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AWOL vs Sequoia for Commuter

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AWOL vs Sequoia for Commuter

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Old 10-21-16, 08:27 AM
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manimal_
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AWOL vs Sequoia for Commuter

Hi everyone. Longtime lurker, finally registered.

I'm supposed to meet up today to sell my Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo, and I'm going to pick up a proper commuter bike once I do. The sale might fall through since the guy is not responding, and if so I'll be headed to the LBS today since I've got the bike with me to talk about a trade.

My issue is for a month now I've been going back and forward on which bike would work best. I was looking at the Diverge, AWOL, and recently the Sequoia. I think I've settled between the AWOL and Sequoia because of the ability to run a wider tire.

My commute is 16 miles each way (32 miles RT), and it's 90% paved roads, albeit not great, and about 10% or less dirt and or crappy sidewalks, etc. I'm now unsure if I will use panniers or just use my backpack, I'll have to carry my work clothes, shoes, and misc. office things so my pack should be relatively light. I'll mount water bottles on the frame. I do have to jump some curbs, and ride through some construction zones along the way.

If I go with the AWOL it would be the Comp, and if I go with the Sequoia it will be the Elite. Will it matter at the end of the day which bike I choose given what I plan to do with it, 90% commute, 10% fun on light trails and single track.
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Old 10-21-16, 09:57 AM
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Mr IGH
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Once I saw the Sequoia had a carbon fork I went with the AWOL. I keep my bikes for decades and I don't trust carbon fiber components made to Bike Industry Quality Standards (basically; none).
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Old 10-21-16, 10:18 AM
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I have a nearly 10 year old (2007) Allez with a carbon fork. It shows no signs of stress/wear. That being said, I do not see a "Comp" model Sequoia on the Specialized site. If it is the entry model, it has a steel fork, so Mr IGH's concerns will be alleviated.

I have a Sequoia Elite on order. Just waiting for the call.

Edited to add: I misread that the AWOL was the Comp model, and Sequoia Elite.

Last edited by DBT; 10-21-16 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 10-21-16, 10:37 AM
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Biggest difference to me is the AWOL Comp is a SRAM Rival 1x group. Personally I like that (I have Force 1x 10-42 plus 46T chainring and my commute is also 32 mi RT), but the 38T in the front doesn't give you much of a range for road riding. It is more adventure gearing. The Sequoia gearing is more favorable for the road.

The Shimano hydraulic on the Sequoia are probably a little better than SRAM (they use mineral oil vis DOT brake fluid), but the SRAM should be fine..

I wouldn't give a thought to the fork except that the Carbon would give you less buzz I expect. Most bikes have had Carbon forks for many years now. All my bikes have Carbon forks. No a problem.

You might look at the Diverge as well. It rides well on the roads or off-road.
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Old 10-21-16, 11:07 AM
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I wouldn't commute and park a carbon fiber component in weather and expect it to have a life as long as a steel fork, esp if it was engineered by the bike industry (as if there's any proper life testing now, much less ten years ago). That's why I stick to steel, the engineering/life testing is independent of bike engineers....
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Old 10-21-16, 11:41 AM
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thanks everyone! I went ahead with the trade for the Sequoia Elite. I'm super excited. The only problem is the wait! Now I'll have to wait at least 30 days before I can start commuting.

FYI - I will only be commuting when it's not raining, and I will have the bike in the office with me!
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Old 10-21-16, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by manimal_ View Post
thanks everyone! I went ahead with the trade for the Sequoia Elite. I'm super excited. The only problem is the wait! Now I'll have to wait at least 30 days before I can start commuting.

FYI - I will only be commuting when it's not raining, and I will have the bike in the office with me!
Congrats on the new bike. Hoppefully, you will see it even sooner. My latest update was that mine is supposed to be in around the end of October.
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Old 10-21-16, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DBT View Post
Congrats on the new bike. Hoppefully, you will see it even sooner. My latest update was that mine is supposed to be in around the end of October.
When did you order? He called Specialized while I was there to get more accurate info. They said they had a batch shipping in 30 days, and if he couldn't get one then they were releasing about 15 units every week (or every other can't remember). He's going to try and jockey some spots to snag one that's not already sold shipping to other dealers. I'm looking at late november if I'm lucky
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Old 10-21-16, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by manimal_ View Post
When did you order? He called Specialized while I was there to get more accurate info. They said they had a batch shipping in 30 days, and if he couldn't get one then they were releasing about 15 units every week (or every other can't remember). He's going to try and jockey some spots to snag one that's not already sold shipping to other dealers. I'm looking at late november if I'm lucky
I'm not sure when the order was officially placed, but hopefully pretty early. I told my shop I wanted one after the dealers got to check them out (Expert model) . They were really in to it.
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Old 10-23-16, 02:30 AM
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Ah, I see you already ordered it.

