Words by Tom Caldwell
Photos by Dave Price

Reece Richards. What a guy!

Commonly known as BoostedBryn, Reece is from Bristol in the UK and I’ve been meaning to try and shoot something with him for a while now.

I kept seeing him sending wild gaps on Instagram and knew he would cut the mustard for a wild video. Lucky for us, he rides for Starling and the big dog Joe McEwan brought us together at Bryn’s local trails to make some magic happen.

As well as being pinned on the Starling Cycles Swoop, Reece was handed a Starling Klunker and a wild fancy dress outfit (not sure it was fancy dress for him though or just the norm!) for us to give a good beating and grab some attention. 60 psi, dangerous drifts and sore wrists ensued. And also lots of laughs… and very strange looks. He actually convinced a chap (fully in character) at Belmont that he was looking to send the biggest gaps on it. Said chap was very worried for his safety!

Making the most of the last of the summer, we headed to some of the Southwest’s finest spots where berms were concrete hard and the tech was loose and dusty.

Reece, and Starling, would love to thank BikeYoke, Magura, Funn, BETD, Sprung Suspension, Morvelo, Ohlins, Cushcore, RyanBuildsWheels and TheOverlandStore.

As you guys know, we’ve just pressed ‘stop’ on our big sale.

Loads of you took advantage of the offer and got 10% off a frame and a free upgrade to custom paint.

We called an end to the sale for a couple of reasons. First of all, the sale existed because our tubing suppliers and powder coaters were closed. We had no clear timescales on when we could fulfil orders. Both of those suppliers are now gearing up for business and will, all being well, reopen in the near future. Great news.

We’re also really keen not to disappoint anyone. We could easily just keep chasing orders till the cows come home. But, we’d be left with an impossible-to-meet order list and with customers wondering where their bikes are. We don’t want that.

So with suppliers reopening and a decent, but manageable number of you signed up for new frames we’ve hit ‘stop’. Now, we’re working hard to fulfil those orders and get you bikes as soon as we can.

If you’ve ordered a frame in the sale and we still had tubing stock (orders received during April), your frame will be heading to the powder coaters any minute. These frames will likely be shipped in 3-4 weeks of writing this (26th May). These will be processed first-come-first-served and in the order they were received. We’ll keep you up to date as we go.

If you ordered after the point we ran out of tubes (orders received during May), your frame is being manufactured now. We’ve got stock of tubes and we’re cracking on. Your frame will be delivered in 6-10 weeks time and, again, in the order they were received. You’ll get updates as we go.

For all future orders, we’re working to 10-12 weeks turn around.

This somewhat unglamorous photo is our first batch of frames ready to go to the powder coaters. Yus!

So, for now, that’s where we’re up to. Thanks to you guys we’re flat out in the workshop and have a healthy order-list to fulfil. Thanks for your orders and thanks for your patience whilst we make them happen.

We’re weathering the CV19 storm… and we need your help to do it.

UPDATE: Thanks everyone, this was a huge success and we’re stoked to have welcomed so many of you to the Starling family. Bikes will be shipping as soon as we can!

As you all know, the Corona Virus situation is very serious.

We’re doing everything that we can to get through it as best as we can. Where possible we’re working from home.

And when we need to it’s a short ride to the workshop where we can happily work in isolation.

However, our tubing supplier and powder coater are both now closed. We’re also not comfortable shipping frames with couriers for the moment. We can remove the need for a courier to visit, freeing them up to deliver critical supplies where they are needed.

We can continue to build with what tubing we have in stock, but that’s not an endless supply.

As such we won’t be able to supply any frames to new customers for the moment.

But that won’t be forever.

And because that won’t last forever, there’s some good news.

We are able to keep producing frames (or taking pre-orders when our tubing supplies run out) and we’ve got a special offer for you guys.

Buy a Swoop, Murmur or Twist frame now and pay a 25% deposit to receive:

  • Free custom colour option (worth £125)
  • 10% discount

We’ll deliver the frame as soon as we’re able to start building frames, powder coating and shipping again.

In addition, for a limited time, we are going to offer custom geometry on our Swoop, Murmur and Twist frames. Reach, head angle and seat tube length will be available as custom options.

Again these bikes will be offered with free custom paint and 10% reduction.

Finally, I have one Sturn swingarm waiting for a front end, I’m sure I can work out a discount on this.

