The New Juliana Furtado CC X01 RSV is More Playful than Ever

Riley Missel
Photo credit: Trevor Raab
Photo credit: Trevor Raab

From Bicycling

Takeaway: Juliana’s most popular bike just got more capable, smooth-riding, and fun.

  • Fully redesigned suspension gives the bike a more playful, smooth feel

  • Short-rider-friendly frame design with low standover height

  • Employs the new SRAM 52 cassette for super-steep climbs

Price: $8,099 as tested ($6,899 without carbon rims)
Weight:
29 lb. (S)
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One of our favorite trail bikes just became way more playful. The Juliana Furtado, which sits in the middle of the company’s line as its all-arounder bike, gets a total revamp for 2021. Product managers completely redesigned the shock attachment area for a smoother ride over obstacles, added a fork with 10mm more travel (bringing it to 140mm), and some updated components (like a 52-tooth cog) and geometry to reflect these changes and further expand its capabilities. Typically when riders choose a 27.5 bike over a 29-inch-wheeled-one, they’re in the business of goofing around and getting air, rather than seeking pure speed and rollover capability. But with these changes, the Furtado can do both. Still, this iteration leans more heavily into the former than the latter, and these new tweaks pushed it off the deep end into a rowdy, playtime bike (which does still lack a bit of performance on the other end). Not to mention, the metallic-shimmer Spicy Redwood frame color is easy on the eyes.

New Shock Design

Juliana product managers designed a completely new frame around the rear suspension to improve shock performance, as well as expand the frame’s compatibility with after-market shocks. The lower-link driven shock architecture makes for a busier-looking bottom bracket area, but not without good reason: It offers higher wheel leverage over the shock than previous designs, which makes it feel softer through the first one-third of travel, giving you more traction and a more gradual touchdown when you land a jump or drop.

Overall, the suspension feels smoother and less abrupt, even at higher speeds. Previous designs created a super-stiff-then-suddenly-super-soft feeling, but the new system gradually increases the resistance the further you compress the travel, always giving you just enough support so you don’t have to choose between traction and small bump performance or bottom-out resistance.

Photo credit: Trevor Raab
Photo credit: Trevor Raab

In order to increase the customizability and lifespan of the bike, this new frame fits every shock on the market designed to work with short chainstays. This accommodates riders who want more versatility for playing around with after-market shocks.

Geometry and Frame Updates

To accommodate the new suspension, Juliana’s designers pushed the head tube angle almost a degree slacker, raised the bottom bracket, and created a more vertical seat tube angle for better control on steep climbs. They also attached the rear triangle at a slightly different pivot point on the front triangle (without changing angle relations) on the size medium frame so the chainstays measure a bit longer than the ones on XS and small, helping center the rider’s weight between the wheels for a better balance. Plus, this bike still has a flip chip that allows you to lower and lengthen the geometry just a bit for some more downhill traction and tighten it up a bit for long climbs.

PSA for my fellow shredders with #shortgirlproblems: 5-foot-one product designer Amy Nelson has got our backs, and this bike accommodates riders all the way as short as 4’8”. The standover on the XS is 690mm, and the small and medium is 707mm (27 inches—a godsend for riders with 29-inch inseams who don’t want our top tubes giving us wedgies). But more importantly, it makes the bike easier to handle for smaller people by centering our weight a little better.

THE BREAKDOWN: THE JULIANA FURTADO CC X01 RESERVE

Frame: Carbon CC 27.5”
Fork:
RockShox Pike Ultimate 140mm
Shock:
RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 130mm
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed
Cassette:
Eagle 52 10-52 tooth
Brakes:
SRAM G2 RSC 180mm rotors
Front tire:
Maxxis MaxxGrip 2.4 DHR2
Rear tire:
Maxxis MaxxTerra 2.4 DHR2
Rims:
Santa Cruz Reserve 30 carbon
Hubs:
DT350
Max tire clearance:
2.6”
Stem:
Burgtec Enduro MK3 42mm
Handlebar:
Santa Cruz Bicycles Carbon Riser Bar
Seatpost:
RockShox Reverb Stealth 31.6
Saddle:
Women-specific Juliana Primero
Sizes:
XS-M (accommodates riders from 4’8” to 5’9”)

Component Updates

The 1x12-speed SRAM X01 drivetrain is laced around the new SRAM 52 cassette, which features a 52-tooth cog (you read that right), boosting the gear range of the drivetrain by 520 percent. To be honest, there aren’t a ton of sections that steep on my local trails that I need something that big to get up, but it’s nice to have the option to spin a bit lighter and take the climbs at a more leisurely pace.

Wide 2.4-inch Maxxis tires—a grippy MaxxGrip up front and fast rolling Maxxterra on the rear—offer loads of traction and contribute to a smooth, plush ride. And on the X01 RSV model, the bike has the latest version of Santa Cruz’s carbon rims, the RSV 30s, which are stronger and more compliant than the previous one. A women’s saddle and a narrower handlebar complete the build.

Photo credit: Trevor Raab
Photo credit: Trevor Raab

The Full Furtado Line-up

If you don’t feel the need to splurge on the carbon rims, this whole top-of-the-line build I tested (the CC X01 model) is available with aluminum RaceFace rims for $6,899. New for the Furtado is a C XT model, just below this one, filling the gap that used the exist in the line between price points with the company’s lower-tier carbon frame, RockShox suspension (a Super Deluxe Select+ shock and Pike Select+ fork), and a Shimano XT M 8100 drivetrain, for $5,999. The lowest-end of the line is the C R ($4,099), which has FOX Float performance DPS shock, Fox Rhythm 34 fork, and a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain (no 52 cassette on this one). And the slight upgrade from that is the C S model, which comes with RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ shock, Fox 34 Float Performance, SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed, and the SRAM 52 for $4,999. The two top-tier models—CC X01 and CC X01 RSV—are built from slightly higher-quality carbon layup that makes the frames about two-thirds of a pound lighter.

Ride Impressions

This bike is more about seeking fun than chasing down Strava segments. Like I mentioned, the rider who favors 27.5-inch wheels is usually looking for a more lively, maneuverable ride rather than one that blasts through rock gardens and climbs like a rocket. This version of the Furtado brought heaps of playfulness with the frame and suspension more thoughtfully designed for smaller riders and our weight, center of gravity, and strength. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge air-getting, risk-taking rider, but on this Furtado, I couldn’t help but try to be. This bike popped off roots and rock on the side of the trail so easily. It made tricky little lips and drops feel intuitive, giving me confidence to try more and bigger ones as I rode. To be completely transparent, thought it’s billed as an all-arounder and can definitely handle climbs, it doesn’t feel as fast as a cross-country bike. I rode the Furtado on some super hilly, flowy trails behind my dad, who was on a hardtail, and it was pretty tough to keep up with him (and if this is solely because of a fitness discrepancy, lord help me). So, if XC is your MO, you’d be better off with a stiffer bike like the Joplin. One of the coolest things about riding the Furtado though, is that trails I’d ridden 100 times became new again when I opened myself up to new lines and skills, and it gave me so many options to do that.

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