Santa Cruz Superlight XC Full Suspension

4.71/5 (145 Reviews)
MSRP : $1799.00

Product Description

Designed specifically for the ladies, the Juliana is a wicked fast, full suspension bike sporting custom-butted aluminum tubing, 100mm (4 inches) of rear travel and a tuned suspension that allows it accelerate, climb, corner and descend like no other.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (145 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Utomo a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2013

Strengths:    Very reliable, With the right components, very light. I have ride this Superlight since Nov 2010, and the only upgrade I did was to upgrade the Crankset and shorten the stem.. Very good for long distance cross country riding. The rear shock Fox RP23 is very good, very smooth and reliable. The fork Fox 100mm is also very good.. Every bumps is smoothed. Basically, riding this superlight has made me a better and more confident cyclist.

Weaknesses:    No weakness, as long as you use this Superlight for XC and mild jumps..

Bottom Line:   
I use this Superlight for Wet and Dry condition. Very reliable bike for long distance cross country riding.. Yes, there are more expensive bikes for the same purpose, but if your tool is already up to expectation, then why bother? I am a MTBer and also Road Racer, depending on the Weather season and my mood for the ride.. I have cycle for more than 1,500 Km using this Superlight, and the bike itself (frame and shock) and the components are very reliable.. Thumbs up Santa Cruz !!
If you are looking for more expensive ride that yields the same level of performance, you can ride other brands, but if what you are looking for is a bike that can eat miles without any complain, then choose Santa Cruz...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Formula trail, JPG Serpong

Duration Product Used:   Since end of 2010

Purchased At:   Formula Bike - Ciput

Similar Products Used:   BMC, Pivot, KHS.. Still the Santa Cruz is the cheapest and fulfilling alternative.

Bike Setup:   Superlight frame with Fox 100mm, rear shock FoxRP23, Tyre Rim Stan ZTR, Tyres Panaracer 2.35 (front) and 2.25 (rear). Carbon handlebar with short Funn stem. SRAM 9 shifter and derailleur.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by HSracer

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2013

Strengths:    Light

Weaknesses:    VPP suspension is far better

Bottom Line:   
This bike does it all. One weekend I raced XC with this bike, and the next I was bombing down Twilight Zone at Mammoth Mountain. While it does have its flaws like weight and stiffness (compared to carbon bikes) I couldn't recommend this bike any more. It is so much fun and does exactly what you tell it to. If you are looking for a light XC bike that you can trail ride with, you get the most bang for your buck with this bike.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nikolai a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2013

Strengths:    Fast, smooth, easy to maintain, rock solid components, rides incredibly well with 120mm fork, great fun, simple

Weaknesses:    none really. Could use 120mm fork and mine came with Avid juicy 3 brakes that needed to be replaced with some better ones.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is fantastic. I have put some better parts on it, namely a 120mm Rock Shox Reba RLT fork and Shimano SLX brakes. I couldn't ask for a better bike. It climbs incredibly well even with the simple Fox Float R rear suspension. Almost no pedal bob. I have ridden the bike everywhere- from fast XC single track to fire roads to steep, rocky mountain trails. It handles it all extremely well. The 120mm fork made a huge difference on rocky and fast downhill sections. I have even take the bike off some decent sized jumps and haven't had any damage to the bike. Its a great all rounder and I recommend it to everyone! If you want to primarily use it for AM/Downhill I would recommend a Santa Cruz Heckler.

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Favorite Trail:   Dupont State Forest- Brevard, NC

Duration Product Used:   3 years

Similar Products Used:   Previous Bikes: Trek 4300, Specialized Rockhopper

Bike Setup:   120mm Rock Shox RLT fork, Shimano SLX Brakes, XT Rear Derailleur, LX front Derailleur, LX Shifters, Raceface cranks/seat post/stem, Mavic Crossride wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Randy Corsaro

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2012

Strengths:    Good value!

