Product Review: Polygon Collosus TX 3.0 2012

New for 2012 is Polygon’s Floating Suspension 2 technology. This patented suspension setup features an extremely low centre of gravity, and a shock progression rate that is the envy of the industry. Small bump compliance, and limitless bottom end travel are created through a multi link setup that keeps the shock moving at the right speed all of the time. The suspension setup has to be ridden to be believed, or just read the reviews.

With 5.5″ of travel you have the perfect trail bike, good for longer rides but also just as capable in all mountain parks. As for the components, well they speak for themselves. Polygon is so confident with this latest model that they offer customers in certain countries to come into the store and take advantage of the 14 day trial, you have to ride this bike.

Key Features & Specs

  • Super light ALX6xxx Hydroformed Alloy Trail Frame with Floating Suspension 2 technology (FS2) and 5.5″ travel.
  • Shimano Deore XT componentry.
  • FOX 32 Talas Performance FIT RL 100mm – 140mm fork.
  • FOX Float RP23 RL Factory Series rear shock.
  • Shimano Deore XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes with ‘Ice Pack’.
  • Integrated bottom bracket.
  • Shimano XT pedals.
  • Weight = T.B.C
  • Free chain stay protector and spare drop out
  • X-Fusion Hilo Adjustable Seat Post
  • Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance Line pair of tires.
  • Shimano XT UST wheelset
  • Tapered head tube.
  • Thru-Axle hubs for front and rear with QR
  • 5 Year Warranty on frame

First Impression/Look

Early last month, I was given the task of testing and reviewing a Polygon Collossus TX 3.0, and to be very honest I was not excited at first as I wasn’t expecting much from the bike. All these while, the Polygon’s of previous years, the designs never caught my eye and never looked exciting to me. They normally looked old fashioned or a copy of a different bike brand.

But this was different. The moment I went to collect the bike from the designated pick up place, I was truly stunned at how good and sexy the bike looked. I must say that Polygon’s design language for 2012 has totally changed and now it looks really stunning and classy. They have spent a lot of money and time into this 2012 product range to design and develop this new range of products.

My first impressions based on looks were really good, need I not to mention that the specifications this bike comes with is not even comparable with any other competitors for this price range. No other bike for this price range that I know off comes with a Fox 32 Talas. It also comes with full 2012 Shimano XT Groupset. Everything front the drivetrain to the brakes to the pedals and even to the tubeless UST XT wheelsets came from the latest range of Shimano XT 2012. The bike even came with an X-Fusion adjustable seatpost which seemed very rare for a bike in this price range.

First Ride

Now, I was keen to go out and test ride the bike. Being a 5.5inch trail bike, I needed a suitable location to chose to have my maiden ride on the bike. My location of choice for the 1st ride on the bike was Bukit Kiara, TTDI. Many mountain bikers throughout Malaysia consider this place to be one of the roughest and most technical single track riding spots in the country. So I thought it would be the perfect spot to test out the capabilities of the bike here. I first took the bike on a trail ride thru Kiara just to get the feel of the bike before pushing its limits. I was really surprised as the bike rode really well and comfortably and never made me feel out of control.

Days passed and I began to start pushing the bike thru its paces harder every day, and I was loving it. The bike is so responsive and agile that it makes the rider want to keep pushing it as hard as you want.

Performance

Coming from a downhill background, I admit I’m not a great uphill climber and normally never had the proper bike to do so. But with this bike, I soon began to get the hang of climbing. At first it wasn’t fun, but as days went by, my stamina grew and I did more and more riding by the day. The Bike’s suspension technology is so responsive. There’s so much traction in the wheels as bike tracks every inch of the ground so well. Surprisingly even though the bike is so responsive, it does not bob when being paddled. This is the problem that most long travel trail bikes have, They bob when pedaling and therefore makes a lot of energy lost and the rider will start to feel tired faster. I’ve ridden many other trail bikes in the past, from Santa Cruz to Banshee, to Commencal to Intense to Yeti and Specialized, but dare I say, nothing I’ve ever ridden has felt as good as this.

The bikes suspension makes it so responsive to pedal over rough bumpy hard packed ground. You never feel the impact or roughness the bike is rolling over, because while standing on the pedals, you almost feel nothing at all. The suspension technology is so smooth and progressive. When landing jumps and drops the progressive suspension helps a lot and it doesn’t bottom out the bike. Even when standing up and sprinting up a hill on tarmac, the rear suspension stays stiff and there is no ‘bob’ in the suspension at all making power transfer almost as good as a hard tail. But the moment you hit a bump, the suspension livens up and starts working and tracks the ground.

