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Wilkens

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I just recently got into gravel biking without much knowledge or background of what exactly I needed. Last year I purchased a Specialized Sequoia Elite ($2K) on the understanding that it was a solid, versatile choice with reliable, middle of the road Shimano 105 front and rear derailleur and a steel frame that would be comfortable along with a carbon fork. However, this year Trek has released the Checkpoint series which includes the SL 5 ($2.8k) which has a full Shimano 105 drivetrain and a full carbon frame. Although I am too much a layman in this area to have initally recognized it, the Sequoia Elite has been described in some reviews as an overly heavy tank only truly well suited to long distance touring. This is not my type of riding as I use the bike primarily for riding on the road, gravel, and some singletrack. And while I occasionally load it with gear needed for the day, I never make full use of all of its mounts for multi-day touring trips. With this in mind, do the experts here on this forum think it would be worth selling the Sequoia to get the new Checkpoint SL5? Is the reduction in weight going from steel to carbon noticeable enough to make it a different experience altogether? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer 
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stud.beefpile

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I would encourage you to go to your LBS and test ride the Checkpoint, and see if it's more comfortable and handles better for the type of riding you're likely to do.  See if you can rent a Checkpoint for a day to test ride the routes and trails you usually ride.  Also consider if it will satisfy your current and/or potential future bike needs.

Steel is generally considered to be a more durable material than carbon with superior ride quality.  Carbon is generally stiffer and lighter, while sacrificing ride quality and durability somewhat.  Steel can fairly reliably handle dings and bangs and abrasions, while carbon is more sensitive to such abuse.  The previous statements are somewhat broad generalizations and will vary according to who you ask. 

Some bike makers have been working to improve the ride quality of carbon frames (including Trek's IsoSpeed decoupler and Salsa's Class 5 VRS).  Steel can be welded, and carbon repair capabilities are now very reliable.  You can also apply helicopter tape to carbon frames to help mitigate abrasion damage.

I personally prefer steel frames because they are more economical for my pocketbook, and I'm more comfortable knowing that my steel-framed bikes can handle repeated abrasions from muddy, gritty paste on the roads and trails I ride, and abrasions from frame bag straps without potentially compromising the structural integrity of the bike frame. 

That being said, I don't have any carbon bikes, but I do have a carbon fork and carbon wheels, and both have held up admirably.
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chas

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What, did you read this? http://road.cc/content/review/215358-specialized-sequoia-expert

 

Well, they both road like “trucks” to me.  That said I got off the Sequoia thinking that I could comfortably ride that bike all day.   The checkpoint surprised me at how maneuverable it is for a backpacking bike (I’m guessing that is from the head tube angle).

Personally, I like a lighter more responsive bike (my bike is almost 10lbs (4.5kg) lighter than the sequoia).   But no, I wouldn’t go from a Sequoia to a checkpoint.  They are too similar.  Besides, I like the sequoia better.   Ride your bike with and without two full water bottles.  Does the weight make a difference?  I do agree though, the Sequoia is not a fast bike.  It’s a bike for a steady all day journey.

Only thing that bothers me about carbon is abrasion.

 

Personally I would look at Raleigh or one of Mark’s new Noble bikes.  That would be a nice upgrade.

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Wilkens

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas

What, did you read this? http://road.cc/content/review/215358-specialized-sequoia-expert

 

Well, they both road like “trucks” to me.  That said I got off the Sequoia thinking that I could comfortably ride that bike all day.   The checkpoint surprised me at how maneuverable it is for a backpacking bike (I’m guessing that is from the head tube angle).

Personally, I like a lighter more responsive bike (my bike is almost 10lbs (4.5kg) lighter than the sequoia).   But no, I wouldn’t go from a Sequoia to a checkpoint.  They are too similar.  Besides, I like the sequoia better.   Ride your bike with and without two full water bottles.  Does the weight make a difference?  I do agree though, the Sequoia is not a fast bike.  It’s a bike for a steady all day journey.

Only thing that bothers me about carbon is abrasion.

 

Personally I would look at Raleigh or one of Mark’s new Noble bikes.  That would be a nice upgrade.




Thanks. Actually it was this that I read, but that article also echoes these points: https://granfondo-cycling.com/specialized-sequoia-elite-2018-review/

Why do you say you like the Sequoia more than the Checkpoint? 



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chas

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkens


Why do you say you like the Sequoia more than the Checkpoint? 