Just to be clear, we can’t guarantee a timescale for this. We’ll keep building till our tubing runs out and we’ll start painting and shipping frames as soon as we’re able. But, there are no promises when that will be. But, if you order first, you’ll get your frame first.

So in summary:

  • Standard sized Swoop, Murmur or Twist frames, £1590 (inc. VAT).
  • Custom sized Swoop, Murmur or Twist frames, £1960 (inc. VAT).
  • One Sturn for ‘special price’.
  • All with free custom colour option.
  • 25% deposit (non-refundable), then payment before delivery.
  • To be delivered when the Corona Virus allows.

If you’d like one, we’re taking orders through our web-shop right here.

Starling Cycles challenges you to flip your understanding of mountain bike design with the all-new Starling Tellum.

The Tellum is a ground-breaking, industry-shaking full suspension mountain bike… with a difference.

It takes the scalpel-precision of a fast and manoeuvrable 27.5” wheel and places it upfront. Then, adds the blunt force of a tough, hard-hitting 29” wheel on the rear. The bike is made with no geometry compromises and built around Starling’s fast, compliant and simple steel single pivot frames.

The Tellum was born out of Starling founder Joe McEwan’s constant hunt for answers to the question of how we can go faster and have more fun on our mountain bikes. Having built the Starling Twist, a traditional Mullet bike, Joe questioned whether his understanding was correct.

“I think I was misled in the way I applied the science” says McEwan. “I started from a clean piece of paper again and thought ‘how do we properly do this?’”

“I have talked a lot about gyroscopic stability, the forces that keep a wheel in-plane, and how this is the only significant difference between 29” and smaller wheels. A bigger wheel is more likely to stay in-plane and not get deflected off line, it is also more stable when leant over in a corner. It is these factors that people translate as “better at carrying speed”. But conversely, they also make the wheel harder to be manoeuvred in and out of line choices.”

“With the Twist I took the industry standard mullet solution and applied the wheel stability science, concluding it was better to have a big front wheel for tracking, and a small rear wheel for manoeuvrability. Essentially applying science to a pre-existing solution.”

“With the Tellum, I took a different approach, if we start with the science, what solution do we end up with? What we want is a manoeuvrable front wheel, allowing it to be moved in and out of line choices, picked-up and put where we want – after all the front wheel is where steering occurs! The rear wheel then just follows on. If the rear wheel is stable it just trucks on and keeps the speed, there is no need for a manoeuvrable rear wheel.”

“The solution, the Tellum, just works. The science is right, the bike is right!”

“I hope that my approach inspires the bike industry to flip their established notions of bike design and look at how they can do things differently. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a World Champion on this sort of bike soon?”

So… Was it an April Fool?

New bikes, a new approach to frame-building and custom travel options.

Click PLAY or read on to learn all about what’s coming up.

Do the Twist

First up, the big one, the new Starling Cycles Twist.

The Twist is our brand new bike. It’s the love-child of a Swoop and a Murmur with a monster-truck 29″ wheel up front and a fast, fun and flicky 27.5″ wheel out back.

The new mullet-machine is available now, with everything you need to know right here.

UK Made (again)

As you guys know, we made the big jump to ORA Engineering in Taiwan for 2019.

The big news for 2020 is that we’re now manufacturing in the UK again. Well, mostly. We’ll continue to work with ORA for our swing-arms.

All front triangles will now be handmade in the UK at Starling HQ. If you’ve been on the fence about a Starling because you wanted a handmade, British bike this is what you’ve no doubt been waiting for.

The video above will explain more about why we made the big move.

Adjustable Travel

And last but not least, a massive update for all bikes from now on.

All Murmur, Twist and Swoop bikes are now available with as shorter travel options OR with adjustable travel.

This change came from you guys. You asked us for shorter travel options, we tried it, we like it and we decided to make it widely available.

You can learn all about how it works and what we’re offering over on our new Custom Travel page here.

We’re stoked to announce the launch of our brand new bike.

Introducing the Starling Cycles Twist.


The Starling Cycles Twist is the love-child of a Swoop and a Murmur with a monster-truck 29″ wheel up front and a fast, fun and flicky 27.5″ wheel out back.

With 160mm rear travel, mullet wheels and plenty of tyre clearance, it’s built to party.

