Specialized Sequoia Review: 1,000 decisions.

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Named after one of the first bikes the company ever produced, the all new, 2017 Specialized Sequoia is an adventure rig that aims to introduce a new generation to the pleasures of all-road bikepacking. We take it to North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest to see how it performs, both on and off road…

Specialized bikes have appeared at various points throughout my cycling history. My first long distance bike tour – from Australia to the UK – was aboard a ‘98 Rockhopper Comp. I later worked as a messenger in London, riding a flat barred Sirrus. More recently, I picked up a 1983 Stumpjumper from the pages of my local Craigslist. The latter shares a similar pedigree to the new Sequoia, named as it is after one of the brand’s very first bikes, a sport touring model released in 1981.

In fact the original tagline – 1000 decisions, properly made – has even been rekindled for its launch, an event Logan and I attended in the humid, mountain folds of the Pisgah National Forest. As such, this review is based on a week of hard riding – including a campout – so it’s more initial impressions than a long term appraisal.

Specialized Sequoia Review, Bura Bura Bikepacking bags

  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Bura Bura Bikepacking bags
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Bura Bura Bikepacking bags

Although the two bikes share a name, the three decades that separate them reflect a slew of changes in cycling technology, standards, geometry and manufacturing: the similarities end in the use of their frame material. As steel purists, we were pleased the new Sequoia harks back to its past, albeit with a size-specific, butted tubing Specialize call Premium Cr-Mo. Compared to the more curvy, aluminum and carbon Specialized Diverge, it’s a softbag-friendly frame that’s shared by all three models in the lineup: the $1300 entry level Sequoia, the $2000 Elite and the $3500 (an Expert Module frameset is also available for $1200, while the basic Sequoia gets a steel fork in lieu of carbon blades).

Specialized Sequoia Review

  • Specialized Sequoia
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike

Elsewhere, all the bikepacking boxes are ticked. There’s provision for a thirst quenching 3 water bottles on the frame, plus two more on the color matched carbon fork too – an inclusion that we’re particularly grateful to see. For those who anticipate hauling extra gear, there’s mounts for front and rear racks (or Specialized’s own Pizza Rack), as well as hidden fender eyelets for the more practical minded. Clearances are definitely on the generous side. Depending on the tire, the rear triangle should easily accommodate 45c knobblies without a mudguard – which seems a sensible cutting off point for a bike of this type. Or, for those who prefer to keep road crud from flinging into their faces (and those of their fellow riders), it takes a 700×42 or 650×47 tires with fenders. As for looks, the chainstay tubing is particularly elegant, the dropouts are especially neat, and the graphics are refreshingly understated. Internally routed hydraulic cables help further to keep its cool aesthetics clutter free, as does cable routing for a potential dynamo upgrade – another of our favourite bikepacking accessories. Propelling it firmly into the 21st century, the new Sequoia sports direct mount disc tabs, Di2 compatibility, and comes with the latest thru axle spacing — 100x12mm for the fork and 142x12mm for the rear — which will please some and no doubt have traditionalists bemoaning ever changing industry standards. Like the Niner RLT 9 Steel we liked so much, the Sequoia weaves up to-the-minute tech and adventure-minded geometry into the classic appeal of a steel frame.

Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike, bikepacking

  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Cuzero Wheels
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Sawtooth Tires
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Sawtooth Tires
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike

Of course, wheels are also an important part of any package, particularly for a bike with laden adventures in its crosshairs. We were pleased to see stout looking looking hoops as part of the build, using a box section Crucero rim that measures a generous 25mm internally and 30mm externally. Aside from being tubeless ready, the spoke length is the same on both the drive and non drive side, front and rear wheels alike – which simplifies carrying spares while on tour. A nice touch. Available in a 700c format at launch, a 650b wheelset will added to the lineup in early spring, as well as a compatible 47mm Sawtooth tire. This means you can chop and change between the two wheel sizes, using the same frame.

Talking of tires, we were impressed with the 42mm Sawtooth, a model that will be available for a very reasonable $40. As the name suggests, it features a zigzaggy tread; there’s a fast rolling center line, and edges that are designed to dig in on dirt. In practise, it rolled smoothly on pavement, felt assured on gravel, and tamed roots too – not that we had the chance to try it in wet conditions. Given their width, the Sawtooths add both comfort and capability – such that we felt the pleasure of riding singletrack fast wasn’t overly compromised. I’d love to see the Sequoia shod with knobblier tires, but the truth is, they’re good all rounders. Our bikes were set with tubes – running them tubeless would no doubt eek out even more speed and performance, without risking pinch flats.

Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike

  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike, bikepacking
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Sawtooth Tires

In terms of handling, we found the Sequoia strikes a pleasing, well mannered balance. At around 24lbs (10.9kg), it’s certainly engaging to ride unladen, yet clothed in a light bikepacking setup, it’s sure footed too. 430mm chainstays – compared to say, the Diverge’s 420mm – help lend a touch of extra stability, as does a low bottom bracket and a relatively slack head angle. Sarah noticed a small amount of toe overlap in the 52cm model, but not enough to be an issue.

It’s a versatile bike too, evident in the way it took everything we threw at it in its stride – including rooty, sometimes rocky singletrack, flowy packed trails, long and loose gravel descents, and rolling pavement backroads. Being a demo bike, mine was set up with a shorter fork steerer tube than I’d normally go for, lending it a more aggressive riding position. Still, I didn’t suffer any backache during any of the multi-hour rides. Relatively large volume tires no doubt helped, as did a refined frame, carbon fork and carbon seat post.

Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike

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  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Bura Bura Bikepacking bags
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike, bikepacking
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike, bikepacking

To be honest, I’ve never found braking on a drop bar setup nearly as confidence inspiring as on flats, particularly off road. SRAM’s Force hydraulic brakes, however, were simply awesome – especially when it came to long, rough and otherwise hand numbing descents. With so much power and modulation on tap, I quickly realised how effective it is to tuck down in the drops on fast, unpaved descents, or when negotiating twisty, rolling singletrack. For anyone used to the more upright stance of a mountain bike, riding drops takes a certain commitment, for sure, but can also inject a bundle of fun into an otherwise mellow trail.

Other neat touches include flared, shallow drop handlebars that feature a slight rise to them, along with matching finish on the bar wrap and lean saddle – a blue canvas. We should point out that for longer trips, we’d have swapped out the carbon ‘Cobble Cobbler’ seatpost for an aluminium one, especially when running seatpacks that use a clamp – as with Specialized’s new Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack, or Porcelain Rocket’s Mr Fusion.

As is often the case with stock bikes, gearing was a little on the high side for loaded bikepacking, but offered a good range for hilly, mixed terrain day rides. Teamed with an 11-42T block, there were definitely moments that a 42T chainring was undergeared for our campout, given the relentlessly rolling topography of the Pisgah National Forest and the humid summer heat. But the good news is that the 1x drivetrain makes quick changes easy – dropping down to a 38T chainring doesn’t even require a change in chain length. Note that for those who prefer knee-saving doubles, both the Sequoia Elite and the Sequoia equipped with a broader gear range – the Elite sports a 48/32T compact, mated to a 11-36T cassette. In fact, in some ways the cheaper Elite – priced at $2000 – makes the better fit for bikepackers heading for the road less traveled, coming as it does with a readily sourced Shimano 105 finishing kit and a seatpack-friendly aluminum seat post, on top of its wider gear range. Otherwise, just make sure you pack light…

  • Specialized_Sequoia_12
  • Specialized_Sequoia_20
  • Specialized_Sequoia_9
  • 2017 Specialized Sequoia
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike

Build Kit (Sequoia Expert)

  • Frame: Premium Cr-Mo size-specific tubing, Adventure Geometry
  • Cable-routing: Internal light cable routing in both frame and fork
  • For touring/bikepacking: Fender/rack mounts, fork bottle cage mounts
  • Fork: Specialized FACT carbon, tapered, flat disc mount

Drivetrain

  • Crankset: FSA SL-K Light, PF30 System Interface, 10-/11-speed, 147mm Q-factor, 110 BCD
  • Chainring: Megatooth V2 XX1, 42T
  • Bottom Bracket: FSA MegaEvo, threaded
  • Derailleur (rear): SRAM Force1 Type 2.1, long cage, 11-speed
  • Shifter Rear: SRAM Force Hydraulic Disc
  • Cassette: Shimano Deore XT, 11-speed, 11-42t
  • Chain: KMC X11SL-1 DLC, 11-speed w/reusable MissingLink

