Staran FSM-140 – Review

Sep 11, 2017 at 5:15
by Vernon Felton  



Staran, let’s be blunt, is not a household name. Not by a long shot. Then again, neither was YT not so long ago. The consumer-direct sales model is opening the door wide for a whole raft of fledgling bike companies who promise to deliver riders more bang for their buck by taking the middle man out of the equation.

The middle man, for clarity’s sake, is your local bike shop. Whether or not you think taking bike shops out of the equation is actually a good thing is purely a personal call. You can’t exactly stroll on over to Chain Reaction and snag replacement spokes the same day you taco your wheel. It’s hard to place a dollar value on a local institution that will bail you out in a pinch in exchange for a six-pack of beer.


Staran FSM-140 Details
• Intended use: trail
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm
• Fork travel: 140mm
• Wheel size(s): 27.5
• Tire Clearance: 27.5x2.5
• Internal/External dropper post routing
• BB92 press-fit bottom bracket
• Boost 110/148 hub spacing
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL
• 6066 aluminum front and rear triangles
• 28.4-pound/12.9kg complete bike (size Large)
• MSRP: $3,950 CDN
www.staran-cycles.com
We also understand, however, that every dollar counts. So here we are, looking at the Staran FSM-140. The question is whether or not the Staran truly constitutes a bargain.

Staran offers the FSM-140, dressed in two build kits. We tested the top-end "Prime" version, which sports a $3,950 CDN price tag. You can get the same frame, kitted out with Staran's "Select" build, which includes X-Fusion suspension, Shimano SLX 1x11 drivetrain and Deore brakes, for $2,900 CDN. Staran also offers the frame and Float X rear shock for $1,500 CDN.


Staran Cycles FSM-140
The FSM-140's frame will accommodate many 27.5x2.5 tires. Minion DHF 2.35s come stock, front and rear.
Staran Cycles FSM-140
Derailleur housing (not shown here) is routed internally. The rear brake line gets the external treatment.

Frame Design

Another Horst Link bike? Yup. Once Specialized's patent on that design expired, it seemed as if just about every Tom, Dick and Harry began rolling out four-bar, full-suspension bikes with that chainstay pivot. Groundbreaking? Nope. But it is a design that generally delivers. For their part, Staran used the Horst Link design as a platform for a mid-travel, do-it-all trail bike. The FSM-140's chassis is constructed from 6066 aluminum and the tubes are sturdy-looking, hydro-formed specimens. The company claims that a size-Large frame tips the scales to the tune of 6.7 pounds—a respectable weight for an all-aluminum affair.

Whoever welded the frames for Staran did a proper job of things. The welds themselves are nicely executed. What's more, someone clearly paid quite a bit of attention to the little details. The frame features a front-derailleur mount (should you choose to bolt on a front mech) and while the bike comes spec'd with an internally-routed, Crank Brother's Highline dropper post, there's also provisions here to run an externally-routed post. The derailleur lines are cleanly routed through the frame (there's a nice exit port on the bottom of the downtube), but the rear brake line runs on the outside of the frame, which makes brake bleeds and swaps a bit easier. Other details include ISCG-05 tabs, 180-millimeter post mounts, and enough elbow room between the stays to accommodate tires up to 27.5x2.5 inches.


Staran FSM-140




Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2017
Price $3950
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock Fox Factory Float X, LV EVOL
Fork Fox Factory 34 float, 3 position w/open mode adjus
Headset FSA No.57
Cassette Shimano XT 11-46t
Crankarms Race Face Turbine Cinch, 34T
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT 11sp
Chain FSA Team Issue 11sp
Shifter Pods Shimano XT 11sp
Handlebar Race Face Next 35, 20mm rise
Stem Race Face AEffect 60mm
Grips Lizard Skins Custom Danny MacAskill (Green)
Brakes Shimano XT
Wheelset Stan's Arch MK3 27.5"
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF 3C/EXO/TR, 27.5" x 2.30"
Seat Race Face Atlas
Seatpost Crankbrother Hiline





Staran Cycles FSM-140






Climbing

The FSM-140 is a competent climber. If your vision of the perfect trail bike is a model that’ll give you a solid leg up on shattering everyone else’s KOM’s, this isn’t your perfect trail bike. It’s not a dog. I’d rank it solidly mid-pack in the climbing department, but it’s not so snappy and efficient that you’ll ever forget that you left the rear shock wide open before the hill reared up and got serious. The FSM-140 doesn’t possess the same kind of anti-squat as, say, a typical VPP or DW-Link style bike. That’s not to suggest that the Staran is a wallowing mess on climbs, but it is more active when you’re pedaling than some other designs (and some other renditions of the Horst Link, for that matter). Fortunately, a mere flick of the compression-damping lever and the bob is quickly tamed.

The FSM-140’s reasonable wheelbase and not—too—slack head angle make quick and easy work of tight-radius climbing turns. I’d prefer a slightly steeper effective seat angle, but on the whole, the geometry is on target for a trail bike that is supposed to be as competent a climber as it is a descender.


Staran Cycles FSM-140


Descending

Prior to jumping on the FSM-140, I’d spent a lot of time on lower, longer and slacker bikes. The Staran was a bit of a shock to the system at first. The wheelbase on our size Large model sits at about 46 inches (1168 millimeters), which feels sporty as hell when the trail gets tight.

During moments when the corners seem to flow into one another at a fast and furious rate, the FSM-140 is an absolute cackle-inducing weapon. What’s more, it manages to find that happy place between nimble and confident. The 67-degree head angle, the lack of rear end wiggle, the excellent bump absorption….it all comes together to make a bike that’s stupid-fun on tight, technical singletrack.

Staran Cycles FSM-140

When it comes to barrelling down rocky terrain, on the other hand, you quickly realize that the Staran gives something up, in the control department, to more modern bikes with slacker geometry, longer reaches and longer axle-to-axle spreads. Not a huge surprise—you generally gain one thing and give up another when it comes to handling. It is something to consider, though, if you are looking for that “one bike”.

What could be improved? In addition to adding 10 to 15 millimeters of reach, I’d like to see Staran decrease the standover height a bit. Along those lines, our bike came with a 125-millimeter Crank Brothers' Highline dropper post. I’d definitely run a 150-millimeter version. Fortunately, Staran will ship the bike out with a longer dropper if you request it during the ordering process.


Component Check

Staran Cycles FSM-140
The Prime build kit is XT heavy and that extends to the stoppers. The bike gets 180mm rotors, front and rear.
Staran Cycles FSM-140
A 46-tooth granny gear is as close to Eagle as a Shimano XT 1x11 drivetrain gets.


• RaceFace Atlas Saddle: Saddles are a purely personal thing, so take this with a grain of salt, but I found the RaceFace Atlas model to be a bit of a pain in the ass. Fortunately, seats are a quick and simple upgrade.

• XT Drivetrain: The Staran's Prime build kit is a largely Shimano XT affair (with a RaceFace crank mixed in). Shifting was precise and utterly hassle free. The big jump from 2nd gear to the 46-tooth, 1st gear is a bit awkward, but it's nice to have the bail out gear at your disposal.

• Top-Notch Suspension: Staran went with a no-holds barred approach when it came to the FSM-140's squishy bits. The Fox Factory 34 fork and Float X LV EVOL rear shock are rare finds on a bike at this price.

