The new Storck TIX, Storck’s first ever cyclocross bike, has arrived at road.cc for a world exclusive review. Before we get it out in the mud, here’s a quick look over the bike while it’s still all clean and shiny.
We told you about the TIX – This is Cross – a couple of weeks ago, that article based largely on a couple of photographs that we managed to get hold of. Now Storck have given us more information.
“The new TIX frame is a completely new, ground up project,” say Storck. “After almost 12 months’ research and using considerable experience from the road and mountain bike market, the Storck team decided to produce a carbon frame from the beginning that is different in every detail.”
The TIX is a disc brake only design with thru-axles rather than open dropouts, the idea being that a thru-axle can better handle the discs. Like most high-end performance bikes these days, the bike is built with a tapered head tube – 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in – for more stiffness up front.
The TIX comes with a longer head tube than that of Storck's road bikes – 15cm on our 55cm frame – the idea being that you won’t have to use a stack of headset spacers to get front end height with the danger of decreasing the frame’s precision. It's still a pretty short head tube, though.
Storck slope the top tube considerably downwards so that there’s a considerable amount of seatpost extension out of the frame. The reason for this, as we speculated in our earlier article, is to offer more comfort.
Storck consider the fork to be a key feature here, saying that it provides a significant amount of flex both for riding comfort and, even more importantly, for control of the bike. They claim that it will flex only when forces come from the ground; it won’t bend as a result of braking because they’ve stiffened it up to resist those forces.
“The lateral stiffness is even… higher to provide scalpel knife precision and control for steering,” say Storck.
The TIX we have here at road.cc is built around a pre-production frame and some things will be changed on the final version. For example, the clearance between the fork and the frame will be increased slightly to ensure the two parts don’t contact. The internal diameter of the seat tube is due to change as well to stop any seatpost slippage, and the seat tube bottle cage mount will be lower on production versions of the bike.
Our review bike hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at 8.03kg (17.66lb) with Storck giving an official frame only weight of 940g. It is built up with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset complete with Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes while the wheels are DT Swiss R 23 Splines with knobbly Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres.
The TIX uses Storck’s own 4-bolt anodized alloy stem and their own RBC220 carbon handlebar.
The MLP 150 seatpost is the same as the one on the Storck Aernario Platinum road bike that we reviewed recently. It’s designed to be super-comfortable with lots of vibration damping and flex to smooth the ride. It comes fitted with a Selle Italia SLS Monolink saddle.
Due to a delay in some Shimano parts, the first production bikes will come with Shimano mechanical rather than Di2 electronic shifting, and cable rather than hydraulic disc brakes. In this configuration, the complete bike will be £3,199 and it’ll be available for September delivery.
When Shimano mechanical shifting/hydraulic braking becomes available, the complete TIX will be £3,599. This is slated for December.
It's clear Storck are aiming the TIX at the performance end of the cyclocross market, with a light and stiff carbon frame, short head tube and lack of mudguard and rack mounts. And with the bolt-thru axles, there really are very few direct rivals. The closest comparison is the recently released Norco Threshold Disc, also offering bolt-thru axles on a carbon frame. Or there is Ridley's latest X-Night Disc, but the Belgian company have opted to use regular quick release axles. Giant have embraced the bolt-thru technology, but only on the front of their new TCX frame which is offered in a carbon version.
We’ll work on a price for the exact build that we have here. In the meantime, our man Dave Arthur has just left the building for his first ride aboard the TIX with the words, “It is a lovely bike. Almost a shame to get it muddy. Oh well!”
We’re gutted for the poor guy! He’ll be back with a ride report pretty soon. He’ll have to be – Storck want their bike back next Wednesday so yer man Dave has a busy few days ahead of him.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.