What is your money no-object dream build? How much would you spend on a frame and forks? Storck is one of those brands that may answer both those questions. The German brand has been making high-end carbon frames since 1995. Its philosophy has always been to develop products that push the boundaries of both frame and component engineering. Their testing facilities are impressive and show the extreme forces that a bike frame can be put through.
The company is headed up by Markus Storck – a man who clearly has a very firm vision for the way things should be, and is unwilling to accept compromise.
The Storck T.I.X Platinium G1
T.I.X or This Is Cross is Storck’s moniker for its cyclocross bike. It is as close to an out-and-out ‘cross race bike as you are likely to find nowadays, but retains some nods towards all-round practicality. Geometry is a little more ‘modern’ than a traditional cross bike, with a slightly lower BB and slacker angles. Equally, it features two bottle cage mounts, so you won’t go thirst if you choose to ride for longer than a single hour around a muddy field.
The T.I.X is available in four framesets. The aluminium T.I.X Alloy G1, and three grade of carbon ranging from the Comp G1 to the Pro G1 and finally our Platinum G1 test platform. It is available as a frameset alone for £2949, or Storck GB offer full builds. This Ultegra build comes in at £4899. This is clearly an absolutely astonishing amount of money to spend on a frame or bike, and it would indeed be easy to spend more if you wanted to throw money at carbon wheels etc. We aren’t sure how many people would be willing to subject something quite this expensive to the rigours of a full ‘cross season – especially as an equivalent amount of money would go a long way towards a race bike and back up for muddy races and mechanicals.
This might be missing the point though. We reckon the T.I.X might be the ultimate bike for someone who wants to build their dream #dirtydropbargoodness machine. They’ll probably race a few rounds of ‘cross on it, but it’ll also be a road bike and used to explore lanes and bridleways.
Storck has put a lot of thought, and many years of experience into its carbon. In their words:
Directional dependant stiffness is the ability of a frame or component to optimally respond with high stiffness to the forces acting in the load direction while ensuring high comfort. In other words, it is the synergy between intended stiffness and desired comfort. In the case of frames, this is achieved by designing transverse-oval tube shapes, the targeted selection of materials (e.g. carbon fibres) and their application (e.g. special layups for carbon fibre reinforced plastics).
Hmm, well in our words: a bit of flex up-and-down is a good thing and makes a bike more comfortable. Ideally, a frame and forks should resist the twisting forces of pedalling, braking and riding. Sorted.
The Platinum G1 frame takes as much of Storck’s learning as possible and seeks to shave weight where possible. This even extends to the paint (or lack of it)… the Platinum T.I.X is just clear lacquered and bears minimal graphics. The claimed weight for a small frame is a featherweight 890g. Our 59cm test frame will be a bit heavier, but as it came fully built, we’ll only be able to give you a full build weight. One of the things that Storck spend a lot of time doing is something called “proportional tubing”. Put simply, the carbon tubes and lay up that they use vary across sizes, to maintain the ride characteristics that Storck seek, regardless of whether you are on an XS or XL bike.
The frame features a bolt-thru rear – although unlike any other bike we’ve seen, it is 135x10mm. Storck’s reasoning is clear. This provides all the stiffness that is required, at the minimum weight. By using 135x10mm rather than 142x12mm, Storck is able to save up to 100g. A similar approach is used on the fork, this time using 100x9mm bolt-thru.
One cool feature – and one that we’d love to see on every bike that comes through our doors is every bolt on the bike (or at least where possible) uses a T25 bolt. Wheel bolts, stem, seat clamp, seat post, brake mounts and bottle cage bolts all use the same standard. Even better, an L-bend T25 key is neatly tucked in the front axle. Dreamy.
Storck Platinum T.I.X Frameset Spec
- T.I.X Platinum Frameset Including T.I.X Platinum Fork
- CFR frame with reinforced CFR bottom bracket, dropout and headset interface
- Integrated headset 1 1/8” – 1 ¼”
- Through Axle Rear: 135/10mm
- Sloping Top Tube Geometry
- Internal Cable Routing
- BB Pressfit 41 x 86.5mm
- 31.6mm Seatpost
- Post Mount Disc Brakes
- Electronic or cable gearing
- Through Axle Front 100/9mm
- Frame weight from 890g Fork 400g (claimed)
- Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
- Price: £2949
As well as being available as a frameset, Storck GB offer full builds. Our’s is a nice balance between performance with a nod towards pragmatism for a bike that will be subjected to the worst of the winter weather.
We’ll start with the finishing kit, as most of this is Storck own brand. This ain’t no OEM re-badged stock though. The Storck MLP150 seatpost weighs in at a paltry claimed 150g (400mm) and is designed to offer comfortable flex. It can be adapted for regular saddles, or this Monolink saddle fitted. Likewise, the Storck Roadbar RBCs have an astonishing amount of flex designed in. Clever carbon lay ups mean that this flex is more pronounced when riding over rough ground, say, than it is as you heave up on the bars while pedalling. In comparison the Storck stem is pretty boring. Plain old aluminium does the job just fine.
Elsewhere, we have Shimano Ultegra through-out, including disc-brake duties. It is good old mechanical and features a double chainset – an increasing rarity on the bikes coming through our doors. This does, however allow for a close ratio cassette at the rear.
The wheelset is provided by DT Swiss (who are one of the few companies currently making hub adapters to fit Storck’s unusual “standard”. Ours are the R24 Spline hoops, but future builds will use the slightly higher spec R28s.
We’ve got a fairly short turn around for this test, so local rider Alex has already been putting the Storck through its paces. It’s fair to say that we think he’s enjoying it, going by the massive grin he’s been sporting all week. He’ll be reporting back soon with his full thoughts. Stay tuuuuned.