Storck have launched a new aero road bike called the Aerfast G1 and we’ve had a good look at it at Eurobike, and had a chat with the brand’s supremo Markus Storck.
Storck’s existing Aernario has won all sorts of plaudits for combining a light weight with stiffness and comfort, but Storck admit that it’s not as aerodynamically efficient as some bikes out there from the likes of Cervélo and Specialized. There’s always a compromise.
The Aerfast is designed to combine impressive aerodynamics with light weight.
One of the basic design concepts behind the Aerfast is that the tube profiles are aerodynamically optimised in a plane that’s parallel to the ground, which is how they present themselves to the wind when you’re riding. In other words, rather than making a tube profile that’s simply aerodynamic in cross-section, Storck have concentrated on the aerodynamics with the tubes in situ.
The profile of the top tube, for example, might not look particularly aero, but it slopes slightly along its length. If you were to slice the bike parallel to the ground through the top tube, you’d see a long, aero teardrop shape. The same is true of all the other elements of the frame and fork, right down to the bottom bracket.
Other features are designed to improve the aerodynamics further. The walls of the down tube, for example, are concave to manage the airflow coming off the front wheel – something that we’ve not seen elsewhere – while rear-facing rear dropouts allow you to finetune the position of the wheel in relation to the cutaway seat tube.
The rear brake has been put in an aerodynamically favourable position behind the bottom bracket – there’s nothing too unusual about that – which has the dual benefit of allowing Storck to remove the brake bridge between the seatstays and add to the comfort.
This has all been designed using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software and Storck don’t make any claims of the “you’ll save x seconds over y distance at z kph”. Markus doesn’t think it’s worth it because those claims are pretty much meaningless – actually, completely meaningless – without any kind of standardisation in testing procedure; what wheels are you going to use? Will you have a rider on the bike? How will the bike be set up? And so on. All Storck say is that the Aerfast has been “designed for optimum aerodynamics”.
Other frame features include a tapered head tube (1 1/8in to 1 1/4in), internal cable routing and an integrated post clamp with the bolt hidden away underneath the top tube, as is typical with Storck. The seatpost is aero-section although the Aerfast will take a standard round 31.6mm seat post if you want to fit one.
The fork is Storck’s own, designed especially for the Aerfast with aerodynamics in mind.
If you were to focus solely on aerodynamics, you’d end up with a heavy bike, but Storck had a target frame weight of sub-1,000g. Although it's an arbitrary figure, 1,000g has pretty much become the cut-off point for a 'lightweight' frame these days. They’ve achieved this, the Aerfast coming in at 950-990g, which is very light for an aero frame. Markus says that they could have got a lighter frame but only at the expense of stiffness. The Aerfast is 20% less stiff than the Aernario and they didn’t want to go any lower than that.
The Aerfast frame and fork will be priced at £2,649 with a complete bike in a Shimano Ultegra build at £3,949. A Shimano Ultegra Di2 build is £4,799, Dura-Ace is £5,899, Dura-Ace Di2 is £6,999.
Delivery to the UK will be from October for the 55cm model with other sizes to follow after that.
For more details on the range go to www.storck-bicycle.cc.
20th anniversary bikes
Other big news from Storck is that 2015 is the brand’s 20th anniversary and special edition models are available to celebrate.
Storck did 100 of each special edition model on their 10th anniversary, they’re doing 200 of each on the 20th anniversary, and it’ll presumably be 300 of each on the 30th.
There’s a €700 upcharge on each of the 20th anniversary editions, but that gets you a special edition stem, saddle, headset, headset cap, a retro wool-mix jersey (non-itchy!), a certificate signed by Markus Storck, a bike box for bikes from the Aerfast and upwards in the range, and so on. Storck reckon the benefits are worth considerably more than your extra €700 – more like €850.
Check out the headset cap. It’s silver, made in Germany, and it’s very, very cool. Being silver, it’s pretty heavy compared to usual but Storck are calling in extra ballast to keep the bikes above the UCI’s 6.8kg minimum limit for racing.
That says ‘leidenshaft’ on the headset spacer, by the way, which is the German for ‘passion’.
Storck Visioner C
The final Storck bike that we’ll briefly mention is the new Visioner C with complete bikes starting at £1,799. That’s with a Shimano 105 groupset.
The frame is unidirectional carbon fibre with a PressFit bottom bracket and internal cable routing, and it weighs a claimed 1,250g. The Stiletto fork is 360g.
We’ll give you more info on the Visioner C in the next few weeks when it becomes available in the UK. Delivery is likely to be in October/November. In the meantime, check it out on www.storck-bicycle.cc.
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.