It's kinda funny in context of the other responses, I personally would never buy a bike without a carbon fork again (unless it's a mountain bike with front suspension). The improvement in ride quality with a carbon fork, for me, was a huge improvement. I have an older specialized bike from around 2009 (technically it's also called a sequoia but it's no relation to the current bike) that's a carbon fork and aluminum frame. I've ridden steel bikes with steel forks aluminum bikes with aluminum and steel forks, and nothing has hit the price/performance better than a well designed aluminum bike with a steel fork.

I was pretty disappointed the cheaper sequoia's didn't have a carbon fork. I was thinking of test riding one next year to see if they figured out some design magic that let them get away with it.

It would be very difficult for me to spend $2k on a bike and not get a full carbon bike at this point - as recently as this year I test rode several steel bikes, and they just are never as good at removing road buzz and vibration as a bike with a carbon fork is (and full carbon from a good company is even better though often not necesary). I love the flexier feel of steel though - I wish someone like specialized would make a well designed steel bike with a carbon front fork for a reasonable price (if they can do it with aluminum they gotta be able to do it with steel to right?).
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Old 10-23-16, 07:45 AM
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i ordered 58" sequoia elite in august and am still waiting........has anyone on east coast, usa received one yet, the wait is getting tough. talked to my shop last week and they are talking to specialized rep who may have a couple 58" that he will send me next week.
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Old 10-26-16, 07:41 AM
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I had a similar debate. I talked to my bike fitter and he said because in addition to bike commuting I ultimately want to use this bike for some self supported multi-state rides, the AWOL Comp was the way to go because of the longer wheel base and higher seated position. Plus a black bike is just so much cooler than the ugly sea-foam green for the Sequoia elite level. One thing I don't understand is I keep scratching the seat post on my weekend trail rides. I have no idea why only the seat post keeps getting scratched. I am going to apply some helicopter tape.
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Old 10-26-16, 02:00 PM
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<<<<< Look over there. Totally biased opinion... I'm a VERY satisfied customer.
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Old 10-27-16, 08:19 AM
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My Specialized Sequoia, 34 years old and still counting.
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Old 10-31-16, 09:23 PM
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If anyone here gets a new sequoia, I'd like to buy the handlebars from you.
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Old 09-01-18, 04:12 PM
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Hey all, just resurrecting this thread to ask a follow up question —
with a slightly different take: specifically, thru-axles with iffy rims/hubs reported for Sequoia, vs. quick release but not too many issues reported, on AWOL.

There is a LBS near my house whose staff I like very much, would like to give them my business—and they basically sell Specialized. I would like a steel frame bike that will last a long time and would be upgradeable over the years. My commute is: 22 miles round trip—60% roads, 30% rail trail gravel, 10% smooth singletrack, not too technical (on days when I might want to have a little fun when weather is nice). I should probably say that I’m about 245 lbs and would like to loose another 20 (I’m down from 307 last year)—so whether a bike is 20 lbs or 26 lbs, I’m not really going to be picky.

I think I was leaning toward the Sequoia Elite (the tan version, not the weird white-green) but was reading some not-so-great things about the wheelsets. I don’t think the weight of the Hayfields would bother me, and I rather like the concept of a wider internal rim width—but the possibility of spokes breaking or hub failures kind of bothers me (it’s a $2000 bike!).

The AWOL Comp is a pretty sweet looking bike, I wouldn’t mind the steel fork I don’t think, but the fact that the AWOL has quick-release axles front and rear is equally weird to me. Why wouldn’t they make the more off-road worthy of these two with thru-axles?

I’m pretty new to all this stuff — I maybe would want to take one of these touring, but I already have a Trek Farley 9 from 2016 with a rack and some ortliebs and I can always take that off-road touring (so it’s not like I need to pick the AWOL).

What do ppl think about the wheel issues reported on Sequoia? Are these likely enough to occur to me (at 245 lbs commuting 4x weekly for 22 miles) that I should pick the AWOL Comp even with the QR axles? Does QR vs. Thru axle even matter? Plenty of ppl have been commuting (and doing other kinds of riding) with QR for years.....

