How the Polygon UR Team is Unique - Video

Nov 7, 2017
by Mike Levy  


When it comes to suspension and other important bits that make a bike go, the World Cup racing scene is essentially dominated by just a handful of brands that most of us are familiar with. And it's hard to argue that strategy; I mean, if you're running a top-tier race squad, you're probably going to want to build your bikes with proven stuff, right? Of course... that is, unless your name is Fabien Cousinié, ex-World Cup racer and the owner of the Polygon UR Team that's home to Mick and Tracey Hannah, Kenta Gallagher, Sam Reynolds, and 2017 Lourdes WC winner Alex Fayolle.

With a strong engineering background, Cousinié isn't your usual semi-retired racer turned team owner, and one look at the Polygon UR Team's list of sponsors and partners makes it obvious that it isn't your usual World Cup outfit.


Alex Fayolle s Polygon


Suspension on the front of the Polygon team bikes is taken care of by SR Suntour who, by the way, now have a Red Bull Rampage win and both men's and women's World Cup DH victories to their name. The back of the bike has seen everything from a prototype SR Suntour air shock that's on the way, an Öhlins unit, and even a wild, custom-made Stemtee shock that would cost around €4,000 if you wanted one for your own bike.

Then there are the Trickstuff Direttissima brakes that, after having used them for just two runs, I would describe as having the power of a brick wall. No joke, these German-made brakes are easily the most powerful stoppers that I've ever used, and I'll be needing to get myself a set, possibly for my car, in the near future.


Mick Hannah grew up just down the road and will be racing this weekend in front of his family and friends. Having finished third here last year the rainbow stripes are very much a possibility for both Mick and his sister Tracey this weekend.


But why be different? Why run SR Suntour suspension, Box's drivetrain, and Trickstuff brakes when you could bolt on a bunch of proven performers? Yes, there's something to be said for simply being different and standing out from the sea of SRAM, Shimano, RockShox, and Fox sponsored players, but it's Cousinié's engineering background and the opportunity to develop these still improving pieces of the puzzle that is largely why his team's sponsor list is unlike anything else out there.

Filmed and edited by Nick Van Berkel

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60 Comments

  • + 102
 Running a WC team with absolutely zero Shimano, Sram, Rockshox or Fox - that's pretty unique... and brave!
  • + 20
 Sponsored by the weather if Lourdes is any indicator...
  • - 1
 Same for gwin, except FOX of course
  • + 19
 @RedBurn: gwin runs a sram drivetrain if i am not mistaken.
  • + 6
 I hope Alexander Fayolle, winner of the Lourdes 2017 World Cup, always has it follow his name whenever spoken or written
  • + 8
 I was like damn I want to try those brakes. حᇂﮌᇂ)

Google it. 1170 CAD w/ three month wait

ಢ_ಥ
  • + 6
 @Jimmy0: Why, he won? I guess Matti Lehikonen too then, and Marc Beaumont, and Mick Hannah... Weather can, and always has played into racing. Matti actually used it to his advantage and stopped on track in quallies to win Champery way back, if anything a smart and strategic move as a racer.
  • + 4
 @mdhorner: yeah I agree with you, I wasn't being sarcastic at all.
  • + 15
 @mdhorner: I'm honestly a big fan of Alexander Fayolle, winner of the 2017 Lourdes W.C.
  • + 1
 @adrennan: I dont get it
  • + 4
 @adrennan: he still beat like 50 wc riders fair and square and a lot of good riders that had the same or better weather than he had
  • + 15
 @bthomson84: no one shit makes it to the final. They all have a chance. Sending one wild, ragged edge run and keeping it clean. Luck always plays a part. Good on him. He deserved that win.

Gwin on the other hand, cheating by deliberately snapping his chain to make his suspension work properly. That was unsportsmanlike.
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: he rides A Sram derailleur
  • + 19
 Awesome content, this was super interesting. Thanks PB, and thanks Polygon UR!
  • + 18
 talks about how its a box drivetrain and how unique it is. has shimano shifter mounted...
  • + 24
 Good eye. This was filmed during Crankworx and Box was working on a new, more traditional shifter to replace their PushPush design... a shifter that uses two paddles, a lot like Shimano's setup.

Here's the new Box shifter: www.pinkbike.com/news/box-7-speed-dh-drivetrain-lifetime-warranty-first-look.html
  • + 17
 He mentions why too-because the riders are getting used to the shifter feel, and when it comes to racing you need them to be comfortable. Its the development process. I think this team is owed huge props for putting in the time to help develop new product and showcase products we don't often get to see. The more competition we get the better the products will be for us all.
  • + 6
 @mikelevy: this is the pinkbike comment section, someone could be running a single prototype spoke and someone will notice.

i hope this box stuff can start being more competitive soon. more options are always better for the consumer.
  • + 6
 @adrennan: Boost spoke technology with custom flange offset. #newfor2018
  • + 3
 @Nathan6209: I don't know about you but I see sr suntour all the time whenever I walk by the bike section in walmart or canadian tire lol.

