RBA Test: Storck Aernario

As written previously here (RBA, June 2010), Marcus Storck and his forebears could legitimately qualify as one of the first families in German cycling. From racing lore in the 1920s to a successful family-run bike shop into the ’80s, and finally with Marcus starting his own bike brand in the 1990s, the Storck family has been associated with all things of a bicycle nature for almost a century. In the last decade, Marcus has used his lifetime experience to create some of the most exciting and talked-about race bikes throughout Europe. From lightweight wonders to his radical Aero TT bike, Storck bikes have become renowned for being light and fast.

Quick and to the point, the Aernario’s monocoque frame is both beautifully designed and crafted. Each Storck frame is made using what they call ‘proportional tube’ shapes, meaning the outside diameters of tubes used to build each different-size frame are designed specifically for that size. In other words, the tubes used to build a large frame for a big rider won’t be the same tubes used to build a small bike. That’s a nice, custom like touch for a production bike. Another feature of the carbon tubes is the sectional aerodynamic shapes that combine to give the Aernario what we’d call an ‘aero road bike light’ appearance. The impact of this is most evident at the top tube/seat tube junction where not only are the distinct tube shapes themselves most noticeable, but so, too, is the invisible seat binder. (So does that make it unnoticeable?) We’ve seen some swanky attempts at internal seat clamps, but the Storck (while, yes, a bit fidgety to use) definitely takes the prize as the best executed.

The (claimed) 890-gram Aernario frame enjoys all the frame details you’d expect for a thoroughly modern carbon frame: a subtle sloping top tube, internal cable routing (for mechanical or electronic), a tapered head tube, carbon dropouts and a replaceable derailleur hanger. The  Storck is available in six sizes.


As it is with any bike that is built up with the German-made Lightweight wheels, it’s hard to pay much attention to any other parts on a bike. With the Storck, they weren’t just Lightweight Meilenstein tubulars but the limited edition (and lighter) Obermayer versions. Our test bike was also spec’d with a Shimano 11-speed Dura-Ace drivetrain, but in place of the standard Japanese parts were the trick German-made, carbon PowerArm SL cranks fitted with Praxxis chainrings. An in-house Storcklabeled (aluminum) stem and (carbon) seatpost with a ProLogo saddle rounded out the package.

Funny thing, but one day, as we planned to take the Storck out for a test ride, we were visited by the brand manager for one (really) big bike brand, and one of the questions he asked us was what we thought of the aero road bike market. While acknowledging that the individual identities of the road bike/aero road bike categories weren’t as distinct as the differentiation found between cross-country and free ride mountain bikes, within the aero road bike category itself, there are still enough distinctions to be found among competing brands as to make it a worthy topic. Visually, the Storck Aernario doesn’t stand out as an authentic aero road bike, such as the Scott Foil or Cervelo S5, but, as much as the Storck qualifies as an aero road bike, it has one of the best rides that we’ve yet encountered in the breed.

Specifically, the Storck takes full advantage of its lightweight construction, with a ride that is equally responsive and comfortable. To get straight to the point, we’ll quote from a test rider’s report: ‘Every bit of effort put into the pedals produced forward momentum and more speed. No harsh or choppy-ride characteristics experienced as on other featherlight bikes could be found. I was in heaven, and I hadn’t even started climbing. All the way up the climb I marveled at the stiffness of the front end and bottom bracket as I put all my effort into the pedals. The short head tube (by today’s standards), uniquely designed fork and stiff front end made for precision steering. Sprinting for signs or just powering along into the wind in the drops both showed off the best features of what I think may be a perfectly designed bike.’ That pretty much says it all.

In the middle of testing the Aernario, we heard news of a recently released updated model, the Aernario Platinum, which, thanks to a new carbon layup, is supposed to enjoy weight savings nearing 200 grams. As enticing as that sounded, we could do little else but remain calm, hoping to get aboard that model (about $2000 more) sometime in the future. For now, we had to be content enjoying the standard model for the few remaining days we had before shipping it back to Germany. It will be missed.


? Elegant appearance
? Elegant ride
? A cool, but at times a bewitching internal seat binder

Price: $4800 (frame)
Weight: 13.1 pounds
Sizes: 47, 51, 55 (tested), 57, 59, 63cm
For more info: Storck

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