Thanks for any input you all have.

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Old 09-02-18, 06:31 AM
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I don't have experience with the wheels you are talking about but I wouldn't worry. Specialized and your LBS will take care of you if the wheels fail. That is what warranty is for. Now, warranty is for manufactures defect, not abuse by the rider, so take care of your bike and your shop will take care of you. The 32 spoke wheels will handle your weight, so again non-issue.

The difference between through axle and quick release in not like night and day. Through axles are my favorite with disc brakes because the wheel when being installed will be in the exact same spot every time. You will never get disc rub as long as the discs are straight. They are theoretically stiffer but I don't believe most people could ever tell and they will never pop out from extreme braking. Yes, quick release has been around since Campagnolo patented the first one in 30's and they work great. Through axles in certain situations are an improvement but you will have to decided if your situation warrants this.
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Old 09-02-18, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the reply, blakcloud.

Do QRs sometimes pop out with extreme braking? Didn’t know that... I think the Sequoia would fit my purposes a bit better, without duplicating what I Have already (a reasonable trail bike that’s easy to ride and can tour off road with some simple mods—the Farley).

Do you (or others) have any idea about hub/spoke/wheel maintenance to minimize the chances of wheel failures? I’ve heard something about routine bike washes washing away grease somewhere in the wheel? I have no idea about any of this stuff! I don’t want to get too crazy—I feel fine about rolling back into the LBS and having them replace stuff—I just want to minimize my chances of getting stranded on the commute!

Also, do ppl think tubeless is better for commuting on a bike like this (with tire size 38-42) or would tubes actually be easier to deal with if there was a flat or problem on the commute? i.e.,, How “bulletproof” would the tires be and how easy would it be to fix a tubeless flat (if I did get one) on a commute?

My farley has 3.8 in Hodag tubeless (love that tire, actually) and they have never failed me yet—probably over 500 miles, roads, gravel, technical singletrack — but this could be a factor of the beefiness of the tire itself, not the tubeless set up....

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Old 09-02-18, 08:08 AM
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How are you liking the Sequoia Elite 1-2 yrs after purchase, manimal? I would PM you about this but I can’t until I have 10+ posts, apparently...


Was there some drama that prompted the admin ppl to restrict privileges? Weird. Maybe this is a common thing now....
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Old 09-06-18, 11:12 PM
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I went through the same decision process and tried all 3 bikes -- diverge, awol and sequoia --- and ended up going with the base Sequoia model.

Ive been riding it for about 8 months and highly recommend it. Obviously not the lightest bike around, but once you get it up to speed its a great ride and really rolls well. I also ride a 2016 giant defy advanced pro 2 so I feel i have a good perspective.

The mechanical disc brakes work great, the handling is really stable, and the combjnation of steel and 42mm tires makes for a comfortable bomb proof ride. I mostly use it ti run errands but I occasiinally take on longer rides that involve 2000+ feet of climbing.

Great value for price and I highly recommend.
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Old 09-07-18, 05:49 AM
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Have you considered the Trek Crossrip?

My three finalist candidates were the sequoia, the AWOL, and the crossrip. I chose the crossrip because it is lighter if I remember correctly.
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Old 09-07-18, 07:27 AM
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I have been riding a Sequoia for almost two years. I special ordered one when they first were launched. here is my take away, good and bad.

initially Specialized gave me the run around about my order. finally I called specialized and they said it could be 3-12 months before my bike arrived!? I wrote customer service a nasty email and the bike showed up within a week.

the Hayfield wheels are crap. they are super heavy and they started breaking spokes immediately. Had rear wheel replaced under warranty with same results. I'm just north of 200lbs, but I would think a steel light touring/adventure bike would be able to handle. A week before taking it on a pacific coast tour the rear wheel started wobbling, a precursor to spoke breaking. luckily my LBS was able to build me a good set of wheels in just a couple days and saved my trip(wheels at my expense). the new wheels made the bike much better, way better acceleration, better climbing and much more spritely. with two wheels breaking spokes, evidently it wasn't just one bad wheel, hopefully they have/will correct this.

with new wheels and a new, not specialized, seat post clamp(kept slipping) the bike has been pretty good. It is heavy and definitely not a Raceday bike, but I ride it from time to time on group rides with roadies and I do more than keep up, though I do work a lot harder than the others. I have since built a carbon frame road bike so the sequoia now gets ridden around town, some touring, and I have been riding a lot of gravel and enjoying that.

