Starling Cycles Releases the Sturn V2, a Steel, High-Pivot Singlespeed DH Bike

Dec 8, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

Starling Cycles announced today that it has updated its Sturn downhill bike, which was originally released in 2018 and has been modernized with a new swingarm and a refined Jack Drive system.

The Jack Drive is what you'll likely notice about this wild-looking bike, and you may recognize it from the Brooklyn Machine Works designs that inspired it. The system runs the suspension and drivetrain through the same high main pivot to eliminate the problem of chain growth, which Starling says creates less friction than using an idler pulley. Also, yes, that means you can't technically go wrong when photographing the bike, as both sides are the drive side.

Starling Cycles founder Joe McEwan began making bikes in Bristol, UK, in 2014, and most Starlings are still handmade to order at the small brand's headquarters.

The Sturn comes with custom sizing and geometry. Starling will make you a multi-geared version if you ask nicely, similar to this five-speed prototype from 2018. However, Starling stands behind the singlespeed version for its simplicity, dialed chain line, and minimal rear wheel weight.

While the Sturn V1 was a 29er, the Sturn V2 is available for 29", 27", and mixed wheel setups. It has 200mm of rear travel and is built for a 200mm fork, has an adjustable shock mount to fit multiple shock sizes and allow for geometry fine-tuning, and uses Starling's own dropout system, which lets users remove and replace the rear wheel without having to readjust chain tension.

The Sturn is designed for 142x12 singlespeed rear hubs, fits up to 2.8" tires, and has clearance for 200mm rotors. Like Starling's other bikes, it's available either as a frame alone, a frame and shock, or a complete bike built.

Pricing starts at £2990 for a frame. Learn more at


  • 174 1
 Not gonna front, this fucker's mint.
  • 11 0
 Steel bikes are the best!
  • 20 7
 a total steel, at only £2990 for the frame
  • 10 2
 @mi-bike: you get what you pay for
  • 3 3
 @mi-bike: + brexit kisscool effect won't help
  • 2 1
 @mi-bike: ooch that #brexit tax is a sale killer in North America...
  • 1 0
 @ridestuff: Its not often it works in our favour...
  • 2 0
 @number-6: Is it working in your favour though? I was in the market for a British made steel for a couple of seasons leading up to Brexit, but not anymore (what a load of sh*t those Tory liars sold y"all!).
As a Canuck it's cheaper for me to buy American now...
  • 2 0
 @ridestuff: I`m not in the market for one of these either.. I own a Spanish and a French brand, purchased before the seperation.
Chances of it being lies when a politician speaks? 99% of the time
  • 126 3
 Finally, the bike that every Pinkbike reader thinks they want.
  • 57 0
 Something something… water bottle
  • 8 2
 I don’t understand how to charge the fork the shock the dropper the shifter the derailer the lights the tire valves and the motor battery…
  • 38 1
 A whispering wind blows across the prairie, a steed-less mountain biker stands gazing longingly into the sunset

