Flow’s First Bite: Juliana Joplin Primeiro

Words by Kath Bicknell | Images by Flowtographer

The not-so-minor details

Product

Juliana Joplin Primeiro

Contact

Neezy
www.neezy.com.au

Price

AUD6,780.00

Weight

11.70kg

Positives

A stable and efficient mega-shreddette

Negatives

A dated approach to women’s specificity

The Juliana Joplin Primeiro is the latest in a growing collection of women’s bikes that we’re taking to the trails. This one pairs a high-performing parts list with the light and compliant ride feel of a quality carbon frame.

29" wheels, carbon frame, VPP suspension and a premium level build kit - oh yeah!

29″ wheels, carbon frame, VPP suspension and a premium level build kit – oh yeah!

Juliana is Santa Cruz’s female specific line of bikes. The range is named after 1990’s US mountain biking pioneer, Juliana Furtado, the John Tomac of her time, or a Gunn-Rita DahleFlesjå in today’s terms. We are excited to clip our feet into the latest 29” trail bike offering from the company, the Juliana Joplin Primeiro.

WEB_Test_SantaCruzJuliana_0197

The Joplin part is a throw back to the rock legend of the same name (it’s ‘the Queen of rocks and roll’). Primeiro is Santa Cruz for ‘highest spec in a specific range,’ in this case kashima coated Fox front and rear suspension (120mm on the front and 100mm on the rear) and a Shimano XT build.

Shimano triple ring crankset, gives a massive range of gears.

Shimano triple ring crankset, gives a massive range of gears.

Despite the high-performing build and shiny marketing of the Joplin Primeiro, we were a little disappointed to discover that the frame shares the same geometry as the Santa Cruz Tall Boy. The women’s features extend to the contact points, the powdery blue finish and a 3×10 drive train with a roomy 11-36 cassette on the rear.

One question we have for the review period is whether these changes are enough to satisfy a growing number of savvy female consumers. The small size Joplin was in fact released ahead the small Tall Boy, which had male riders thinking about buying a women’s bike rather than the other way around for a change. The frame design of the Tall Boy also incorporates female friendly features like a low standover and short head tube length

Santa Cruz's well-loved VPP suspension design makes for efficiency to the maximum.

Santa Cruz’s well-loved VPP suspension design makes for efficiency to the maximum.

Marketing questions aside, the performance of the bike is something best answered out on the trails. Hitting the dirt, the Joplin immediately showed us why the Santa Cruz and Juliana brands have such a proud and loyal following.

The Joplin climbs more efficiently than we were expecting, mowed over short technical ‘ups,’ and descended at warp speed. It feels fast, stable, very capable and has a beautifully smooth ‘ride feel’; a winning combo for all-day outings on an extensive variety of trails.

Note the step down in the handlebar's diameter under the grips, for smaller hands.

Note the step down in the handlebar’s diameter under the grips, for smaller hands.

We’re looking forward to getting more attuned to the Joplin over the test period to discover more about the experiences it opens up and the subtleties of how it performs. Keep an eye on Flow for a full review soon.

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