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
Great bike! Very happy with it.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Guillermo Galarza

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2012

Strengths:    Flow, pump, and climbing

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Just rode it today. Can't say enough positive. Came off of a Specialized Epic and really enjoyed that bike but it was almost ten years old and needed lots of upgrades. OMG found this 2011 model new at Sport Chalet for a great deal. It was the RXC package. XT derailers and good all around components. Wished I could afford a Tall Boy but just couldn't make that happen. This thing is better than my old bike in every way. Once I replaced the saddle this felt more comfortable. Had issues deciding on XL and Large frame but glad I went with the Large. This bike made my local trail feel like a new experience. Looking forward to many more rides and years on this one. Santa Cruz geometry is really amazing. All the hype is real. Great all around mountain bike. Now I really wonder how much better could the Tall Boy be over this bike, this bike is that good!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JKA a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2012

Strengths:    Weight (sub 28 lbs. with pedals), simplicity of suspension, smoothness of suspension, stiffness of frame. Components. Mine is a 2012 RCX with a Fox fork, SLX/XT shifter/drivetrain.

Weaknesses:    Bottom bracket is a bit lower than I'm used to (I'll adjust), water bottle mount on the top of the down tube is a little too low and close to the swing arm. It will hit some water bottle cages. You just have to find the right one that sits higher. I really had to think of anything to list as a's that good of a bike.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome bike. Great value for the dollar! Great for cross country type riding. Don't expect it to be a downhill or all mountain rig. I have been riding a Rocky Mountain element for the past few years as my cross country ride and my lower back always got sore about 1 to 1 1/2 hours into a ride. Not at all with this bike. I know that's just the fit of the bike, but this bike fits me perfect. I tried everything to get my RM to fit like this, but with no luck. I'm 6'0" and I have a size large frame. I love it and would buy another one in a heartbeat.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cottonwood Valley

Duration Product Used:   6 Weeks

Price Paid:    $1999.00

Purchased At:   Cambria Bike

Similar Products Used:   Kona King Kikapu, Rocky Mountain Element

Bike Setup:   Stock for now. Fox Float 120RL, SLX/XT drivetrain, Truvativ stem and bar, XT hubs, Cross Mark tires,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chuck Nanopoulos

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2012

Strengths:    Judging from my "05 I'm hoping that the 2011 will meet or exceed my expectations
I just bought the 2011 leftover and gotta steal on it from my lbs. I'm transferring my full XTR drivetrain and comp.
I should be up and running in a few weeks just in time for fall ( best time of the year for riding)
So I see nothing but fun excitement and reliability in my future

Weaknesses:    You can pick anything apart which most people do but I can honestly say I can't find anything wrong with my previos or new one

Bottom Line:   
BUY ONE OF THESE BIKES and ride it and you won't be sorry

Best bang for the buck

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mountainbiker24 a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2012

Strengths:    Lightweight for the money. It's difficult to find a hardtail for $1600 that weighs under 30 pounds.
Solid frame worth upgrading.
Durable & dependable. Can be built up as a race bike or trail bike without much fuss.
Excellent value. Rides as well as many more expensive bikes.
Solid, albeit boring, parts spec.
Lockout on the shock is nice, but rarely necessary.
Rides well. Absorbs bumps well if set up properly while still pedaling very well.

Weaknesses:    Colors. I really want a neon yellow bike.
I upgraded the fork as soon as my wife let me. It needs a low end compression adjuster to match the rear.
Maybe a bit more pedal feedback and brake jack than other designs, but it's quite minor and worth the tradeoff in durability and simplicity, imo.
Narrow bars, but that's an easy swap.

Bottom Line:   
This is a fantastic bike for the money, and it is worthy of better components over time. The classic single pivot is durable, dependable, lightweight, and elegant, with few concessions to more pricey designs. This bike is good enough for the majority of cross-country and trail riders out there. I weigh about 190 pounds, and I don't worry about the bike when I ride. It's solid.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   That's not fair!

