Minerva Starlite

Small Belgian brand, massive tubes, big tyre clearance and lots of anodization. Another piece of aluminium heresy.

One day I was aimlessly browsing Marktplaats, and stumbled upon something very shiny and very pink-ish. Without a moment of hesitation I contacted the seller, one day later the bike was on my repair stand, ready to be fiddled with.

I’ve never heard of this brand before, some research lead to the conclusion that they are a relatively small Belgian brand who got their frames from the far east. I liked what I saw though, everything was of high quality, and the whole thing was fairly light for an MTB of this era. Well, most of the components were pretty high-end, full XT 737 and all. The stock setup was 3×8 speed, canti brakes and a lot of custom anodized parts.

I checked the tyre clearance, and it was massive. I knew what I had to do. Fat Franks. They are relatively cheap, but look rad. They weigh a tonne though, so the bike lost its weight-weenie aspect rather quickly. The first iteration of the bike was quickly born. 1×8, cheapo SunRace thumbie, some noname V-brakes, comfy Ergotec city cruiser bars. Oh, and a pink bell of course.

I knew I had to go single-speed with this bike, it was just the obvious thing to do. Mostly because the chain kept falling off with this 1×8 setup. After carefully browsing AliExpress for a whole 2 minutes I bought a Ztto single-speed kit – fortunately it arrived very quickly and worked like a charm. I combined the package with a lot of purple/pink bits, just for extra vomit points. I really wanted to keep that fantastic magenta-anodized UNO stem, but it was too long for a comfy ride, so I ditched it (well I still have it in my drawer actually) and installed a way less cool Ergotec model on.

And thus the final version of the Minerva Starlite was born. Comfy, cruisy, plushy, rad.

I sold this bike at the end of 2021, as I ran out of space unfortunately. It was rad while it lasted. If you see it wave hi to the new owner from me.

Components Table

ComponentBrand & Model
FrameMinerva Starlite 1993-1994? aluminium
CranksetShimano Deore XT FC-M737
Brake LeversAvid
HubsShimano Deore XT 737 Parallax
RimsMavic M 231
TyresSchwalbe Fat Frank 26×2.35″