Sunday, January 31, 2016

2012 Polygon Collosus AX 3.0

One of the bike shop that I like to visit is Rodalink Jurong East. They have a wide range of bikes and accessories and most important, they carry the full range of Shimano parts. They are also the main distributor for Polygon bikes. According to their website:

"For the past two decades we have been passionately creating bikes for customers to ride. Our bikes are meticulously designed by a team around the world and manufactured in world class manufacturing facilities in Indonesia. Polygon is a group of riders who just happen to be engineers, industrial designers, and creative thinkers based in North America, Europe, and Asia. We work hard to keep our designs fresh and authentic with the global market in mind. We control every step of the manufacturing process to ensure that all of the bikes are assembled to our high standard. Several competitors at the highest level of competition such as Mick Hannah, Tracey Hannah, Andrew Neethling, Jamie Nicoll, Fabien Cousinie, and Sam Reynolds have become believers in the effort we have put into design and manufacturing."

Although I visit the shop often enough, I never really gave the Polygon bikes more than a second look. Perhaps, subconsciously I do not have high regards for bikes made in Indonesia. Well, it is a little bit of an elitist attitude but somehow, the bikes somehow never catch on with me. Things changed somewhat when a friend of mine bought a full suspension frame from the shop. It was a 2012 Collosus FR full suspension frame and it was on sale. Some of you might remember I bought and returned a full suspension Pivot Mach 429 frame due to a damaged head tube. Since then, I have always been on the look out for a replacement. Anyway, he told me that the frame was rather well made and that I should take a look. Besides, it was a quarter of the price of the Pivot. Surely, I thought to myself, it cannot be that good. I was proven wrong. 

The first thing I noticed was the weight of the frame. For a bike that is loaded with pivots, shocks, fenders, was surprisingly 'light'. You cannot expect a full suspension to be as light as a hardtail and it should not be. A full suspension needs to take a lot of beating and strength is paramount. Well, you could take the carbon fiber or titanium route but you have to pay a lot more. Comparing the Collosus aluminium frame to the Pivot, there was hardly much difference. The picture shows the FR2 which is almost the same as the AX 3.0.

The second thing I noticed was how well the frame was made. The weldings are nice and even, nuts and bolts are made of good material and attention to details like bolt on cable holders, built-in rear fender are well thought of. The rear shock is a Fox Float Factory RP23 with 150mm of travel. It would have been perfect if it was a 29er but I am glad it is a 26er as I found out the hard way that a small guy like me would find it easier to move a 26er on the trails. But that's another story. 

This is Colossus AX3 v.1. Why v.1? Well, over time you will realise that I have 3 of the same frame but the intent is to set them up differently. So, here we go with v.1. 

This set up is for cross country, enduro rides. 

Its not as aggressive as a DH bike. 

The front fork is a Rockshox Sektor with 150mm travel. I am biased towards Rockshox simply because they have never failed me. Their prices are also reasonable but more importantly, they work really well. 

A FSA 685mm straight handlebar instead of a riser bar. A riser handlebar would put me in a more upright position but my preference is more towards a lean forward kind of position. 

Shimano Deore brakes provide the braking power. 

The tapered head tube provides good strength to the frame. 

The 60mm stem came from a Specialized DH bike but it is too short for my liking. It will be switched for a 70mm stem. You may ask, does 10mm make such a difference. The simple answer, yes. 

Selle Italia SL saddles are the most comfortable, bar none. One by one, most of my saddles are being replaced by this model. They are not the lightest or flashiest but when your bum does not hurt during a long ride, who cares. 

The rear suspension is a Fox DHX Air with 215mm of travel. 

Chain stay cover provided by Polygon. Such small touches shows the company thinks about their customers. 

A Deore rear derailleur completes the drivetrain. I might swop it for an XT rear derailleur next time. 

First ride today on a muddy trail and around a sandy stretch of road around the reservoir. What a blast! I've done this route many times with hard tails and front suspension. Nothing beats going around them on a full suspension bike.

Mud, mud and more mud!

A very satisfying build without spending a bomb. 

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