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Old 03-26-05, 02:39 PM   #1
Boudicca
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Sequoia vs OCR1

Looking to start the new bike season with a new bike -- my first with drop bars -- and wondering if anyone has any thoughts about the two above. I want something for day tours and possible weekends, and am looking for a comfort style of bike rather than a really aggressive roadie position. Should I worry about the fact that the Giant OCR1 only comes in small, medium and large (the LBS, which has one of each in stock, insists that the medium is right for me and the small for my biking buddy)?
And will I really notice the difference between the Ultegra, which is the OCR1 componentry, and the 105 that comes with the Sequoia Expert?

Oh, and while I am asking, anyone got any thoughts on alternatives for those two bikes alternatives to those two anyway? I guess the price could go to C$1,800/US$1,500 with tax and all the other things one wants to add to a touring style bike (rack, clipless pedals and so on).
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Old 03-26-05, 03:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhg152
Looking to start the new bike season with a new bike -- my first with drop bars -- and wondering if anyone has any thoughts about the two above. I want something for day tours and possible weekends, and am looking for a comfort style of bike rather than a really aggressive roadie position. Should I worry about the fact that the Giant OCR1 only comes in small, medium and large (the LBS, which has one of each in stock, insists that the medium is right for me and the small for my biking buddy)?
And will I really notice the difference between the Ultegra, which is the OCR1 componentry, and the 105 that comes with the Sequoia Expert?

Oh, and while I am asking, anyone got any thoughts on alternatives for those two bikes alternatives to those two anyway? I guess the price could go to C$1,800/US$1,500 with tax and all the other things one wants to add to a touring style bike (rack, clipless pedals and so on).
Specialized all the way. IMO The Sequoia is built for comfort,if they made a woman specific Sequoia I'd own one. The adjustable stem, BG bars, suspension seatpost, and Bar Phat on the bars.(I have the 4.5 on my Allez) Is it a 2004 Sequoia Expert? You didn't mention the price difference between the two.
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Old 03-26-05, 05:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhg152
Looking to start the new bike season with a new bike -- my first with drop bars -- and wondering if anyone has any thoughts about the two above. I want something for day tours and possible weekends, and am looking for a comfort style of bike rather than a really aggressive roadie position. Should I worry about the fact that the Giant OCR1 only comes in small, medium and large (the LBS, which has one of each in stock, insists that the medium is right for me and the small for my biking buddy)?
And will I really notice the difference between the Ultegra, which is the OCR1 componentry, and the 105 that comes with the Sequoia Expert?

Oh, and while I am asking, anyone got any thoughts on alternatives for those two bikes alternatives to those two anyway? I guess the price could go to C$1,800/US$1,500 with tax and all the other things one wants to add to a touring style bike (rack, clipless pedals and so on).
I like the Sequoia so much, I didn't get rid of it after buying a Roubaix Pro. The 105 is just fine, and candidly, other than looks, and obviously weight, I certainly see no big difference (feel) between 105 and Dura-ace, let alone Ultegra.

The Sequoia has a stem that can be adjusted from the most comfortable to aggressive. BTW, the bike is not slow - I have had mine up to 37.2 mph on the flats. It is also a very attractive looking bike. You will not be unhappy with a Sequoia. Oh, and yes, even though I have a Roubaix, I often use my Sequoia to do interval workouts.
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Old 03-26-05, 05:39 PM   #4
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I will vote the other way. I haven ridden them both a bunch and like the OCR better, the front der has better manners and the bike is a little lighter. If you can go $1500 get an OCR Elite, lower weight, better ride. Or a Roubaix for $1600(Might be able to talk them down a little) for the same reasons.
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Old 03-26-05, 06:55 PM   #5
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The OCR1 is actually a fair bit cheaper because it's last year's model - this year's has switched to a carbon frame, I believe. But it's an ugly shade of very shiny blue, and while that shouldn't make an difference it is definitely a point against it. Will look at the Roubaix as well, but I think that's moving into the next price range up. And thanks for the advice. All much appreciated.
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Old 03-26-05, 07:14 PM   #6
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I am switching from an OCR 1 to a Specialized Roubaix (base road model). The OCR 1
was a great bike, but the "large" never fit me quite well. My new Roubaix is a 62 cm. frame, perfectly tuned in for a custom fit. Even though it was not a good fit, I did love the ride of the OCR 1. Smooth, easy handling, and the 105 group was perfect.
I do not think that I'm an advanced enough rider to appreciate Dura-Ace or Ultegra.
Bottom line....MAKE SURE YOU ARE PROPERLY FITTED !! It makes a world of difference. A good LBS should be able to properly advise you on the fit. The Specialized bikes, in general, have a wider size range. TEST RIDE THEM BOTH !!
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Old 03-26-05, 08:17 PM   #7
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Old 03-26-05, 09:24 PM   #8
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I'd consider the Sequoia...seriously!

I have an '03 Sequoia "Expert", the middle-of-the-line model that year. The Shimano 105 components work well for most people, especially on a sport-touring bike such as this. I've no problems with the 105's, myself.

The bike is reasonably lightweight without being "stupid-light". The wheelset that year, an Alex ALX 300, I believe--I'll have to check (the bike is not near the computer! )--although a low-spoke-count model (24 spokes front, 28 rear) has held up well under me (and I'm NOT a featherweight!!). (No broken spokes, no problems with staying in true.).

