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Juliana Furtado Carbon 27.5+ S Review

The Furtado is a playful and highly capable mid-travel trail bike that makes sense for a lot of riders.
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Price:  $4,899 List
Pros:  VPP suspension is great on climbs, 2.6" tires offer loads of traction, impressive component specification, offered in 6 builds
Cons:  Uncomfortable saddle, 2.6" tires feel sluggish at times, only offered in 3 sizes, expensive
Manufacturer:   Juliana
By Tasha Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 17, 2019
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84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 6
  • Fun Factor - 35% 8
  • Downhill - 25% 8
  • Climbing - 25% 9
  • Build - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Juliana Furtado is an excellent mid-travel women's trail bike. With 130mm of front and rear suspension, it falls right in the middle of the mid-travel category which is the sweet spot for a considerable number of riders and terrain. It has generally moderate modern geometry, including short chainstays and a 66.3-degree head tube angle that help give it precise handling and a nimble and playful attitude. On the descents, it is highly maneuverable and responsive as you flow through corners or tackle technical terrain. The Furtado is also a spirited and efficient climber, with a supportive VPP suspension platform, a comfortable seated pedaling position, and grippy 2.6" tires. Riders looking to get super aggressive on descents should probably look at bikes with a bit more travel, but everyone else should check out the Furtado.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $4,899 List$4,520 List$4,000.00 at REI$4,799.00 at Competitive Cyclist$3,799 List
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Pros VPP suspension is great on climbs, 2.6" tires offer loads of traction, impressive component specification, offered in 6 buildsModern progressive geometry, aggressive descender, excellent stability at speed, surprisingly user-friendlySolid climbing performance, comfortable cockpit, nice component specificationKiller blend of uphill and downhill performance, punches above its weight classAggressive descender, nimble and flickable, solid value/great component specification
Cons Uncomfortable saddle, 2.6" tires feel sluggish at times, only offered in 3 sizes, expensiveSome underwhelming aspects of the build, moderately heavyAggressive riders may find limits of suspension travel, proprietary offset rear wheel, moderately heavyDifficult to corner for some, can be overwhelmed on the descentsOnly available in 3 sizes, may feel small for some
Bottom Line The Furtado is a playful and highly capable mid-travel trail bike that makes sense for a lot of riders.The Stumpjumper Comp Carbon is a crowd-pleaser with an all-around performance that earned it our Editor's Choice Award.The Habit 1 Carbon is a capable and versatile mid travel 29er with the angles to get after it on the descents.A short-travel women's trail bike with the attitude to get rad.The Best Buy winning Spectral WMN CF 7.0 mixes agility with the angles and travel to get aggressive.
Rating Categories Furtado Carbon 27.5+ S Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 27.5... Habit 1 Carbon Juliana Joplin S Carbon C Canyon Spectral WMN CF 7.0
Fun Factor (35%)
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8
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10
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9
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10
10
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9
Downhill (25%)
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8
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10
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9
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7
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8
