Starling Introduces Limited Edition Stainless Steel Version of the Murmur

May 10, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
photo

Starling has apparently had "never-ending demand" to produce a raw version of its Murmur frames since its inception and it can now meet that demand with a limited edition stainless version.

The new Murmur Stainless Limited Edition retains the 140mm rear travel/160mm max front travel of its regular counterpart but it now has a front triangle constructed from stainless steel to complement the regular chromoly rear triangle.

photo
photo
Stainless steel is a new material for Starling but the strong handiwork remains.

photo
The tried and true single pivot sits across all of Starling's bikes.

Stainless steel allows the brand to provide customers with a bare metal look with none of the oxidization or corrosion that would come from a similar finish on a regular steel bike. However, the brand also claims there are performance benefits too and that the stainless material takes the "‘magic’ feel of steel to the nth degree". For Starling, this means a more supple and lively ride.

The bike is designed around 29" wheels and offers 2.6" clearance with compatibility for Boost and non-Boost wheelsets. The Stainless edition has a smaller-than-normal geometry table as it is only available in large or extra-large sizes but some key numbers include a 64° head angle, 76.6° seat angle and 485mm reach (size large).

photo

Only 15 of these frames will be made and they are available as a frame-only, frame plus shock, or with various build kits with prices starting at £2,330.

photo

More info is available on the Starling website.

Author Info:
jamessmurthwaite avatar

Member since Nov 14, 2018
1,770 articles

112 Comments
  • 22 3
 Genuinely intrigued by the claim of stainless material being superior to raw steel. I always thought that stainless had an inferior strength-to-weight ratio than classic steel, and that it would just lead to heavier bike in the end. As steel bikes are already on the higher end weight-wise, it sounds strange...
Or maybe it just means that the stainless version is flexy AF and/or less durable.
Thought anyone ?
  • 44 1
 There are many stainless grades. Depends on if their heat treated or not also. It is possibel to quench and temper Stainless past 700 MPa yield strenght and more than that is not really needed for an application limited by fatigue in the welded joints as a bicycle frame.

One important aspect is weldability- toughness in the corase grain part of the heat affected zone...as far asthe stuff is mrcroalloyed (Ti, Nb) to hinder grain growth and the cooling time (t 8/5, time to drop temperature fromm 800 celsius to 500) is not crazy you're good to go. Many steel frames break by fatigue related to corroded spots (strees risers created by corrosion), so that's one advantage for stainless tubing.
  • 7 0
 953 vs 853. www.reynoldstechnology.biz/materials/steel/s-953

953 looks way better albeit marginally heavier.
  • 1 0
 Certain grades are very hard and strong just as stated above with Reynolds 953. Another option is KVA.
  • 3 0
 @derekr @fartymarty - I can’t see where it states what grade of stainless is used here?
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: it's a maraging steel. Super cool stuff.
  • 3 0
 @Vindiu: has anyone ever called you nerdy (I mean this in the best way possible) but that was some steel design geekery that I can support.
  • 1 0
 @Vindiu: What he said
  • 2 0
 ORA appears to use 2205 duplex Stainless for their mountain bikes so I'd assume that Starling is using tubes that ORA has already had drawn to mtb specs. ORA does road bikes in several other grades, 630, and 465.
  • 2 0
 @Vindiu: came here to say exactly this.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: Still I can't type. I'm hopeless.
  • 1 0
 @shirk-007: 2205? Damn that stuff will give you a good frown if you machine it. Shit gough as nails. Or tougher lol. Can see why they use it for bike tubes!
  • 1 0
 WTF is "Classic Steel"? there are dozens of different steel alloy types used in bicycles all with vastly different properties
  • 12 0
 I got my Murmur just before the pandemic went full scale back in October of 2020 and I must say Joe and the guys at Starling were a joy to deal with. Everything from answering my endless barrage of questions to custom colors (and yes, seeing if raw was an option.) The bike is an absolute dream to ride. 10/10 would deal with again.
  • 22 11
 So the "never ending" demand was only 15 people? Why bother with that low of a quantity?
  • 55 2
 maybe, just maybe here the term "limited" truly means something like.... limited??
  • 23 0
 Because those 15 people wouldn't shut the hell up about it...maybe
  • 6 0
 It says there was a demand for a raw frame, not necessarily for a stainless steel version that costs £500 more.
  • 16 1
 Because if you follow that logic this brand shouldn't even exist then. I am not even remotely interested by this type of bikes but having brands doing things differently than Spé, Giant and co is nice to have.
  • 1 0
 @el-nombre: I heard they turned up at his house with banners, petitioned him and bombarded him with thousands of emails until he have in.
  • 4 3
 It's because marketing
  • 3 3
 @makripper: we have a winning answer
  • 44 0
 Because we're a tiny company and have to be careful with our cash! I had to make the decision about this batch size one month into pandemic before bikes were booming and my sales were slowing right down. Now put yourself in my decision, and remember your house is on the line too, then make the decision! Doubt you'd order 1000 of them!!
  • 4 1
 Clearly you don't understand the manufacturing of steel FS bikes and assume the concept of bike productivity has to be Walmart in scale. Not everyone wants rock hard stiff bikes to reduce weight but you'd have to try one to understand. Meantime stick to alloy Treks.
  • 2 0
 @vindee: by marketing i don’t think anyone means the frames material or design, just the stuff about quantity and story of 15 people.