The Specialized take on "randonneur" handlebars DO "look funny", and, if you are accustomed to "traditional" drop bars, may take a little getting used to...but they are comfortable!! The stem adjusts easily and has a wide range of "rise" adjustment. You may like the "Milano" saddle, if your model has it--or not! (I do.) (The higher-end models after 2003 carry the " Telluride" saddle, which is a more aggressive saddle originally designed for MTB racers.) The "mid-bar" style extension levers (also referred to as "(cyclo)'cross style") work very well, unlike the old "suicide" style of extension levers.

Some caveats, however! :

Make sure that all of the bolts the adjustable stem has on it are TIGHT! I've had them "rattle" loose on me, which, in turn, will cause the stem to move out of position/"flop around"--a DANGEROUS condition!! (This is, unfortunately, a common problem on these "adjustable" stems...not just this one.) You might want to check into getting a suitable "rigid" stem instead, either "up-front" or after you've had a chance to get a feel for the bike.

The tires are not that durable, since they are, for all intents and purposes, racing models. (You might want to look into more durable models such as the "Nimbus" (if they still make 700c x 28's, the largest size that will fit the bike if you want fenders (you can go to about a 30/32 if not), or the Bontrager (Trek) "Hardcase" (slick) models for road bikes.)

If you are considering getting a rear cargo rack, I'd seriously reconsider that idea , especially if the model you are considering has carbon stays and/or low spoke count wheels...IMHO these items make the bike unsuitable for carrying any real load if they are present! (I don't use a rack on my "Sequoia" for just that reason.) You'll need to carry the load on you, or rely on SAG support/availability of rest stops instead. (The lack of safe, "real" load-carrying capacity is more of a problem for commuters/utility riders than, it seems, what you want of the bike.)
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Old 03-26-05, 10:00 PM   #9
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Specialized 700c tires will be Flackjackets(tough) or Armidillos(really tough)
Specialized carbon stay bikes look like they have a screw holding the carbon stay to the alluminim stay. Don't worry, it is a fender or rack mount and not structural. If you want to worry get a seat post mount rear rack, you can get a frame for it that allows easy pannier mounting. Most racks are rated for 40 pounds max and most people will never put that much on a rack. The extra weight should not be a problem unless you are truly huge.

The OCRs come with an adjustable stem as well. Most of the racy(Allez) Specialized bikes have a four postion adjustable stem that uses an interior shim to make slight changes and flipping the stem for gross changes.

You really need to ride them both to make your choice.

A thing a bout the Giant sizing, alot has been said about "They only offer three sizes" Well in most of their bikes they offer five. This is comparable to the range that is offered in conventional sizing. If you look close, or do a real measurement on just about any makers bike you will find that the number they give you for size is virtual. That is, the number is what the bike would be if it had a top tube perpindicular to the ground. This has been going on for years, I have a Cdale that measuers 15" center to center b ut is called an 18". Giant was just the first to be up front about it and so they get the hard time. They are also the ones that came up with compact geometry and got protested by the other manufacturers and banned from UCI events for a year till the other makers realised the benefit and had time to tool up themselves, at which time they protested it, the ban, and started making their own compact frames.
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Old 03-27-05, 02:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhg152
The OCR1 is actually a fair bit cheaper because it's last year's model - this year's has switched to a carbon frame, I believe. But it's an ugly shade of very shiny blue, and while that shouldn't make an difference it is definitely a point against it. Will look at the Roubaix as well, but I think that's moving into the next price range up. And thanks for the advice. All much appreciated.
There are the OCR 1, 2 and 3 that are aluminum and there are the OCR 1, 2 and 3 that are composite. This is true of '04 and '05 models.

I own an '04 Sequoia Elite. Love it. Very comfortable bike. It's not one of those lean forward ball buster aero bikes that the pros use, which is what I like about it. It fits like a glove and makes for very enjoyable riding.

Between the '05 Sequoia Elite with an MSRP of $1300 and an '05 Giant OCR1 (not composite) with an MSRP of $1000, I would look very hard at the OCR1 - even though I'm quite happy with my Sequoia. You'll need to test ride both of them to an idea of what you'll be happy with though. Both of those bikes have an adjustable stem so it's pretty easy to dial in a good fit for the upper body. Just make sure you're lower body fits the bike properly.

As Skydive69 stated you're probably not going to notice any real difference between the 105 on the Sequoia and the Ultegra on the OCR1. A well adjusted 105 group behaves pretty well and should offer years of trouble free service. Personally, I think Ultegra has a little nicer finish or a little more finesse if you will, but that won't matter beans as to it's performance. The only thing I don't like about 105 is that some of the components are painted. Painted components on a road bike is just wrong! The brushed aluminum looks so much better.

With either of those bikes I'd see if the shop could swap out the wheels. I'm not too impressed with either set. I have the Alex ALX-290 wheelset on my Sequoia and think they are duds. I'm looking to replace them in the not too distant future and they only have 1400 road miles and 700 trainer miles on them (or rather on the rear). They're fine trainer use. What isn't?

Also, you may want to consider swapping out the Milano saddle should you go with the Sequoia. I found that it looked much more comfortable than it is.

Basically, both are very nice bikes. I think you get a little more bang for the buck with the OCR1 due to the Ultegra components and it's lower MSRP. The CF rear stays on the Sequoia are OK, but you can achieve the same thing by riding fatter tires with less pressure in them.

Edit: The '05 OCR1 has an Easton EA50 6 Degree stem. It was the '04 that had an adjustable stem. That's an easy fix if you want it. Nashbar has Zoom adjustable stems for under $13 right now. I like 'em but weight weenies hate 'em.

Last edited by Doctor Morbius; 03-27-05 at 02:53 AM.
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