a Weekend Warrior
from Doylestown, PA
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2003
Strengths: Light, simple suspension design, woman-specific design, great standover.
Weaknesses: Availability! Had to call all over the place to find one in stock... option was waiting 6-8 weeks.
This is my wife's bike. She had been riding her Jamis Dakar for a while, and although it was a good bike, she wasn't completely happy with it. She has used many woman-specific sports products, and she says every one of them works better than non-woman-specific designs, so she had been thinking about the Juliana ever since she heard about it. We decided to give it a try, and managed to find one in her size (small). I built it up with the components from her Jamis, and we took it out, wondering and hoping if she was going to notice a difference.
Five minutes into her first ride on the new bike, her words were (direct quote) "night and day". She is far more comfortable on the Juliana, and is also more confident. Her riding has improved, and her speed has gone up. Yesterday we rode a particularly twisty trail and she couldn't believe the difference all over again after owning the bike for a month or two. She was so confident on the bike, I could not drop her in the twisty sections.
She was so impressed with the bike that I wound up buying a Superlight for myself, and her sister and her husband are considering getting Superlights. With such a simple frame design, great build quality, and a good fit like this, any woman who is serious about off-road cycling should seriously consider the Juliana. It's just too bad that Wylder (Juliana Furtado's company) has gone away, so you can't get the downsized bars and grips. I got by by shaving down a set of LockOn grips for her.
Similar Products Used: ~99 Jamis Dakar full suspenion, Specialized Stumpjumper hardtail
Bike Setup: LX/XT/XTR mix with 2000 SID XC fork
a Weekend Warrior
from Medway, MA USA
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2003
Strengths: Frame size, grips, suspension. I am 5'2" with long legs and a short torso. I was using a friend's bike with only front suspension and after the last season, I decided it was time to get a bike that better fit me, so I thought I would go all the way! May-October I ride at 5 times/week and am an advanced rider and the terrain is usually full of rocks, roots, etc.
Weaknesses: Not so much as a product issue but a Santa Cruz weakness. When I ordered the frame, I was told 2 weeks lead time. After two weeks, I was told it would be another week. Again on f/u, they said it shipped when it hadn't. Bottom line: it took two months to get the frame at which point it was Winter and I could not ride it until last month! I wish they would have just been honest about the lead time, I would have still purchased it but I have no faith in their customer support.
I demo'd quite a few bikes this was the one that I "had" to have. It was way above my budget but so far it has been worth every penny!!! I really look forward to improving my performance with this bike.
Similar Products Used: Trek90WSD, Trek8000, Specialized Stumpjumper, Santa Cruz Superlight
Bike Setup: Medium frame with Fox Float R shock, CK headset, Bontrager race stem, Marzocchi X-Fly 100 shock, Juliana bars/grips, XT Shifters, LX front deraileur, XT rear deraileur, XT/170mm crankset w/rock ring, XT/11-34 compact cassette, XT bottom bracket, Mavix Ceramic rims, XT hubs, Avid Arch Rival brake calipers, SD7 brake levers, Thompson seat post, bontrager saddle, wellgo pedals, continental, mutanoraptor rac and velociraptor tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lakebay, WA
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2003
Strengths: Perfect size for a petite woman like myself. Light for FS.
Weaknesses: My not be so much a product weakness versus my poor pedal placement. BB is low and I hit the pedals on roots, rocks, etc. often. Being short, I may try 165mm length cranks next time. (Though 5mm isn't much.)
Wicked fun bike. Carves and is fast. Can take anything you throw at it.