Call it a Comeback: Specialized Brings Back the Sequoia and its Versatile Design

The Specialized Sequoia was first designed by Tim Neenan in the early 1980’s. Later, Jim Merz improved upon the design of this versatile bicycle. While the 1980’s steel Sequoia had a certain panache, the aluminum models of the 2000’s somehow lost their sex appeal. Maybe it was the industry at the time, or maybe it was the “hybrid-looking” silhouette of the bike, but whatever the reason, the Sequoia died out in the 2000’s. In its time however, the steel Sequoia from the 1980’s received a cult-like following.

“In the early 2000’s, Bicycling Magazine asked several industry luminaries what they thought the best bike ever built was. Grant Petersen, founder of Rivendell Bicycles, nominated the 1983 Specialized Sequoia.” Adventure Cycling, August 2003.

Fast forward to modern times. The cycling industry is enamored with the outdoors. Bikepacking, touring, bicycle camping and S24 rides are all the rage. Hell, even Adventure Cycling is celebrating the Bikecentennial this year! All the brands have taken a stab at designing the best-suited bike for the aforementioned activities. While Specialized wasn’t by any means the first to the party in terms of “adventure bicycles,” they have staked their claim to the movement.

Beautiful Bicycle: Erik's Di2 Alfine 11 Peacock-Nuke Specialized AWOL

It began with the AWOL, Erik Nohlin’s design which would eventually take him on the Transcontinental, Oregon Outback and numerous other excursion style rides and races. The AWOL was designed to be a touring bike, fully loaded or lightly packed, it was more than capable to tackle almost all conditions with its massive clearances and rugged construction. While the AWOL didn’t break any new ground in the industry, it gave Specialized a firm foundation to launch their Adventure lineup.

Erik's Sparkle Abyss: the Custom Skid Sled

Enter the rebirth of the Sequoia. Nohlin wanted a bike that was faster on its feet than the AWOL, so he designed a one-off made from custom butted, CroMo steel and rode it for over a year, making notes on improvements. We saw it before on this very website, just rendered in a sparkle black abyss coat of paint. Taking his notes, his bike and his knowledge to the department head, he pushed for the rebirth of the Sequoia but he didn’t want to simply take an AWOL frame and add on new parts from a catalog. He wanted to design a new bike from the ground up.

Specialized Sequoia-2

A Thousand Decisions Properly Made

The original marketing of the 1980’s Sequoia boasted the quote “A thousand decisions properly made.” This became the mantra for Erik, now the Sequoia’s third designer, following Tim Neenan and Jim Merz. Erik knew to make a bike that would ride light on its feet like brevets and similar races required, he’d have to start with the tubing. The Sequoia uses custom drawn tubing for each frame size, from 50cm to 61cm and it shows. There’s also a custom fork, with rack, fender and cargo cage mounts, as well as a new headset (that black block under the head tube) If you lift the bike up, it feels lighter than the AWOL. How light? I’m not sure exactly, since we didn’t have time to weigh them this weekend.

Once the tubing was dialed in, so to say, Erik looked at where the industry was heading. Thru axles, flat mounts, internal routing, and wide range 1x drivetrain systems had taken over the drop bar market, making a bike like this almost as capable as a mountain bike in terms of gear range. The Cobble Gobbler post and its funky design is met at the cockpit with their new drop bar, which has 20mm rise, flair and a shallow drop. Erik even designed a new rim, the Cruzero. A wide, tubeless-ready rim with a classic style. There are rack and fender mounts, as well as braze ons for a third bottle cage. Other details include internal routing for generator lamps, clearance for a 45mm tire, and new thru-axle hubs. Oh and that black denim bar tape and saddle! Even the paint, called White Mountain, inspired from Erik’s venture into the White Mountains during an outing with Yonder Journal, was new to their catalog.

Specialized Sequoia

Riding the Juggernaut

While our ride got cut short, due to Erik’s wreck, I did get to spend a good amount of time on the Sequoia, which shares almost the same geometry as my Firefly. Off the bat, I could tell it was one of Erik’s designs, who likes to front-load his touring or camping bikes. In the size 58cm, it has a 72º head angle and a 73.3º seat angle with a 50mm rake and 65mm of trail. The tubing felt lively and the front end felt stiff. For a bike this old in legacy, you might even say it felt spry.

Specialized Sequoia

I like the 42mm tire platform on bikes like this. They’ll roll on the street just fine, thanks to the new 42mm Sawtooth tires who have the same rolling resistance as a 32mm tire of similar tread, and they’ll take on dirt with confidence-inspiring cornering. Unlike a lot of the “slick” tires of this size, the Sawtooth bites on loose corners, instead of skidding or sliding out. This coupled with the 65mm of bottom bracket drop, and a 430mm chainstay makes for a fast bike on the descent that’s stable yet responsive when you need it to be.

Specialized Sequoia-11 copy

FORK YEAH!

The most impressive feature of this bike is the fork. Thru-axle, internal routing, flat mount disc brakes, hidden fender mounts, drilled crown, cargo cage attachments and designed to carry a front load with rack mounts. All with around 50mm of clearance. This fork is what everyone has been asking the industry to make for some time now. I’ve even requested certain companies to make it out of frustration. Unfortunately, it won’t be available separately though. Why oh why!?

Specialized Sequoia

What Is It?

These days, the industry wants to label every drop bar bike with bigger tires a “gravel bike” and I’m sick of it. So what is the Sequoia? A road bike? Cross bike? Touring bike? Brevet bike? It is whatever you want it to be. If I owned one, I’d treat it like my Firefly. It’d go on bikepacking trips in Japan, or dirt rides in Los Angeles and everything in between. Logging miles on the road is also the norm for a machine like this. No one here in Los Angeles goes on “gravel rides,” we just ride all roads. Paved, deteriorated chipseal, fire, frontage and forest service roads. Our frames, tires and gearing are all designed around this type of riding and now, the Sequoia would fit right in next to my already solid stable. The Sequoia is a production bike, made overseas that has addressed what many custom framebuilders are being requested to build for their customers, at half the price.

