We took an in-depth look at two 2013 Redline Conquest models at the 2012 Sea Otter Classic — the new 2013 aluminum Conquest Disc cyclocross bike, and the updated 2013 Conquest Team (and Pro) carbon disc-ready cyclocross frames (both previewed briefly in photos yesterday). Conveniently, the 2013 Conquest Team frame had arrived via overnight delivery from Taiwan just minutes before we arrived at the Redline booth for our exclusive preview.
Redline brought back the aluminum Conquest Disc bike after many years of hibernation, now that disc brake technology, wheel options and UCI rules have made disc brake cyclocross bikes more popular. The Shimano Tiagra, Avid BB7 mechanical disc brake-equipped bike will retail for about $1500, and features a double butted 6061 aluminum frame, carbon disc fork, and an updated geometry that includes the lower bottom bracket (7cm drop) and shorter chainstays (42.5cm) of the high-end carbon Conquest Team and Pro models. Unlike with those frames, however, Redline opted for 135mm rear dropout spacing.
On the high-end carbon side, the carbon Conquest Team (reviewed in Issue 15) and Pro models return for 2013, and they remain the only carbon disc-ready cyclocross frames we know of to come complete with canti bosses and standard 130mm rear wheels. To achieve this, Redline opted for 130mm rear spacing, giving customers an option to utilize their existing race wheels, while still allowing the option to move to disc brakes simply by changing the fork and swapping wheels. For current Conquest Team or Pro owners, Redline has in-house wheel building to help meet the relatively unique need for 130mm disc rear wheels, using Novatec or White Industry 130mm rear disc-compatible hubs.
The Conquest Disc and carbon Team and Pro all receive an updated graphics package, complete with a bold new head badge logo, but underneath the new makeup on the carbon frame are some subtle changes for 2013. Redline, like many other companies and custom builders we’ve talked to, has moved from BB30 to PF30 (Pressfit 30) bottom bracket shells, saving weight and eliminating tremendous sensitivity to manufacturing tolerances. The company has also moved to a one-piece rear chainstay/seatstay junction, avoiding the bolt in this area found on the 2012 model. These two changes result in a total of 80-100 grams of weight savings.
You won’t notice it in the bike shop, but if you were able to peer inside the tubes (we got to look at a 2012 model cut in half), you’ll see another small change for 2013. Redline has moved to an internal mold inside the tubes in order to further smooth out the inside surfaces of the tube shapes, making internal cable routing even easier.
One last change? A prominent UCI approved sticker, giving you the green light to win in Louisville in 2013.
Redline hinted at future cyclocross innovations, including a Conquest Team disc model and some collaboration with manufacturers on hydraulic discs. Stay tuned right here for the latest developments in this area, and for our full review of a disc-equipped Conquest Team bike.
Redline Engineer Kurt Hall talks about the 2013 Conquest Team and Conquest Disc bikes:
Photo Gallery of Redline Conquest Team Carbon Bikes: