The last time Polygon rolled out a bike named Collossus N9, it was a 27.5″ carbon enduro bike rocking their FS3 suspension platform. Therein, two short aluminum links connected the front and rear triangles, sandwiching the shock and compressing it from both ends to deliver 170mm of rear wheel travel. That was back in 2019, and the bike was discontinued thereafter. Now, the Indonesian brand is breathing new life into the Collossus N9, and it couldn’t be more different.
Gone is the FS3 suspension platform, replaced by a 6-bar linkage driving 170mm of rear wheel travel on a complete aluminum frameset dedicated to 29″ wheels. Look familiar? That could be because the so-called “Independent Floating Suspension” actually debuted in 2021 on Polygon’s Mt Bromo eMTB.
The 2023 Polygon Collossus N9 is the brand’s out-and-out enduro race bike, raced this season on the World Enduro circuit by Matt Stuttard and his fellow Polygon Factory Team mates, Dan Wolfe (aka The Big Bad Wolf) and Brady Stone. Herein, we have everything you need to know about this $3,299 USD enduro bike, as well as our First Ride Impressions.
All photos are credited to Finlay Anderson
Polygon Collosus N9: An Overview
Polygon has done a great job of teasing the Collosus N9 this year. With three Enduro World Series athletes parading prototypes, it wasn’t exactly under wraps. In fact, we got up close and personal with Matt Stuttard’s ride at EWS Tweed Valley. The finished product released today isn’t too dissimilar to what we saw then; it has the same 6-bar linkage, but the seat stays on the production bike are braced by a bolt-on aluminum bridge, presumably to increase the frame’s lateral stiffness.
- Bike: Polygon Collosus N9
- Intention: Enduro
- Fork Travel: 170mm
- Rear Wheel Travel: 170mm
- Wheel Size: 29″
- Frame Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 18.15 kg (Small, with inner tubes)
- Price: £3,299 USD (as tested)
The is the only model launched today, and we are told there are no plans for the release of other options in the near future. It is bedecked with a 170mm travel Fox 38 Performance Fork with the FIT GRIP damper, and a Fox Float X2 Air Shock. The frame is approved for use with a 180mm travel single-crown fork, but it is not tested to withstand forces of a dual-crown fork.
A 12-Speed Shimano Deore XT Drivetrain with KMC X-12 Chain delivers power to the rear wheel, and chain retention is taken care of by a an e*thirteen TRS Plus guide with bash guard. The bike rolls on an Entity XL3 aluminum wheelset with XT hubs fitted with Schwalbe Magic Mary 29″ x 2.6″ Super Gravity Tires in the Addix Soft Compound.
The Collosus N9 cockpit is home to a 40mm Race Face Aeffect R stem and its complementary 780mm wide 20mm rise Race Face handlebar. SRAM Code R Brakes with 200mm rotors take care of speed management, though the frame can take up to a 203mm rotor on the rear. All things considered, it’s fairly excellent bang-for-buck.
Onto the geometry.
On that front, the Collosus N9 is bang up to date, too. Impressively short, steep seat tubes are paired with generous reach figures and a slack 63.5° head angle for confidence in fall-line terrain. The Small, Medium, Large and XL frames boast reach numbers of 440mm, 460mm, 480mm and 500mm, respectively, all paired with 435mm chainstays. If anything, i’d say the bottom bracket is a little high, comparatively, for a bike of this travel bracket at 353mm.
The Small and Medium frames get a 150mm TranzX dropper seat post, while the Large and XL frames get the 170mm option. It’s possible all frames could run a little more drop if you upgraded to something like the OneUp V2 dropper post. Maximum insertion depths are as follows.
First Ride Review: Polygon Collosus N9
At 5ft 4″ tall, I opted to test the Polygon Collosus N9 in Small. It has a 440mm reach paired with a 390mm seat tube that is home to a 150mm dropper seat post from TranzX. The recommended sag ranges from 25% to 35%, so I went straight down the middle at 30% sag. As per usual, I cut the bar to 740mm and turned all compression and rebound damping dials to fully open. Being relatively light at 60kg, I find this extreme to be a useful starting point for bike setup. Conditions are about as wet as they get right now, so 17 PSI in the front tire and 19 PSI in the rear seemed reasonable.
Four quality rides is all I had time to dedicate to the Polygon, so this is very much “First Impressions” terrain.
Dropping into the first descent aboard the Polygon Collosus N9, my thoughts were very positive. It dived in and out of a snaking section of steep, supported corners in a solid, predictable manner and the dimensions felt good. In those off-brake, rail the corner situations, the bike felt tremendous; planted, safe, and with plenty to push against as you hit the the apex of the turn.
