Tracey Hannah's Polygon Collosus DH9 - Bike Check

Jul 5, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  



Tracey Hannah is currently sitting in the lead in the women's World Cup DH points race, but with only a slim, 5-point margin separating her from Myriam Nicole she'll need to lay down a strong performance at Lenzerheide in order to stay at the front of the pack. Ross Bell caught up with Polygon UR team mechanic Jamie Tilbury to learn more about Tracey's Polygon Collosus DH9 race machine.


Tracey Hannah's Polygon DH9 Details

• Rider height: 5' 6”
• Frame size: medium, with headset cups to increase reach by 5mm
• Wheelsize: 27.5"
• Travel: 203mm
• Handlebar width: 760mm
• Stem length: 50mm
• e*thirteen LG1r carbon wheelset
• Trickstuff Direttissima brakes
• SR Suntour Rux R2C2 fork
• Kenda Hellcat Pro tires - 27.5 x 2.4"
No representative time for Tracey Hannah is timed training but she won t be worried Tracey looks comfortable out on track.


Tracey Hannah Bike Check
The Polygon UR team has one of the more eclectic lists of sponsors out there - products from Trickstuff, Suntour, Spank, e*thirteen, and Kenda all make an appearance, along with several other parts produced by companies who don't directly sponsor the team.

Tracey Hannah Bike Check
Tracey Hannah Bike Check
Tracey is running the German-made Trickstuff Direttissima brakes, which use mineral oil and a four piston design to provide plenty of stopping power.


Tracey Hannah Bike Check
The "Light" version of the aluminum Collosus DH9 frame that the team are on weighs around 200 grams less than the standard model.

Tracey Hannah Bike Check
Tracey Hannah Bike Check
e*thirteen doesn't have a derailleur or a shifter in their lineup, but with their cassette, cranks, and chainrings they make all of other necessary parts for a drivetrain. They also provide the bike's LG1r carbon wheels


Tracey Hannah Bike Check
Tracey changes her stack height by approximately 10mm depending on the course - higher for steeper tracks, and lower for less vertical terrain, which means this setup will likely be lower by the time she rolls up to the starting gate.

Tracey Hannah Bike Check
The DH9 isn't the longest bike out there, so offset headset cups are used to increase the size medium frame's reach by an additional 5mm.

Tracey Hannah Bike Check
SR Suntour doesn't currently produce a DH shock, leaving the team to pick and choose what they run. This weekend Tracey is on an Ohlins TTX 22 that's had the logo covered with electrical tape and a Super Alloy Racing spring installed.

Tracey Hannah Bike Check
Hang on tight - it's shaping up to be another wild and exciting week of downhill racing.



76 Comments

  • + 28
 When are sr suntour gonna make a rear shock to compliment their amazing forks?
  • + 3
 I suspect it will take longer than planned as the UR team won't settle for anything worse than what they're currently running.
  • + 1
 @vinay: do you know if there is any plans or are they just sticking to forks?
  • + 8
 @christillott: Just guessing. But Suntour is a huge company. If they want to do something, they will. To a certain extend, high quality, adjustability, reliability and accuracy are simply a choice. Coming up with something new/clever/innovative requires creativity. But the aforementioned qualities are more of an economical choice. Machine settings, tool replacement, time invested, material selection. To a certain extend it just depends on what Suntour is willing to invest. But my impression is that just like X-Fusion, they also want to be gunning for the top end of the market instead of the bottom end which pays through quantity over quality. They're not investing in a pro-team for no reason. But the cooperation is still pretty fresh and considering they didn't have a DH shock yet, I suspect they're using team input to develop their shock, not just tweak and tune. They probably had something exciting already when they started, otherwise there'd be nothing in it for the team for the first rew years or so. But yeah now that they actually have people on the team winning WC races I doubt they're willing to take chances mid season. Or it'd be an incarnation of what Fayolle is running.
  • + 13
 Mick Hannah was running Suntor's prototype DH shock in Les Gets, cant find any good shots of it, looks like they are keeping it under wraps.
  • + 0
 Nothing is > than an Ohlins!
  • + 1
 @Zelicanth: we need to find a photo of that shock, I remember it kinda looked like a Manitou swinger in that the piggyback was opposite of the aircan
  • + 2
 SrSuntour is a brand I would invest in, my fork now is the best I've ever owned, and in the past I had forks that went above, and beyond their purpose, whereas my friend's comparable RockShox Judy failed.
  • + 6
 @Kramz: Rockshox Judy? You realise it's 2017 now, right?

