Prototype Polygon Slope Bike - Crankworx L2A

Jul 10, 2015
by Mike Levy  
Sam Reynolds Polygon slope prototype


Sam Reynolds' Prototype Polygon

The World Cup downhill circuit has been home to most of the new bikes and gear we've spotted this year, but with Crankworx L2A in France going off right now and Whistler's Crankworx just on the horizon, we can expect to see some unreleased kit under those who don't race against the clock. Englishman Sam Reynolds, who's known for usually riding a hardtail in events like Crankworx, will be competing in France aboard an early sample of Polygon's new 100mm travel slope bike. Why the change? He explained that an ankle injury from the first drop on last year's course in Whistler convinced him that a bit of squish to take the edge off could make all the difference.

Reynolds isn't dead set on riding a full-suspension slope bike year round, though, as he'll still likely be on a hardtail in most other contests because he feels like the transitions are usually steeper and more hardtail friendly. That said, he also admitted that he's yet to really ride the new full-suspension bike in anger, having only got his hands on it two days ago.


Sam Reynolds Polygon slope prototype
A concentric bottom bracket pivot makes it easy to run the bike as a single speed.
Sam Reynolds Polygon slope prototype
The bike's compact and nearly hidden linkage controls the suspension rate.



Suspension

Full-suspension slope bikes are often all about being relatively simple while allowing the rider to run a single-speed setup without having to resort to using a half assed, spring-loaded chain tensioner. Sam's single pivot, linkage activated Polygon is no different, with the swingarm rotating concentrically around the bottom bracket so that he can easy run it sans gears. The bike offers 100mm of rear wheel travel, which is par for the course when talking about slope bikes, and a compact scissor-style linkage modifies the suspension rate to have it ramp up as required. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it looks like a simple and effective design that gets the job done while also making for some clean, hardtail-esque lines.

Sam's bike is fitted with BOS suspension front and back, which is a bit of a rarity on the slope scene (the entire Polygon team runs BOS), and he told us that he prefers to run his air-sprung fork and shock a bit more forgiving than the rock hard setup that we've seen some of his peers use. Interestingly, his fork is setup with 120mm of travel, 20mm more than at the back of the bike.


Sam Reynolds Polygon slope prototype
One gear means that Sam doesn't have to worry as much about mechanicals.
Sam Reynolds Polygon slope prototype
The shark theme was inspired by WWII fighter planes.



Bike Setup

Someone with a more cynical mindset like myself might believe that most of the top slope riders out there are only running geared drivetrains due to sponsorship commitments, but Sam obviously doesn't feel that he needs a shifter and a proper cassette to compete with the best. His bike can be run with gears, though - note the cable guides on the chain stay, and a derailleur hanger can be bolted on - if he felt he needed them. The bike's rear wheel is also tucked up towards the seat tube as tightly as he can get it, but he's avoided using a half-link chain to squeeze it in by a few extra millimeters.

The bike's reach is a touch longer than the hardtail that Sam is used to riding, and he's gone with a stubby 30mm stem and a tall 40mm rise, 750mm wide handlebar to create a tight cockpit that he's used to. Tires are pumped up to a fast rolling 55 PSI.


Sam Reynolds Polygon slope prototype



Vaporware

Sam's Polygon looks like it'd be a fun bike, but don't bother holding your breath while waiting for it to hit production: Polygon has zero plans to release the bike in the future. In fact, they're actually working on a number of different slope bikes for Sam Reynolds and Kurt Sorge to use, but we were told that they have no intention of manufacturing any of them for the general public, and that their only goal with the niche bikes is to design an effective machine for their sponsored riders to use.


