It also gave us an understanding that sensation and speed should not be confused. That a bike that feels quick is not always going to be quick.
In fact this was emphatically proved to us that over many timed runs the bike that felt the fastest (and cost the most) was in fact the slowest bike. We’ve encountered this before with comparisons of wheel size but not so much on a same wheel size/different frame material. It certainly delivers less fatigue in root and rock sections, the rougher grounds that many consider to be the essence of mountainbiking.
The oh-so-important numbers looked promising be for we started though; Joe had certainly done his homework. With plenty of clearance for 2.35” rubber, sloppy UK conditions have certainly been taken into consideration. The geometry is totally custom so sizing can be spot on for you height, proportions and taste but Joe’s starting point for the figures are the key here. A recommended head angle of 66°, -38mm BB drop, 445mm chainstays and 74.5° effective seat tube angle are spot on and all come together and play a part of the way this machine rides. Our test bike to suit a six-foot rider was designed with a reach measurement of 480mm.
The Murmur 29 is built to order as a frame only (with or without shock) or part of a rolling chasis. As mentioned, you can tweak the geometry if needed and tailor the seat tube length and reach measurements. The steel tubing comes in various blends, some Columbus, some Reynolds 631, some simple mild steel. There’s a laser etched piece and there’s a load of brazing but mostly there’s nothing but smooth lines, a very good build quality and something that is genuinely small-scale artisan. The Starling Murmur as with the Swoop, has had a delicate touch.
Un-confusing, simple, well made, unique, fun to ride, at a great price and fast. It has been totally memorable riding this Starling bike. The Murmur is one of the surprises of the year and one of our favourite bikes of the year. Join the queue…