deniz merdano santa cruz 5010 juliana furtado 1

2023 Juliana Furtado MX

Photos Deniz Merdano, except where noted
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Editor's note: Today, Santa Cruz and Juliana are concurrently releasing the 5010 MX and Furtado, respectively. As with past models, geo is the same (a size M Santa Cruz has the same numbers as a size M Juliana) but spec, shock tunes, colours, and contact points differ. We worked with Santa Cruz and Juliana to have coverage of both bikes for launch day, to be followed up in the future with more detailed reviews. Below is Karin Grubb's first impressions of the Juliana Furtado. For Deniz's thoughts on the Santa Cruz 5010 MX, you can head over here. For complete details on the new bikes, including geo, spec, pricing, and photos, you can go here.

2023 Juliana Furtado

One way to get to know someone well is to head out on a road trip together for a few days. It's high risk, and someone may end up left on the side of a road somewhere, but you’ll know pretty darn quick if you’re going to get along or not. This is not unlike how I’ve been getting to know Juliana’s newly redesigned Furtado MX. Timing, luck and expedited shipping conspired to bring me a boxed size Medium Furtado in the highest end model (CC XO1 AXS RSV) hours before I was heading to Whistler to stand in for someone on a three-day Chilcotins trip. I quickly rushed the box over to Deniz to assemble the bike for me while I finished packing and did just enough lawyering to continue to justify my job that afternoon. Hours later we did a quick and dirty suspension set up, and I headed off to Whistler. I managed to adjust the saddle a bit and shift the brake positioning... but that’s all the time we got together before I loaded the Furtado on a helicopter and really hoped we’d get along. There’s nothing quite like bedding your brakes in while screaming down a mountain pass in the middle of nowhere – both exhilarating and completely stupid.


If only all new bike days were this fun.

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Who is the New Juliana Furtado?

The new Furtado is a trail bike with 140mm of suspension in the front, 130mm in the back, and MX wheel sizes. As with most Juliana bikes, the Furtado features a flip chip so the rider can set their bike in 'high' or 'low' mode. The head tube angle and bottom bracket height are adjusted by the chip switch: 65.2 degrees/338mm in high, and 64.9 degrees/334mm in low. I have mine set in low. The Furtado was last redesigned in 2020, and has always been a mainstay of Juliana’s line-up. This redesign has resulted in some significant changes to the bike:

  • Transitioning to MX (aka mullet – with a 29 inch wheel up front and a 27.5 in the rear) from what was previously a full 27.5 bike (the Furtado is Juliana's version of the Santa Cruz 5010). It is notable that the standover height was not significantly affected with this change, which is often a concern for shorter riders.
  • Incorporating scaled geometry. This means that the feel and fit of the bike should be consistent across sizes. This is most strongly seen as chainstay lengths getting slightly shorter as sizes get smaller to keep the rider relatively in the same position over the bike across the size range.
  • Incorporating changes to the carbon lay-up based on the frame size. This means the bike frame is built slightly differently across sizes to achieve a consistent feel between those sizes. This is often a focus as bikes get larger and carbon material is added to create stiffness for heavier riders, but the same applies for smaller sizes: lighter riders still want a bike that retains playful characteristics.

The redesign has also resulted in some changes to the suspension feel, which Juliana describes as:

  • Significantly less anti-squat than the previous generation Furtado to provide sensitive, ground-tracking qualities and reduced effects of pedal kick, and
  • A very straight, highly progressive leverage curve (in both high and low modes) to create accessible and usable travel which is intended to give the rider predictable support, bottom-out resistance, and playful response.

The goal of these changes is to create a more versatile, capable and maneuverable do-anything trail bike that retains the jibby, playful feel of the current Furtado, but is more stable at higher speeds and has the added benefit of the monster-truck powers that a front 29-inch wheel can bring to a bike.

