Issue #036, Review -

Juliana Strega Review – Love at First Ride

Witches didn’t have an easy life in the Middle Ages: they were ostracized, hunted and, in the worst case, burnt at the stake. In contrast, today witches have a wicked, cool image. The Juliana Strega is a witch in more than just the name.

Juliana Strega | 170/170 mm (f/r) | 13.36 kg | € 8,999

The Juliana Strega doesn’t look like most people expect a classic women’s specific bike to look, which is exactly why our test rider Antonia fell in love with it at first sight. Instead of flower patterns and butterflies in pink and purple, the Strega (Italian for “witch”) focuses on understatement. The matte green finish, which gives way to the raw carbon lettering and the straight lines of the frame make the Strega look progressive even when stationary.

It’s not surprising that the Strega strongly resembles the Santa Cruz Nomad. After all, Juliana is the Californian brand’s women’s specific offshoot, and it’s not trying to hide the fact that it uses the same frame geometry. However, Juliana offers the Strega in sizes starting at XS and has adapted the suspension as well as the contact points (grips and saddle) specifically to women’s needs.

The Juliana Strega in detail

Our test bike was an extremely expensive witch: you’ll have to fork out € 8,999 for this top-end model, but the spec is correspondingly high-end. Only the best was good enough: a SRAM XX1 drivetrain, Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels and RockShox suspension consisting of a Lyrik fork and Super Deluxe shock – magical. Our only point of criticism was the small 180 mm brake rotors. No problem — for next season Juliana will be speccing bigger rotors. Of course, there are more affordable builds too, with a solid and sensible selection of components.

Fork RockShox Lyrik RCT3 170 mm
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe 170 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 Eagle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 125 mm
Handlebar Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bar 800 mm
Stem Race Face Turbine R 50 mm
WheelsSanta Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF II 2,5″
Weight 13.36 kg
Price € 8,999

We rode the Juliana almost exclusively in the high setting and the bike is enormously composed and stable – for us, the slack setting was a superfluous feature.
A bottle holder is perfect for short after work rides. If you don’t feel like carrying a backpack all the time, you’ll love it.
Attention to detail
The decals aren’t stuck on, instead, they’re created by exposing the carbon fibre beneath a clear-coat and decorated with golden elements. Elaborate and beautiful.
A Dream
The Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels impressed us with a very good mix of stiffness, weight and flexibility. They accelerate very easily without being too uncomfortable or stiff. Unfortunately, at this price, they remain only a dream for most.

The geometry of the Juliana Strega

Size XS S M
Seat tube 375 mm 390 mm 420 mm
Top tuber 540 mm 573 mm 573 mm
Head tube 90 mm 100 mm 110 mm
Head angle 65° 65° 65°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74.5°
Chainstays 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
Wheelsbase 1,134 mm 1,168 mm 1,192 mm
Reach 390 mm 420 mm 440 mm
Stack 584 mm 593 mm 602 mm
Helmet Specialized Ambush | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Jacket SCOTT Trail MTN Dryo | Shorts ION Bikeshort Scrub_Amp WMS | Shoes Five Ten Freerider Pro WMS

Riding the Juliana Strega

We put the Strega through its paces for a whole season, and we had a blast. At a height of 160 cm, our test rider chose to ride a size S, which fit perfectly. The riding position is nicely balanced between the wheels, keeping the front weighted and firmly planted on steep climbs despite the long travel fork resulting in a high front-end. The light carbon wheels together with the efficient rear linkage make for excellent acceleration. You won’t win a hill-climb competition on the Strega, but you’re guaranteed a relaxed and comfortable ride to the top of any summit. However, for very long rides the 32-tooth chainring could be a tad smaller.

Location: Cervinia / Italien

I am so goddamn sick and tired of this pink sh*t, show me something rad with some black in a girl’s fit! – Ferda Girls

The Strega reveals its true magic on the descents. With 170 mm of travel, the bike doesn’t hesitate for a second, hitting large drops, rock gardens or roots with aplomb. At the same time you can easily bunny-hop the Strega, so catching air is no problem at all. In rough terrain, the Strega stays composed and feels enormously stable, and yet, as soon as you hit a corner you can throw it around with ease. Whatever you want to do, the Strega will follow your command, holding its line wherever you point it.

On the Strega, your confidence will skyrocket!

You can have a lot of fun even on simple and flowing trails and our tester’s confidence on the bike increased exponentially over the course of the season – it’s like witchcraft! So it’s no wonder that the Strega is so damn fast, as some people (men) learnt when they couldn’t shake the Strega and its rider from their rear wheel, occasionally being forced to let them pass. “Witch”, they probably cursed to themselves …


The Juliana Strega is the best women’s specific bike we’ve tested so far. Despite the plush 170 mm of travel, the bike not only climbs brilliantly but is a lot of fun on simple trails too. The Strega makes hard, demanding trails seem tame, as if by magic, and you’ll be able to elevate your riding to new levels. In the past, you would have been burned for such sorcery – today we can only applaud. Chapeau, Juliana!


– unstoppable on descents
– simultaneously agile and composed
– great spec


– price

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This article is from ENDURO issue #036

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