It’ll come in various build kit options and pricing tiers and will hit stores in August. As built here, it’ll run $3,500 at the Expert model or $1,200 for a frameset. Base complete for $1,200 and Elite complete in between those. As for the tires, bars and bar tape, expect those to be in stock in August.

  • Zac

    I hope they offer the frame separately. Soooooo many possibilities.

    • Zac

      Also, excellent location to shoot that bike! Bone white everything!

      • I wanted to shoot it against a ombre sunset with a fill flash / OCF but we didn’t have time with Erik’s hospital visit. The white background worked here though! Thanks for the compliment.

    • $1200 for F&F apparently.

    • According to BikeRadar, yes, but only the entry level which appears to have steel fork.

    • While the AWOL didn’t break any new ground in the industry, it gave Specialized a firm foundation to launch their Adventure lineup.

  • Mike Colby

    Considering the fact that my AWOL was stolen last week, I think may be looking at its replacement!

    One question: Does it come in Black?

    • According to BikeRadar, yes, but only the entry level which appears to have steel fork.

  • StaySaneSleepOutside

    Oh man, if only it had the awol’s tire clearance… I think I’ll still get an awol to run 2.0s w mud clearance.

  • Phil459

    Sounds a lot like a Crossrip to me

    • This is steel, thru-axle, front-loading specific with a dream carbon fork. The Crossrip to me looks like any number of “all road” bikes on the market.

      • Phil459

        Well spec wise this bike is newer. I’ll def. give you the through axel on it. However, I have been riding my crossrip with 42mm studded tires (during the winter), on gravel dirt and pavement, with fenders, full rear rack and paniers and front paniers. This bike might be better than my Rip, but what they say it does sounds an aweful like what I do on my Rip. (ie: a bit of everything)

        • Yeah, all I’m saying is the concept isn’t new. The Crossrip came after Salsa’s bikes, the AWOL and Niner’s RLT9. They’re all generally in the same category.

      • Justin Hughes

        Front-loading specific because of the bosses and drilled crown on the fork? 65mm of trail isn’t exactly ideal for front loads.

        Have they posted the price for the frameset option that comes with this carbon fork?

        • To reiterate: this isn’t a touring bike intended for fully-loading. That’s the AWOL’s territory. This is more intended for either a bikepacking front roll, cargo cage bags or a randonneur bag.

          • Justin Hughes

            Which I think is awesome. But, still, your second sentence doesn’t point to 65mm of trail being best. But, hey, I don’t work at Specialized.

          • Harley Raylor

            Understood regarding lighter load on the front compared to AWOL. Is there a recommended weight limit for how much gear can be safely carried over the fork on the Sequoia?

  • William Gurney

    Better be coming in matte muthafuckin black as well!

  • Cooper Mittelhauser

    Threaded or press fit BB?

    • Threaded. (photo 17)

      • Cooper Mittelhauser

        I’ve been cruising the comments and keep seeing mention of 650b/27.5 coming down the pipe. Do you know if that means 27.5 with a 2 inch tire or more in the 650bx48c realm?

  • Harley Raylor

    What size do you ride in AWOL? I’m an XL in AWOL and my Roubaix is a 58. Don’t think I’d be a 61 in this. Also, do you know if that fork will allow a for something like a small nitto rack to carry a swift Ozette rando bag?

    • I rode a 58cm in the Sequoia and XL in AWOL.

      • darcycle

        John, I ride a L in AWOL and a 56 Tarmac (120mm stem). Would you suggest a 56 in the Sequoia?

  • Here are some photos of the catalog:

    • I’ve been waiting to see these numbers since I first heard murmurs of this bike. You are the man for sharing this.

    • Nice stand-over height, my wife will be happy!

      • I’m questioning the accuracy of that number. That’s something like 300mm shorter than pretty much anything else similarly sized (looking at the 52). Seems…off.

        • Yep, I want to believe there is no error and those are real but you are right, those looks way lower than usual, if so, this bike has a very accentuated slooping.

          • Burn Dawg

            Hope that was a sample catalog. I can only imagine the number of those they print and send out every year to Specialized dealers and industry folks.

          • Iain Treloar

            If they’re doing a second print run of the catalogue, it’d be worth a proofread – ‘ample wheelbase’ rather than ‘amble’, presumably?

        • Burn Dawg

          Looks like they accidentally used the seat tube length instead of actual stand-over. Probably very similar stand-over to the AWOL with an extra size thrown in for a more finely tuned fit.

  • dan scheie

    Oooh, I want that black denim bar tape. My Newbaums tape is looking pretty haggard now and its definitely needs replacing. Can’t find it on the Specialized site though…

    • August.

      • dan scheie

        Just noticed the last sentence, maybe I should read the whole article before commenting. Thanks for the info!

  • David Butler

    Cool bike, where can I buy those tires?

    • They’ll be in stock in August, at dealers.

  • Anthony M. Garcia

    That fork is everything.

    • Alex Hillis

      Similar to the Rodeo Spork if you don’t want to buy a whole frameset. http://www.rodeo-labs.com/rodeospork/

      • Nice! Never heard of that!

        • Trevor Martin

          The Rodeo Labs guys are all solid dudes, working hard at making great products. I’d love to see some of their stuff make it to the site.

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

          • Anthony M. Garcia

            This is really great.

  • Ryan Jenkins

    Are they going to sell it with that sweet purple paint job?

    • That’s Erik’s old AWOL. Used as a conversational launching pad to describe the evolution of this bike.

      • Ryan Jenkins

        Damn. That is a really rad look.

        • sgtrobo

          seriously. White is….well…. *yawns*
          at least get some type of gunmetal or titanium/stainless steel type look

          • these photos don’t really capture the off-white / bone finish due to the direct sunlight and harsh shadows. It’s actually really nice.

          • Richard Lapierre

            Totally in agrement with you on this. White on a bike that gonna ride mostly on dirt road ? Not sure…. And it dosen’t make it stand out at all, maybe in real it look better.Anyway just my 2 cents.

          • stric

            Well, at least it’s not black (well, in the top model). I agree, white is not an ideal color for off road, but then again, I’m sick ant tired off all those black (carbon) bikes out there. In fact, it doesn’t look that bad in off-white.

