PINKBIKE FIELD TRIP
POLYGON SISKIU T8
Fools you into thinking it's pricier.
Words by Sarah Moore, Photography by Tom Richards
We're kicking off the full-suspension bikes in the Field Trip value bike series
with Polygon's Siskiu T8. It has an aluminum frame fitted with either 27.5" or 29" wheels. Our 29er came with 135mm of rear travel and a 140mm fork.
The Polygon uses a linkage-driven single-pivot suspension layout that creates enough room for a bottle underneath the shock, while the one-piece rocker link helps rigidity. There are sealed bearings from end to end, with aluminum pivot hardware holding everything together. Frame details include a threaded bottom bracket, and internal cable routing that pops out through larger ports at the head tube that are finished with rubber grommets. There’s also a thick chainstay pad that comes pre-installed.
Polygon Siskiu T8
Travel: 135mm (rear) 140mm (fork)
Wheel size: 27.5" & 29"
Frame construction: aluminum
Head angle: 65.5 degrees
Chainstay length: 430mm
Reach: 460mm (medium, 29)
Weight: 34.3 lb / 15.5 kg
Price: $2,369 USD
More info: www.polygonbikes.com
This is an all-new frame for 2021, giving Polygon a chance to update the geometry to the latest acceptable numbers. For this 135mm-travel trail bike, that means a 65.5-degree head angle and 76.5-degree effective seat angle, and a 460mm reach for the medium and 480mm for the large. All sizes get relatively short 425mm chainstays as well. The medium gets a short 400mm seat tube, while the large is just 415mm, leaving plenty of room for a long-travel dropper post.
We’re testing the T8 model that goes for $2,369 USD, including the Fox Rythym fork, an SLX drivetrain, and a set of Tektro 4-piston brakes. If you have less to spend on a bike, you can get the less expensive T7 for just $1,959, or a frame/shock combo for $999 USD. Climbing
The Polygon is an interesting bike as it only has 135mm, but it’s a very active 135mm - enough that you can look down and see the shock gently cycling through its stroke while you’re working hard. The high-volume air can and light shock tune are likely a factor in that. If you're facing a long gravel road climb on the Siskiu you'll likely want to reach for the pedal-assist switch and firm the bike up. More so on big, out of the saddle efforts, of course.
The flip side to that is good traction over wet roots and slippery spots. If your climbs are a tangled mess of tricky roots and rocks, you’ll want to stay in the seat, turn the pedals over, and claw your way up the trail. On the handling front, it’s a bike that can fit into tight spots and it felt more at home in twisty singletrack than either the Giant or Devinci, although it can’t match the Ibis’ enthusiasm or suspension efficiency. While the Siskiu isn't what you would call it an exceptional climber, especially as it does rely on that pedal assist switch, it’ll do what you ask of it. Just don’t rush… Descending
On the way back down, the Polygon proved to be a fun, capable bike that provides more forgiveness than you might expect. That supple suspension is surely a big part of this, with the bike doing a better job of filtering out all the small stuff than most of the bikes on test, although the shock seems to get to the end of its travel a bit quickly when you’re pushing hard. There isn’t a ton of support there, either, which probably keeps the Polygon from feeling as playful as some others.
Mike Levy and I preferred a bit firmer setup for the rear-suspension, 25-percent sag rather than 30, and that really added more life to the bike, while still allowing the bike to suck up all the little things that you’re not paying attention to until they put you on the ground. The handling is certainly more all-around fun than all-out speed, which is a good theme for a bike like this.
The Siskiu is probably the best looking bike on test, but this isn’t a beauty pageant. Rather than being a speedy trail bike, the Polygon offers a more forgiving, active ride that’s best suited to rough ground and riders who aren’t looking to add KOMs to their trophy case on every ride. It’ll make an excellent an all-rounder for someone that loves rough terrain.
Tons of traction from the rear end+
Versatile - going to work in a lot of places
Have to use the pedal-assist switch on the climbs-
Brakes are lacking initial bite and overall power
The 2021 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Toyota.
Video: Jason Lucas, Max Barron
Editing: Max Barron