Vintage Redline Mountain Bike - Huh?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Vintage Redline Mountain Bike - Huh?

    In 26 years of mountain biking in Northern Calif I have never seen a Redline mountain bike. I know they were one of the top BMX mfg’s. But mountain bikes?

    I saw this at a garage sale and decided it would be one of my risk buy's.

    Can anyone tell me something about this bike? Year model? Were they any good? Is the bike worth anything? Aside from being outfitted with vintage Suntour XC components, is the frame a good quality? The cranks are not original so what were the original cranks?

    Decal says REDLINE Escape Vehicles

    It has a very vintage feel to it and I noticed the reinforced bracing on the down tube attached to the steer tube, very BMX’ish.
    Thanks
    ibike4fun
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    Last edited by ibike4fun; 03-16-2006 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #2
    VRC Hound
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    Interesting. Looks like replacement cranks. What do you mean "risk buy"?

  3. #3
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Redline

    I have a review in an MBA (maybe 94 or 95) of a Redline hardtail. From memory it had a linkage fork of some sort on it.
    Less isn't MOAR

  4. #4
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Hey! It's got rollercams at least!

    I've seen a Redline mountain bike before, but not anywhere near as old as yours. This was an early to mid nineties vintage, aluminum hardtail bike. A customer had brought it into the shop where I work. So, at least they had been putting out a mountain bike here and there for a few years.

    Nice find! Should clean up pretty well by the looks of it. A period correct crank shouldn't be all that hard to get either.
    Riden' an Smilin'
    Guitar Ted

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushpig
    Yea thats mine on CL. I am fishing for info?
    Last edited by ibike4fun; 03-17-2006 at 11:01 PM.

  7. #7

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    I have narrowed the year to late 1985 to 1986. The Suntour brakes installed are XC Power Brakes CB-6000, Roller Cam Cunningham design with brass rollers were manufactured late 84 to 1985. In 1986 they used Delrin plastic rollers. So now I have a year, what is the model?

    And the Dia-Comp brake levers are model 284 which came out late 1985 and ran for 1986.

    I say the bike was made in Q3 or Q4 1985?
    Last edited by ibike4fun; 03-17-2006 at 10:56 PM.

  8. #8
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    This is an old post however could not pass it up. I purchased a rose grey metallic over chrome plating quad butted ( yes with gussets ) color Redline Conquest Escape Vehicle in 1983/4 and I still have it today. I have not replaced any of the original parts. The bike is out of California in collaboration with several santa cruz and SF bay area mountain bike pioneers Cunningham and Fischer are two names that I remember contributing. They could not get the components they wanted so they specified special equipment and UKAI in Japan performed the fabrication. There are parts on this bike that are rare. Yours has new handlebars and some other upgrades. things were changing quickly back then so upgrades were common. This was the first real mountain bike in my opinion. It was going up against over sized road bikes with fat tires and 12 to 18 gears but no concept of frame geometry and weight. This bike was agile for it's day - handled like a BMX and was fun to jump and ride. I rode my conquest from 84 to 96 and the sun tour components were famous for chewing up sticks and logs - just overbuilt to the max, never broke down when many of my ride partners blew out the latest shimano gear I just lumbered along. The wheelbase was long, made it not agile but it did have some grip going up. It had a phil wood cartridge freewheel, Cunningham design roller cam brakes, aluminum rims seat tube and handlebars, the cables were motorcycle type, bear trap pedals, sugino aluminum cranks, sealed bearings. 28~32lbs. I have an original specification sheet somewhere.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWFoster View Post
    This is an old post however could not pass it up. I purchased a rose grey metallic over chrome plating quad butted ( yes with gussets ) color Redline Conquest Escape Vehicle in 1983/4 and I still have it today. I have not replaced any of the original parts. The bike is out of California in collaboration with several santa cruz and SF bay area mountain bike pioneers Cunningham and Fischer are two names that I remember contributing. They could not get the components they wanted so they specified special equipment and UKAI in Japan performed the fabrication. There are parts on this bike that are rare. Yours has new handlebars and some other upgrades. things were changing quickly back then so upgrades were common. This was the first real mountain bike in my opinion. It was going up against over sized road bikes with fat tires and 12 to 18 gears but no concept of frame geometry and weight. This bike was agile for it's day - handled like a BMX and was fun to jump and ride. I rode my conquest from 84 to 96 and the sun tour components were famous for chewing up sticks and logs - just overbuilt to the max, never broke down when many of my ride partners blew out the latest shimano gear I just lumbered along. The wheelbase was long, made it not agile but it did have some grip going up. It had a phil wood cartridge freewheel, Cunningham design roller cam brakes, aluminum rims seat tube and handlebars, the cables were motorcycle type, bear trap pedals, sugino aluminum cranks, sealed bearings. 28~32lbs. I have an original specification sheet somewhere.
    Thanx for this, I'm looking at one right now in my area. Seems rare, I'm a beginner too