Juliana has also managed to create a size XS bike that is available as a mullet with the Furtado, which is unusual. The other mullet in the Julian line-up is the Roubion (with 160mm fork and 150mm shock), but XS is only offered as a full 27.5 bike. I will admit I don’t know the XS offerings in the market well, but in peeking around I couldn’t find another XS mullet trail bike out there. If you know of one, please educate me in the comments below.

The detailed geo and suspension charts are below for those who want to take a deeper dive:

Furtado Build Kits

The Furtado will come in 5 build kits, all on carbon frames. The first three build kits have a “C” carbon frame, with the two higher end kits having a “CC” carbon frame - the key difference being that CC carbon frames are lighter while still maintaining the same stiffness and strength. All 5 build kits have RockShox Pike forks (different models), 12-speed SRAM drivetrains and come with 2.4 Maxxis DHRs tires front and rear. Other than the first build kit which specs Fox, all other build kits also spec a RockShox Super Deluxe shock, with the upper end two kits coming with the Ultimate.

I was provided with the Furtado CC XO1 AXS RSV in size Medium, with an MSRP of $13,949 CAD, built out as follows:

  • Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate 140mm (29)
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Bars: 760mm Santa Cruz 20 carbon bars
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40 IS integrated headset
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC
  • Rotors: Avid Centerline 200mm front/ 180mm back
  • Dropper: Reverb Stealth 125mm-200mm
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 AXS Eagle, 12-speed (32T front chain ring, mine came with a 10-52T cassette, but the spec sheet shows 10-50T)
  • Wheels: Santa Cruz Carbon Reserve 30 Rims with Industry Nine 1/1 hubs

The spec on this bike is high quality, as it should be for the top end model and price. However, while 760mm bars are most likely a perfect width for the smaller size bikes, some riders with longer arms, especially those on a Medium frame, might find 760 on the narrow side. I would also like to see these bikes come with a 30T front ring instead of the standard 32T. I run smaller rings on all my bikes and I love having more of the cassette to work with. It prolongs the life of the cassette and for less powerful riders it will give them a more functional gear range to work with.
My ideal set-up on this bike would be a 10-50T cassette, with a 30T chainring. Two other features that I think are notable are the use of a threaded bottom bracket and a universal derailleur hanger (seriously… can everyone just please use a UDH now?).

Juliana bikes all come with their lifetime warranty on frames and bearing replacements. A lifetime warranty is also offered on all Juliana/Santa Cruz Carbon Bars and Reserve Carbon rims (original owner only).

The basic specs of each model are below. I appreciate that each model has a lot of similarities in terms of specs, and the build kits are really progressive, so its easy to compare the build kits in an apples to apples way. Prices for each model will be available in the linked media release.

Juliana Furtado Build Kits

Five build kits are available for the Juliana Furtado in sizes XS, S and M, all in carbon. There is no alloy frame available for the Furtado, unlike the Santa Cruz 5010 which will be offering an alloy option.

Furtado vs 5010

Juliana is the sister brand to Santa Cruz. With the launch of the new Furtado, Santa Cruz will also be launching a redesigned 5010. The Furtado and 5010 are more or less the same bike, with some adjustments. The key things that make the Furtado different from the Santa Cruz are:

  • Touchpoints: The Furtado comes stock with a women’s specific saddle and Juliana grips.
  • Shock Tune: The Furtado suspension comes with a lighter tune. In speaking with Juliana’s marketing manager I understand this tune is less about rider weight, and more about rider style. Female riders tend to ride with a lighter style – think less smashing through things and more finessing. This is a generalization (it doesn’t apply to everyone!) but I’m looking forward to digging into this a bit more with some time on the bike.
  • Frame Finish: The Furtado has a Matte Aquamarine colour with bright green decals. I think this paint job is stunning and I far prefer it to the 5010 colour that I’ve seen.
  • Branding: This is an interesting one. I’ve never been a rider that has gravitated towards women’s specific bikes but I know a lot of women who do. I think that a bike that makes you feel good is the right bike for you, but these days there are so many good bikes out there and it's hard to go wrong, so sometimes your purchasing question becomes as much about what you want to support as what you want to ride. I appreciate that more companies are supporting female athletes, but most are still predominantly male. Juliana supports a great roster of incredible female athletes, and I appreciate that. Ultimately, if someone gets more excited about a certain brand and that makes them want to ride their bike more, then it’s a win.

