Strengths: Fast climber; good gearing for lousy Pennsylvania roads; lightweight; good gearing; good wheels; cool blue color; reasonable price
Weaknesses: Low end saddle, poor even for factory. Rough gravel = tooth pain.
Liked this bike right away. Bought for commuting 8.5 miles one way, 1 mile is gravel road, and some grass shortcuts. Stable at all speeds, comfortable frame dimensions. I have some short steep grades - no triple but this bike is light and fast for accents. Close gearing on front is great, much better than using a hardtail mountain bike with skinny tires (my previous commuter setup). Good value, decent wheels, 105 shifts nicely, knobby tires 50-75 psi - will change to city tread. Saddle and pedals are the only must-change items. I'm also planning to try this bike for easy-go back country rides with friends, and if I go carbon fork I'll try non-technical singletrack. Detailed company history on website (BMX and Cyclocross racing)
Similar Products Used: Trek FX 7.3 same price but no comparison to Conquest. Trek is a heavy hardtail with 700mm wheels and Deore (good beach bike?) Redlines are roadbikes. Get to work fast on bad roads pick the Conquest.
Bike Setup: Tiagra front changer, 105 9 speed rear; Tiagra flight deck shifters; wheels Richey DS PRO ETRTO 622-14; tires Maxxis 700X35 Locust CX; Richey biomax bar; Bontrager stem; aheadset/cane creek headset; Tektro Oryx centerpull; Tektro RX top bar aux brake levers
Strengths: Reasonably light, inexpensive, comfortable, great handling, and versatile.
Weaknesses: No rack braze-ons.
I bought the frame to build into an all around ride. I really like this bike. I use it to commute to and from work, as well as long road rides and local singletrack. I even rode it in a century last year. This bike has replaced both of my other bikes. This bike handles as well as my Specialized Allez on the road, and handles technical single track as well as my Klein. The only thing that I would suggest to Redline is to add braze-ons for a rack. Other than that nitpick, This is a very good bike and an excellent buy.
Weaknesses: Alloy fork is very stiff and harsh - I'm considering a Winwood carbon. Stock saddle sucked (Selle San Marco Island Ponza). My toes hit the front wheel - seems like a bad design for a cross bike. Would it have killed them to put rack braze-ons on it? After all, the Pro version is for racing. Oh yeah...the paint seems kind of soft.
I haven't ridden that many different bikes but this one really seems to work well for me. I commute 28mi/day in rain or whatever. I was rapidly destroying my rims on my old mountain bike with all the grit so I sought out a road oriented bike that I could put discs on. I also wanted aluminum so rust wouldn't be a concern. This bike meets all my needs and is fun to ride. The ride is not real smooth but that may be partly due to my choice of tires.
The bike was good as it came but I couldn't resist customizing it. I've changed just about everything on it and I'm now convinced I would have been better off just buying the frame and building it up. Oh well.
Weaknesses: doube crank
low end crank
alum fork (but I really don't mind)
For the price, you can't beat this bike. This is my first cross bike, and I have hopes of racing it soon. The bike is fast, responsive, good climber, and fast, fast, and fast. I love the top break levers, I think that is a great feature, especially when your going 30MPH downhill riding on the tops, your not forced to change hand positions if you need to break. This bike feels very solid. I would have liked a carbon fork, maybe later, and a nicer crank and triple ring, but for the price and the other components, you can't beat it. You can ride this anywhere, and not worry about tearing it up.
Strengths: I liked the stable ride qualities of the Conquest, I suppose Redline has figured out their geometry after 10 plus years of making 'Cross bikes. I appreciated the 'Cross gearing of the 46x36T since then shifting on the 12x25 cassette was tighter, than a 12x27. I like the extra brake levers on the tops, very handy for city riding. The Raze tires rode nice on the trails--a good alround tread. I am contemplating changing to disc brakes, so having the tabs on the frame and fork was a big selling point.
Weaknesses: I changed to my own pedal system, so perhaps the bike does not need to come with pedals?
A good solid riding bike for under a grand, I really enjoy this versitle bike. I also use this as my winter "rain bike" easy to install fenders on. Redline has really thought out many details, like all of the fender eyelets and attachment points.