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.
Steel, Reynolds 853Suspension Design:
29" front and rear, 2.6" clearanceDrivetrain:
Effigear 9 speed, 440% range, trigger shifterHead tube angle:
64°Seat tube angle:
From £3,330 GBPMore 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).
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