My Sensa Giulia G2 has evolved in such a way, that it is actually no longer suited for long rides in the mountains, as I have fitted it with a 3T Vola cockpit to make it look like a TT-bike.
It’s fine for the short bursts uphill in the south of my country or the neighboring Ardennes and Eifel, but when I visited the Vosges last September, I didn’t feel very comfortable during the long climbs and descends there.
While the Bat is not a ‘true’ TT bike, I think that for my limited TT capabilities, the Giulia is just fine. However, considering I have plans for more Giro’s and Tours in the Alps, I figured that I should get me another bike, more suited for climbing.
Realizing that without consulting with the boss, this could well turn out to be bike S*, I made up several excuses to convince her that I really needed another bike, without having to sell the Bat…
She agreed to it, albeit that I may have promised several things that I will never be able to deliver. Once again, your envy is justified…
As one other argument I used was that I could not go out on the Giulia safely during winter time, let alone that I would be able to wander off into the woods every now and then – as if I ever intended to do that – I decided that buying a cross bike would be less suspicious.
And as it happens, Sensa is offering a cross bike that is indistinguishable from a road bike for the untrained eye – I should probably note, that for me this is most certainly the case…
But, the cross bike offers the possibility to mount ‘fat’ off road tires, which will not fit the SL.
Admittedly though, it weighs a little more at 9.2 kilograms against the 8.2 for the SL and 7.2 for my Giulia.
But, as you can fit only one bottle on it, half of that difference is gone 🙂
The Sensa Trentino CXD is fitted with Ultegra all around, except for the chain ring, as that is the odd 46/36 (Shimano FCRS500). It comes with Schwalbe X-One Folding tires on DT Swiss R24 Spline wheels.
All in all, another good looking piece of equipment, though obviously no match for the awesome Bat. I asked if it could be painted all (matte) black, but that was not an option 🙂 However, the blue and white accents are not dominant…
And as with the Giulia last year, it took a while before I went out for a first ride. The argument that it was an excellent bike to go out in shitty weather, was put aside for my ambition to finish my (indoor) CVT career.
Plus, I really wanted to test it in hilly terrain and not in my below sea level, pancake flat backyard…
So, I took my Sensa Trentino out for a spin ‘down south’ during the ‘Alternatieve’ weekend – a tour that is meant to be an alternative for the ever busy Amstel Gold Tour during the same weekend.
On Friday I first rode it around the familiar terrain between Valkenburg and Vaals and although the bike is quite different from the Giulia, it felt familiar. It behaves very well and I felt comfortable not avoiding rough patches in the road.
The only thing I did not anticipate, was the behavior of the bike during cornering, but that was due to the tires – the first time I wanted to do a fast corner, I almost lost my balance. I thought this was due to the pressure, as I had pumped in a healthy 5+ bar into them and I had no idea if that could be too much.
But a quick consultation with my dealer confirmed that this was actually the way these tires behave and 5 or 6 bar was fine for ‘mainly asphalted roads’. For mainly ‘off road’ terrain, I’d probably be better of with a little less pressure (3 – 4 bar).
Once I got used to this, the ride went smoothly and I enjoyed the Sensa Trentino just as much as the Giulia.
I even got lost in the forest on the Dutch – Belgian border when I decided to ride some off road tracks. Under those circumstances, the tires were actually a blessing, because of the grip.
And, it gave me a good opportunity to test the disc brakes on the steep goat paths I ran into.
There, but also during more normal descends on the main roads and in the very bad – rainy – weather on Saturday, during the tour that was staged in Belgium, I found that they performed phenomenal. I already had some experience with disc brakes, as I used to have a mountain bike (Bulls) with them, but these perform much better.
This gives me more confidence for my long descends in the mountains too, where the Giulia was feeling a little more squeamish and the 3T Vola actually not being very helpful there…
I have, however, since my first ride changed the tires for Continental Grand Prix 4-season tires with a 32 mm profile and they behave much better on the road. Which is where I will ride 80 – 90% of the time anyway.
As with the Giulia, my advise for anyone looking for a fantastic (cross) bike for a more than reasonable price, go for the Sensa Trentino. Even without having tested both, I guess this goes for either ‘my’ CXD or the SL.
*The answer to the frequently asked question ‘how many bike do you own?’ is ‘N + 1’, i.e. one more than you need. I prefer the alternative ‘S – 1’, meaning one less than would lead to a divorce…