German brand Storck may be a little-known brand in the UK, but back home it has a solid reputation for design, ride characteristics and quality.
The Scentron is Storck's top-end sportive bike.
It's available as an off-the-peg, completely customisable specced bike, or ?just as a frame and fork. Our supplied test bike came with the superb Shimano ?Ultegra Di2 groupset and gave faultless shifting every time. ?For 2013 the frameset has ?been designed to accommodate dual cable routing, allowing the fitting of either mechanical or electronic groupsets.
The finishing kit mainly comprises own-brand parts. Unfortunately, the reach of the carbon bars was too long for me, but personal choice like this can't detract from the fact that the finishing kit is generally very good. Similarly, the Storck-branded Prologo saddle may not be my first choice either but does prove consideration has been given to this often overlooked contact point.
Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels may not set the world on fire when it comes to excitement, but in use proved to be a good and reliable choice for everyday riding.
Since our test bike arrived, news has come through that all Shimano electronic-equipped Storck bikes will be fitted with internal seatpost batteries.
One of the first visual things you notice about the frame is it's oversizing. In some areas it seems ‘industrial' in how big it is. The carbon-fibre is layered by hand to achieve the preferred ride characteristics - using the material in this way allows junctions to be built to be compliant to forces in one direction but rigid in another.
Although you can't see it, you really do feel this on the road in terms of feedback, comfort and power transfer that inspired confidence to ride hard.
On typical badly maintained British roads the bike seemingly floats across the surface; gravel roads that have a tendency on some bikes to shake you up are smoothed out admirably. Storck claims all frames in the range have the same stiffness to weight ratio regardless of size, which is an interesting and bold statement.
Although the equipment attached (seatpack, bottle etc) pushed the weight up a bit, the bike climbed better than expected and was a pleasant surprise, especially out of the saddle.
The Scentron is a great handling and very well designed bike, ideal for sportives or just long-distance fast riding. At just over £4k it does sit at the high end of the Ultegra Di2 market.
Despite my reservations with the finishing kit, there are many other options available.
A new distributor in the UK is pushing to get the brand into more bike shops, a prerequisite of which being that they offer a proper bike fit service to get the perfect set-up.
This sums up Storck's perfectionist approach, ensuring from the beginning of the process to the end you get the best option.