"Gosh, nothing is quite like a Starling. Look at the steel, the craftsmanship, the high single pivot!"
*glances to scan a sea of similar production bikes*
"That Orange on the other hand is a slight against humanity."
  • 3 2
 @initforthedonuts: It has wattle bottle mounts, just to keep Pinkbike readers happy!!
  • 10 0
 @phutphutend: you can choose between a shock and a water bottle
  • 2 0
 @traildad69: Exactly! Raise the pivot a little, and complaints about the lack of linkage-tuned shock progressivity go out the window. Not to speak of other complaints about things that are common to all single pivot bikes, including the meme-worthy Trek Session.
  • 2 0
 Nah, but I'm happy that Joe is pursuing his passion for weird, heavy single-pivots and I'm on the edge of my seat for the Mumur review.
  • 3 0
 @initforthedonuts: judging by the clearance those are waffle bottle mounts
  • 6 1
 For all the shit Orange gets this is even worse.
  • 4 1
 @chakaping: Any review that doesn't mention that it's a terrible idea to have a single pivot with no linkage to moderate the shock is a crap review. Now you can go back to sitting normally.
  • 4 0
 @nouseforaname: How dare reviewers consider riding characteristics instead of evaluating a bike from a photo haha.
  • 4 0
 @nouseforaname: You can get a really nice linear into slightly rising rate from a single pivot without a linkage if you position the shock well. Why would you want to add all the extra weight and complexity of a linkage?
  • 2 0
 @JamesR2026: That's right, it's an extra 200-300 grams or more in bearings, steel axles and aluminium linkages, the result isn't even necessarily better, and it might also be mimicked through shock settings. I'm fine with both solutions, but shaming the simpler one is silly and ignorant.
  • 72 1
 When you're a connoisseur of bike craftsmanship but you also "only ride park".
  • 4 0
 or have n+1 bikes
  • 19 0
 Sexy Blue Steel
  • 11 0
 This is a Beauty. Is the left crank arm actually a right crank arm? Are there two right side Pedals in there, or are left and right swapped even? Wouldn't they get loose, then?
  • 6 0
 Good question
  • 2 0
 Doesn't Middleburn already make left hand drive cranks? Otherwise I would have expected Starling to have used Profile cranks instead as they already stock/need them for their Little Beady Eye bike.
  • 6 0
 It uses Middleburn Tandem left hand cranks.
  • 1 8
flag ChOu177 (Dec 9, 2021 at 0:14) (Below Threshold)
 Technically, if the crank arms are reversed (left to right and right to left) the pedals will overtight to the point you will not be able to disassemble them.
  • 8 0
 @ChOu177: or loosen? I think the pedalling action normally keeps them tight.
  • 8 0
 @ChOu177: wouldn't let you work on my bike...
  • 1 0
 @phutphutend: Pinkbike doesn't often picture bikes from the left and I can't read a logo on my own cranks, but aren't most logos printed such that when the crank arm is pointing forwards, that the logo is upright? I do actually have a picture of my own bike in my photos here (with Truvativ Ruktion cranks, though they've been replaced by Zee now) but I can't clearly read the logo. Maybe I'm wrong and indeed the logo is only upright if the right crank is pointing forwards and the rear crank is pointing rearwards.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: how would that work when some people ride left foot forward and some right..
  • 1 1
 @ChOu177 it seems you're right.

@willf28 @hhaaiirryy : I don't have a bike right now to verify... But I'd say on the drive side, the pedal is screwed "normally" (clockwise).
When you pedal, right crank viewed from the right goes clockwise, the pedal stays level... So it should tend to unscrew?

If ChOu177 & I are mistaken, please explain
  • 1 0
 Lots of BMXers used to just run the cranks switched to get LHD, as long as you tightened the crap out of the pedals they were generally fine. That's with steel cranks and a modest amount of actual pedalling though... The reason the threads are directional is to do with the axle rolling around in the thread due to the cyclic load, rather than any input from the bearings.
  • 2 0
 @Uuno: precession!
So you’re right, if there was no bearing in the pedal it would spin out. But the dominant force that tightens the threads is a from ‘thread precession’ which arises from the clearance between the male and female threads, the inner threads roll around inside the outer s and this causes the pedal to tighten.
  • 1 1
 @hhaaiirryy: Mate, just try on your bike you will see !
To install a pedal you have to turn tour crank backward so logically when you pedal it loosen it.
  • 1 0
 @ChOu177: yep, but when you’re pedalling it your weight causes mechanical precession which causes the pedal to tighten in the crank.
  • 20 10
 Why are so many Single Pivot makers unable to understand that they are making a falling rate rear end? This is just another example of such a thing.

Here's a basic lesson in geometry - once the inner angle at the shock to swingarm mount goes from an acute one, and past 90 degrees, into an obtuse angle, you're into a falling rate. And falling rate rear ends are f****d - well, dreadful , to use gentler language.

They are having to do an extension on the lower swingarm / chainstays to get past the seatpost to their existing pivot point, so making that extension longer is not going to be hard for them. Put the pivot point further forward, bring the shock to swingarm mount back closer to the seatpost, and bring the frame mount down lower to make it so they don't go past 90 degrees, and into falling rate, with Any length and travel shock that might be fitted .

I'm sure I've commented on this companies falling rate fetish, before.

It just ruins Single Pivot performance. They and their customers will says it's great, but, no, it's not.

The only way for that frame, to be Not going into falling rate, as it stands with that Swingarm and Main Pivot point, is with use of a far shorter - length and travel - shock, with the front shock mount further down, using that myriad of what may be other shock mount holes.