2 weeks has since passed since collecting the bike, and I thought how about trying to put the bike thru its paces on a downhill track instead. This time I chose the FRM DH Track in Bukit Kiara. To the surprise of my friends and I, the bike ate up everything the track had to offer with ease and always made me feel in control. From gap jumps to 8foot drops, to rocky and rooty sections and to bermed and flat corners, the bike felt so at home. I pushed the bike real hard and threw it around thru the roughest most technical sections of the track, and it felt so good. The bike feels very nimble and agile while in the air when attempting jumps and is responsive  and stable while going down thru some really gnarly and scary rooty and rocky sections at full speeds.

STRENGTHS

  • Low center of gravity. Makes cornering at high speeds and tight sections extremely stable.
  • Extremely agile and solid frame. Handles jumps , drops and rough rooty rocky sections with ease.
  • Frame does not ‘Bob’ when pedaling and sprinting, but absorbs all the bumps on the ground , making for a very comfortable and efficient ride.
  • Good power transfer to the wheels.
  • Excellent solid build quality.
  • Great spec. Race ready. Low price
  • Bike has amazing ground traction when climbing and decending technical sections.

WEAKNESSES

1. Frame design:

  • Chain Stay design makes it hard to adjust the Front Derailer.
  • Linkage design makes controls of rear shock hard to reach for people with big fingers.
  • Rear Shock valve comes with a separate valve extender that needs to be carried around in order to adjust the air pressure inside the shock with a shock pump.

2. The tires track the ground very well and are extremely grippy in dry or wet conditions but my observations is that the side walls on the tire are very thin, therefore its more prone to punctures and snake bites. On the plus side, these tires are pretty light weight.

Rating : 8.5/10

Retail Price: RM10,695

Reviewer’s Take

The Polygon Collosus TX 3.0  is priced very  competitively in the Malaysian market, and at this price I would consider it a real bargain. A lot of locals have a misconception when they hear the brand is Polygon, but I really assure anyone, this is a fantastic bike and you should give it a try before judging it. I can easily compare it to a Santa Cruz Blur LT as well as Intense Tracer and Commencal Meta 5.5, and in some cases I think the polygon would be the overall winner.I would give my full recommendation to anyone looking for a trail bike to buy this Polygon Collosus TX 3.0.

Review by Zero 2 Hero - A team of world class coaches dedicated towards massively improving ride technique, bike control and speed. Coaching is performed for riders of all levels including those who have never ridden a bike before (Level Zero) up to specialized racing techniques (Level Hero) all in just One Day. Visit their website at www.zero2hero.asia for more info.

A detailed account from the Reviewer…

I must comment also that being a SRAM fan all these years, the latest 2012 Shimano XT group sets are a real joy to use and I’ve been loving the response coming from the drivetrain and the brakes always inspire confidence in them. This is also my first time running on Schwalbe tires, and I must say I am astonished by the levels of grip the Nobby Nic Pro tires have to offer even in wet muddy sections. The downside is that the tires tend to wear out pretty quick due to the soft rubber compound, but do take note that I rode the bike pushing its paces and doing an average of 20km per day for 1 whole month. The other observation about the tires is the sidewalls are quite thin, which makes the tires really light, but at the same time prone to punctures when going thru rockgardens. But I must say that, if given the choice to use between Maxxis, Schwalbe, Kenda or Panaracer tires, I would go for this exact schwalbe tires as they were really impressive in all conditions. The Fox Talas 32 felt great as they’ve always been and the travel adjust did help a lot. Lower the fork down to 110mm and increase the X-Fusion saddle height and the geometry of the bike instantly changes to tackle climbs and cross country riding, while increasing the fork travel and lowering the saddle height without the need of stopping makes it a really good trail bike / Downhill bike ready to tackle any challenges it comes across.I have done jumps such as ‘Garden Gap’ and ‘Dirtdrop’ and ‘Shaolin gap’ on this bike with ease. Most cross country riders as well as trail riders will consider this suicide, but this bike inspires so much confidence that makes anything possible.

With proper techniques and a proper bike such as this, riding technical trails will always make you enjoy your ride every day.

As days goes by, I am getting very attached to this bike. It’s one of the only bikes that I’ve ridden that makes me want to ride every single day no matter how tired I may be. I’m beginning to feel sad that the time is coming closer for me to give this bike back. This bike is so good and fun to ride that I’m actually seriously considering buying it over for my personal usage. I ‘m truly loving this bike and I would recommend anyone else out there in the market of getting a trail bike, to seriously consider getting this bike or at least giving it a test before coming to any conclusion. The brand Polygon may not be a very well known brand, but I assure you it’s a growing bike company that produces an excellent bike. For RM 10,695 there is no other bike I would recommend.

This bike is the best all rounder trail bike I’ve ever ridden. It makes for an excellent trail bike, but also can handle downhill and free ride tracks as well as climb hills and ride cross country. It’s the perfect do it all kind of bike, and in my opinion it’s a real bargain!

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