You can’t lump me into the bracket of people who don’t appreciate a steel bike or a Starling for that matter, I may own a steel frame or two myself after all...
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: that was my point exactly. Unfortunately people can't connect dots. . .

I too love steel bikes.
  • 1 2
 @makripper: its not because people can’t connect dots. It’s because you’re whack and cant complete a f*cking sentence
  • 2 0
 Nah, it's just that "never ending demand" doesn't translate into "never ending sales". You probably need 100+ seriously interested customers to convert into 10 sales.
  • 2 0
 @Northwind: ain’t that the truth - “if only they made a bla bla with a bla at this price I would be first in line” = no chance they ever buy one.

Same with every industry, car buyers seem some of the worst.
  • 1 0
 @parkisatool: You are having issues understanding a sentence but you can't use proper punctuation?
  • 1 1
 @makripper: Yeah, sure, that makes a lot of sense... Is that all you could come up with?
  • 8 0
 Nice, this is what it would look like in Ti :-)
  • 8 0
 A well-off poor man's titanium frame Big Grin
  • 3 3
 @jollyXroger: Says the carbon fiber $4k frame with 2 year geo till obsolete people.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez:
Wow that looks niiiiice!
Shame Small company in arizona = unobtainable in Uk
  • 3 0
 I'm riding a carbon high-pivot wonder machine but my eyes always wander over to the Starling Murmur...clean lines, easy maintenance and (probably) very high performance, what is not to like?
  • 5 0
 Raw color and Ohlins never disappoints.
  • 5 1
 If only they were using EXT instead of Öhlins...
But the bike looks great!
  • 5 0
 We can supply EXT. They are custom tuned to our frames!
  • 1 0
 What is that thing just below the shock mount? Is it a water bottle holder for a miniature human with grass sticking to it? Maybe a mount for a fishing reel with leftover monofilament wrapped around it? Anyone know?
  • 1 0
 A bit of vegetation hanging on the lateral brace of the swingarm
  • 3 2
 That bike is beyond beautiful.....but the seat stays are too thin.

(Sitting back, opening a beer, and timing how long before the manufacturer throws a brick at me through the internet).
  • 19 3
 Yes, you're absolutely right. We DELIBERATELY designed the seat stays to be too thin. I spent 20 years as an aerospace stress engineer before I started Starling Cycles and I just wanted a change. I was bored of designing aircraft parts that worked and were carefully analysed to be strong enough. So I took the opportunity at Starling to design things that break; make sure there's not enough material in the parts, ensure there some really bad design features. Just blank off the knowledge from my previous career and design crap things, I love it!

www.starlingcycles.com/why-our-steel-seat-stays-are-strong
  • 1 0
 @phutphutend: Well then, you've done a bad job designing crap. ;-) My Murmur still goes strong and i love these tiny tubes.

Though I have to admit I'd like to try a slight more progressive linkage with the coil ext. Maybe a second possible shock position in a next generation?
  • 2 0
 @Muellbeutel: Mayabe a bad job of designing drap!!