The 29″ front wheel offers a ton of gyroscopic stability for monster-trucking through rough terrain.

The 27.5″ rear wheel means fun and flicky riding, great manoeuvrability and back-wheel-good-times.


✔ Hand built in Reynolds 853

✔ Available in 3 sizes

✔ 27.5″ and 29″ wheels

✔ Max 160mm front and rear travel

✔ NEW: Shorter travel options available

✔ Demo rides available

✔ Available now

The Twist has 160mm travel on the rear and is built for a 160mm fork. The Twist also marks the start of our new adjust able travel options – all bikes are now available with options for reduced travel, with more info available here.

Frames are constructed from custom butted Reynolds 853 tubing, chosen for their combination of lightweight and strength.

Tubes are combined with lasercut and machined steel parts, resulting in a frames where simplicity and a lively feel.

Like all of our bikes, it’s built to go fast and is beautifully simple to setup, ride and maintain.

Twists are available as frame only (with or without shock starting at £1770) and as complete bikes, starting at £3300.

You can learn more about the Twist over on our Starling Twist product page here.


Starling Cycles Job Opportunity: Manufacturing Engineer

Posted 2/9/2019
Deadline 30/9/2019

Starling Cycles is looking for an engineer to join the team to help with frame manufacturing and to help grow the business through a range of other activities. 

The right person will have the following skills:

Essential experience:

  • Metal fabrication and welding/brazing,
  • CAD experience,
  • Workshop machine tool operation; manual lathe and mill.
  • Jig and tool design,
  • Driving licence,
  • Sweeping floors, making tea and getting stuck in,

Desirable experience:

  • Bicycle mechanic,
  • Packing boxes,
  • Stock control,
  • Marketing and sales,
  • Photography/videography and editing,
  • Knowledge of computer systems, websites etc.

We’re looking for someone with as many of these skills as we can. However, it’s equally important that we find someone that is professional, versatile and enthusiastic about our business. We’re happy to train the right candidate to fill gaps in their experience.

The role will be based at Starling’s HQ in St Werghburgs in Bristol. Initially, it will be a part-time role with the potential to grow with the company.

Applicants should apply by email through the Starling Cycles website contact form, entitled “Job Application”. Set out your key skills and experience and let us know where you might need training. You should also let us know your availability and salary expectations.

Please be professional and as thorough as you can. We’ll reply to promising applications and ask for more details and CV’s.

Closing date for applications is 30th September 2019.

+3 bike setup and coaching is available with all Starling bikes from now on.

We’ve known Dave, the guy behind +3 for a good few years now and the way the +3 team approaches bike setup fits exactly what we feel Starling customers need.

We’ve always built bikes to be simple, a single pivot system that offers riders feel, grip and above all, maximum fun!

There are however a lot of components bolted to a Starling frame that make our bikes flow and handle exactly how customers expect. We can take care of the tubing, geometry and leverage ratios but get the fork or shock setup wrong, handlebars too high or tyres pressures off and we know you won’t be getting the very best from your bike.

You guessed it, that’s where +3 come in!

You can book a day with them when you place your order and these guys are pro, the team has tuned riders and their suspension from the sharp end of mountain biking.

The team applies that knowledge to all types of rider in a way that matches the rider’s ability. We attended on a day with +3 to find out how the process works and along with a group of Starling owners found it a huge help to both our bike setup and riding technique as well as some great input on strength and fitness.

“It feels like a much better bike than has done in all the time I’ve owned it”

Rupert, Swoop owner

The +3 Team

Dave Jaquin

Dave is the brains behind +3, he’s been part of the bike industry for over 10 years and riding anything on two wheels for more than 30, he knows his onions!

Bringing together the +3 team was a logical step after repeatedly witnessing riders either struggling with their bike setup or changing settings without really understanding how those variable interact with a rider’s ability, riding style and technique.

+3 cater for all kinds of rider and will give a seasoned racer or weekend warrior some new ideas, skills and understanding so they get the most from their riding.

Will Soffe

Suspension Tech and Coach Will Soffe has been tweaking the bikes and suspension of not only the Atherton Racing Team but hundreds of forks and shocks that came through the doors of Mojo Suspension.

Will’s background is broad, as a member of the team he combines his detailed technical knowledge with teaching ability to translate the complexities of bike setup and suspension to our riders.

Combined that with his experience as a coach, his racing pedigree and formidable moustache and you’ve got a great asset to the team.

