Storck Rebel Nine XTR THM review£5,049.00

Superbly executed take on the classic racing hardtail format

BikeRadar score4/5

Storck is synonymous with high performance carbon bikes, and the Rebel Nine in no way lets the side down. Its short reinforced head tube with bulged bottom section keeps the 700mm flat bars as low as possible over the big 29er front wheel for an appropriately aggressive first impression.

The massive flat oval top and down tubes and oversized seat tube triangulate the big PF92 block and swollen seat tube junction. Road-flat seatstays curve down over the top of the chainstay-mounted brake.

The rear axle gets a neat Torx-key release
The rear axle gets a neat Torx-key release

Rather than a heavy cam lever the 142x12mm axle uses a Torx key that tucks neatly into the driveside axle end when not being used for tightening/loosening. The wide stance chainstays neck down slightly to clear cranks and tyre then head straight to the rear axle for maximum power transfer.

Max power build

Our tasty XTR build sample had also been upgraded with massive carbon arm THM Clavicula cranks and Praxis twin rings for maximum torque transmission. Unsurprisingly that meant muscular acceleration and gear grunting strength were the most obvious trait of the Rebel Nine and whenever comparative testing became a pure power play situation the Storck inevitably surged ahead.

Flattened tube sections and carefully laid up carbon give the Storck more forgiveness than you’d expect considering how well it translates your energy into speed

While the 1150g frame weight isn’t particularly low, gram-saving components such as Storck’s own carbon bars and Monolink seatpost direct clamping onto the Selle Italia saddle as well as an ultralight stem kept weight just under 10kg for our large bike, so extended climbing isn’t an issue either.

But we’d expect better than the functional DT Swiss M1700 wheels, occasionally clunky Performance grade Fox F100 forks and cheap Performance grade Schwalbe tyres on a superbike like this. The big ribbed Storck grips don’t do descending comfort any favours either.

Old-school angles

While some progressive brands such as Scott and Whyte have slackened the handling of their race bikes for a more stable feel on descents, the Rebel Nine stays with classic old-school 71/73-degree head/seat angles. It’s certainly not a recipe for cocksure trail swagger but it keeps it keen on tight turns at slow speeds and feels well matched with the 700mm bars and 100mm stem.

The Rebel Nine's steep angles mean there's no room for complacency on descents
The Rebel Nine's steep angles mean there's no room for complacency on descents

Those flattened tube sections and the carefully laid up carbon also give the Storck more forgiveness than you’d expect considering how well it translates your energy into speed and reactions into direction changes.

As such the Rebel Nine isn’t just a blunt racing tool but a well honed artisan instrument that’s as well suited to frantic race laps as hunting down far summits. Given our grumbles about spec we’d probably go for a custom build on the frame rather than the complete bike package here though.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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