Seriously though I'm glad suntour has stepped up over the last decade and started making top of the line products again!!
  • + 1
 @adrennan: Ha that's true
  • + 11
 Cool I think everybody appreciates seeing different stuff. If I could build a dream bike it would probably be a Banshee frame with some obscure components, rather than the the top of the line / run of the mill offerings from Fox/RockShox, SRAM/Shimano.
  • + 2
 Yep I tested the Box PushPush shifter at Sea Otter and it is the best shifter I've felt (vs. Sram eagle, gx, Shimano xt, zee, slx and some others)
  • + 11
 I like how they tested different sickness of rims. Definitely something more components should be tested for.
  • + 6
 Great interview! IMO this is the most interesting team on the DH WC circuit. I like their team videos too. It would be great if they could dedicate part of their team videos to showcase the products they are developing.
  • + 7
 but you missed asking who their water bottle sponsor is. you slippin' Levy
  • + 9
 If only that Polygon could carry a bottle...
  • + 4
 I know I don't need those brakes.... but god damn I WANT them!! Such a beautiful lever. I wonder what they feel like in person?
  • + 2
 Those brakes... Drool

Just a shame that cost so much $$$$'s! (Seem worth it but still a hell of an outlay for a set of brakes!)
  • + 1
 side note: i really don't see how carbon rims make a bike go faster. I heard a WC team saying it will save two hundredth of a sec. well, isn't this small time gain really just rider ability.
  • + 2
 it is a rider to rider issue. if i could afford a carbon rim habit, i would have them on all my bikes. the added stiffness is really confidence inspiring for me. when i am doing a high speed move and i feel flex, i get pretty uncomfortable
  • + 1
 Time savings stack. Small edges are significant in races like the WC circuit.
  • + 1
 Remember, at the WC level, these guys are looking for tenths and hundredths of seconds... Especially when you get races where the top 10 have all finished on the same second...
  • - 1
 @adrennan: I didn't find them confidence inspiring at all. I felt way more chatter through my bike in rough rooty sections and I found myself avoiding obstacles Id normally hit on alloy rims to make sure I wasn't gonna crack a rim off big rocks and such. The price tag literally makes it hard to wanna ride these things with any confidence because I know I'm out damn near a months wages when they explode. Ill stick to 300 dollar alloy rims.
  • + 2
 @mhoshal: as a said its rider to rider. also like i said, if i could afford the carbon rim habit.
  • + 3
 Great team, awesome group of people! Love 'em. Cheers Fab keep on the good work!!!
  • + 1
 ...it has suntour suspension..camera slowly moves over fox x2 shock. would love to build a bike with only "underdog" components but prices for shimano drivetrain are unbeatable.
  • + 14
 The team is free to run whatever rear shock they want to use, including an X2. The new Suntour air-sprung shock is on the way, and we've seen the team use it here and there. Other shocks that have been on the bikes include Öhlins and that crazy Stemtee shock: www.pinkbike.com/news/stemtees-world-cup-winning-shock.html
  • + 7
 @mikelevy: fab is a top bloke...i think everybody of us can relate to his xtr rear derailler story...keep up the good work mike and fab!
  • + 4
 The team was free to run whatever they wanted this year for rear shocks. Mostly they swapped out and let the clock tell them which one for specific tracks. You can see the SR Suntour in this story from Ft. William. Mick used it on a few other courses as well. www.pinkbike.com/news/coil-shock-or-air-shock-tales-from-the-pits-at-fort-william.html
  • + 1
 @sprockets: Exactly, I spoke with some Suntour guys. They have this air shocks on the way but they won't produce any coil shock in the near future; so their riders will be allowed to run any coil shock
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: you mean crazy as in ugly and unfinished looking right because I see nothing special about it. It literally looks like someone built it in their garage as a diy project.
  • + 3
 i hope this most ridiculous looking bike kills it in WC.
  • + 1
 Quadiem G Spec vs TrickStuff Direttissima : which one is the harder brick wall ?
  • + 3
 The Germans, for sure.
  • + 1
 Aha 'Hellcat'...I thought he said 'Hair Cut'...that also takes some development
  • + 2
 I am unique just like everyone else...
  • + 1
 ...lots of Red Bull Rampage swag left...i dont think they sold any as of yet.
  • + 2
 The guys a friggin legend... so much passion for bikes. So much respect!
  • + 1
 If Mick can't brake it, then it must be pretty tough.
  • + 1
 Polygon Best Bike In Indonesia.
  • + 1
 How much does a square one frame cost in Jakarta?
  • + 2
 @Verbl-Kint: its about five thousand US dollar for frame, including FOX FLOAT 36 180MM Travel boost and KS Lev Dropper.
  • + 0
 Tricks are for Kids Silly rabbit
  • - 2
 Attention to detail: front tire and rim are not aligned on the red bike like the rear....
  • + 8
 The Polygon Tire Mounter is getting fired because of you. Do you feel good about yourself?
  • - 2
 Do people care about tire alignment? It isn't too hard to find the valve even if there were no logos on the tire. It may have been different if the tire would have had a logo that matches the rim, but it doesn't here.

I do think that 38mm focal length is too short for a picture like that. You need bigger to make the wheels look round. And round wheels give a perception of good ride quality. Matching logos don't.

Now please don't fire Dave Trumpore!
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: mission accomplished!
  • + 1
 @vinay: Has nothing to do with finding the valve. The rear is good, just need to make the front match. He/they did it right once but not the second time.
  • + 1
 @mgs781HD: Then I'm lucky. I always remove the decals from the rim so I can do no wrong when mounting the tire. Then again an experienced mechanic once taught me to make sure that when I lace up a wheel, the rim and hub should be aligned so that when the wheel is finished and you peek through the valve hole, you look straight onto the hub logo. So I did that for every wheel I built. Yet I still have to come across someone who commends me for having that sorted.

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