Staran Cycles FSM-140
Staran spared no expense on the bike's suspension. Consider the Fox Factory Float X shock....
Staran FSM-140
and Factory 34 Float fork.


Staran Cycles FSM-140


A Screaming Deal?

Staran did a lot of things right with this bike. The frame is well executed and while it's not the kind of bike that bowls you over with its innovative shape and design, it is a bike that performs well out in the wild. Is the Staran a better value than what you can get from the big brands? That is the real question here.

You're buying direct from Staran and that means you don't enjoy the benefit of strolling into your local bike shop and getting their support should a problem arise. Each Staran bike, however, is backed by a 10-year warranty on the frame and hardware, which is a vote of confidence.

But let's get more apples to apples here. At just shy of $4,000 CDN (less than $3,300 USD, at today's exchange rate), the Staran is very well equipped, particularly in the suspension department. Kashima-coated Fox Factory suspension at this price is as common as hen's teeth. At this price, you're generally getting an aluminum frame from Trek, Giant or Specialized decked out in SRAM GX or NX drivetrain and bouncing along on Fox Performance-grade suspension or something along the lines of a RockShox Reba/Monarch RT3 combo. In short, if you're all about brand name recognition, the Staran isn't going to do much for you, but if you are looking for a solid frame with stellar parts, this bike is a pretty damn good deal.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe classic trail bike is supposed to manage climbs and descents equally well; that's a fair description of the Staran FSM-140. The brand has taken a fairly classic suspension design, wrapped it up in a well-executed aluminum frame, given it a geometry that's neither nervous nor overly-slack, and equipped the bike with a parts kit that doesn't skimp in the least on the most important parts (wheels, suspension, drivetrain or brakes).

Is it a screaming value? That's a bit of a judgement call. $4,000 (CDN) isn't cheap, but at this price you're generally looking at an aluminum frame hung with a far less-impressive batch of components. So... Inexpensive? Nope. A good value? Definitely.
Vernon Felton



About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 45 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 34" • Weight: 175lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None •
In 1988 Vernon started riding mountain bikes—mainly to avoid the people throwing cans of Budweiser at him during his road rides. At some point, roughly when Ronald Reagan was president and Hüsker Dü was still a band, he began loving mountain bikes on their own terms. Vernon Felton spends most of his time riding bikes, thinking about bikes, thinking about riding bikes and then riding some more around Bellingham, Washington. If it has a greasy chain and two wheels on it, he’s cool with it. Except for recumbents. Well, okay, maybe those too. Nah, forget it. No recumbents.



228 Comments

  • + 94
 Can I ask why the author assumes you can either buy a Staran or get support from your LBS? My bike is a Canfield - direct to consumer brand - and I take it to the LBS any time there's a problem I can't or don't want to fix.
  • + 91
 I'm also baffled by this. If your LBS is going to chase you out the door for bringing a bike in for work, which you did not buy from them, then they aren't a decent LBS to start with. Life's too short to take shit from some elitist LBS.
  • + 19
 It's a question of whether or not shops will be able to replace the lost revenue from bike sales by raising service prices or some other solution. It's tough to pay the bills doing only service at today's market prices.
  • + 15
 @Odinson: Many bike shops in the US make sure you pay full price or more on service is you have a bike that is not associated with their shop. Direct sales are the end of smaller LBS's here
  • + 34
 @nicolai12: But do smaller bike shops ever have a chance of actually stocking bikes? - Most just order from the distributor when the customer puts an order in with them.

Small shops need to focus on the value they bring to the customer - service, parts, expertise - So they charge you full price on a service if you bring an outside brand into the shop, but dont you expect to pay full price anyway if you want them to stay in business?

I dont want to see the LBS dissapear but all of the ones I see thrive concentrate on some key bike brands that dont sell direct, get a small demo fleet and order on demand putting together nice custom builds, the days of the lazy shop waiting for someone to come in and put a $6k bike on credit card and walk out with it are gone I think but I see some thriving LBS now they are playing to their strengths and picking the correct product (e.g. Transition, Santa Cruz, Orange bikes etc and not direct-sale price shagger brands)
  • + 17
 Maybe if they added a stripper pole with "live entertainment". Ya know, diversify. Multiple revenue streams and what not.
  • - 7
flag Whipperman (Sep 11, 2017 at 7:34) (Below Threshold)
 @nicolai12: Yep, I used to work in a shop that doubled the service if you came with a Canyon bike or parts bought on internet
  • + 20
 @nicolai12: Come on, have bike shops ever had the luxury of only serving customers who bought their bikes there? For as long as I've been alive I've been taking my bike to whatever bike shop I preferred, regardless of where the bike itself came from.
  • + 58
 @Whipperman: If a LBS needs to gouge and "penalize" in this way, it deserves to go under.
  • - 5
flag nicolai12 (Sep 11, 2017 at 7:59) (Below Threshold)
 @WaterBear: In my area...it's a way of persuading you to not bring in a YT or Evil etc. If you do, you will pay top dollar...you can take your bike anywhere you want, but you will be priced according to where your bought your bike to some degree.
  • + 13
 @WaterBear: Interesting, I remember bringing my bike after moving countries to an LBS and they refused to serve it because it wasn't bought there. Fast forward 5 years, and the same LBS now tells me to order a new BB online myself, bring it to them and they will mount it. I wish I had a better LBS.
  • + 12
 @Odinson: its not elitist LBS .. its just plain retard-mode...
  • + 7
 Exactly. With new bikes costing so damn much these days (this "SCREAMING DEAL" is $4k CND!) I think most LBSs realize that as lot of riders can not and will not buy new.
  • + 6
 In my experience, most bikes from LBS come with a year of free tune-ups, additional warranty support, etc when you buy new from them. Thats big for someone either new to the sport or too busy (career, kids, etc) to turn their own wrench. I think this is what Felton is refering to.
  • + 4
 Bought my bike from an LBS and they've given me free service and free replacement gloves when the stitching started to go. Really doubt that would be the case if I had ordered online
  • + 13
 @hamncheez: That, and I assume when it comes to manufacturer specific parts. If someone comes into my shop with a direct to consumer brand and they broke a pivot bolt (for example) then I can't really help them. If it's a Specialized, since we are a dealer, then I've got them covered. Also I think at many shops there is a level of care for the customers bikes because they spend so much money, so when a problem arises we generally want to make sure they feel like we're on their side. Case in point, I had a customer who purchased a new hardtail and after only a couple weeks managed to break one of the teeth off the cassette. Since I knew he just recently made that purchase I gave him a new one free of charge and had my dealer rep credit us for the part. If the same thing happens with some dude that bought their bike online I wouldn't be able to do the same thing.
  • + 13
 @Boardlife69: I've seen a few bike shops go for the Bike Shop + Coffee Shop combo and that seems to work (they look like they have more people in the store and get a baseline rev stream from slinging expresso). Not seen the Bike Shop + Strip Club combo yet.
  • + 9
 @eoisaacs:

In most areas...repair services are actually what keeps stores afloat...its certainly not the bike/part sales.
  • + 6
 @freestyIAM: Hub cycles in Bend has a beer tap in their shop.
  • + 1
 @TwoWheelMike: Good points. I think (hope) there is room in the market for both models of selling bikes.
  • + 9
 Not sure.... any shop that turns away service just because the bike wasn't purchased there is nuts.