90 Comments

  • 119 5
 So this is pretty much a 'hey look what you can't have article', hahaa.
  • 124 5
 Yes.
  • 17 4
 Seems legit...
  • 25 0
 Dude, most of the articles on new tech are those kinds of articles for me! No money, mo problems.
  • 4 0
 I think i've bought 1 maybe 2 things that have been reviewed/ featured by pinkbike in the 3 or so years i've been a reader? Maybe on the odd one who just comes on here to drool over bike porn tho...
  • 4 3
 is it a colnago?
  • 99 6
 If you can ride as well as Sam Reynolds then we can set you up with one.
  • 3 11
flag NWuntilirest (Jul 10, 2015 at 17:40) (Below Threshold)
 He posted this on his Instagram ages ago......
  • 5 7
 mortals don't need these bikes anyway. Who knows if the pros even do. I had a p-slope for a while and for my riding there's really no benefit over a 20". The main thing it was useful for was getting non-riders on the pump track for the first time
  • 8 9
 Attitudes like this from manufacturers will be their demise. Just think about all of the iterations of their DH bikes; they are in effect searching for something that works correctly instead of doing real product confirmation before releasing their bikes. In my humble opinion they are effectively sucking wind at this point. NEXT!
  • 5 2
 If I look around at the park, there are plenty of people willing to buy downhill bikes for $2000 up. Not the case if I look what the kids bring to the local jumps. And how many of these can you sell to sit in the garage next to the carbon fiber Enduros? Not much of a market.

I'd be surprised if the back axle didn't slip without tugs.
  • 10 2
 OMG you people are retarded a company is actually spending R&D on their race program and you are complaining about it. This means good proven bikes get to the publicvinstead of stupid test prototypes. without having to force some bullshit out of the marketing department (anything out of specialized since.... Well ever)
  • 4 0
 Isn't the whole point of sponsorship to promote the brand and increase sales, therefore, whats the point in polygone doing these niche frames that aren't available to the general public?... neg prop away I don't care just putting my point across Smile

And surely this is not a prototype if it is not intended to be put into production

Prototype - a first or preliminary version of a device or vehicle from which other forms are developed.
  • 2 1
 @lenmerderdenfer companies that don't do this are the ones that suffer. It's just more manufacturers hold their r&d cards close to the chest. Trying lots of custom iterations for top riders gives the design team lots of feed back for better designs. It also helps their sponsored riders excel with features that often most riders wouldn't benefit from.
On top of that it's cool to see one off bikes, it's like drooling over race cars and other high tech stuff that isn't made public.
  • 8 1
 If this bike get's to a point where it is production ready and there is a demand for it then it will be put into production. Right now we are working on several different designs and are having Sam and Kurt test them to determine whether or not it is a product that can be taken to production. It is easy to design the perfect bike, but producing a bike can be a lot more difficult. I could bring up several companies who had an amazing product on paper but had problems when it was taken to production.
  • 5 1
 Is there a big enough market for slope style bikes ? Not trying to piss on slope style or anything but it seems to me quite a low amount of people do it , I don't know of a slope track in the UK even
  • 6 0
 @bigburd there are only a hand full of companies that are producing slope bikes and I personally doubt they are doing huge numbers. The only slope bikes that I see where I live (Squamish) are the P-Slope and the Ticket Slope. Demand drives productions ...
  • 1 0
 I look to come on here and look at bikes I may be able to afford in ten years too.
  • 1 2
 Build an A+ bike before handing it to your sponsored riders! Look at the big "S" for example! So, here come the negative props! There are too may people on here with thin skin (Pink Bike staff included).
  • 32 0
 The shark theme was inspired by WWII fighter planes. Plus it's shark week which is the most wonderful week of the year.
  • 8 60
flag knoxrider (Jul 10, 2015 at 15:09) (Below Threshold)
 Its made by the Asians who were enemies of the British and Americans. having wwII sharks inspiration makes no sense.
  • 36 2
 Yes it was well known that all Asians were the "bad" guys during WW2......
Seriously cop the f*ck on you ignorant moron
  • 13 0
 your logic is shit. using your logic it also makes no sense for an aisan company to sponsor a british rider cause they were enemies in WWII. its not the shark decal inspiration that makes no sense its your thought processes
  • 15 2
 @knoxrider: Someone needs a History lesson: the US and other allies supported Indonesia against Japan. . .who took Indonesia away from the Dutch.

