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It doesn't get much better.
What's presented before you is the pinnacle of cycling technology. We admit, it's rare that we get this excited about a bike, but not every frame is a Storck, and not every group set is Dura-Ace 9000. Together, the Storck Aernario G1/Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 Complete Road Bike represents the total package for anyone who's looking to ride on the forefront of progression.
If you're familiar with 'aero-frames,' you probably don't own one, because you either loathe the aesthetic or find that watts that you save in drag reduction are tacked back on by poor power transfer and handling. To alleviate this problematic syndrome, Storck created what it calls 'sectional aerodynamic shaping.' However, it helps to think of this as an aerodynamic profile on the horizontal plane. By this, we mean that the Aernario's teardrop profile (NACA if you're savvy) takes shape horizontally rather than vertically. So, when viewing the frame from the side, it looks like a traditional road frame. However, if you were to take a cross-section, its aero-shape would become strikingly evident. In addition to the tube profile, Storck also improved aerodynamics and comfort by cleverly hiding the seatpost bolt under the top tube. By doing this, the tube shape is further streamlined, while shortening the seatpost increases comfort. Accordingly, the Aernario sees nothing but gains on all fronts.
As for the carbon fiber, itself, the Aernario was constructed from Storck's own CFR/UD carbon fiber, with the UD designating 'uni-directional.' Why uni-directional? Well, compared to a woven carbon fabric, uni-directional carbon is oriented as it sounds, with one direction, or on one axis. And while this makes the production process incredibly more complicated in regards to load path and force direction determination, the payout is worth it to Storck. You see, compared to woven layups, uni-directional fibers tend to better stiffen frames, while also improving the characteristic of vibration dampening. And incredibly, this is achieved at a much lower overall weight. However, Storck was far from finished in any of these regards.
Let's approach the Storck layup process in a short series of steps. First off, Storck begins the design with 3D CAD imaging. This digital process provides Storck with the precise data and dimensions necessary for the development of the mold. From there, the CFR/UD fibers are soaked in resin and hand-placed into the computer-generated mold. Once placed in the mold, the fibers are heated and pressed into place with an air channeling tool. Afterwards, the fibers are smoothed over by hand, ensuring an unprecedented level of preciseness and detail to the layup.
It's worth noting that the Aernario is, in fact, molded in a monocoque. This means that the Aernario is comprised of specific modulus carbon fibers throughout the frame, or in other words, it features a one-piece molded construction. This eliminates excess weight by requiring less carbon and resin application at the tube junctures of the frame. As a result, at around 890 grams, is actually lighter than the Fenomalist, and is fast approaching the halo weight category of the BH Ultralight and Ridley Helium SL.
Moving into frame specifics, you'll find a massive, oversized PressFit BB86 bottom bracket juncture that efficiently transfers power to the rear triangle. And not surprisingly, we see the reoccurring theme at work again of increased weight reduction coming as a result of increased power transfer. At the seatstays, Storck gracefully originates them from a box-section above the brake caliper. And again, this results in increased comfort via vertical compliance, however, it also directly equates to a higher level of lateral rigidity. Additionally, you'll find that the Aernario is one of the most painstakingly rider-tuned frames on the market. This is due in part to Storck's proportional tubing concept, where every frame size uses adapted dimensions, wall thickness, tube diameter, and tapering to ensure the exactly intended ride quality regardless of size. Rounding out the construction is electronic-drivetrain-specific internal cable routing.
For the fork, Storck incorporated its latest iteration of the trend-setting and award winning Stiletto, the Stiletto 340. The first version of the Stiletto was introduced in 1999, and was widely hailed as the lightest fork on the planet. And while the Stiletto Light only tipped the scales at 280 grams, the 340 gram Stiletto found here is still lighter than most of the featherweight, aftermarket forks. The 340 features a tapered design that's been mated to a carbon reinforced heat tube and a 1-1/8 - 1-1/4 inch integrated headset.
For the build, we've spec'd the Aernario with a full Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 11-speed group set. For the cockpit, the build features a Zipp Service Course handlebar, stem, and seatpost. Topping the post is a Selle Italia SL Kit Carbonio saddle, and wrapping the bars is Arundel Cork bar tape. In terms of wheels, the bike rolls on a pair of HED Ardennes LT clinchers that have been cased in Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 2 tires.
The Storck Aernario G1/Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 Complete Road Bike is available in the color White/black and in odd sizes from 47 to 63cm.
- Item #STK0010
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've had my Aernario since summer '13. Originally had it outfitted with Dura Ace, but switched to Ultegra electronic when I bought a Scott Foil frame that could only be mechanical so switched the gruppos. I've jones'd for the Foil for a while and have been spending a fair amount of time and races on it, and I've actually decided to sell it knowing I'll never grab that bike when the Aernario is in the fleet. Just to be fair for the review, the Foil bike was much less expensive.
Outfitted: Foil HMX carbon, Dura Ace 10spd, Ksyrium SL wheels; Aernario, Ultegra electronic 11 spd, ENVE SES3.4 wheels
The Foil is a great riding bike, very solid, very comfortable (I've read many reviews which describe the ride as harsh - but I didn't experience that). I also found the Foil was pretty easy to set up (the Aernario is long and low and might be a problem for certain people). Ride quality differences - the Aernario feels noticeable more responsive and no hesitation in power transfer; the Foil felt a bit more damped. Most notable - the Aernario didn't appear to have any aero disadvantage no matter which wind angle (and with aero wheels); the Foil was completely different - straight on wind, no problem, cross winds feel like I have deep profile wheels on the bike. I raced the Foil two weeks ago and on a steep mountain descent, the cross winds really pushed the bike (like riding with old 808s in a cross wind). The Aernario just feels smooth and fast; it also climbs very well.
I still think there's a bias against aero road frames in that the perception is that they tend to be heavy and not as stiff. I don't think that's true with the current production aero road frames, and definitely not the Aernario. If I had to choose one all around bike, it would be a close call between a Cento 1 and the Aernario.