Dirt Rag Magazine

Review: Polygon Collosus N8


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Tester: Justin Steiner | Height: 5’7” | Weight: 165 lbs. | Insteam: 31”

Bike sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL | Price: $4,899

Polygon is a name much more well known outside the United States. Unless you follow World Cup DH racing, where you’ve surely seen Tracey and Mick Hannah rocking Polygon’s Collosus DHX race bike, you might not be terribly familiar with the brand. Polygon is working to increase awareness now that they’re distributing bikes consumer direct within the United States.

The Collosus N-series bikes target all-mountain and enduro riders with a carbon frame and swingarm providing 160 mm of rear travel paired with a 160 mm-travel fork. Polygon’s FS3 suspension system is a dual-link design that mounts the Fox Float X shock in a floating fashion between the upper and lower linkages.

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The 2015 model year N8 being reviewed here retails for $4,899 plus shipping while the 2016 model will retail for $4,699. At this asking price you get a nice parts package that includes a Shimano XT 2×10 drivetrain and brakes (XT 1×11 drivetrain for 2016), Spank Oozy 27.5-inch wheels and a Fox 34 TALAS with CTD remote (Fox 36 TALAS for 2016).

It took me a little while to warm up to the Collosus. Mostly due to the laid-back 72-degree seat tube angle that yields a more rearward weight bias and behind-the-pedals riding position compared to new-school offerings like Kona’s Process line and Santa Cruz’s recent releases. Once acclimated, things began to fall into place.

While certainly not steep, the Collosus’ 66.3-degree headtube angle is on the steeper end for a bike in this category. Those angles combined with a 23.2-inch top tube on a medium result in a front center over an inch shorter than a Nomad. Another big influence on feel and handling is the bike’s tall 14.2-inch bottom bracket, which is approaching a full inch taller than the Nomad and a whopping 1.5 inches taller than the Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail I was also riding at the time (in gravity mode).

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Combined with the short-ish 17-inch chainstays, the Polygon is quicker and more neutral in its handling than many of the other bikes in this category. On non-aggressive trail rides, this neutral handling was a boon. In the bike park, it felt lively and snappy, but the tall bottom bracket hindered cornering. At race-pace during a particularly gnarly enduro, I could envision yearning for more stability.

With the rear suspension set to 30 percent sag, the Collosus offered supple small-bump compliance. On trail rides, I often ran the bike in the shock’s Trail mode to provide additional mid-stroke support. In Descend mode it often ventured further into the mid-stroke a bit more than I prefer. In stock form the rear suspension felt a little too linear in some big-hit situations. Hard-charging and heavier riders may want to experiment with adding an air volume spacer to the Float X.

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One letdown to an otherwise solid package is the previous generation Fox 34 fork. Its damping and stiffness were simply not able to keep pace. For me, the bike really came alive after swapping in SR Suntour’s redesigned Durolux fork. The Fox 36 fork spec’d on the 2016 model will be a big improvement.

A second issue involves the rear swingarm, which doesn’t offer a ton of tire clearance and isn’t the stiffest I’ve ridden. Where does the Collosus fit in the market? There’s a lot of competition at this price point. If you’re a fan of bikes with long front centers and up-over-the-pedals-riding positions, the Collosus is not for you.

Ultimately, I feel this bike is best suited for folks looking for a long-travel bike that offers quicker handling and more rearward weight bias. If you’re the type of rider that likes big travel, but not necessarily longand- low shred sleds, the Collosus is right up your alley.

  • Wheelbase: 44.9″
  • Top Tube: 23.2″
  • Head Angle: 66.3°
  • Seat-Tube Angle: 72º
  • Bottom Bracket: 14.2″
  • Rear Center: 17″
  • Weight: 30.2 lbs. w/o pedals (specs based on size tested)

 

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2015 Sea Otter tech roundup – Part 1


Polygon

A new entry to the U.S. market, Polygon expands its line up with a few more bikes.

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The Syncline 9 is a 27.5 hardtail race bike. The full carbon frame, XTR wheels and Di2 drivetrain and Fox Factory 32 fork make this a top-level racer right out of the box. $4,200 direct to consumer price.

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The Collosus N9 XTR is a new high end build Polygon’s carbon enduro frame. A Fox Factory 36, E13 wheels and a Reverb dropper should make this a killer ride at $6,000.

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Finally a new cyclocross race bike rounds out this high end trio of race bikes. The Bend CX has an Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, carbon cockpit and a even tubular wheels and tires. $3,500.


 

American Classic

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American Classic is well known for quickly adapting to changing standards. New Centerlock hubs will be available for Boost and standard axles, as well as the new road thru-axles coming down the pike.

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This new hubs is for the proprietary RockShox RS1 Maxle Ultimate standard with oversize axle and axle ends.

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And finally a selection of the new fat bike hubs for yet that other set of new standards.


 

 

Spot Brand

We happened to run into Andrew Lumpkin, Spot Brands CEO. He was wandering about with this prototype. Dubbed the Living Link, it looks much like a mini-link design with the lower rear pivot replaced by a titanium flex plate.

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We got to watch a pretty cool video the showed the flex plate swing through the travel, relaxed at the start of the stroke, bending a tiny bit, and returning to relaxed at the end of the stroke.

Obviously the claim is this new system will pedal well, while soaking up the bumps, and with a smart guy like Wayne Lumpkin (who founded Avid before selling it to SRAM) behind the design we are pretty intrigued.

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Expect this to be a ready for sale around this time in 2016, with at least two travel lengths to choose from. Between this and Speedgoat’s new design, it’s good to see suspension design be pushed further.


 

 

EVOC

Evoc wasn’t really showing off anything new, but the big news is ready availability of all packs and bike cases, something that was an issue in the U.S. until recently.

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This is the Trail Builder pack, which is for trail building (duh). Tool lash points, chainsaw sleeve, nail pouch, etc, this pack looked sturdy and ready to years of action.

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The new Pro bike travel case may be the most well-thought out travel case on the market. With separate pockets for each wheel, fork and bottom bracket mounts and pad and strap system to protect and secure the frame and handlebars, the Evoc bag will keep the world travel’s bike safe and secure. All this for a $590, an investment that could pay for itself the first time your bike falls off a conveyor belt on the way to your next vacation.

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This is a line up of the many shapes, sizes, and colors of Evoc hydration packs. There should be something for just about anyone, from Enduro racers in need of a built in CE back protector, to groms looking for my first hydration pack.


Keep reading

Move on to Part 2 of our coverage from Sea Otter 2015.

 

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