The Senso, released in 2014, is Fortezza’s next step in a progression of tires building on their popular TriComp technology. What sets the Senso apart from its predecessors is the new AWS rubber compound. AWS was specifically developed with this tire in mind and highlights all the strengths of a TriComp based tire. Together they separate the tire into three functional areas, all three of which Vredestein have worked hard to optimize.
Arguably the most important zone for direct line speed is the center of the tire. Here with changes in casing density and durability, partially to fight flats, Vredestein has minimized rolling resistance increasing your base line speed. The sides or shoulders of the tire tread is where you cornering performance and therefore confidence in the Senso comes from. The rubber compound is slightly softer and a minimal tread is used to both grip the road tightly and, with the tread, minimize the impact small particle road debris and water have on your traction. Finally the sidewall is built to be as supple as possible. This lends to a more comfortable and faster ride as the tire is allowed to conform to the road minimizing vertical impact forces into your bike and maintaining as much forward momentum as physically possible.
The funny thing about this is, and what you might be asking yourself, what does all this in the middle of a training ride or on race day. First off, it was a surprise to hear that a tire as well made as the Fortezza Tricomp was being replaced. It was a great performing all around tire with an enjoyable supple feel. The fact is, that the Senso continues in this tradition. The casing is still extremely supple and feels great even under the roughest of roads and the flat protection although not extreme is present. The benefit and performance gains can really be felt when descending or cornering hard. The rubber does feel like it’s really gripping the road while the center track does not appear to be wearing any faster then the TriComp. This is an extremely hard balance to strike, and it feels like Vredestein has done well.
Finally if you like this tire and are looking for a bit of a performance upgrade look at the Senso Superlite. As a race day tire the Superlite will handle in the same manner as the Senso All Weather. But being 20 grams lighter and using a 220 TPI casing you’ll feel just that little bit extra in both performance and handling control.