As to the jack shaft - well, it's been done before, and will be done ever and anon. I'm fine with it, but it's a Lot of added complication - but, it is for a Valid purpose. They can have a RH drop out to take a Derailleur mount, if anyone wants gears. They'd still have the advantage of the constant swingarm pivot to axle length, which would give a derailleur a far, Far easier time than so many other rear ends. A single speed? - not my cup of tea, as Poms would say, but, go ahead, run what you want. I'm for at least a few gears, for more versatility than a single speed allows you, and, for easing up on (further) knee destruction, and, at my age, less chance of a heart attack............

Yes, I'm opinionated on this, but I've been making my own Single Pivot bikes for nearly 5 decades now, and there's no way I'd make a rear end with a falling rate - I made that sort of mistake in my early teens, and, learned from it. I wish I could post a picture here - I'm an Actual Frame Maker, not an amateur engineer or "internet expert". I've got an example of one of my frames I could show, having it's final build up, right now.
  • 18 4
Good rant there!!

Take a second to look at the leverage ratio curve but with the full axis; 0-3.0, not the zoomed in version that Linkage shows. What you'll see is that the leverage ratio to all intents and purposes in linear. Yes, it may go everso slightly negative towards the end, but there's a good engineering term for use here, "two tenths of f*ck all".

A linear ratio, with a big rubber bumper on the shock (or an air shock that ramps up), works really well. Multiple race wins, National Champion, loads of very happy magazine reviews and customers!! Perhaps they are all wrong?

As much as people like to think so; bikes aren't designed by a bunch of numbers. It the sum of parts that matters, and in this case the sum of parts rips!!
  • 10 13
 @phutphutend: The rate change is not great, but it's Still a change, into Falling rate. "Two Tenths of f**k all", is too bloody much, and it goes past 90 degrees, with a Lot of travel left in that shock. And, to repeat, that's dreadful. Hey, I use single pivots for my own frames (whilst making part of my living designing frames / linkages / and the 'USPs' they need for differentiation from other brands for a variety of manufacturers), because I prefer very minimal rising rates, but never falling rate.

It's not hard for them ( You? ) to rectify this, but, I see with all of the frames of theirs, that they seem to be wed to Sway Back, Falling rate rear ends. Better with an air shock, or, use a multi rate spring? Well, the ramp up of an air spring might help, and the closing of coils might into a heavier rate might do so, too, but you've still the damping that's being subjected to falling rate. Yes, with a positional damper design, you might correct it, but, why rely on that , instead of building something that doesn't need such a 'cure' for bad design?

Looks like the chain may be damned close to sawing into the swingarm, with that humpback/ non straight jointing at the oval chainstay / cross tube / front plate junction. I can't see why that would not be made to be a non humped weldment. I'd like to see a picture from the RH side. The video shows the chain may be directly against the rubber buffer, from the get go, and, of course, with a concentric pivot point, the chain won't be 'lifting' from the swingarm, at all through the travel.
  • 21 5
 @Bearorso: Totally disagree, it not like it a black and white switch, there's levels of progression and regression. Ours are linear, miniscule amounts of regression at end of travel. The bikes ride great.

Yep, this is a proto, production bikes have straight (vertically) chainstay.

I kinda suspect you're trolling, so have fun with the rest of your life!! I'll get my satisfaction from building great riding bikes. You can get yours by ranting on the internet!!
  • 8 22
flag DDoc (Dec 9, 2021 at 4:46) (Below Threshold)
 @phutphutend: Can't take a little constructive criticism without name calling?
Why not acknowledge what the guy is saying and not be rude by dismissing him when he is going out of his way trying to help you. Everyone here is interested in the finer points of suspension design and performance and your inability to engage in a technical conversation is not helping sell your product.
  • 18 3
 @DDoc: I have seen several articles, discussions and videos where Joe goes into depth about various aspects of bicycle design and geometry (the wheel size one was interesting)

I would take a wild guess that he isnt going to learn much from someone that decides by looking at a photo of his bike that the suspension is going to be 'f*cked' or 'dreadful' - the 'finer points' are not being discussed at all.
  • 4 2
 Post some photos of your work to your profile. I’d like to see some of your work. Not to judge, of course. Just for reference.
  • 7 2
 @DDoc: I didn’t see any name calling. And I think he did try to discuss the finer points while this other dude was simply obsessed with frames not having a falling rate.
  • 6 1
 @DDoc: didn’t see any name calling, I’d like to see some photos of the other guys frame as well, I really don’t think the other guy was trying to be helpful either.

slightly arrogant of him saying all starlings customers are wrong in saying their bikes handle well when “they actually ride f*cked “. I seem to remember an early starling being the fastest bike on dirt magazines 1min 30sec mini dh run/trail. Beating some very established names in the process. So I would imagine they handle ok.

