The purity of a single-speed DH bike in steel, is now available with many wheel size options, from Starling.

Starling is best known for the purity of its steel frame designs.

But if you desire that classic Reynolds 853 look, with some very contemporary rear-suspension tech, Starling does quite an original DH bike, in its Sturn.

The engineering logic is terrifically simple: reduce suspension friction and create a frame that will last forever.

Read more: high-pivot bikes

Single-speed DH for the win

With DH riders and races being less concerned about frame weight, or pedal strokes, Starling has created a clever high-pivot design for the Sturn, which is now available as a V2.

On exceptionally steep DH tracks, most riders are unlikely to pedal much. As such, the Sturn is a single-speed.

Having only one gear at the rear dramatically reduces running costs and avoids the annoyance of crushed derailleurs. Not to mention improved suspension performance.

High-pivot bikes have been hugely successful in DH racing over the last few years and Starling’s Jack Drive system takes a novel approach to the concept.

The Sturn effectively drives from both sides of the frame. Its high-pivot acts as a portside link to the chainring(yes, it is on the ‘other’ side) and transfers rider input to the bike’s starboard side, where the chain links to a rear cog.

It can go as a Mullet

Beyond having a drive function, the high-pivot does its intended magic by freeing up the Sturn V2’s suspension movement.

With the V2 version, Starling has given Sturn riders more wheel size choices. The V1 was a pure 29er, but the V2 can run 29”, 27.5” or a combination of both.

Geometry remains custom, with Starling using a target 63-degree head angle – and building the rest to customer specification.

Suspension travel is 200mm front and rear, with an adjustable shock mount allowing for multiple coil- or air-shock sizes.

Old-school rear axle

If you are looking for a conventional SuperBoost 157x12mm rear axle, that is not an option with the Sturn V2.

As a single-speed, it uses the 142x12mm rear axle spacing. That said, Starling has fashioned a custom drop-out system that doesn’t require Sturn V2 owners to readjust chain tension each time they take off the rear wheel for maintenance.

Available as a frame or complete bike, pricing for the Sturn V2 starts at £2990 for a frame.