I'd love to try some Suntour stuff. Could be high on my list for a suspension refresh - along with x-fusion.
  • + 1
 @sam264: Yeah, the fork internals shot out, and broke his helmet visor. Could have took his eye out. May as well steer clear of such problems, not into them.
  • + 3
 @sam264: also check out the new rst range too
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: looks absolutely amazing
  • + 2
 @sam264: Yeah there will be one for 2018 I thought.

That Suntour shock doesn't look to far from production really. So the whole team is running different shocks now, pretty interesting. Then again back when Tracey Hannah was riding bikes from Morewood, she was also the only one racing a single pivot design (without linkage) whereas the rest of the team was riding a different bike. And within FMD they're running different drivetrains too. Good things are getting a bit more diverse now. There's been a time when it was pretty much either Fox or Rockshox front and rear. And yeah, I noticed DNM and RST are stepping up too. Exciting stuff.
  • + 1
 @vinay: but cant find anybody selling the new rst forks
  • + 1
 An air shock is almost operational and is being used by Mick and Alexandre. They don't want to develop any coil shock though.
  • + 1
 @Whipperman: would this be able to be put on a mid travel bike
  • + 1
 @christillott: Yes, totally; it's a bit like a RS Vivid Air (from the outside, not internal). I tried one of those on a Saracen enduro bike.
  • + 1
 @Whipperman: so with this shock paired up with say an auron fork, suntour will have a pairing capable of winning enduro races?
  • + 1
 @christillott: They do, Remi Absalon and Eliot Trabac are racing on Suntour forks (not sure about the shocks since they ride Scott Geniuses)
  • + 1
 @Whipperman: Im sure if the shock turns out to be good scott might consider using them
  • + 1
 SR Suntour is majority share holder and manufacture of DVO. Lots of the freestyle/freeride guys on SR just run a Jade on the back.
  • + 1
 @allballz: To be honest I need to dig in a bit more to understand what's going on there. It may be similar to what 2Stage set out to do over a decade ago, but I could be very wrong. I've also got a Magura MX shock in my bike. It is revolutionary in the sense that it is incredibly simple and won't need regular maintenance. Damping (air) is limited of course, but I'd be interested to see what it could do when mounted in such a R3act linkage as used by Marin and Polygon as these rely on very little damping. As for F1 race suspension, not sure if that's something that contribute to better bicycle parts. At least I've never heard such a thing. Yes several bicycle suspension brands also do business in motocross or rallycar racing, but these are still off-road sports. I think that is a key element. Then again I could be very wrong here. If F1 racing could provide a positive contribution to mountainbiking I do by all means welcome them.
  • + 5
 DANICO from Germany produces brake oil for TRICKSTUFF. TRICKSTUFF uses for DIRETTISSIMA and PICCOLA Brakes instead of mineral oil our plant-oil based BIONOL BIOTECH BRAKE OIL as first-fill. BIONOL is non-hazardous and has with 300°C the highest initial boilig point in comparison to DOT4, DOT5.1 and Mineral Oil.
  • + 4
 May need to clean out the OIL you spilled on your CAPSLOCK KEY since it seems to be SHORTING OUT SOMETIMES. Smile
  • + 7
 Looks like "super alloy racing" rear spring. I think they're light steel alloy , not ti. Dave Garland(giant mechanic) product. Lots of wc racers using them
  • + 3
 Good catch - you're correct.
  • + 6
 Brakes and shock do look sic as
  • + 2
 Is the headset offset used over a stem mounting that's 5mm further out for handling? If you move the bars 5mm out with a longer stem and kept the headset a 0 offset, is the effect the same?
I'm so curious about the length of frames and reach and handling. If the frame is 5mm longer, the riders would then use a 5mm shorter stem / headset set up. I'm going to guess the ride is totally different when the length is in the frame for reach rather than stem, headset, bar sweep, fork rake. Wow, things get complex in a hurry when you're designing and talking bike characteristics and all the parameters one can change.
I can ride no handed on my road bike so easy, but on my Capra (on the road) its tougher. . . hmm
The angles on the road bike are scary steep. . .
Lots to learn if I ever want to get a wad of cash and start a company in the far east. Wink
  • + 5
 Offset headset cups change the fit of the bike, lengthening or shortening reach and wheelbase. Changing stem length will change reach, but will also affect steering response. With how important handling is for WC DH racers, they've come up with a way to change the effective length of a frame, so that they can get the correct reach, wheel base, and handling characteristics with fewer compromises.
If you're having trouble riding your Capra no handed on the road no handed, go faster. Most AM bikes are so slack, their handling characteristics don't come alive until 15+ mph.
  • + 1
 It makes things a lot less complex if you only change one variable at a time. Most riders at this level have a preferred stem length independent of frame size, this headset only serves to add 5mm to the frames reach. Wheelbase is increased by fitting a reach headset but only in a small way compared to an angle headset which pushes you over 10mm for a 1 degree headset. Google 'effect of altering trail' - either for a pushbike or motorbike, that will help you understand why your road bike is easy to ride hands-free while your capra isn't.
  • + 1
 @Racer951: Thanks for the info. I wonder how many riders are like Minnaar? He really seems to take a hands on approach to his bike and details like this. I'd imagine being a test-rider for a company would be amazing. The team could have the podium rider, and you'd always be experimenting and riding for the engineers at the World Cup pace.
Imagine riding with your mates, BBQ-ing, and having a dedicated mechanic and team to get these details like this dialed! I take an entire season to get my bike dialed when I change one item. I'd love to have it dialed in a weekend!
  • + 1
 @p0g0: Thanks, that makes sense.
  • + 5
 Pink bits often make me go fast! Wink
  • - 17
flag kubaner (Jul 5, 2017 at 20:49) (Below Threshold)
 I'd bike to tiss kracey on the loobs
  • + 0
 The UR/Polygon team is sponsored by Box in the derailleur dept. Both UR and Box have ads with this intent. So why in this article is there no mention. Other that E thirteen doesn't make a der., but all the other bits.

