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Review: Juliana Quincy gravel bike

Set it up 650b or 700c. Either way, you get exceptional versatility and a rowdy, fun ride.

Size Reviewed






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The Quincy is Juliana’s answer to the popular Santa Cruz Stigmata and is named after the little gold dust town in northern California where the popular Grinduro gravel race is held. And I really don’t want to give my test bike back to Santa Cruz. It’s that good.

What’s the difference between the Quincy and the Stigmata?

The two bikes use the exact same frame—geometry, carbon layup, etc., but come in different size ranges, different paint colors, and different build kit options. The Stigmata comes in five standard build kits (including one 2x option) and sizes 52–60cm, while the Quincy comes in two standard build kits (one 700c and one 650b, both 1x) and sizes 49cm, 52cm, and 54cm. All SRAM AXS builds have a wheel upgrade option, which means three Stigmata builds (700c and 650b options) and one Quincy build (650b only).

Aside from frame size, a women’s Ergon saddle is the only thing components-wise that makes the Quincy a women’s bike. Juliana’s website says it specs handlebars in a 38cm for the 49cm frame and 40cm for the 52cm and 54cm frames specifically as a touchpoint difference for smaller riders. However, the Easton EA70 AX handlebar on the 49cm they sent for testing measured at 40cm (C-C at hoods) and Easton’s site doesn’t list a 38cm as an option for that bar. Regardless, saddles and bars are such personal and fit-specific choices that they’re incidental to the rest of the bike.

If you don’t need the 49cm (I do), I see nothing wrong with disregarding the suggested gendering of the Quincy and Stigmata, choosing your favorite build kit and frame color, and getting on with the business of riding your new bike.

What’s new about the Quincy/New Stigmata?

It runs either 650b or 700c. With 650b, it’ll clear up to a 2.1-inch tire, and up to a 45mm on 700c. This is a significant increase from the 700x40mm clearance of the previous model. While the former Stigmata used an-out-of-Santa-Cruz-character Pressfit bottom bracket, the new Quincy and Stigmata feature a 68mm threaded bottom bracket (to the joy of mechanics everywhere). The Quincy accepts internally routed dropper posts (27.2mm), any electronic front derailleur or Shimano mechanical front derailleurs. It utilizes boost spacing and has hidden fender mounts, as well as mounts for a third bottle cage on the bottom side of the down tube.

Photo: Brittany Jones

The old Stigmata didn’t come smaller than a 52cm frame size, which means I was never able to ride one. It also means there’s no apples to apples geometry comparison for the 49cm Quincy I tested, but we can look at the 52cm and 54cm geometry for comparisons. While you won’t find it on Juliana’s site, the Santa Cruz site specifically states the company has reworked the 52cm and 54cm frames to better fit smaller riders. Specifically citing a 50mm fork offset to mitigate toe overlap, instead of the 45mm fork offset found on the larger Stigmata sizes. Other noted changes in the geometry for those two sizes include: lower bottom bracket drop, shorter head tube, shorter wheelbase, slightly shorter reach, slightly longer stack, and lower standover. Head tube and seat tube angles remain the same. Other information like bb height and front center are not listed on available geometry charts of older model Stigmatas.

The build kit

The model I tested was spec’d with a Force AXS drivetrain, featuring a 42t chainring and a 10-50t cassette, as well as the optional upgraded Santa Cruz Reserve 25 650b carbon rims, DT Swiss 350 hubs, and WTB Ranger 2.0-inch tires. 160mm rotors and Force hydraulics give you loads of stopping power. An Ergon SR10 women’s saddle, Easton EC70 seatpost, and Easton’s new EA70 AX flared gravel-specific handlebar round out the build on this drop-bar adventure bike. The complete build weighed in at 18.27 pounds with XT pedals and two carbon cages.

The ride

To put the Quincy through its paces, I headed to Pikes National Forest in southern Colorado to see how it handles my local unmaintained USFS roads. Steep, loose, rutted out climbs, and steeper descents with deep ball-bearing gravel and washouts define the area. I’ll ride on my own cyclocross/gravel bike or my hardtail, but there is a significantly higher sketch factor on the cross bike. This is exactly the terrain where the hard-to-categorize 650b Quincy stands out the most.

Given the 650b wheels with tubeless mountain bike tires, I set tire pressure at 21/23 psi. The Quincy’s light frame and snappy carbon wheels are quick to accelerate, and the AXS XX Eagle cassette is more than ample for the climb, which averages about 6% and descending grades averaging 10%. It is comfortable, stable, fast and light.

The handling is responsive without the associated nervousness, and the minimal weight gives it snappy acceleration. Descending on the loose and rowdy gravel roads was the most fun I’ve had in a while. The 650b x 2.0 tires paired with drop bars gave me traction and a low center of gravity to take corners faster and harder than I would have if I’d just had one of those things. This bike with a dropper post would be the sort of fun that gets you into trouble. I wouldn’t ride this wheel/tire setup for the Dirty Kanza-type of gravel riding that we often envision when we think “gravel,” but if what you really want is a high-end rigid, drop-bar mountain bike, the 650b Quincy is exactly that.

While I love riding the Quincy through my rough-and-tumble backyard and on local singletrack, it’s a very niche bike if you were to only use it in the 650b configuration. Most folks, myself included, will likely ride the 700c option most of the time. Because of that, I also tested the Quincy with a set of 700c Santa Cruz Reserve 22 wheels.

With 700c wheels, the Quincy slots in easily next to other bikes marketed as versatile cyclocross/gravel bikes. It’s exactly what I’d expect from a $7100.00 bike (including Reserve wheelset) in that category. Although I didn’t do any ‘cross racing on the 700c Quincy, it handled light singletrack, sand, and dirt roads with ease. I wouldn’t hesitate to jump into a gravel race with this setup.

If I were to race CX, I’d look at changing out the cassette to something with a smaller, tighter range, but I wouldn’t give a second thought to the appropriateness of the geometry or handling. This is what I really enjoy about the Quincy—it manages, with an extra wheelset on your part, to be an ideal tool for both the business end of a race and riding with the “party-in-back” crew.

My only complaint about the Quincy would be that they made the higher end model the 650b version. It seems like an odd decision to pair the nicer drivetrain with the wheelset that, while a lot of fun, is less likely to be sought after. But, again, this is only a limiting factor for those of us who need the 49cm. If you fit the 52cm or 54cm, the Stigmata comes in the exact same Force AXS build kit with 650b and 700c options. The only thing you give up is the admittedly sweet Midnight Blue paint scheme of the Quincy.