Starling Releases the Effigear Equipped Spur

Jul 23, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

The Starling Spur first came to our attention at the Bespoke show in 2019. Named after the talon on the back of a starling's leg, we were told that bike was going to be a one-off designed for a sizable customer and had some hefty geometry numbers to match including a reach of 520mm and 450mm stays. Well, after a few years of prototyping, Starling is now making a limited production run of the bike for customers as part of its 'Rare' collection.

The brutish blueprint of that bike remains and Starling says this is for "big-terrain enduro racing, double-black bike park laps and hassle-free seasons in the mountains." The biggest change here is that this is Starling's first bike to ditch the derailleur and swap it for a gearbox instead. While most brands seem to use Pinion for their internal shifting, Starling instead went for Effigear. The French box provides a 440% range across its nine gears and the big advantage it has over the Pinion is that it comes with a trigger shifter as standard so there's no messing about with a twist shifter.
Details:

Frame material: Steel, Reynolds 853
Suspension Design: Single pivot
Travel: 170mm
Wheelsize: 29" front and rear, 2.6" clearance
Drivetrain: Effigear 9 speed, 440% range, trigger shifter
Head tube angle: 64°
Seat tube angle: 77°
Price: From £3,330 GBP
More info: starlingcycles.com

The gearbox also moves the weight off the rear wheel and into the heart of the bike and means there are fewer chain forces acting on the suspension. All this adds up to Starling describing the 170mm travel Spur as the best descending bike it has ever produced. Despite all these advantages, Starling is open about the associated drag of a gearbox, hence it has only fitted it to one of its most capable bikes and is expecting most of the customers for this bike to spend a lot of their time on uplifts - XC whippets need not apply.

The prototype we saw back in 2019 (left) vs the production model (right).

A lot of thought has gone into the mounting of the Effigear box and Starling worked with the French brand to build the frame around it for the best performance. Starling has also designed a dropout system that allows the rear wheel to be removed without adjusting tension.

The frame offers some adjustability and room for a water bottle in size medium and above.

The suspension remains a single pivot, but Starling has taken what it learned from the Sturn downhill bike and Staer enduro bike and applied it to its first production high(ish) pivot bike. Starling claims this, "reduces any of the forces that affect suspension performance on the trail and creates an incredibly planted bike that offers mountains of grip in all conditions, including under braking".


The Spur is available to order now from Starling Cycles and is built by hand in Bristol, UK using Reynolds 853 steel heat-treated tubing. There is a 16 week lead time on all orders and frames are available with or without shock and with a variety of components with prices starting at £3,300 on a first-come-first-served basis.

More info, here.