Alan Milway

Alan Milway, coach to the fastest riders in the world, pretty handy on a bike and in the gym! We’ve all seen Danny Hart’s incredible win at World Champs in 2011 (if you haven’t the CLICK HERE).

+3’s Strength and Fitness Coach Alan worked with Danny at that race and for years prior, since that legendary run he’s worked with World Champion riders like Rachel Atherton and Manon Carpenter.

Currently Alan’s working with junior and elite racers preparing them for the coming seasons in both MTB and Motocross.

A day with +3

During your day with +3 you’ll receive bespoke input from the whole +3 team, leaving with your bike dialled and some new skills to test on the trails.

  • A full bike check up, bike set up and detailed suspension setup with Will Soffe
  • Expert ride coaching with Will and Alan Milway
  • Personalised strength and fitness feedback from Alan
  • Access to some fantastic trails in the Forest of Dean
  • Free gifts frm +3 and our sponsors
  • Discount codes from our sponsors to use online
  • Detailed feedback in your Dial Pack covering bike setup, fitness and riding technique
  • Setup crib sheet for the workshop wall
  • A hearty lunch along with tea, coffee and cake from Pedal-a-Bike-Away café.

Where do I sign up?

+3 mountain bike coaching and setup is now available with all Starling bikes – to both new and existing customers.

All of our bikes now have an option to add +3 sessions when you order.

We’ll let +3 know that you’ve signed up and they’ll be in touch to book you in and arrange payment.

Existing customer? Just get in touch here via our contact page and we’ll put you in touch with +3.

You can learn more about +3 at Plus3MTB.com

You probably know Leo Sandler already. He’s a Kiwi, living in the UK and is an absolute animal on two-wheels. If anyone can put the Murmur Factory through its paces… Leo is the man for the job!

We lent Leo the Murmur Factory and sent him to South Wales to give it a shred. The weather was up against him and a few the jumps at Black Mountains were closed (damn UK winter weather!) but he still managed to have a big day of shredding on the bike. Thanks Leo, we’re stoked to see you ride the Starling!

The Murmur Factory is available now. Click here for more details

You can buy a Murmur Factory direct from Starling Cycles, with prices for a complete (but unassembled) bike from £3600. Frame and shock prices start at £1850.

Music thanks to www.psychedelicporncrumpets.com

Thanks also to:
EXT Racing Shocks

Video: Dom John and Open Wide Agency

Ard Rock Enduro 2018

Joe checks in from his favourite bike race of the year.

Wow, Ard Rock 2018m what a weekend!

The weekend wasn’t just a great race… it was also a trade event, a mini festival and a chance to see loads of people. The amazing weather didn’t hurt either!

My favourite thing about Ard Rock, and events like Ard Rock, is getting to speak to so many people.

I met loads of folk that were keen to see our bikes in the flesh and a few that were totally new to what we do. They all got a good first-hand rendition of my views on compliance, material choice (why carbon is crap), geometry and sizing, suspension design, weight and… of course, tyre inserts!

The race team did well on track though a few issues (including getting lost!) ended Joe Finney and Dan Pardesi’s hopes for the weekend. Phil Camsell however managed to navigate and race much better. He rode a stormer, riding a Factory Murmur for the first time and taking 12th place in Senior and 19th fastest overall. Remember there’s no Elite category at Ard Rock, so the result is even more impressive!

I managed a good race myself, taking 13th place in the Sport Vetrans category. ‘Sport’ is a category for those unlucky enough not to be able to get a place on the main race, and made all the harder by not being able to practice.

Out on the trails I saw at least 8 riders on Starlings, all getting some pretty impressive results. The best that I spotted was Phil Sellors who took an excellent 14th place in Masters and was only 2 seconds off Neil Donoghue!

Thanks also to all of the Bike Industry folks who swung by over the weekend. Not least Dan Stanton who tried his best to sticker bomb by Custom Murmurs with Cotic Stickers!

Extra thanks go Vittoria Tyres who were on the pitch next to me and fitted up the race team with Goma and Martello tyres and the new inserts. Phil’s results showed that they worked great! Follow them at VittoriaTires.

And finally, many thanks to the stands around me who helped make the event even greater – not least @wonkywollies @deviatecycles and @ridgecarbonwheels

Cheers everyone, Joe.