The Juliana Strega

While no one was looking Santa Cruz have gone and made a new bicycle.

It's called the Strega. It's green. It's for girls. It has 27.5" wheels and 170mm of travel front and back.

It's not really even a Santa Cruz...it's a Juliana. Strega. Means "witch" in Italian. photo: I think Sven Martin took this one

It's not really even a Santa Cruz...it's a Juliana. Strega. Means "witch" in Italian.

photo: I think Sven Martin took this one

 

They painted some of them a different colour and called it a boys bike... they called it the Nomad.

Looks the same...just more manly. Pretty sure Sven took this pic too. There's a brown one as well, let me just find it...

Looks the same...just more manly. Pretty sure Sven took this pic too. There's a brown one as well, let me just find it...

Here it is. This one is manly too. If Sven didn't take this pic, then it must have been Gary Perkin but I'm pretty sure Sven took it. It definitely wasn't me... I take crap photos and this one is quite good.

Here it is. This one is manly too. If Sven didn't take this pic, then it must have been Gary Perkin but I'm pretty sure Sven took it. It definitely wasn't me... I take crap photos and this one is quite good.

I couldn't work out how to download the geo sheet, but no worries, I made my own. Large size only sorry.

I couldn't work out how to download the geo sheet, but no worries, I made my own. Large size only sorry.

So how do I know all this? Easy. Santa Cruz flew me over to France and then made me ride this bike (the Nomad, not the Strega...I'm a boy not a girl) all the way from France to Italy. It was ok. I got a bit tired to be honest. I ate a lot of bread and cheese too, don't even get me started on the beer. I put on weight immediately and it stuffed up the spring rate of the shock and forks and I had to add more air which was exhausting.

I took this pic of my bike while out urban shredding.

I took this pic of my bike while out urban shredding.

For one moment I thought this might have been a shrine to therodfather.  Rider: Pretty sure it's Seb from Santa Cruz Germany.              photo: therodfather.

For one moment I thought this might have been a shrine to therodfather.  Rider: Pretty sure it's Seb from Santa Cruz Germany.            

 photo: therodfather.

We stopped at this Frenchmans house mid-ride for lunch on day two. Even without riding the Nomad he could tell  that the mid-stroke support was top notch.                   photo: Me.

We stopped at this Frenchmans house mid-ride for lunch on day two. Even without riding the Nomad he could tell  that the mid-stroke support was top notch.                   photo: Me.

Oh yeah, they had some new wheels too. A bit lopsided but hell, I couldn't break them. And I tried. There were some big assed rocks that were real sharp and I was too tired to pump up my tyres properly and I bottomed them out a few times (rad) and didn't even get a puncture.

They had some carbon left over so they made some rims. Santa Cruz "Reserve". Gary Perkin or Sven Martin took this photo, but for a moment I thought it must have been me, what with most of it all blurry.

They had some carbon left over so they made some rims. Santa Cruz "Reserve". Gary Perkin or Sven Martin took this photo, but for a moment I thought it must have been me, what with most of it all blurry.

The one on the left is the Santa Cruz "Reserve". It's a bit wonky and looks like it was made first thing monday morning after a weekend bender, but turns out it's meant to be like this, allowing even spoke tension or something. Look how fat those sticky downy things are...they must be real strong. The one on the right is a non wonky one from another company. Turns out it's nowhere near as strong. Something to do with using carbon where it's not really needed. Pretty sure Gary Perkin took these photos.

The one on the left is the Santa Cruz "Reserve". It's a bit wonky and looks like it was made first thing monday morning after a weekend bender, but turns out it's meant to be like this, allowing even spoke tension or something. Look how fat those sticky downy things are...they must be real strong.

The one on the right is a non wonky one from another company. Turns out it's nowhere near as strong. Something to do with using carbon where it's not really needed. Pretty sure Gary Perkin took these photos.

This is me riding the Nomad in Sospel, France. Bars seemed to turn ok. I put that down to bearings in the headset. Genius. Sven took this pic. I know this 'cause I saw him hiding in the trees.

This is me riding the Nomad in Sospel, France. Bars seemed to turn ok. I put that down to bearings in the headset. Genius.

