Test Storck Grix.2: The current gravel bike from Hessen is based on a completely new frame with many useful details; as a gravel bike with an aero trim, it corresponds more closely to the Storck brand core. The bike is also attractive in terms of price.
It's a good thing that it has such wide tires - otherwise the Grix.2 could be mistaken for an aero racing machine at first glance. Markus Storck is providing his Grix, which is now three years old, with a model that adopts the tried-and-tested geometry of its predecessor, but has numerous new features - not least of which are the optics and features from the "Aero Road" segment.
Aero shapes and carbon cockpit
The seat stays are positioned slightly lower, the seat clamp is now integrated, the seat tube is grooved and the fork legs are flatter. In addition, a carbon cockpit with fully integrated cables and lines and a flattened top link is used, so that the Grix.2 looks extremely tidy, especially at the front - not to mention the stealth look of the bike, which is completely in matt black.
"Aero" is also the wheelset, a very noble, expensive and fairly light DT Swiss GRC1400. Its 42 mm deep hookless rims are 24 mm wide on the inside and thus optimally support the 40 Schwalbe tires. Incidentally, these do not fill the space of the fork and rear end – even a 50 mm wide tire could just about fit in. And that's despite the fact that Storck doesn't pull the right chainstay down quite as far as with the first Grix.
Frame with many new details
The bridge screwed between the seat stays has been removed – there is now a classic bar to which a mudguard can be screwed; A real luggage rack could even be attached to the rear triangle. Luggage holders can now also be mounted on the fork, which speaks in favor of using the Grix.2 on fast bikepacking tours. The bottle holder on the down tube can be attached in two positions, another bottle can also be attached under the tube and there is also space for a small top tube bag. All in all, the Grix.2 is significantly more suitable for travel than its predecessor - rather unusual for an aero graveller.
Large scope of translation
With Shimano GRX RX810, the Storck is equipped with high quality and versatility. The 48/31 crankset allows a wide range of gear ratios; even with the 11-32 cassette on the test bike, there is gear reduction for steep climbs. The aero trim of the matt black bolide makes you want to go fast, for which you only need a slightly narrower cassette (e.g. 11-28) and slightly narrower tires (e.g. Schwalbe G-One RS 35 mm). Thanks to the steep steering angle, the Storck becomes a handy, powerful gravel racer, whose seat geometry ensures a rather stretched posture and a decent amount of elevation between saddle and handlebars. The latter is kept quite narrow for a gravel bike - 42 cm at the top link and 44 cm at the ends (each center to center). This also accommodates a streamlined sitting position, without the steering behavior suffering on demanding terrain.
Versatile aero graveller
The Grix.2 thus moves closer to the core of the Storck brand, which has always been defined by sporty and increasingly by aerodynamic racing machines. At the same time, the subtly styled wheel, which is comparatively light at 8,8 kilos, is offered at a very attractive price: 5.699 euros is an announcement, especially since the wheel set alone normally costs almost 2.000 euros. This is made possible by direct sales, to which the manufacturer switched a few years ago.
Everything is great – except for the clamping axle
There are almost no criticisms of the Storck; it is only noticeable that the Hessians still use an old-fashioned thru-axle with a clamping lever on the fork. This is not only awkward to use, but also contradicts the manufacturer's aero philosophy a bit. However, a standard axle without a hand lever fits. A positive aspect is how well and precisely both wheels slide into the dropouts.
What is unusual is that the frame does not have a flap under the bottom bracket, which makes it easier to thread the cables and lines during assembly. As for the end user, of course needn't bother - he or she can enjoy a fast, aerodynamic yet very versatile gravel racer that's really cheap for what it offers and is a lot of fun.