This is a very exciting project from our friends at Ibis to take on. Head on over to the Exie page on the Ibis website to read all about it!
Starling Cycles, the maker of the steel Murmur 29er full suspension, just announced a limited edition Murmur with a stainless steel front triangle, made by Ora in Taiwan. Only available in size Large or XLarge, these limited edition frames can be bought as a frameset (£2330.00) or as a complete build through Starling direct. These bikes offer a completely different ride quality from their carbon fiber counterparts and remain to this day one of my personal favorites on the market. Check out my initial review of the Murmur and my personal Murmur build in the Related articles below…
With 120mm rear travel, the Trail 429 isn’t a big bike and because of that, it’s even more versatile. Here’s the launch video from Pivot, with the Puget Sound as the backdrop. See more of the Trail 429 at Pivot.
To make a sub $3,000 Ripley, Ibis moved to an aluminum chassis, with a few geometry tweaks to make for a short-travel trail bike. Check out their launch video for the new Ripley AF featuring Pat Smage and some glorious Utah singletrack.
-130mm front travel⠀
-120mm dw-link rear travel⠀
-2.6” tire clearance⠀
-Aluminum front and rear triangle⠀
-Available in four sizes S-XL, fits riders between 5’ and 6’6⠀
-Frame weight of 7.45 w/ shock⠀
-Complete builds starting at 30.5 lbs / 13.04 KG⠀
We’ve all heard John wax poetic about the ride quality of his Starling Murmur. For people who prefer steel to carbon, there are more and more full-suspension designs coming out. These bikes offer the smooth ride of steel over the chattery ride of overly-engineered carbon frames. Myth Cycles announced they’ve opened the pre-order for their slick Zodiac 150/140 29er frames…
Modern beings are swimming in a self-destructive bath of distraction and doubt. “What is our usefulness?” we ask. What are we missing out on? Obviously something way better than what’s presently available to us. Is there a possible transaction of labor and capital that will permanently remove our doubts and self-diagnosed shortcomings? Is loving our own being possible? What is the best lifestyle accessory for our feelings of inadequacy? Such is our cruel method of measure, our search for moments of ease. This pernicious dance is as tedious as it is destructive. In this mindset, we will never be enough, never feel whole. It’s a zombie game that eats the possibility for our own contentment and moments of equanimity. This seeking is a cruel grift.
Since moving to Santa Fe, I’ve ridden my mountain bikes almost exclusively, which is a stark contrast to how much time I would spend on my drop bar bikes in Los Angeles. It’s not that there isn’t gravel in our area, it’s just that mountain biking is so accessible, so remote, and so sheltered from the wind and the sun, it’s a no-brainer.
Another major difference is whereas I’d drive to the trailhead in LA, I find myself riding to the trails here 99.9% of the time, even on my Starling Cycles Murmur, which is a really big bike to pedal across town, up the foothills, and into the mountains.
These miles spent on my full suspension had me spending a lot of time adjusting the coil system this bike was built on. Some days, I’d pedal with only a hip bag, while others, I’d lug a heavy camera bag around. This 10+ pound differential made it somewhat awkward to adjust the coil shocks as I found myself smack dab in the middle of the two coil weight zones. While the ride quality of the coil system is undeniably noticeable, it felt like I needed something less finicky.
So, when Fox reached out, asking if I wanted to try out their new fork and rear shock, I jumped on the opportunity. Little did I know I’d gravitate back towards air after vibing so hard on the coil shocks’ ride quality…
My first taste of full suspension came when I was working as a wrench at a shop in Quakertown PA just after graduating from college and not really having a plan. On mornings off, I’d take out a demo and ride the local trails up on South Mountain in Emmaus. Those bikes were terrible. But at the time, I was young and loving any bicycle I could get my hands on. That was 1998. A degree project when I went back to school confirmed I didn’t have a clue about geometry, handling, let alone suspension kinematics. Fast forward to 2012 when I hung my shingle out starting 44 Bikes, I became solely focused on honing geometry and understanding fit. But deep down, I wanted to build a full suspension bike but I knew I wasn’t ready. Which brings us to the here and now. Things began to click after building hundreds of bikes and dozens of prototypes where I finally felt like I had a grip on geometry and handling. I wanted a new challenge. So in the Spring of 2019, I started acquainting myself with a platform I had largely ignored.
Full suspension bikes can be used for bikepacking. It just takes a little problem-solving in terms of bag design, fitment, and capacity. Yet, that’s not what we’re discussing here. Modern mountain bikes seem to be designed for shuttle runs in perfectly-groomed bike parts, not all-day rides on backcountry trials. Most new bike models fit a bottle and by “a bottle” I mean a small bottle. I ride XL-sized frames and every time I throw my leg over one, I’m baffled at the lack of bottle carrying capacity. This is a gripe for another day, however, because I recently found a way to solve this problem on my Starling Murmur 29er and it was easier than you’d think.
