I get to ride some pretty amazing bikes in this job, but this one tops the lot. I might fit different wheels for more confidence in descents and crosswinds, but otherwise the Storck Aernario Platinum can’t be faulted. In all terrains this is a simply an astonishing bike. The low weight and high stiffness means that it bounds up gradients with such ease that you will find yourself beating your PBs up the local climbs while barely breaking a sweat. Particularly on really steep ramps, that little extra something that the Storck has over high-end bikes from other bigger brands really shows. For sprinters it is also an excellent choice, with a staggeringly stiff bottom bracket that transfers every last watt into forward motion and a front end and cockpit that always hold firm. If only it didn’t cost a huge chunk of my salary, I’d buy it in an instant
Wheels not as good all-rounders as the frame
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Eleven thousand pounds. £11,000. Eleven grand.
However I write it, I still can’t quite believe that any bike could cost that much money. But then I never realised just how good a bike could be until I rode the Storck Aernario Platinum.
Founded in 1995, Storck has been working wonders with carbon-fibre for more than 20 years, so it’s no surprise its flagship model is carbon all the way down to the dropouts.
The result is an incredibly light 790g, which is then combined with a 280g Storck Stiletto fork (made by THM) to make one of the lightest framesets on the market.
This being 2016 there are some aero features too, with “sectional aerodynamic shaping” of the tubes and a hidden seat clamp (although this is a bit more hassle than it’s worth).
Unsurprisingly, the German company hasn’t exactly held back when choosing the components to match its no-expense-spared frame.
The faultless Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 is the natural choice of groupset with its low weight and precise shifting, while the wheels are Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayers, which contribute both to the low weight (950g for the pair) and the cost (£4,199).
With incredible stiffness and low weight, the wheels are an excellent match to the Storck Aernario Platinum frame, but they’re not perfect.
>>> Buyer’s guide to road bike wheels (video)
I found the 48mm deep rim (designed for stiffness rather than aerodynamics) to be a bit of a handful in crosswinds, while the brake pads grabbed intermittently at the carbon rim rather than giving consistent braking.
What is it like to ride? It’s hard to know where to start other than to say that the Storck Aernario Platinum is astonishing to ride in every single way.
Of course, with a total weight of less than 6kg, it’s a dream on the hills: more than once I found myself riding up a what I thought was a steady rise, only to glance down at my Garmin to see the gradient in double figures.
This is helped by the uncompromising stiffness that Storck has built in to the frame. When you really decide to put the hammer down, no bike will reward you more than the Storck Aernario Platinum.
Stamp on the pedals and the acceleration, whether uphill or on the flat, is instantaneous, while this performance is matched at the front end, which is similarly faultless when swinging the bike from side to side in a sprint.
And it’s just as much of a blast on descents, with the excellent handling. Nipping around tight corners felt just that little bit quicker than on other top-end bikes, while longer, sweeping downhills were also handled with ease. It’s just a shame that the braking meant that I didn’t feel I could attack descents as much as I would have liked.
If we’ve reviewed a more expensive bike I can’t remember it, so it’s difficult to give the Storck top marks for value.
However, all things are relative, and if you’ve got deep enough pockets to blow 11 grand on something as frivolous as a nice bike, then this is the bike to go for.
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