The Juliana Joplin gets updated suspension and geometry tweaks, designed to make it more trail-ready, capable and fun than ever
Just like the Juliana Furtado and pretty much all of its Santa Cruz siblings like the Tallboy, the Juliana Joplin has just had a refresh and update. The new iteration of the popular and impressively capable trail bike keeps the key elements the same – fast rolling 29er wheels, 120mm rear travel with a 130mm travel fork, for example. But a few key elements have been worked on, with the aim of making this one of the best trail bikes out there.
And to showcase the bike on trip that we are frankly completely jealous of, Juliana athlete and professional photography Hailey Elise takes the Joplin on a classic Californian van adventure. It’ll make you long for dusty trails and sun-soaked days on the bike, guaranteed.
Need to know:
- Size-specific chainstays and seat tube angles
- Updated suspension
- C & CC Carbon frames
- 120mm Rear VPP™ Travel
- 130mm Fork
- 29-Inch Wheel Size
- XS-MD Frame Sizes
Fans of the OG Joplin, christened the ‘queen of rocks and rolls’ by Juliana, will be pleased to hear that the key focus of the bike remains the same. This is a trail bike designed to push your definition of trail, and won’t be limited by things like suspension travel numbers.
Geometry and frame updates
Geometry-wise, there’s not a whole load of difference. The head angle remains 65.5 degrees, with a generous front centre and short offset forks, which when combined make for a bike that’s able to handle steeper technical descents with responsive handling.
One update is the size-specific chainstay lengths and seat tube angle, which now increase/get steeper with each size increase. This gives the bike more consistent uniform performance across the size range, so whatever size you go for the Joplin will perform the same.
As before, the Joplin is available from sizes XS to M. If you’re after a bigger size, you can opt for the Santa Cruz Tallboy as both bikes are built around the same frame.
Another handy feature for riders who like to stay prepared or travel light is the downtube storage. The ‘Glovebox’ comes with two storage pouches; the Tube Wallet and Tube Purse, which allow you to stow essentials like tools and spares safely inside without them rattling around.
Hand-in-hand with geometry tweaks comes suspension tweaks too. Again, the focus was not to overhaul but refine, giving a more predictable feel.
The starting ratio on the suspension leverage curve was reduced while the ending ratio was increased, which gives a reduction in progression which, Juliana claims, will help improve the sensitivity of the bike and provide a more responsive ride. Peak anti-squat was also reduced, which – because the two are linked – also produced a corresponding reduction in anti-rise.
From the perspective of the rider, these changes are designed to result in a bike that is more responsive in its suspension, with better small bump sensitivity and improved braking sensitivity.
The best of the rest
While the Joplin comes specced with 130mm forks, the bike is compatible with up to 140mm forks if you want to boost the front end travel. The maximum tyre width is 29×2.5, with Boost 148mm hub spacing. Post mount brakes come with 1800mm rotors, and a plus point for maintenance is the threaded bottom bracket and Santa Cruz UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger).
And the Gloss Bluebird colourway is pretty awesome too.