November 1, 2011 (Toronto, ON) – The man behind the Storck brand of bicycles/parts is Markus Storck, and for the past 17 years, his company has been designing and patenting both frames and parts out of Bad Camberg, Germany. A pioneer in design, this company was the first to introduce integrated headsets and 1-1/8″ fork and steerer tubes. No stranger to carbon fibre, it was making its own carbon cranks as early as 1992.
Its first foray into carbon frames was in 2003, with the Scenario models. Fast-track to 2012 and Storck continues to improve. At the high end, the Fascenario 0.7 IS is turning heads (and draining bank accounts). A few steps down from top-of-the-line is the Fenomalist. A head-turner in its own right, on first impression – very impressive.
Out of the box for 2012, the Fenomalist has a nice new matte-white finish, making it easy to accentuate with black components. The first things I noticed were the fat ovalized headtube, varied tube diameters, cool beefy chainstays and stealthy-looking fork.
My Fenomalist was dressed in full Dura-Ace with fancy C35 carbon tubulars, giving it that black-and-white cookie look. Available in almost any option possible, including Di2 (routing option, free of charge), Storck has plenty to offer. For example, it manufactures its own bar and stem combo, seatpost and seats, wheelsets and even cranks. For enthusiasts who want it to be a true “Storck,” this ride can be fully accessorized.
Turning our attention back to the frame, the carbon used for the Fenomalist is a unidirectional high-modulus fibre molded in a carbon bladder manufacturing process, creating an incredible stiffness-to-weight ratio. The tubing is termed “radiused,” which flattens on the top of the tube (creating an impressive aesthetic), while allowing the frame to retain shock-absorbing flex and limit lateral twisting.
The bladder-molded front triangle uses an oversized and slightly flattened toptube and downtube coupled with what is essentially a round seat-tube, while the integrated headtube is barrel-shaped, thus putting more material and therefore more support in the midsection of the bike.
Also brand-new is the frame-size-proportional rear triangle, a new molding that accommodates each frame, from 47 to 63cm. Add the 300g Stiletto fork, which simply looks and feels fast, along with super-size chainstays and rear-entry carbon dropouts, and the 2012 changes enhance an already race-ready frameset.
This bike has been designed by Storck to be a high-end no-frills race bike of incredible low weight, stiffness and steering precision, without the harsh ride that is commonly found in these monocoque-type race frames.
With falling leaves and temperatures holding, I found myself out on the St. Catharines Cycling Club Sunday morning ride, a flat 100km route that has the club forming echelons and its members trying to put the hurt on each other.
My Storck didn’t take long to get used to – the bar width, the shape of the saddle and the frame dimensions all combined to make the bike feel good straightaway. Cornering through the neighbourhood at high speed to meet the group was a pleasure, with no oversteering and no drifting, just tight lines with incredible “zing” when standing out of the corners.
Once on the ride, there were many club members who had heard of the time-trial line of Storcks in tri’s, but not many had been seen in these parts.
At high speed, this ride tracked beautifully. Its stiff front end combined with a perfect rear triangle to give a feeling of weightlessness. This new rear triangle, coupled with an absorbent carbon seatpost and, of course, carbon tubulars, created a ride that gave me no discomfort throughout the four-hour day.
This bike is an absolute joy to ride, has a racy, lively feeling when it’s time to “jam” and is one of the most comfortable high-end carbon frames I’ve ever experienced.
Though it comes with a price point that can make you hesitate, once all dressed up, riding one of these frames makes you truly understand that this could be the last bike you’ll ever purchase. This Storck has it all – unique design, quality materials and proven craftsmanship that you won’t soon forget. I truly hope I get to keep this bike!
Price: $3,899 (frame/fork)
Weight: 1,200g (frame/fork)
Components: Dura-Ace (tested)
Frame & Fork: High-modulus carbon fibre
Geometry: Headtube 73.5°/seat-tube 73.5°
Sizes: 47, 51, 55, 57 (tested), 59, 63cm
Comments: I would buy this bike (and I don’t say that very often).