The Storck Aero 2 IS triathlon superbike tested, rated and reviewed

Storck Aero 2 IS triathlon bike reviewStorck Aero 2 IS

£10,999
storck-bicycle.cc

Marcus Storck has always created truly top-end bikes and the Storck Aero 2 IS is a razor-edge speed machine that’s remarkably light for a drag-beating frame. Cost-no-object innovation mixes with surprisingly traditional aerodynamics and less polished features than you might expect on such an expensive bike.

Storck Aero 2 IS – Frame and Fork

The Storck looks even more predatory than most superbikes, thanks to the shark-like nose of the Zeitjager (“time hunter”) one-piece bar and stem which fits flush with the tapering aero top-tube. Below it the short head-tube uses a bulged front profile that curves down towards – but doesn’t sync particularly smoothly with – the tapered THM fork.

The curving cable routing is the only giveaway to the position of the custom, carbon fibre leaf-spring brakes inset into the inner side of each fork leg and rear seatstays. The rest of the mainframe is more conventional, with the angular teardrop down-tube getting a slight wheel-hugged curve around the front wheel. It stays narrow right down to the conventional – rather than press-fit – bottom bracket. This is a surprise feature on a bike where everything else is tucked in so neatly. In fact the multi-section curved chainstays run so close to the offside spokes that they clip the frame if the wheel isn’t aligned perfectly in the horizontal dropouts.

The teardrop seat-tube flares back into a big wheel-hugging fin which also includes a threaded mount for the conventionally mounted rear brake offered – along with a conventional Stiletto Race Light fork – in the Aero 2 ‘Basic’ format (£3,549 without handlebar or brakes). On the Aero 2 though it’s another custom leaf-spring brake imbedded in the thick top section of the seatstays.

Above the broad seatstay bridge, the relatively shallow seat-tube houses the custom aero seatpost, secured by a flush-fitting wedge clamp. The custom aero seatpost gets a sliding saddle clamp to create super-fine, effective seat-angle adjustment anywhere between 73˚ and 80˚.

There are only three different frame size options though and we’re surprised to see there are still redundant bolt mounts for a seatpost-mounted Di2 battery, even though the battery is now mounted internally. Where the smooth-lined, slim frame definitely scores is weight, with a complete fork, brake and cockpit fuselage weighing just over 2.5kg. Then again at £6,729 you’d expect something special.

Storck Aero 2 IS – The Kit

Transmission is a full suite of Dura Ace Di2, including satellite shifters on the cow-horns, so you can change gears instantly when you’re climbing out of the saddle or tacking through twisty corners. The colour-matched Mavic wheels are also some of the lightest and stiffest out there. The textured Exalith braking surface produces powerful, if noisy, stopping, via the integrated carbon-leaf spring brakes.

The close clearances mean Storck advise opting for the conventional brake Aero 2 ‘Basic’ frameset if you’re planning on fitting fatter profile rims such as Zipps. While the fully taped bars are a nice touch, the combination of stiff wheels and stiff frame meant several testers were crying out for a softer nosed saddle after longer rides “on the rivet”.

Storck Aero 2 IS – The Ride

The most obvious ride characteristic of the Storck is that it’s almost impossible not to feel you’re flat out all the time. Low bar position, rigid wheels, minimal weight and quick-fire shifting fire you out of low-speed corners or up climbs with ferocious focus.

Vertically stiff frame plus tight wheels and solid feeling bar, plus slightly gust-prone Mavic wheels, means there’s a lot going on for your brain to process. It’s like being plugged straight into the fly-by-wire circuitry of a fighter jet as your synapses direct-line every bit of road and wind data right into your brain.

It gets pretty tiring on longer rides though and saddle choice is at a premium to avoid the rapid destruction of your perineum. Despite the beefy rear stays and staccato road feedback the actual power delivery isn’t particularly outstanding either. It accelerates well from lower speeds, but trying to jump onto the drafts of passing bikes at top-end big-ring speeds wasn’t as easy. Whether it’s the old-school aerodynamics or other chassis dynamics, time splits and Strava results showed that the extra money isn’t buying you any extra top-end speed.

+ Seriously light frameset, responsive wheels and powerful brakes
+ Brake, cockpit and wheels offer both performance and pose value

– Razor-edge character creates a potentially fatiguing feedback
– Derelict Di2 battery and brake mounts are irritating

Storck Aero 2 IS triathlon bike review