        • Eric Hancock

          Seriously. That paint would make it hard to resist.

  • sgtrobo

    Wow, so I’ve been looking at a Niner RLT9 Steel (my LBS sells both Niner and Specialized). Only knock I have on the Niner is that it doesn’t have a good rear rack mount eyelets, you have to do the seat tube lock thing. This looks interesting, but a few questions:

    1. Does the highest model come ONLY in white? Is the black frame only aluminum? Or is there a steel black frame?
    2. What kind of steel is it? Reynolds 853-quality, like the RLT9 Steel? (yes, these 2 bikes are in direct competition)
    3. What size tires will the Sequoia fit along with a set of fenders? Doesn’t look like there’s enough room for the 42c Sawtooth tires and a fender
    4. Does the Elite come with Rival1 or Force1?
    5. Any info on the wheelset (internal diameter, weight, etc)?

    I cannot begin to tell you how intrigued I am right now. I was about 99% sure I was going to go with an RLT9 Steel, but the big S has piqued my interest here

    • 1. Only white in this model. It’s actually an off-white / bone / light grey. The black Base model is steel (none are aluminum) and it has a steel fork.
      2. It’s on-par with a Columbus or Reynolds. From what I can tell, on par with an 853.
      3. You can fit fenders tightly with the Sawtooth.
      4. Not sure.
      5. Not sure.

      • sgtrobo

        ok, so the bottom (black) one is also the same type of steel, but it also has a steel fork rather than what looks to be a fork that could compete with the Niner carbon or the Salsa Firestarter fork
        fenders *do* fit with the sawtooth’s but tight? No issue, as I would probably be very happy with a set of Trigger Pro 38c’s.
        If you hear anything about the specific drivetrain and wheelset, it’d be great to post it up. Thanks for the info this is really interesting stuff and right down my alley!

        • brennan

          It is a Force/Rival Mix – Force Shifters and Rear Der, but Rival Brakes. Also, Shimano Deore Cassette. Not much info on the wheels yet. In theory Spec will probably have a set of fenders designed for the bike that work with the Sawtooth tires similar to the Plug and Play fenders that already exist.

      • countingspokes

        Does Specialized usually say what type of steel they use? I’d be curious. I’m not a weight weenie or materials engineer but for my own edification. I’ve been looking at the new Renegade Exploit (Reynolds 631 frame) as the production all-around bike to get, but this bike really gets my interest too.

      • stric

        Are geometry charts available anywhere?
        Also, you mentioned internal cable routing through the fork, for generator hubs. Are these hubs (and possibly lights) included in any of the builds?

        • I posted some catalog photos below.

          • stric

            Thanks for the chart. Do you know if they will used Nickel plated steel like in original limited edition AWOL?

  • Trenton South

    Great photo set John. That new cockpit looks so tight, and I love that Erik designed cable routing below the downtube. This bike would rule for camping out at the cross course, race, then ride home!!

  • Rom Woodhouse

    I love my AWOL, but my god I want this. Also: I like the (what looks like) “AWOL II” branding on Erik’s black prototype.

  • recs

    Is that right rear dropout bolted at the chainstay; ie can it be opened to convert this to belt drive?

  • Tyler Shannon

    Any reason they went for a Specialized crank over the Sram one? This one looks kinda clunky, IMO

    • Andy

      It’s an FSA SL-K and yeah it looks like a big blob of carbon.

      • Agreed. It’s not my favorite. I’d put those new White Industries 1x cranks on it (when they come out.)

        • Tyler Shannon

          YOO, white industries 1x?! now we’re talkin!

          • Yeah, they were on a few NAHBS bikes. Curtis Inglis has been putting them through the wringer.

        • Frank

          yep yep yep I’ve been waiting for these as well! Can’t you gently lean on them for all of us sir John?!

    • It’s FSA. When compared to Force, it has more of a road q-factor, whereas the Force is a bit wider.

  • cork grips

    the other day someone asked me what kind of custom bike i would have made for me and feature-wise this is exactly what i described to them. purely because it wasn’t a bike that was on the market but here we are..

  • Mike Spadafora

    Accordring to Bike Rumor, Specialized has 650 B after market wheels for it as well

    • Coming later though. When they do a special edition frameset.

      • alex

        yummmm, how far in the future is that?

  • Sretsok

    Those bars are pretty bitchin’. The wheels pique my interest as well.

  • Tim Mendoza

    Is that handlebar available seperately? It’s sweet!

    • brennan

      Not quite sure yet. There appears to be a similar bar available separately, but it does not have the same flare. Can report back in a couple days.

  • brian105

    New headset ‘standard?’ Or just a new-to-spesh headset?

    • It’s just a Specialized headset. To keep the cost low, they made this, rather than machining the headtube for integrated headsets. You could put any 44mm headset (spec’d accordingly) on this bike.

      • brian105

        Killer, that’s what I was hoping.

        • And, by adding a semi integrated lower cup we saved tons of weight, it’s crazy how heavy fully tapered head tubes are.

          • Bert

            Hey Erik, did you guys do anything special to get the 36T cassette on the Sequoia Elite (longer B-tension screw or adapted/lengthened hanger) to clear the standard GS 105 RD?

          • I would have liked to know this as well @eriknohlin:disqus

  • Alta

    Will this be SCS spaced, 135, or 142? Is that any indication of what’s to come for Specialized? I love their bikes, but I’ve been a little apprehensive about investing in a frame with proprietary wheel spacing.

    • 142mm rear, which is where most thru-axle drop bar bikes are. There still isn’t “boost” for road / cross bikes so I doubt that’ll change anytime soon.

  • Rex Lombardi

    Wow, looks functional and the white is awesome. Could be off the pages of some design magazine. An architect´s bike ;)

  • Lohe Chang

    Nice. How is this different from the Diverge?

    • how is a sequoia different from an oak tree?

    • Michael McDowell

      A Diverge is aluminum or carbon. Doesn’t have near the tire clearance that the Sequoia does. A Sequoia can do touring duty.

  • jamesacklin

    Will it fit the 700c Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n Roads?

