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Storck Aernario custom build - first ride review

Aero race frame, pro-level build

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The Storck Aernario ready for action

The Storck Aernario ready for action (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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The chain never came close to throwing off but the location of this entry/exit seems a little odd

The chain never came close to throwing off but the location of this entry/exit seems a little odd (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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This isn’t the easiest bolt to get to, but once set there’s little reason to need to touch it

This isn’t the easiest bolt to get to, but once set there’s little reason to need to touch it (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Access to electronic/mechanical wiring in located under the bottom bracket on the Storck Aernario

Access to electronic/mechanical wiring in located under the bottom bracket on the Storck Aernario (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Lightweight wheels on the Storck Aernario (in name as well as nature)

Lightweight wheels on the Storck Aernario (in name as well as nature) (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Storck pay particular attention to rear dropouts to ensure the connection points between wheel and frame are stiff and precise

Storck pay particular attention to rear dropouts to ensure the connection points between wheel and frame are stiff and precise (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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The Storck Aernario uses a press-fit bottom bracket system

The Storck Aernario uses a press-fit bottom bracket system (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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A unique underside seat clamp bolt leaves the seat tube junction clean on the Storck Aernario

A unique underside seat clamp bolt leaves the seat tube junction clean on the Storck Aernario (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Where the magic happens on the Storck Aernario

Where the magic happens on the Storck Aernario (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Size-specific tubing is featured throughout the Storck Aernario frameset

Size-specific tubing is featured throughout the Storck Aernario frameset (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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The front end of the Storck Aernario was direct and precise under even the harshest corners

The front end of the Storck Aernario was direct and precise under even the harshest corners (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Don’t like carbon handlebars? Storck do an alloy version too

Don’t like carbon handlebars? Storck do an alloy version too (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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The exit point for the EPS rear derailleur wire is kept well clear of the quick-release on the Storck Aernario

The exit point for the EPS rear derailleur wire is kept well clear of the quick-release on the Storck Aernario (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Storck also produce two straight seatposts and another with 25mm of setback

Storck also produce two straight seatposts and another with 25mm of setback (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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There are a number of length options for the Storck stem on the Aernario

There are a number of length options for the Storck stem on the Aernario (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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Campagnolo EPS levers on the Storck Aernario

Campagnolo EPS levers on the Storck Aernario (Image credit: Alex Malone)
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The Storck Aernario ready for action

The Storck Aernario ready for action (Image credit: Alex Malone)

This article originally published by BikeRadar

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.

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.

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.

Where the magic happens on the Storck Aernario

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 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.

Price: AUD$19,400
Weight: 6.39kg (14.06lbs), complete bike
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
BikeRadar verdict: 4 and a half stars
More information: www.storck-bicycle.de

Complete bicycle specifications

Frame: Storck Aernario
Available sizes: 47cm, 51cm, 55cm, 57cm (tested), 59cm, 63cm
Fork: Storck Stilletto 300
Stem: Storck 4-Bolt ST 115, 6 degree, 120mm
Handlebars: Storck RBC220, 42cm
Brakes: Campagnolo Super Record
Shifters: Campagnolo Super Record EPS
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record EPS
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record EPS
Cassette: Super Record 11-speed, 11-25T
Chain: Campagnolo Super Record 11-speed
Crankset: Campagnolo Super Record, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo press-fit
Wheelset: Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer tubular
Front tire: Continental Grand Prix 4000
Rear tire: Continental Grand Prix 4000
Saddle: Storck - Metal Rail
Seatpost: Storck 210 comfort, 31.6mm