The sequoia fit me like a glove.  Out of about a dozen bikes it stood out as being very very comfortable fitting.  But it was to heavy and sluggish for me.  I kinda like steel, but Carbon can be smoother (if that is what the designer wants).

The Checkpoint I road was too big for me, so maybe I’m not giving it credit.  It was more agile than the typical gravel bike, but still had stability from the wheelbase and BB drop.  It did not strike me as being slow.  Weight seems reasonable.  Its a nice mix.  Still, it seemed a little over built for me unless I was backpacking or doing some serious rough roads. 

I use my bike for everything – Gravel, Urban, Commuting, Cat 2-3 road race training, CX racing.  My expectations may be a little different from the average rider here.

For you:

  • What percentage are you doing on road – dirt – single track
  • What size tires do you want?
  • Do you want stability or agility?
  • What speeds do you ride?

 

If you are concerned about weight,the frame is 1kg lighter (2.2kg vs 1.2 kg for the two)The carbon fork on the sequoia is almost 1kg lighter than its steel fork.

I have built up a steel bike to be within a lb of a carbon bike at a similar price point.  For instance, I shaved 500g on my bike by upgrading tires and wheels.

Sequoia: Complete bike weight is claimed at 24lb (10.88kg) for a size 56.
Frame weight is claimed at 2.2kg, and the carbon fork is 500g and steel fork is 1,400g.

I found that the sequoia does not accelerate well, but once it is up to speed it cruises well.

Nothing beats a test ride.  My LBS will rent a bike out to me for a day – see if they have loaners or rental bikes if you are unsure.

About a month ago I was seeing Raleigh Roker comps for $1600-$1700.  One of the best bikes out there and a steal at that price (the sport was about $400 cheaper).  You can make that a 17.5lb bike if you really want to.

 

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stud.beefpile

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One more thing when reviewing those articles is to consider the sources. . .

One is a pretty paved-road-specific cycling website (road.cc), while none of the "test crew" on the other website (Granfondo) list what I can see as anything approaching "gravel" credentials (at least for here in the Midwest US). . .Granfondo is also comparing the Sequoia against racing bikes costing over four times as much. . .

The Sequoia slots in as an adventure bike with more durable components and hauling capacity or bikepacking capability.  It should have been compared against more comparable bikes such as the Specialized AWOL, Salsa Fargo, Cutthroat, Vaya, etc.

I mostly ride recreationally and for fitness, so I want a bike that's going to be comfortable for commuting, bikepacking, training, and racing for 50+ miles at a time on everything from baby head gravel to smooth concrete road surfaces and that can handle carrying 20 lbs. of hydration, calories, tools, and spare tubes and kit and still ride stably.

The bikes it is up against in that competition look like mostly cyclocross bikes (and an out-of-place MTB?).  The other bikes look like they'd be miserable to ride with any kind of load on the gravel roads here in Kansas and Missouri (excluding the Procaliber and Cutthroat).

I've ridden and finished the Dirty Kanza 100 & 200, and the Sequoia, Cutthroat, and ProCaliber are the only bikes I see on that (Granfondo) list that I'd consider riding in the DK.  Maybe the skinny-mini racers can handle taking the beating those stiff frames will deliver over 200 miles, but the tight geometries will make the twitchy handling highly suspect on the loose, chunky, fast gravel downhills of the DK (I've ridden a CX bike on the DK 100, and there is a difference). 

I would personally prefer the longer wheelbase and more relaxed geometry of the Sequoia or Cutthroat over any of the rest of those bikes for the type of gravel riding we have here in the Midwest US.  I could also see myself riding the Sequoia or Cutthroat on my 30-mile mixed surface one-way commute. . .I'm not so sure about the other bikes. . .


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owly

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Reply with quote  #7 
If a lighter-weight road/gravel ride is now your thing then yes, I'd sell the heavy Sequoia. You will notice the ride difference. 

May as well see what else is out there with similar spec/price-or-better/different frame geometries etc. e.g. 2018 Jamis Renegade Expert.
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earlethomas

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Reply with quote  #8 
[Personally, I like a lighter more responsive bike (my bike is almost 10lbs (4.5kg) lighter than the sequoia).]

Chas, what is your ride?
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Wilkens

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stud.beefpile
One more thing when reviewing those articles is to consider the sources. . .

One is a pretty paved-road-specific cycling website (road.cc), while none of the "test crew" on the other website (Granfondo) list what I can see as anything approaching "gravel" credentials (at least for here in the Midwest US). . .Granfondo is also comparing the Sequoia against racing bikes costing over four times as much. . .

