Love ’em or hate ’em, Specialized was in it to win it with the Sequoia. As we found during our review last year, it’s an impressive bike with a lot of attention to detail. While the 2018 Sequoia didn’t change too much, there a few tweaks we thought deserved mention in part four of our steel “adventure” bikes news.

Posted by Logan Watts

  • Highlights
  • Frame/fork: “Premium Cr-Mo”
  • Angles (58cm): 72° Headtube, 73.3° Seattube
  • Bottom Bracket: 68mm BSA Threaded
  • Hub specs: 12x142mm / 100x12mm Thru-axle
  • Seatpost: 27.2mm
  • Max tire size: 700x45mm
  • Price: $3300 Expert/$2000 Elite/$1350 Base

When we reviewed the Sequoia last summer, it was hard to not be impressed. The Sequoia has an excellent geometry — Adventure Geometry as they call it — as well a ton of nice features. These include provisions for three water bottles on the frame, plus two more on the color-matched carbon fork, tubeless ready wheels, surprisingly capable Sawtooth tires (launched simultaneously), and even a few particulars, such as the use of a single spoke length on both front and rear, drive and non-driveside, simplifying the process of carrying spares on a longer tour.

The 2018 Specialized Sequoia shares all of those elements as well as a couple spec changes that seem like direct answers our ‘cons’ in the review. Namely, on the Expert model which we tested, Specialized replaced the 42T chainring with a 38T ring for better gearing while bikepacking. They also swapped out the carbon seatpost with an alloy version, making it a little more friendly with a seat pack such as their own Burra Burra or the Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion.

Additional changes include a few new color choices — Sierra/Charcoal Reflective on the mid-range Elite model, Black/Tropical Teal fade on the Expert, and Black/White Mountains fade on the Pro Module frameset. The latter also has a new reflective satin clear coat which is a pretty cool technology, and according to Specialized is “a great safety addition”.

2018 Specialized Sequoia

2018 Specialized Sequoia

The base model Sequoia stays relatively the same, built around a 2×9 drivetrain featuring Shimano Sora shifters and front derailleur, an Alvio rear derailleur, and an FSA Vero crankset with 48/32T rings matched to a 12-36t cassette. It has the same Cr-Mo fork with internal light cable routing, flat disc mount, and mounts for water bottles, rack and fender. For stopping power, it’s fixed with Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes. With the same wheels and handlebar as higher end models, at $1350 the entry level Sequoia comes in at a pretty good price.

2018 Specialized Sequoia Elite

2018 Specialized Sequoia Elite

The mid-range Elite gets a new color way called Sierra/Charcoal Reflective as shown above. The fork is a tapered “FACT” carbon with internal light cable routing, flat brake mount, and two pairs of water bottle bosses and rack and fender mounts. It also features a 2×11 Shimano 105 drivetrain for $2000.

2018 Specialized Sequoia Pro Frameset

2018 Specialized Sequoia Pro Module (Frameset)

Specialized also offers the Sequoia as a frameset with a carbon seat post and handlebar. It’s worth noting that on the Expert and Pro Module frames, Specialized uses a combination of heat-treated custom-butted “premium Cr-Mo” and stainless steel size-specific tubing (drive-side chainstay is stainless). As mentioned, the Pro Module gets a Black/White Mountains fade paint job and the new reflective satin clear coat.

2018 Specialized Sequoia Expert

2018 Specialized Sequoia Expert

At $3300, the high end 2018 Sequoia dropped $200 from the 2017 model and now comes in Black/Tropical Teal fade paint scheme with a complete 1×11 SRAM Force groupset. Here’s the full build kit for the Expert.

  • RIMS 700C disc, 15mm rim depth, 25mm IW, 32h
  • FRONT HUB Cruzero front hub, anodized
  • REAR HUB Cruzero rear hub, anodized
  • CRANKSET SRAM Force 1
  • CHAINRINGS X-Sync 38T
  • BOTTOM BRACKET SRAM GXP, 68mm, no spacer
  • SHIFT LEVERS SRAM Force hydraulic
  • REAR DERAILLEUR SRAM Force 1, Type 2.1, long cage, 11-speed
  • CASSETTE Shimano XT, 11-speed, 11-42t
  • CHAIN KMC X11SL, 11-speed w/ Missing Link™
  • FRONT BRAKE SRAM Force 1, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
  • REAR BRAKE SRAM Force 1, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
  • HANDLEBARS Specialized Adventure Gear Hover
  • TAPE Anza canvas tape
  • STEM Specialized Pro SL, alloy, 4-bolt
  • SADDLE Anza, hollow Cr-Mo rails, aluminum bumper
  • SEATPOST Please fix
  • SEAT BINDER Please fix
  • PEDALS Nylon, 105x78x28mm, loose balls w/ reflectors
  • SPOKES DT Swiss w/ Self-locking threads, 2.0/1.8/2.0
  • INNER TUBES Standard, Presta valve
  • TIRES Specialized Adventure Gear Sawtooth, 2Bliss Ready, 700x42mm

If you are interested in the Sequoia, make sure to read our review from last year. And check out Specialized.com for more. Also, check out part 1, 2, and 3 from this news series.

  • Wes Newman

    I have the base model Sequoia and it’s a great bike. Somewhat heavy, but very comfortable. My one gripe is the headtube/fork/headset. It’s a bit of unicorn. All of these models have a tapered headtube, but it’s 1-1/8 to 1-3/8, not 1-1/2. The base model fork has a straight 1-1/8 steerer, but has some bonded race on the fork and unsealed bearings. There is no way to upgrade the bearing to sealed with this fork, and replacing the fork is near impossible due to the weird taper. I tried to purchase the carbon fork/cup/bearing, but my shop said the fork is a warranty only item and they can’t get them right now anyways….Spring for the Elite.

  • Good point, thanks for sharing…

  • Knew you would have to include this one Logan. It felt really good when I threw a leg over it last week. The only thing I didn’t really like is the proprietary headset/fork that @disqus_ayfYoIulKZ:disqus mentioned below. It would be nice if it was available and fit more bikes. Good job on these 4 bikes. They are all at the top of my list at the moment.

  • steve bell
  • Bernard Doria

    just purchased the Elite yesterday from my LBS. ordered a 52, Im 5’7″. they said with expedited shipping it will take 2-3 weeks to arrive here in Hawaii.

  • Justin Valois

    My LBS here on Maui stated 4 days for shipping…. (that was today)

  • Bernard Doria

    Im still waiting on my bike. Paid the expedited shipping too. They updated me and said it would be in next week. Asked them today.

  • Justin Valois

    Well, We definitely have to learn patience on these islands…. Just seems odd we both got different stories….
    Also the 4 days is just how long it takes, without paying extra for shipping at my LBS. Did you ask any of the other specialized dealers around you?

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