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 starlingcycles.com