Single Speed Steel DH: The Updated Starling Sturn V2

Downhill doesn't get much simpler than this.
Photos: Starling Cycles

Since turning the torch to steel MTB frames in 2014, Starling Cycles founder Joe McEwan has been creating unique bikes of all sorts. The Sturn V2 certainly falls deep on the distinctive side of the fence, with its “Jack Drive” left-side-drive setup turning the opposing single gear and a single high pivot above managing rear wheel movement. This just might be the least maintenance-intensive DH bike on the market.

The updated Sturn V2 has 200mm of travel front and rear and can be built to run any wheel size or configuration the rider chooses. Since the drive cog is mounted on the main pivot this bike should feel fantastic while descending, with zero chain growth to pang the pilot’s feet. The rear end uses special 142x12mm dropouts that allow the rear wheel to be removed without re-tensioning the chain, and geared dropouts are available upon request.

Much of the geometry on this bike is fully custom, built to fit your body in their Bristol, UK factory. The headtube is set at 63° and Starling lists the chainstay measurements at 450mm for 29ers and 440mm with 27.5″ wheeled builds. The seat tube angle is 76°, which in theory should make this a DH bike that could pedal back to the top. Maybe ask Joe for dropper routing when you order?

Custom Sturn V2 frames retail for £2990.00 and shock options start at £750. Lead time for a frame is 24 months so contact Startling today to get yours in the queue.