Storck's Durnario Platinum is the German company's lightweight endurance bike, and at 6.4kg and with a buttery smooth ride it delivers on both fronts. This £8,250 test bike came with the brand new Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 mechanical groupset (review here). It is possible to get essentially the same frame (identical tube shapes, heavier carbon layup by about 360g) with a Shimano 105 groupset for a much more affordable – in comparison – £2,649. But this review is all about the lightest 790g Durnario frame.
Ride and handling
The first thing that strikes you about the Durnario Platinum is how smooth and refined the ride is. It's outstandingly supple, soaking up all the ripples and imperfections of even the most badly surfaced British roads. There are no gimmicks or tricks here, no decoupled seat tubes, rubber inserts or suspension dampers, instead just a simple reliance on wide tyres and cleverly shaped tube profiles and carbon fibre layup.
It rides beautifully. The Durnario has a fluid composure over the roughest roads I could point its Schwalbe One tyres at. It's not a soft bike, though, there's a real connection to the road surface that means you're not at all isolated from what is passing underneath the tyres, and the Durnario reacts nicely and naturally to your input.
It's agile and very sporty. The balance of the bike is good, and the low stance of the geometry, which has more in common with a race bike than most endurance bikes, puts you in a racy attack position that promotes rapid progress. The steering feels well weighted, with a level of response not normally found in an endurance bike. The wheelbase is a bit longer than a race bike, not as long as many endurance bikes, and it's a length that makes the Storck nimble and a delight to thread and weave through bends, and ensures it never becomes too fidgety at higher speeds or descents.
It makes near-effortless progress, knocking out 100 miles easily. On short, fast rides you get all the pace and control you'd expect from a race-ready bike. Its low weight is a real benefit on long, gradual climbs and the stiffness of the frame is evident on steeper escarpments, though front wheel flex did result in occasional brake rub. For tackling really long and hilly rides on long-distance outings, this bike was a flattering partner.
Despite the low weight, there's no jumpiness or skittishness to the way it handles fast descents or high-speed corners. It's very stable and has a reassuringly planted feel that massages your confidence to happily propel the Durnario along at rapid speeds. Through fast descents, it is rock solid and lets you take some liberties through the turns.
The brakes are the only limiting factor to how much speed you dare take on the descents, something highlighted because I came to the Storck straight from the new Canyon Endurace CF SLX whose hydraulic disc brakes provide more control and confidence in its ability to stop, in all sorts of weather. But while it can't stop as quickly, the Storck isn't inhibited by the current weight penalty of disc brakes, the Canyon being nearly 1kg heavier with a broadly similar build.
The geometry produced, for me, a position I was perfectly at home on, but some might find the 138mm head tube, 547mm stack and 401mm reach (the vertical and horizontal measurements from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube) too aggressive compared with a similar size endurance bike from Cannondale, Giant or Specialized. It really feels like a race bike with wide tyres, and shows that an endurance bike isn't just about tall head tubes. If you're coming from a race bike and want a similar position, you'll be right at home. It goes to show there's no fixed blueprint for an endurance bike, and if you are put off by the geometry of most endurance bikes, the Durnario might be right for you.
Frame and build kit
The Durnario is positioned in the Storck range as an endurance bike, melding the properties of the Aernario and T.I.X cyclo-cross bike. Key details of the new bike include space for up to 32mm tyres and the use of specially shaped tubes, and particular attention paid to the carbon fibre layup to provide improved rider comfort. The frame is offered in six sizes and the tube shaping and layup are specific to each size.
Storck calls the tube shaping Directional Depending Stiffness, and the simple idea is that the tubes have been engineered to provide some vertical deflection, or flex, while maintaining a high lateral stiffness. The top tube and down tube have a flattened oval shape and the seatstays are flattened and curved throughout their length, and meet the seat tube well below the top tube.
The sloping top tube meets the seat tube with the seat clamp integrated inside the tube, allowing more of the seatpost to be exposed for further deflection. To combat front-end compliance Storck has specially shaped fork blades and even the handlebar is shaped in a way to provide more vibration damping. Other details include full internal cable routing, a press-fit bottom bracket and a tapered head tube. There are no mudguard mounts, though.
Despite these concessions to comfort, the Durnario still carries the Storck hallmark of being incredibly light. The frame is a claimed 790g and the fork is 280g. That's as light as many WorldTour race bikes that aren't designed for comfort or able to take wide tyres. The complete bike weight as tested was just 6.4kg, making it easily one of the lightest bikes to pass through the road.cc office.
The test bike was fully loaded with the best kit and all of it hugely flattering to the performance provided by the frameset, and resulting in an eye-watering £8,250 price tag. Yes, I know, it's a lot of money, but essentially the same frame and fork with a Shimano 105 build costs £2,649, so if you want this frame (okay, slightly heavier) at a more reasonable price, it's an option.
That 'best kit' on the test bike includes the brand new Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 mechanical groupset. I won't go into detail about its performance but instead point you at my first ride review, but suffice to say it's flawless and as close to perfection as mechanical shifting gets.