Climbing (25%)
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9
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8
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8
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9
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8
Build (15%)
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9
Specs Furtado Carbon... Stumpjumper Comp... Habit 1 Carbon Juliana Joplin S... Canyon Spectral...
Wheelsize 27.5+ 27.5 29 29 27.5
Rear Travel 130mm 150mm 130mm 110mm 140mm
Measured Weight w/o pedals 29 lbs 10 oz (small) 30 lbs 1 oz (small) 30 lbs 10 oz (small) 28 lbs 14 oz 29 lbs 0 oz (small)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber Carbon Fiber Carbon Fiber Carbon fiber Carbon Fiber
Frame Size Tested Small Small Small Small Small
Available Sizes XS, S, M XS, S, M, L XS (27.5), S (29), M (29) S, M XS, S, M
Rear Suspension Platform Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) 130mm Future Shock Rear (FSR) 150mm Proportional Response 130mm Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) 110mm Triple Phase 140mm
Fork and Travel Fox Float 34 Performance Elite, 130mm, 34mm stanchions Fox Float 34 Rhythm, 150mm, 34mm stanchions Fox Float 34 Perfromance, 130mm, 34mm stanchions Fox Float 34 Performance, 120mm, 34mm stancions Fox Float 34 Performance, 150mm, 34mm stanchions
Shock Fox Float Perfomance Elite DPX2 Fox Float Performance DPS Fox Float Performance DPS EVOL Fox Float Peformance DPS Fox Float Performance DPS Low Volume
Wheelset Race Face AR Offset 35, DT 370 hubs Roval Traverse, Specialized hubs, 30mm internal width Stan's NoTubes ZTR Arch S1, Formula hubs, Ai offset RaceFace AR 24, 24mm inner width, Novatec Hubs DT Swiss M 1900 Spline
Front Tire Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C 27.5 x 2.6" Butcher GRID Gripton 2Bliss 27.5 x 2.6" Maxxis Minion DHF WT EXO TR 29 x 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3c 29 x 2.3" Maxxis Minion DHR II WT 27.5 x 2.4"
Rear Tire Maxxis Rekon EXO TR 3C 27.5 x 2.6" Purgatory GRID Gripton, 2Bliss 27.5 x 2.6" Maxxis High Roller II EXO TR 29 x 2.3" Maxxis Ardent Race EXO 29 x 2.35" Maxxis Forekaster 27.5 x 2.35"
Shifters SRAM GX Eagle SRAM NX Eagle SRAM NX Eagle SRAM GX Eagle SRAM GX Eagle
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed
Cassette SRAM XG-1295, Eagle 10-50T SRAM NX- Eagle, 12-speed, 11-50T SRAM PG-1230, NX Eagle, 11-50 SRAM XG-1275, Eagle 10-50T
Crankset SRAM Stylo 7k 148 DUB 32T SRAM NX Eagle DUB 32T Truvativ Stylo 6K, 30T (aluminum) RaceFace Aeffect 30t Truvativ Stylo 6K DUB, 30T (steel)
Crankarms 170mm (XS,S) 175mm (M,L) 170mm 165mm 170mm 170mm
Bottom Bracket 148 DUB SRAM DUB threaded Cannondale Alloy PressFit30 Threaded SRAM DUB PressFit
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 125mm (small) X-Fusion Manic, 125mm (small) Cannondale DownLow 125mm (small) RockShox Reverb Stealth 125mm Iridium dropper 1x remote 146mm (small)
Handlebar RaceFace Ride 35 x 760mm Specialized alloy 750mm Cannondale C3 Riser 760mm RaceFace Aeffet R, 780mm RaceFace Affect 750mm
Stem RaceFace Aeffect R 50mm Specialized Trail Cannondale C3 38mm RaceFace Aeffect R RaceFace Aeffect 50mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R SRAM Guide R SRAM Guide R SRAM Level TL SRAM Guide R
Rotor size Centerline 6 bolt, 180 front/180 rear Centerline 6 bolt, 200 front/180 rear Centerline 6 bolt, 180 front/180 rear Centerline 6 bolt, 200 front/180 rear
Measured Effective Top Tube (mm) 574 570 570 574 568
Measured Reach (mm) 412 418 402 405 404
Measured Head Tube Angle (degrees) 66 low/ 66.3 high 65.2 low/65.7 high 65.8 68 66.25
Measured Seat Tube Angle (degrees) 74.6 low/ 74.9 high 74.6 low/75.1 high 75 73 74.4
Measured Bottom Bracket Height (mm) 336 336 338 330 328
Measured Wheelbase (mm) 1148 1167 1145 1116 1130
Measured Chain Stay Length (mm) 429 435 438 432 433
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime 6 years

