First Ride: $3,299 Polygon’s Collosus N9

Polygon’s new Collosus N9 appeared for the first time in all its urban camo painted glory at Sea Otter this year, complete with the IFS suspension design first seen on the Mt. Bromo eMTB. The bike has 29” front and rear wheels (it is not compatible with mixed wheels) and 170mm of travel. After a season of enduro racing and refinement, it’s now available, with an aluminum frame and a $3,299 price tag that’s a stark contrast to the ultra-expensive carbon machines that have been released of late.

For the price, Polygon has created an excellent package of parts. Suspension is handled by a Fox 38 Performance fork with Grip damper and a 230x65mm Float X2 shock. SRAM Code R brakes with 200mm rotors help keep speeds in check, with Shimano taking care of shifting via an XT derailleur, SLX cassette, and XT cranks. Unfortunately, those cranks are 175mm long, which may not be ideal for riders on rockier terrain. 2.6” wide Schwalbe Magic Mary tires are mounted on Entity rims that have a 35mm internal width.

N9 Colossus Details

• Wheel size: 29″
• Travel: 170 mm
• Aluminium frame
• 63.5º head angle
• 77º seat tube angle
• 435 mm pods
• Sizes: S – XL
• Weight: 39.25 lbs / 17.8 kg (size L)
• Price: $3,299 USD
poligonbikes.com

All of that adds up to 39.25 pounds (17.8 kg), no mean feat. Collosus seems like a very appropriate name given those numbers.
frame details

The Collosus’s frame is visibly robust; Everything from the front shock to the double-braced swingarm makes it look like it was built to take a beating. All those links and the shock position take up valuable water bottle space, which means only one “normal” size bottle will fit in the front triangle. Still, it’s better than nothing. There’s also no frame storage or accessory mounts in sight. Another missing feature is a universal derailleur hanger, something that will likely become a ‘must have’ if rumors of SRAM’s next-gen drivetrain are true.

There is a ribbed chainstay protector, although it is a bit short; more coverage towards the front of the chainstay would help prevent the chain from chipping paint. The lines for the brake, derailleur, and dropper are routed internally, though there’s actually nothing inside the frame to keep them from moving; Fortunately, I didn’t notice too much noise on my test bike.

It’s good to see the Collosus is equipped with a chain guide and bash guard, as creaking a chainring is a good way to dampen a run. There’s also a frame guard at the bottom of the downtube to keep it safe from flying rocks or truck tailgates.

Geometry

Most of the Collosus geometry numbers are in line with what has become the norm for this category. Head angle sits at a slack, 63.5 degrees with a 170mm fork, reach is 480mm for a size Large, and seat tube angle is 77 degrees. The chainstays are on the shorter side at 435mm across the board; they do not change with each size, a practice that more and more companies are adopting.

suspension design

Polygon seems to have an affinity for suspension layouts that are a bit different from the norm – there was the wild looking dual-link floating FS3 layout. in 2014and the even more extravagant aesthetics of the Square One EX9 with its R3ACT suspension in 2017. The Collosus keeps the trend alive, though the overall look is likely not as polarizing as the other two examples.

It uses a version of the IFS (Independent Floating Suspension) design first seen on Polygon’s Mt. Bromo eMTB. The concept is that the two counter-rotating lower short links can be used to dictate the path of the axle, while the tie rods and rocker are used to set the lever curve, or progression there is. All of those links may make it easier for designers to achieve the suspension characteristics they want, but it also means there are 16 cartridge bearings to keep track of, with the lowest set of bearings being directly in front of the rear wheel, right where mud and dirt will end on a sloppy ride.

The anti-squat percentages are quite high, around 121% in the squat before gradually falling off as the bike goes through its travel. The scale of the graph makes the progression seem pretty extreme, but it’s actually around 19%, which is pretty typical for a longer-travel enduro bike.

travel impressions

To anyone who says weight doesn’t matter, I encourage you to take the Collosus out for a spin. I’ve spent a lot of time—years, actually—pedaling bikes in the 40-pound range, and I’m far from a weight sucker, but I’ll admit it’s a little harder to muster the motivation to get on a long pedal on a bike. bike so heavy Who knows, maybe I’m going soft.

Yes, I realize the Collosus isn’t some insanely expensive carbon fiber wonder bike, and I’m willing to cut the weight a bit considering its price and solid parts kit, but 39 pounds is still pretty chunky. I can’t help but wonder how much weight and hassle would have been saved by choosing a tried and true Horst Link design, rather than following the links required for the IFS suspension design.

Weight aside, the Collosus it does It pedals well, especially for a bike with 170mm of travel. The suspension is quiet enough that I didn’t feel the need to flip the Float X2’s climb switch, and even on longer rides down fire roads, I was perfectly content to keep it in the open position. The chainstays are on the shorter side of the spectrum, but the steep seat angle and slack head angle work together to help keep the bike from feeling like it wants to roll off on steep climbs. Even though it’s a pretty solid slack bike, I didn’t find it too difficult to maneuver around tighter turns or more technical sections; It’s actually the slow rolling tires and overall weight that give it a more subdued feel when heading uphill.

When it’s time to descend, the Collosus isn’t the fastest out of the gate, but it feels very solid and ready for anything once you get up to speed. The rear end is fairly stiff, and that trait combined with the shorter chainstays makes it easier to get the rear wheel in and out of tight corners, though that comes with slightly reduced traction and stability; at times it felt like the back of the Collosus. the wheel was more likely to slip in a turn than to carve a clean arc. It doesn’t have the plushest, choppiest suspension feel, either; It’ll take the edge off the rough stuff, it just doesn’t erase those bigger bumps the way other bikes do on this travel stand.

Overall, the Collosus N9 offers great value when it comes to parts spec, and the geometry won’t hold you back as long as you keep it aiming for steeper, more technical trails. Weight is the biggest drawback, though that might not be a big concern for passengers who spend most of their time climbing inside a shuttle or sitting on a chairlift.


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