Written by Wally Wallace Friday, 15 June 2007 10:00
Believe it or not, cross season is not far away. Here in New England we will be racing in a little over two months time which means that now is the time to start thinking about your bike for the new season. Bikeman has a first look at the 2008 Redline Conquest Cyclocross bicycles. The 4 bike Conquest series has something for everyone.
While the names remain the same, the design and spec have taken a big leap forward. At the top of the heap is the Conquest Team. One of the lightest production framesets for 07 has taken another technological step forward. For 08 the Team frame features a unique drive side chainstay design to add extra clearance to the chainrings and increase the lateral rigidity of the frame. The real benefit is in the chainstay clearance.
The new design offers enough clearance to run a single ring setup. The 07 version had tons of tire clearance for mud but the result was that there was not enough room to run a single ring setup with a 42 tooth guard or a 42 tooth chainring in the inner position of the crank. Now with the new extrusion there is still tons of mud clearance but there is enough room to run up to a 42 tooth ring on the inner position with a chain checker device or the bullet proof double chainring guard setup with the guard on the inner position, the chainring on the outer position and a second guard spaced off the chainring. The side benefit that resulted from the extrusion is the increased stiffness at the bottom bracket that always comes in handy in a cyclocross race. The technology is borrowed from Redline's new sister company, La Pierre, who featured a similar chainstay design on their top cross frame the X-Lite. The X-Lite was piloted by Francis Mourey of Francaise des Jeux to some stellar World Cup finishes last year.
Careful attention to tubing shapes and geometry make this a profesional level race frame. The top tube is ovalized for comfortable shouldering while the S-Bend rear stays offer ample mud clearance. The frame tubing is butted Scandium and no word yet on how much, if any, weight the new chainstay will add. Judging from the La Pierre X-Lite frame it won't be much at all.
The other news on the Conquest Team is that Redline will now be offering this as a complete bike. A Shimano Ultegra equipped bike with Ritchey WCS parts throughout. So far this looks to be the hot off the shelf pro setup for 2008. Bikeman will be offering the Frame and Fork set for sale on line and the complete bikes will be available at our retail store.
The Conquest Pro frame and fork look to be unchanged from 2007 but closer inspection reveals that the new chainstay extrusion on the Team actually made its way down to the Pro as well. Featuring a light weight, double butted U6 aluminum frame with a Redline carbon fork. The big upgrade is in the complete bike spec. From the pictures we were sent it appears the The Conquest Pro will be sporting the SRAM Rival group with some FSA bits and pieces. Pro Racer on a budget is the best description here. Bikeman will be offering the frame and fork set for sale on line and the complete bikes will be available at our retail store.
The bike that started it all. The Conquest features the same race proven geometry as the PRO and TEAM frames at an entry level price point. Last years frame featured a nice double butted 6061 aluminum frame with the S-Bend stays, disc mounts and 130mm dropout spacing. Again for 2008 this is the only frame in the Redline lineup that offers disc brake mounts. The fork is painted to match the frame and features U6 aluminum blades. Bikeman will be offering the Frame and Fork set for sale on line and the complete bikes will be available at our retail store.
Part cyclocross, part touring, great commuter..... This is the do it all bike. Great for the person who wants to drop in on a cross race or two per year and wants to have a great commuter bike / weekend touring ride the remainder of the time. Entry level group with plenty of room to grow.
Bikeman will be selling Framesets on-line next month and complete bikes at our retail location in Woolwich Maine.
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