Components

  • Wheels: Specialized Adventure Gear Cruzero
  • Tires: Specialized Adventure Gear Sawtooth 2Bliss Ready, 700x42mm
  • Brakes: SRAM Rival 1, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotors
  • Handlebar: Specialized Adventure Gear Hover
  • Tape: Specialized Adventure Gear S-Wrap Canvas Tape
  • Seatpost: Specialized CG-R, FACT carbon, single bolt, reflective, 27.2mm
  • Saddle: Body Geometry Phenom Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm

Specialized Sequoia Review, Bura Bura Bikepacking bags

Pros

  • Adventure Geometry dialed for light trail work, long saddle days, and loaded riding.
  • Fork cage mounts … applause!
  • Sawtooth and Cruzero tubless tire/wheel combo seems solid and well thought out.
  • Details such as the fact that the front and rear have a single spoke length… ideal for emergency prep.
  • Minimal paint and graphics are eye-pleasing.
  • The Phenom Comp saddle is surprisingly comfortable.

Cons

  • Carbon seatpost is super light and comfy, but not ideal for a clamp mounted seat pack, such as their own Stabilizer Seatpack or Porcelain Rocket’s Mr. Fusion.
  • The Gearing is too high for loaded, hilly bikepacking; a 36t or 38T ring up front would be a welcome addition.
  • Model Tested Specialized Sequoia Expert
  • Size Tested 61″
  • Sizes Available 50,52,54,56,58,61″
  • Weight (as tested) 24 lbs (10.9kg)
  • Price $3,500
  • Contact Specialized.com
  • Recommended Uses Gravel slogs, dirt road wandering, all-roads bikepacking
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, Bura Bura Bikepacking bags

Wrap Up

Over the week that we rode it, the Sequoia really won us over: perhaps our most strongest impression was how well thought out it feels. Manufacturers have been know to hurriedly launch a bike to answer a trend. The Sequoia feels like the opposite: there’s a sense that it’s been painstakingly refined over miles of open road, by a team who live and breath mixed terrain outings, be they brevets, forest road adventures or long weekend campouts. The level of detail is impressive – from unusual touches like ‘riser’ drop handlebars, the use of a single spoke length in its wheelset, and the neatly eyeletted carbon fork – to its undoubtedly clean, uncluttered lines and classy finish.

In terms of the way the Sequoia rides, we found it strikes a very happy medium, one that likely suit anyone inspired to give both ‘all-road’ riding and bikepacking a go. It’s handling is on the engaging side of predictable – it’s as satisfying to ride unloaded as it is loaded, on gravel as much as pavement. Sure, there are road bikes that are lighter and spritelier. But there aren’t many ‘touring’ bikes that handle this well out on an all day, mixed terrain ride, unencumbered by gear. In short, it’s a modern all rounder that will speedily shuttle you out to your nearest national forest, and encourage you to delve deep into its backroads once you’re there.

  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike
  • Specialized Sequoia Review, gravel adventure bike

Sequoia vs AWOL vs Diverge

Specialized offer three 700c, drop handlebar bikes in their Adventure range. Having ridden the 5000 mile TAT on an AWOL, the Diverge on local all day adventures and the 600k Crush the Commonwealth, and the Sequoia on a 500 mile ride from North Carolina to Ohio, we asked Sarah Swallow to sum up her thoughts about which works best for what…

“The Sequoia fills the gap in Specialized’s 700c adventure bicycle line-up combining the touring utility of the AWOL, and the quick handling, high-tech characteristics of the Diverge.

Each bike occupies a specific niche depending on the terrain, and it’s capability. The AWOL has the utility, slower steering and bombproof characteristics of a traditional touring bike but with the added clearance to fit up to a 29 x 2.0 tire. It’s an ideal bike for adventure touring/bikepacking on dirt roads, pavement, and even the occasional single-track. In my experience, it definitely rides at its best with a load. If I was planning a primarily paved ride with a few opportunities for gravel roads here and there, it would be the light and speedy carbon Diverge that I would choose. With its clearance for 35mm tires, it makes it a great bike for all-day rides and shorter mixed terrain tours that favor pavement, while still being able to handle some surprisingly rough roads too. The Sequoia strikes the sweet spot between the two. With slightly less tire clearance than the AWOL (700 x 45mm), a carbon fork and a lighter steel frame, I’ve found it the ideal candidate for lightweight paved and dirt road touring, gravel grinding, and mixed terrain rides. What I like most about the Sequoia is that it feels equally capable with or without a load.”