The Revelate Hopper Frame Bag is an off-the-shelf option that fits like a custom solution. Let’s check it out below. Yes, I’m excited about this one!
Nothing compares to the ride quality of a steel full suspension. Believe us when we say that! Jakub builds bikes as a hobby, under the handle Switch Craft Cycles and for this week’s Readers’ Rides, we’re featuring his self-made steel full suspension bike, all the way from the Czech Republic. Check out the full build details below, with words by Jakub…
120mm travel bikes don’t get a lot of love these days, even though they’re plenty fun, capable enough to MTB tour on, and great companions for slogging it out on an endurance race. Transiton’s new Spur is a 120mm front and rear travel 29er with details and looks to spare. Read all about it at the Transition website.
Revel’s new Ranger XC bike is a lighter and snappier version of its big sibling, the Rascal. Designed around a 29×2.6″ or 27.5×2.8″ wheelset, the Ranger is a 120mm front and 115mm rear travel bike, build on a CBF-engineered chassis. Think lightweight but still capable. The Ranger comes in three build kits, ranging from $4,999 to $9,999 and a frameset, which is priced at $2,799. You can pre-order now at Revel with a mid-July delivery estimate. See more at Revel.
-Wheel Size 29″
-Front Travel 120mm
-Rear Travel 115mm
-Shock Spec 190 x 45-22.2 x 8 Hardware Spec
-Boost Axles 148mm rear / 110mm front
-Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm (use our size guide to choose the best dropper height!)
-Bearings: BOLU 6801 VRS full complement, 12mm x 21mm x 5mm 6pcs per bike
BOLU 6901 VRS full complement, 12mm x 24mm x 6mm 12pcs per bike
-Rear Brake 160mm post mount / 180mm max
-Tire Clearance 29″ x 2.6″ or 27.5″ x 2.8″
-Bottom Bracket Threaded (73mm English threaded)
-Chainguide Custom Revel guide included
-Tapered Headtube IS42 upper / IS52 lower
-Colors Johnny Green Jeans / De La Coal
-Sizes S / M / L / XL
-Frame Warranty Lifetime Warranty
Hints of a new carbon Hei Hei have been floating around the internet for a while and today, Kona announced the all-new Hei Hei CR DL and Hei Hei CR bikes, with all new geometries, specs, and a brand new carbon frame. Check out the details below.
A lot of people are offering up deals on their bikes and with their announcement of moving production back to the UK on their front triangles, Starling has a lot riding on this first season of sales. To spice up their already solid deals, they’re offering something special.
Frames are now £1,327.50, that’s 10% off and they’re offering a free custom paint upgrade, worth £120.
TO ORDER: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your frame. Once frames are ready to ship, the remaining payment will be requested. Use the code starling2020, at checkout. This will reduce your basket total by 75%, allowing you to pay a 25% deposit.
They will then invoice you for the remaining 75% once frames are ready to ship.
After reviewing the Starling Murmur Factory early last year, I placed a deposit for one myself, springing for the made in the UK front triangle, made in Taiwan rear swingarm model, in a larger size than the demo large I reviewed. Joe and I discussed the bike, I sent in the money needed and waited. A few months later, Joe alerted me that the bike was done and he shipped it to the United States. Little did I know that I wouldn’t see the bike for almost 8 months later.
Starting at $2,649 for the SX Eagle, or $3,199 for the SLX (pictured), the Rustler’s all-mountain capabilities are now available in a more affordable aluminum frameset. The 6066-T6 aluminum frame features 425 mm chainstays and 27.5” wheel size, with 130 mm of rear suspension travel, with a 150 mm fork, and a nicely-equipped component specification. Now, all three full suspension models from Salsa come with an aluminum frame option, making it a little easier to get your mitts on one. Head on over to Salsa to see the full spec rundown.
Perhaps you read Locke’s review of the Rascal earlier and are intrigued by Revel’s offering but weren’t feeling the colors available. Well, the brand just announced a new color for their flagship enduro bike, modeled after T1000 in the Terminator franchise. These slick and silver steeds are now shipping from Revel, so head over to poke around their site.
It was a rainy afternoon in Sedona. I finished my volunteer shift, and headed into the festival to try and get a demo. I had heard of this new company, Revel Bikes, that was supposed to have some real pretty and real fast carbon full suspensions. I wanted to try one of those bikes as soon as I could. I arrived at the tent about 10 minutes after the event opened to the public.
Every bike was gone.