The Sequoia slots in as an adventure bike with more durable components and hauling capacity or bikepacking capability.  It should have been compared against more comparable bikes such as the Specialized AWOL, Salsa Fargo, Cutthroat, Vaya, etc.

I mostly ride recreationally and for fitness, so I want a bike that's going to be comfortable for commuting, bikepacking, training, and racing for 50+ miles at a time on everything from baby head gravel to smooth concrete road surfaces and that can handle carrying 20 lbs. of hydration, calories, tools, and spare tubes and kit and still ride stably.

The bikes it is up against in that competition look like mostly cyclocross bikes (and an out-of-place MTB?).  The other bikes look like they'd be miserable to ride with any kind of load on the gravel roads here in Kansas and Missouri (excluding the Procaliber and Cutthroat).

I've ridden and finished the Dirty Kanza 100 & 200, and the Sequoia, Cutthroat, and ProCaliber are the only bikes I see on that (Granfondo) list that I'd consider riding in the DK.  Maybe the skinny-mini racers can handle taking the beating those stiff frames will deliver over 200 miles, but the tight geometries will make the twitchy handling highly suspect on the loose, chunky, fast gravel downhills of the DK (I've ridden a CX bike on the DK 100, and there is a difference). 

I would personally prefer the longer wheelbase and more relaxed geometry of the Sequoia or Cutthroat over any of the rest of those bikes for the type of gravel riding we have here in the Midwest US.  I could also see myself riding the Sequoia or Cutthroat on my 30-mile mixed surface one-way commute. . .I'm not so sure about the other bikes. . .





Thanks this was really helpful perspective. I also ride recreationally and for fitness, so I don't need super competitive race geometry or anything like that. I guess I'm just looking for the most versatile bike in my price range that balances comfort and agility with the ability to take on the broadest diversity of terrain. One other critique that Granfondo had of the Sequoia Elite was that it's made of low-end, inferior steel compared to the higher end Sequoia Expert, and that as a result, the frame feels soft and sloppy. Having no prior frame of reference with a steel bike I can't tell if that's true or if that's just them complaining about a steel bike in a narrow contest with high end carbon frame race bikes. As an alternative approach to swapping out the sequoia for something lighter like the checkpoint, do you think it might be a good idea to change the wheel set and maybe the seat post to try to lighten it up a bit while retaining the durability and compliance of the steel frame, or would those tweaks not make much of a difference? 
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Wilkens

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by owly
If a lighter-weight road/gravel ride is now your thing then yes, I'd sell the heavy Sequoia. You will notice the ride difference. 

May as well see what else is out there with similar spec/price-or-better/different frame geometries etc. e.g. 2018 Jamis Renegade Expert.


Thanks for the suggestion. Jamis is not a brand I had considered. How does Jamis stack up against Trek and Specialized in terms of quality? 
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stud.beefpile

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Reply with quote  #11 
Disclaimer: I am a perpetually-recovering bike-upgraditis addict.

My perspective on bike frame materials is that if the bike is comfortable (i.e. a good fit or the "right" size), and does what I want it to do, since I'm 210 lbs., A 1-2 lbs. lighter frame isn't going to feel that much different. Other components, such as wheels and tires will have a larger influence.

Maybe they can feel a difference in the steel types, and maybe it's the upgraded components on the next-step-up Sequoia (I'm guessing they didn't do a component-by-component transfer on an identically-sized frame to verify the "ride-feel" difference of the different steels.)

If money is no object, I'd buy a carbon wheelset. I have Stans No Tubes Valor wheels and I'm thoroughly impressed. They are lighter and more compliant compared to the other aluminum wheels I've previously run on the same bike. If money is an issue, start with a lighter, fast-rolling tire like a Panaracer GravelKing SK.

I've tried changing out for lighter seatposts and seats, and pedals, and they have no discernible impact on my speed at my fitness level and weight. For touchpoint items such as seats, seatposts, handlebars, etc., I go for comfort first, since 100 grams is roughly 0.22 lbs. (when I weigh 210 lbs.). Wheels and tires make a very noticeable difference, though.
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Wilkens

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stud.beefpile
Disclaimer: I am a perpetually-recovering bike-upgraditis addict.

My perspective on bike frame materials is that if the bike is comfortable (i.e. a good fit or the "right" size), and does what I want it to do, since I'm 210 lbs., A 1-2 lbs. lighter frame isn't going to feel that much different. Other components, such as wheels and tires will have a larger influence.