  • philip finden

    will there be a frame that has the awol dropouts for belts and single speeds?

  • Gianluca Mancia

    wow! finally it was release! just a week after I finished my protoawol! :)

    • It’s hard to go wrong with Archetypes and Nano 40s. Running the exact same combo on my makeshift gravel rig.

    • Hey Gianluca you finally finished it? Looks good!

    • Mike Colby

      Rad idea man! Which fork did you end up with?

      • Gianluca Mancia

        I don’t know the brand of the fork, but I think that’s the classic china fork that comes with most of the bicycle!

    • damn.. was thinking of doing the same.. nice job!

      • Gianluca Mancia

        do it! find a frame builder and replace the tubes, more funny and more simple than an awol (that I still use for touring) and a sequoia ;)

        • What’s wrong with my own tig welder? :)

  • Froste

    Tack Erik! My bikes will be for sale shortly to make room for this beauty. Expert Sequoia and a beater bike might be everything a boy needs.
    Now the fun begins to figure out what rack and lighting system I will use. The pizza rack is too much for my use. Perhaps a more classic rando rack + low riders, maybe a custom rack… Shutter precision or SON? Is there internal routing for a rear light too? Those new Compass 700c 44mm that I have heard rumors about would fit pretty nicely on this bad boy. Also those new S bikepacking bags look pretty dope, although i prefer to make my own.
    This is so exciting!

  • tim

    if I ever go back to a road bike, this would be it. man o man!

  • Benny Watson

    Glad to see this bike becoming available! Looks almost perfect. I’ll miss the taller head tube of my AWOL and I don’t like the higher BB, but overall it sounds great. Maybe the 650B wheel option would help get it lower.
    What BB standard is used?
    Love the versatility of the fork. How does it ride? More compliant than the Crux fork?

    • It’s a threaded BB. Depending on your tire choice, a 27.5 wheel might lower it a little. I haven’t spent much time on the Crux fork, but the Sequoia fork reminds me of my Whiskey.

      • Benny Watson

        Happy about the threaded BB. I guess the slight rise on the handlebar will help regain some of the lowered stack height relative to the AWOL.

  • Quoc Diep

    Will this bike be suitable for a woman currently riding a size 44CM Dolce? She’s about 4’10 and the smallest size I see in the comments section for the bikes catalog chart is a 50CM. Perhaps there are more sizes than the chart is showing? Would love to know! This bike looks awesome!

    • Boyseys Mum

      I think it will be too big for her, at 4’10 maybe a Surly Crosscheck in a 42 might fit or an Isla Cyclocross bike.

      • Comparing the stack and reach figures between the bikes, the Sequoia is 7mm longer and 15mm higher. Those kind of changes will be negated with a 60mm/-17 degree stem on the 50cm Sequoia. The bigger problem will be stand-over. The top tube works out to be a good 6-7cm higher, so she’ll have to be a little bit careful!

    • Brian Richard Walbergh

      Surly makes very small Stragglers with 650b wheels, Not quite as nice as this, but similar in spirit.

  • stric

    Erik must be reading my mind. I was about to go custom, building bike to similar specs, when this came out. Very nice! Almost perfect. If it proves to be as tough and durable as AWOL Transcontinental edition, it’ll be a killer bike.

    • John C.

      I was in the same boat… was seriously considering custom but now, this just might be it. Hits all the points.

    • kasual

      Right? Wanted a custom, but ended up on a Wolverine with money left to ball out on the group I wanted and got on the road for summer. Maybe custom, someday, but for now there are some amazing designs coming out of established manufacturers.

  • Justin Dodd

    This bike seems fantastic and it’s great to see Specialized building bikes like this. The only thing I would have liked is a slightly lower bb. I wonder if they had to do this to make sure it was compatible with 650 wheels. If they were running 75 mm of drop, I would bet that’s too low for a 650 tire.

    • That and they probably wanted this bike to ride more responsive. Higher BB = more stabile in the sense that a stable bike is one that corrects itself under you, with less hesitation. Like a ‘cross bike or XC racing bike. You lose some of that with a lower bottom bracket, which is found more on touring bikes, modern mtb and road bikes.

      • Jim Wood

        I’ve always been under the impression that a lower bottom bracket is more “stable” as in, it goes where you point it, and high bottom brackets, like those traditionally found on cross bikes, seem to make the bike “twitchy.” It seems that modern cross bikes are coming with more bottom bracket drop than they used to. I’m not a bike designer, but my road, touring, light touring, gravel, and town bikes have a drop between 7 and 7.5. 6 something seems like a really high bottom bracket. What am I missing?

        • Ive gotten into this discussion with designers and tech writers in the past. Stability, in terms of cycling anyway, refers to how a bike will correct itself under the path you choose. The more stabile, the more quickly the bike is to realign, meaning responsiveness – or as many put it “twitchy.” It took me a while to wrap my head around its usage, but it makes sense if you think about it. If you’re on a bike that doesn’t want to go where you point it, no matter how fast or how slow you direct it, then it’s not really stabile.
          Pardon the brevity. Sent from my iPhone.

          • Amanda DelCore

            Mind-bending! I’d never thought about it like that before. I guess one needs less force to act on longer lever arm (relative to the bottom bracket) to get the bike to move in a desired direction. As in, it’s easier to affect the inertia of the bike… so much so that it feels like the bike is easier to “realign” aka go where you want it to go. ::thinks really hard and stumbles across academic papers on estimating physical properties of bicycles and riders::

  • dmikalova

    Are they still an abusive and overly litigious company?

    • I don’t care about Specialized. All I care about is what Erik Nohlin does over there. #truth

  • more comments than bikerumor!

  • nice work folks. longer comment thread than bikerumor.

  • Rider_X

    After 10k+ miles on my AWOL comp I must admit I am a fan of Erik’s work (there are a number of small geo decisions that just shine – e.g., long cockpit + short stem + 50mm offset = zero toe overlap and good front loading). I am a bit choked to see that many of my personal tweaks to my AWOL and wish list (e.g., thru axels) have made it on this bike… how will my kids eat if I gotta buy another damn bike?

    • Rod Kimble

      Sell the kids, buy the bike!