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Specialized Sequoia Review, Bura Bura Bikepacking bags

Up next, our impressions of the all new line of Specialized Burra Burra Bikepacking Bags

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  • Michael Lowther

    thank you for the great review – I’m now reconsidering what to purchase as my first adventure bike!!!

  • Harley Raylor

    Question about sizing, how did you decide on the 61? Did you try a 58? I’m 6’4 with a 34 inch inseam. My AWOL is XL and my Roubaix is a 58. The AWOL ride is described as riding “IN” the bike. Is the Sequoia more ‘ON’ the bike feel? Thanks!

  • Cass Gilbert

    I’ve ridden a 58in Diverge, which felt great but a touch small. Before I tried it, I didn’t know any spec about the Sequoia. But seeing as I wanted to set it up for touring, figured a slighter roomier frame with a higher front end would be a good call. I ended up fitting a shorter stem to bring in the reach a little, and it worked out well. I’d have thought the 61cm would work better for you, but always worth trying one out if possible…

  • arboristbytrade

    The Sequoia is now at the top of my short list for my next bike. I’m considering building up a frame set; those bars and wheels are great though. Do you think they will be available separately?

  • Harley Raylor

    The more closely I look at that fork I can’t tell if it will allow a low-rider rack such as the tubus tara we see on AWOLs. can you confirm? If not I’d suspect this bike is more bikepacking than bike touring.

  • Cass Gilbert

    I checked in with Eric Nohlin, the designer, and there’s no problem running the front fork with a Tara. I’ll post the pic he sent, when I can upload it.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Sequoia with low riders…

  • Cass Gilbert

    Ok, so both sets of wheels will – 700c and 650 – plus tires in both sizes. Right now, there’s no plans for the bars or fork. But given the requests they’ve had, this might be reconsidered.

  • sgtrobo

    looks like the RLT9 Steel has competition. Salsa lost my $$$ when they came out with the proprietary dropouts in the rear that don’t allow standard racks, and their front fork doesn’t have a mount for fenders. To me, that’s nuts. This and the RLT9 check the boxes. Waiting to see more info on this one, but it looks like a pretty good competitor

  • Cass Gilbert

    Of course, it depends on what you define as ‘adventure’. But if it’s mixed terrain – paved, gravel, dirt and a little singletrack, maybe – then the Sequoia should definitely be on your shortlist.

  • Cass Gilbert

    I’ve not had a chance to try the RLT9 Steel, but I know Logan is a big fan, From the riding I did though, I’d definitely give the Sequoia some serious consideration.

  • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alee | CyclingAbout.com

    Great write up guys! The imagery is awesome. How rad is having the two Sequoias head to head?

  • http://www.offroute.ca Skyler

    Disclaimer about Cass’s legs:

    I’m 6’2″ with a 34.6″ inseam. Even though Cass is shorter than me, I think we needed to lower his saddle something like 3″ the time I attempted to ride his bike. The man has long limbs!

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    They are similar beasts, without a doubt. There are a few things I like about the Sequoia over the RLT including the rear dropout design, universal spoke lengths, the wheels and 42mm Sawtooth tires (out of the box), and the seat/handlebar combo. That said, I do think the seat stay design on the RLT may dampen vibrations a little more; hard to tell though. Also, I prefer the 2x Shimano drivetrain on the RLT. Both are amazing bikes, IMO. Real tough decision. If you can test both, I would do so before making a decision.

  • Cass Gilbert

    I do – like giraffe legs! I tend to like to ride toes pointing down a little too.

    Still, I’d imagine someone who is 6’4″ would fit a 61cm Sequoia better. But always best to try if you can…

  • Ryan Brink

    So, the Carbon Cobble Gobbler (or CGR in polite company) seat post on the expert seems like a strange choice given the aluminum clamp on their seat bags. Did anyone from Specialized have an answer on that?

  • Cass Gilbert

    Well, in its defence, I’d say the Sequoia isn’t designed primarily for bikepacking… though it certainly lends itself to it. A lot of people will doubtless be using it for all terrain day rides – or even with a rack and trad panniers etc… I guess Specialized figure if you can afford $3500 for the top end Expert, you can probably afford a replacement aluminum saddle if and when you fit one of their seatpacks… Just my 2 cents!