I am hoping to get the opportunity to ride the new 5010 a few times while also doing the longer term review of the Furtado, and will expand on this “what’s the difference” conversation in the long-term review.

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Three long days and no saddle sores on a new seat is nothing short of a miracle.

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The WTB Silverado is spec'd on all Juliana Furtado models.

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Juliana has nailed their modern and simple branding

First Impressions of the Juliana Furtado – Three Days in the Chilcotins

A three-day backcountry riding trip is probably not the most common first test of a bike, but for the Furtado I think it was a perfect one.

But first, a little about me: my personal bike for the last two years has been a size medium Scott Ransom – a 29er with 170mm of suspension front and back, and it’s been a workhorse, serving as my pedal bike, shuttle bike and (very occasional) bike park bike. Before that I had a Knolly Warden and a Rocky Mountain Instinct, the latter of which I got specifically for a trip to Tibet. I’ve also spent time on a Giant Reign, a Specialized Camber 29, Ibis Mojo, and some other archaic bikes.

At about 5'8 I often ride a medium bike, or a large if the bike has a short top tube since my height is mostly torso. I’ve been riding for around 15 years, and I learned to ride in the somewhat terrifying “peek and push” era where we were encouraged to throw our bikes down things while holding on off the back for dear life and waxing your butt with your rear tire. I envy riders who learned on modern bikes with modern instructions and haven’t had to spend their entire riding careers unlearning things. I did some XC racing in a “personal challenge” capacity, some enduro races and a lot of riding for fun and community connection. I suffered a terrible crash about 6 years ago which took me off the bike for over a year so my riding has evolved to a very deliberate style. I enjoy challenges and risks, but they must be calculated and I hold on to control very firmly. I look for responsiveness in my bikes and predictability – I want to know how my bike is going to behave and I want to be in control at all times, even if that means being a little deliberately out of control. I prefer to pedal 90% of the time, love the idea of long adventures and Type II fun, but I can’t turn down a fun shuttle with a beer or two at the end – it’s all about balance, right?

Mercifully, I felt like I got comfortable on the Furtado very quickly. From a touchpoint perspective, WTB's Silverado was great and I did three days of riding on it with no saddle sores or chafing. I didn’t feel any unusual pains or discomforts and I felt like my body adapted to the bike well. I am quite long in the torso so I did slam the seat all the way back initially, but I’ve been playing with the fit since coming back to add a bit more reach and a more centered saddle position.

The Furtado has a handy Glovebox which I shoved full of tools for this trip. The Glovebox includes two fabric bags designed to fit inside the frame so you can easily access your stashed goods and they don’t fall into the depths of the frame or rattle. The tool roll was handy for things like zip ties, quick links and pliers. There is also a tube sleeve which, as far as I can tell, is impossible to fit an actual tube in. I used it for lube, tire levers, my spare derailleur hanger, and some other random bits. Urban legend is that the tube sleeve perfectly fits Oreos, but I’ll leave that assessment for the long term review.

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The glove box access also serves as the bottle cage mount.

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Tool and tube sleeves included with the bike can fit a variety of small tools, but I could not jam a tube in the tube sleeve!

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I really like this colour scheme.

