A sneak peek at the Storck Aernario at Eurobike 2012 was enough to entice us into wanting to test the road bike properly. Storck have taken a unique approach to an aerodynamic frame and ended up with something that's visually appealing and also delivers all-round ride performance. It’s a feat not easily achieved, but after hours spent aboard a top-spec Aernario we can attest to the benefits.
- Pros: Razor-sharp handling, superior road dampening, size-specific tubing, electronic or mechanical internal wiring
- Cons: Questionable location for entry/exit port for electronic wiring near crankset, awkward access to seat clamp bolt
Ride & handling: Subtle and light
Having tested plenty of top-end framesets that often seek to deliver performance over rider comfort, one thing becomes clear from the first few pedal strokes on the Aernario – it isn’t your usual ‘talkative’ race bike.
With a claimed weight of under 900g, the Aernario has a subtlety to it that’s rare among frames in its weight class. Don’t assume, however, that efficiency is compromised.
Storck have put together a package that requires an attentive pilot while also instilling a level of forgiveness. Taking a corner too excitedly, venturing into the rough or making the decision to travel along neglected roads will not leave you battered and bruised. There’s a level of appreciated feedback but it reaches your contact points at a reduced and dulled rate.
Where the magic happens on the Storck Aernario
Bringing the Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels on our test bike into play, we had a seriously light build beneath us. Your wheel selection will play an integral part in how your particular bike rides, but the sloping geometry and subsequent amount of post sitting outside the frame aids in the delivery of a more subtle experience. Want things a little stiffer under the seat? Install an alloy seatpost (not that we felt this was necessary).
Storck have certainly delivered on their performance and compliance claims.
Frame & equipment: No-expense-spared ensemble
Included in the frameset module price (AUD$5,800/US$4,800) is the Aernario frame and fork (in six sloping geometry sizes) constructed with specific tubing for each size. The frame-builders adjust tubing thickness, butting and even outer diameter to ensure that each frame creates an appropriate ride characteristic for different-sized riders.
The Aernario we tested was assembled with a build kit fit for the professional circuit. A Campagnolo EPS Super Record groupset, Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels and Storck’s own-brand 120g titanium bolt alloy stem, 210g shallow bend carbon handlebar and seatpost all felt at home on the AUD$19,400 bike.
According to Storck Australia, a more economical build is available as a standard item. For a little under AUD$12,000 you can have a Campagnolo Super Record groupset with Mavic SLE wheels. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, the Aernario can be built with a groupset and component mix of your choice.
The frameset has electronic or mechanic capability, with internal routing. The location of the entry port and Campagnolo EPS battery wiring on the right of the down tube is interesting. In the event of a thrown chain, the wiring is in a somewhat vulnerable location, but the chance of this happening is unlikely given the reliability of the groupset.
In terms of geometry, you’ll find a bike that does its best to appeal to the avid racer and those not interested in a rigorous routine of post-ride stretching. While the ride passes the comfort test, the frame doesn’t come with the luxury of a tall head tube or relaxed angles.
The Storck Aernario uses a press-fit bottom bracket system
The Aernario has a 162mm head tube (57cm frame) with an effective top tube length of 57.6cm. Combined with the effective stack height at the front, it’s aggressive enough to accommodate those wanting marginal aero gains but doesn’t go so far as to exclude the majority of us.
At 340g the Storck Stiletto fork isn’t the lightest on the market, but this is one area that often doesn’t do well when grams are shaved off recklessly. Its weight is still around the mark for most top-end framesets.
Interestingly, the back end of the bike remains the same across the size range. Chainstay length may not change but the relative distance from bottom bracket to rear axle does become more apparent in the bigger sizes. Our 57cm test bike, with 399mm chainstays, produced a whippy rear end but didn’t skip under heavy braking.