The Conquest Pro enjoys long, romantic spins by the lakeside ©Gork Barrette
by Andrew Yee
Sea Otter has come and gone, but we still have more new cyclocross products to reveal that we came across while in Monterey. Redline is preparing to launch its 2011 lineup, and we managed to grab a sneak peek of a few of the new bikes. If you missed our other product news and photos, you can check out our other Sea Otter cyclocross product galleries here.
Redline is typically the first major ‘cross bike manufacturers to get its new product out every year – well before cyclocross season starts, instead of the typical release date after Interbike, when racing is already underway. Redline wants riders to get their bikes ready and dialed in well before racing starts, and other manufacturers are taking note and starting to follow this strategy.
For the Conquest and Conquest Pro, the major changes include component suppliers, not just colors. The Pro keeps SRAM Rival but goes from A-Class wheels and the tubeless-ready Hutchinson Bulldog tires to the highly-recognized and popular Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels and the lighter Schwalbe Racing Ralph clinchers. Redline has long been a promoter of tubeless tires for cyclocross but agrees with our testing, which shows that the Hutchinson tire is prone to burping at low pressures – more so than other tubeless setups and conversions.
Barrel adjusters on the Conquest's Kore Race+ allow on-the-fly adjustments ©Gork Barrette
The company has also teamed up with Seattle-based Kore components, and both the Conquest and Pro switch to Kore Race+ cantilevers (with barrel adjusters – a really nice touch). The Conquest also features Kore Gradient II wheels.
Redline has used aluminum, steel, titanium and scandium in the past for its cyclocross bikes – the only material it hasn’t tried is carbon. That, however, is starting to change. The new Team model, not pictured, (we reviewed the excellent 2010 Team in Cyclocross Magazine Issue 8) was already light at under 18 pounds, but goes on a further diet for 2011 with a carbon rear triangle. The Team also boasts a revised geometry with a lower BB and shorter chainstays (is it a coincidence that those were the same two minor complaints we had with the geometry in the past) – to make it even more race-oriented than its well-rounded predecessor. Will Redline move to a full carbon bike in the future? You can be sure the company is looking at the material but for 2011 Aluminum is still the workhorse material.
For more info: RedlineBikes.com