This was my first experience on a mullet and I found the responsiveness and playfulness of the Furtado very apparent. The trails in the Chilcotins are littered with surprises – a rock waiting to take out your derailleur, a hidden stump and sometimes a marmot burrow in the middle of the trail. I really noticed how maneuverable the bike was in that environment and very responsive at speed, even with all the extra baggage. Learning I could count on the bike to turn and flick on a dime allowed me to open up on sandy chutes and wide open rutted trails, and the 29" front wheel ate up any chunder. Its poppy nature brings a heavy dose of fun and play to the table on the descents. From a descending perspective, the Furtado felt like it packed more suspension than the numbers say. A lot of happy screams and woots came out of me on the downhills. I’m excited to spend more time on the Furtado on my home trails to get a better sense of how the suspension feels on familiar terrain and with less weight on the bike, especially once we get a bit of moisture back in the dirt!

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Party in the


The Furtado with bags on during a mid-ride break in the Chilcotins.


Thanks to Max Bercowitz for these photos!

IMG_4290 (1)

... and your endless cheer on the uphills!

From a climbing perspective, I feel like I need some more work on fit and time climbing on the home trails. If you’ve been to the Chilcotins, you know the climbing is very steep, slow and includes a lot of hike-a-bike, so I don’t feel like it’s a great place to get a representative sense of how a bike will climb on purpose built mountain bike trails. So far, I finding the shock lock out important for efficient uphill travel and a noticeably slower roll when pumping or rolling along gradual declines as compared to a 29er. The bike has traction for days, even with the shock locked out, and I haven’t had the rear wheel spin out on me yet. Because of the smaller wheel on the back, acceleration is easier in tricky terrain. I love to ratchet in tight climbs and the smaller wheel on the back really caters to that. It takes less energy to get the wheel moving from a standstill or up punchy climbs, but conversely it also rolls a bit slower on the flats. For people who struggle with power moves while climbing, but still want the benefits of the 29er on the descents, this wheel set up could be just the ticket. The Furtado feels very light and also carried well on the shoulders if that’s a consideration!

I’m excited to spend more time on this bike riding trails that I’m familiar with, and find the limits of what feels comfortable. I intend to play with the set-up a bit to see if I can improve my climbing position on the bike and also do some back-to-back rides with the 5010 to see if I can feel different ride characteristics of the shock tunes. If you are considering this bike, what are the key things you want to know more about?

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+2 Timer Deniz Merdano

The key thing I want to know about is whether this opening originally included a recipe for the perfect crime and then you toned it down for legal reasons?

One way to get to know someone well is to head out on a road trip together for a few days. It's high risk, and someone may end up left on the side of a road somewhere…


Jokes aside, I’m curious about the lifetime warranty on the carbon bars. ‘If it snaps we’ll replace it for free’ seems like a questionable practice vs. treating a bar like a wear item that should be replaced if damaged (which presumably wouldn’t be covered under warranty?) unless I missed something when I roll it around in my head.

It’s not like frame bearings where they wear out and SCB sends more.

Be very curious of your thoughts and what they say about that.


Great writing!


+1 Andrew Major

You should have read the first draft of that opener....


+1 Timer

Ah! Clearly. 

Is it coming out in the future limited edition R-rated writer’s cut of the article?


+2 Andrew Major Cooper Quinn

Andrew, yes - the before I've had coffee version featured every morning in our household ;).



It’s all about routine - “let us have coffee first” is the morning motto at my place.


+2 Andrew Major Timer

Interesting take on the bar warranty, i wonder what the threshold is for considering warranty on damaged bars. Time? Scratch depth? Injury severity? We should ask.



Yeah, for/to me, offering a lifetime warranty on an MTB handlebar is kind of weird, as they're put through a lot of stress and a lot of the times, crashes. To me, since carbon is effected by use, heat, UV etc, they should definitely have a defined "X" period of time. So, are they overbuilding them so they won't break and the lighter riders are suffering for it or...?

Also, if they're adjusting the carbon layup to make the ride feel the same on the much smaller sizes, where are they taking their "avg woman" from, is she considered a fairly fit and trim woman that is within the BMI range, or are they taking into account the sad increase in avg size of most humans these days? This is honestly where, like some companies do, there needs to be a stated weight limit for the product.