Our Analysis and Test Results

The mid-travel Furtado has a solid all-around performance and the travel and geometry that make sense for a lot of riders.
The mid-travel Furtado has a solid all-around performance and the travel and geometry that make sense for a lot of riders.

Should I Buy This Bike?


The folks at Juliana have been cranking out crowd-pleasing and user-friendly mountain bikes for years and the Furtado is no exception. This easy-going mid-travel trail bike hits a nice middle ground between XC efficiency and all-mountain mastery with its 130mm of front and rear-wheel travel. This bike encompasses the meaning of full-tilt enjoyment on the trail and possesses the pep to light up most terrain. Running strong in the mid-travel full-suspension bike category, the Furtado is a bike that will shock you with its performance and ability to handle most terrain. The VPP suspension platform provides a solid pedaling platform for spirited and efficient climbing with good small bump compliance and a progressive feel when the going gets rough on the descents. The moderate length wheelbase and reach, short chainstays, and 66.3-degree head tube angle combine for precise and responsive handling and a zesty and playful downhill experience. It remains quite stable at speed and can handle just about any steepness of pitch or roughness of terrain under the right pilot. It doesn't charge quite as hard as some of the longer travel models we tested, but it makes up for that with its solid climbing performance, playful attitude, and all-around capabilities. The Furtado's moderate travel and user-friendliness make a lot of sense for a large portion of the riding population who are looking for a bike that can do it all pretty well.

The Furtado has a carbon frame  130mm of front and rear wheel travel  and a VPP suspension platform.
The Furtado has a carbon frame, 130mm of front and rear wheel travel, and a VPP suspension platform.

Frame Design


The Furtado Carbon C we tested features Juliana's Carbon C frame which is the less expensive of their two carbon fiber frame layups. Both the front and rear triangles are carbon fiber. The Furtado has 130mm of front and rear wheel travel and utilizes their time-tested VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) suspension platform. Santa Cruz/Juliana has been using the VPP platform for well over a decade. VPP is a twin-link system that uses a rigid rear triangle attached to two links, one by the bottom bracket and another attached to the top tube just in front of the seat tube. When the suspension is compressed, the two links move in opposite directions and the entire rear triangle rotates up and in, as opposed to pivoting on a fixed axis. Juliana has also integrated a flip-chip into the rear lower rear suspension mount that allows the user to adjust the head tube and seat tube angles by 0.3 degrees. The frame features internal cable routing and integrated down tube protection. They have also included robust chain and seat stay protection to reduce chain slap noise.

In the high setting, we measured our size small Furtado and found that it has a 574mm effective top tube length and a 412mm reach. The head tube angle is 66.3-degrees with a 74.9-degree seat tube angle. The wheelbase is 1148mm with 429mm chainstays and a 336mm bottom bracket height. Moving the flip-chip to the low setting slackens the head and seat tube angles by 0.3 degrees and lower the bottom bracket height by approximately 4mm. Our test bike tipped the scales at 29 lbs 10 oz without pedals and set up tubeless.

Design Highlights

  • Available in Carbon Fiber and Aluminum frames
  • 130mm of VPP rear suspension
  • Designed around a 130mm travel fork
  • Flip-chip to adjust geometry
  • Clearance for up to 2.8" tires
  • Light shock tunes for lighter riders
  • Aluminum builds starting at $2,699, Carbon builds from $3,999 up to $6,799

The Furtado is an agile mid-travel trail slayer  sure to put a smile on your face.
The Furtado is an agile mid-travel trail slayer, sure to put a smile on your face.

Downhill Performance


The Furtado descends with cat-like precision and a nimble yet firm grip. Handling is direct and precise, and this bike is highly maneuverable with a flick-able and playful attitude. The 130mm of front and rear wheel travel feel balanced and is plenty for most riders in most places. The geometry translates to great high-speed stability and stellar rear-end maneuverability. The VPP suspension platform is time tested, and the Furtado is plenty capable for all but the most aggressive of descents.

High speeds  low speeds  smooth or technical  the Furtado performs well pretty much everywhere on the descents.
High speeds, low speeds, smooth or technical, the Furtado performs well pretty much everywhere on the descents.