      • Jamesw2

        Leave the gun take the cannoli . . (The God Father)

      • Rider_X

        If I sell my kids, I will have two less people to shred trails and go bike camping with :-(

  • Beautiful bike. Beautiful details. Can’t figure out why that white is so lovely but it just is.

    Question: What is the thinking on the riser-drop-bars? Not a snarky question, just curious.

    Also: We ran into the same fork problem you mentioned when developing our fork (Spork). We asked around with no results, so we made it ourselves. It isn’t identical to the Specialized. They seem to have 2 mounts on the leg, etc, but ours fits quite a bit of the bill: http://www.rodeo-labs.com/rodeospork/

    • brennan

      It looks like they are building of the original Vias bars and will be offering a standard 31.8 clamp with 25mm rise then they have the “Hover” bar with a 15mm rise. It would seem to give more fit range on some bikes requiring less steerer tube or HT height. This bars appear to have some flare and restricted to oem on the Sequoia – for this application, keep a more relax position and room for a handlebar bag…just some thoughts.

    • Anthony M. Garcia

      Any way to mount a non-custom rando-style rack on the front of the Spork?

  • Pixelpotage

    I have a large awol and it suits me perfectly, so you advise to take a size under (56) for sequoia ?
    And are the hayfield wheel tubeless compatible ?
    Tanks on advance for tour answer

    • brennan

      I believe they are.

    • stric

      May I ask what your height is for AWOL in L size? Thanks

      • Harley Raylor

        My wife rides a L size AWOL but a 56 size Roubaix road bike. She’s 5’10.

      • Pixelpotage

        I am 179 cm. Approximately 5,87 ft

        • Rider_X

          We are essentially the same height and both fit a large AWOL. Pretty certain now a 56 Sequoia will be your size. My 56 cm Soma ES (stack 577mm, reach 394mm) was fitted professionally and fits perfectly, the 56 cm Sequoia has nearly the exact same fit dimensions with a little more stack (stack 594.7mm, reach 393.8mm). Give the high stack height on the AWOL, this will likely be in your favour.

          • Pixelpotage

            Many thanks for tour help

      • Arcady Genkin

        I am 178cm tall and I had a 2014 AWOL in size L. It was a bit too large for me, the top tube is really long on the AWOL. I should have bought an M size. Had to hunt down super short stem to shorten the reach a little bit. It’s a lot easier to make reach a bit longer than a bit shorter. My advice is to err on the side of caution with the AWOL and prefer a size that may be a bit small.

        • Mike Colby

          Hmm, I’m 6′ and I rode a size medium AWOL as I felt the Large was huge. Hopefully I can test ride a 56 and a 58 when the Sequoia drops

    • Rider_X

      I run a large AWOL, but I am mid point between Med and Large. The 56 cm Sequoia would be the perfect fit according to my magical geometry spreadsheet. Depending on how you fit the large AWOL you may want to consider the 58 cm in addition to the 56 cm.

  • disqus_uTlYyFzYzE

    I’m curious: was low-trail geo ever considered for the AWOL or Sequoia?

    • Rider_X

      For the AWOL I think the rear shift in the cockpit (long cockpit + short stem + 50 mm offset) is a different approach front loading by shifting the rider weight backwards you unload the front, requiring less offset for better front loading. The Sequoia uses the same offset but is a more standard cockpit setup so it probably won’t front load as well, but it isn’t intended to be a heavy hauler like the AWOL.

      • rocketman

        If what you say was truly his design intent it would be interesting to have BQ do some testing of an AWOL as a camping bike with appropriate front loads. The trail of 66 mm would normally put a bike in the mid trail category. Shorter stems slow steering a bit but it seems by the numbers. at least, that the AWOL would fit squarely in mainstream touring bike geometry.

        • Rider_X

          AWOL angles are standard, but the top tube is much longer and head tube much taller than any other tour bike. This puts more of the rider’s weight rearward by default. Running a rear only load makes the bike feel unhinged (more than any other touring bike I have ridden), but 10-30 lbs on the front makes the bike feels very planted and predictable. It rides quite nice in the 10-30 lbs front only configure. After that you have to start splitting the load between front and rear, and by this point it feels very much like a regular touring bike. That said, you do have to watch for rear tail wag under heavier rear loads (thin seat stays). If do you have to heavy haul (i.e., camping with kids), then frame bags with heavy items could be good approach to even out the loading and keep the handling characteristics on point.

          Whether or not Jan at BQ will like that approach… who knows. Jan is pretty particular.

        • Al Cowan

          I think 66mm of trail would be classified as high. I Could be wrong though.

      • disqus_uTlYyFzYzE

        Yeah, I imagine that shifting rider weight distribution is going to make a difference, but it’s still got a healthy amount of trail and flop to be loading the top of the pizza rack… I’m just speculating, of course, since I haven’t ridden one. AWOL sort of falls between the high-trail/slack H.A. Rivendell and low-trail/steep H.A. Rawland I’ve run with front-biased loads. The Riv definitely required more wrestling of the ‘bars, but I still liked it better than rear loading (especially when riding hard out of the saddle). The Rawland setup was perfect, although not loaded as heavily. Whatever your preference, these are cool bikes.

      • Bert

        …or the long front centre/short stem combo on the AWOL was to make it toe-overlap compliant with big 700c/29er tyre (the short stem clawing back some of the overall reach).

        • Rider_X

          Toe-overlap is definitely a nice feature (I run 45c with fenders without issues in switchbacks), but if it was the driving force I am surprised the extra long cockpit plus short stem geo is not more ubiquitous across other “adventure” bikes. So far the only the recently released Kona Sutra LTD seems to be following suite. Plus it would be a bit backwards to start with toe clearance, then decide to market the bike as front loading due to the way the toe clearance geo tweaks affected load handling. The bike really rides poorly rear loaded only.

          • Bert

            First and foremost the bike has to be legally complaint – especially when you’re a company this big (and based in US). The tall HT/high stack on the AWOL works to also claw back reach (as you go up you cone back also). Only if you’re looking at TT length alone does it look extreme. The reach measurements are only maybe 10mm longer than otherwise industry std.