Maybe they can feel a difference in the steel types, and maybe it's the upgraded components on the next-step-up Sequoia (I'm guessing they didn't do a component-by-component transfer on an identically-sized frame to verify the "ride-feel" difference of the different steels.)

If money is no object, I'd buy a carbon wheelset. I have Stans No Tubes Valor wheels and I'm thoroughly impressed. They are lighter and more compliant compared to the other aluminum wheels I've previously run on the same bike. If money is an issue, start with a lighter, fast-rolling tire like a Panaracer GravelKing SK.

I've tried changing out for lighter seatposts and seats, and pedals, and they have no discernible impact on my speed at my fitness level and weight. For touchpoint items such as seats, seatposts, handlebars, etc., I go for comfort first, since 100 grams is roughly 0.22 lbs. (when I weigh 210 lbs.). Wheels and tires make a very noticeable difference, though.


Again, very helpful my friend. I'm also not a small guy, 6'2 195, so maybe the small frame poundages these magazine writers seem to quibble about aren't as noticeable to me. Which model of the Stans No Tubes Valor would you recommend to fit the Seqouia's 700x42mm sawtooth tires on? 
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chas

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by earlethomas
[Personally, I like a lighter more responsive bike (my bike is almost 10lbs (4.5kg) lighter than the sequoia).]

Chas, what is your ride?


I have way too many bikes (of all different kinds of frame material), but lately my primary whip has been a Canyon Inflite (7.9kg stock, 7.4kg in light weight form).  I probably would have gotten a Raleigh Roker if I live in the UK and could get the light weight version, The Roker is more versatile.  But if  purchasing a US model I would have had to rebuild it to get that weight.  Seemed kinda silly.  But at a little over $1K for the Rally sport – that could be a good bike to build up (as the Gravelcyclist demonstrated with his 17.5 lb build).

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chas

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Reply with quote  #14 

stud.beefpile  makes a good case for Sequoia or Cuthroat for his riding.  The question is – is that the type of riding you do?

The Checkpoint strikes me as more of a backpacking bike or for the type of riding beefpile does.  I get the impression you may want something a little lighter simpler faster than a DK100 or backpacking type bike???  I think it is a great bike for what beefpile needs.

 

Again back to my questions:

  • What percentage are you doing on road – dirt – single track
  • What size tires do you want?
  • Do you want stability or agility?
  • What speeds do you ride?

Do you want something more backpacking or DK100 oriented, more road bike oriente,d more mountain bike oriented, more all around?  Maybe a Checkpoint would be good for you.  Maybe a Diverge or Domane.  Maybe a GT grade or Cannondale Slate.  Maybe something else.  Depends on how focused you are on gravel vs an all around bike.

Without knowing that, you’ll get answers from people about which bike is better for them, rather than for you (i.e. you probably don’t want my bike, LOL).  Most bikes in the gravel category are going to be relaxed.  Even a “race bike” like the Salsa warbird is relatively relaxed.

 

 

I don’t know which grade steel is used, I like the Reynolds 500 series or similar.  Below that tends to be too heavy.  Above that is really too stiff for what most people want in a steel gravel bike.  A good steel frame is 2lbs heavier than carbon/aluminum.  More if its a heavy duty application or lower grade of steel.

As for upgrading wheels and parts – that is possible.  It’s not going to make a huge difference, but if you can shave 2-3lbs off the bike it will be noticeable.   Weight mostly makes a difference when accelerating (including climbing).   On a steady state ride, weight doesn’t make too much difference on a relatively flat course.  Realistically, how much weight do you think you can save with wheels?

 

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Wilkens

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas

stud.beefpile  makes a good case for Sequoia or Cuthroat for his riding.  The question is – is that the type of riding you do?

The Checkpoint strikes me as more of a backpacking bike or for the type of riding beefpile does.  I get the impression you may want something a little lighter simpler faster than a DK100 or backpacking type bike???  I think it is a great bike for what beefpile needs.

 

Again back to my questions:

  • What percentage are you doing on road – dirt – single track
  • What size tires do you want?
  • Do you want stability or agility?
  • What speeds do you ride?

Do you want something more backpacking or DK100 oriented, more road bike oriente,d more mountain bike oriented, more all around?  Maybe a Checkpoint would be good for you.  Maybe a Diverge or Domane.  Maybe a GT grade or Cannondale Slate.  Maybe something else.  Depends on how focused you are on gravel vs an all around bike.

