Picking just one favorite bike from this year is impossible, but the Specialized Bicycles Sequoia would be right there at the top. We can't get enough of anything designed for having fun on as many surfaces as possible and this reboot does just that.
There’s an abundance of classifications you can throw at this bike and they’d all accurately describe it. To the naysayers having a hard time with the meteoric rise of gravel/adventure bikes, you're not wrong—technically, any bike can be a __________ bike. However, while riding your traditional road (read: racing) bike on gravel roads with multiple packs is feasible, doing the same ride on a bike specifically designed to handle mixed surfaces while loaded can be a transformative experience.
1) Adventure Geometry: Specialized says, “This geometry is unique in that it skews the line between a traditional road bike and a dedicated touring rig. You'll find an ample wheelbase and low bottom bracket for control, but the chainstays and tube angles ensure that you'll be able to travel efficiently and quickly, regardless of whether or not your rig is loaded.” We couldn’t have said it any better. As soon as you start pedaling you can feel it—over the rough stuff or out of the saddle and climbing.
2) Mounts, Mounts, Mounts: Every bike has mounts to some extent. What’s different about the Sequoia is the abundance not normally found on frame that looks and rides like this. Dual eyelets on the rear dropout allow for dedicated points to mount both a rear rack and fenders. There’s a fender and/or rack mount on the fork dropout. But most importantly, mounts on both sides of the fork allow for a multitude of options like: extra bottle cages (bringing the total to 5), additional pack storage, as well as a front cargo rack. The combinations are endless.
3) The Adventure Gear Sawtooth Tires and Frame Clearance for Said Tires: Considering OEM tires are typically entry-level quality and are easily changed they’re not normally considered as both a feature and a benefit to a bike. However, the Sawtooth 700x42c was specifically created to launch with and take full advantage of the Sequoia. They’re ridiculously smooth and fast on a variety of terrain while the tread pattern can handle its own when the surface gets loose. The frame can handle much larger tires if needed but I imagine most will be sticking with these.