While that may be the case, It's all peaches and cream to the Pinkbike experts. They should be able to save money by buying direct and the LBS is evil if they try to make a few bucks on the back end. I get that you guys always want the best deal possible... it's the internet age and todays society is selfish as f**k. However.... if you haven't ever managed or owned a bike shop, please do us all a favor and stop acting like you know how. (the margins on high-end bikes are shit anyway. Most shops make their money on parts, service, and inexpensive entry-level cycles). The overhead of top-tier builds is insane, the ever-changing standards, "geometry crazes", rim widths/diameters, etc.. are all killers to small shops. Kids bikes, comfort bikes, entry-level MTB, and road bikes are the bread and butter of sales. Service and repairs are what keep the lights on.
  • + 27
 @eoisaacs: I own a repair only shop and I am actually doing better now than when I worked at a traditional shop. I charge similar labor prices compared to other good shops here and I charge normal retail prices on parts. My customers use me because they know the repair will be done correctly and fast. Shops don't need to try to compete with internet only brands, they can offer services that you simply can not get online.
  • + 2
 @eoisaacs: Interesting. A LBS in our area is charging over $400 Cdn for a basic service. Time to learn how to do bike maintenance yourself if these LBS' are going to be gouging in the service front.
  • + 1
 @MMOF: That's £250 for a service, you sure about that? Does it include a full suspension service and cables / chain or something?

Nobody would pay that unless they are mentally ill, that's over £80 per hour assuming a 3hr job (which would be far more than a basic service)
  • + 3
 @Kenfire24: in the uk the lbs is on the verge of dying out. Even relying on parts and service is useless when people just buy the stuff online nowadays. perfect example is shimano, where someone can buy a full xt groupset for less than a distributor can provide.
  • + 1
 @MMOF: That's up there. My most expensive service is US$250 but that is a full overhaul including suspension. Hopefully theirs includes some parts too.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: the time it takes to load up your bike, drive to your LBS, drop it off, talk to the LBS regarding problem/service required... go about your business/ laburnum time waiting on your bike service l, drive back, pay, load your bike and drive home... no thanks, way too time consuming. I'll turn my own wrenches, thanks.
At least then I know it's done correctly too. My LBS has effed something as simple as a bearing race on my crown. Wtf?! Come in guys.
I have a friend out of state that says LBS's don't make crap in new bikes anyhow, it's mostly aftermarket parts and services.
Or maybe it's just me?! I dunno.
  • + 1
 @freestyIAM: yea, that's brilliant. The two best smells ever! Lol
New bikes and coffee, yesssss!
  • + 1
 @Racer951: Nope. Basic. I spent close on $800 for suspension service. Just to service an external reverb seatpost was just over $130 for the new seals. I went to a different LBS and even though they're up there, their service staff are excellent.
  • + 1
 Think frame components, like cracked linkages, missing pivot bolts, branded componets, derailleur hangers and any general warranty issues that arise on the frame itself.
  • + 1
 @src248: service and gloves tally to what, $100, $200?

Here, you save $1000? Different order of magnitude. If I save the big bucks I'm still in the green after riding kit and service.
  • + 2
 @MMOF: $130 for reverb is par in Canada I think, if you are getting updates seals and all.

For $800, I hope you got all the bells and whistles!

We send my gf's f/r suspension out to Vorsprung for complete maintenance and custom tune and fancy air can, and I think it was under $700, with tax, and shipping to and from.
  • + 1
 @MMOF: I see you have an inline. That's 160 for basic maintenance. Exactly why I don't own one, lol.
  • + 1
 @FLATLlNE: The shop actually took a grand of the price because we had dealt with them before. Also had the benefit of actually trying the bike first.
  • + 4
 @MMOF: Thats literally insane - How on earth did you manage to spend $800 servicing suspension? It almost sound like you are proud to have spent a ridiculous amount of money on servicing a product / products that likely cost around the same at trade rate.

A fork service at Mojo is £120 or less than $200 CAD, thats a full tear down inc seals and upgrade to 2017 tune - What did you spend 4 times this amount achieving, even if you had a rear shock too I wouldnt expect more than $400 CAD unless you had half of the thing replaced as it was all broken.

And somehow you think $130 for a reverb service is too much but suspension at $800 is OK?

If this is the going rate in Canda (I am not from Canada dispite the flag) then you guys are getting turned over, if I had to pay that kind of money to get my kit worked on (Most I do myself) I couldnt afford to keep riding, full stop. A basic service and some suspension work $1200CAD? Maybe I am just jealous because I am not as rich as you guys.......
  • + 1
 @Racer951: No, not mad and not proud. The bill only comes AFTER the service. That is why I am saying that I need to go and learn to do these things myself as the gouging has started.
  • + 1
 @MMOF: You are getting ripped off my man, almost to the point that it is frustrating to hear you had to pay so much! - What kind of kit was this out of interest, e.g. the brand of bike / suspension?

I am involved in the industry, all be it at a distance from the shops but to head people are paying so much to maintain bikes almost isnt 'fair'.
  • + 1
 @Racer951: This was my Transition Scout I have listed for sale. Pike up front and Inline at back.
  • + 1
 @MMOF: Just had a look, its a nice bike but nothing exotic in any way at all.

A 'standard' service on that, e.g. new gear cables, setup, bleed brakes (if required as that wont be inc a basic service) check / change pads etc is a 2 hr job, max. I just cant believe you have been charged the equivalent of £250 for this kind of work.

A standard service at my LBS is £50 - A full 'master' service (checking online) is £100 - that includes hub servicing, headset bearing removal - full strip of bike to bare frame for cleaning / inspection etc, cables etc

A TF suspension service on your forks is £99, the shock £100

This brings your total to £250.00 if you have just the basic service or about the same as you paid for a basic service alone.

Those prices really do make me cringe, they are almost offensive and can in no way be justified unless you are being economical with the facts and the prices included new cartridges for fork and shock / heavty tuning or lots of new parts were fitted during the service.
  • + 1
 I think alot of it is whether the people at the bike know you or not. Same as most other businesses, they tend to provide better service (often without meaning to) to people that they know and like. People who are in the shop alot, who are nice people who they like talking to, who show that they care. Coincidentally, i bet alot of people spend alot of time in the shop talking to the shop guys when they buy a new bike.
  • + 1
 @MMOF: if someone isn't giving you a quote before hand, you're mad for doing business with them. If they run into unexpected issues that change that quote and they don't contact you for approval before doing the added work, the business is crooked. Please name the shop so everyone else can avoid!
  • + 1
 @FLATLlNE: I'd rather not bad mouth the business but for the North Shore, I'd recommend taking your bike to John Henry Norco. Their mechanics are great and honest (the store does charge high prices). The only downside is that they're so good that they're really busy and often it takes 2 weeks to get your bike seen to.
  • + 2
 @MMOF: You are so close to real suspension guru's who could make your suspension sing, for less money and give you assurance on that before you hand your bike over.

