The Starling Murmur: Custom FS 29er Frame is a Rare Bird

The Starling Cycles Murmur (all images courtesy of Starling Cycles)

The vast majority of boutique, custom framebuilders use steel as their material of choice. It’s relatively easy to work with and readily available. Most of those builders though, are turning those steel tubes into hardtails. However, Joe McEwan of Starling Cycles is breaking that mold with his bikes. He started Starling with the Swoop, a 155mm …

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Niner’s Air 9 RDO Race Hardtail Doesn’t Make Any Compromises – A Long Term Review


Over the past year and a half, Niner has been busy… really busy! They have launched entirely new models and redesigned basically every bike in their line. One of the bikes to get a refresh is their long-standing race hardtail, the Air 9 RDO. Design and Geometry The updated Air 9 is a looker. Niner flattened the …

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Updated Specialized Epic Hardtail Is Company’s Lightest Frame Ever


Specialized recently updated the iconic Epic hardtail mountain bike, and the new version is the company’s lightest bike frame to date. But wait, does that mean it’s lighter than any of their current road bike frames? Yes. Yes, it does. The bare frame, with no paint or hardware, weighs less than 800g. Adding paint and the …

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8 Category-Killing Mountain Bikes


While many, if not most, mountain bikes are easy to slot into their intended category such as cross-ountry, downhill, trail, fat, etc., some recent designs have transcended definition and can play comfortably in several categories. This is achieved either by simple component changes or, in some cases, on the fly adjustments. Here are 8 mountain bikes that defy …

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Salsa Timberjack 27.5+ Test Ride Review


Of the two new hardtails in the Salsa lineup, the Woodsmoke might grab more attention because it’s flashier, but their other latest bike is more than worthy of consideration as well. The Timberjack is an aluminum 27.5+ or 29er hardtail that seeks to make off-road exploration and singletrack bikepacking adventures more accessible to people who can’t spend a …

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The New Salsa Woodsmoke – 29+ vs 27.5+ Heads-Up Test


With a motto like “Adventure By Bike,” I figured it wouldn’t be long before Salsa Cycles launched a fun, plus-sized hardtail. After all, plus is where it’s at when it comes to off-the-beaten-path adventures. A slightly wider tire provides extra traction and float when navigating chunky stuff, without having quite the rolling resistance and weight of …

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Salsa Unveils Two New Plus Bikes: The Woodsmoke and the Timberjack

Woodsmoke 29+ XO1 in Warm Red.
All photos courtesy of Salsa Cycles.
Photography by

Salsa Cycles’ annual product launch event, dubbed “Saddle Drive,” is currently taking place at Northstar near Lake Tahoe, California. In conjunction with the event, they’ve released details to the public on their updated product line. While many of the bikes only saw minor tweaks and modifications, Salsa did unveil two new plus-size mountain bikes: the …

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