Sensa is a Dutch bicycle brand that you might not have heard of, but with smart looking bikes and keen prices, that could be set to change. They’re brought into the UK by Merlin Cycles and this bike, equipped with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and deep-section carbon/alloy clinchers, retails for £2,624.99.
Sensa may not be well known over here but they’re a big brand in Holland having been established for over 20 years. Their range is comprehensive and covers a variety of frame materials and prices. The Giulia here is a monocoque frame, made from unidirectional carbon using what they call ZVC Technology, to create a smoother inside surface, reducing any excess carbon to keep the weight down (we hear of lots of other manufacturers with similar methods).
It’s packed with up to the minute details. The head tube is tapered with a 1.5in lower bearing and aero shaped. The bottom bracket shell is a PressFit 86 design, allowing the tubes that connect to the shell - down tube, seat tube and chainstays - to be hugely oversized. The size of the down tube and the chainstays is as big as anything we’ve seen before, and we're hoping that will translate into a bike that accelerates with absolutely no delay. The seatstays have been slimmed right down to introduce the opportunity for some vertical deflection.
The frame is fully Di2 compatible (even the bikes specced with mechanical groupsets, so offering good upgrade potential) with all wires neatly routed internally. The rear brake cable is routed inside the top tube.
Sensa offer a range of build options, ours arrived with a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, with a compact 50/34 chainset. Supra is their inhouse brand and is found on the RC58 wheels, a carbon/alloy clincher design weighing 1.82kg, and handlebars, stem and seatpost. Tyres are Continental GP 4000 S and the saddle is a San Marco Concor.
Weight on the road.cc scales that don’t lie is 7.9kg (17.41lbs).
This is a competitive segment of the market, and there's a lot of choices vying for your money. Our £2,000 to £2,500 road bike buyer's guide highlights how much variation there can be within a £500 price range. Getting carbon/alloy deep section wheels, even though at 1.82kg they're not the lightest, is an obvious highlight over the similar bikes at a similar price.
If you want to get yourself a Di2-ready frame but you want to upgrade to electronic shifting at a later point, then a 105-build of the Guilia costs less than £1,400.
More details at www.merlincycles.com/bike-shop/bikes/road-bikes/sensa-bikes/
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.