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Verdict: 
Truly awesome race bike with aerodynamics that work in the real world, coupled with a forgiving ride
Weight: 
6,470g
Storck Aerfast Platinum
9 10

At £10,949, the Storck Aerfast Platinum would be a massive outlay, but boy, oh boy would you get one hell of a return on your investment. It's a sub-6.5kg race weapon, with aerodynamics that work in the real world, and it offers comfort levels to challenge most endurance bikes.

Taking plenty of things it's learnt from its astonishingly good  Aernario, Storck has pushed the design even further down the aerodynamics route, and what it has created in the Aerfast is a bike that's not only unbelievably fast, but light and stiff too.

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Ride

If you're in the market for an aero bike, speed is going to be topping your list of priorities, and it's where the Aerfast truly excels. Below about 23mph the Storck feels like any other bike to ride, any other superlight bike that is, but all the same it feels like it requires some effort; you've got to work at it.

Get above that speed, though, and the aerodynamics really come into play. It feels like a permanent tailwind is nudging you along, a friendly hand on your back as you watch the numbers climb on the Garmin – with no more effort required than there was 5mph ago. It's a wonderful feeling, and one you never tire of.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - riding 2.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - riding 2.jpg

The long and low stance of the Aerfast allows you to mimic the aero intentions of the frame to really exploit every last bit of speed. Even on the hoods, with wrists resting on the bar, you can get low with a flat back and cruise along 3-4mph faster than you can on a standard road bike on the flat. I've ridden time trial bikes that don't offer this level of wind-cheating.

The only downside to all this 'aeroness' is that the Aerfast really doesn't like turbulent air. If you're drafting a lorry, for instance, and you drop back into the dirty air as it swirls around the Storck gets buffeted around something terrible. Strong crosswinds can also make it a little twitchy.

The real beauty, though, is how long you can keep this speed up for. The Aerfast is so comfortable, with the rear end taking the sting out to the point where you find yourself checking back to see if you've got a slow puncture.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - seat tube.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - seat tube.jpg

My first ride on the Aerfast was 101 miles on a mix of lanes and fast A roads with about 1800m of climbing thrown in – similar to plenty of sportive routes. I'd finished the loop and was nearing the front door at mile 89 realising I was feeling a damn sight fresher than I've ever felt at that distance before. So I decided to carry on and chuck in another couple of mini laps to get past the century. I ached, don't get me wrong, but after nearly six hours in the saddle I felt as if I'd only done half of that.

Post-ride coffee in hand, watching the Storck drip muddy rainwater all over the kitchen floor, it's hard to believe a bike design appearing to be so specific to a single task is actually a real all-rounder. A stonkingly fast multi-tasker.

The Storck is a very easy bike to ride. At speed it feels planted and easy to control just by shifting your bodyweight, making it an absolute joy to ride through technical bends. And it feels so smooth as you change direction too; the point in the middle of a chicane when you flick the Aerfast from one lean angle to the opposite is so effortless, and you can do it at such a high speed, that it gives you goose bumps when you nail it time and time again.

The Schwalbe One tyres are awesome, and really give you the confidence to lean the bike over – to the point where you're thinking you're probably going to need to drop a knee down to stay upright.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - tyre and rim.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - tyre and rim.jpg

High-speed descending is an absolute blast. The steering is highly responsive – a touch twitchy at lower speeds but here, hurtling downhill, it's bang on. As you take to the drops and lower your shoulders the front end feels beautifully weighted; the slightest input from you and the Aerfast responds instantly. The model-specific Aerfast fork certainly doesn't let you down on the stiffness front, even when you're really hauling hard on the front brake between bends. The overall speed achievable is unbelievable too – I was hitting an extra few mph on most of my local descents.

Weighing a little less than the UCI limit obviously means the Storck is no slouch on the hills, but that's bolstered by the stiffness from the bottom half of the frame. The bottom bracket junction is huge, as are the down tube and chainstays, so you can really stamp on the pedals.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - bottom bracket.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - bottom bracket.jpg

Saying that, the Aerfast doesn't quite feel as tight at the rear end as other Storcks I've ridden, though it's still bloody stiff, and it makes it more user-friendly on UK roads.

