We recently tested the Giulia 105 from new-to-the-UK Dutch brand Sensa, and were impressed with its bang-up-to-date, feature laden frame and the confident way it rode. For 2013, the range-topping bike has been eclipsed by the Supremo version, though…
Frame & equipment: Quality and value with light weight
The Sensa Giulia Supremo frame features a fresh, optimised layup and new types of carbon for a weight-saving of 200g over the standard Giulia. That brings it down to a highly respectable 900g.
It still features a tapered head tube and full dual-fit internal cable routing for mechanical and Di2 gearing, including a left chainstay mount for batteries. That’s not to mention a press-fit 86 compatible BB shell and full carbon dropouts.
The new frame’s lighter weight adds a fair lick of zip on the climbs, and for a bike at this price the complementing Shimano Ultegra kit is mightily impressive. Mavic’s Aksium Race wheel package is also among the best you’ll find at this price.
Finishing the bike is a full selection of aluminium components from Deda. It offers good value and a no-nonsense approach, the solid branded kit serving the bike well.
Ride & handling: Comfortable all-rounder
The Supremo’s ride is also no nonsense – the bike is never unsettled by broken surfaces, tracking well over the ruts.
We only found a need to stay focused on the job in hand when speeding down our favourite straight-line descent – the straight-bladed fork gained a fair bit of chatter hitting 35mph+ over the undulating surface. We never had to back off, mind, just make sure we were anticipating the road ahead.
The Schwalbe Lugano tyres proved themselves on the testing course’s damp and greasy road surfaces. Traction was always dependable and they were resilient to cuts and punctures, but didn’t offer the same speed sparkle as a set of Schwalbes Ultremos.
The bike’s geometry is more racy than relaxed but the mid-race position offered more than enough comfort for extended spells in the saddle. The ride is confident, with neutral handling and the impressively low weight adding climbing prowess and pick-up under power.
While the Giulia lacks the out-and-out sparkle of a true winner, it’s a bike we’d be more than happy to ride day in, day out. We just wouldn’t reach for it first out of a full stable of bikes.
This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2013 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 273, available now on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.