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Fun above all else.
The Juliana Joplin 2.0 Carbon 29 R1 Complete Mountain Bike loves nothing more than spirited romps through the woods where sweeping berms, rowdy rocks, and elevated bridges pose a challenge to your riding skills. Although it could be categorized as a fast-rolling XC machine in 29er form, the Joplin 2.0 doesn't like to be categorized, defying the 29er genre with its modern trail geometry that's nimble and fun to ride above all else.
Inspired by the Santa Cruz's iconic Tallboy, the Joplin 2.0 blurs the line between razor-sharp XC rig and spirited trail bike with its 110-millimeters of VPP suspension paired with a 120-millimeter fork. This combination of a bit less travel out back with greater plushness up front makes it pedal with resounding efficiency, but with extra margin of error when you're dropping into rocky descents and sending natural drops littered along the trail. Where the Joplin differs from the Tallboy lies within its female-specific shock tune. By tuning the rear shock for lighter riders, it feels more active tracking over rocks and roots, without it feeling overly harsh.
New for this 2.0 version of the Joplin, you'll find the ability to switch between 29 and 27.5+ wheels with its integrated flip chip along the upper linkage. The flip chip rotates to allow the shock mount to migrate between high (29er) and low (27.5+) settings, but without a drastic change in the bike's geometry. In fact, Juliana preserved the 68-degree head tube angle between both wheel sizes, and also retained the snappy 17-inch chainstays and low-slung 13-inch bottom bracket height for confident handling. For the 2.0 incarnation of the Joplin, the reach has lengthened substantially, giving you a roomier cockpit with higher levels of control when you're dropping into high-speed descents.
The VPP suspension gains 10-millimeters of travel over the previous version, aligning the Joplin with the new crop of do-it-all rigs with 4.5-inches of travel. However, that's not to say it's just rolling off the assembly as one faceless frame in a sea of similar models, as the flip-chip gives the Joplin a dual personality, depending on the wheel size chosen. In the high/29er mode, you'll find it a zippy-fast bike that blurs the lines between XC and trail, versus its rock-gobbling, traction-grabbing feel when outfitted with voluminous 27.5+ wheels.
As far as the VPP suspension is concerned, you'll find it's revamped slightly to offer greater small-bump compliance to keep your tires glued to the trail, especially in rocky areas where you'd previously struggle for traction. However, it does maintain its predecessor's firm feel during acceleration, so you won't lose momentum to unwanted bobbing motion. The shock's ramp-up arc remains more consistent until the end-stroke, at which point it becomes more progressive to resist bottom-outs on bigger hits. By ramping up at the end stroke, you'll find the Joplin's VPP suspension feels deeper than its 110-millimeters would suggest, meaning it won't feel overly harsh or bottom out on bigger hits.
This particular R1 build gains the immense stiffness and strength of Juliana's Carbon C frame. Stiff carbon frames help to transmit rider energy into forward locomotion, meaning you'll feel the Joplin's urge to climb with gusto and burst from corners. Another impressive feature of this build lies in the Fox Rhythm 120-millimeter fork, which is a nice addition with its 34-millimeter stanchions giving the front end a bit of stiffness to prevent deflection across rough terrain. It's rounded out with a SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain, which ditches a pesky front derailleur for an 11 to 42-tooth cassette. This wide range cassette gives you plentiful range without having to deal with shifting the front ring of a 2x drivetrain.
- Fun-loving trail bike with a spirited XC edge
- 29-inch wheels provide roll-over and momentum-carrying benefits
- 110mm of efficient VPP travel with a progressive shock tune
- Flip-chip provides the ability to switch 29er for 27.5+ wheels
- Carbon C frame is impressively stiff and reliably strong
- FOX Rhythm fork with 34mm stanchions for stiff tracking
- SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain for hassle-free shifting
- Item #JLI002Y