Cocktails or Kammtails ? Reviewing the Storck Aernario G1
Let me begin my review with an invictive by saying, that I’m not one who adheres to the current trend regarding the benefits of so-called "aero" bikes. In fact, in most instances, I’ve found many of the bikes that I have ridden as of late, which fall into this category, to have been nothing short of harsh, ill mannered, needlessly overweight and in many cases devoid of elegance. Yes, a bike can still be elegant.
For nigh on to two years or more, the cycling masses have been subjected to an ongoing marketing campaign, wherein bike manufacturers have been exclaiming the virtues of their so-called "aero" bikes, with such buzz words and superlatives as: "faster, stronger and better power transfer". By who’s standards I wonder ? Makers of male enhance drugs perhaps ? Certainly not any discerning "roadie" that I know of, who reckons a bike for it’s proper "road manner" – overall balance, poise and comfort.
But ranting about a marketing trend that seems to be the rage (at least for now), accomplishes nothing. Surely, there must be a balance somewhere in all of this ?
Enter the Storck Aernario G1
I betray no secrets when I say that I’ve been a big fan of Storck bikes since they made their impression here on the US market a few years ago. Indeed, I’ve always admired them for their robust construction, meticulous build quality, realistic geometries, and above all, ride qualities.
However, despite any past or present opinion that I may have shared about a given brand, objectivity still remains tantamount to any bike review that I may conduct. Even, when one falls within a category that I’m indifferent about.
About the Aernario G1
The G1 is one of five variants that Storck offers it’s range of Aernario framesets. It’s constructed via a 3D CAD monocoque fabrication process, utilizing proprietary carbon fiber that Storck calls it’s CFR/UD. In other words, some super exclusive "wunder" carbon that only Markus Storck knows what it is.
The frame features a series of uniquely profiled tubes and junctures, which are horizontally shaped rather than vertically, which many feel yields an appearance that is both bold and aggressive, yet also traditional when compared to other "aero" framesets. Storck describes it accordingly:
Whilst most Aero frames are designed with Aero shaped tubes, they tend to be very stiff and transmit horrible road vibration through the frame. The Storck Aernario downtube profile was developed using CFD or Computer Flow Dynamics to create a perfect airflow over the tube in a ‘Ground Parallel’ plane. The Carbon lay-up process provides the Storck Characteristics of additional stiffness in the BB and head-tube area. The top tube provides a clean airflow with hidden seat clamp. This also means the Storck Carbon seatpost can offer even more comfort for the rider with a shorter seat tube.
I must concur, that the overall lay-out of the G1 is aesthetically quite pleasing, with nice lines of continuity throughout. No kammtails, foils, wings, hood-scoops, or extreme angles here ! A refreshing departure from the competition for sure.
As far as the rest of the frame construction is concerned, all of the latest "developments" can be found on the G1. For example, there’s compatibility for both electronic and mechanical groupsets, a massive BB86 bottom bracket, a reinforced taper head tube featuring 1-1/8 – 1-1/4 inch integrated headset, and, of course, Storck’s latest iteration of their signature Stilleto fork.
What does it Weigh ?
If didn’t include these specs, I’d most certainly be ex-communicated by the "weight weenies" faction. That being said, I’m please to say that Aernario G1 actually weighed in at a little bit less than Storck’s already svelte claim of 890g, at 865g (size 55). And that’s with both derailleur hangers in place. As far as the fork is concerned, it weighed in at 307g – which is right on the mark with Storck’s claim of 300g.
+1 for the "weight weenies" !
How Does it Ride ?
To be honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to ride one yet. However, I have the benefit of two colleagues, who’s opinions I trust implicitly, who have. And, their assessment of the Aernario G1 comes with resounding praise.
One the one hand, they described the G1 as having a very "comfortable and linear" ride quality. However, step on the pedals, or get out of the saddle, and the bike is enlivened with "pure race" conviction. In the final analysis, it rewards the rider with a range of versatility that makes it perfectly suited for spirited recreational riding, as well as race duties.
When asked if they thought it was more aerodynamic than other bikes they’ve ridden, their response was: "maybe ? .. who knows ?… who cares ? … the bike is glorious " !
That was precisely the answer I was hoping for.
Unfortunately, like every market, the cycling industry has the same tendencies to take a proven design, and extrapolate upon it with the sole objective of creating new products fueled by the want for more sales – even if that comes to detriment of that which is already good.
You can keep your "aero" bike with kammtails – I’ll have an Aernario G1 with a gin fizz please.
Special thanks to ATA Cycle in Concord, Massachusetts for providing us with the Storck Aernario G1 for our review.
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