  • Ryan Brink

    That could very well be. And I know its a big press release day, and they want all their goodies displayed in all their glory, but every picture I have seen of the Sequoia where they have bags on them has the Burra Burra seatpost bag on the carbon post. Just curious if this is purely aesthetics for pictures, or if its actually recommended.

  • Cass Gilbert

    It’s definitely not recommended (fitting the clamp also scores some of the reflective finish) – though no doubt fine for the odd day here and there. Everyone else at the event was just there for day rides, so it wasn’t really an issue. Logan and I were the only ones to hang onto our demo bikes for an extra couple of days, to go off and camp…

  • Harley Raylor

    LOL! Noted!

  • arboristbytrade

    Ok cool. The Salsa woodchipper bars will probably be comparable. With the cruzero 650 wheelset, how big of tires would you be able to run on this bike? And is it designed to run both 700cc and 650b wheels?

  • DamagedSurfer

    Great first impressions! I saw this bike over on the Radavist. I’ve followed the designer (Erik Nohlin) for a couple of years and the guy rips. So his designs get put to the test. I’m sure he beat up a prototype at Henry Coe. I briefly owned an Awol while waiting for my custom cross bike to be built and thought it was a solid all-round steed, just not what I was looking to ride on a daily basis. I sold it to a guy on CL and he keeps sending me pics of awesome trips he’s been taking.

    Yet again, I’m mystified at such high gearing on a bike that by all appearances is meant for loaded touring both on and off road. I guess Big S figures it’s adequate for what most riders want day-to-day, and decided to leave it to the individual rider to swap out the front ring for more adventurous pursuits. Anyway, I’m stoked to see the industry is pushing more bikes that are just about having fun and exploring. That’s never a bad thing. I remember how stoked I was the first time I rode a drop bar bike on rough double and single track. I felt like a badass that I’m decidedly not.

  • Joseph Meiser

    Sgtrobo,

    The Vaya has rack mounts that will take most racks, such as Tubis and others, front and rear in addition to fender mounts. I’ll give you that we went proprietary on bikes like Marrakesh and Fargo where we also make frame configuration specific racks that mount using a larger bolt with more strength.

    Marrakesh and AWOL would be closer competitors, where this and Vaya are comparable.

  • Michael Lowther

    haha of course! To some riding to the grocery is an adventure. Mixed terrain is what I am looking to conquer and 28c tires on a road bike is alright, but there’s more to offer in WNC than that can obviously handle. I wonder what would pull me towards the Sequoia over the Diverge or even the RLT. Gears, frame, clearance….all things to consider and weigh. The Sequoia is def. on my shortlist now.

  • Michael Lowther

    this is great to know. I am the same height and inseam. thanks!

  • sgtrobo

    sorry I was talking about the Fargo. The higher quality steel on the RLT9 and the Sequoia (with the resultant lower weight) are appealing to me.

    That said, I absolutely LOVE my Cutthroat and my wife loves her new Fargo.

  • sgtrobo

    great points Logan. Talk to me about the rear dropout design if you can, what do you like better about it?

  • Harley Raylor

    I asked the same question on another site that reviewed the bike and got this response. Ideally I hope to try both sizes. “I’m 6′ 2″ and rode a 58 Sequoia at the event, but I’m sure I could have fit on a 61 as well. I would definitely think you’d be better off on the 61 as well, unless you want a very low position and a long stem like a road bike.”

  • Cass Gilbert

    Yes, the 2x drivetrain of the Elite certainly lends itself more to bikepacking on a regular basis. There’s a real trend towards 1x drivetrains. On the Sequoia it worked fine, but I’d make some adjustments if it was my go-to bikepacking bike.

    The other thing that always mystifies me, in so many manufacturers’ studio/marketing photos, is how high the saddle is set up in relation to the handlebars – the Sequoia included. Maybe it looks better? But for multi-day riding, it seems kind of crazy to promote that ride position, especially if you intend to use the drops regularly.

    There’s definitely a sense that Eric Nohlan is a passionate rider/tourer who pours his heart into the bikes he designs – whether the results are to your liking or not.