111 Comments

  • 154 6
 Too bad Bezos didn’t want to do something to actually enhance the human experience like tackling the inefficiencies of gearbox drivetrains.
  • 25 0
 this is the way
  • 66 0
 sure, but it's just going to look like a dick if he does....
  • 4 2
 @conoat: That made me proper LOL!!
  • 3 3
 @conoat: i dont care as long as it fits in the bottom bracket of a normal frame, having to buy a special frame for gearbox kills it for me. there you have it jeff, proper follow up challenge…
  • 4 0
 Don’t forget about Sir Richard…. He did get into “space” first…
  • 1 0
 He just wanted to go to space in his penis rocket instead
  • 4 2
 In my experience The inefficiencies usually come from peoples legs not the gear box
  • 1 0
 Funny that Bezos keeps sending me messages, but want nothing too do with fb?
On a similar note, why do derailleurs have built in obsolescence?
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr: I have 30yr old bikes with original derailleurs still shifting smoothly. How is that obsolescence? LoL
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: Bikes will last for ever, if not gotten wet?
  • 22 3
 Coulda sworn there was already a pretty popular bike named the “Spur” out there?
  • 6 0
 My bad! Messed up reading release dates!
  • 2 0
 Giddy up!
  • 11 0
 When I read 170MM spur, I thought wow they made the Transition Spur really downcountry!
  • 3 2
 Doesn't mean Transition came up with name first! Just a bigger company with bigger marketing budget!
  • 3 0
 Eh happens with surfboard models all the time
  • 21 6
 Finally a gear box with a trigger shifter. No pictures? I guess we have to pay now for the interesting stuff.
  • 6 1
 Water bottle mount is more important, I understand
  • 12 0
 I'm not totally sure what's on this bike, but the Effigear gearbox works with a regular trigger shifter from SRAM.
  • 4 0
 Why do 95+%of single pivot frame builders make their suspension falling rate? It's a bloody abomination, no matter how little you allow it to be. Their Sturn DH bike - at least in the configuration shown in the link provided, doesn't (just) go over into falling rate. Use of the Efigear and it's concentric drive shaft and swingarm pivot limits you, IF you have limited design intelligence, but hell, knowledge of Scalene Triangles is pretty bloody basic geometry. I make Single Pivot bikes (while designing multi linkage / pivot bikes for other entities = a comfortable living) as they are my personal preference, but Never with a falling rate. As for the top tube to downtube gusset with no connection to the headtube, well..........
  • 1 0
 Show us the single pivot bike you've built!
  • 7 0
 How come the Öhlins sticker is upside down on the fork? Prototype?
  • 1 0
 Custom stickers!
  • 2 0
 They are the ‘direct from the Chinese factory version’ that make the forks for all the suspension outfits
  • 2 0
 Trying to look like an Intend fork? Big Grin
  • 3 0
 I guess we can assume( we know what happens when you do that) that this single pivot is concentric to the "countershaft" sprocket. No chain growth but how will it pedal? Lovin STEEL!
  • 1 0
 I know I said earlier today that steel full suspension doesn’t make sense to me, but I will happily say that this is a nicely executed and handsome bike. I hope effigear gearboxes start to appear on more bikes. Pinion boxes look really nice but the grip shift is a deal breaker for me.
  • 5 1
 Brooklyn Machine Works already did this 20+ years ago...
  • 39 0
 @rectum You're just talking out your ass...
  • 20 0
 This comment needs more analysis
  • 20 0
 Rectum? Damn near killed em.
  • 1 1
 @Eatsdirt: what you meant to say is that must be your ass talking because your mouth would never say that.
  • 5 1
 I sort of like it. Very industrial looking.
  • 11 9
 Gearboxes have got to be the way to go. Please someone get one this and refine the whole system. Currently they look like early 1900s tech!!
  • 7 14
flag MattP76 (Jul 23, 2021 at 12:02) (Below Threshold)
 And I've been down voted for asking for a potentially awesome system to be refined. Just goes to show how ridiculous this voting system is on this website. Time to get rid of it.
  • 6 1
 @MattP76: Can you buy upvotes now?
  • 3 1
 @MattP76: ahhh muffin! Sorry Matt...
  • 1 1
 @MattP76: I'm surprised to see you make this comment. I thought you were somehow monetising them. ;-)
  • 7 9
 @commental: In the world of utterly pointless fads like stupid Mullet Bikes I'm amazed you are surprised by my comment. Gearboxes are the tech the industry should be focusing on not brainwashing people into thinking having odd size wheels is the next best thing. Let alone adding electric to archaic systems like derailleurs!!
  • 2 1
 @MattP76: Using the word ‘fad’ gets you excited in ways it shouldn’t, doesn’t it?
  • 1 3
 @justanotherusername: indeed it does!!
  • 3 3
 @MattP76: I didn't downvote you for asking a potentially awesome system to be refined but for saying its looks like early 1900's tech!!
  • 6 2
 @MattP76: I was surprised because you get downvoted for posting your opinion (whether about carbon frames, mullets or whatever you decide to get fixated on next) every chance you get. The fact you get the same reaction over and over again, but continue to post the same comments led me to think you must get some sort of thrill out of ending up below threshold so often, or as I say, you've found some way of monetising people hitting the red arrow.
What I do fail to understand is why you're so bothered about what other people choose to ride when it doesn't affect you.
  • 1 0
 should get some leyland p76 engineers onto that asap
  • 1 2
 @mi-bike: You obviously don't have a sense of humour
  • 4 5
 @commental: You clearly have no idea!
I am actually looking out for people which is what you don't get.

