The Specialized Sequoia created a whole lot of excitement last year when it was first unveiled. Essentially a toned-down version of the AWOL, the 2018 Specialized Sequoia bikes are an excellent choice for bikepacking, light touring and gravel riding. Given the specification is built to be light-ish, I generally recommend carrying a load of no more than 15kg (33lbs) on adventures with these bikes.
The carbon fork is one of the highlights on the Sequoia Elite and Expert models. With a tapered steerer, internal cable routing, internal light routing, rack and fender mounts, a thru-axle and ‘flat mount’ disc brake tabs – it looks great and is really functional too. The fork can even squeeze in a 50mm tyre! The entry-level Sequoia misses out on this great carbon fork, instead using a steel replacement to keep costs down.
The Sequoia models are available in six different sizes. Each frame size uses a different blend of steel tubing to achieve the same ride ‘feel’, and the frames even use threaded bottom bracket shells (woo!). Eyelets are everywhere, including some mounts for a rear rack, fenders and a third bidon cage under the downtube. I particularly like the way the brake and gear cables are managed really neatly under the downtube.
Let’s take a closer look.
The 2018 Specialized Sequoia Light Touring Bikes
The top model, the Sequoia Expert, is built with a SRAM Force 1×11 groupset which includes hydraulic brakes and a carbon crankset. The 38t front chainring and 11-42t cassette yields a 25 to 96″ gear range which will be suitable for most dirt road riding. The flagship model uses a Specialized Cruzero wheelset which is designed to have the same length spokes on both the drive and non-drive sides, for both the front and rear wheels. Pretty cool! The 2018 Specialized Sequoia Expert has dropped $200 for 2018 and is now US $3300.
The mid-range Sequoia Elite comes with a Shimano 105 11-speed road groupset with hydraulic brakes. With an FSA Gossamer Sub-Compact crankset shifting between a 48/32t rings, the smallest gear matches that of the Expert (25″), but this bike has a better top-end gear ratio of 122″. Surprisingly, the mid-range Sequoia Elite received an even bigger price cut (20%) than the top model for 2018. You can get the 2018 Specialized Sequoia Elite for US $2000.
The entry-level Sequoia is still a killer bike. It’s built around Shimano Sora 9-speed road shifters and an Alivio 9-speed mountain bike derailleur. This convenient matchup allowed Specialized to fit a 36t cassette up the back, which when mated to the sub-compact cranks achieves a 25-111″ gear range. The base model uses the same decent wheelset as the Expert, as well as many of the components. You can ride the 2018 Specialized Sequoia for US $1350.
Not taken by any of the complete Sequoia bikes? Well, Specialized is offering the Sequoia frameset with a carbon CG-R seatpost, bar, stem and headset. Build it up however you like! You can get the 2018 Specialized Sequoia Pro Module for US $1500.
How Is The Sequoia Different To The Other Specialized Adventure Models?
Sequoia vs. Diverge
– The maximum tyre width is 10mm wider on the Sequoia (35 vs. 45C)
– The Diverge is shorter in frame reach by ~10mm, but similar in frame stack
– The Diverge has steering that is quicker and more nimble like a road bike
– The Diverge is 10-15mm shorter than the Sequoia in the chainstay
– The Diverge uses the elastomer sprung ‘Future Shock’ at the stem
– The Diverge comes in aluminium or carbon, while the Sequoia comes in steel
Sequoia vs. AWOL
– The maximum tyre width is 5mm narrower on the Sequoia (50 vs. 45C)
– The AWOL is similar in frame reach, but taller in frame stack by ~30mm
– The AWOL has steering that is slower but more stable like a mountain bike
– The AWOL is 25mm longer than the Sequoia in the chainstay
– The AWOL comes with a steel fork, while the Sequoia comes with a carbon fork in the top-two models
Want To Compare This Touring Bike With Dozens of Others?
Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. This guide is updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!
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