Thats like saying the US (and Canada, and other allied forces) fought France in WWII. . .We freed France from the Axis powers. . . read a book.

Polygon makes their bikes in Indonesia.
  • 3 3
 The shark teeth is probably linked to the popular artwork of shark teeth found on the noses of P-51 Mustang fighters of the time
  • 5 1
 Actually the shark teeth were originally used on the P40 Warhawks used by the Flying Tigers in the Pacific by the American Volunteer Group.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Tigers
  • 4 1
 Which took the idea from German aircraft.
  • 2 2
 If that bike were to go into production it would be called the Kamikaze.
  • 2 0
 Maybe the Warhawk, or British version the Tomahawk.
  • 24 4
 Polygon Killswitch???
  • 9 2
 Looks like a blkmrkt
  • 8 2
 i THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE !! HAHAHAHA
  • 3 2
 you are by no means the only one. im pretty sure everyone who knows what a killswitch looks like saw the similarities
  • 1 0
 The only thing that makes it look like the ks is the swing arm, the suspension geo is totally different and it actually looks more like the zenith xx (vimeo.com/45281241) than the blkmarket; then again, the zenith is a simple monopivot.
  • 1 0
 the front triangle looks quite like a killswitch too however i see what you mean about the zenith xx too
  • 11 1
 As I'm reading,'sick,sick,sick,sick,fuck that was useless'
  • 39 1
 Ah, masturbation.
  • 5 0
 Just like procrastination in the end you're just screwing yourself.
  • 5 0
 Procrastabation?
  • 6 2
 'their only goal with the niche bikes is to design an effective machine for their sponsored riders to use'

Interesting. But.. What's the point of that? And more importantly how are they funding all these prototypes with zero return? I've heard it suggested they are THE prototype company.
  • 25 0
 I'd argue that the number of slope bikes that get sold, even by Trek and the like, is so small that it's not about a monetary return for these companies. Much like DH bikes, many people love to see and read about slope bikes, even though they don't buy new ones that often. Marketing.
  • 18 0
 I don't think that's any different than Honda having an F1 car. It's a way to show off your R&D capabilities and a lot of what you learn designing the top end machines trickles down into your production lines. And keeping a top athlete riding a bike with your brand on it is the return. It's definitely not zero.
  • 7 1
 Just because their is no tangible return on a prototype bike that will never see commercial sales, does not mean they will not see a return. The article on this bike alone will generate some more recognition of Polygon which can turn into bikes sales which will be a return on their investment in prototyping bikes. But ideally the return they will generate from these prototype bikes will be the recognition of riders standing on podiums who ride them.

Not to mention this frame probably cost the company only a few thousand $$$ which is a drop in the bucket.
  • 7 0
 Its all about 'Brand Awareness'
  • 24 1
 We are currently working on a couple of different 100mm travel prototypes. If they get to the point where they are production ready and there is a demand for them, then we will offer them to the public.
  • 6 0
 I've gotta say...I'm pretty impressed with @Polygonbikes interactions with the PB community. Every article or feature on here and they're present in the comments section. It's just nice to see, that's all Smile
  • 1 0
 If it's anything like their Cozmic DX from a few years ago (the downtube looks the same), they're catalog frames sold by many companies; mine, for starters, is one of them, and so was Canyon's previous Stitched and Saracen's Amplitude ALX, probably others. Between them, all that changes is the headtube and other details, maybe ht geo.
  • 3 0
 Polygon makes a lot of bikes for other companies and tube sets that are "open" can be used by anyone. I think the Saracen and the Polygon share some tubing and possibly some geometry.
  • 1 0
 All I know is they're made in Indonesia, but someone had to be making all those frames for everyone else. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that - the Saracen won Crankwox, after all...
  • 6 1
 If it's not going to make it to production, it's a custom bike, not a prototype. Why call it that?
  • 3 6
 You don't seem to understand the word.
  • 6 0
 noun: a first, typical or preliminary model of something, especially a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied.
  • 1 0
 How about concept bike
  • 2 0
 One the one hand, some companies sponsor top-tier riders on slope bikes, but don't manufacture them, due to the economics.