JHN might be good, but check out Vorsprung next time.
  • + 1
 @FLATLlNE: Will do. Thanks for the info.
  • + 4
 Here's an idea: Work on your own damn bike. It's not that hard and will make you appreciate your ride even more.
  • + 3
 @camcoz69: amen brother
  • + 3
 @camcoz69: even servicing suspension is easy with Sram products. Few specialized tools and all their manuals available. Don't go to the LBS for anything anymore, no need.
  • + 3
 @WaterBear Thank you for riding CANFIELD!!!
  • + 3
 @CanfieldBrothers: I want a canfield
  • + 1
 @Odinson: The only time we're even slightly annoyed by a customer with a bike not from us is if it's one of the brands we carry. Even worse if we have the same bike in stock.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: Wish I would have noticed that when I was in there last visit to Bend, guess I was too busy staring at the Tranny's that were in there.
  • + 4
 LBS shouldn't get bitter with consumers if they come in with a direct sales bike but be angry with the big bike brands and distributors who give them bad margins, bad payment terms and minimum orders that require massive cash flow. It's ok if you are a massive shop or chain but for the small guy it's almost impossible. Bike companies and distributors need to change how they work with small shops.
  • + 5
 My LBS told me they had no way of ordering a spare derailleur hanger for me. It actually turned into a bit of a fight because my logic was- how can you sell me a fu**ing bike, and not order a replacement part for it?! in the end the dipshit behind the counter said order one online. this after I purchased the 1800€ giant trance 3 days before from them.

I'm done with bike shops.
  • + 3
 @Driven2madness: That kind of shit makes my blood boil...
  • + 2
 @gtrguy: In conclusion, it's a mixed bag with the struggle being real for both the consumer and LBS's
  • + 2
 @Driven2madness:

Were they STILL an official Giant dealer at the time they sold it ? Lots of stores lose accounts and then lose the ability to source spares from those brands. Meanwhile they might still have inventory from that brand in stock for which they still need to sell.
  • + 1
 actually common practice in many shops in Germany and quite a few other countries in emea.
  • + 1
 I bought most of my bike components from eBay (or internet in general), brought them to my local bike shop and they assembled the complete bike for me, including some components that weren't even sold in the country, nevermind that particular shop.
Same thing applies to every other bike shop I've visited since, they never refused to do anything for me, as long as they had the parts and tools to service my often relatively exotic components.
  • + 3
 @Driven2madness: Thats because there is just no profit in a hanger for them so they dont bother, there might be a minimum order value at the distributor too that they dont want to / possibly cant afford to cover to get it / they would have to order other parts they dont want / need.

- Pure speculation though - its likely because they couldnt be arsed as there was only a few $ profit in a hanger, not great service from the shop and an attitude like that will only push people away as whats the point, especially after you had purchased an expensive bike from them.

This is where shops should shine, they should stock spare hangers for the bikes they stock and make this fact well known, a full stock of hangers for a small shop would be less than a few hundred dollars and could make for a lot of happy return customers.
  • + 3
 @Driven2madness: the last 4 Giants I have bought all came with a spare derailleur hanger in the packaging, along with other odds and ends. It sounds like that shop you're dealing with is either just shady or clueless. Dont lump all shops together though.
  • + 2
 @Driven2madness: My 2016 & 2012 Giant bikes (new) came with a spare derailleur in the packaging.
  • + 1
 i had the same problem when i first bought my bike the owner was very annoyed that i didn't buy fro him but i couldn't justify the price that he was charging for a bike that wasn't as good as the one i bought i only use to got to my LBS to use tools until i had my own and i still go there for things specialty tools for wheels and also advice
  • + 23
 "We also understand, however, that every dollar counts"

...

"We tested the top-end "Prime" version"
  • + 13
 Don't they test what they're given, and a manufacturer is always going to want a reviewer to test their top end kit.
  • + 8
 that's a bit of a bug bear of mine that pretty much all reviews test the top end models. I kind of understand why but not everyone can afford them.
  • + 3
 @DC1988: yes i'm sure this is how it works. I understand why but still would be cool to see other bikes tested, like the other day the calibre bossnut
  • + 4
 Okay, but in fairness this is priced the same as a Fuel EX 8, which everyone would applaud them for testing a "reasonably" priced bike. They cant win lol.
  • + 2
 My neighbour's middle son got the select version 2 weeks ago. I've taken him out for a couple night rides. Other than the front tubeless valve not being properly tightened before his first ride, he's been happy with it. Oh and his press fit BB creaks also.
  • + 1
 @SleepingAwake:
Agreed, it would be good to know whether it's the frame or the kit attached to it that makes or breaks a bike.
  • + 1
 @elementour: I wish pinkbike would set a price limit like "send us a bike that retails for less than $4000 or we won't review it."
  • + 20
 this is the build that should come on 5,000$ Santa Cruz. Seeing an actual name brand carbon bar on a bike at this price is a nice touch. Also, Turbine cranks instead of the bottom of the barrel Aeffect that seems to come on most "big company" bikes unde 5500$

And given how cheap XT is at OEM levels (they probably paid 100$ for the drivetrain and the brakes, if that) they are still making a healthy margin on this.
  • + 4
 Xt at the oem level isn't much cheaper than what a lot of European online places are selling it for. Most of them got it at oem pricing and are only making 5% on it. They do it to get you to buy it and hopefully come back for other stuff too.
  • + 4
 I actually quite like the Aeffect cranks. They're a reasonable weight (sub 650g, less if you have the OEM SL version with an aluminum spindle), cheap ($180 USD with chainring), direct-mount compatible, and have a 24mm spindle (which means they get good, durable bearings for just about every BB standard). Turbines are about 100g lighter than the steel-spindled Aeffect, but if you have a threaded or PF92 BB, the bearings don't really seem to last
  • + 1
 @ChristophColombo: Aeffect cranks bend like wet noodles. . . . Their junk!
  • + 24
 I read "Satan"...
  • + 7
 Satan (FSM) Fast Slayer of Mountains
  • + 102
 that's because you weren't staran at it right
  • + 1
 Whatever you do dont ride it backwards and listen to AC/DC while rolling down the street smoking indo, sipping on your gin and juice
  • + 1
 @mountaineerofwv: It's Flying Spaghetti Monster you heretic clod!
  • + 18
 Nice, competes well with transition scout in geo and spec but do they make cowboy films? No? Well then can't ye see I'm busy? Go on git!
  • + 1
 But again, I can go into any Transition dealer and spin one around the lot prior to buying.
  • + 14
 Does purchasing a bike online actually prevent you from buying spokes at your local shop, or getting preferential treatment via a six-pack, as suggested by the author?
  • + 18
 Depends on if your local shop can stay in business without bike sales.
  • + 7
 I guess the assumption is that taken to the limit, buying bikes online will lead to the extinction of the LBS. I'm not entirely sure I agree, since I think LBS' make a lot of their money on parts and service. When I was working at an LBS, we had like a 500% markup on tubes, for example.
  • + 0
 @pinhead907: and thats why the shops will go instinct. Why should I pay that much when Amazon is gonna drone deliver it to my door the same day for 400% less and I don't have to drive around sketchy drivers to get to my LBS?
  • + 4
 @eoisaacs: There are plenty of shops making it without bike sales...the only two shops I frequent here in Utah are service only. They can buy/rent small spaces and have very little overhead since they're not having to keep new bikes in stock.

