Some info overheard at Outerbike led me to a bit of research, and I discovered that the Juliana women’s specific line of bikes from Santa Cruz is about 99% marketing and 1% thinner grips and shorter crank arms. The actual frame geometry is identical to the dude’s versions. (I compared the Furtado and 5010)
So if you’re a female and having a hard time getting a good fit, look instead at brands that have actual women’s specific geometry, such as Giant and Specialized. I’m sure there are some others, but these are the two I know off the top of my head.
This PSA brought to you by the father of a twelve year old, 5’5" daughter who currently shreds on a men’s small Giant Trance. 😃