What month is it? June? July? Usually at this time of year I pile half a dozen clothing
options on the stairs at night so that I can choose the most appropriate get up for our changeable and unreliable British weather. Not so last night, I put just shorts baselayer and jersey as I have done for the last 6 months. Is this the warmest/longest/best cycling summer that we have ever had?
When I left the garage at 7:20 I didn’t even think of arm warmers and despite the rain left with my rain cape stowed in my jersey pocket. And there it stayed.
I had to ride because I needed to test out a Storck Aernario Disc for one of our customers. The Aernarion is one of the new generation disc equipped road bikes and this one was special. The regular version comes with Ultegra Di2 and DT Swiss R23 Disc wheels, mine had Dura Ace Di2 and DT Swiss RC28 Spline carbon wheels – nice. We upgraded this by fitting Continental Grand Sport 25mm tyres. The bike looks stunning. The fork and in particular the seat stay/seat tube/top tube/seat post interface was beautiful in its simplicity and lack of seat clamp. I loved this.
I had another reason for riding: Stan’s Bike Shack. I have heard a lot about this place so it was going to be our stop off just before heading home.
So what about this super high end Storck? First of, with its disc set up, it only weighs 7.3kg. It is also comfortable, very comfortable, in fact I stopped the check the tyre pressure riding back from work it was so smooth on the road. I think that this is as much down to the carbon rims as the rear stays and thin seat post. The bike was a 57 so a bit big for me but after a few adjustments it soon felt just right. The geometry is fairly racy but not so much that you would not want to do a long sportive which is what this bike is designed for. So in terms of position there was nothing to get used to only the brakes and the electronic shifting.
After a while I forgot the brakes but not after a heart stopping descent of a leaf covered Bostal. I was in fear of locking up on the leafey and wet road, an unjustified panic (here is the descent –great for showing some of the feature of the Garmin Virb) As for the Di2, I have used this and EPS many times before without a problem but yesterday I was constantly miss shifting. Usually I shift on autopilot, maybe I was thinking too much about it. So aside from that it was a real testament to the Storck Aernario that I didn’t notice the bike at all – the ultimate compliment: perfect. Didn’t notice the forks which means that they must have been very shock absorbing and the 12mm thru axle probably made the handling very sure and predictable. It was comfortable, fast and safe in the corners. The bike came with some old school anatomic handle bars which I would recommend changing for a newer compact and the mono-link saddle was too narrow and hard for me but anyone buying a bike would always modify the contact points (Storck have an adapter for regular railed saddles). Would I have one? Yes, but I’d want to book a trip the the Alps to thoroughly test it on a 20 minute down hill. Even without alpine the descents the disc option allows you to save weight on your rims and fit some high quality hoops without fear of trashing them in the winter.
Here is the ride. I’d recommend Stan’s Bike Shack. For years I have looked on with envy at those places in the north that have their own cycling cake stops, now we have our own with both Stan’s and Velo: Use them! If you are a regular cyclist Stan’s is a good final stop with only a short dash for home. If you are newer to riding it is far enough for a destination point and is on the Down’s Link so you can get there without hitting the road too.