  • Shutupandride

    I’m interested in the smaller sizes of this bike. Seems to be a big jump between the 52 and 54. What was Sarah’s take on her 52cm? How tall is she again? I’m 5’7″, I’ve got short legs, and an equally short torso. I guess you could say I’m a proportionally short dude.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Actually, there’s some give and take on both. On one hand, the solid dropout of the Sequoia (pic below) is appealing, vs the open driveside design on the RLT. But, the RLT has a QR thru-axle and the Sequoia is it’s own beast that requires a tool to disengage it.

  • Cass Gilbert

    According to the AWOL review, she’s:
    Height: 5’5”
    Weight: 125 lbs
    Inseam: 30”

    Sarah may well chime in!

  • http://peterhanchak.com Peter Hanchak

    Any idea when the 650b x 47 version of the Sawtooth tire will be available to purchase?

  • Theresa Francesconi

    Was Sarah able to use both of the bottle cages on the inside of the 52cm frame with the framepack?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Check out the middle portrait above… she had a different full frame pack.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Sounds about right to me. On this type of bike, it’s nice to have a higher front end, rather than going all racey racey.

  • DamagedSurfer

    Cass,
    I never noticed the saddle to bar drop until now, but damn you’re right. What an aggressive position! I’m sure I’ll notice it all over the place now.

    I definitely see utility in a 1x set up, and am seriously considering it for my bikepacking rig, just in a lower front ring, like 30t or 32t. For the sake of simplicity, I’m willing to sacrifice a bit on the high end, but not the low when it comes to loaded bikepacking.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    They said the Sawtooth would be available mid-August. But they haven’t mentioned the 650b.

  • http://peterhanchak.com Peter Hanchak

    Awesome. Thanks!

  • Gringo

    While it would go against standard road spec, I would think that a 15mm front axle would be a no brainer in order to allow use of a hub dynamo. I am curious how they will justify that decision.

  • jdremote

    Hey Cass what brand shorts are the ones you are wearing? Thanks

  • Lewy

    Great review. I can see one of these in my future if I ever decide to go back to drop bars. Your site is sending me broke. It made be buy a Krampus and an ECR and now I want this too :-)

  • Cass Gilbert

    I believe the 650b version of the Sawtooth is available in the Spring (maybe as early as Feb). But just checking.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Certainly, a very different machine than an ECR and Krampus! I’m still a Plus fan myself – nothing beats really big tires for exploration potential – but I’d love to have a Sequoia for getting out quickly and covering some miles.

  • Cass Gilbert

    These are the Endura Singletrack v3. I did a review of the v2 recently, which I really like. The v3 is comfortable and a nice, relatively lightweight trail short, but it looses a lot of the burlier, travel-friendly features I really liked.

  • Cass Gilbert

    I’m not sure, but perhaps the likes of SP or SON will bring something out? Given the routing in the fork, I’m hoping something might be in the pipeline (though this is conjecture on my part).

  • Theresa Francesconi

    Thank you!

  • Peter

    Hi There are a few people making a 15mm to 12mm sleeve so that you can use a 15mm x 100mm hub in any 12mm x 100mm fork.
    I hope this is a help.
    :-)

  • Lewy

    Exactly the same reason I want one. It’s good to have variety.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Yes, both wheel sizes. Clearance is for 47s (with fenders) in a 650b. More details in the post…

  • Kristoffer NRJ

    I WISH a fork like that were available for custom builds. Carbon with eyelets for fender and bags… Any ideas? And wow… this bike is expensive compared to Alpkit Sonder Camino Titanium with similar builds.

  • DamagedSurfer

    Hey Kristoffer, this offering from Rodeo Labs may work for you. I would contact them.

    http://www.rodeo-labs.com/rodeospork/

  • Peter

    Hi thanks for the great review
    I got to ride one yesterday and ordered one today :-)
    It’s going to replace my Jones Plus! yes replace my Jones Plus because the 24″ is just a little to big for me.
    I do have a Jones Diamond and with a Sequoia Expert i’ll have all my planned Bikepacking trips covered
    :-)

  • Harry Major

    How would you compare this against the very similar looking niner you tested out a few months back. Does either one stand out in any way?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Check out the comments thread about 10 down…

  • Chris Ingram

    hi, I need some help…I’m torn between the sequoia and the ritchey swiss cross….i see great things in the sequoia, specifically its touring ability and wonder if the swiss cross could deliver the same?? your thoughts please

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Hi Chris. Really hard to say given that we haven’t tried the Ritchey. On first glance it looks more oriented to cyclocross racing, based on the look of the geometry.

