Storck has a reputation for technically advanced, lightweight designs, but its low volume production has always equated to premium prices. With the Visioner C (the C is for carbon – there’s an alloy Visioner too) Storck hopes to change this by offering a complete bike that more of us can potentially afford.
Highs: Telepathic handling, and a rock solidly fast bike
Lows: The sharpness of the handling might be too much for some
Buy if: You want a race machine that’s as quick to handle as it is to gain speed
With any bike, the frameset is the most important bit – and with the Visioner, Storck has incorporated all the design features we would expect. The distinct, bulged, oversize head tube holds a lightweight 360g full-carbon fork whose slender, almost daintily tapering straight blades are at odds with the massive lateral stiffness they impart on the road.
The down tube’s profile blends a flat base with an almost cylindrical cross section and with a circumference of 7.5in it’s one of the biggest you will see. The top tube follows a similar shaping but the flat section is on top; at 6.25in it’s again pretty chunky. Things stay oversized through the huge bottom bracket shell and into the massively deep chainstays. Only the seatstays, which start slender and flattened, look minimal, but even these gain in diameter as they meet the Storck signature rear facing dropouts.
Sharp angles, a short wheelbase and a low riding position create a distinctive handling feel:
Sharp angles, a short wheelbase and a low riding position create a distinctive handling feel
As you would expect, all this size translates into a stiff machine, but though the ride is definitely very firm it’s not harsh. Even on the worst surfaces we could throw at it, the Storck never became buzzy, or loaded us with fatiguing vibrations. Instead you feel a background resonance, a dulled thudding that’s easy to live with.
The distinct handling, of this and every Storck we’ve tested, is achieved through mixing sharp angles, a super short wheelbase (the chainstays are just 399mm) and a long, low riding position. The effective top tube of our 57cm bike was 576mm with a low stack (vertical distance between the bottom bracket and the top of the head-tube) of 574mm and a 406mm reach.
This makes for a bike that has such a snap to its handling it feels almost telepathic. A flick of the bar and you’ll cut around a pothole or thread through the bunch.
We opted for a platinum carbon seatpost upgrade for comfort: Robert Smith
We opted for a Platinum carbon seatpost upgrade for comfort
On fast corners it takes very little effort to find the perfect line. The handling response is so instant as to be addictively thrilling. The downside is that it’s a bike you can never just sit back and cruise on – it wills you to go faster, and if you let your mind wander for a moment the Visioner will bite back.
So with a chassis this impressive, is there a catch with the spec? Well, you get a full Shimano 105 groupset with a climbing-friendly 50/34, 11-28 combination, plus classy DT Swiss R24 wheels with their wider rim profile, shod with 25mm Schwalbe Ones – great for the money, in our opinion.
The standard bike comes with an alloy bar and seatpost, but we opted to upgrade to an excellent carbon RBC180 bar, with a rearward sweep to the tops, a 15cm drop and great anatomic shape, plus a Platinum carbon seatpost designed to offer comfort giving flex, topped with a comfortable Prologo Kappa saddle. There’s little to fault, and if you can stretch your budget a little we’d strongly advise taking a look.