Outside of the US, this is extremely common practice and you're going to see more shops get out of the Sales game altogether, especially with the likes of Canyon coming into the US.
  • + 4
 @pinhead907: Exactly, the good ones will evolve and adapt. Have good mechanics, friendly staff, you can make it work. Some bike shops in my area have a bar and sell beer to help supplement income.
  • + 4
 @mollow: That's a great attitude, the capitalist brainwashing has worked well. If you have to ask yourself "Why should I ever support the local business owner when I can get it for cheaper from Amazon/China/Walmart.." then let's not hear any bitching when Amazon and Google own everything in this country.

I'm not saying a person should give their business to a LBS for it merely existing, but f*ck them for trying to trying to keep the lights on, amirite? If you're outraged over having to spend $8/tube instead of $6 at the department store then you're a cheap ass who needs to find a new hobby.
  • + 2
 No, but you're going to have to step it up from Bud Light from now on.
  • + 2
 @mikealive:
There is a balance point in all of this though. No one likes getting gouged, no matter what the product is. In the US at lest, income has stayed relatively flat since the 70s (adjusted for inflation). However, the price of consumer goods has skyrocketed. So, every penny counts and its up to the consumer to decide how to spend their hard earned dollars.

For me, its a matter of convenience and value. I buy tubes and gloves, etc. at the LBS around the corner from work. Pricing is about the same as online and it is a good excuse to go somewhere at lunch. I bought new tires on Amazon recently, though. Why? Because paying $80 for a tire made in china for $1 is BS. The mark up on accessories is huge in shops, 100% or more (don't even try to deny it). I get that they need to stay in business, but do we as the consumer deserve to get F*&^ked this way? In that scenario, the shop gets nothing instead of a smaller profit. Doesn't seem to helpful to their bottom line, does it?

I doubt I'll ever buy consumer direct because I like being on hand to look at something like a bike. The shop will get my money then.
  • + 2
 A six pack and a good attitude will get your YT/Commencal/Canyon/Bulls/Airborne or whatever worked on by any good shop. Service is where it's at. I just found a new shop in my town that stays alive by selling Ibis and Transition and servicing everything with great skill and no attitude.
  • + 3
 @Poulsbojohnny: I agree with you about the balance, absolutely, which is why I said a person shouldn't blindly support a LBS simply for the fact that it is there. Your LBS needs to work within all the basic principles of any other business--provide a good or service that is valuable to a consumer base. I personally would only shop at half of the available shops in my area, but that is due to quality or service, not price on goods.

The myth here is that someone is 'getting gouged', lol. You are a fool if you think a bike shop is getting 100% markup on accessories... I've worked in 3 shops in 3 different time zones, NONE of them are getting anywhere close to that on the vast majority of product. Tubes are the *single* exception, usually costing ~$2-3 each, and being sold for ~$6-10. Again, I will reiterate...if a person is bent out of shape over a few bucks on a tube, they are a tightass. Maybe if you go through 100 tubes a year you might have a case to gripe.. so no, I don't have to 'try to deny it', I have worked there, I can speak as a matter of fact.

Once you consider the fact that companies like Shimano often allow their products to be sold by online retailers at *below dealer cost*, it only adds to the false idea that your LBS is screwing you on price. If I saw that I could buy the Shimano brakes online for $88 and my LBS wanted to charge me $150, I'd scratch my head too. But those same brakes from QBP? $96 dealer cost. We would often give a discount down to $125 just for the sake of trying to keep a customer, but shit... that is cutting the shop's margin in half. Take any small business and cut their margins in half...and you'll see most of them disappear. "But but.. it's 35% cheaper online" I get it, I have to count my pennies too. However, I also realize that Chain Reaction buys those brakes 1000 at a time, and my LBS does not have that luxury. As you mention, it always comes down to balance.

I often wonder when we'll just do everything online.. need accounting? It's cheaper online. Doctor? Turn on your webcam and cough, because it's cheaper online. Want your house painted? Amazon will send drones to do it. But when any of that turns out to be sub par, you can write an angry email to a robot on the other end, and Globocorp™ will be sure to not give a f*ck because they have 10 million other people in line right behind you, ready to pay the cheapest price for the shiny new thing. If you don't think that line of thinking is being programmed into us these days, I don't know that anything I say is going to change anybody's mind. I'm not asking for anyone to give charity to their LBS, but I'm asking you to support your local scene, and look at what other intrinsic value a good bike shop might add to your area, and decide if that is worth paying a few more bucks a couple times a year for. For me? Definitely still worth it.
  • - 1
 @mikealive: its not my problem if the shop makes poor inventory decisions and lose money on the shit they can't sell because there is no demand for it. I understand that they are going to make their money somewhere else by increasong their margin on the products that are easy to sell, but that's exactly what's bugging me...
  • + 1
 @mikealive:

The funny thing about Walmart and Costco is that because of their buying power... they actually CAN get better quality bikes than just the low end stuff people typically think of them carrying. Some stores do stock them. Most can be ordered via their customer websites. Especially good if you're capable of doing your own assembly/maintenance, and know how to use the google and email to find spares/info/reviews/etc.

Take for example... at Walmart USA....

For $1699 USD there's this rather nice Steppenwolf (german brand) Tycoon AM70 26er full suspension available in medium and large sizes....

www.walmart.com/ip/Steppenwolf-Tycoon-AM70-26-M-18-5-Full-Suspension-All-Mountain-Bike-3x10s-NEW/859854947

You get an aluminum 4-bar horst link frame with 150mm front and back travel, Fox Fork and Shock, Avid Trail 9 brakes, FSA Cranks, BB and HS, 3x10 gearing, Schwalbe tires, DT 1700 Spline wheelset, Raceface stem & handlebars, Rockshox Reverb Stealth post, Shimano XT shifters/derailleurs/cassette/chain, 29.74 pounds without pedals.

And at Costco Canada, we have this Mongoose TYAX Super 27.5+ hardtail for $680 CAD...

www.costco.ca/Mongoose-Men%e2%80%99s-TYAX-SUPA-SPORT-Hardtail-Bike.product.100339659.html

2x8 Speed shimano Acera, aluminum hardtail, WTB Trailblazer 2.8 tires, Zoom suspension fork (roughly equal to a Suntour XCT or Rockshox XC30), Boost 110/141 QR spacing hubs, Alex 40mm tubeless ready rims, Prowheel 24/36 crankset is actually a 9/10 speed compatible mode, so change the cassette/chain/rear shifter/derailleur if you want to go with more or wider gearing. The frame has a tapered head tube, so you could easily find a take-off Suntour Raidon 27.5+ fork, and some wider/higher model tires, and upgrade the drivetrain and poof....under $1000 CAD a very trail capable hardtail.