It is like your trying to hide something. Horribly
  • + 1
 What is there to hide? There's no Box derailleur on this bike, so it wasn't mentioned.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: interesting...so what is there?Pretty funny looking through that the derailleur can't be seen even in the full bike pic where it's hidden in the long grass.
  • + 1
 @alexhyland: A Shimano Saint derailleur.
  • + 1
 I'm not a fan of the DH9 name tag. That's reserved for the ancient Yeti DH9
  • + 2
 Anyone notice that sexy DLC/Pink chain? Gee whiz!
  • + 3
 Pink bits make it fast
  • + 3
 love the brakes
  • + 2
 VP Offset headset, huh? That's new.
  • + 2
 Wouldn't be surprised if they actually have been making these for some other brands. VP doesn't bother with marketing.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Well, it's not on their website, & AFAIK the only other offset headsets mere mortals can buy are from Works (made in house) & Superstar components. Guess it could be the Superstar one.

I don't think the CK buzzworks one is actually for sale.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: I think if Superstar says they make it in house, they do. They won't fool us because then no one is going to believe they make anything. So yeah, it could actually be something new. Then again whether we'll be able to buy it and if so, whether it will actually say VP on them (or a different brand) is to be seen. It could even be OEM. That Mondraker Foxy already comes with an angleset. Other (cheaper) brands could do something similar and maybe this is what they'd go for. Heck, it could even be Polygon. I've never seen any of these bikes over here.
  • + 1
 @vinay: I didn't even read the blurb where Superstar says they make it in house until you pointed it out, good catch.

I'm just somewhat interested in the subject because I need one, & I haven't found anybody yet that makes one yet with the 62mm lower cup I need. So if I see a new one & don't recognize it, I'm voracious for details.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: Yeah, at this stage I'm dubbing whether I'll get a slackerizer on my Cannondale Prophet or get a DMR Bolt Long and get such a set in there. I'm only running 1 1/8 straight steerers currently, so I should be fine. Double check for yourself whether it will work with your forks. Many singlecrown forks nowadays don't come with straight 1 1/8 steerers anymore.
  • + 0
 @vinay: Woah! 1999 called, they want their steerer back.
  • + 2
 @groghunter:
Take a look at Reverse Components. They got an offset headset too. Maybe it´ll fit your needs.
  • + 4
 Yeah- we made a bunch for the team in different offsets, angle changes, and whatever else to fit their DH bikes, and also single crown tapered enduro bikes too- its not something available to the public mostly just because no one orders them from us!... if your local distributor wanted to stock them, and ordered enough, we would make them... demand is just really low... maybe you can convince @vernonfelton to spec them on the pinkbike he is ordering blind from TW... but he'd have to pay up front since we dont really know him... so good thing has has that suitcase of cash...
  • + 2
 @MortifiedPenguin: 1999? Wasn't that the time of threaded 1" steerers? I'm leaving Cannondale out of this because they needed the whole suspension assembly inside the steerer. Somewhere around 2003 or so Manitou came with their onepointfive (1.5" straight) steerer standard because according to them, that was the only way to make single crown forks with more than 130mm travel. Of course everyone got mad (we're actually accepting new standards quite easily nowadays) because it wouldn't fit existing frames, stems and headsets. Marzocchi even went on to prove that you could have a 150mm single crown fork with a straight 1 1/8" steerer with their Z150 fork. Of course Manitou could make longer single crown forks though. And the Specialized Enduro got a dedicated 150mm dual crown fork (E150). Eventually the industry came with tapered steerers and that's what stuck. But my forks are from 2007, 2008 and 2010. So at least in 2010 you could easily obtain a single crown fork with a straight 1 1/8" steerer. More importantly though, these Superstarcomponents headsets we're discussing here are much more recent and are designed to only work with straight steerers. So either they cater for people with a dual crown fork. Or for people like me with stuff that's about a decade old and needs a stretch.
  • + 2
 @vinay: Works do reach adjust headsets that fit tapered steerers too if you have the right kind of headtube.

