Both women’s bikes are great rides, but they’re intended for subtly different uses and users. Which one is right for you?
By Sydney Fox
What it does well: The Furtado—Juliana Bicycle’s mid-travel trail bike at 130mm of suspension both front and rear—is made for long days in the saddle, big climbs, and fast descents. We tested the bike on Carbondale’s Red Hill—chunky sandstone—and the Furtado climbed with ease, while simultaneously eating up the drops on the way down. The balanced handling gave me confidence and made me want to try to ride the next big obstacle.
What it does poorly: My gripe is more with the build than with the bike. I’m a small-framed girl, but not overly short. I tested the small frame, but the bars were simply too wide. I was uncomfortable most of the time. The test bike also came with a 34-tooth front chainring, which is a bit stout for anybody who climbs. Those are pieces that I’d expect on a unisex build, but not on a women’s specific bike.
So who’s it for? The woman who wants a bike that can do it all, but really shines on rough trail. Weight depends on build.
What it does well: The Grade is designed for everything from smooth asphalt to a high mountain fire road. A slack headtube angle, swept out bars, and GT’s signature triple triangle frame keep you comfortable no matter the terrain. The best part of the bike? Because GT and the GURU Fit System are sister companies, the GT engineers have access to all of the data about the difference in body geometry between men and women. The results are surprising. The data reveals that most women don’t need shorter top tubes and longer seat tubes. But, the touch points of the bike—bars and saddles—do need to be engineered for women. The Grade features a women’s specific saddle and proportionately narrower bars.
What it does poorly: Again, not a performance issue, but the bikes run incredibly small. The good news? If you’re under five feet tall, GT has a bike that will fit you (but it’s still labeled a 48cm).
So who’s it for? The girl who wants a bike that can take her anywhere, including that bit of singletrack next to the bike path. 23.2 lbs.
From our Early Summer 2016 issue.