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWFoster View Post
    This is an old post however could not pass it up. I purchased a rose grey metallic over chrome plating quad butted ( yes with gussets ) color Redline Conquest Escape Vehicle in 1983/4 and I still have it today. I have not replaced any of the original parts. The bike is out of California in collaboration with several santa cruz and SF bay area mountain bike pioneers Cunningham and Fischer are two names that I remember contributing. They could not get the components they wanted so they specified special equipment and UKAI in Japan performed the fabrication. There are parts on this bike that are rare. Yours has new handlebars and some other upgrades. things were changing quickly back then so upgrades were common. This was the first real mountain bike in my opinion. It was going up against over sized road bikes with fat tires and 12 to 18 gears but no concept of frame geometry and weight. This bike was agile for it's day - handled like a BMX and was fun to jump and ride. I rode my conquest from 84 to 96 and the sun tour components were famous for chewing up sticks and logs - just overbuilt to the max, never broke down when many of my ride partners blew out the latest shimano gear I just lumbered along. The wheelbase was long, made it not agile but it did have some grip going up. It had a phil wood cartridge freewheel, Cunningham design roller cam brakes, aluminum rims seat tube and handlebars, the cables were motorcycle type, bear trap pedals, sugino aluminum cranks, sealed bearings. 28~32lbs. I have an original specification sheet somewhere.
    Hi TWFoster,

    I have this bike with sn# 0001. I'm not the original owner so know very little of it's history. Why do you think Cunningham and Fischer had a part in it's design? Redline was in southern cal at the time while Cunningham and Fischer where up north. Glad to see some of these are still around. It is an excellent bike for the time.

  11. #11
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    The June '85 issue of Cyclist had a road test written by John Francis on page 50 and 51. The article explains "Red Line hired Richard Cunningham to design the conquest. Cunningham was building Mantis at the time. The conquest has a 1 degree shallower head tube angle than Richard's top of the line race bike. Making the conquest a pure mountain bike, designed for maximum off road performance." I will share some notes here that I completely agree with. I rode mine all over the santa cruz mountains in the 90's.

    The frame is Redline Fabricated Heli Arc welded chromoly through-out quadruble - butted tubing on T/T and D/T, single butted tubing on s/t, forged vertical dropouts w/ two eyelets, c.p. finish on seat and chain stays (250mm x 300mm long ) available in 19", 21" 23" x 26.2.00)

    Forks are Redline Chromoly MX style 1" fork blades w/ c. p. 180mm. ( c. p. = chrome plating )

    Bars Nitto alloy city type 685 mm width - Alamite.

    Stem Suntour XC

    Crank Set Sugino TAT Special Engraved
    Chainwheel 46 x 36 x 26T Alamite
    Cranks Alloy 180mm w/ engraved SPECIAL mark

    Pedels Suntour XC-II w/ reflectors ( CPSC APproved )

    Rims UKAI Alloy 26 " x 1.5 HE 72 type 17mm wide w/ rivits Annodized

    Tires Panaracer Skinside IBEX 26 x 2.00

    Hubs Suntour XC Sealed bearing w/ truck nut 36H

    Freewheel Sun Tour New Winner NW-6000 with precision ground races double nut 13-28T

    I will see if I can upload the pdf of the paperwork I have.

    It's a trick bike. I just like the way it handles and tracks a line. And you can stay seated and push to climb. In fact it's better to stay seated on this geometry anyway.






    The roller cam brakes were Charlie Cunningham Design. No relation to Richard.

  12. #12
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    Red Line "Conquest" Cyclist Road Test ; Cyclist Magazine, June 85, John Francis

    This is an article on the vintage Redline Conquest.

    Credits Red Line "Conquest" Cyclist Road Test ; Cyclist Magazine, June 85, John Francis

    Red Line "Conquest"

    Talkin' BMX

    T This bike is trick. It's dialed in. It's rad. Maybe Super rad. It's a zoot scoot. Totally.

    OK, no more I promise. As those of you with pre-pubescent kids in the house know, we're talking about a pretty good bike here. It's called the "Conquest" with full-race geometry. Suntour's new XC component group and a, well, serious price tag, is probably the boldest entry of any of them. And so far, it's one of the best.

    So how did a kid-bike builder make such a good mountain bike on the first try? Red Line, profiting no doubt from its close acquaintance with kids, did what the kids do, what we all did, when the homework is full of tough problems: it cheated.

    Specifically, Red Line hired Richard Cunningham, who builds Mantis mountain bikes, to design the Conquest. What he gave us, except for a one-degree shallower head tube angle, is a bike with the same geometry as Richard's top-of-the-line race bike. It's like having your math-major older brother do your arithmetic homework.

    Richard believes, by the way, that nearly all production line mountain bikes on the market until now have really been "all terrain" bikes, in the sense that they are compromise designs intended to be used on the pavement as much as on the dirt. But the Conquest, Richard says, is a pure mountain bike, designed for maximum off-road performance.