The industry does some great things and ideas over the years. Full suspension, disc brakes, 1x drive trains, dropper posts etc.

Then there is the fads and brainwashing that the industry tells people are the next best thing, lie to you about, tell you need or want to charge you more for over the years. Eg, Unified rear triangle, flex stems, carbon fibre, fat bikes, plus size bikes, then the worse one of all Mullets!!

The industry does not have to think much when it comes to Mullets. They need no real development. They just need racers and influential people to swear blind they are amazing and then everyone jumps on the band wagon and think that's what they need and they just don't.

Then you have gearboxes. This is tech that should of been rifined decades ago and future proofed! Not constantly trying to rifine the antique system we currently use. However gearboxes are hard aren't they? They cost money to develople and convincing people to buy them is even harder. So much easier and cheaper to blag Mullet Bikes isnt it!!??

So to answer your question I give a sh*t and care for Mountain bikers. With how much bikes cost...which are a fortune for what they are, we deserve the very best. Not fads like odd size wheels!!
  • 3 1
 @MattP76: I'd argue this sport has always been more about want than need. Looking at how often you're downvoted tells me I'm not the only one who clearly has no idea. But you keep posting the same thing over and over again. If you're expecting different results then Albert Einstein has some bad news for you.
  • 1 4
 @commental: 25 years riding and racing this sport I have plenty idea pal!!
  • 3 2
 @MattP76: Bla bla bla, ‘the industry’ bla bla bla ‘brainwashing’ bla bla bla ‘I’m looking out for all of you dummies’ bla bla bla ‘fad’

That about cover it?

Out of interest, do you have any links or experience inside of the actual ‘industry’? - Or are your tin foil hat ramblings based on conclusions made from your PB commenting experience?
  • 2 1
 @MattP76: I bought my 1st mountain bike in 1989 pal. So what?
  • 1 2
 @justanotherusername: And you're commenting on my post with a user name like that? Haha!!
  • 1 2
 @commental: Then you should know then. Honestly! I give up!!
  • 2 1
 @MattP76: I'm just confused. On other threads you've stated you keep posting this stuff because yo know it aggravates people and that gives you enjoyment. Here you're claiming it's some selfless deed where you're prepared to regularly end up below threshold for other people's wheel size sins, for they know not what they do. The mullet messiah. LMFAO
  • 1 3
 @commental: The fact is Mullets will go in time. When they do drop me a message and tell me I was right all along! Will look forward to it

Also. I will comment what the hell I like on here. Whether people like it or not.

Goodbye
  • 2 1
 @MattP76: Awww, missing you already.
  • 1 2
 @commental: Luv ya!!
  • 1 2
 @MattP76: Just about confirms my assumption then - you are an old git who thinks he has an ‘angle’ on the industry when he’s just a washed out disgruntled rider still creaking around on his 26inch bike with v brakes and elastomer forks.

You are just a fad Matty P.
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername: Ha, cheers dude. That likely makes me an even older git. Like I needed reminding.
  • 1 5
flag MattP76 (Jul 24, 2021 at 12:35) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: Well, firstly thanks for calling me Matty. I used to be called that when I was a kid and brings back ace memories.

Anyway. For your information I have had all bikes. Currently I ride a Cube 2020 Reaction TM Hardtail (I love a hardtail) which I have upgraded a lot to make it an even more of a hard charger. I've had 26, 27.5 and 29. Those have been in full sus, hardtail, 4x bikes. I've raced DH, Dual slalom, XC and 4x over the years

But apparently I have no idea!!
  • 3 0
 @MattP76: Wow, so you have bought into a fair few ‘fads’ pushed by those evil industry bosses on the way then - just a good samaritan trying to warn others from making the same mistake now eh?