Either example, if you're in the market for that sort of bike...there are certainly better deals available shopping online than are typical in an LBS.
  • + 14
 aahh , isn't the distribution network the local bike shop purchases through , considered the middle man as well ???
  • + 4
 yes - and they add far less value in the modern era than your LBS, I'd say. not to mention the sales guy, pitching it to the shops... I get that not everyone is in favor of these changes, but the "middle man" is hardly just your local LBS...
  • + 13
 "Comparing apples to apples", you should rather look at YT, Canyon or Radon, not Specialized, Giant or Trek.
  • + 9
 I want to see timed results for new bike tests, compare the $9k bikes with the $3k bikes and lets see whats up in the real world, not just seat of the pants 'it felt great on singletrack' or it 'zipped up climbs' stuff - Lets see if the big manufacturers really have the edge on the rest - They do it with almost all car reveiws with track times etc.
  • + 4
 I'd say at least Giant is pretty comparable, as the least "boutique" and best value of the three big brands he gave.
  • + 1
 @rbarbier12: But its not a direct sale bike and it is from pretty much one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in te world, its not boutique but its not direct-sale either.
  • + 9
 Actually they should be looking at Giant...a Trance 2 is the exact same price and has a better build kit than the lower end version of this Staran (same drivetrain and brakes, nicer suspension) and comes with a lifetime warranty, as well as the dealer you bought it at backing you up.
  • + 2
 You forgot Commencal
  • + 3
 @wooyek I did not realize there are people still waisting time or interested in Specialized?
  • + 4
 My friend just bought a ...giant trance advanced 1 .....$ 4100 Canadian yesterday., from the local shop. Now that's a deal. And supported the shop
  • + 1
 @Racer951: Lol. Maybe for e-bikes. The industry has already convinced people that geometry trends and incremental bar and tire growth is the reason to retire your current bike. Anyone who buys a bike powered by a meat engine that is 2 seconds faster on some "test track" is an idiot.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: it's not about what's fastest, it's about seeing if a perhaps heavier, cheaper bike is intact well within the ballpark, or the same as, a bike that costs double, I am also not interested in the odd second between comparably priced bikes.
  • + 10
 Press-fit BB? No thanks, my knees make more than enough noise for me on a ride!
  • + 0
 Good luck finding a bike without one nowadays.
  • + 4
 @mnorris122: chromag got your back
  • + 6
 @mnorris122: there are still some i can think of Ibis, SC, and Specialized
  • + 2
 are you kidding me? Press-fit BB come on, why would they do that on a aluminum frame
  • + 5
 @fercho25: Transition, Pole, Whyte comes to my mind as well.
  • + 4
 @mnorris122: Transition, Niner, Chromag, Whyte, Ibis, Pole...that's just of the "boutique" brands.
  • + 1
 Neighbours middle-son got one two weeks ago, and the BB was creaking in only the first week and there's definite perceptible play in the cranks from the bottom bracket.
  • + 3
 @squarewheel: throw knolly into that list as well (even on their carbon stuff)
  • + 2
 My Norco has a threaded BB
  • + 3
 @deeeight: hadn't heard that feedback from them. I will reach out to your neighbours.

Thanks
  • + 0
 @StaranCycles:

And he needs a staran jersey... Wink
  • + 2
 @mollow: The Rootdown and Primer both went pressfit.
  • + 3
 There are good press fits and bad ones... my Specialized Fuse 6Fattie and Salsa Spearfish are both PF30s. One critical thing that a lot of mechanics don't understand...well bicycle ones anyway... is that there is a compound made specifically for press-fit bearing assemblies under high torque loads, to ensure the cups and bearings stay in place and not creak. Loctite's versions are in the 6## series. I prefer to use #620...its green in color. Too many bike mechanics put such assemblies together with merely grease... or dry even. To insure a proper assembly, you should always use a compound that both lubricates during the joining, but then when it dries and hardens holds it together better.
  • + 1
 @deeeight: you know how when someone on facebook has an anime character as a profile picture, and no matter what they say their argument is invalid. well on biking is the same if you own a plus bike no matter what you say your argument is invalid.
  • + 0
 @kwl1: Yeah, that move puzzled me. People who buy Chromags usually know bikes and would want to have a threaded bottom bracket, especially on locally made models.
  • + 1
 besides the pain of swapping in a new set each year, I've not had problems with my pressfit BB. I'm a heavy rider who is typically hard on BB bearings.
  • + 1
 Pressfit BB is a good litmus test for good frame- pressfit bb = not designed for long term ownership. Sure, there's exceptions, but since almost everyone makes great frames nowadays... why buy a pressfit one?
  • + 1
 @old-banshee-rider: right, my Marin also has a threaded BB. Don't know what they sell today.
  • + 1
 @mollow: my Rootdown BA has a pf92.
  • + 6
 Now the first thing I search on a pinkbike bike review is the price of the build: above 2000-2500$€ ->I don't read

OK unfortunately I don't read many reviews here...
  • + 1
 It's the factory build. Starts at 2000 for the lower builds.
  • + 3
 I met Jeff (one of the owners/engineers) at a bike festival and it was cool to check these bikes out in person and hear his thoughts on the design. The value is pretty insane, given the parts spec. This bike would be absolutely perfect for my town (Edmonton), which is full of techy, punchy runs filled with roots and tight turns. Please make this in a raw/brushed aluminum! That would look freakn gorgeous.
  • + 6
 Rent & taxes are just too high for LBS' near me to give stuff or service away for a six-pack...
  • + 7
 While I don't really agree with the "skip the line" preferential treatment (though I've been the recipient more than a few times), people should understand the six pack is ON TOP OF regular shop rates, so that the likely under-appreciated wrench works late to get your bike finished same day, and the shop owner isn't losing revenue.
  • + 1
 The 6er is the tip
  • + 3
 The way I see it: every time a "new" bike enters the market with such great components that rides equally well with the "old" trusted well marketed brands, reviewers must find something that won't disturb the balance. Hence the LBS thing or the old, but boring, argument "it's not that easy to trust a direct company and all, in terms of frame quality, build, warranty and so on". But hey, the choices are vast nowadays and it goes strictly down to personal taste if you like a bike or not - because, to be honest, even a "Bossnut", or type of, with a couple of upgrades can do the job equally as well (unless if you compete at a pro level) and it can look straight in the eyes a bike that costs double the price. Just sayin'...
  • + 3
 i haven't bought a complete bike in the last decade. matter of fact, i don't think i've bought a complete bike since i was 13 and my parents got me a Trek 830 for my birthday. i've built up a bunch of bikes over the years and i always bring a box of parts and have them go to town. i've spent a few thousand dollars there in service and a little in accessories. i bring them beers sometimes. i even threw down to buy my girlfriend a cruiser from them cause of my experience and they got the price close enough to anything i could have found online.

