#steel-full-suspension

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Speed Metal: A REEB Steezl Review

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Speed Metal: A REEB Steezl Review

There was a very broad range of very specific questions rattling around in Travis Engel’s head as he waited for the REEB Steezl to arrive. A lot more questions than normal. Usually, all he has to do for a bike review is keep riding it until he can put all its variables into context. The REEB Steezl, on the other hand, was top-to-bottom known-unknowns. It’s a U.S.-made steel full-suspension mountain bike, compatible with multiple shocks, multiple chainstay lengths, and made of multiple frame materials. Things got interesting. Hold my REEB.

UNpaved Cycles Vertigo and Victor Steel Full Suspension MTBS

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UNpaved Cycles Vertigo and Victor Steel Full Suspension MTBS

The number of builders and small companies offering steel full suspension bikes over the past few years has multiplied exponentially. John recently connected with UNpaved Cycles, a small company, over Instagram and asked them to share their Vertigo and new Victor frames. The following information is sparse but what we’ve see from UNpaved has our Pavlovian response kicking in. Let’s check out what UNpaved has been up to!

A Little Goes a Long Way: Starling Cycles Murmur V3 Review

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A Little Goes a Long Way: Starling Cycles Murmur V3 Review

Back in late 2018, I took delivery of a quirky steel full-suspension bike to review from a small framebuilding operation in the UK called Starling Cycles. Over the course of a few months, I rode the shit out of it in Los Angeles, where I was living at the time, and couldn’t get enough of it. As someone who lives metal bikes and loves riding trails, I hadn’t fully migrated to a full suspension chassis because I didn’t like the way the widely-available carbon models rode. The Murmur changed that for me. I reviewed the Murmur in April 2019 and immediately bought a V2 Murmur. 

Now living in Santa Fe, with arguably more technical terrain, I haven’t been able to put down the Starling Cycles Murmur; taking it high into the Sangre Mountains and beyond, this steel full-suspension bike really changed my perspective on the potential ride quality of full-suspension mountain bikes. Late last year, Joe from Starling reached out, saying he had a V3 frame for me to test out, and once again, I’ve been reaching for it nonstop.

Let’s look at my thoughts on the small changes the V3 underwent, leading to large improvements, and a broader perspective on steel full-suspension bikes below…

Long, Slack and Steep Review: Is the Chromag Darco 29er the Best Steel Full Suspension Yet?

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Long, Slack and Steep Review: Is the Chromag Darco 29er the Best Steel Full Suspension Yet?

Coming off of the REEB SST and having ridden the piss out of my Starling Murmur 29er over the past three years, when Chromag announced its new full-suspension bike, the Darco 29er, my interest was piqued. It’s no secret to readers here that I love how steel full-suspension bikes ride, and it’s been great seeing small brands put in the PR&D on these niche bikes. After some pleading, the fine folks at Chromag shipped me out a stock build of the Darco in size XL, for me to womp around on down in Phoenix while I escaped the ice-capades of Northern New Mexico for a week. Was it love at first flight? Find out below…

An Evolved Steel Trail Bike: REEB Cycles SST Full Suspension Review

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An Evolved Steel Trail Bike: REEB Cycles SST Full Suspension Review

While steel full-suspension bikes are nothing new, there has been a resurgence in recent years with many small framebuilders making trail-ready, competent bikes that leave their genetic predecessors in the proverbial dust. When I first rode a Starling Murmur in 2019, I wasn’t prepared for how engaged I felt with the trail or the flex and movement the Murmur provided. If you like the feel of steel hardtails or gravel bikes, chances are you’ll vibe more with a steel full-suspension than a carbon model.

These bikes are incredibly niche (though you can find them being made in workshops worldwide), and they still feel like a product from a cottage industry, not an engineered machine. It wasn’t until I spent some time with the REEB Cycles SST that I felt like steel full suspension bikes had finally leaped into the next stage of their evolutionary process. Let’s take a look at the SST below.

The Shed of Shred: A Workshop Visit with Starling Cycles

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The Shed of Shred: A Workshop Visit with Starling Cycles

Midlife crises come in all shapes and sizes. For some, a bright red Mustang relieves the itch. For others, some Eat Pray Lovin’ on a beach in Bali is just the ticket. But for Joe McEwan, Founder of Starling Cycles, chucking in his job as a successful aerospace engineer to build steel mountain bikes in a garden shed was just what the doctor ordered.

In this shop visit, we dig into the brand’s origin story, go behind the scenes at their Bristol workshop and learn why their signature single-pivots and retro rear shocks prove that simplicity never goes out of fashion.

BTCHN’ Bikes Introduces “The Jerk” Handmade Steel Enduro Full Suspension

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BTCHN’ Bikes Introduces “The Jerk” Handmade Steel Enduro Full Suspension

To much fanfare, last month we teased the beautiful steel full suspension enduro rig that Tyler of BTCHN’ Bikes was cruising around with at Sea Otter in our event coverage. Aptly named The JERK, it’s a true stunner with a 29/27.5 mullet setup, standard 24mm bottom bracket single pivot, custom integrated bar/stem, wild paint, and so many other intricate details. Today we’re stoked to announce that BTCHN’ is launching a small batch pre-order for eight of these frames in a size run (S, M, L) and two suspension configurations. The engineering for this bike was complex and took Tyler and team a looong time to dial in. Below, Tyler goes into lavish detail about his design process and philosophy, so continue reading about this beautiful machine, how it came to fruition, and how you can get your hands on one!