  • Peter

    Hi maybe I can help?
    I have had a Swiss Cross and it was a great bike for CX and fast dirt roads.
    But after a short ride last week the Sequoia Expert is better for dirt roads with potholes and bumps etc.
    Why? Because it comes with bigger tyres at 42mm and their is room for 45mm tyres with room for mud etc left.
    Plus unlike the Swiss Cross their are more bottle mounts, rack mounts, and I just liked the ride better.
    Plus it’s designed by Eric and this team ☺

  • Stephen Poole

    Hi Cass! The Schmidt hubs already exist, in 28/32° black Centrelock; PJW has a few. Any idea on what max 650b width might fit?

  • Stephen Poole

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I’d buy a fork if I could get one.

  • Tim

    @disqus_j4kJRS1ELs:disqus If you’re selling the Jones Plus I could be interested… I think you’re in NZ from other comments? I currently ride an AWOL but have wound up doing more off road than on – hence thinking a plus might be a better fit. Let me know and we can see if it’s worth pursuing… would be happy with rolling body or whatever really. Cheers!

  • Peter

    Hi @tim Yes I’m selling my Jones Plus because it’s just too big for me and I love me new Jones Diamond 29″er more for most of the riding i’m doing.
    Yes I’m in New Zealand and at this point in time not looking to sent overseas.
    If your in NZ all good.
    I do have someone thinking about buying her off me at this point in time, But it’s still for sale.
    :-)

  • Tim

    Cool. I’m in CHCH. What did you have in mind price-wise? Feel free to email if easier tim(at)make.nz

  • Peter

    Hi @Tim ì email you.
    ?

  • Chris Ingram

    Thanks Peter. I’m moving to South Island NZ early next year and want something that’s as capable and quick on the large chip roads in NZ as it would be hitting a gravel road/forest single track. Given NZ is quite small the need for bike packing equipment isn’t the absolute main consideration (although I like all the places to put bottle cages/racks)…the main consideration is which would be best to take on the road through to off-road, especially in winter with lots of wet or black ice on the roads. Any thoughts? I appreciate it. BTW, just noticed you’re in NZ…I’ll be living in Geraldine and whilst it’s all good riding my road bikes in summer down there I don’t feel the same way in winter and want to explore up unsealed roads a bit more including doing alps to ocean and otago rail trails…but still want to be going quick

  • Peter

    Hi Chris
    Geraldine and the South Island are a great place to live and ride :-)
    I live in Taupo NZ the best place in NZ to live for Mountain Biking and a little warmer.
    As for which bike I have ordered for myself a Sequoia Expert to ride the same roads as you have listed. We have big chip roads and gravel roads with big potholes about Lake Taupo plus like in the South Island A long way from one water stop to the next. Once you are here I think you may start Bikepacking because we have some great over nights rides into the hill’s.

  • Harley Raylor

    Just noticed that the prices for the Sequoia have jumped up significantly on their website. $4500 for the expert and $2800 for the elite instead of the originally posted $3500 and $2500. Hoping it’s just a glitch on the site.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Hm. This is the prices we were told. I will check. That is a big jump…

  • Cass Gilbert

    I’m not sure where you’re looking, but I’m seeing $3500, $2000, and $1300… as listed in the post.

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/adventure/sequoia

  • Harley Raylor

    My bad! Somehow I ended up on the Australian site and saw those prices in AUS currency.

  • Andrew Spurlin

    I am hijacking this tire question since it looks like it has been answered. Do you guys have any recommendations for tires similar to the Sawtooth that would handle being run tubeless and on a wider rim like a Stan’s Flow EX? I’m trying to piece together a commuter from parts lying around (almost entirely MTB). The Sawtooth looks nice, but it doesn’t appear to be available.

  • Phil

    What bottom bracket does the Sequoia take? I’m a bit confused with the crankset using a “PF30 System Interface” and then the bottom bracket being “FSA MegaEvo, threaded.” Thank you for your help!

  • Eric

    What is the reviewer’s height? I am 6’2″ ish with a 34 inseam wondering about the fit

  • Cass Gilbert

    I expect you’d want the 61″ for a comfortable, all day ride position.

  • Andrew Holybee

    awesome reviews guys you are putting out some high quality writing and very informative too thanks.

  • darcycle

    Do you think the seatpost will be okay with a Revelate Terrapin?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Definitely. Put a wind or two of electrical tape where the contact/rub will be…

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Thanks!