they're always so awesome to me, and my builds and wheel builds are always spot on, every single time. i've never seen them look off-put because Commencal was clearing out last year's frames for 60% and i show up with one, or when i found my Float 40's almost brand new for half price cause dude was having some kinda family crisis and needed cash... how can they be mad at that? that's insane. this way, i get the exact frame/color i want, the exact suspension i want, exact wheels/colors, cables, grips, seat, hubs, brakes, etc... everything. there's always something i don't like about kit bikes, no matter how expensive or cool they are that i'd want to change or customize... why not just do it myself and get it exactly how i want the first time? as far as i know, the dudes love me. any shop that turns their nose at service money doesn't deserve to stick around. that's the most insane concept to me.
  • + 3
 Couldn't agree more. The good shops will survive. Not everyone is a bike tinkerer. I built my Knolly up custom for a fraction but it has parts from a few of my favorite shops in town. I know how to do most things, like suspension service for one, but they're better at it and more than happy to let them go at it. Those cruisers and things like my kids bikes are the ones they make the best margins on as well. The users of those mid to low end bikes aren't nearly as picky as us hens on here either. They're usually happy with a quick spin around the parking lot for testing and out the door it goes. There's also a ton more of those types of folks to boot.
  • + 1
 Thats the exact reason i just ordered a brand new bike from Propain. In their FREE configuator you can choose all the Parts you want on your Bike, from low Budget to high end parts, and you can even choose a custom colour. It's just perfect to have everything right the first time. And still, your dream bike will be a hell of a deal.
  • + 5
 28lbs for an all-alloy build with rezzy shock and 34mm fork is pretty damn good, especially when you consider that the Scott Genius or Pivot options cost 2x-3x as much.
  • + 2
 I bought one of the first bikes Staran sold and have been very happy with it. Even though it is online ordering, the guys were great to meet up to allow for test ride and have been awesome from a customer service level with any issues or questions. I live close to their location so it is easy for me to meet up with them. There were some issues with the tires they had on the first versions, but that was a Continental Tire manufacturing issue so not their fault. Overall if you are looking for great value and all around full squish mitten, I highly recommend Staran!
  • + 4
 @StaranCycles any potential for a short travel 29er with bigger clearances? I'd buy a frameset. Will gladly be a pre-production tester in the southwest.
  • + 3
 I'm with you.
130/120 29er.
Hold the pressfit BB.
Perfect Ontario trail bike.
  • + 1
 Seeing as they are based in Toronto, I can see this being something they'd have pretty soon.
  • + 3
 We have a few things in the pipeline, stay tuned!
  • + 2
 I got the select model at the beginning of the season. When I find the time i will try and get a full review up but to be honest it was a busy summer off the trails so I did not get out much. I have not really put it through its paces. I came from a 26" lightweight XC hardtail and also made a switch to flat pedals so there a bit of a learning curve to riding it and want to make sure I settled into it. I can say it has been great. the Staran crew was very friendly and helpful. At the time they had a promotion and I got the fork and post upgraded to an HLR and Hilo. They were also out of some parts so tossed on SLX rotors and and XT cassette instead of what is listed in the specs. They are very accommodating with changes to the build. I paid a very reasonable fee to upgrade the crank to the Turbine. I am local to their warehouse so they hand delivered it all ready to go.

Interesting thing about the bike shop comments is that they are on display at Gears in Oakville. So while not widely distributed they are available at bike shops. Not sure if the pricing is different in store vs online.
  • + 1
 A good bike shop is hard to find , I have 4 to choose from , 2 5 minutes from home and 2 35 minutes from home . I make the longer drive to the bike shop that hooks me up with good service and quality mechanic work , it is worth it
  • + 1
 Just an FYI to those comparing it to a Bird Aeris 145 - only the seat tube (and possibly the head tube) on the Aeris are "catalogue" tubes - the rest of the frame is completely unique to them. I'm not going to say the Staran is a catalogue frame because I don't know either way, but the Bird most definitely is not.
  • + 5
 More of this sort of thing please.
  • + 1
 If an LBS bases their business model on how "things were", then they simply wont survive.
Just because a bike was purchased "Direct to Consumer" doesn't mean it wont need servicing, spares, parts, upgrades, components, tyres etc. Adapt or die...thats what the bike brands are doing. Hell, that's what the business world in general is doing.
  • + 5
 Wish more bikes just did external routing
  • + 1
 i am not one to be sold on brands but its
nice to see Shimano parts specd on a bike.
Ok your LBS lost out on a bike sale but dont forget to support your LBS when you upgrade parts (like perhaps a 180fox 36 up front)
whats the warranty on the frame?
how are warranties handled???
  • + 0
 In today's times it would be nice to see a "new" bike brand have internal cable routing (where necessary). Tired of having cables on the outside but certainly quieter (although a "new bike should be able to silence internal routing now).
  • + 1
 Whether you think taking the local out of the equation is a good thing, is purely a personal call.. However (As your next paragraph goes on to defend the local bike shop) Take a side or STFU about it
  • + 3
 Reminiscent of the new Bird Aeris wouldn't be surprised if they were out the same factory.
  • + 1
 This is guaranteed out of the same factory. I own a Bird Aeris 145 (great bike btw!). This bike has very different geometry though, much more old school and much, much smaller compared to the Bird.
  • + 4
 That's a smart looking rig
  • + 1
 I agree but they're out of stock on XL. Is this an offshore welded frame or North American? Either way it's smartly priced for the level of components. I would consider one hands down
  • + 0
 @rivercitycycles:

Offshore. Hardly anybody actually welds frames in Canada. Devinci MIGHT still on some, Rocky doesn't. Norco doesn't.
  • + 3
 @deeeight: Devinci does all their alloy bikes here but carbon is from overseas.
  • + 0
 This bike is obviously made in the same factory as the Bird Aeris 145. Thats the bike I have, the tubeset is obviously almost identical. Even the paint job is the same. Seatstays are different, maybe chainstays too. The Bird has much more progressive geometry though.
  • + 1
 the internet is slowly chewing up everything service is pretty much all that LBS have going for them anymore if they knock that out of the park it might help themkeep the doors open and to stay in the game!
  • + 1
 the only new bike shop in my town is only a service shop. I mean they do fancy custom orders and have plenty bikes of the day on vital. a couple frames on the wall but no completes. they seem to be doing well enough
  • + 1
 The new 2018 norco range can be bought, lowest carbon spec, for 5700 CAD, with a full DVO build, gx eagle, and carbon frame. With that, you also get the security of a name brand bike between your legs, and Canadian to boot.
  • + 7
 Staran is based Canada
  • - 2
 @WayneParsons: real Canadian, not eastern Wink
  • + 4
 Staran is Canadian. Just as Canadian as Norco. They are based in Ontario.
  • + 4
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: We have a soft spot in our hearts for those on the other side of the Rockies. Next time you're in Ontario lets us know. Hundreds of km's of awesome singletrack within an hour of Toronto, no pesky mountains to climb Wink
  • + 4
 @StaranCycles: no climb = no downhill...
  • + 10
 @mollow: Ha! We have its called downhill, not downmountain. We have tonnes of hills!

cheers!
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: cool... I was not aware of the west/east Canadian thing... tell me more, tell me more... who is better? I always heard from people that west was just like an extended Washington state?
  • + 2
 @RedRedRe: I think Washington is an extension of BC
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: let's say that west is (ex) oil billionaires, farmers, and stoners. Nothing in the middle. East is Americans and frenchies.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: East has plenty. Some of Canada's best riding is in Quebec. Newfoundland also has incredible riding.
  • + 2
 @FLATLlNE: I heard that PEI is thinking of holding a UCI Downhill World Cup too.
  • + 2
 Nice looking bike but 1146 wheelbase in M is simply not working for me here...why so short?
  • + 16
 My guess is because the bike was born in Ontario. Like Vernon said, " ... a bike that’s stupid-fun on tight, technical singletrack". That's mostly what our trails are like. We don't have a lot of 1000 meter no-brake, descents here. Makes sense to me to ride a bike built for where you ride your bike.
  • + 3
 Damn straight, I'm seeing more and more bikes designed for the wide open west of America. I live in central Illinois of the U.S. these numbers would be perfect here. The super long bikes that a raked out real heavy don't perform well on our tight n twisty woods with steep short climbs . There was a time when certain brands were desired for their design according to The terrain from which they were born.@richkennedy:
  • + 5
 Staran should make the seat tubes shorter so riders can size up. Not going to add to the cost, but increases the versatility.
  • + 1
 @Legbacon: agreed. Maybe along the way they could line up the seat stays with the top tube angles. Combine that with shorter seat tubes designed for longer droppers and we'd have ourselves a winner.
  • + 2
 @PHeller:

Get rid of the bent seat tube. Make it straight like a knolly so that it joins the down tube ahead of the BB. That way there is nothing hindering seat post insertion.
  • + 1
 Eastern Woods bike is the category that you end up when designing for Ontario/Quebec/Vermont/Pennsylvania etc. Think MSA world cup XC course... that's the majority of what our trail riding is typically like, and MSA isn't a particularly big mountain compared to what's in the Rockies or the Alps. MSM is even smaller (about half the vertical drop). Grouse Mountain in Vancouver is a couple hundred meters more vertical drop.