+1 Timer

It does seem like a really strange thing to offer a ‘lifetime’ warranty on.

Another example would be comparing it to rims… the outcome breaking a Reserve rim or SCB carbon bar are very different in terms of pushing the product to replacement.


+1 Andrew Major

The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship so if you crashed and would expect to break a normal bar, I don't think they'd cover it.  I think you could definitely argue on cracking of the bar under tension or a fracture that happened too easily but I suspect it would be a discussion in the circumstances as to whether the fault occurred because of the "giant" tree you hit, or because the bar was faulty and snapped too easily when you hit that "very small" tree..


+1 Velocipedestrian

Well yup, can't figure there's a better way to really get to know something/someone than to be thrust together over an extended period of times with no option of ditching the other. Luckily these days bikes in general, no matter the brand, are pretty damned good if we're all honest.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts comparing the "male" 5010 to the "female" Furtado and if there's any real difference, other than the small touch points, tuned shocks and sponsoring some female athletes. I do have to say, that the colourway, IMHO is gender neutral - Not sure if it's meant to be that way, but it's one I'd happily ride as a guy.

What I'd also like to see is some real reviews that speak to the avg consumer, not the "dentist and doctors" type builds a lot of media seem to always receive, you know something in the <$6k range.

That WTB Silverado is a completely redesigned thing, definitely much different than the one I rode back in 2007 that gave me a much different experience/outcome.

You know, this is something OT I guess, but it's something I've mulled over a few times in the past and thought I'd voice. What I'm curious about is the relationship between the Santa Cruz brand and the Syndicate race team? Now I'd have thought, you have a race team that's heavily sponsored by Shimano and Fox, then conversely, you'd kind of be expected to also have more of your build options offering products from those companies, but it seems to be quite the opposite. Anyone got thoughts on this?


+1 Velocipedestrian

The general trend over the last many years has been that the Juliana colourway option is better than the SCB for the same rig. 

I think the 5010 looks okay, but I’d choose the Juliana. I like the Julie Furtado story, need a human-specific bike like most folks, ride fairly light for my size thanks to spending many hours on a rigid bike (so the shock tune is probably fine), and I’d be swapping the grips anyway so this would be perfect. 

I’m about Karin’s height but with longer legs relative to my torso and traditionally ride a large Santa Cruz with a short stem so sizing is an interesting follow up I’m eager to read about in her conclusion.



To the colourways, can't say I agree with you on the whole SCB vs Juliana, well at least this year, the 5010 that Deniz has I really like the colour. 

Yeah on the tunes...after I replied was grabbing a shower to try and cool down and got to thinking, well, what about me, I'm definitely on the lighter side of a 6'2" person, 185lbs geared to ride, wouldn't I benefit from a lighter tune as well? Hadn't even considered that I regularly ride rigid and aren't wrecking wheels, cutting tyres etc., so could consider myself a "light" rider in that aspect as well. 

I think that bike companies need to offer tune options at the time of purchase, might delay your bike by a week or 2, but you can choose either the regular tune, light tune or heavyweight tune, think they'd have a lot more really happy customers not having to F'around with volume spacers etc trying to get things to work as they'd like.


+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

Lynx, I agree that the differences between these bikes are easy customizations and it would be ideal for a customer (of any gender) to request those specifications for their specific bike, especially considering they are available.   It would certainly delay things and create some logistics that a company may not want to deal with except in its highest end models, but it would be a cool differential. This also a way a LBS can really set itself apart, and take on the swapping of bars, touchpoints or even shock tunes (although that might be a bigger project) for a customer.   Bikes are expensive these days, especially the highest end bikes, so I personally want to see mine come as ready to go as possible - every penny I need to spend to customize my bike out of the box seems to hurt a bit more.


