The Sciu Juniper is the first and so far only gravel bike from the young brand from Hamburg. But its versatility makes sister models superfluous, and the very low weight is surprising.
Test Sciu Juniper: The young provider from Hamburg is currently only represented with two models on the market, an enduro fully and a gravel bike - the Sciu Juniper, in English "juniper". The wheel is painted in a beautiful petrol blue, but under the plain color there is a frame with various interesting details. With the almost horizontal top tube, which is notched in the rear area, the bike looks a bit like cyclocross, whereby the shape as well as the seat tube, which is also notched, and the low, thin seat stays should serve to dampen shocks and vibrations.
Slim with a tidy look
The frame features fully integrated wiring that runs under the stem into the head tube and an internal seat clamp, giving it a smooth and uncluttered look. Despite the 1×11 construction, a front derailleur base is mounted, which of course you could unscrew – if you order a frame set from Sciu, you have the option of building it with a double chainring. The right chainstay has been lowered a bit to allow for more tire clearance, so the bike can be ridden with a whopping 53 mm wide 28-inch tyres. Sciu also allows 650B tires up to 2.1 inches wide.
Sciu Juniper: lots of tire clearance, little weight
That already speaks for solid off-road qualities; the steering geometry of the Graveller is more "race" than "trail" with a steep steering angle. The seating position is compact and comfortable, so that the Juniper appears very balanced overall. The driving characteristics are also pleasing, because on the one hand the bike is very comfortable and by no means hard, on the other hand it combines manageable steering behavior with safe straight-line stability. Even gravel passages driven at 50 km/h do not cause any unrest in the chassis; Stability and rigidity are felt to be at a high level. What is remarkable in this context is the extremely low weight of the Juniper: In the XL frame size with a 205 mm long head tube, it weighs just 8,4 kilos.
Sciu Juniper: stable and comfortable
The newcomer's gravel bike also has a lot to offer when it comes to mounting options: three bottle holders, a rear luggage rack and luggage holders on the slim fork, mudguards and a top tube bag can be mounted, with the threads for the latter being oriented quite far towards the middle of the tube.
Low weight and handy steering, safe directional stability and very large tire clearance, numerous mounting options: With all these features, the Sciu proves to be extremely versatile. This is particularly practical for a small manufacturer, because it means that there is no need for a whole range of specialized models that cover different areas of application.
SRAM Force with a wide range of cassettes
And even with the equipment you can get pretty far. The 10-speed cassette of the SRAM Force with 42-1 teeth offers a fairly long fast gear as well as a 1:25 mountain gear; the very light Syntace wheel set comes with aluminum rims, whose internal width of XNUMX mm is perfectly tailored to wide tires, as well as a finely rastered toothed disc freewheel.
In view of its many good features, the Sciu Juniper is by no means expensive at a good 4.000 euros. However, one can ask oneself whether the bike could not also be realized with electronic shifting components at this price. The mechanical SRAM Force 1 now costs about the same as its AXS variant. Buying the frame set including stem and carbon post for 2.249 euros and building your own bike is definitely an alternative, even if it is a bit more expensive.
An interesting aspect is the young company's warranty terms: Sciu not only offers a six-year warranty and crash replacement for the first buyer, but also ties the services to the product rather than to the owner. This should upgrade the used bikes of the brand in a few years.