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The queen of the dirt.
Carbon fiber, VPP, FOX Racing Shox, and Shimano XT components are enough buzz words to make any knobby-tire enthusiast weak in the knees. Add to the picture 27.5in wheels and 125mm of travel and you've got a recipe for mountain bike of the year. But, the Juliana Furtado Carbon Primeiro Complete Mountain Bike isn't for the masses that determine that.
Instead, it's designed by a decorated rider for a much smaller sect of the mountain biking population. The female rider. What started as a flower in Santa Cruz's line of bikes, Juliana is now its own division of SC headed by --you guessed it --Juli Furtado.
This means that each model meets her expectations -- not Joe Sixpack's. If you take a look at the saddle, bars, and cranks of this Joplin Carbon Primeiro you'll see that they're sized proportionally for female riders. Not to mention the 27.5in wheels being more nimble and easier to package in the smaller chassis women require.
By having proportionate components, you can enjoy the benefits of a carbon fiber frame out of the box. And, one of those advantages, aside from the obvious -- weight -- is it allows the frame to offer superior line-holding stiffness. The front triangle is constructed as once piece. Rather than have components produced separately, and then bonded or wrapped, the carbon fibers are continuous around tube junctions to distribute loads and absorb impact energy better.
One thing that you can't see without cutting the frame in half is that it looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. There's nothing there except smooth carbon, this actually prevents stress risers in failure prone areas of the frame. For that reason too, there are no riveted or bonded-on cable and hose guides--they're incorporated into the original layup.
That layup provides stiff and solid mounting points for the latest generation of VPP rear suspension. The upper and lower links flatten out the shock rate and provide a more active feel to the early part of the axle path. The suspension allows the rear wheel to move up and back as you ride over a bump, and it balances the downward force of pedaling with the pulling force of the chain through its link configuration and axle path. The resulting movement makes it easier to roll over a bump or through a dip, and the suspension doesn’t change whether you’re in the saddle or not.
The Juliana Furtado Carbon Primeiro has a carbon fiber upper link that shaves weight and enhances lateral stiffness. Its counterpart on the bottom is alloy, and it has easily-serviceable grease ports. The pivots for both links have stout, 15mm locking collet axle-pins so they won't creak or loosen, and they run on intricately-sealed bearings that should last the life of the frame.
The VPP suspension of this Juliana yields 125mm of smooth travel damped by a FOX CTD rear shock with Kashima -- a lightweight, reliable shock that features an intuitive interface for simple, on-the-fly suspension tuning. It has three distinct settings; a firm 'Climbing' setting, medium 'Trail' setting, and a plush 'Descend' setting. This keeps operation straightforward and intuitive for beginners and experts alike.
Complementing the CTD rear shock is a 130mm FOX 32 FLOAT CTD fork with Kashima, too. Like the 142 x 12mm rear axle, the fork sports a 15mm thru axle for stiffness. A hand-laced and tensioned wheelset composed of DT 350 hubs, 14/15 gauge butted spokes, and WTB i23 rims spin around those axles. For tires, knobby Maxxis High Roller 2.3 tubeless tires provide a nice mix of speed and grip.
The drivetrain is a 3x10 Shimano XT group, including the front and rear derailleur, shifters, cranks, and cassette. Stopping the Carbon Primeiro are a set of 160mm rotor Shimano XT brakes. Finishing off the build are Juliana Compact handlebars, Easton EA70 stem, and Thomson seatpost with a Juliana Primiero saddle perched atop it.
The Juliana Furtado Carbon Primeiro Complete Mountain Bike comes in orange and sizes Small, Medium, and Large.