PRODUCT REVIEW: THE POLYGON COLOSSUS T8
THE TRAIL BIKE THAT WANTS TO ACHIEVE MORE
The Polygon Collosus T8 launched to much fanfare with its first unveiling during the Taipei Cycle 2013. With its unique shape, there were much "expert" views with regard to its frame design. Almost 2 years down the road and after numerous reviews, Bikezilla decided to bring this bike for an epic round of test. And true to our editorial objective, we tested it in Indonesian and Singapore trails. Read on for the lowdown on the ultimate review for this unique bike.
WHAT IS THE FIRST IMPRESSION
From an aesthetical point of view, the Polygon Colossus T and N series carbon mountain bikes can be regarded as a "break-through". It broke away from Polygon's traditional design styles, and it broke away from typical impressions of how Polygon bikes should look like. And on the international mountain bike arena, this series of carbon bikes, with its bold sweeping designs, are ready to pitch neck-to-neck with some of the lookers of the industry.
The good looks of the T8 is accompanied by another Polygon tradition – superb value for money package. The complete T8 package comes with Fox 32 Talas Factory RC2 FIT fork w/Kashima coating, custom valved Float CTD rear shock, Shimano XT group 2X10, Spank Oozy Evo 27.5" wheelset, Spank Oozy cockpit and RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper seat post at a very attractive price tag (for a carbon mountain bike).
On first mounting the bike, we have the impression that it does come a tad smaller than typical medium sized bike. The Spank Oozy handle bar is slightly shorter than 760mm and might come across as a little narrow for some.
Head tube is at 67.3 degree and seat tube is at 72.7 degrees. The head angle is comfortable for a trail bike with a little bit of allowance to facilitate better descents. Or at least that looked like the initial intention of the frame's designer.
The cockpit does look a bit busy with 6 cables attached to it – and that would be the 2 brake hoses, 2 deraileur cables, the dropper post hose and the front fork CTD cable. It is a lucky save that the frame has internal cable routing for the hoses and cables.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM
The Polygon Collosus T8 was taken to trails with different terrain. We tried in over steep descents, long stretches of technical terrain, steep climbs and flowy single tracks. And we found out some important aspects of the bike.
While it is already an established fact that bike fitting is of paramount importance to any cyclist, it seem especially true for the T8. For a medium sized T8, it climbed pretty well for riders from 1.68m – 1.73m but when a taller rider tried the medium sized bike, the feedback was that the pedaling position became awkward with the bottom bracket position being too far in front. This is due to the slack seat tube angle and the slightly smaller than usual frame sizing. When the dropper post was adjusted and extended to the height of the taller rider, the saddle moves pass the normal comfortable pedaling position and the rider would be seated too much to the rear. That made pedaling unnatural and climbing more strenuous. For riders who are within the height range, the bike felt comfortable throughout the ride and during climbs.
On descents, there were mixed feedbacks too. For riders that descend with some degree of speed control (ie feathering the brakes before entering a berm or entering a steep section) they found the bike to be very much in composure and soaks up gnarly terrain very well. It left them with almost no fatigue even after long bumpy technical descents. On the other hand, for riders who are used to letting the bike bomb all out at technical descents, they felt that the rear of the bike became "confused" and unpredictable. There was a lot of rectifying work which ended up hindering the rider from focusing on carrying speed.
We looked through the frame design and concluded that the unique design of the frame gave this bike its personality. The long upper swingarm makes the bike supple for small bumps. The FS3's floating bottom pivot gave the frame a compression curve that is progressive and ready to take on bigger hits without bottoming out. But there are also some other character traits which we noticed about the T8. It's progressiveness seems to come in a little too early on the compression stroke. This gives it a feeling of an abrupt transition during mid stroke from supple to firm in a quick succession. That is to say that as the bike goes through a series of bumps, it get less sensitive and it will need time to equalize the earlier bumps. As such, descending at moderately fast pace is comfortable but once it goes beyond a certain speed, the bike will firm up its suspension stroke and behave in a slightly "confused" manner. It is at this moment that there will be a tendency to lose traction in the rear. Some rider's compensation is needed to steer the bike back into its intended line. This small hitch could be reduced or rectified by accurately tuning of the rear Fox CTD shock to the rider's riding style and weight.
On long epic single track rides, the T8 is a joy to ride as it feels very comfortable, composed and is easy to get to speed. The 2×10 Shimano XT provides enough torque and speed for the bike throughout the ride. It is not an outwardly playful bike, more like a bike that wants to go fast along single tracks. If bikes have personalities, the T8 would be a serious long distance runner that loves climbing and wants to descend well too – although a bit meekly at some sections.
WHO SHOULD RIDE THIS
This is a trail bike and then a little more.
The Polygon Colossus T8 is meant for the rider who wants a good looking, well-spec do-it-all bike with an irresistible price tag. And who loves long rides on smooth flowy single tracks over bombing down long technical gnarly descents at break neck speeds. (In which case there's the Polygon Colossus N series to consider). Now that sounds like many of us!
For most riders who are not hard-core gravity riders, they would most likely not be able to feel the little flaws that we mentioned. For beginners to intermediate riders, this bike is probably one of the best they could find based on the attractive price tag and its many virtues. And not forgetting one of the most outstanding bikes at the trail heads.
For more information of the Polygon Colossus T and N series of carbon mountain bikes, visit Rodalink at Rodalink Jurong East
Rodalink Jurong East
Blk 18, #01-98D Tradehub21
Boon Lay Way
Tel: +65 6795 4320