Frame & fork

Storck has tackled the aerodynamics by working in a parallel plane from the ground, taking into account where the tubes are actually situated in real world terms rather than just making the individual tube aerodynamic. This is why some of the tubes don't necessarily look as faired as you might expect. If you were to take a cross-sectional view, though, things would become much more evident.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - full bike.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - full bike.jpg

For instance, the down tube tapers in both ends as it leaves the head tube and bottom bracket, to reduce surface area to the wind and lessen drag. It also takes into account the way the air is leaving the front wheel. It's what Storck calls 'Sectional Aerodynamic Shaping', developed through 3D CAD modelling and fluid dynamic computer development. A cost effective way of designing something slippery yet stiff.

Up front the steering is kept tight thanks to a tapered head tube, 1 1/8in at the top and 1 1/4in diameter at the bottom. It's something you really notice under heavy braking and hard cornering. To reduce weight the headset cups are carbon fibre – no alloy inserts here.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - head tube.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - head tube.jpg

The bottom bracket uses a press-fit bearing system with an 86.5mm shell width for extra stiffness rather than a more traditional 68mm. This means the chainstays can be wider (apart and in themselves) and the bottom of the seat tube is wider too, bringing with it even more stiffness. Unfortunately the Aerfast is plagued with the same affliction of many bikes with this setup, creaking after a few wet rides.

Storck has chosen to position a direct-mount rear brake under the chainstays for aerodynamic purposes (as shown a few pics above), which means it's been able to remove the brake bridge from the seatstays. This has not only brought some much needed comfort but also, because of the horizontal rear dropouts, means you can adjust the position of the wheel for tyre clearance at the seat tube. Ours was running 25mm tyres but you can go a bit bigger.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - rear hub.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - rear hub.jpg

As I've mentioned, the fork is model-specific. Also called the Aerfast, it's designed to fill the gap under the down tube exactly when the front wheel is straight, with a little faired nub. The carbon steerer is tapered, too, to match the head tube.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - fork.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - fork.jpg

Making something aero tends to use more material, which adds weight; take that material away and you lose stiffness, so you've got a bit of a balancing act on your hand. Storck says that it uses 'proportional tubing' – tubes that have different wall thicknesses, getting thicker as the bike gets bigger for heavier riders and the spans between tube junctions increases. That it still achieves a claimed frame weight of just 890g (47cm) and 350g for the fork is impressive.

The Aerfast comes in three models: Comp, Pro and this, the top end Platinum. They all come out of the same mould but use different grades of carbon, which is why the Platinum frame is 260g lighter than the Club's. The carbon itself is laid up unidirectional – all the fibres travelling in the same direction – which is time consuming but means it can be laid up to optimise frame strength and comfort.

All of the cabling is routed internally to keep a smooth and clean look, plus it'll also run both mechanical and electronic groupsets. Even things like the seatpost bolt are hidden beneath the top tube. It tightens up against a wedge to keep the aero post in place, but you can also use a round 31.8mm diameter post too.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - cable routing.jpg
Storck Aerfast Platinum - seatpost clamp.jpg

Even though the position is stretched out, the Aerfast isn't as steep and slammed as you might expect. Our 55cm frame has a head tube length of 168mm, which is quite tall for a race bike, plus the head tube angle is just 72.3 degrees. But whatever the numbers, it certainly works.

My only criticism is that the overall finish of the frame isn't quite as high a standard as I would have expected for the money. The area where the seatpost slides in looks a bit rough around the edges, and also where the paint ends at the rear dropouts. It seems a shame to create such an engineering marvel and not follow it up on the aesthetics.

Top end finishing kit

What you are looking at here is the first Aerfast Platinum in the UK, so our test model has had a bit of a spruce up, hence that eye-watering price.

