Specialized Sequoia Elite Bike Review

Specialized Sequoia Elite Bike

If you are a rider who obsesses about weight, then the Sequoia is not a bike for you. If, however, you’re interested in a machine that’s capable of taking on all roads in all conditions, then read on.

The wheels are a big contributing factor in the Sequoia’s 11 kg-plus weight, combined with its beefy tires they make for the heaviest wheelset here. But there are enough sweet touches in the design to make up for it. Featuring 32 spokes front and rear for added strength, each spoke is also exactly the same length, meaning that replacements are easy to find as well as install – handy if you plan to take this on a big expedition.

The box section profile adds strength and the internal 25 mm measurement gives the tire a wide shape intended to reduce puncture risk. It’s also pleasing to see both rim and tire are tubeless ready, meaning a very simple swap should you wish to go tubeless. The 38c Sawtooth tires are surprising in how effective they are all round, being quiet on tarmac roads while offering more grip than we expected when tested on gravel.

The frame, meanwhile, is clearly designed for big adventures and features no less than five bottle-cage mounts! One under the downtube, two on the fork and two within the main triangle. And one of those is even a three-bolt compatible cage, meaning its capable of taking an extra-large bottle.

External cables and an external bottom bracket are other touches that demonstrate this bike’s durability -ease of maintenance is clearly a big factor for the Sequoia.

When riding the gearing and weight makes more spirited rides harder, but that’s not what this bike’s designed for. Climbs can be seen off thanks to wide gearing but there’s no point trying to attack KOMs as the weight does take a fair bit of momentum out of your efforts.

Downhill it’s a different story, on or off-road its relaxed riding position leaves you feeling it’ll just power down and create its own line. The big tires certainly help, but the lack of flex creates a reassuring sense of stability that becomes readily apparent at speed.

Good

Descending confidence – Downhill it feels more like a mountain bike at times.

Tank-like unstoppability – It handles the roughest of roads.

Mounts for all options – Mudguards? Racks? Bottle cages? All boxes are ticked.

Not so good

Value – The price could be better given the components.

Bar tape – The denim-style bar tape is quite rough to touch, although swapping it would be both cheap and easy to do.

Paint job – That reflective coating divides opinion.

Conclusion

While it can do ‘normal’ rides the Sequoia’s weight means it will never be as fast as a more traditional bike, and Specialized’s Diverge is a better option for gravel rides. If you fancy riding around the world, however, the Sequoia will take you to places that other bikes simply cannot reach.

Specs

Size/weight: 54cm/11.1 kg

Frame: Specialized Premium Cromo

Fork: Specialized FACT Carbon

Groupset: SRAM Apex 1

Brakes: SRAM Apex

Chainset: Praxis Alba, 38t

Cassette: Sunrace11-42

Handlebar: Specialized Adventure Gear Hover

Stem/seat-post: Specialized Alloy

Saddle: Specialized Anza

Wheels: Specialized Hayfield,700c

Tires: Specialized Sawtooth, 700x38c (measured 39 mm)

Rating 8.0/10

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