It’s almost 2018 and we’re still no closer to settling on one wheel size. Don’t expect that to change any time soon, but what you can expect is new options around every corner. Joining a number of manufacturers who have already offered different wheel sizes for the same model, Polygon is introducing the new Siskiu T along with their Wheel Fit Size System.
For both the Siskiu T7 and the T8, there will be four sizes offered, with the Small and Mediums fitted with 27.5 x 2.6″ rubber, while there is a second medium along with large and extra large that will run 29 x 2.35″ tires. Other than the obvious difference in wheels and tires, the suspension travel differs as well with the 27.5″ bikes running 150mm of travel up front with 140mm rear, while the 29ers shrink down to 140mm up front and 130mm out back.
Building on the success of the Siskiu D series, the Siskiu T features an ALX aluminum frame that relies on a simple faux bar suspension system rather than the R3ACT-2Play suspension that made waves for Polygon earlier in the year.
However, the suspension looks well designed and includes a “unibody pivot bridge” for improved stiffness at the rear. Split into the T7 and the T8, the higher end T8 shown above benefits from a full RockShox suspension suite including a Revelation RC Solo Air Boost fork, and a Deluxe RT3 Debonair rear shock.
Built with a 1×11 drivetrain including an 11-46t wide range cassette, a TranzX dropper post, and house brand tubeless wheels and Schwalbe tubeless tires, the T8 is well priced at $2499.
The T7, which we have in for review, is even better priced at just $1899. Even better, is that to get the price under $2k, you’re not really giving up all that much.
The biggest difference probably comes in the form of the suspension components. The T7 and T8 have identical travels, but the T7 runs a RockShox Recon RL Solo Air Boost fork with steel stanchions which adds a chunk of weight, and the X-Fusion 02 Pro RL rear shock probably won’t ride quite as well as the Deluxe RT3. But, and this is a big but, you’re still getting an extremely capable suspension package for not a lot of dollars.
The drivetrain also differs as the T7 features a 1×10 mix of Shimano XT, Deore, and a CS-HG500 11-42 cassette with a KMC X-10 chain. It’s interesting to ride a 10 speed wide range drivetrain after being on mostly 11 and 12 speed groups recently, and the 10 speed group seems to work pretty well. The bike also features a Prowheel Charm crankset which is essentially a Shimano Hollowtech II design as far as the spindle and non-drive crank are concerned, and both bikes run a BSA threaded 73mm bottom bracket.
Both bikes feature Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with Centerlock rotors, though the T7 runs BR-M365, while the T8 gets slightly better BR-MT500s. Both frames use Boost spacing and tooled 148 x 12 thru axles at the rear.
Even for a bike under $2k, the T7 rolls on some very nice wheels and tires. The wheels are an in-house product from Polygon, but the Entity XL2 wheelset appears to be high quality with 32 spokes per wheel, centerlock hubs, and hookless aluminum rims which set up tubeless incredibly easy. The bike ships with tubes and standard rim strips installed, so you’ll have to provide your own tape and valves, but once you do you’ll be rewarded with better traction and more than half a pound shaved off the bike even after adding sealant. Schwalbe provides the rubber for both bikes with Nobby Nics in either 27.5 x 2.6″ or 29 x 2.35″ – and the 29ers get the new Addix compound.
Entity components make up much of the cockpit with their own 780mm wide bar, 45mm stem (both 31.8mm clamp), and the Entity Assault Saddle. The only bummer spec out of the box was the TranzX seatpost which failed right away with a remote lever that couldn’t be installed because the bolt holes didn’t line up on the clamp. It’s also a fairly long seatpost – both above and below the seatpost clamp. Due to the kink in the seat tube, the picture above shows the lowest that you can actually get the post, which leaves almost 1.5″ of post above the clamp. Assuming you can get the clamp installed on the bar, this isn’t a deal breaker, just something for riders with short legs to consider. My measurement from the top of saddle to center of BB is 690mm and I couldn’t use the TranzX post even if the remote worked. Fortunately, I had a 30.9 RockShox Reverb post with 125mm of travel sitting around which worked perfectly.
I went with the medium frame in the 29″ configuration simply because I’m not often on 29ers and I wanted to try it. Compared to a lot of the super stretch limo enduro bikes these days, the medium actually feels a bit short in the top tube with a 430mm reach and a 45mm stem. However, I was only able to squeeze one ride in so far which was cut short due to trail conditions so I need to ride it quite a bit more before I make any judgement on fit.
Overall, the Siskiu feels like a very capable bike for the price. The T7 may be on the heavy side at 31.06lbs (14.1kg), but then again, I’m not all that familiar with the weights of sub $2k full suspension bikes. Considering going tubeless took it down to 30 and some change, and that it shouldn’t be hard to get this at least into the 29s, maybe it’s not that heavy after all. And at this price, it seems that the Siskiu T will be a contender for the affordable trail bike category.