The Lightweight Meilenstein clincher wheels are a pure extravagance, though they do back up the performance of such an excellent frameset. Mat tested the tubular version recently so I won't go into massive details here, but basically I found similar results. You're getting all the performance of the tubulars but with the added practicality of clinchers. That rim does increase the price to £3,699, which is £600 more than the tubular version, and a few more grams too – 1180g total weight.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - transmission.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - transmission.jpg

We've also got the 20th Anniversary edition carbon bar, which carries a premium price. It's a lovely shape, curving back slightly towards you and having a small amount of flex to soak up bumps without feeling bendy under hard acceleration.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - bar drop.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - bar drop.jpg

Other than the 20th Anniversary edition saddle, a Selle Italia SLS Monolink, we've got the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 build which, if you bought it with the standard spec DT Swiss R38c Spline wheels, comes in at £8,019. The entry-level build is Ultegra mechanical with DT Swiss R32 wheels for £4,949 or the frameset on its own would set you back £3,949.

Di2 works brilliantly with this frame – you need the speed of those shifts to match the speed of the Aerfast. And the ability to brake and change gear at the same time means you can really set the bike up for the corners.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - lever.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - lever.jpg

Shifting can still be a little bit clunky at times, especially at the front, but that's more of a rider interface. Sometimes you just can't quite match the pressure on the pedals with a button like you can with a lever to really mesh that shift, but other than that you can't knock electronic gears.

> Check out our guide to the best aero road bikes here

Out test model came with a compact chainset and an 11-28 cassette, which gives a good range of gears. I must admit I was expecting a standard 53/39 up front but I certainly didn't find myself spinning out.

Storck Aerfast Platinum - rear mech.jpg

Storck Aerfast Platinum - rear mech.jpg

Wrapping the Lightweight wheels are Schwalbe's excellent Ones, and they performed absolutely brilliantly yet again (I've ridden them loads of times), both in terms of grip and robustness on really wet, muddy and grit-covered roads. Not a single mark or puncture in the test period.

Overall

The Aerfast manages to encapsulate all-out, high-speed performance with comfort in a way I've never experienced before from such a bike. Often when you ride really light carbon bikes they can be twitchy, a little nervous on rough roads or technical sections – a bit skittish at times – which can make controlling them at speed hard work. The Storck isn't like that. It's confident, feels solid and will flatter the most ham-fisted of riders. That doesn't make it watered down or dull, it's efficiency at its best, and when you push it – really, really push it – the grin you get on your face will start to ache.

All this comes at a price, but bear in mind our build here is pretty much as top spec as you could go. Looking at the price of the frameset, or even the entry-level Ultegra model, and I don't think it's excessive at all, especially when you take the ride into account. I'd like to see a little more care in the overall finish – but it wouldn't put me off buying one.

Verdict

Truly awesome race bike with aerodynamics that work in the real world, coupled with a forgiving ride

road.cc test report

Make and model: Storck Aerfast Platinum

Size tested: 55cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Frame: UD Carbon Fibre with proportional tubing sizes

Fork: UD Full Carbon with tapered steerer

Rear Derailleur: Dura Ace Di2

Front Derailleur: Dura Ace Di2

Shift Levers: Dura Ace Di2 11spd

Brakes: Dura Ace

Crankset: Dura Ace 50/34, 172,5mm

Chain: Dura Ace 11spd

Handlebars: Storck RBC 220 20th Anniversary Edition

Stem: Storck ST-115

Saddle: Selle Italia SLS Monolink

Seatpost: Carbon Integrated

Tyres: Schwalbe One 25c

Wheels: Lightweight Meilenstein Clincher

Cassette: Dura Ace 11/28

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Storck says: "The lightest aero race bike in the Storck range offers the ultimate aerodynamics to weight ratio. The Aerfast takes the 'Sectional Aerodynamic Shaping' that's used in our Aernario family, and pushes it to the next level."

The aerodynamic tubing on this bike really works out on the road rather than just in the wind tunnel. It's a brilliant machine which, on UK roads, benefits from having that small reduction in stiffness.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

The actual build quality of the frame is very high, only let down by a few cosmetic finishes I feel should be addressed on such a high value item.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Both the frame and fork are constructed from uni-directional carbon fibre in a lay-up that controls the stiffness and comfort.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

A stretched-out race position but not to extremes; a medium length head tube still allows you to get aero, though.