The Furtado's geometry plays a significant role in how it handles and performs on the descents. Overall, its measurements are relatively moderate when compared to some of the heavier hitting and longer travel bikes we tested. This includes the 1148mm wheelbase, 412mm reach, and 66.3-degree head tube angle in the high setting. When combined with the shorter 429mm chainstay length and modest 130mm travel numbers, this provides a notably snappy and responsive feel that lends itself well to ripping tight corners and getting playful on the descents. Despite its agility, the Furtado still maintains composure and tracks well at speed on smoother sections of trail. It also has a flip-chip that allows the user to put the bike in high and low settings; it adjusts the head tube and seat tube angle by 0.3 degrees.

The Furtado has a quality Fox Performance Elite suspension package.
The Furtado has a quality Fox Performance Elite suspension package.

Juliana/Santa Cruz has been using the VPP suspension platform for well over a decade. It offers solid small bump compliance and a nice progressive ramp up that can handle mid to larger sized hits with good bottom-out resistance on mid-sized drops. Testers noted, however, that in more chundery sections of trail at higher speeds, the Furtado did get a little squirrely, something we've noticed while testing other VPP bikes in the past. High-speed chunder isn't this bike's ideal terrain, though it performs well when the impacts come in slightly slower frequency. Otherwise, the loyalty is shocking, and it does an excellent job at maintaining a line and staying grounded. The Juliana Furtado has outstanding cornering capabilities no matter what the trail scenario is. It handles well whether you are attacking a high-speed swooping berm or have to slow it down to snap into a tighter rock padded corner. Its control and precision gives you the confidence to push harder and really hone in on cornering skills.

Other than the saddle  testers found the cockpit set up to be comfortable and dialed for shredding.
The 2.6" Maxxis Minion DHF provides predictable and confidence-inspiring cornering and braking traction.

The S build of the Furtado we tested is quite nice and plays a role in how well this bike handles and performs on the descents. The suspension package is solid and includes a Fox Float 34 Performance Elite fork and a Fox Float DPX2 Performance Elite rear shock. The cockpit setup is comfortable with a nice wide bar, short stem, and a Reverb dropper seat post to get the saddle down and out of the way on descents. The Race Face AR 35 wheels have a wide 35mm rim width that is perfect for the 2.6" Maxxis tire combo. The wheels and tires combine to offer huge amounts of predictable traction and great initiation into turns and corners. Like most of the other bikes we tested, the Furtado came equipped with SRAM Guide R brakes that provide ample stopping power and reliable performance, though they can fade a bit during especially long descents.

The Furtado's supportive VPP platform  comfortable geometry  and stiff carbon frame combine to make this an efficient climbing machine.
The Furtado's supportive VPP platform, comfortable geometry, and stiff carbon frame combine to make this an efficient climbing machine.

Climbing Performance


The Furtado isn't playing any games when it comes to climbing. This bike is all business on the uphills and instills a vibe of accomplishment for its rider. It's moderate geometry numbers come together for a comfortable climbing position and direct steering while the VPP suspension platform makes for a very supportive and efficient climb. Ultra-responsive climbing abilities in more technical terrain solidifies this bikes a true character as a confident climber no matter what is ahead.

The Carbon C frame of the Furtado is nice and stiff and power transfer feels very direct and efficient. The VPP platform provides ample support when climbing with the shock in the open position while seated or out of the saddle. With an effective seat tube angle of 74.9 degrees in the high setting, the rider is positioned almost directly above the bottom bracket in a comfortable position for pushing straight down onto the pedals. The moderate reach measurement also allows for a relaxed upper body as you crank away on the climbs. The Furtado's more conservative 66.3-degree head tube angle provides razor-sharp handling, and this bike tackles technical uphill terrain and tight switchbacks with the best of them. The suspension platform is excellent with ample support while in the seated position. Even when the trail gets a tad bit punchy and you find yourself out of the saddle, the suspension continues to deliver support and remains solid.

The GX Eagle drivetrain is a tester favorite and it works reliably with smooth shifting and plenty of range for steep climbs.
The GX Eagle drivetrain is a tester favorite and it works reliably with smooth shifting and plenty of range for steep climbs.