Send me an email to discuss your shock behaviour, I don't think the leverage ratio is the issue, the EXT just has certain traits.
  • 2 0
 This is awesome! Steel is so good, especially over lots of rocks. The shock tunes can keep up with steel FS, nowadays. Hope more will be made!
  • 4 0
 That is lovely.
  • 1 0
 Real question - is it possible to have a 'raw' steel frame and get a nice smooth rust patina on it + have it structurally sound?
  • 2 0
 Yes it is possible, but unless you lived in a desert you'd want to clear coat the patina to keep the corrosion from progressing beyond just surface/aesthetic.
  • 1 0
 If you left the raw steel bike outside for the afternoon in the UK summer, you would have the desired patina!
  • 2 1
 Side loads on that shock must be massive with a heavier rider and that swing arm design.

Wonder is Starling have tested it with spherical bearings?
  • 3 1
 @phutphutend:

Thanks... My question related more to torsional loads binding the bushings on the shock and pivots rather than shock damage. Hence the question re spherical bearings.
  • 2 1
 @rhinochopig: yeah. The linked article kind of brushed it off with "current bushings are kinda ok at doing what spherical bearings can do better".

Also weird is the claim that stiff linkages hurt shocks more... If the linkage is stiff, the loads should follow that stiffness back into the frame, according to the article's statements about stiffness. Since the shock, with it's "mostly good enough" bushings, isn't the stiffest path, it shouldn't be a vector for the loads. Even with a yoke, unless the yoke to shock mount is stiffer than the yoke to frame mount, which would be super weird, the loads should track the stiffest connection, which wouldn't be yoke-to-shock.

As you said, I think the question is more about torsional loads applied to the shock mounts. Ok, so even if the bushings seem to be soft enough to protect the shock, twisting them off axis is going to add some friction to the system, and with all the talk of getting friction out of the shock with bearing mounts and fancy piston coatings and such, it does seem like a weird place to say "eh, good enough"
  • 1 0
 Wouldn't that have a fair amount of lateral flex? I looked at the Marino custom full sus that looks very similar and the rear looks like it'd load the bearings too much?
  • 1 3
 Beauty! I'd love it see it with non-passivated welds for some raw rainbowy goodness. I had a 2005ish Norco 125 back in the day and it had a 2 piece bmx style chromoly handlebar with untreated welds and lacquered over. It was my favorite park of the bike.
  • 1 0
 I thought passivation was to prevent corrosion? Or is there another way to get the same results? As it's a 'raw' frame, I assume there isn't paint in which case it would probably need some protection(?). Either way, those welds are a work of art as best I can tell.
  • 2 0
 An old guy who welded nuke plant systems for a living once told me that once you see a rainbow, you already ruined it. I've no idea if that's true or not, but it stuck with me.
  • 1 0
 @ryan77777: The colours you see on some welded/heated metals are surface oxides from the hot metal being exposed to atmosphere. Passivation removes them and does improve corrosion resistance but this is typically for preventing the oxides from contaminating other materials coming in contact with them, such as in food and beverage or chemical production. Leaving the oxide layer wouldn't have a structural effect on non-ferrous stainless steel like 300 series. The article doesn't specify what alloy is used in the construction of this bike though.
  • 1 0
 @Explodo: If he's referring to titanium then absolutely, anything beyond light straw colour is typically an insta-fail in industrial welding. I would be surprised if the same hold true for steel alloys, but I have no experience with it. It's certainly common to see colour in high quality stainless/steel welds as the torch and shielding gas is moved beyond the weld bead before it is fully cooled leaving the hot but solidified metal exposed to atmosphere. Titanium is especially prone to atmospheric contamination so specialized equipment like trailing shields or purge chamber are used to ensure the material is well shielded in argon until it has cooled sufficiently.
  • 2 0
 Do you mean the welds you see in Ti bikes like kingdom? Personally I don’t like it, would much see clean welds like this.
  • 1 0
 @Richt2000: Had to google it. This was the best weld photo I could find: theradavist.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Rule-the-Mountain-on-the-Kingdom-Vendetta-X2-Titanium-27.5-Hardtail-44-1200x800.jpg

I'm no welding inspector, I just play one on the internet but it does look like there's a few spots that are borderline out of spec. Here's a commonly referenced colour chart for titanium welding:
weldinganswers.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Titanium-Color-Chart.jpg

