The Starling Twist is a mixed-wheel size full suspension steel frame mountain bike designed and handcrafted by Joe McEwan at the Starling HQ in Bristol, UK. The Twist is their first mullet to market, made quite simply by combining the front triangle of the Murmur 29er with the swingarm of the 650b Swoop. Suspension travel sits at 160mm front and back, with the shock mount on the front triangle shifted forward in order to accomodate a 230mm eye-to-eye shock with 65mm stroke. Let’s take a look at its unique geometry and see how it compares to the Swoop and Murmur.
Starling Twist mixed wheel-size mountain bike
Sharing the front triangle of the 29″ wheeled Murmur enduro bike, the Starling Twist shares much of its geometry figures. The reach stretches out to 485mm in size large, the stack sits at 632mm with a 110mm headtube, and the seat tube measures in a 440mm. Sharing the same swingarm as the Swoop, the chainstay length sits at 437mm.
The two together create a mullet bike with a slack 65° head angle, an on-trend steep 77° seat tube angle with a 1250mm wheelbase and a bottom bracket drop of 38mm. Joe is happy and confident that this marriage of the Murmur and Swoop results in uncompromising geometry, creating a bike that benefits from the great maneuverability of a 27.5″ rear wheel, and the superior gyroscopic properties of a 29″ front wheel. Though Joe recommends the Twist be run with 150mm of front and rear wheel travel, it can be customised around smaller travel figures, but also up to 160mm.
As with all Starling bikes, the Twist is composed of fillet-brazed Reynold’s 853 steel tubing, chosen for its low weight and high strength properties. It features the signature Starling headtube gusset, an integrated seat-clamp, and a stainless dropper port.
Pricing & Availability
The mullet Starling Twist is available to order now on their website with frames available from £1770 without a shock or £1970 with a shock. Full builds are also available starting from £3300, with build-kits from Funn, Hope, Öhlins, RockShox, Middleburn and others. Sizing on the Twist ranges from medium to XL, servicing rider heights of 5ft 6″ to 6ft 4″.
In other news…
Starling Cycles’ have announced that while Taiwan-based ORA engineering are still making the swingarms, Joe is bringing front triangle production back to the UK. This gives him the freedom to customize shock mount position to accommodate different length eye-to-eye shocks. All Starlings, including the Twist, Murmur and Swoop, will therefore now be individually numbered and will feature the signature Starling headtube gusset with Starling detailing.