Juliana has equipped the Furtado with a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain that features an 11-50 tooth cassette paired with a 32 tooth chainring. This setup provided ample range for our testers, and anyone seeking lower gears can easily replace the chainring with a smaller one. The 2.6" tires have loads of air volume and provide loads of traction, although the Rekon tread has somewhat low profile tread and can be prone to spinning out in very steep/loose conditions. Testers didn't love the Juliana Segundo saddle, as they found it to be relatively flat and not the most comfortable for extended periods of seated pedaling.

The 2.6" Maxxis Rekon provides loads of traction in the right conditions  though the lower profile tread can be prone to spinning out in loose conditions.
The 2.6" Maxxis Rekon provides loads of traction in the right conditions, though the lower profile tread can be prone to spinning out in loose conditions.

Build Options


The Furtado is offered in a dizzying number of build kits in both carbon fiber and aluminum frames. Juliana offers it as a frame only in aluminum for $1,999 or in carbon fiber for $2,999. The Carbon C 27.5"+ model we tested with the "S" build falls in the middle of their range of price for the carbon-framed models. All of the builds are offered in 27.5" or in 27.5"+. The difference here is in the width of the tires, with the plus version getting 35mm wide rims and 2.6" meats as opposed to the 27mm wide rims and 2.3" tires that come on the non-plus sized models.

The Carbon C R and R+ builds retail for $3,999 and come with a Fox Float Rhythm 34 fork and a Fox Float Performance DPS rear shock. They have a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain and come with SRAM Guide T brakes. The wheels are WTB ST i25 and i35 with SRAM MTH hubs, and the dropper seat post is a Race Face Aeffect. The aluminum R and R+ builds are identical but paired with the aluminum frame for $3,399.

The top of the line Carbon X01 and X01+ models come with Juliana's Carbon CC frame. The suspension is upgraded to a RockShox Pike Select+ fork and a Fox DPX2 Float Performance Elite rear shock. The drivetrain is SRAM X01 Eagle with SRAM X1 carbon cranks. They come with SRAM G2 RSC brakes and a Santa Cruz AM Carbon handlebar. They also give you the option of upgrading to a Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheelset.

The most affordable Furtado models are the aluminum D, and D+ builds that retail for $2,699. These come with an aluminum frame, a RockShox Recon RL fork, and a Fox Float Performance DPS rear shock. The drivetrain is SRAM SX Eagle with a SRAM Level brakeset. This model does not come with a dropper seat post.

The Furtado doesn't come cheap  but the Carbon S build we tested sure is nice...
The Furtado doesn't come cheap, but the Carbon S build we tested sure is nice...

Value


With a retail price of $4,899, we feel that the Furtado S+ is a relatively average value. This is a great mid-travel trail bike with a solid component specification that will definitely put a smile on any gals face. Whether you can justify the expense or not is up to you. There are several other builds at various price points to suit a large range of budgets.

Suggested Upgrades


The S+ build is pretty spot-on, and there isn't much about it that we feel needs to change. That said, the stock Juliana Segundo saddle to be somewhat uncomfortable for extended periods and would likely be the first upgrade if this bike were ours. The Maxxis Rekon rear tire is another potential upgrade. The Rekon is a fine tire in the right conditions, but testers found that doesn't offer the cornering grip or braking traction they seek in aggressive terrain or loose conditions.

The Furtado is a solid option for the lady looking for a do-it-all trail bike.
The Furtado is a solid option for the lady looking for a do-it-all trail bike.

Conclusion


If you're like most riders and you don't aspire to get "super gnarly" on your mountain bike, then the mid-travel Furtado is a sensible option. This bike is nimble and playful with a more moderate modern geometry and 130mm of front and rear-wheel travel. It climbs like a goat, handles technical terrain with precision and composure, and holds its own when the trail gets steep and rough. The Furtado is an efficient companion for XC style trail riding on everything from backyard loops to huge epic days. If you're seeking a versatile all-around trail bike that performs on all but the rowdiest of terrain we think the Furtado is a great option to consider.


Tasha Thomas