          • Rider_X

            By cockpit I was talking about the cockpit dimensions of frame itself, not the final cockpit dimensions measured at where your hands contact the bar (i.e., I term that “final reach”). (Trust me I have worksheet after worksheet where I have crunched the numbers.) My intent was not to imply the AWOL had a non-standard _final reach_ measurement only that a different approach was taken to get there (longer top tube, taller head tube, shorter stem) and that this had some interesting handling and usability implication:

            (1) This setup shifts the default (i.e., rider only) front/rear weight distribution further rearward than more standard touring geometries and that this seems to confer some front loading advantages (in addition to having 5mm more offset on the fork relative to more standard touring setups: 50mm vs 45mm offset respectively). Unloaded handling is good, but the steering feels every so slightly vague. Add 10-15 lbs front-only and the handling really starts to shine (e.g., better turn in). This is great as it makes it really fun to ride with some food and supplies on the front. Adding more load and I found you need to start balancing front/rear loading to keep the handling neutral, but it still did much better with a heavier front load than other touring bikes I have ridden for extended periods (e.g., Soma Saga).

            (2) The setup gives a longer front-centre dimension, which provides a generous toe clearance (which you correctly pointed out). This is great as you can run pretty big tires or fenders and reasonably large tires (e.g., 700cx45) and turn into sharp switchback corners without worry.

            These characteristics got me thinking about how this relates to the traditional low-trail approach to front loading (i.e., 65mm+ fork offset) and how much of the front loading capabilities relates to front-centre dimensions (i.e., default weight distribution before a load) versus fork offset. The reality is that both probably play a role, but I wish I had more experience with a low-trail setups (for some reason my partner isn’t keen on dropping 3-4k on an experiment when the kids need pedestrian things like food) so I could directly compare. If I were to speculate I would hazard a guess that the choice of a roughly mid-trail fork (50 mm offset, which some may argue this is still high trail; there’s no hard-fast rule however) on the AWOL makes it steer with the hips more (i.e., arms and hips) than a more traditional low-trail setup which steering primarily through the arms.

          • Bert

            You can’t talk about trail and just reference fork offset. Awol has 63mm trail (72HT x 50mm offset x 700x42c) which is by no means low (or even mid) – very much bog standard road trail measurement.

          • Rider_X

            So your biggest concern is where we define the boundary between high and mid trail as occurring? I avoided discussion of the final trail numbers (perhaps we should also consider pneumatic trail?) because I am trying to point out the AWOL has an interesting mix of slightly less trail than standard fair touring bikes, and a shift in rider weight distribution. Focusing only on the final trail numbers will have everyone trying to pick a category (mid or high), then declaring front-loading capabilities based on this categorization only, without looking at other geometry tweaks.

      • fizzle

        you are one of my favorite commenters in the cycling internet world. do you have a blog?

        • Rider_X

          Had one for about 15 years (10 active/5 fallow), but let it expire this year. Waiting for inspiration again…

  • Vincent

    Wow- so cool to see a bike like this from one of the big 3 – the big ‘S’ – This is almost exactly what I’ve built up with my Soma Wolverine – but that bike isn’t available as a complete and will never hit such a mass market.

  • Any idea word when the 650b version of the Sawtooth tires are hitting the shelves?

    • Harley Raylor

      I read somewhere the 650b version of the tire will be released in Spring 2017

  • Jon B.

    I didn’t see an answer here so; does the $1,200 frameset include the carbon fork?

    • Gernot Frank

      yes

      • Jon B.

        Thanks! Can’t wait to see a photo of the frame, I read its a white/black fade…

        • brennan

          it is the same frame/color as the expert and I believe it will be listed as a module – so, frame, fork, seat post, and bars?

  • AaronBenjamin

    Erik did an amazing job here. Lots going on design-wise kinda folded in the crevices. Looks modern without looking stark. Love the fact that it’s a fully-enclosed rig in and of itself… too many “gravel/adventure/tour/allroad” bikes are just kludges of bikes trying to do too much.

  • Hrvoje

    Is there a possibility to mount fork front bag like the one you had on Speedvagen Urban Racer? What is the difference between Cruzero and Hayfield wheels found on Expert and Elite builds? Really great bike!

    • abelincoln

      Looks like the Hayfield don’t have sealed hubs.

  • frequentflyer71

    Erik, awesome, awesome bikes…any chance they come specced with 650b wheels with 42mm-50mm tires as a standard build?

  • pmikkelsen

    John, geometry is very similar to your Firefly RatRod. How would you compare the feel of the two bikes, in particular in relation to the steel vs Ti tubing and different forks?
    Also, any info on the frameset – I’ve read on other sites that the downtube and chainstays will be stainless on the frameset?

  • fourflys

    so what I don’t get is if they offer this in size increments instead of s/m/l, why all the seatpost showing? I’m not a old guy or curmudgeon (I’m only 42 and have a carbon bike along with my steel), but what’s wrong with a properly sized frame that shows around a fistfull of seatpost? The reason I always heard that went away was because Giant went with the “compact frame” idea of s/m/l… a 56cm should not have a 18″ of seatpost showing IMHO….

    • Nick

      Well, some people (such as I) would prefer to run a dropper post, which gets difficult with a horizontal top tube and not much septets showing. Additionally a lower top tube helps out in a lot of situations when one is on the dirt.

    • elleryjk

      Some people have long legs but relatively short arms. You should see my 52 road bike… for a guy who is 5″10. Fits perfect with a short stem and a mile of seatpost sticking out.

    • 6 months late, but some extra seat post sticking out and flexing can really smoothen out a ride, also! A lot of bike manufacturers who had moved to larger diameter seat tubes (and therefore seatposts) have been moving back to 27.2 seatposts for this reason.

  • Max O.

    I’m relocating to Guatemala in a couple of weeks, and have been looking for a tire exactly like the new Sawtooth. Called Specialized and was told the tire won’t be available for purchase until October. Is there anything on the market currently that’s similar? I’ll try to pick some up when I’m back in the states in December. But until then, I need something that can tackle good asphalt, bad asphalt, cobbles, dirt paths, and more. And that’s just my morning commute!