    And that, It delivers. In corners, the bike is well balanced; neither wheel wants to break loose before the other, so the bike stays on the line you pick for it. On steep rocky downhills, the bike goes where you point it; you don't have to fight the bars to keep the front wheel under control. On steep climbs your weight is well distributed between front and rear; you can stand or sit without either the front wheel lifting or the rear wheel losing traction sooner than it should. Take a bow Richard.

    SunTour deserves applause too for it's new XC ( for "cross country" ) component group. Red Line jumpted on it in a hurry and is, at this writing, the only largish manufacturer to use the full group.

    The group is full of trick stuff, including a long but light seat post with an unusual micro-adjust; a nifty front brake cable stop; and a front derailleur with reverse action ( the cable, not the spring, shifts to smaller chain rings ) that gives reliable downshifting under load.

    But the star of the show is the pair of Charlie Cunningham-designed "PowerCam" Brakes. ( Charlie is no relation to Richard by the way.) Not only are they attention-getters, they work. Although they do tend to collect mud, and although they won't let you mount fenders, they generate more braking power with less lever pressure than any brakes we've ever seen, yet they're not at all grabby.

    At 26 x 2.0-inches, the tires are a bit narrower than full sized knobbies. This makes for a lighter, more maneuverable wheel at a slight loss of traction. For those who prefer 2.125s, they'll mount on the 1.5 inch rims, and the forks and stays have plenty of clearance.

    The frame construction is impressive. Tubing is heliarc-welded chrome-moly throughout, with quadruple-butted top and down tubes and a single-butted seat tube. Stays, fork ends and the forged vertical dropouts are chrome plated. There are mounts for two water bottles, both on the down tube so you can wedge a frame fit pump against the seat tube. We don't know for a fact that the frame will hold up over time, but BMX Racing does teach manufacturers how to make frames that are both light and strong, so we are betting it will.

    Linn Kastan, the man behind Red Line. thinks the biggest problem he will face in selling you a mountain bike is convincing you he is not just a toy maker. But if you've followed BMX even a little, you know already that behind the Valley Boy talk is some of the most innovative, sophisticated bicycle technology this side of the Olympic Velodrome.

    The rest of you should take a look at Red Line's Conquest. It's for real, like, fer sure. ( Sorry. ) --- John Francis

    Image Caption 1:
    One Fast Bike. Richard Cunningham's design for the "Conquest" emphasizes neutral handling and even weight distribution.

    Image Caption 2:
    SunTour's new XC component group includes outstanding brakes. a clever seat post, good derailleurs and hubs, a handsome stem and a fron brake cable stop. An economy version of the group will appear soon on bikes priced as low as $400.

    ( NOTE The conquest does not have the economy version of the XC group, it's full on top quality


    Specifications

    Model: Conquest
    Manufacturer: Redline Engineering Dept C 830 Tourmaline Dr Newbury Park Ca.
    Price Suggested Retail $749
    Frame Tubing: Chrome moly frame and fork, quad butted top tube and down tube, single butted seat tube.
    Finish: Rose Grey Metalic
    Dimensions
    Wheel Base 1001 cm 43.7"
    Fork Offset 5 cm 2 "
    Head Tube Angle 70'
    Seat Tube angle 72'
    Top Tube 61cm 24"
    chain stays 44.5cm 17.5"
    Bottom bracket height 29.5cm 11.5"
    Weight 29.9 lbs

    Available Sizes 19", 21", 23"

    Size Tested 21"

    Drive Train
    Crankset: Sugino TAT , 180mm arms both "Special" engraved
    Bottom bracket: SunTour New Winner
    Chain: SUnTour Cyclone
    Front Derailleur: SunTour XC
    Rear Derailleur: SunTour XC
    Shifters: SunTour XC

    Gear Pattern:


    ---
    26
    36
    46
    13
    ---
    72.0
    92.0
    15
    45.1
    62.4
    79.7
    17
    39.8
    55.1
    70.4
    20
    33.8
    48.8
    59.8
    24
    28.2
    39
    49.8
    24
    24.1
    33.4
    ---









    Components
    Brakes: SunTour XC Powercam
    Pedels: Suntour XC
    Saddle: Aovcet Touring I
    Seatpost: Suntour XC alloy, 26.6 x 200mm ( see note )
    Stem: Suntour XC alloy
    Handlebar: Nitto alloy
    Headset: Hatta sealed
    Wheels
    Rims: Ukai alloy 26 x 1.5"
    Spokes: Asahi stainless steel, 36 cross 3
    Hubs: Suntour XC alloy sealed
    Tires: Panaracer 26 x 2.0"

    Note: Dimensions are for bike tested. Weight is actual. Tube lengths are measured to intersections of centerlines, except seat tube, which is measured to top of tube. seat post is measured from top of machined surface to "Max" line.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Credits Red Line "Conquest" Cyclist Road Test ; Cyclist Magazine, June 85, John Francis
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