Polygon Siskiu T8
Well isn’t this exciting! Rotorburn is very proud to offer a top-notch review platform and can now add the first full bike review to the list. A long-time sponsor and friends of the site Bicycles Online have gotten in touch and offered us a chance to test and review some of their range. The first in this series of reviews is the Polygon SisKiu T8 dual suspension 29er.
The fun part of this review is I get to partake and demonstrate to you what the experience involves by sourcing a bike online, having it show up in a box, assembling it and hitting the trails!
This is a review to give you a gauge on how the process works. Buying a bike online is seemingly a daunting thing because it’s relatively new. I’ll admit that I’ve had concerns about some facets of buying online but this process, albeit a generous offer from Bicycles Online for us to take part in the whole chain of events, has been a total breeze and an absolute pleasure. Let’s get started!
- Item: 2018 Polygon Siskiu T8 dual suspension mountain bike
- From: Bicycles Online
- Purchase Price (approx): $2,999 (RRP $3,499) with free freight included in the Australian metro areas
- Usage: Mountain biking
This bike is aimed at trail riding and all day enduro riding. I’ve spent some quality time on this bike on some very varied terrain and about the only thing I wouldn’t recommend for is hard-hitting downhill trails. It is a very capable bike on a techy, rough trail with some big climbs in between, it manages the high-speed stuff with ease and is fine for going for a cruisey ride with the family on easy trails.
I’ve put together 3674523623874 bikes, I have all my own gear and know a thing or two but................... I’ll make this simple: Anyone can assemble this bike, it is almost completely assembled and only requires a small amount of time to get it ready to ride. Don’t fear that you won’t have the tools you’ll need either, this comes with a toolkit! You get a spanner with your 13mm, 14mm, 15mm and 16mm head and a nifty T piece with a Philips head fitting, a torx and allen key fittings. You’re all set!
I take a lot of pride in the assembly of bikes and am very careful when I pull the whole thing out of the box. My recommendation is you don’t disassemble anything until it’s out of the box. Just remove the non bound boxes and then lift the frame out with the wheels still attached. The care taken to maintain the great finish on this bike is impressive too as each loose part is held in place with a nifty padded block wrapped up by a Velcro strip, it shits on the cable tie idea!
Is the assembly easy? Yep, anyone that has a basic idea of what tool is needed to do and obvious job will have no hassles at all doing this. If you’ve never assembled a bike then this will reduce your heart rate as it is a breeze and not as involved as you think, it really is that easy and can be done in under an hour.
The first impression on any bike is what we call “the car park test”. You get on the bike, you bounce around, you pedal it a few times you raise and lower the post and you squeeze the brakes. Don’t just lob up to a trail and launch the biggest gap you can first go, get a feel for it and learn the controls first. This is always a good starting point to do the roll around then run over the bike with your tools and nip a few things up if needed. As far as first impressions go, this thing is very well balanced and doesn’t feel as cumbersome as many of the 29er bikes I’ve ridden making it a good first roll around. The XL frame size is spot on which is a relief as some XL’s feel too stretched for me and I juggle between a large or an XL. I’m 6 foot 4 inches though so you’d assume and XL is correct but not always the case and it pays to know the advice you get on frame sizing is accurate.
Part of a proper first impression is a proper trail ride though because a car park test doesn’t tell you anything about the flavour of a bike's style. I picked a predominantly XC style trail with some adjoining fire road climbs and rough descents. I’d checked the fork and shock air pressures and set the Deluxe shock to the pedal setting knowing the first part of the ride is quite a smooth pedal. After the warm up phase and getting my body position right on some single track, I hit up some flowy descents in some tight trees, the thing replied very promptly to all the lines I chucked it at, almost seemed like it was too agile to be a 29er.
I’d like to spend more time on this bike but have crammed over 100km of riding into it in the couple of weeks I’ve had it. I’ve got a fair few rad loops and single line descents that I’ve rallied it on and it’s owned all of them. On the longer rides, it’s comfortable and I haven’t had the tingling palms or numb butt that you get on some other steeds. I’m a big maintenance guy and this has only needed a few goes with the multitool here and there but none of the crucial pivot bolts or drive train parts have needed adjustments with a torque wrench, they’ve stayed tight the whole time. It’s a dream to work on too, everything is accessible and obvious. Some small things that impress me too are the ease of cleaning the bike after a ride without losing skin off your hands trying to get into tight spots, it fits on each bike rack I used nicely and it is stacked with reliable branded quality parts.
Very accessible via the Bicycles Online website, great spec’s on a very affordable bike, feels amazing to ride, doesn’t need to have a ton of parts upgraded, very comfortable through great design, you can test ride the bike for 14 days to make sure your size is right! The finish on the bike is exceptional, it is very nice to look at and makes other big-name manufacturers look slack.
The grips roll around, replace them with lock ons. It isn’t assembled but is so easy to assemble and a very enjoyable experience.
Do I recommend this bike?
Yep, no question. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than an equally parted bike in the same target riding audience and it is well built, the finish is immaculate and it’s a bloody great bike to ride.
I think it’s worth mentioning some things about the brand Polygon. In my travels around the world riding bikes, there are a few common brands that you see everywhere and surprisingly to some; Polygon is one of those brands. They produce close to a million bikes a year and have been designing, building and engineering bikes for over 25 years. Have a think about that..........one million bikes a year. That's impressive. There was a time when people in Australia considered Polygon to be a lesser quality brand or they didn’t have that cool street cred factor that made you want to buy one. Marketing is a key in all of this and nowadays we see the Polygon brand being hauled around by amazing riders at the pro level. There’s the United Ride Team charging the downhill world cups on Polygon, there are winners of the Red Bull Rampage now riding Polygon, there are entries in the Enduro World Series on Polygon, dirt jumpers are on them etc etc. This is a major layer in the field and they produce great quality that should be considered in any purchase and now even more so as they are at the forefront of the online bike sales system that is becoming all-conquering.