country as it is extreme backcountry. Juliana's VPP suspension is designed to stabilize the suspension when you're putting power down on the pedals, meaning the rear end ceases to bob, providing a much more responsive and lively feel when you hammer up steeps, so you aren't wasting all of the power you put down. This is achieved with counter-rotating links that are carefully arranged to resist activation by pedaling forces, all but eliminating bobbing under power.
But suspension is hardly where Juliana stopped on upgrades with the new Joplin. The current generation has entirely different geometry figures, but continues to use the flip-chip we saw in previous years for adaptable geometry that can be tuned to your own personal riding needs. In the front things start out with a much slacker head tube angle that shifted from the 68-degrees in years past to the slacked-out 65.5-degrees it is today (with the flip-chip in Low). This slack head tube elevates the confidence of the Joplin when you point it downhill, providing improved handling in rough and jarring terrain, and boosting control at high speeds. With the head tube's shift into the slacker realm, balance needed to be achieved to maintain the bike's reputation for lively pedaling and handling, so the engineers at Juliana opted to move the seat tube angle up a few degrees to a steep perch of 76.3 degrees — a full three degrees steeper than the previous model, allowing you to stay on top of the bike when pedal power matters, and keeping the cockpit compact enough for comfort when handling the bike in rowdy terrain.
In previous years the flip-chip on the Joplin seemed to beckon for loftier 27.5+ hoops, but this year it serves a purpose tuned more acutely to riding style preferences. The flip-chip not only tweaks head tube and seat tube geometry, but it also offers a full 10mm of adjustability to the stubby-short 430mm chainstays, which allows riders of all sizes and riding styles to make the necessary tweaks to feel right at home. This combines with a low bottom bracket for a combination that's built to thread the needle, rail berms, and launch out the other side with power and confidence.
Juliana's Carbon CC frame construction remains unchanged and for this top-tier CC frame designation, the engineers use a higher modulus carbon versus the standard Carbon C model, so less material is required to hit the same strength and stiffness numbers. Less material equates to less weight, and well, we'll always take a lighter bike for any occasion. Climbing and just motoring along the flats is easier with less mass to haul around, and a stiffer chassis is more efficient at getting the power to the rear wheel and requires less body English while negotiating technical trails.Final details include a threaded bottom bracket that's what we've come to expect from the California-based brand, and it's a strong selling point for those who don't like dealing with the tricky tolerances and creaky interfaces of press-fit models.
- Juliana's short-travel shredder blends efficiency with capability
- Lower-link suspension for elevated traction and support
- Slacker geometry offers greater control on fast descents
- Steep seat tube angle ensures comfortable and efficient pedaling
- Flip-chip allows you to tweak geometry and chainstay length
- Longer reach for increased all-around confidence
- Carbon CC frame for superior ride quality and lightweight strength
- Reserve Carbon wheels for precise cornering and handling