it is a very comfortable bike and I enjoy riding it a lot. Specialized has left a bad taste in my mouth with their poor customer service (too large and lost sight of their vision) and even poorer warranty service. don't be fooled that their warranty will fix things as they should be, my LBS tried to help and absorbed some cost to help me out, but they can't be responsible for Specialized shortcomings. I probably could have raised cain with corporate and maybe gotten a different set of wheels, but I was in a bind and had to get something that I could depend on while touring.

good luck
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Old 09-07-18, 09:57 AM
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Ive had no issues with the cruzero wheels or the seatpost in my 2017 sequoia and i regularly carry 20 to 50 lbs on my bike.
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Old 09-07-18, 10:03 AM
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Feel the need to jump in here.

I’m sure the warranty issues mentioned above are mostly LBS related. I’ve been a Specialized customer for decades and have never had a problem with any warranty claims. I have, however, always dealt with an excellent LBS and they have repeatedly proven to be quality people doing quality work. I have nothing but praise for my LBS.

Having said that, I’m convinced that Specialized has cut back on the quality of their wheelsets. I have had plenty of problems with their stock wheels on their mid level bikes. Normally I hand check and fine tune any new machine built wheels upon delivery. Recently, rather than doing it myself, I decided to have the guys check and tension the new wheels. The wheels on my wife’s new Roll were ridiculously bad. She’s not a very demanding rider so I think we’re gonna be ok, but I have four warranty wheels for the last three bikes purchased. Broken spokes, stripped nipples, nipples pulling through the rims, etc. I got two rides out of a replacement rear wheel before it cracked at the nipple.

Mixed feelings on the situation, really. Sure, they’re great about handling the problems, but I’d rather not have the problems to begin with. I’ve been thinking about picking up another hardtail MTB, but I’m sure I’ll have to build up a wheelset for it. I’m ok with the idea of cheap, throw away grips or saddles, but wheels?! C’mon.

So so in the end, my guys will treat me right, but when it comes to the root of the problem? They can only shrug their shoulders.


-Kedosto
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Old 09-07-18, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Feel the need to jump in here.

I’m sure the warranty issues mentioned above are mostly LBS related. I’ve been a Specialized customer for decades and have never had a problem with any warranty claims. I have, however, always dealt with an excellent LBS and they have repeatedly proven to be quality people doing quality work. I have nothing but praise for my LBS.

Having said that, I’m convinced that Specialized has cut back on the quality of their wheelsets. I have had plenty of problems with their stock wheels on their mid level bikes. Normally I hand check and fine tune any new machine built wheels upon delivery. Recently, rather than doing it myself, I decided to have the guys check and tension the new wheels. The wheels on my wife’s new Roll were ridiculously bad. She’s not a very demanding rider so I think we’re gonna be ok, but I have four warranty wheels for the last three bikes purchased. Broken spokes, stripped nipples, nipples pulling through the rims, etc. I got two rides out of a replacement rear wheel before it cracked at the nipple.

Mixed feelings on the situation, really. Sure, they’re great about handling the problems, but I’d rather not have the problems to begin with. I’ve been thinking about picking up another hardtail MTB, but I’m sure I’ll have to build up a wheelset for it. I’m ok with the idea of cheap, throw away grips or saddles, but wheels?! C’mon.

So so in the end, my guys will treat me right, but when it comes to the root of the problem? They can only shrug their shoulders.


-Kedosto

my LBS has done nothing but top notch work, and I've been to several for retail and service before choosing the one I currently use. As I told specialized when inquiring about my special order Sequoia, after patiently waiting 3 months, and being told by customer service my bike will arrive somewhere in the next 3-12 months, I have done what I was supposed to, my LBS have done what they are supposed to, now its past time for specialized to do what they are supposed to. they tried to make excuses concerning their abscence of a local area sales manager which is a very poor excuse to give a consumer. and my bike arrived the next week.

I'm sure specialized would have continued to replace the crappy, heavy wheels, but to what end? Bike down time waiting on more poorly built, heavy wheels or me stuck somewhere with a broken spoke or cracked rim? my LBS would have continued to facilitate the warranty repairs in a very professional manner, but again, to what end. I'm glad they suggested building me some good wheels and it has made my Sequoia a much better and fun to ride bike. agreed, we are not talking about crappy grips or saddles, wheels can change a bike from mediocre to outstanding.
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