Sven took this pic. I know this 'cause I saw him hiding in the trees.

Me drinking beer, this time in Molini, Italy.( I have no idea how I got here from France). I did a lot of this. It got me through the day, most days. I know Sven took the pic even though I have no recollection of it, it's just that Sven always gets me at my bad moments.

Me drinking beer, this time in Molini, Italy.( I have no idea how I got here from France). I did a lot of this. It got me through the day, most days.

I know Sven took the pic even though I have no recollection of it, it's just that Sven always gets me at my bad moments.

This is my cat Sherman. Santa Cruz wouldn't let him come on the trip which is a shame as he is a better writer than me. Even his bike riding is coming along nicely. I missed Sherman while I was overseas. photo: My daughter Elodie. As you can see she is a better photographer than me too.

This is my cat Sherman. Santa Cruz wouldn't let him come on the trip which is a shame as he is a better writer than me. Even his bike riding is coming along nicely. I missed Sherman while I was overseas.

photo: My daughter Elodie. As you can see she is a better photographer than me too.

The hardest part of each day was trying to find my bike." It's the brown one you twat" I thought I took this pic, mainly because I remember trying to get the first bike all sharp and the rest a bit blurry... But actually I didn't, it was Sven again.

The hardest part of each day was trying to find my bike." It's the brown one you twat" I thought I took this pic, mainly because I remember trying to get the first bike all sharp and the rest a bit blurry... But actually I didn't, it was Sven again.

How did it ride? Yeah it was OK. Better than a donkey that's for sure. I'd buy one if the price was right. Especially if it came with those wheels for free. It's just like the old Nomad except completely different.

The suspension goes in and out and when I pulled on the brakes to do a skid I went over the bars ( brakes were the wrong way 'round) so they worked fine. Even the wheels went round and round...bonus. Once I got the brakes swapped over I couldn't really fault the ride though it corners better to the left than the right. It got me to the trails and back really well. Out on the trails it was a bit sketchy but I put that down to my lack of any decent riding ability.

Leaving Sospel and heading for the Italian border and Molini de Triora. As you can see, the bike turns left just fine. photo: Gary Perkin.

Leaving Sospel and heading for the Italian border and Molini de Triora. As you can see, the bike turns left just fine.

photo: Gary Perkin.

 Italy can't be too far away..the coffee should be way better. Now here you can see the right turning issues that I had. photo: Gary Perkin

 Italy can't be too far away..the coffee should be way better. Now here you can see the right turning issues that I had.

photo: Gary Perkin

Cedric Gracia was struggling a bit turning the bike too, he had to keep putting his foot down for stability. photo: Sven Martin

Cedric Gracia was struggling a bit turning the bike too, he had to keep putting his foot down for stability.

photo: Sven Martin

 The Strega probably rides OK too. In fact it must do as Anka Martin (she's a girl) rode one and kicked my arse all week. It's the same bike, just for girls (which is weird as there wasn't any pink on it and it didn't have a steeper head angle or cheaper parts on it). I didn't get to ride it 'cause I'm a boy.

The Good: Super stable bike in rough terrain, I didn't fall off at all the whole trip

The Bad: Brakes were the wrong way around. Right hand cornering requires a foot out technique.

The Ugly: The state of my lawn and swimming pool when I got back. That's the last time I go away for more than a long weekend.

Not too sure why all these people got invited. Santa Cruz could have saved heaps of money and just sent my review worldwide.                                                                                                                         photo: therodfather

Not too sure why all these people got invited. Santa Cruz could have saved heaps of money and just sent my review worldwide.                                                                                                                        

photo: therodfather

I can't wait to see what Santa Cruz come up with next. Exciting stuff right? Whatever it is, I hope the press camp is in Paraparaumu. That place rocks.

DISCLAIMER: AS YOU MUST BE AWARE OF BY NOW, THERODFATHER IS AN IDIOT. IF YOU WANT THE REAL SCOOP ON SANTA CRUZ AND JULIANA JUST HEAD OVER TO SPOKEMAGAZINE.COM RIGHT NOW TO SEE WHAT REALLY HAPPENED.

 

Also check out this rad video starring Anka Martin and the Strega