Did he mention race wins and a national championship!!
  • 12 2
 @DDoc: except he's not trying to help him, he's being contrarion and grandstanding to try and sound clever. A form of trolling some might suggest. As @phutphutend rightly states, design is rarely black and white and compromises have to be made. If he doesn't like it then he should just ride his own homemade creations and not buy Joe's bikes or try to give him "basic geometry lessons".
  • 1 6
flag thewanderingtramp (Dec 9, 2021 at 10:32) (Below Threshold)
 @hairybarnyard: On the other hand someone owning a business should be able to be have more gracefully than a stroppy child, he used to throw his toys out of the pram on the Home made bikes thread ,especially when his worked was criticized ,some of it was utter shit, nothing seems to have changed in that respect,
  • 4 2
 Is calling the guy a troll not name calling? Especially when no actual trolling happened in this thread.

I wouldn't call criticising falling rate (or even linear) suspension an "obsession"... or even much of an opinion for that matter. More like stating facts. There is a reason current designs avoid that. Or do any of you here who downvote @Bearorso to below threshold (lol typical PB) genuinely think that's the way to go?

Fuzzy marketing speak like "it's not black and white", "our bikes ride great" is far from discussing finer points.

Starling bikes are beautiful and that they're made down the road is a cherry on top because supporting local business and avoiding the whole multi-thousand mile shipping footprint would make me feel nice and warm inside. I was in the market (just ordered a different bike) and Murmur would have been top of the list if it had a different suspension layout.
  • 4 3
 @bananowy: Would you care to define the ‘finer points’ of suspension design for us all seeing as you turned the Murmur down as you see it as inferior to the choice you made - what was that by the way?

Calling something ‘f*cked’, dreadful and implying customers are too stupid / duped to see the truth and will say they ‘like it anyway’ isn’t a discussion of ‘the finer points’ and I think isn’t far away from trolling.

Anyway, over to you with a kinematic analysis of the Starling suspension system and why it is worse than any single pivot with a linkage.
  • 4 1
 @bananowy: No, calling someone a troll is not "name calling".
  • 3 1
 G'day Bear, I remember hearing a similar rant from you in person about 20 years ago about the GT DHi. (you would know me as Russ)
Loved your work back then and I'd be super keen to see what you are working on now.
I'm also a big fan of Starling's work too though. I have a Starling Twist and I love it. It rides amazing with an Ohlins coil. Pedals great, doesn't blow through travel.
Yeah, falling rate is not ideal but I remember I ran the Twist through linkage and I don't think it actually get's into that falling rate zone you are talking about. It's pretty well linear. Really nice anti squat and anti rise numbers too.
Not sure about the Sturn. I'll have to model that later.
Also, Joe from Starling is an actual engineer and frame maker. You'd probably get along really well!
  • 4 0
 @phutphutend: Hi Joe, he's not trolling, that's how Bear is in real life. He's a bit cranky and opinionated but generally means well. He's also been making single pivot DH bikes out of Reynolds 853 since the late 90's so you've probably got more in common than you would think!
  • 7 0
 @JamesR2026: steady on, you're in danger of being reasonable. My experience of most small volume, steel frame builders, is that not matter what they are doing, they're absolutely certain it's correct.
  • 2 0
 @militantmandy: amen to that
  • 2 0
 @sino428: I had to fact check this , turns out in some places calling someone a troll is actually name calling and in the civil service ( where I’m working at the moment) I checked their workplace policy as loads of people I know spend most of their time on biking websites instead of getting shit done theyre paid for , yep calling someone a troll can actually breach the be nice policy ,as a backup I also went and read Wikipedia as some people go by what Wikipedia says obviously I only extracted the positive bias parts for my argument.
  • 2 0
 @JamesR2026: I’m doing my English gcse and came across a wonderful word ‘facile ’ adjective
ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial.
"facile generalizations"
black and white
(especially of success in sport) easily achieved; effortless.
"a facile seven-lengths victory"
  • 1 0
 A young lad in our office got the boot for breaking the be nice policy in a joke that was overheard. I was like, how is removing a young man's ability to support himself nice? WWJD? Surely a second chance is in order!
  • 1 0
  • 2 1
 @Compositepro: haha, jesus forgives all, even nasty trolls.