    • brennan

      Some shops should have it now. They had an early shipment come and go pretty quickly. Try a good local shop.

      • Max O.

        Thanks man! Any shops you’d recommend? I’m in Alabama until we ship out on August 15th. I’ll have to probably call an order in.

        • brennan

          I don’t know of any shops in Bama. I’d try the dealer locator.

  • Pete Bachant

    What to do if in between sizes on a bike like this? I’m 5’7″ with a 30.5″ inseam (with no shoes on), which would put me between a 52 and 54 cm. With the smaller head tube angles, I’m a little worried about putting a longer stem on the smaller frame, if that were necessary. How does the Sequoia “feel” for its size?

  • Mark Vonk

    Lovely bike, great do it all!
    So many unimportant questions:

    I noticed a discussion about the bars but they do not seem available after-market, correct? Are these similar to the Salsa Cowchipper with respect to flare and drop?
    As for contact points: the saddle (Phenom) and bar tape, do not seem to be after-market either, correct? Both seem awesome; have a Phenom but dig the more classic looks. Any idea if these will be made available?

    Thanks!

  • Neil Hubert

    Love the little graphic details on this – the riveted nameplate badge (just wish the frame size was on it too!) and the valve hole wheel plaque. Tires look rad too!

  • greg mcconnell

    Will there be any straightforward way to fit a porteur rack to the front of this bike? … I’m thinking Wald basket zip-tied to same …

  • Csaba Heffenträger

    36 T cassette with Shimano 105, GS cage how?

  • Stefan Tirtey

    Some background: I am 180cm / 5.9. and 90 cm leg length. I have neck issues and prefer a more upright position. I am considering the Elite, mainly because of the broader gearing range that a 2 chainring setup would provide compared to the 1x Expert. Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.

    A couple of questions for the very knowledgeable audience here:
    1. Any take whether I’d be too tall for the 54cm frame. What options do I have here?
    2. Gearing: one of the intended use cases is to do touring with up to 10-15kg of baggage. I’d like to get down to a max of 22 gear inches. Can that be done with the Elite (I suspect maybe) or the Expert (I suspect not).
    3. Will the front fork take your average low rider or just bottle cages?
    4. Somebody mentions a fitting SP dynamo. What about a SON?

    • Taavi Sepp

      Hi Stefan,

      I took Elite for a spin this afternoon after week of reading on different bikes. The store had 54cm frame and the the fellow I spoke to suggested I’d go for 56. We were about the same size – 178cm / 5.10 tall and 84cm / 33 leg length. I must say it was nice 5 mins but I’ll definitely order 56cm version as I could have sat just a bit higher to straighten out my knee.

      • Stefan

        Thanks so much for taking the time to respond Taavi. I’ve just decided to go through a bike fitting exercise and select my next bike on the basis of that. It might still be a Sequoia though !

        • Taavi Sepp

          Yo are welcome, Stefan. I also looked at Felt VR30 and Canyon Inflite AL 8.0 though these are not touring bikes, more like off-road. Both alternatives are lighter yet turning them into touring options will be hard (and unwanted) work. So I’m fixated on Sequoia Elite now as Expert is too expensive for me and I don’t really feel it adds enough value to pay £1000 above Elite. Personal opinion though.

          • Stefan

            I am totally with you on the choise between Elite and Expert. A clear case of decreasing marginal benefits. The 105 is a tried and tested and easy to get spare parts for. Moreover I think two chainrings make total sense for a touring setup.

          • Taavi Sepp

            Right. Got the Elite, size 56 and it feels just right. The only thing I need now are mudguards. Any advice on which to go is highly appreciated. 45mm is not enough, 56 SKS xtreme or something similar seems OK width wise but mounting is problematic. Why is everything such a hard work…

          • Just Will

            The Dry-Tech 52mm is what you want to use with the 42mm tires on them. The fender works well with the hidden fender mounts

            https://www.specialized.com/us/en/equipment/accessories/drytech-fender-set/126253

        • sgerhard

          How did the fitting go, Stefan?

          • Stefan

            It has yet to happen! But it will!! Can you recommend somebody in Munich?

  • Bert

    Anyone have any updates on a frameset-only option? There were rumors at the launch then radio silence since. Still happening @johnprolly:disqus ?

  • pschrock

    Anybody have opinions on the Sequoia vs the All City Space Horse?

    • Just Will

      I will let you know by next Sunday when I ride the Sequoia Elite for Driftless Ten Thousand.

      • Isaac Joshua

        Same question as pschrock looking forward to what you think will

      • Just Will

        Finally took possession of the Sequoia Elite last night.

        Here are my first impressions:

        Heavy – The bike felt heavy – heavier than my Wolverine. The wheels and tires combination make this bike heavy – almost as heavy as my touring configured Space Horse Disc. I took the wheels off and I could feel the difference of the wheels and tires compared to my WTB i19 with Clement XPlor MSO 700×36. I know this is not a direct comparison, but if I could, I’d have swapped the wheels out with my WTB wheels, but the Sequoia is Thru-axle. Also the WTB and XPlor MSO is set up tubeless – so yes, they’re a lot lighter.

        Tires – OMG, the sidewall version of the Sawtooth that comes with the Elite looks really classy! I’d choose the sidewall version over the plain black ones any time.

        Hoods for the 105 hydro shifters are actually very comfortable (for a guy who likes SRAM). I was going to switch them out SRAM Rival shifters but they didn’t come in time. People are complaining about ugly the design of the lump of these shifters, but the length before the bulge is enough to put my palm on there. And if I wanted to put my palm on the bulge – to be a little aero – it is wide enough to be comfortable enough. I kind of like the way they feel.

        Handlebar raise takes some getting used to. I’ll keep it on for this weekend’s ride for Driftless Ten Thousand. If I still don’t like it, I have a spare Cowbell 3 laying around

        Gears are ok. 48/32 chainrings and 11-36 cogs are meant for riding hilly gravels or loaded touring). Last year’s Gravel World I rode my Wolverine with 50/34 chainrings and 11-32 cassettes, so this will probably be better for going up hilly gravel roads with 10,000 feet of elevations.

