Last year at Interbike, Redline sent out several of its Conquest Flight frames in order to showcase a few dream builds by various drivetrain and brake companies. Not long after, we received our own Conquest Flight frame, although we had a goal in mind of a workingman's build with SRAM Rival 22 components.
After completely building up the bike, we put it through its full testing paces and today we offer Clifford Lee's full review of the frame and build from Issue 28. For extensive reviews just like this one, be sure to order your backcopy today, which is also available on Uberflip, in the App Store on iTunes, and on Google Play for Android.
Use the slider below for impressions and detailed specs on the frame, build and ride, as well as our final verdict. More Info: redlinebicycles.com.
The Redline Conquest Flight has nearly identical frame tube shapes as the Conquest Team we reviewed years before, but the cantilever bosses are now a thing of the past, making this a dedicated disc bike. The frame’s main triangle is comprised of round tubes, with an ovalized top tube and massive down tube measuring 50mm in diameter. The rear triangle, on the other hand, is comprised of squared cross-section tubes that follow curvy lines. The chainstays are narrow but tall just behind the bottom bracket, switching to flat and wide as they approach the rear dropouts. These seatstays are not connected by a bridge, creating plenty of room for mud clearance. It’s strange to look down and see such wide, curving tubes back there, and they remind me of exhaust pipes on a motorcycle.
Redline uses the PF30 bottom-bracket design, a move that more bike companies are making as they change away from the previous BB30. The PF30 avoids the precise machining of the bottom bracket shell (or the need for an insert) for the bearings and retaining clips of the BB30.
Shift cables run internally with a full run of cable housing, a minor challenge to set up, as the housing is clamped below the inside of the bottom bracket shell, and the front derailleur cable then makes a sharp bend up to its exit. The brake lines run externally, making it easier to set up hydraulic brakes, or to swap brakes if necessary.
The Redline Conquest 15mm thru-axle fork has broad, square cross-section blades that make its aerodynamic performance suffer, but certainly doesn’t hurt the handling performance, and reinforces my comment that, “I haven’t met a thru-axle cyclocross fork I didn’t like!”
Geometry does not vary from previous iterations of the Conquest Team Carbon frames, using that same 7mm bottom-bracket drop, 42.5cm chainstays. The 61.1cm front-to-center length yields a 102.1cm wheelbase for our 56cm frame. The 72-degree head tube angle, combined with a 45mm fork offset, is a standard combination for cyclocross. Thanks to the 73-degree seat tube, our 56cm bike has an effective top tube of 56.5cm.