Saturday, April 19, 2008

Redline R530

European Sophistication and Practicality

From Redline's catalog:

Lightweight 6061 aluminum frame that is specially designed for utilitarian use. Shock absorbing Suntour front fork with 50mm of travel. Quiet, “maintenance free,” easy shifting Shimano Nexus 7 speed drive train & highly efficient roller brakes. Easy fit handlebars & stem adjust for comfortable upright riding positions. Sturdy aluminum double wall rims with stainless steel spokes, with flat resistant tubes for trouble free adventure. Comes fully dressed with fenders, rear cargo carrier, full chainguard, & shockabsorbing seatpost. Available in a step thru & 4 diamond style frame sizes (S-XL).

FRAME - 6061 alloy 130mm spacing
FORK - SR Suntour 50mm
HEADSET - Tange threaded 28.6mm
F.DERAIL - none!
R.DERAIL - none!
SHIFTERS - Shimano Nexus 7
CRANKSET - Alloy 38T
BB - Square taper
CASSETTE -
PEDALS - Alloy comfort
WHEELSET - Alloy double wall rim , alloy nutted hubs, 14 gauge stainless spokes
TIRES - Kenda 700 x 38
BRAKE - Shimano Nexus Roller
BRAKE LVR - Tektro
BAR - Alloy 55mm rise
STEM - Alloy adjustable
SADDLE - Comfort
POST - Alloy comfort suspension 27.2mm

EXTRAS - fenders, rear cargo carrier, full chainguard

David's comments:

This is a good looking and practical machine. Although it's a bit more expensive, internal hub gearing is really the way to go for urban utility: you can shift while waiting at a stoplight, and use a full chaincase (which Redline has wisely provided), saving your pants or skirt. In addition to the other useful accessories that come standard, this bike has nice high handlebars for a casual posture and good traffic spotting, and the step-through version has a nice deep scoop.

The bike does have two design flaws. First, the quick-release seat collar is a terrific way to get your seat stolen. It's easy to switch the quick-release collar for a regular bolt-on collar (you may be able to replace just the bolt itself). Second, and not as easily fixed, is the suspension fork. This thing is heavy, detracts from the handling of the bike, and probably isn't absorbing much in the way of shock or vibration (most of that is done by the tires, properly inflated).

Now get some lights, and a Basil bag or basket, and you're all set. Make sure you get a taillight that can be mounted on the back of the rack where it will be much more visible than if mounted on the seatpost or elsewhere.

1 comment:

Joseph Eisenberg said...

This is available around here as the Torker T-530, for about $550 (at least at my bike shop) before tax, including assembly. The suspension fork and seatpost seem a little silly to me too, but otherwise it looks great. I wonder if they could add a dynohub in the front for another $50; that would be perfect.