Without knowing that, you’ll get answers from people about which bike is better for them, rather than for you (i.e. you probably don’t want my bike, LOL).  Most bikes in the gravel category are going to be relaxed.  Even a “race bike” like the Salsa warbird is relatively relaxed.

 

 

I don’t know which grade steel is used, I like the Reynolds 500 series or similar.  Below that tends to be too heavy.  Above that is really too stiff for what most people want in a steel gravel bike.  A good steel frame is 2lbs heavier than carbon/aluminum.  More if its a heavy duty application or lower grade of steel.

As for upgrading wheels and parts – that is possible.  It’s not going to make a huge difference, but if you can shave 2-3lbs off the bike it will be noticeable.   Weight mostly makes a difference when accelerating (including climbing).   On a steady state ride, weight doesn’t make too much difference on a relatively flat course.  Realistically, how much weight do you think you can save with wheels?

 




It's hard to give a specific percentage of use, but to ballpark it I would say 40% road 40% dirt, 20% single track. For these purposes, I like the tire size that comes on the Sequoia Elite, 700x42mm but I suppose I could go a bit narrower as well, I'm really not sure. Ultimately I am looking for a good blend of speed and comfort. Because I don't intend on competitively racing at any time in the near future, the agility I seek is merely for fun. Similarly, I'm not going to enter the DK100 anytime soon (although that type of riding is the terrain that most appeals to me). I would like to be able to load the bike up a bit with necessities and food for bickpacking trips, but they would never be cross state touring trips that a lot of these bikes are made to handle (I eat too much to ever make touring truly possible). Bottom line, I'm looking for enjoyable versatility. I don't need to compromise comfort for max speed, but I also don't want to compromise fun and agility in place of attributes needed for super long hauls that I don't plan to take anytime soon. I know this is all very general, much like my riding style, but hopefully it gives a better sense of the type of use. Thanks for your guidance 
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chas

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Reply with quote  #16 

Well, the most important thing is fit – I’m guessing the sequoia fits good, so something similar would work?   Probably something in the 20lb range.  Carbon and aluminum tend to be more responsive than Steel, and Carbon can also be as comfortable as steel (although steel has a beautiful way to dampen vibrations).  Carbon can be anything, depends how it is designed and built.  It does scratch, chip, and wear from abrasion though.   Sounds like you want more of an endurance geometry, but not a backpacking/touring bike, and a frame that can take 40mm tires (you can always go smaller, but you can’t go bigger than what the frame allows).  Longish wheelbase and low bottom bracket for stability.

Checkpoint could be good for ya. I liked the combination of sharp handling and long wheelbase.  Diamondback Haanjo, Jamis Renegade, Salsa Warbird (no racks or fenders), & Raleigh has/had a couple (Roker, Tamland). 

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stud.beefpile

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Reply with quote  #17 
Disclaimer: I do not work for Stan's No Tubes, nor do I have a career related to the bike/cycling industry in any way.  I ride recreationally and for fitness.

Here are the Valor wheels at Stan's No Tubes:
https://www.notubes.com/valor-team-wheelset

I'm assuming you have 15x100 (front) and 12x142 (rear) thru-axles based on the the photos of the Sequoia I saw on Specialized's website, but I'm by no means certain.  The front could also be a 12x100?

I've had these just under a year on a Salsa Fargo, and have been very happy with them.  Sturdy, light, compliant. . .but pricy. . .

I know there are many other excellent manufacturers of wheels, as well as many excellent independent wheelbuilders in addition to Stan's.  I just tend to keep coming back to Stan's wheels because I've had excellent luck with them including Alpha 400, Arch ZTR's, Flow EX's, and the Valors. 

I personally know other people who have had issues with both their wheels and customer service, so nothing is hard-and-fast.

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ph0rk

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Reply with quote  #18 

Don't forget the Sequoia has a proprietary (or just weird) sized headset/steerer tube - 1-1/8" to 1-3/8"

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bwepps

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Reply with quote  #19 

I have a Sequoia Expert and the new (2018) Carbon Diverge Expert.  

These are vastly different bikes to be sure.  I rode the Sequoia in the 2017 DK200 after I made a couple of big changes.  