You actually get decent advice / info from them if you ask for it too, unlike superstar which just tell you to go and look for yourself.
  • + 1
 @Loki87: Thanks for the tip, 49/49 & 49/56 only, unfortunately.

@Racer951

Yup, they were totally willing to chat, & explained how they just can't justify the 62mm lower cups because only a few brands use them on a few models.

Unfortunately for me, my Spartan is one of them, & upsizing for reach would have left me with too little seatpost exposed for a decent dropper.
  • + 1
 @groghunter:
There is a really small swiss company who does custom offset headsets, but i can´t remember the name :-/
  • + 1
 Manitou Travis... 8" single crown fork!
  • + 1
 @Racer951: Yeah, these are the options you have nowadays right? You can pay a decent price and get all support you could wish for. Or go cheaper and get more of a Spartan treatment (that's not going to be suitable). I'm taking both ways. I got my lights from Lupine, a German company that does everything in house, can provide you with all possible spares, advice, repairs and other service. You can even send their dog an e-mail if you're lonely. And I could buy my headset through Superstarcomponents and have a bit more to figure out myself. But as they still produce it in the UK, they deserve some love too.
  • + 1
 @vinay: I couldn't care less if ss make things in the uk or in Uganda, the owner is a class a prat and customer service arrogant and To be honest rude - just look at how they reply to questions on Facebook for enough examples and that's in the public eye ( probably written by the owner so what do you expect?)

It's a company setup initially to import and rebrand and is now purchasing others products in and copying them in-house, the only thing going for them is price, and that's gone up recently.
  • + 1
 Just put an Ohlin's cartridge in the forks then happy days !!
  • + 1
 Another highly successful WC racer on what looks like an Aluminum bike
  • + 1
 How about those discs! They are the biggest cutouts i've seen on a disc.
  • + 0
 That always be rad bike bruh.
  • - 3
 How the hell is she 5'6 and rides a medium with extra 5mm and i'm a 5'7 guy and have to ride a small? I think i might have to go to a medium...
  • + 1
 why do you have to?
  • + 0
 @literally:
Feels pretty good and no other M bike i tried was as good as the S. (My first comment was a bit of sarcasm)
  • + 3
 Firstly, the Polygon is a tiny frame, so that´s that.
Secondly, you do not have to a ride a small size frame at your size. If your cornering technique is good enough you do not need to ride a small bike. So maybe there´s a reason Tracey is a professional WC racer after all Wink
On a serious note, if you´re not a total beginner try a bigger bike next time. There´s definitely an advantage to them if you take the time to adapt.
  • + 1
 @Loki87: Ha,thanks for the info man. I'm not a begginer, i'm an intermediate rider with good all round skills. i see pro riders my size riding long bikes and i am always confused why most of the pros use Long bikes...
  • + 2
 Well I'm 5,8 and on last years large DH9. Though these new "light" frames change up the sizing a little to make them all a bit bigger
  • + 1
 @MetalheadWolfRider: 5 8" here, I chose a size large in my last DH bike too.

DH bikes are pretty specific unless you are riding park stuff for fun, I just wanted to go as fast as I could so wheelbase / reach / stability trumped 'fun' factor, not that going as fast as you can down a DH track isn't fun!

Many 2017 frames have 'caught up' though and added to their reach figures.
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