Storck doesn’t quantify the benefits, but it sports a ‘Ground Parallel’ down-tube designed using CFD [Computational Fluid Dynamics], and one built by a weight-obsessed company. In its top-tier Platinum incarnation, the Storck Aernario gets a frame weighing a claimed 790g — light by any standards, and exceptional by aero standards.
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It’s also fearsomely expensive, so we’ve got the third-tier Comp version, which is only quite expensive and claims a slightly-less-impressive-but-still-not-bad 1,150g, plus 400g for the fork. But with an Ultegra groupset and DT Swiss carbon clinchers it still manages to flirt with the UCI minimum weight.
The Aernario is a curious beast. On the one hand it’s modern, with dropped skinny seatstays, internal cabling and a hidden seat clamp whose bolt is accessed via a hole in the front of the seat cluster. On the other, the stark, unimaginative logo typeface set against a glossy black finish makes it look dated, and the gawky ergo bar doesn’t help the case. (We bashed our wrists on it in sprints too, but that’s rider-dependent.)
While we’re whining, the funky Selle Italia Monolink seatpost looks smart, but its clamp system makes small adjustments awkward as you have to unseat the wedges before anything will move. It also drastically limits aftermarket saddle choices, and truth be told, we’d rather have a conventional post.
These niggles fade into the background when you get on with riding the Aernario, because it’s a supremely competent package. Beefy construction at both ends of the bike imparts formidable stiffness, and it rewards an aggressive riding style. Attacking climbs out of the saddle is immensely satisfying, with the unyielding rear triangle a reliable ally as you muscle your way up.
Heading downhill things are equally encouraging; the ride is moderately firm, but road buzz is well controlled, while big hits from proper potholes do little to threaten the Aernario’s composure. For such a racy ride it’s remarkably unruffled by the dreaded cattle grid test too, skimming over with abandon.
The bike’s aggressive geometry definitely won’t suit everyone: our 51cm test machine had a relatively huge 398mm of reach and a relatively small 526mm of stack, thanks to the tiny 115mm head-tube. Even with a few spacers under the stem that will give most riders a decent saddle to bar drop, so those lacking in flexibility will be better served elsewhere.
On the equipment front Ultegra does its usual sterling job, while the DT Swiss wheels are a fine complement to the bike, their quietly expensive freehub is a reassuring reminder of the good taste you have in bike parts. The braking on the carbon rims isn’t the best we’ve ever tried, but it’s very good, with a linear feel that presents no unpleasant surprises.
We think it’s about time that Storck redesigned its logo, which now looks a little dated, but we’ll forgive any aesthetic shortcomings — especially as they’re so subjective — for a bike that rides as well as the Aernario. It’s very good indeed, and for riders who value a truly racy experience, we would recommend giving Storck a chance.