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?

+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