Storck Test Ride

The Storck demo tour was in town Saturday — actually, they were in my neighborhood Saturday — so I went by to see what they were selling. I was only vaguely familiar with Storck, knowing that they have a rep for superlight, super stiff frames, but not much more.

Andy from Storck asked me a few questions, measured my Landshark so he could figure out the correct size frame to put me on, then switched me pedals over to a Fascenario 0.7, size 59. First, a bit about the bike: It’s a pretty highly touted frame, and the particular one I rode sported Campy Record, Syntace and Zipp controls, Zero G brakes, and Zipp 69er wheels. All in all, I suspect the price tag is around $10K, give or take.

I was a bit skeptical about the size, since the cockpit (tt and stem length) was longer than I’m accustomed to. But it worked. Well. Real well. Even with a bit more of a saddle to handlebar drop that I’m used to.

I clipped in and took a spin around the ‘hood. I don’t know if it was that I had just finished up 71 miles and was a bit fatigued, or if it was the combination of stiff frame, deep section carbon wheels, oversize seat post, and ass hatchet saddle (carbon Flite — not a good match for my hind end) but the ride seemed rough. I put that out of my mind though and started concentrating on other things. A few observations:

  • Compared to the ‘shark, it’s twitchy when riding a straight line. At first it surprised me, but it didn’t take long to adjust and ride more smoothly.
  • In turns, the handling seems precise. I was pleasantly surprised that I could point it exactly where I wanted to go, and it went there with complete predictability.
  • I’m a little more convinced of this whole stiff bottom bracket thing. The Fascenario feels “efficient.” Push the pedals and the bike goes. This was particularly noticeable going uphill.
  • Part of the performance difference I’ll chalk up to the Zipp wheels. They’re (according to Storck) about a pound lighter than my regular wheels, and I could tell a difference when I got out of the saddle and accelerated. I rode along a flat, mile long stretch with side winds; surprisingly, the wind seemed to have no affect on the handling. I wouldn’t have expected that from a 69 mm deep rim.

Overall, it was a nice bike — fun to ride, and with some tweaking the comfort issues could be dealt with pretty easily. I could see it making a fine addition to the herd.

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