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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Specialized Sequoia Opinions?

I'm shopping for my first road bike (mainly for commute, casual touring). A local bike shop has a couple 2008 Specialized Sequoias marked down to $650. It seems like a nice deal to me, but I'm brand new at this...what do I know...so I thought I'd ask the experts. Is $650 fair? Does anyone have any experience with this bike? I don't need anything that will win races, but would still like to be able to get cruising at a good clip if I feel like it.
Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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I had one of the earlier ones, when they were more touring oriented, and liked it a lot. Just looked at the spec on the '07 models (couldn't find an '08), and it looks less user-friendly to me. The standard tires are 23mm, for instance, which are pretty small for anybody over about 160 pounds. If you're a largish rider, I'd check for clearance for bigger tires. The 30t granny gear isn't very impressive (in my opinion a granny should offer a hyper-low gear, a 24 or 26), but that's standard these days. Components on the '07 were a mix of Sora and Tiagra, and the list price was $770 (it probably went up for '08). It's a perfectly acceptable bike for the kind of riding you've described, and I like Specialized generally. You might see if they'll come down on the price a little, but $650 doesn't sound bad.
 

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The Sequoia has the most upright position of Specialized's road bikes. Depending on your age, physical condition, etc. it could be very comfortable, but you will not have as aerodynamic position as some of their other bikes. At that price point, I would also try an Allez as well which has similar specs, but a different frame geometry.

The other thing to be aware of is that the shifters are Sora on both the Allez and Sequoia. With the Sora, you use your index finger to down shift and your thumb to up shift. When you are in the drops, it's hard to use your thumb to shift and would need to change hand position. On better shifters, you can use your index finger to up and down shift which most people prefer. Generally, most people recommend 105 components at a minimum, which is 2 levels above the Sora.

Overall, the Sequoia is a good entry level bike. I almost bought a Sequoia myself, but ended up with a Roubaix with a carbon frame and 105 components. I would ride several bikes to see which one fits you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, after visiting a couple shops, riding a few bikes, I ended up going with something else. The Sequoia felt nice to sit on but that's about all that impressed me. It wasn't as speedy as the others, didn't shift as nicely, and as silly as it sounds I just didn't like the looks of it once I saw it in person. I ended up spending a little more than I expected, but feel that I got a better bike in a last year's model Trek 1500 for $850. So far I'm very happy with it.
 

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I think everyone pretty much answered the question. I only want to add, when you test ride, be sure to ride every bike a couple of times and at least one over an hour ride. Since you can't install a bottle cage on a bike you don't own yet, use a camelbak or bring a water bottle, and stuff it in your rear jersey pocket. My first road bike is the Allez, comparing it to the Sequoia it's a little faster and stiffer, so give that a try too.
 
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