@jaame: Poor bastard, unless the joke was particularly horrendous (as in absolutely odd the scale racist for example) that’s just nuts.
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername: it seems there is now a naughty list. If one says one of the words on the naughty list it's instant dismissal. Context not considered. It's insane.
  • 11 0
 Don’t need it but I’d love to have it in the quiver.
Very tidy, Starling
  • 8 0
 Nice frame. Put an Onyx hub on it, make sure the brake cables are zip tied down and it would very close to dead silent.
Wondering what the two mounts on the underside of the top tube are for?
  • 8 0
 Ooooh, another high pivot rocket
  • 5 0
 Steel bikes are the best! Edit: I replied to the wrong comment haha!
  • 6 0
 So now there's a drive side and a non drive side drive side.
  • 2 0
 Seems like it would be possible to build some sort of planetary gearing option into that jackshaft where you could insert or remove a pin to keep it direct drive for down or give a significant reduction if you did have to pedal up something. Would allow for a ratio change without any need for chain tensioners,
  • 2 0
 Actually, that's what has been done very often already. Wasn't it even done by BMW which inspired this bike? Either way, before you had internal gearboxes like Pinion and Effigear, brands typically used the common hub gears inside the frame. Nicolai used Rohloff hubs, I think BMW and GT used Shimano. I don't think anyone used or even wanted Sachs/SRAM (and rightly so). Not sure about the pin thing as one of the gears in an internal gear hub is already 1:1.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: that's not what he's on about. He's on about a 2 speed planetary gear box, like on cordless drills. Basically, 1:1 or 1:2 or whatever, so you've got a dh gear and a everything else gear. It could be significantly lighter than a full gear hub, significantly cheaper and significantly smaller to more easily fit into frames.