It's nice to think about but for every tune option you're listing, that's essentially another SKU, and more SKUs = more expensive bikes. Suspension tuning isn't that hard to dial in with help from a shop if you're not comfortable with it. At 6'2 and 185, you definitely do not fit into the 'light' tune category, and anyway, this Juliana only comes up to size M. Geo is the same as the SC but if you want a size L or the XL I suspect you'd ride, you have to go with the 5010.


+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer

Fully agree, that when its a high end bike like this the risk is lower ;)   I think Andrew has done a great job of publishing thoughts lately on the more financially accessible bike builds and options, and I'm happy to see that type of coverage.  My first bike was a 7 year old $100 specialized hardtail - If I'd had to spend thousands of dollars to get into riding at that time (as a student), it never would have happened and that's a dark "sliding doors" reality I don't want to think about! 

I appreciate your comment about the $6K vs $14K builds.  One of things I like about the build kits on this bike is that they are really progressive, so I feel like the review should generally apply to all of the builds. On the Juliana side every frame is carbon and the components are "similar" - you just get more carbon, and lighter carbon and fancier versions of things as you pay more money.  I do think the most affordable version of the Furtado will ride substantially similar to the version I have, it will just be a bit heavier and the feel of the different wheels will affect the ride characteristics somewhat.  Wheels are a variable no matter what though - I have swapped stock wheels for We Are One's on my last two bikes and the feel does change. For someone who already has their own set of investment wheels they can swap over, a lower priced model might be a better option for them.  

As for the Syndicate question, I hope someone else jumps in - I really don't follow racing to that level.  I like the "holy crap they are so fast and good at bikes!!" part of racing, not really the other parts ;)


+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Morgan Heater

My first bike was a 7 year old $100 specialized hardtail” 

I’m often nostalgic for the days when I wanted to mountain bike so badly that I could have fun on anything… now, riding the same trails, I’m like “eww, Guide brakes are okay for tiny children but I’m not riding down Expresso without Codes as a minimum.”


The relationship between race teams and spec is interesting for sure. Every brand/team does it differently, and even though you didn't mention this, I can tell you that these relationships are critical in the road world as well. Part of that depends on who actually owns the team. The Syndicate is owned by Santa Cruz, but other teams out there are not owned by the bike brand that graces the team's name.

I don't know how it works everywhere, but when I worked at Ritchey, we had relationships with as many as four or five World Tour teams at a time (out of 20). Each relationship was a little bit different, but all of them had a dynamic like you mention: we would sponsor the team (and again, in some but not all cases, the team's owner was an individual and not a brand) with product and cash. The team provided exposure and other agreed upon benefits. And the bike brand usually guaranteed a certain minimum amount of OE spec. This worked harmoniously: the bike brand naturally promoted the teams it sponsored, and assumed its customers wanted the ability to buy a team replica bike (spec'd the same way as the Pro Tour team bikes), or a down-spec'd version but with similar brands still involved. For our part, the sponsorship paid for itself before the team even started racing, due to the guaranteed spec, and the team was happy for the equipment and cash. Easy wins for everyone.

Now, I can't comment on the Syndicate, and the relationship I detailed above was from over a decade ago. But if I had to guess, I'd say there are a lot of things that prevent such an entangled set of relationships these days: 

  1. first of all the Syndicate is a DH race team, so for those relationships to spill into spec on trail bikes...many complications there.
  2. logistics and supply chain (the last few years especially, but not exclusively)
  3. the difference between team only race gear and consumer-grade OE stuff (especially suspension, but also things like tires)
  4. in the case of DH racing, there aren't a lot of DH bikes sold every year, so guaranteed spec wouldn't amount to much for the OE suppliers involved. 
  5. also, Chris King stuff is really expensive for OE spec. 

Look at the Scott SRAM XC team - all Scott Sparks use team-sponsored equipment. I bet the XC world still works more in that way, whereas DH has more variability. Enduro probably looks more like XC, but most brands and product managers don't want their choices dictated by sponsorships - that limits options as well as negotiating power.

This might make a good topic for a feature in the future.


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