Dutch bike brand Sensa have revealed their 2015 range of bikes, available exclusively through retailer Merlin Cycles. The highlights are two all-new carbon fibre models, the Aquila SL and Calabria, and joined by the unchanged Giulia as the flagship bikes in the company’s top-end road bike range.
Sensa perhaps aren’t the most well known bicycle company in the UK, but the Dutch bikes have been coming into the country exclusively via Merlin Cycles since 2012, and are steadily building a good reputation for competitively priced and well designed road bikes. We were certainly impressed with the Giulia Ultegra Di2 we tested last year, and it looks like they're building on that form. Sensa, if you don't know, have been building bikes for the past 25 years so they certainly have the experience.
Sitting right at the top of their newly expanded range is the Aquila SL. It’s the lightest carbon fibre frame they’ve ever produced with a claimed weight of 940g and is mated to a 325g fork. Sensa have pitched the Aquila SL as a “lightweight Gran Fondo” bike and that description tells you that as well as being light, to help on hilly Gran Fondo events, it’s also comfortable for the inevitable long day in the saddle that comes from doing such an event.
Comfort in the frame comes courtesy of “Flexy Stays” and a 27.2mm seatpost, and the frame is optimised for each of the five sizes they offer, from 50 to 61cm. The frame is Di2 compatible with full internal cable routing and a big old PressFit86 bottom bracket. The new Supra Full Carbon Monocoque Gen6 Salita SL fork features a tapered steerer tube with a 1.5in lower bearing diameter.
They offer the Aquila SL in a number of builds, a Shimano Ultegra Compact mechanical specced bike is currently priced at £1,585, which compares well with a similarly specced bike from Canyon, so their prices are clearly very competitive. The most expensive Aquila SL costs £2,950 for which you get a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed groupset, and a claimed bike weight of just 6.3kg (13.88lb).
Next up is the Calabria, and this is Sensa’s brand new aero road bike. If you’ve been reading road.cc for the past couple of years you’ll of course know that aero bikes, aerodynamics and cheating the wind are all the rage both in the pro peloton and with amateur racers and performance minded cyclists.
The Calabria features a frame with obvious aero shaped main tubes, a deep ovalised down tube, a seat tube that curves around the rear wheel and of course an aero seatpost. The rim brakes are mounted in the regular locations, no chainstay mounted rear brake here. There are no aero claims with this new model so how it measures in the wind tunnel isn't known. Like the Aquila SL, all the cables are internally routed, it’s Di2 compatible and features a PressFit86 bottom bracket.
The frame weight increases a bit as a result of the oversized tube profiles, with a claimed 1,175g for the frame and 365g for the fork. A Shimano Ultegra Compact mechanical equipped bike costs £1,550.
Finally, the Giulia is pitched as an all-rounder, a bike that will tackle any sort of riding you have planned. Unlike the other two bikes we’ve talked about, this isn’t a new bike for 2015, it was in their range last year, but it’s still worth talking about as it rounds out the Sensa top-end range nicely.
There are actually two flavours of the Giulia, the standard one and a Supremo model, which uses a higher grade of carbon fibre and boasts a lighter frame weight as a result. They both share the same aero shaped head tube, full carbon fibre dropouts, PressFit86 bottom bracket and internal cable routing with Di2 compatibility.
The Supremo frame weighs a claimed 1,025g with a 340g fork, while hte regular Giulia has a 1,100g frame and 350g fork, so a small weight difference. You can get the Giulia Supremo with Shimano Ultegra Compact for £1,730, while the regular Giulia with a Shimano 105 groupset will set you back £1,365.
If you like what you see, you can check out the full range at www.merlincycles.com/sensa-bikes-57810/
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.