As is it, the neighbour keeps hitting his handlebar ends on the trees going thru the trail I made that's in the forest behind what will soon be DND's new HQ. I run my bars at typically 685mm maximum width...because of how tight a lot of local singletrack is. The 780mm width bar on the Staran...whacking the trees all the time.
  • + 1
 I dont know about you but I dont want to be the one stuck with a horse when there are cars. The market is changing and to survive the lbs should keep up or die its simple
  • + 1
 Why on earth people keep using the Horst link is a mystery. Bike after bike after bike that only climb with a stiffened up compression and reduced traction ...
  • + 1
 would you rather climb and descend on a horst or a hardtail?
  • + 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: Um, those are not the only two choices.
  • + 1
 Stiffening on compression depends on where the other pivots are located of a horst 4-bar, as how they all line up effects where the actual virtual pivot / instant center that its all really pivoting around ends up being. And then you need to determine which way the chainline is trying to pull the wheel, to that point. Ellsworth's for example put the instant center point as they called it, basically in line with the upper run of the chain, but several feet ahead of the front tire. This staran has the Virtual pivot point effectively being right where the front derailleur mount is on the seat tube.
  • + 2
 In todays consumerist society it's difficult to recognize good value even when it's Staran you right in the face.
  • + 2
 Great read. Quality looking bike.
  • + 2
 The geo chart on my phone is making my eyes bleed
  • + 1
 CDN is not an official currency.

CAD maybe?

www.xe.com/currency/cad-canadian-dollar
  • + 2
 Looks like... a mountain bike.
  • + 1
 At first glance I thought it was a Santa Cruz Bronson! It even has the same slimball yellow paint job! lol
  • + 1
 How many LBS's still selling 26" tires? Gotta give it to the inter webs for that one.
  • + 1
 That's something I find pretty silly. They've sold thousands of customers 26" wheel bikes (most of which are still out there) and now they are just giving away all those tire sales to the interwebs. Seems short sighted to me, I'd happily buy 26" tires locally if there were any to be found.
  • + 2
 Still not a Caliber Bossnut!! Now that's value
  • + 1
 I'll bossnutt on your calibre.
  • + 1
 I'll calibrate your caliber and call it a Calibre.
  • + 1
 Point taken Salute @PHeller:
  • + 1
 Great read, the bike looks like quality.
  • + 1
 Checked out the website and a large FSM-140 $3600.00 !!!!
  • - 1
 Alloy is nice Press fit bottom bracket is lazy. If they are that lazy I am not gonna bother reading past that point of the review.
  • + 1
 Quite. There is no excuse for a pressfit bb on a small volume niche manufacturer.
  • + 5
 @mcozzy: welllll... Other than if this bike came from a catalogue in Taiwan.. then there was probably associated costs with having the bottom bracket area threaded and what not. Pressfit is easier to make lol.

And besides, just get a f*cking threaded pressfit from Wheels manufacturing and for the rest of the bikes life you just have to replace 12 dollar bearings which in the long run is cheaper than replacing external threaded bottom brackets anyways.

This whole hate for pressfit is f*cking goofy. I have had the same wheels mfg pressfit on 4 bikes now, has never creaked.
  • + 2
 @2bigwheels: I have a hope threaded BB. Works to an extent, but not perfect. And they are expensive.

I replaced mine at a cost of about $160.

My girlfriend also needed her threaded sram gxp BB replaced. I think it coat $16.

It would be cheaper for the customer to pay the extra bit and get a threaded shell, than have to replace the BB with something like wheels mfg or hope.

I'll never buy another bike with pressfit BB.
  • + 1
 @2bigwheels:

It did. Open the right manufacturer website and you'll find the frame. The only difference the staran got is the extra brace in the seat stay of the swingarm. This brand goes nicely with that article & video Pinkbike did last month about "starting your own bike brand". I did tell the neighbour about that Wheels Mfg. bottom bracket. I was just talking to them a few mins ago. Apparently the Crank Brothers dropper post they got with the staran has already failed (under a 110 pound teenager). That's not staran's fault per say... other than offering it as an option...given how bad Crank Bros posts are for reliability. You'd think after the Kronolog fiasco they'd have gotten the highline right...but well... apparently not. Meanwhile the Specialized re-labeled Tranz-X post on my Fuse has been going fine for 3 seasons now.
  • + 1
 @deeeight: Tranz X has to be one of the best deals in the world. Functional, reliable 120mm dropper for a hundred bucks, no reason not to get it.
  • + 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs:

DNM also has some nice dropper posts, which while heavier than claimed (because the claim is based off the 27.2 size) for most buyers, are at least reliable and easily setup.

I got this one...

www.ebay.ca/itm/DNM-HQS-R-Pro-MTB-Bike-Dropper-Seatpost-Remote-Lockout-31-6x330mm-110mm-Travel/272799163645?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

delivered in 4 days... from china...the seller is a drop shipper type... item says "located in the usa" but it actually isn't. But it came via DHL and was declared as $5 so there was no customs charge or brokerage fees. I ordered it on the 7th and it arrived this afternoon and I've already installed it.
  • + 1
 @deeeight: is internal routing an option?
  • + 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs:

DNM offers internal routing posts also. Look for the SDS model. I got one for my Fuse but it was only 20 grams lighter than the tranz-x so I decided not to install it and keep it as a spare instead.
  • + 2
 @deeeight: tranzx.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/DROPPER-POST.pdf
It appears they have a wireless dropper post on/coming to the market? Review PB?
  • + 1
 Magazines, whether online or in print, only review things which are submitted to be reviewed. They don't just go out and buy stuff themselves to test. So unless Tranz-X submits it...
  • + 1
 @deeeight: exactly. I often believe most of.these reviewers do not actually understand the cost of some of these things.
  • + 1
 fairly classic suspension design
  • + 0
 30 years later people still can't pronounce SRAM correctly... wonder how STARAN is going to fare.
  • + 6
 How am I meant to pronounce SRAM? S'RAM? SR-AM? S-RA-M? SH'RAM? I'm now worried I've had it wrong all this time.
  • + 6
 @Kickmehard: Its pronounced Shramano
  • + 1
 Agreed! Anything on two wheels, but recumbents!
  • + 0
 Another new bike, do we really need anymore ?
  • + 1
 MERIDA any time
  • + 1
 that may be all good for you... But over here we have far fewer brands to choose from than you! No propain, (few) canyons, very very few mondrakers... It's a desert!
  • - 3
 I don't like FSR. (Haibike Heet 7.20 2016 for sale here)
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