  • darcycle

    Thanks, already have the bag – waiting for a Sequioa Expert to hit these shores.

  • Martin

    Good review. I’m looking at the Sequoia for a good all rounder here in the South West of the U.K. Think your review has convinced me to part with my hard earned!! Thanks

  • Ondrej Broz

    Great review. Do you think it makes sense to have this with set of narrower wheels for more tarmac based journeys? Thanks.

  • Phil

    Such a geat review!
    Considering buying this bike for my wife who’s currently riding my old beat up ALAN in s52.
    Looking at the pics of Sarah next to the s52 Sequoia i’m left wondering wether the size 50 can even accomodate a saddlebag and/or framebag??
    I guess the real question for Sarah is “what’s your hight and inseam?” to put the picture of you and the saddlebag into context
    Cheers

  • Nate justice

    I’m looking at getting into bike packing and I’m especially interested in Specialized and Salsa. My heart was set on the AWOL but this review has me thinking….I really appreciate the free content. It’s very informative and well written!

  • Matt Phipps

    So between this an the Niner RLT Steel, I get the impression that the Niner is slightly higher reviewed. There isn’t much of a “rating” but I wonder if anyone can chime in on the comparison of the two for an all around bikepacking / touring bike??

  • Andy quinn

    This review is spectacular, I think I have read it 5 or 6 times, but just made it this far into the comments. I am 6’4″ish, 34-35 inseam, and a big fella at 260 lbs. The stack measurement on the 61cm Sequoia has me a little worried about needing to much angle on my stem, but perhaps this is ameliorated a little by the riser drop bars? As a 34.5 inseam rider, were you at the minimum insertion point on the seat post? The slanted top tube makes for a lot of seat post showing. I put in a order for an Elite 61 cm, fingers crossed I fit it!! This bike is RADICAL.

  • Gabriele Noziglia

    Hey Cass! Thanks for all the info here. Can I ask what’s your height? Thanks!

  • Cass Gilbert

    I think the wheelset provided is a great all rounder – for both tarmac and dirt.

  • Cass Gilbert

    I’m 6’1″. I tend to size up with bikes I plan to tour with if I’m between two sizes (which I often am), as I like a higher front end and a larger framepack. If necessary, I’ll fit a shorter stem to bring in the reach.

  • Cass Gilbert

    I don’t think the seat post was maxxed out.

    It’s possible my test bike had the fork steerer cut down – manufacturers often seem to to that. If it was my own bike, I’d have fitted a stem with more rise to it – Specialized do some nice ones that are adjustable, depending on how you organise the position of the shim:

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/components/comp-proset-multi-stem/90497

  • Gabriele Noziglia

    Thanks for getting back Cass. I really appreciate it. I’m 6’2 with super long legs and feet and I I’m always between sizes too. Your answer finally confirmed that I need a 61cm frame. I always need to have a ton of seat post showing and I really hate when the seat to handlebar drop is too steep.

  • Achim Später

    I am a 6′ guy. Had the chance to ride a 56 size Sequoia. I like this bike a lot, but I think a 58 frame size would be a better choice. What do you think?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    I’m 6′ even and rode a 58… fit me perfectly.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Sorry for the delay. Not sure exactly… that is odd, but it’s what Specialized lists on their spec.

  • Peter

    Hi Phil the BB is the old standard of BSA 68mm wide.
    With the FSA Mega EVO you can fit some oversized 30mm axle Cranksets.
    I hope this helps you
    I love my Sequoia Expert :)

  • darcycle

    Just received mine. Did you set this up tubeless?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    They are both really good; and they have a similar feel. It’s honestly hard to say which I’d prefer. I think you’d be happy with either. I would recommend paying close attention to the parts spec and which drivetrain fits your style of riding better.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    These were tubed for these rides, unfortunately. Yes, I would convert to tubeless immediately. Did the wheels come taped?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Thanks!

  • darcycle

    No, they’re not tubeless ready unfortunately. I thought they would be given that the tyres are. There are some holes close to the rim wall so it’s going to take a few strips of tape.

  • Peter

    The standard Sequoia Expert rims are not designed to be tubeless.
    Maybe can with same Stan’s No Tubes rubber tapes?
    I was a little disappointed that it’s not tubeless ready.
    Planning to rebuild wheels with tubeless ready rims.

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