He may have a good idea with this one, kinda like hammerschmidt but built into the frame/suspension system.
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Ah, I get it. I think both Hammerschmidt as well as Schlumpf are 1:1 and 1:1.5. Schlumpf is available for unicycles (and Kris Holm did well on one at the BCBR one year) but these aren't cheap.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: yeah I always liked the idea of a single speed bike with hammerschmidt to give you a bail out gear, but the weight, cost and drag put me off, built into a frame only the drag would be an issue, if anything I'd say the opposite would be best, the low gear being locked out and then the switch changing it to faster, drag is far less of a problem going dh
  • 1 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: I do like to play but I don't often ride park and rarely need an actual DH bike. I'd rather be reminded at lower speeds that I'm reaching my limits Wink . I already ride a mountain unicycle (KH24) as a tool to never care about (doesn't mind being trashed about and put away wet and dirty) and a BMX at the pumptrack, but a single speed suspension bike makes a lot of sense too. Especially if you don't even pedal much. For my purpose, their Little Beady Eye appeals more to me. Unfortunately it is one of their more expensive frames and you need Profile cranks too which I don't have now. But it seems like a lot of fun and I feel a lot of people, if they're honest with themselves about what they ride and what they need to work on, would be better off with that bike than with a big DH bike.
  • 2 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: exactly. Just something to get you out of a spot without killing your legs. Doesn't even have to be shift on the fly. Just a switch right on the gearbox to flip when at the bottom of the hill to make the no fun part slightly less no fun. By being able to integrate it into the shaft area it could probably be much lighter than the Hammerschmidt since the loads could be distributed over a wider span.
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: fully agree.
I had a "single speed" bike with a Hammerschmidt.
It was nice, but the Hammerschmidt is unfortunately as heavy as an usual 1x transmission.
The only benefit was that it required less maintenance.
  • 7 0
 27.5 is the future
  • 4 0
 Yes!!! Thank you Joe for making 27.5 and option… I’ve found my next bike!
  • 5 0
 How do you tension the drive chains?
  • 1 0
 Was thinking the same. EBB?
  • 1 6
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Dec 8, 2021 at 22:32) (Below Threshold)
 The chain length stays constant since it is in direct alignment with the main pivot.
  • 4 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: same with rigid single speeds, but you still need a way to tension it to account for chain length tolerances and different chainring/cog sizes
  • 1 0
 It looks like there is a small eccentric pivot on the rear axle that would allow for chain stretch or different cogs.
  • 2 1
 Rideworks EBB
  • 1 1
 It has an eccentric BB for the left side chain. The right side is either an eccentric pivot on the rear axle as mentioned above, or perhaps they have the perfect combination of gears. But it also looks like it's set up to run a tensioner behind the front sprocket.
  • 1 0
 May I ask... Did anyone notice what looks like ISCG tabs on the LHS? Am I being dim or is there a need for the tabs on this particular design?? It does have the eccentric BB too doesn't it?
Explain this to me like I'm a 5 year old please?
  • 3 0
 No rear derailleur, the future is freeride.
  • 2 0
 Might need a floating rear brake with that high pivot like an old SC Bullit.
  • 1 0
 Singlespeed DH FTW.
Everyone loves playing at DH. Not everyone has the time or inclination to Race.
Ive always thought it would be a great "sub niche"
  • 1 0
 Modern day Brooklyn Machine Works Super Trucker. The design made sense in the late 90’s and it still makes sense today. Sweet.
  • 1 1
 “ which Starling says creates less friction ”. Careful, that’s logical American grammar. Pinkbike style guide specifies illogical Brit-grammar: “ which Starling say creates less friction “.
  • 1 0
 A downvote for besmirching the Queen's English...
  • 5 2
 "fly fly fly Starling"
  • 6 2
 Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?
  • 3 2
 @Koz1985: "I don't know Jimmy, but it sure smells like chicken"
  • 5 4
 The high-pivot fad is bike MFG's version of our parent's "So if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?"
  • 6 0
 Hi pivot makes the most sense on downhill bikes where the wheelbase growth is significant with 8+ inches of travel. It makes less sense as the travel and in turn growth lessen.
  • 3 0
 Things people say when they haven't ridden one in rough stuff.
  • 2 2
 @carym: It seems that changing geometry would be a significant con, along with the added complexity of the idler.
  • 1 0
 For all out racing, makes sense. Not many (if any) freeriders on HP....?
  • 1 0
 @njcbps: depends on placement. Having ridden both it is a big issue with Commencal Suprem, it is not a problem with GT Fury and yet you still get the amazing suspension behavior and carrying when it gets rough.
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Valid point, I think. I don't think the high pivot is much of an advantage for landing drops, it's more for hitting bumps at high speed and Rampage is actually mostly smooth surfaces compared to a DH track.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: it's more to do with the large change in wheel base, HP bikes get longer on compression an shorter on rebound, whereas a 'regular' pivot won't have such a drastic change. The last thing freeriders want is a bike that gets shorter on rebound after landing a big drop/impact
  • 2 0
 This makes me all hot and bothered. That is sick.
  • 2 0
 Sturnidae is a family that includes a bunch of kickass birds
  • 1 0
 Sick bike! I love single speeds! Thanks for making something different and cool!
  • 2 0
 Anyone got a bashgaurd.........Anyone?
  • 2 1
 I’ve got duct tape and hunk of plastic, will that work for ya?
  • 1 0 Brooklyns are jealous…this thing is a beauty! You’ll be hearing from me shortly.
  • 1 0
 "When you lay it down, make sure you don't lay it down on the money side." Oh wait, never mind, just keep holding it up."
  • 3 1
 That is one ugly looking bike
  • 1 0
 Starling will probably be my next bike
  • 1 0
 I’d bet that seat stay is bulletproof but it looks like a noodle.
  • 2 0
 Big gripe for me with steel bikes, an I'm a ChroMo fan boi. So many steel bikes out there with wet fish floopy rear ends! A good steel bike builder will factor that in. I had a famous steel bike that was absolutely terrible in the rear. I would rail berms, pump take offs an the 2.1 tyre, with ample mud clearance would hit the chain an seat stays!!
  • 3 0
"To summarise. Steel IS STRONG! My thin seat stays are plenty strong enough and the compliance they give results in the great ride feel and grip of my bikes."