One the other hand, some companies manufacture slope bikes, but don't sponsor top-tier slope riders, due to the economics.

What a sad state of affairs.

(I (heart) my Morpheus Skyla though.)
  • 2 0
 It's refreshing to see Polygon commenting on the posts, really dig the fact they actually attempt to address the questions people are asking rather than normal companies that have no interaction with the public. Keep it up guys Big Grin
  • 4 3
 "Someone with a more cynical mindset like myself might believe that most of the top slope riders out there are only running geared drivetrains due to sponsorship commitments"

Ur team is sponsored by Box components for the drive train. And box components are making single speed drive train more than anything else. So I don't really get what you tried to say about sponsorship commitments or not.
  • 8 1
 Box also has offers standard, geared drivetrain components. It was more of a commentary on other riders, though.
  • 1 0
 All this does for me is make me wonder why I'd wanna buy a Polygon. The riders they're paying to rep the brand do so on a bike I can't buy, so why would I want one from them that I can buy?

Meh, NS makes the best FS slope rig anyway.

Shit Sam, that's one mighty heavy chain you run for a sponsored pro on an exclusive slope bike. For all the abuse a slope drivetrain ever sees, why not run the K710 SL instead? So much better.
  • 4 0
 We are working on a couple of different designs. If there is a demand for this product then Polygon will put it into production.
  • 3 0
 I'd love to see a review comparing the blkmrkt, ticket s, polygon, and NS. They are all sick looking bikes.
  • 1 0
 I for one love reading there articles about slope bikes, even if i will never own one as they seem to b a commodity i don't need. Fair play to Polygon for their responses and also for having the bollocks to produce prototypes like this.
  • 4 0
 The only way to move forward is to try new things and for us that is to produce bikes for our athletes to play on.
  • 3 0
 This bike's geometry/suspension rate is wicked. Feels proper! Right up there with a Ticket S and the other top doggers.
  • 3 0
 Can we just be happy for Sam?
  • 3 0
 Doesn't look like a session.
  • 1 0
 Could this be the beginning of a short travel, fun, chuck-able, jump-able trail bike? It looks like fun! A little like the Commencal Hip Hop (not that was much of a success)?
  • 2 0
 Thumbs up!...our butts apparently :S
  • 1 0
 People bitching about not being able to buy one - remember the BlkMrkt Killswitch? VERY similar design if I'm not mistaken.
  • 4 2
 Half link chain?
  • 1 0
 now what about the canyon slope prototype? will it have a article
  • 1 0
 this bike is gonna cost a lot if it s really unique on earth
  • 1 0
 SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wink
Nice Ride.
  • 1 0
 sooo why did sam rode an hardtail ? Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Polygon gave Sam the choice to run a hardtail or a full suspension. Maybe he felt that the L2A course was more suited to a hardtail. It is always nice to have a choice ... and both of his bikes look amazing ... ha ha ha
  • 1 0
 Shark bike.. By polygon.... ohhh Big Grin Big Grin I really Like this 3
  • 1 0
 Sam is from the uk. The bikes don't sell here? Why?
  • 3 0
 @sals the bikes are available to purchase online and Polygon will ship it to your door.
  • 1 0
 #true#factorybike
  • 3 5
 So it's a blackarket kill switch with the suspension link flipped upside down?
  • 2 3
 can't polygon create some normal thing one day ?
  • 5 0
 We have several bikes that are "normal" and available to the public. Check out the website www.polygonbikes.com
  • 1 2
 is it a colnago?
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