I'm looking at a 2008 Redline Conquest cyclocross bike. It's new, assembled. Seller is asking $800.
Shimano 105 & Tiagra (shifters) 9-speed drivetrain
Aluminum frame and fork
Disc tabs (I like the option of discs later on)
Ritchey Comp wheels
Ritchey stem, seat post, bars, etc.
FSA Gossamer crankset 36/46
Prior to considering the Conquest, I was mulling over one of the Bikes Direct cyclocross bikes. In particular I was looking at the Windsor Cyclo (105 & Ultegra 10-speed drivetrain) and the Motobecane Fantom Cross (nicer wheels than the Windsor, but with 9-speed 105 and Tiagra drivetrian.) Both BD bikes have carbon forks and each are $800.
I was pretty sure I wanted the Windsor, it seems like such a good deal, but now I'm leaning toward the Redline. I'd prefer the 10-speed group, but I like that the Conquest has disc tabs, and nicer wheels. I have looked at the Motobecane Fantom Outlaw - the 9-speed spec'd bike with Avid BB-5 discs, but it's $100 more, and I'm not sure I'd be 100% happy with it.
So, I guess I'm wondering if you $800 to spend, and had to choose between the Conquest, the Windsor, or the Motobecane, which would you go for, and why?
I've actually been ridding on a Fantom CX frame that I bought second hand, it's a fine frame, but I'm not sure if I'm missing something that the Redline would offer. Also I've bought from Bikes Direct twice before and I'm happy dealing with them.
$800 is the absolute ceiling for buying a new cyclocross bike and any bike I buy will be used mostly for bad weather commuting.