Review: Polygon Spy 6.
Polygon brand needs no introduction especially on local shores, with the increasingly huge range of bikes catering to all riders with different needs. Roads, time-trial, trail, track, commuters, dirt jump, foldies, hybrids, freeride, downhill, cross-country. You name it, they’ve got it. This also includes a spectrum of prices to suits all budgets, which is fantastic especially for the amateur looking for a quality ride to start off with.
Their off-road range has also been very popular in recent years thanks to numerous of Polygon’s high-profile riders such as Yannick Granieri and Sam Reynolds taking the bikes to a whole new level on the world stage.
The brand has come a long way from when it was once considered to be of cheap market-bike quality with no substance to back. Today, Polygon has made its presence felt in an industry where the big boys dominate.
Brand new to the 2012 range is the carbon Spy 6.0 hardtail. Claimed to be the most affordable carbon-framed MTB in its class, the matte grey and black frame is subtle and understated. Much of the cost is reduced thanks to proprietary components from Polygon such as the Xpert handlebars, stem and seatpost. Working in close partnership with Selle Royal and Shimano, the saddle and wheelset respectively keep costs down as well, while not compromising any bit of quality.
The double-disc 30-speed steed also sports features unrivalled to similar models from brands from the ‘big boys’.
The Low Down
For starters, a complete Shimano drivetrain is dedicated to making sure the Spy 3.0 has all gearing, shifting and braking needs in place. Deore shifters and front derailleur works together with a Deore XT rear derailleur and 42/32/24 crankset to make sure you never run out of enough gear ratios to play around with. The lightest ratio of 24-36 also lets you climb like a goat on the steepest trail that gravity will allow.
Because flying down a singletrack will also require some slowing down eventually, a Shimano 445-series hydraulic brake system is employed for braking duties. Yes hydraulic, unlike the conventional mechanical disks many other bikes choose in order to save costs. Like mentioned before, nothing is compromised.
You will also find well-received Shimano MT15 wheels rolling extremely well with Schwalbe 26×2.1 Black Jack rubbers.
Starts rolling on some dirt tracks and you instantly feel how differently it handles compared to an aluminium frame. It is light enough to feel the difference but not so light that you get that really floaty that makes it seem unresponsive. In fact, response is spot on thanks to the carbon composite and oversized head tube, that keep things nice stiff. No unnecessary energy is wasted via anything else than the more than ample 100mm travel Fox Racing Shox fork. After all this isn’t something you’d get for downhill racing.
Adjustments on the race-proven forks include adjustments like rebound, air spring pressure and lockout options. This is sufficient enough for cross-country racing where the machine shines on singletracks.
Steering is responsive at higher speeds that allow you to enter tight corners with confidence and conviction. No under-steer here. Overall a very well-balanced ride that brings back the feel-good vibes into riding off-road.
At just over $2000, this is a bike with extremely good value, quality components and ride. We don’t just think it’s affordable, it rides really well too. If anything, it may just be a little bit under-priced.