        Saddle was immediately replaced with a Fizik VS saddle.

        Other than that I like the extra bosses for water bottles and the geometry. Although for the same size as the Space Horse Disc, I have a lot more room in the triangle on the All City.

        I will update on the ride quality after this weekend’s ride, sometimes next week.

        I’m including photos of the current look of my Sequoia Elite and the Space Horse Disc for comparison.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe7ea366be84b91c0b2f8ab2ce1c2c8c1a99f85b1c398022d954770ae3b33ed6.jpg
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c53956bba69c02b726c1788dbfd04288f114e42d944efc5fc30f77fbf3d1fa61.jpg

        • David Grossman

          Did you ever follow-up? I am curious about your thoughts comparing the All City Space Horse to the Specialized Sequoia Elite.

  • Stephan

    What are your thoughts on the Sequoia as an endurance gravel race bike (Land Run, Dirty Kanza and the like)? This bike seems to check all of my boxes as related to comfort & durability/dependability. My only questions are about it’s weight (light enough) & ride quality (comfortable, but stiff enough).

    • BobW

      I just got my Sequoia Expert a week ago and am definitely planning on riding the Dirty Kanza with it. I also have the Carbon Diverge Expert which is extremely light and fast, but I’m uncomfortable with a max of a 700×33 tire for the DK. The Sequoia is definitely slower and a bit heavier, but the ride is much more compliant and the steel frame “hums” magically along. I’m going to wait until just before the DK on weather conditions and set it up tubeless with the Sawtooth tires or something more knobby if it’s going to be wet.

      • Matt O’Donnell

        what wheels did you end up running for DK on your Sequoia?

  • Benny Watson

    I have seen reports in forums saying the Cruzero wheel rims are not tubeless ready. That strikes me as very odd if true. Can anyone who has a new Sequoia Expert report whether they are or are not tubeless ready?

    • They are tubeless ready.

      • Benny Watson

        Thanks, John. That is what I thought, but there is a poster in a thread about the Sequoia in the MTBR forums’ Specialized subforum who insists that his Expert has rims that are not tubeless ready. I’m thinking that he is used to seeing Roval MTB wheels with the pre-installed 2Bliss rim strips.

        I was hoping we would have a Sequoia Expert in at our shop by now so I could see for myself, but they have moved the expected availability date out to March.

      • darcycle

        John, what do you mean by tubeless ready? The rims on my Expert are not tubeless ready out of the box, there’s a couple of decent sized holes right up against the rim wall which is even going to make them difficult to tape up with gorilla tape. They don’t hold any air just using the 2bliss rim strips.

  • Matthias

    Hi guys, somehow I was looking for a
    commuter bike but for some reasons I was sidetracked and ended up “wanting” a
    steel frame. By coincidence I found the Sequoia. Now I am hooked. :) I just
    like the look and the feel of it.

    A couple of questions remain:
    Do you think it is worthwhile spending the extra
    700€ to get an Elite and not the “base” version.
    Is the carbon fork so much better? Does the
    fork add to the ride or do you forget it after a while? The same goes out in
    regards to the “better” components on the Elite. Being a mountain bike guy, I
    am not sure if they justify the higher price.
    May I ask for your advice?

    Matthias

  • Quikmix

    As someone looking at the Jamis Renegade, I keep asking myself, “what is the Sequoia offering me that’s worth the extra $200 when it’s a downgrade from full Tiagra to a mix of Sora?”

  • josiahwiebe

    Test rode the Sequoia Expert yesterday and really enjoyed the feeling. I also tested an AWOL Comp and preferred the price point. Has anybody seen any carbon forks comparable to the FACT one used in the Sequoia? Thinking of picking up the AWOL and looking for an aftermarket fork – I really want those mount points on the fork for Anything cages.

  • Samuel Schlicht

    Hey guys! After lurking for a few months (what a great site!) I have to ask you, because I can’t find information on this anywhere: Does anyone know if and when S will be releasing the 650b wheels for the Sequoia? I need them badly for next year and have to decide now whether to build them myself or just buy them! Any help on this will be greatly appreciated!

    • marc

      I was asking myself the same question while wading through all those initial reviews. Then I asked specialized when the option will be available. They replied:
      “This option was discussed but is still not in production at this time.”

      So maybe in next iteration?

      • Samuel Schlicht

        Dunno if anyone will ever read this, but here it goes… I decided to change wheels and put the 27.5 Roval Traverse set on the standard Sequoia a few months ago. Since then´the bike started to make sense. I got a 12mm thru-axle hub converter for the front wheel. Then I set it up tubeless with some bigger tires (Maxxis 2.1) and hit the local forest roads and trails. It’s playful, it’s fun, its fast if you want it to be and it’s bombproof. Now, after a few months of experience with a few overnighters and bikepacking trips in between I couldn’t be happier. The 700c set felt okay but not really at home on singletrack, whereas the 650b set makes the bike much more versatile. So if you want a true rally car, not just a gravel eater, and like singletrack but want to (or need to) ride everything in between as well, you now know what to do…

        • TJ

          You got some photos of your sequoia you care to share? Curious about how it looks 650b and with those tires. [email protected]

          • Samuel Schlicht

            Look in your inbox ;)

          • Jackson Robar

            any chance you could send those my way as well? [email protected] Im seriously considering this bike and doing the 650B conversion as a trial rig setup. Much appreciated!

        • Zach Ary

          I’m not sure if you still have any photos of this but I’d love to see the bike. I’ve been considering this for a long time as well. [email protected] thanks!

        • Matt O’Donnell

          Hey man, I just picked up a sequoia and top of my list is getting a new set of wheels. I’d love to see the photos as well if you’re willing. [email protected]

  • Bart Laisnez

    Is the steel frameset of decent quality? The base model seems to tick all these boxes of what I want in a modern steel frame, among others ‘true’ thru axle dropouts, tapered steerer compatibility and flat mounts. How does the steel compare to, say, a surly bike or an all-city? It seems that most steel gravel bike manufacturers using more exotic steel tubing use QR dropouts or IS standard caliper mounts.