Maybe have a chat with some people who own companies / work deep in the industry and you may find out there isn’t some kind of mafia setup to defraud the customer by inventing the next ‘fad’, tin foil hat stuff.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: OK, whatever you say. You are right. I am wrong. Of course!!
  • 1 0
 @MattP76: I’m not telling everyone what they shouldn’t buy and what’s a ‘fad’ on every single bike review….
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: OK. Like I said whatever you say. You are 100% right.
  • 1 1
 @MattP76: I’d say one day folk might see you were right. I think you are. There is so much bs about in biking but I’d just leave the lemmings to keep spending and you just enjoy whatever you do.
5 mins in whistler will tell you that the bike companies have convinced the majority so let them enjoy their big wheels, electric gears etc as they trundle down the hill.
I still see plenty of smiles in the line up and that’s all that counts.
  • 5 0
 Steel is in fact, real
  • 3 0
 Is it double-crown compatible ?
  • 1 0
 yeah i'm wary, i know it's steel but that swingarm in the back could've probably used more beef or be alu and to hell with it. i remeber my fireeye spitfire and that thing could and looked like it can take a beating, this thing looks flimsy
  • 1 0
 @phutphutend: i get that the guy's not stupid but neither am i. if it were a xc bike it would look okay but someone will case something and bend this thing. it probably won't snap because it's steel but it will surely get bent.

bigger tubes would be stronger, stiffer and probably cheaper. stiffness is good, it's the suspension's job to eat the terrain up. the bitching about fox 40's being too stiff would evaporate if the bushings were done right and low friction
  • 1 0
 I'm glad the discs have grown in two years. At least they will stop the bike now.

Also, low profile water bottle mounts please?
  • 4 2
 Yes! Looking forward to high pivot version
  • 2 2
 Yup, I’m not sure this new Spur qualifies as a high pivot either!
  • 4 5
 Love everything about it. However, hose chainstays just look tiny. I honestly didnt even realize it had a gearbox until I read 9 speed in the description. Really cool concept, wonder where it will go next.
  • 1 0
 I love the bike and Starlings stuff but gearbox bikes have been knocking around for 10+ years, unless the two big S’s get behind them they will stay a nice option unfortunately.
  • 3 1
 This bike is a strange-looking bird, but it just might fly.
  • 3 1
 If you make it out of aluminum, they will buy it.
  • 2 2
 at first glance it's so slim looking because of the steel frame. I guess that's the look they want.
  • 7 0
 @snomaster: It's not the look, it' the ride quality of steel. Why are we so infatuated with big ol fat tubes anyway?
  • 4 2
 So capable, they expect you to ride a chairlift. Was that a joke?
  • 2 1
 You remember the maxim. Aluminum is for beer cans , steel is for trucks, titanium is forever.
  • 2 0
 Lov iiiiit!!! Super awesome bike!
  • 1 0
 I would be concerned about the low bottom crank position and rock gardens myself
  • 1 0
 What’s the weight though?
  • 5 0
 the loam wolf review bike was 40.8lbs. it's a chonky boi
  • 2 0
 @phutphutend: did you try one with a standard drivetrain at all?
I'm thinking for lower price and pedaling performance rather than just weight.
Would be interesting to read one of your blogs on the trade offs involved.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: search Pinkbike for Starlting, we did a traditional drivetrain Jack Shaft bike. We'll do these one day when we find time!!
  • 2 0
 Yes! More of this!
  • 1 0
 What's up with the 60mm dropper? All jokes aside, this bike is awesome.
  • 1 0
 Looks like an ebike with a hidden battery.
  • 3 6
 If they made a shorter travel version for local trail riding, I’d buy one in a heartbeat. But 170mm is approaching bike park territory and I’d rather have it single speed for that use.
  • 3 0
 I’m not sure if the weight and reduction of efficiency coupled with pretty heavy steel frame would make a great 130mm or so bike - as it is though it’s a proper ‘enduro’ thing, low maintenance crawl up smash down bike.
  • 1 0
 Joe build shorter you shorterTravel if you ask ,same with his other Bikes
  • 1 0
 Lush
  • 1 1
 Man idk about this thing right here
  • 1 0
 Perhaps
  • 1 0
 Holy slack Batman
  • 2 4
 I like everything except of the look, it is good to see more efigear bikes entering the market
  • 1 2
 You’re right, I’d love to work at starling and sort out a few details which kill the look of their bikes. So close.....
  • 1 1
 A spurious Transition.
  • 5 8
 No
  • 4 0
 Absolutely
  • 2 0
 Possibly
  • 2 0
 mread13, are you my wife?
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