As things started to get a little more rough, in rock gardens and on chunky, natural sections of track where calm and careful consideration of line choice is necessary, the bike was not easy to manage. It became evident the suspension was too lively – almost like the bike was having a party that its rider was not invited to. I credited that largely to rebound speed of the suspension, and a little too much pressure in the Super Gravity Magic Mary tires; I dropped the latter to 15 PSI up front, and 17 PSI in the rear.
At that stage, I was happy enough with its use of travel front and rear, so turned to the rebound dials in an attempt to calm things down a little. I added 5 clicks of low speed rebound damping, and one click of high speed rebound damping on the shock, and went to 10 clicks from fully open on the fork rebound. I left the compression damping on both ends fully open.
With those new settings, the bike is significantly easier to ride through the choppy chunder, but still not quite as well-mannered as i’d like it to feel. In the few days i’ve spent riding it, my experience is that it’s not super intuitive to ride, and would require a lot more careful consideration to get dialed in than I have so far been afforded.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel there’s bags of potential here. I can ride it fairly fast, but not without a huge amount of effort, or without feeling like i’m close to the edge.
I was able to test the Collosus N9 before actually seeing the geometry chart, which was a fairly novel experience. Before taking a peek at the numbers, I took some guesses about the HA, SA, rear-center and reach numbers. On the angles, I was spot on; on the chainstay length and reach numbers, I had overestimated.
Overall, the bike feels as though it has a longer rear-center length than it actually does. I did measure to check that 435mm is correct, and it is. The bike’s heft could be the culprit here. I weighed the N9 in at 18.05 kg (size small). That’s it set up tubeless without pedals, a swap to my preferred Ergon SMC Womens saddle, and the addition of a Mudhugger EVO and a Syncros bottle cage. It is possible the weight is hindering the bike’s playfulness; certainly, the short chainstays and very active rear suspension shouldn’t be holding it back in that regard.
To reiterate, I haven’t spent a huge amount of time on the bike and these are merely my first ride impressions. As I alluded to, I think the Collosus N9 could be a very fast enduro race bike if set up properly for its rider. Certainly, Matt Stuttard has proven the frame’s capability on the World Enduro circuit this season.
The reality for this amateur, however, is that the ride-feel stands to benefit greatly from a key component swap. The Schwalbe Super Gravity casing is overkill for my weight and riding style, as well as for the mostly soft(ish) terrain we have here in the Tweed Valley (not shown). I reckon a more supple set of tires, perhaps Maxxis EXO+ casing, or Continental Enduro, could at least give the bike a more familiar ride feel and provide a better starting point.
Also, after a faster run down one of our EWS race tracks, it was evident the rear end was giving up its 170mm of travel too easily. I never felt any harsh bottom outs, but the O-ring was maxed out at the 65mm stroke length. It’s likely the shock would benefit from an additional volume spacer.
What about climbing?
Interestingly, the Collosus N9 carries its weight impressively well up hill. Having weighed the bike, and having considered its Super Gravity casing Magic Mary tires, I was a little concerned it would be a terrible slog up long fire road climbs. I’m happy to report that I was wrong. In the climbing gears, the bike is relatively neutral, with little squat to speak of. There is a hint of it, but not enough to make me reach for the lock out lever.
I’ve not done much technical climbing on the Polygon, but i’ve no reason to raise complaint yet. The 63.5° head tube angle does force the rider into an aggressive front wheel-biased riding position in an attempt to keep it from wandering or lifting, but this is to be expected, and it’s relatively easy to adapt to.
The overall fit of the bike feels very good for my 5 feet and 4 inches. While climbing, the 77° seat tube angle is very welcomed, and I find myself making the most of that slamming the saddle forward on the rails. At my preferred saddle height, there is around 2 cm of clearance between the saddle and the tire at bottom-out, leaving heaps of space to allow for a little frame flex.
However, there is a clearance consideration here for shorter riders; if you are wanting to run a saddle height around the 600mm mark, you’ll want to take care as to where your saddle is positioned on the rails. In a neutral saddle position, with the seat post pushed deep into its seat tube and the 150mm dropper fully slammed, I can get the back of the saddle to kiss the tire at full compression of the suspension. Running the saddle in a slightly forward biased position eliminates that potential safety issue, and it makes for a better seated pedaling position anyway.
- Modern enduro geometry
- Efficient to pedal up hill
- Good value for money
- Not intuitive out-of-the-box
- Proprietary Derailleur Hanger
- 14 standard bearings and two spherical bearings to maintain
Collosus N9 Kinematic
For those who wish to pore over the kinematics of the 2023 Polygon Collosus N9, below you will find the leverage curve, anti-squat, anti-rise and axle path pertaining to its new 6-bar linkage suspension platform.
Pricing & Availability
The 2023 Polygon Collosus N9 will only available in the model seen and reviewed herein. It retails at $3,299 USD or $4,999 AUD and is available to pre-order now from a number of online retailers including Bikes Online, with delivery expected in Q1 of 2023. The bike is sold with a 5 year warranty on the frame.