Full geometry tables are here - http://www.storck-bicycle.cc/road-bikes/aerfast-platinum-2016

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Stack is 571mm, with reach at 381mm. I'd expect a lower ratio than 1:5 on a race-orientated bike, but hey, it works!

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes very much so, especially at the rear thanks to the seatstays. The trade-off in stiffness in relation to other Storck frames benefits the rider on rough UK roads.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Yes, the balance between stiffness and comfort is pretty much spot on.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Flat-out sprinting isn't the Aerfast's strongest point, but then again that's not really what it's all about. It's not 'soft' or anything, but there are slightly more punchy bikes out there. For what it's intended for, powering along at a steady output on a lone break, cutting through the air, it's tough to fault.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

It's close but no.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Lively

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling is quick but very direct, which is great at speed, though it can be a touch twitchy at really low speeds.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The handlebar's minimal flex really helped to just take the sting out of the front end. Very nice bar for century rides.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

You can't beat a Shimano Dura-Ace chainset for really putting down that power.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The Schwalbe One tyres are so grippy, fast and just all-round brilliant that they help you carry much more speed through the corners, keeping that average speed high.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
9/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Shimano Dura-Ace is lovely; the jump from Ultegra is marked and really worth the extra cash if you want that premium feel. As far as the electronics go, the shifting is instant and the majority of the time very crisp.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
10/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
6/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

The Lightweights are insanely light and match the aero ride of the Aerfast, but they are a touch extravagant for me at £3600. They are impressive, but I've ridden others that are much cheaper with the same outcome. Saying that, though, maybe it's the Storck's frame being so good that it outshines the wheels...

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

The Storck own brand components complement the frame. They are well designed and do the job well. A special mention for the handlebar too; it has a comfortable shape and just the right amount of flex to absorb the bumps.

Anything else you want to say about the componentry? Comment on any other components (good or bad)

I really like the Monolink design of the Selle Italia saddle. It's light and very easy to use.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes, it's amazing.

Would you consider buying the bike? I would, but I'd ditch the Lightweight wheels.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
6/10

Use this box to explain your score

I love this bike. The speed, the handling, the whole riding experience is brilliant, and the only reason the value score takes a hammering is because I think the expensive wheels aren't necessary – the frame excels without the need for them. There are a few issues with the frame finishing for me, but I'd easily overlook them for the performance and fun I get from riding it.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Mason Definition

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

14 comments

Avatar
userfriendly [610 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

For an aero bike it's actually surprisingly good looking.

Avatar
bendertherobot [1414 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I just paid £1299 for  Supersix with Ultegra. I doubt I'll get a return on my investment in that, not a boy oh boy one, anyway. I might improve a bit. There is absolutely no way I'd get a boy oh boy return on a £11k investment in a bike. No way at all.

Avatar
muppetteer [91 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Does it come in any other colours? A nice mid blue maybe? 

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [490 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
muppetteer wrote:

Does it come in any other colours? A nice mid blue maybe? 

 

Storck are such a boutique brand that it can probably be arranged somewhere along the line!

Avatar
The _Kaner [1071 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I hope it comes with an engine for that price...not sure it's much of an 'investment'...not sure you'd get your money's worth...(us mere mortals anyway...)

 

Avatar
derek n clive [250 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

"The only downside to all this 'aeroness' is that the Aerfast really doesn't like turbulent air. If you're drafting a lorry, for instance, and you drop back into the dirty air as it swirls around the Storck gets buffeted around something terrible. Strong crosswinds can also make it a little twitchy. - See more at: http://road.cc/content/review/173751-storck-aerfast-platinum#comments"

 

That'll be the outdated, overpriced Lightweights then, which in their own review got 4.5 stars yet they're, by the reviewer's own admission, rubbish in cross winds.

 

I can't see anything here that makes this bike any better than the new (and probably the old) Foil.

Avatar
matthewn5 [1005 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Quote:

Stack is 571mm, with reach at 381mm. I'd expect a lower ratio than 1:5 on a race-orientated bike..

It isn't 'long and low' - there's a tallish head tube, with a spacer, shallow drop bars, and a proportionally a shortish top tube. About right for the intended market I guess, rich mamils.