  • The wheelset on the Sequoia is bullet-proof and touring focused = HEAVY.  I had my LBS build me a set of Pacenti's with SRAM 900 hubs and dropped almost 2lbs or rotating weight.
  • The Sawtooth is also a great, fast-rolling but heavy tire.  Swapping in some Panaracer 700x40 Gravel Kings dropped almost another half pound of weight total.
  • Switched to tubeless.
Those changes made the Sequoia ride and feel like another bike.  Much quicker and lighter.  One of the folks I know at Specialized told me that the wheelset on the Sequoia was a major factor of a poor test-ride experience when it came out.  Peeps were looking for a gravel steed, not a touring/bike packing rig.  Is it as light as my carbon Diverge Expert?  NO.  But changing out the wheelset and tires made it ride like a completely different bike.  There was no way I was interested in riding the stock heavy wheelset and tires in the Dirty Kanza with all that climbing.  
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Wilkens

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwepps

I have a Sequoia Expert and the new (2018) Carbon Diverge Expert.  

These are vastly different bikes to be sure.  I rode the Sequoia in the 2017 DK200 after I made a couple of big changes.  

  • The wheelset on the Sequoia is bullet-proof and touring focused = HEAVY.  I had my LBS build me a set of Pacenti's with SRAM 900 hubs and dropped almost 2lbs or rotating weight.
  • The Sawtooth is also a great, fast-rolling but heavy tire.  Swapping in some Panaracer 700x40 Gravel Kings dropped almost another half pound of weight total.
  • Switched to tubeless.
Those changes made the Sequoia ride and feel like another bike.  Much quicker and lighter.  One of the folks I know at Specialized told me that the wheelset on the Sequoia was a major factor of a poor test-ride experience when it came out.  Peeps were looking for a gravel steed, not a touring/bike packing rig.  Is it as light as my carbon Diverge Expert?  NO.  But changing out the wheelset and tires made it ride like a completely different bike.  There was no way I was interested in riding the stock heavy wheelset and tires in the Dirty Kanza with all that climbing.  



Thanks for this insight. My LBS has a set of Roval SLX 24s with DT Swiss 350 hubs for a good price that I may use. Hopefully that will lighten the load a bit. I really like the sawtooth tires in terms of traction but do you think they're worth the extra weight? If not, how do you like the performance of the Gravel Kings by contrast? 
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chas

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Reply with quote  #21 
Wow, good insight.  I shaved 550 grams off my rotating weight and noticed a difference.  If you can take 2.5lbs off - that is huge!

I road a Crux with some light Roval wheels, and a stock Sequoia.  Where it took me 5 strong cranks to get the Sequoia up to speed, 3 strong cranks got the light weight crux and its Rovals up to speed.  
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #22 
Stock wheelsets seem like they keep getting more and more terrible.  When I got my most recent road bike I didn't even bother with them and sold them as new take offs for like 150 bucks, which went towards the price of a good front hub.
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RobF

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Reply with quote  #23 

Quote:
  One other critique that Granfondo had of the Sequoia Elite was that it's made of low-end, inferior steel compared to the higher end Sequoia Expert, and that as a result, the frame feels soft and sloppy. Having no prior frame of reference with a steel bike I can't tell if that's true or if that's just them complaining about a steel bike in a narrow contest with high end carbon frame race bikes. 

The Granfondo article sounds more like it's reviewing all steel bikes vs. carbon, instead of reviewing this bike in a genre that's full a steel bikes.  Take that with a massive grain of salt.

Beware of overthinking this.  Just a few years ago there was no gravel genre and people were doing this on steel mountain bikes.  I promise you at Kanza next weekend people will be on $10k carbon rigs and 10 year-old steel Surly "tanks" who can outride all of us.

 

My $.02?  Focus on the geometry that works for you, then the price range, then figure out what material you can afford.

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RobF

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Reply with quote  #24 
Oh... to reiterate what others said.  On the frame, focus on ride quality.  For me, soaking up road buzz is better than being stiff and rattling you to death.  Paying to drop weight in the wheels is better than paying to drop it off the frame.
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bwepps

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkens


Thanks for this insight. My LBS has a set of Roval SLX 24s with DT Swiss 350 hubs for a good price that I may use. Hopefully that will lighten the load a bit. I really like the sawtooth tires in terms of traction but do you think they're worth the extra weight? If not, how do you like the performance of the Gravel Kings by contrast? 


I'm running the SLX 24's on my Diverge.  They are super light (sub 1,600g), so if you can get a deal on them - go for it.  OR lemmeknow what they want for them and I might buy them.  😃

The Gravel King SK's are what I ran for the DK200.  Set them up tubeless with Orange Seal and zero flats over the 207 miles.  THAT kinda sold me on them for good.  Plus they are lighter than the Sawtooths.  I struggle with the Sawtooth as I really want to like that tire.  It's just a bit heavy based on similar offerings from others.
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