Starling Cycles and Pipedream Cycles are 2 brands with kind of similar but different approaches to mountain bikes. Both use steel; Pipedream use Custom CrMo 4130 and Starling build with Reynolds 853. In my opinion (and quite a few others) they are a couple of the most accomplished mountain bike brands anywhere on the planet.
The Moxie is probably the best known frame Pipedream make, and almost certainly the most reviewed. It’s an Enduro hardtail that will outrun many full suspension bikes & it’s also comfortable, especially in 650b plus mode. The only problem I have with the Moxie is that encourages so much speed with so much control that my legs have been known to seriously ache after a couple of days riding! They come in BRIGHT as well as not so bright colours! There’s a ti version, also a work of art & the same geometry as the steel model but without the adjustable sliding dropouts.
Starling make the various frames including the ‘Murmur’, a 29er/650b+ Enduro full suspension bike that rides like you imagine full suspension should! It descends, grips, climbs & jumps ridiculously well. Both the factory version and the custom hand built model use 853. Steel might seem unusual, even unnecessary for a full suspension bike, but correctly engineered flex delivers a frame that corners significantly better than a super stiff frame. Ride one and you’ll want one! If you like the sound of all that and you want any questions answered feel free to get in touch.
if you must have a road bike (sorry..!), how cool are Renovo? If you’re an ‘n+1’ devotee you might find yourself making a list of reasons why you really ‘need’ one. I’ve never ridden a Renovo, but they have a devoted following! Since I first posted this link it appears Renovo went out of business, but the new link is to the company that purchased the brand & is preparing to re-introduce the range. Before the original company stopped, they also had a highly rated hardwood MTB that sounded as tough as they come.
I’m not into alternatives for the sake of standing out, but natural materials work surprisingly well for bike frames. Bamboo has been & still is used by a few companies for bike frames amp. As with the Renovo hardwood bikes, bamboo makes for a fast, comfortable ride. It also causes hilarious panda jokes…
Here’s one I made earlier
OK, a lot earlier! Does anyone remember front derailleurs?!
I don’t have this one now, it went to a new owner. I still wonder whether another one might be on the cards at some point, time permitting!
They do ride nicely and are super-tough!
Retrobike, a site about – er – old bikes
A bit of nostalgia here, Retrobike links directory – loads of cool old school bikes to reminisce over, maybe even look for on ebay…