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Carolina Fatz

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Heckler
Santa Cruz Nickel
Santa Cruz Tallboy
Giant Trance X
Specialized Camber

Bike Setup:   Manitou Minute Pro 120mm, 700mm wide handlebars, 100mm stem, Specialized Chunder and Ground Control tires with Stans tubeless kit, WTB Devo seat, 1x10 drivetrain.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by FooFighter a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2012

Strengths:    Simple single pivot design. Climbs great. Fun to ride. Cheap!

Weaknesses:    Low bottom bracket. Descending with a 100mm fork can be sketchy.

Bottom Line:   
This has been a great XC/light AM full 'susser. Climbing is easy. Simple single pivot design is proven. Descending is quite sketchy at times with the Fox 100 mm fork, with handling also negatively affected (front tire feels like turning in on you and threatening to jackknife the bike). Fixed the handling by getting the 5 mm extended crown race for the Chris King headset, which was just enough to settle the bike down at speed, but you still have to watch yourself on steep descents. Could help a bit more by putting a larger tire up front to raise the front end 1 or 2 more millimeters. The better option is to get a 120 mm fork - definitely better for the more aggressive descender, as per Santa Cruz's website. But you still have to get used to the occasional pedal strike with the low bottom bracket. Definitely would buy this bike again though. Looking forward to more AM style riding with the Superlight's big brother, the Heckler!!!!

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Favorite Trail:   Everywheres

Price Paid:    $1099.00

Purchased At:   Local LBS

Bike Setup:   2010 Superlight frame only +Fox RP23 boost valve. Custom build SLX/XT/XTR. Chris King headset. Fox RL 100 mm fork.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ptrqc a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2012

Strengths:    Simple design, balanced, tough.

Weaknesses:    Low bottom bracket.

Bottom Line:   
Updated my 2001 frame with a 2012, transfered most of the (updated) components: Manitou Swinger 3Way rear shock and Marzocchi MX Pro fork (set at 115mm travel).
Bike weighs a very respectable 27 lbs

In comparison with the pre 2007 frame, the frame has a lot less lateral flex (bigger bearings and burlier rear triangle). Riding mostly singletrack/XC some light AM.
Whereas the front wheel of the older Superlight had sometimes a tendency to lift on steeper climbs (fork was set at 100mm on it), the 2012 frame with 115mm fork feels more balanced, going up and down.
Only "negative" point I can find is the low bottom bracket, but this can be seen as a tradeoff for more stability on speed.
Overall I would recommend as it is great value and should/could last a lifetime

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Vallée Bras du Nord

Similar Products Used:   2001 Superlight

Bike Setup:   2012 Superlight frame Large, 2007 Marzocchi MX Pro, 2006 Manitou Swinger 3Way SPV, DT Swiss X455/Onyx wheelset, Magura Louise BAT brakes, FSA 115 stem, Easton EA70 bar, Syntace P6 seatpost, WTB Pure V saddle, XT/LX/SLX drivetrain

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by snmnoles a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2012

Strengths:    BOMBPROOF

Weaknesses:    Mine lacks a Propedal rear shock

Bottom Line:   
Absolutely the best you can buy for the $$. Minimal maintenance keeps this baby going forever. Been riding it for over 10 years all over the US.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Poison Spider

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Private resale

Similar Products Used:   Elsworth Truth

Bike Setup:   XTR, Avid disc brakes, RockShock Duke XC, Mavic Crossmax wheelset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dianne a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2012

Strengths:    Low Maintenance, Best Bang for the Buck, Climbs like a goat...

