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Storck Durnario Pro review

12 Dec 2016
Verdict:

The aesthetic may be traditional, but this is no conventional bike

Price: 
£4,899

The Durnario sits in Storck’s endurance line, meaning that it has been designed for long days in the saddle – perhaps at a sportive, where comfort is as important as speed.

For many brands, the endurance tag is an excuse for introducing strangely curved tubes, slack geometry and innovative ‘dampening’ solutions, but the first impression of the Durnario is that it looks decidedly traditional.

The tubes are straight and slender, morphing into one another in a beautifully seamless fashion.

It certainly looks elegant among a mass of frames with boxy tube junctions, and the white gloss paint lends a sophistication that helps it to stand out in a sea of black bikes. 

You won’t see many Storck bikes on the roads around Britain and, for me, that adds to the appeal of a brand that nestles somewhere between the full-custom niche and the mass market.

At the heart of the German oufit is its founder, Marcus Storck, whose tendency is to stick rigidly to his own beliefs and agenda rather than following the rest of the industry.

It’s an attitude that has worked well for him over the years, and his creations have earned him many accolades. 

I’ve only ever had good experiences on Storck bicycles, and I was hoping the Durnario Pro would be more of the same as I prepared for the first test ride. 

Flying colours

Removing the Durnario from its box in the Cyclist office, the first thing I did was to quietly curse Marcus Storck under my breath.

Why does he insist on using horizontal rear dropouts?

Actually, I know the reason why – Storck insists it makes for a more efficient power transfer as the wheel is naturally forced into the chainstays – but the reality is that it requires very nimble fingers (which then get filthy) to get the back wheel in or out.

Fortunately, my initial grumbles were quickly forgotten once I got the Durnario out on one of my favourite hilly loops around the south coast.

There’s one part of the ride, early on, that I always enjoy and which tells me a lot about a bike. The road dives down a fast, steep descent and if you’re brave enough to stay off the brakes as you hit the bottom then you can get a fair way up the hill on the other side before momentum runs out and you need to start pedalling.

I pointed the Storck down the hill and hunkered behind the bars. My fingers stroked the brake levers in readiness but I felt no need to scrub any speed as it felt rock steady, descending with balance and poise.

All smiles

I hit the brief flat section at full speed and was still grinning widely as I sailed upwards past the gate on the left that is my benchmark for a good run.

It was another five or six bike lengths before gravity won out and I had to turn the cranks to keep moving. 

Here, too, the Durnario impressed. With the gradient topping out at about 14% I had to grind the pedals, but the lower portion of the frame proved unyielding, meaning that little of my efforts were lost to flexing the bottom bracket.

The power delivery was as assertive and precise as the handling had been on the descent beforehand. Things were off to a solid start.

It wasn’t until a short while later that I discovered that, had I needed to brake on that first fast-paced descent, I might have found myself in a spot of bother.

The moist air of this autumnal morning had made the carbon braking surface on the DT Swiss RC28C rims a bit slick, and as I arrived at a crossroads I grabbed the Ultegra levers with (I thought at the time) sufficient force, only to keep going past the white line and come to a skidding halt part way into the road. Thankfully nothing was coming.

I don’t want to do the DT Swiss wheels a disservice, since this particular incident was to a large degree my own fault.

I’d been riding a disc brake bike previously, and had misjudged the chasm between disc and calliper braking performance in the wet.

Once I’d readjusted my expectations I didn’t have any further problems. In fact the DT Swiss wheels proved an excellent addition to the build and, once past the initial lag in the wet, the braking force was perfectly adequate. 

Good vibrations

As more rides ticked past I became increasingly aware I was really enjoying my time on the Storck.

Whether I was out for a short blast or a longer day in the saddle, the 890g frame and 330g fork (7.2kg total build) combined to deliver a spritely ride that never left me in tatters by the end.

The resonance of the vibrations coming up from the road felt more in keeping with a bass drum than a cymbal, in so much that I felt the bumps, but rather than being a high frequency shockwave that rattled through my body, they were more of a dull thud, quickly deadened and dealt with.

I find the latter much more agreeable and less fatiguing overall, and Storck has proved it’s possible to retain rider comfort despite a fairly chunky 31.6mm seatpost.

Hard to fault

For anyone thinking of investing in a Durnario Pro, I can say that I struggled to find any real faults.

A few caveats might be the head tube, which is not overly generous at 138mm so less bendy riders could potentially require a spacer stack, and did I mention those horizontal dropouts? They really don’t do it for me.

Neither however is sufficient to detract from the quality of the ride.

This a no-nonsense, straight-talking bicycle, reflecting the persona of the man who created it.

Spec

Storck Durnario Pro
Frame M
Groupset Shimano Ultegra
Brakes Shimano Ultegra
Chainset Shimano Ultegra
Cassette Shimano Ultegra
Bars Storck RB260
Stem Storck ST115
Seatpost Storck MLP150
Wheels DT Swiss RC28C
Saddle Selle Italia SLS
Weight 7.2kg
Contact storck-bicycle.cc

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