When it comes to aesthetics of course the colour can be easily brushed off. In the case of aftermarket auto parts, a lot of people are attracted to the pretty colours of poorly shielded/overheated titanium welds. Fortunately that's usually just found in charge piping and exhaust systems were absolute strength isn't overly important. "heat annodizing" titanium parts with a torch after welding is also a popular way of colouring titanium parts for aesthetics.
  • 2 0
 @Explodo: with 300 series stainless steel, as long as the colour is shiny, your fine. You've cooked it once it looses the shine and starts to get a matte or flat appearance. If that happens you have probably cooked the chromium and nickel, so that even high grade stainless welds would rust.
  • 1 0
 Only 15.? Is it made in England or Asia? looks the goods though and I'd like one but I imagine the waiting time is long.
  • 2 0
 I think these are made overseas and not a UK frame, if that matters, I think it does to me in honesty.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: i think its just the rear triangles made overseas, hence why its different on this bike
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: website says made in Taiwan. joe in comments on here seemed to indicate so too.

I think it looks lovely and they are probably all sold already anyway.
  • 1 0
 Starlings normal frames also have Taiwan swingarms too if I am right - for a while the standard frames were made in Taiwan too.
  • 1 0
 Damn! That is one good looking bike. Are these available to customers in the USA?
  • 1 0
 Only 15??? Seriously? ༼⁰o⁰;༽ C'mon make it a thing!
  • 1 3
 Reynold 953 tubing has been around for awhile (based on the dates noted in Google searches).

If it's good then I would have expected major bike MFG's to adopt already. I prefer tried and true methods of fabrication.
  • 1 1
 It's about the price. Don't think the average Chinese factory is competent/certified to work with materials like 953..
  • 1 0
 I heard they make rockets with this stuff. Simple yet elegant design.
  • 1 0
 Amazing look, dream bike for me!
  • 1 0
 The steel frames are not dead, they are still alive
  • 1 0
 Best bike I've ever owned.
  • 1 0
 looks fantastic!
  • 4 0
 Yes, they should call it "-93 GT RTS 1" colour way and add a gt style "All Ferrous" sticker.
  • 1 0
 Hot Damn!
  • 4 4
 @watchtower made in Bristol mate
  • 5 0
 Has Bristol moved to Taiwan?

Says made by ORA Taiwan on the starling website.
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername: Rear triangle is made in Taiwan.
  • 2 0
 @defineindecline: for the ‘normal’ frames or for the stainless model - take a look at the website.
  • 3 3
 Single Pivot + Steel Rear Triangle + No Yoke Link = Shock Torsion
  • 6 1
 Speak to any suspension servicing centre and they will tell you yoke's cause more damage to shocks than anything else. A flexible lateral load path to the shock means that very little load is transmitted that route, it goes via the chainstays instead.
  • 4 0
 @phutphutend: Or just speak to anyone who owned a Specialized Enduro with the direct mount yoke. They would wear so bad that the shocks wouldn't hold air.
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: to be fair, Specialized implementation of it was really, really bad with their proprietary mount. The more standard 90 degree turned eyelet is much better.
  • 1 0
 @phutphutend: Agree that 'stiff yokes' as starlingcycles mentions drives all torsion and damages the shock, but not the non-stiff ones that allows rotation in the eye. Sorry, I should have been more specific. Torsion is not good at all. Sure that steel rear triangle allows starting the torsion at the chainstay, and seatstay too, absorbing forces, but still being torsion.
  • 2 2
 @MorettyBtt: We don't have issues with shock damage. So something in your logic must be wrong.

Generalising like you have done, without having done a proper freebody of the system to understand it, backed up with some empirical evidence is little more than speculation...

But to give you some credit, on first inspection you would assume the design damages shocks, but in practice it just doesn't.
  • 2 1
 @phutphutend: I didn't say you have had issues (assuming you are Starling staff). Just said there is torsion, sure all systems have torsion, but shock torsion is not a benefit. I had a couple of single pivot, one of them having issues after long term use/abuse. Apologise if my generalizing have offended you.
  • 2 0
 @MorettyBtt: No worries!
  • 2 1
 @phutphutend: That's assuming the yoke is the stiffest part. You've said the forces go through the stiffest interface, and wouldn't the linkage to frame interface be stiffer than the yoke to shock mount? Since the bushings are soft enough to handle the torsional loads and subsequent geometry changes in your design, wouldn't they also handle the loads from a yoke (especially since having the shock in that path already means it's probably not the stiffest path)?
  • 1 0
 Art.
  • 1 1
 Why does this remind me of the top of the line model commencal clash?
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.240965
Mobile Version of Website