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. 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. 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. 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.