If you want a comparison, look at the Canyon Aeroad - now that is long and low, with a stack:reach of less than 1.4:

//www.canyon.com/img/cache/fe/1/1fbfee921498d8aafd50b4806639b.jpg)

Avatar
700c [1106 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Bigringrider wrote:

"The only downside to all this 'aeroness' is that the Aerfast really doesn't like turbulent air. If you're drafting a lorry, for instance, and you drop back into the dirty air as it swirls around the Storck gets buffeted around something terrible. Strong crosswinds can also make it a little twitchy. - See more at: http://road.cc/content/review/173751-storck-aerfast-platinum#comments"

 

That'll be the outdated, overpriced Lightweights then, which in their own review got 4.5 stars yet they're, by the reviewer's own admission, rubbish in cross winds.

 

I can't see anything here that makes this bike any better than the new (and probably the old) Foil.

 

I tend to agree - for £11k why would you make compromises like riding a bike thats twitchy in crosswinds? or with 'clunky shifting'?!

Much of this budget goes on that ridiculous wheelset which doesn't help - they're neither particularly aero nor light.

So what you end up with is a bike that doesn't really excel in any one area. And for £11k it should really be one of the best bikes you can buy for speed/ weight etc

would suggest you could do better with Giant or Canyon for around half the price. Then spend the remaining £5,500 on something useful?!

Avatar
steviemarco [228 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Looks like a re-badged Giant Defy, with the rear brake in a different place, to me.

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robthehungrymonkey [165 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Funny how everyone on here who hasn't ridden teh bike likes to review it  3

I would chose Enve's in my dream bike build, but lots of people spec the lightweight's for weight and (arguably more important than both) stiffness.  

Why does everyone have to comment on the price? It's a superbike. I'd probably get more enjoyment out of that the speccing a new Mercedes with options for similiar money which A LOT of people seem to do. 

Avatar
Mr Turning [124 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Bigringrider wrote:

That'll be the outdated, overpriced Lightweights then, which in their own review got 4.5 stars yet they're, by the reviewer's own admission, rubbish in cross winds.

 

That isn't what the reviewer said, no: http://road.cc/content/review/173751-storck-aerfast-platinum

 

Avatar
Mr Turning [124 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
matthewn5 wrote:

If you want a comparison, look at the Canyon Aeroad - now that is long and low, with a stack:reach of less than 1.4:

 

Three of the seven available Canyon Aeroad sizes have a stack/reach greater than 1.4.

 

 

Avatar
derek n clive [250 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Mr Turning wrote:
Bigringrider wrote:

That'll be the outdated, overpriced Lightweights then, which in their own review got 4.5 stars yet they're, by the reviewer's own admission, rubbish in cross winds.

 

That isn't what the reviewer said, no: http://road.cc/content/review/173751-storck-aerfast-platinum

 

 

"The one area where I'd say the Meilensteins lag a little behind some of the opposition is in crosswinds. We've had the tail end of Storm Barney over the past few days and I don't feel that these wheels are the most stable I've ever tried on very blustery rides. - See more at: http://road.cc/content/review/171791-lightweight-meilenstein-tubular-whe..."

Avatar
700c [1106 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
robthehungrymonkey wrote:

Funny how everyone on here who hasn't ridden teh bike likes to review it  3

I would chose Enve's in my dream bike build, but lots of people spec the lightweight's for weight and (arguably more important than both) stiffness.  

Why does everyone have to comment on the price? It's a superbike.

Well that's the point isn't it, it costs £11k so it sets itself up to be a superbike and yet has 'clunky shifting', is bad in crosswinds and turbulent air and uses outdated carbon clinchers which are neither particularly light or aero. Oh, and it creaks!

This is all relative of course, im sure it's far better than the average machine coming through road cc for testing, but it's also probably the most expensive, so surely should be subjected to harsher critique?

PS on those wheels - there are cheaper options out there which can match - or better the Lightweight's for weight (e.g Reynolds' older offerings) or better them in terms of aerodynamics (Enve, Reynolds, Zipp etc), which surely would be your priority for this kind of bike..