Weaknesses:    Low BB, Paint wears off pretty easy

Bottom Line:   
An all-around great XC bike that can take the punishment of downhill as well. I've had my SL for around a year now and taken it on everything from Utah slickrock to Northern Montana narly singletrack, this thing eats what you throw at it and has the lowest maintenance cost of any bike I've owned. Rode a Gary Fisher and FS Jamis Dakar before this and wouldn't go back. The SL is the most comfortable of any FS I've ridden for long XC hauls, climbs like a goat and descends like a champ on tight singletrack. Super solid frame and you can't beat it for the price.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Whitefish, MT

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jaspas a Cross Country Rider from Kansas City, MO, USA

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2012

Strengths:    Lightweight, responsive, low maintenance suspension setup

Weaknesses:    brake jack - rear wheel/sus. lock up when braking on steep/loose descents

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. I've ridden it all over Colorado's front range and it performed beautifully. Climbs like a mountain goat - no real suspension bob. An awesome descender - especially on wide open single track. Overall the build is around 26.5 lbs. I've raced this bike a couple of times for fun, and had a blast. The one drawback is the whole brake jack thing which I knew was a trade off I'd have to make when going with a simpler single pivot rear suspension design. Whaddaya gonna do? This bike provides a lively yet stable ride that inspires confidence and can be ridden on anything from epic fire road climbs to rocky technical descents.

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Favorite Trail:   around here - Landahl Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   ebay (frame) only

Similar Products Used:   Giant trance

Bike Setup:   x9 2x10 drivetrain, recon gold rl fork, bb7's, xtr hubs to 717's with geax saguaro 2.2's (tubeless), carbon riser bar, nokon derailleur housing, xt pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ralbach a All Mountain Rider from Clemson, SC, US

Date Reviewed: February 19, 2012

Strengths:    As an extremely light rider(110LBS) I was able to do absolutely anything with this bike. DS, DH and XC like a champ. My SC superlight has seen 12 foot road gaps, wall rides, table tops and everything in between. Although these things may not be the bikes intended purpose, I was able to do it all with relative confidence. As my second bike this rig has helped me develop my skill as a rider and allowed me to go places on a bike I never dreamed of. Overall this bike will always hold a special place in my heart and I would rather give up my left nut then this wonderful piece of my personal history.

Weaknesses:    A little pedal scrape once in a while when traversing over large rocks etc.

Bottom Line:   
Buy this bike and support one of the most customer oriented manufacturers in the industry.

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Favorite Trail:   Isaquina

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Direct From SC Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Pivot, Transition, Ibis, Kona

Bike Setup:   Weird Stuff

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Filipe Oliveira a Cross Country Rider from Portugal

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2012

Strengths:    Just bought the frame and moved my previous setup to the new one. After more a thousand miles on it I can say a few things about the frame and the riding experience:
1. It was the cheapest FS frame available and the lightest aluminium frame I found (of the more than 15 I put in a personal database, exception made to large retailers self-brands).
2. This is not the first thing you think about when buying a Superlight, but it is a most comfortable ride! I used to get lower back pain after 45-50km and now, even after 90km, there is no discomfort (only the legs....).
3. I ride with a lot of hard-core cross country riders that participate in XC meetings bi-monthly and they do a lot of road to get the legs spinning at high-speed: I never had any problem accompanying them and they let me know that the rear Fox rp23 doesn´t move, except if you go over small bumps or holes in the tarmac.
4. It climbs all types of ground even in gravel or rocky grounds. In some occasions you can feel the chain straining a little bit (single pivot suspension...) but I got used to it ant you can actually used as an advantage after a while. The extra weight of the FS frame never seemed a problem so far...
5. Finally, I had lots of problems riding down trails or steeper descents or even simply not to loose contact with the other riders with my previous, non FS frame. Now, I am nearly always at the front of the pack when going down! Sometimes I have to brake simply because everyone is going too slow (or so it seems), not because I could not go faster.

Weaknesses:    ?

Bottom Line:   
The way it behaves in descents, the comfort and the benefit/price are unbeatable. Fantastic ride in all types of terrain, ideal for long rides.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Caramulinho

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Nacional importer

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Superlight 2010 red frame with RP23 Fox rear shock. Fork Rock Shox Reba Team. Handbuilt wheels (XT M756 hubs, RODI blackjack rims, DT Swiss Revolution spokes and Al nipples). Avid Elixir 5 disc brakes.

Reviews 1 - 15 (145 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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