The original women’s mountain bike
In 1999 the first mountain bike aimed specifically at female riders was created. It was a groundbreaking shift in focus for the industry, driven by a groundbreaking woman – Juli Furtado – one of the fiercest mountain bikers of all time.
They called this bike “The Juliana”. In the ’80s and ’90s, mountain bikes were effectively designed for, and marketed to, men. At the same time, a few bold females were pioneering the sport for women. Inspired by this movement, Santa Cruz felt it was time for a change.
Today, Juli’s initiative has grown into an award-winning line of premium mountain bikes ridden by a crew of athletes, racers and guides who continue to blaze new trails. The goal is to ignite the imagination of female adventurers around the world and create something uncompromising for those who refuse to accept the status quo.
These bikes are manufactured by Santa Cruz Bicycles with the same exceptional standards as the Santa Cruz brand bicycles but are branded as Juliana Bicycles.
Virtual Pivot Point (VPPTM) Suspension Design
Santa Cruz has been using VPP® suspension since 2001. Rather than contracting a series of kooky inventors to try build ever more complex and wack-a-doo suspension designs or proprietary shocks so the Marketing department has something to talk about, they stuck with what is an extremely versatile and high-performance mechanism.
VPP® is designed to work with the best available technology from suspension manufacturers that will be supported long-term. It doesn’t require novelty shocks and hardware that offers dubious long-term support.
Squish good, pedal good…
VPP® can be optimized to strike the right balance between pedaling efficiency and all-out bump chomping prowess.The suspension on our cross-country bikes is tuned so that every ounce of energy a rider can generate is transferred to the forward trajectory. And their bigger-hitting, longer travel bikes are exceptionally capable of isolating impacts from the rider so they can ride harder with more confidence in the very worst terrain.
The beauty of VPP® system is that the short links allow Santa Cruz and Juliana to create compact tidy suspension designs. Combine that with large diameter pivot axles running on angular contact bearings and you get the integrity, responsiveness and precision that Santa Cruz frames are famous for.
Upper vs Lower-Link mounted shock
Eagle-eyed riders may have noticed that Santa Cruz has two styles of the VPP® design now. The lower-link mounted shock configuration gives a very progressive-linear rate with excellent small bump, mid-stroke support and great bottom out resistance. Ideal for bikes that are designed for challenging terrain. The upper-link mounted shock style that they use on other trail bikes gives more pedal platform, ideal for bikes that require maximum support and good bottom-out resistance to make them snappy handling, pedal-efficient flyers.
Having control over a versatile design like this allows Santa Cruz/Juliana to tune the suspension to the characteristics they most want for each application.