We’ve got hold of a Juliana Quincy SRAM Force AXS (with Reserve carbon wheel upgrade)
- From: Jungle Products
- Duration: One ride!
- Price: £6,799
- A couple of days after Tom had an all-to-brief play on the Santa Cruz Stigmata, a Juliana Quincy landed at Singletrack/Grit towers for Hannah to test.
(If you’ve arrived here without reading our lowdown of the new models, we suggest you start here and then come back for Hannah’s thoughts).
At 175cm tall with long limbs, I’ve never felt the need for a women’s specific road bike, and I’ve never considered a women’s specific gravel bike. I just want a bike that fits, with a saddle that doesn’t double as birth control. The Juliana Quincy is arguably just that – it’s a Stigmata that goes a size smaller (the Quincy is available in 49, 52 and 54cm frames, while the Stigmata is available in five sizes, starting at a 52cm) and comes with proportionate bars and a women friendly saddle.
I attached my pedals, set my saddle height and… rode. No faffing, no fiddling, no tweaking. It just fitted. The saddle is nice and broad with a good sized cut out, and while women’s bums are all different sizes, this saddle suits me.
On the groad
The bars also felt just right. I found myself riding it on the hoods much more than I have other gravel bikes, not needing to go into the drops to brake, unless on much steeper and more technical descents. This made for a relaxed and comfortable ride, as well as making me feel really in control at all times.
With the fat 27.5×2.0in tyres, it’s certainly comfortable despite the stiff carbon wheels and frame. And boy is that frame stiff. Stuff really happens when you pedal – forward motion is swiftly forthcoming. It’s a real pleasure to skip along at a decent pace on such chunky tyres.
SRAM Force AXS mash-up
There are no rattles or squeaks, and all the cable routing is quiet, which adds to the fun of whizzing along. Of course, on my test bike there are fewer cables thanks to the SRAM Force AXS groupset (as mentioned in our launch news story, this is actually a mash-up between Force and Eagle. The mech and cassette are taken from SRAM’s mountain bike groupset).
This feels great – interestingly it was crisper and easier to use than the mountain bike AXS I’ve recently ridden. With the lightest of touches on the shifters, your gears shift. This made changing gear effortless, and minimised the need to move my hands to complete the task. This was something I really appreciated on my local trails, where there are plenty of shifts from steep up to steep down, and getting up and down the block swiftly is a real help. The separate left and right up and down is so intuitive too (this can also be programmed to any configuration you like). This feels like somewhere you can really get the benefit of electronic shifting.
Juliana Quincy Geometry
Geometry for this year has been altered to prevent toe overlap on the smaller models, and my experience is that this has been achieved. The ride position is comfortable and not too aggressive, but without being too short or my knees ever feeling endangered by the bars. Other geometry adjustments see the bike made suitable for riders from 5ft 3, although this could perhaps have been lower still without such a prominent seat tube mast. It’s also a 27.2in seat post… if I was going to make this bike even better, I’d really like to be able to fit one of the new RockShocks AXS dropper posts in there.
One bike for all?
As it is I really really like this bike. I set off riding it without knowing the price, and I confess I gulped and squawked a little when I found out how much it is. Is it worth more than my car? More than many full suspension mountain bikes? That’s for you and your pockets to decide.
If I had the money to justify such an outlay, I could quite easily imagine the Juliana Quincy – plus an extra set of wheels and tyres – taking the place of a road bike, gravel bike and hardtail. It’s light enough to serve as a road bike, if you can live without those big time trial or pack chasing gears (and if that’s your preference, the 2x options will work well here). Even with chunky tyres it’s swift enough to commute on, no doubt a 700x38C semi slick would make it super versatile for anyone wanting to mix up road and off-road commutes. I could even skip the extra set of wheels and just have 27.5 semi slicks. With the stock set up, there’s really not a lot I wouldn’t ride on it that I wouldn’t ride on my hardtail – and with a balanced and pedal-able full suspension bike to take care of those kind of rides the two bike shed heaves into view. The only problem is, it’s so expensive, I’m not sure I could leave it outside the pub, meaning it might create the need for a cheap pub bike. But still, it’s very tempting…
Julian Quincy Overall
This is a bike I would love to own. It would do away with the need for a number of other bikes, and it would make many rides fun – it’s not a compromise of never quite being right for everything. Being a bike journo has meant I’ve experienced the joy of riding it, but also means I won’t get to have the joy of owning it. Ah well, you can’t have everything… but if you can stretch to this, you will have a lot of fun.