Sensa Aquila SL LTD Carbon Road Bike – Shimano Ultegra & 105 Mix
Sensa developed the Aquila SL LTD to be the lightest carbon road bike in their range designing a lightweight, comfortable bike that’s perfect for long, hilly rides. With a comfortable, compliant frame made from their own Monocoque Generation6 - UD Carbon Fibre and a super-light carbon lay-up Sensa have created a frame that’s also stiff and responsive with a PF86 bottom bracket enabling you to accelerate quickly and climb efficiently.
Sensa pay special attention to how frame size, carbon lay-up and rider size & weight combine to affect performance – with this in mind each frame size features its own specific geometry and tubing dimensions; the Aquila’s compliant seatstays incorporate a little flex into their structure and combine with a slim seatpost to create extra levels of comfort.
New for 2017 the Sensa Aquila features a Salita SL full carbon fork which is more sleek and aero than on previous models. Sensa have also included a mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105 components as well as a set of Supra RA SL Pro wheels and Deda handlebars and stem.
Frame: Monocoque Generation6 - Zero Void Curing - UD Carbon Fiber - SL lay-up
Fork: Supra Full Carbon Monocoque Gen6 Salita SL 1.5 - SL Lay-up
These sizes are a guideline only. If you are unsure please contact our customer service team for assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: All of our bikes are built to order. This usually takes between 3-8 working days depending on time of year.
The bike was delivered on time. The bike was packaged very well. Beautiful cardboard box and the bike was very well packed in foam. I am very satisfied with the bike itself. But this is not my first Sensa either. Sensa just makes very good price quality bikes. Merlin bikes I will definitely recommend to my friends. Good store.
Great ride. Immediately after unboxing went out for a quick ride and was intatly impressed. I've been on a few long distance rides since. It's light and fast on flats and climbs. The Sensa's Shimano ultegra components deliver smooth gear shifting. My 100k times have taken a tumble. The saddle though is slightly broader than what was on my former ... I suppose I'll get used to it or perhaps just swap it. Unboxing was easy. Delivery was as scheduled. Good VFM.
So, this is my first ever 'proper' new bike. I don't know how much of my reactions are just because I have nothing to really compare it with, but here's how it went on my first ride.
The bike is exactly what I was aiming for: a very lively feel but good for distance. I didn't early enjoy the 'steady' feel of the other road bikes I've ridden, but I loved the dynamic feel of the undersized mountain bike I used to ride on roads. This bike feels very dynamic, and it fits me well, although I've not quite got the fit right yet. That's the next job!
The bike feels stiff and light, as I had hoped. If I was to pick one minor issue: it make a slight noise at some speeds, which is hard to place, but I think indicates that the road is hitting a resonant frequency of some bit of the bike. It's an odd, 'hollow' vibration, but you hear it rather than feeling it. But this is minor, and maybe I'll find something I put in the wrong place!
Downhill was suitably petrifying: the bike accelerated fast, and remained in control. I spent most of the downhill bits getting used to the extra speed, which was good fun. The bike was ridiculously smooth at 60km/h and clearly wanted me to push it faster, but my self preservation instinct was too strong - somewhat inspired by a clear view of the traffic ahead. According to one review, this bike has 'deep reserves of speed' and it certainly showed them, both downhill and when I hit the gas. Until I ran out of gas, anyway.
When I ordered the bike, after much agonising, I got the shop to change the rear cassette to an 11-32 (and the derailleur to a medium cage and a new chain) as I know that hills are hard, and I'm still not that good at them. I was very glad I had done this as my lack of recent training really showed on the steep sections. The 34/32 combination kept me from stopping. I think I hit my lowest speed in a long time on the final climb. The bike responded perfectly to my slowness as well as my (limited) flat speed.
The wheels turn round as I would expect, and are light to my mind. One review identifies them as a good thing to upgrade, but they are clearly plenty good enough for me at the moment. You probably won't win a grand tour on them, but there are plenty of other more significant reasons why I won't be winning a grand tour! The bike turned well when asked to, even at speed. I only took it up to 40-50km/h on a non straight (downhill) road and it handled beautifully, at one point easing round a bend without me realising it, leaving me thinking that I was rather glad nothing was coming the other way.
It was a delight riding a bike which such crisp shifting, and such easy to use levers. Although this is probably normal now, to finally have the gear shift when you tell it to, quickly and cleanly, is a wonderful. For the record, the bike is Ultegra with three exceptions: the cassette is 105, the chain is KMC (the default was a 105 chain and I had to change it for the cassette change) and the chainset is a non series Shimano 50/34. (The only markings I can find on the chainset are 'FC-RS500' and '50-34 MH').
For every saddle I've ridden so far, the ones my posterior enjoys initially turn out to be painful long term, and vice versa. So, in a reverse compliment kind of way, I can happily report that I didn't like the saddle, which bodes well for the future. And I need to adjust it a bit, anyway!
I can happily conclude that I have bought a bike which is way better than me. Hopefully I will do it justice over the coming years.