Contributing to the bike's low weight are the DT Swiss RC 28 Spline C Mon Chasseral carbon fibre clincher wheels. As a set they cost a staggering £2,250 but weigh just 1,250g, which means they really do flatter the overall package. I did experience some front wheel flex during out-of-the-saddle climbing, and the braking performance with SwissStop Black Prince pads is adequate in the dry and on par with top-level carbon wheels. The 28mm wide Schwalbe One tyres are grippy and fast rolling.
Storck's own RBC 220 compact shaped carbon fibre handlebar has an ovalised top section that provides a very comfortable position for cruising, and ergonomically shaped drops, though personally I'd prefer a slightly longer lower section for resting my hands on.
Completing the bike is the novel Selle Italia SLS Monolink saddle, which uses a single carbon fibre rail attached to a special seatpost. It's a design that is said to provide a lighter setup than a conventional saddle and seatpost. While it's been around for a few years, its take-up by bike companies has been slow, probably because it limits saddle and seatpost choice. I'm reasonably fussy about saddle choice and the narrow shape isn't near the top of my list, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it comfortable even on a six-hour ride, probably because the single rail allows quite a bit of flex along the saddle.
With its lack of mudguard mounts and disc brakes, the Durnario doesn't offer the practicality and all-weather dependability that other endurance bikes do, but it's one of the finest and smoothest road bikes I've reviewed. For conquering long days in the mountains, gran fondos and sportives, the Storck Durnario Platinum is a top choice.
There's no easy way to get around the £8,250 price, though. You've either got that sort of money to spend on a bike (lucky you) or you haven't. That puts it firmly in superbike territory, and as a demonstration of what is possible with no financial limits, it surely doesn't get much better than this.
So, should you buy it? Well, if you value dependable year-round all-weather braking, the Canyon Endurace CF SLX (which is just 900g heavier) is arguably a better choice. And much cheaper. But if sheer performance, speed, comfort, ride satisfaction and climbing rate are of greater importance, the Storck is an epic bike. Its racy position and oh-so-smooth ride make it one of the best bikes you can buy, regardless of the price. A race bike with wide tyres. It's hugely impressive.
Stunningly light endurance ride wth race bike handling that doesn't fail to impress, except in everyday practicality
road.cc test report
Make and model: Storck Durnario Platinum
Size tested: 56cm
About the bike
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
Material CFR / UD Integrated
Headset 1 1/8" - 1 1/4"
CFR bottom bracket section
CFR headset section
Proportional tubing for each frame size
Sloping top tube geometry
Internal cable routing
Replacement rear derailleur hanger
BB standard: pressfit diameter 41 x 86,5 MM
Integrated seat clamp 31.6mm size seatpost
Frame set from 1070G
Frame weight from 790 G Fork weight from 280 G
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 Durnario Platinum is the ultimate endurance bike. The lightest Durnario finished in matte black with matte platinum decals and our lightest carbon lay up. Exclusively for riders wanting the best long distance comfort.
"Be it Marathon, Transalp or Paris-Roubaix, the Durnario is the no compromise solution for the endurance rider. Typically Storck - light weight and stiff power transfer, but with un compromising comfort.
"Based on the genes of our success models, the Durnario perfects the characteristics that are typical of Storck for frequent long distance rides.
"When applied to the Durnario, Storck's 'Directional Depending Stiffness' design provides comfort in the direction it's needed, while maintaining lateral stiffness in the down tube. The 'Infinity Loop Seat Stays' are shaped in a way that provide additional, noticeable comfort.
"As the seat post clamp is integrated into the seat tube, it enables longer extension of the seat post for higher comfort. The tire clearance in the fork and rear triangle allows tires with a width of up to 32 mm to be fitted, which extends the bike's possible uses."
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Exceptional quality carbon frame and fork.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Full carbon fibre frame and fork using uni-directional carbon and carbon fibre bearing shells.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
It's endurance, but not the super relaxed style of most endurance bikes, it's actually closer to regular road race bikes.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
Spot on with a very comfortable position.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Extremely comfortable; the special tube shaping and carbon layup, in unison with the 28mm tyres, provides a very damped and smooth ride quality.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
No stiffness lacking when you get on the power, or shoving it up 20% climbs out of the saddle.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Very efficiently indeed.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Reasonably quick.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
Very stable and planted ride thanks to the 100cm wheelbase, but more agile and lively than many endurance bikes due to the low stack and long reach.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The Dura-Ace 9100 groupset is a splendid thing with crisp and accurate shifting. The wheels are supremely light but braking performance is nothing to write home about
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
There isn't anything I'd change, personally.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
The wheels really inject a noticeable performance boost to the overall ride, while the excellent Schwalbe One 28mm tyres are supple and fast rolling.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so, what for?
I noticed some front wheel flex during out of the saddle climbing and I'm not exactly a heavy rider (66kg), so that could be an issue for bigger riders.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
With superbikes like the Storck Durnario Platinum, value for money really goes out of the window; if you have this sort of money to spend on a road bike and want a racing position combined with a super smooth ride, the Storck doesn't disappoint. It's worth remembering that virtually the same frame can be had with Shimano 105 for a 'more reasonable' £2,649.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.