So although they're strong.. are they stiff? we all know that steel manufactuerers like to use "compliance" as an excuse for these stays are so flexi it might as well be steering with the rear.
That said tho I would love a rag on this sled.
  • 1 3
 @nojzilla: Plenty stiff enough. Read any review of any Starling bike and they only comment that the slight flexibility is a benefit. Stiffness is driven more by overall dimensions is swingarms than tube diameters.
  • 1 1
 @nojzilla: All Starling bikes run similar small diameter seatstays so I suppose we'll read about that soon enough (considering the current PB group test). I don't see why these would be too flexy though. Aluminium bikes indeed have larger diameter tubes but there stength and fatigue life is critical. Not sure whether anyone is calling for that amount of stiffness. It probably depends on the rider and the trail. Plus of course, if you're looking at lateral stiffness of the rear triangle, the two seatstays work together to some extend. And if the outside face of each tube (so furthest from the symmetry plane of the bike) is critical (for ankle and crank clearance) and the inside is not (you can never have too much tire clearance) the symmetry axes of the two seatstays may actually be further apart than those of an aluminium framed bike. So even though the area moment of inertia of a smaller diameter tube may be considerably smaller with respect to it's own symmetry planes, if you look at the area moment of the two seatstays together with respect to the symmetry plane, it may not be so much less compared to that of an aluminium framed bike as more of the material is placed outwards (away from the bike symmetry plane). Not necessarily more but I wouldn't be surprised that this, combined with the three times higher Youngs modulus of steel compared to aluminum (about 210GPa and 70GPa respectively) you'll end up with a comparable structural stiffness.

And even though I don't mind bro-sciencing away with you in the comment section, at the end of the day someone is going to test these bikes and see whether they're actually too flexy or just fine. And as said before, maybe more lateral flex could actually be good when cornering rough flat or off-camber turns as this is what you need for the rear wheel to keep track.
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 @vinay: that's great if every body weighs the same an rides the same as the testers... If the tester is a 72kg smoothe as wippet, now put a 95kg mosher on the bike...
I'm not denying any claims an I've had eough good, stiff steel bikes (an a good decade of street BMX) to be a chromo fan boi (my dream bike is a quiver of BTR's) but, I've also had a couple that could be stiffer And after my experience with a certain steel bike from a UK company with a good rep, marketing a frame as stiff enough for 4X being a total wet fish,
I'll need to ride a bike myself to see....
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 @vinay: Thanks Vinay, good answer!
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 @phutphutend: That's self-contradictory. So are they plenty stiff enough or are they flexy but reviews try to sell it as beneficial? I'd say it's the latter based on a few Starling reviews that I've read.

I love what Joe's doing and I love seeing a business like this local to me. But Starling sticks to a frame and suspension design that has certain inherent traits which not everyone will like (that's not to say some won't). Flex is one thing, that non-linkage single pivot is another.
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 SS is the way
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 Wish I could have heard the bike in that vid.
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 So, changing gearing will be an enormous pain in the ass, due to the lack of chain tensioner?
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 Both chains are tensioned. Eccentric bottom bracket for left hand chain, eccentric dropouts for right hand chain.
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 Function over form, right.
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 No one: how nerdy can a DH bike be?
Starling: Yes!

Love it.
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 maybe apply this to a murmur.
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 Would love to see a shootout between this and the tora cycles steel DH rig
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 nice one - steel is the best!!
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 Aren't single speeds all about pedaling? I find a single speed DH bike deeply perplexing.
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 Nah singlespeed is about pedalling as little as possible pumping everyting, railing corners with no brakes and then hammering for short bursts to keep your speed up all why enjoying a silent ride and a light whippy back end
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 Yes mate, that's why there's a huge crossover between slopestyle and track cycling. Singlespeed means they're actually the same.
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 After 3 seasons in whistler bike park back to back, I certainly see a heap of value in running single speed. Especially if your on a budget.
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 That one gear is to get you from the chairlift to the bar for apres. Nothing more nothing less
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 Exactly what @AccidentalDishing said. It's a different style of pump an flow an speed conservation rather that clicking gears an mashing pedals. Think of BMX trails riders that frown upon pedalling in-between sets an take that to DH...
Proper bicycle ZEN
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 @PhillipJ: Track cycling with their lack of freewheel is the polar opposite to pumping and floating and working with the terrain to gain speed. If you meant to trigger me, I'm triggered. If I missed the whoosh, I was just too red-eyed hammering at my keyboard.
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 Bloody gorgeous
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 A million times yes.
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 What a beast!
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 should be 26
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 fuck me thats dope
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 Are the wheels in line?
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