Aptly named after the Italian word for witch, the Juliana Strega Carbon R Complete Mountain Bike is a magical ride that flies down mountains without hesitation, and seems to be conjured from a cauldron mixed with rock gardens, rooty tree lines, gravity, carbon fiber, and maybe even an engineer's finger or toe for good measure. The Strega is not designed for just any woman who reaches for a mountain bike, it casts its spell on women who want to ride like a bat out of hell through the roughest terrain. The unwavering stability necessary for this kind of riding is achieved through an incredibly slack head tube angle, which is adjustable with the flip of a flip-chip on the linkage, so you can customize the ride from the High, enduro and gravity hungry 65-degree head tube angle, to the downhill centric 64.5 degrees, which drops the bottom bracket and elongates the wheelbase.
We all hear about long and low geometry in mountain bikes so often that we might think someone may have hexed us, but the Strega is so slacked out it's impossible not to comment on the length of the wheelbase. With just over a 47in wheelbase in size Medium (low geometry setting), the Strega is incredibly long and stable, and the slackest women's specific bike currently on the market. When the long wheelbase is paired with short chainstays for a responsive rear end, and a seat tube angle that's even steeper than the Roubion at 74.5-degrees, you've got a long-travel bike that is still happy to be pedaled up steep climbs, so you're not cursed to a life of nothing but shuttles and lift access riding.
The Strega's VPP suspension design takes some cues from the Santa Cruz V10 with it's lower link location, but dives into territory that hasn't been on the market before, and it's done in such an aesthetically pleasing way that we'll go out and say damn sexy. Nestled in the lower-link is the RockShox Super Deluxe RCT shock, with 170mm of suspension, centered within a tunnel of meticulously laid-up carbon fiber that arcs around it as if to worship it, capped with a fender in the back to shield it from mud and stray rubble.
The location of the shock at the lower link translates to a more linear shock rate with a quick responding and consistent ride that wants to track its way through rubble and roots. This shock placement marks an extreme departure from the suspensions of the Roubion, Furtado, and Joplin. The Super Deluxe R air shock was redesigned with increased bushing overlap for a smoother stroke to send it over chunder, and metric sizing to future-proof it, should you want to upgrade the rear suspension later down the road. The shock also received a women's specific shock tune for the Strega, since we tend to weigh an average of 30lbs less than the guys on the trails.
SRAM's NX drivetrain tags along with the Strega Carbon C frame, with a versatile cassette that can stand quite a bit of abuse, and a gear ratio that so large you can move from a 10-tooth small ring for laying down maximum power, all the way out to 42-tooth cog for working your way up precarious climbs. A 170mm RockShox Yari RC fork sits beneath the head tube, with 35mm stanchions that are stiff enough to track through the gnarliest trails. And, since all good things come in threes, the fork is capped with a 35mm Race Face stem and 35mm bar, for ultimate stiffness and control.
The Strega Carbon C uses Juliana's second-tier carbon, which hosts similar construction to their higher grade CC carbon, but uses a different grade carbon material that adds a mere 250-280g to the frame, and saves on money. The carbon is constructed using the same one-piece carbon layup technique as their CC level, with unidirectional carbon piles that wrap between tubes so that the frame can absorb impact more effectively, and a compressive bladder for applying outward pressure against the mold while carbon is curing to reduce resin pooling. The result is a bike that lures us in with its spellbinding aesthetics and captures our souls with the drive to fly down every mountain in site on a bike so light that we may confuse it for a magic broomstick.
- All-mountain magic abounds in this versatile DH-style bike
- 170mm of VPP suspension for smooth riding on rowdy terrain
- Women's specific shock tune for more responsiveness and comfort
- 75-degree seat tube angle for improved pedaling efficiency
- Durable double-sealed pivots and nearly bombproof frame
- Internal routing for clean appearance and easy maintenance
- Juliana women's specific grips and saddle