First Ride: $3,299 Collosus N9 from Polygon

Polygon’s new Collosus N9 made its first appearance in all its urban camo colors at Sea Otter this year, complete with the IFS suspension layout first seen at the Mt. Bromo eMTB. The bike has 29-inch wheels front and rear (it is not compatible with mixed wheels) and 170mm of travel. After a season of enduro racing and refinement, it is now available, with an aluminum frame and a $3,299 price tag that is a stark contrast to the ultra-expensive carbon machines that have been released lately.

For the price, Polygon put together a great parts package. Suspension is provided by a Fox 38 Performance fork with a Grip damper and 230x65mm Float X2 shock. SRAM Code R brakes with 200mm rotors help keep speeds in check, and Shimano handles the shifting via an XT derailleur, SLX cassette and XT cranks. Unfortunately, those cranks are 175mm long, which may not be ideal for riders on rockier terrain. 2.6-inch-wide Schwalbe Magic Mary tires are mounted on Entity rims with a 35mm internal width.

Colossus N9 details

• Wheel size: 29″
• Suspension travel: 170 mm
• Aluminum frame
• Head angle of 63.5º
• Seat tube angle of 77º
• 435mm chainstays
• Sizes: S – XL
• Weight: 39.25 lb / 17.8 kg (size L)
• Price: $3,299 USD

All of that adds up to a not-insignificant 39.25 pounds (17.8 kg) – Collosus seems like a very fitting name given those numbers.
Frame details

The frame of the Collosus is visibly sturdy; everything from the forward shock to the double-braced swingarm makes it look like it’s built to take a beating. All those links and the shock position do take up some precious water bottle space, meaning only a ‘regular’ size bottle will fit in the front triangle. Still, it’s better than nothing. There’s no in-frame storage or accessory mounts to be seen either. Another feature missing is a universal derailleur hanger, something that will likely become more of a “must-have” if the rumors of SRAM’s next-generation drivetrain are true.

There is a ribbed chainstay guard, although it’s a little short – further coverage to the front of the chainstay would help prevent the paint from being chipped by the chain. The brake, derailleur and dropper lines are internally routed, although there isn’t really anything in the frame to keep them from rattling – luckily I didn’t notice too much noise on my test bike.

It’s nice to see the Collosus equipped with a chain guide and bash guard, since chainring crunch is a good way to dampen a race run. There is also frame protection on the underside of the downtube to protect it from flying rocks or truck tailgates.


Most of the collosus geometry numbers match exactly what has become the norm for this category. The head tube angle is slack, 63.5 degrees with a 170mm fork, the reach is 480mm for a size large and the seat tube angle is 77 degrees. The chainstays are on the short side at 435mm across the board – they don’t change with every size, a practice that more and more companies are adopting.

Suspension design

Polygon seems to have an affinity for suspension designs that are a bit out of the ordinary – there was the wild-looking floating dual-link FS3 design in 2014 and the even more pronounced aesthetic of the SquareOne EX9 with its R3ACT suspension in 2017. The Collosus keeps alive the trend, although the overall look probably won’t be as polarizing as those other two examples.

It uses a version of the IFS (Independent Floating Suspension) design first seen on Polygon’s Mount Bromo eMTB. The concept is that the two lower counter-rotating short links can be used to dictate axle path, while the seatstays and rocker arm are used to adjust the leverage curve, or how much progression there is. All those links might make it easier for designers to achieve the suspension characteristics they want, but it also means there are 16 cartridge bearings to keep track of, and the lower set of bearings is directly in front of the rear wheel, right where mud and dirt will end up on a sloppy ride.

The anti-squat rates are fairly high, sitting around 121% in sag before gradually tapering off as the bike goes through its travel. The scaling of the graph makes the progression look quite extreme, but in reality it is about 19%, which is fairly typical for a longer-travel enduro bike.

Ride impressions

For anyone who says weight doesn’t matter, I encourage you to give the Collosus a try. I’ve spent a lot of time — years, actually — riding bikes in the 40-pound range, and I’m far from a weight gainer, but I’ll admit it’s a little harder to muster the motivation to get on a long pedal on a bike that heavy. Who knows, maybe I’m just going soft.

Yeah, I realize the Collosus isn’t some crazy, expensive, carbon fiber wonder bike, and I’m willing to slack it a bit in the weight department given the price tag and fixed parts kit, but 39 pounds is still quite thick. I can’t help but wonder how much weight and complications would have been saved by going with a proven Horst Link layout, rather than sticking with the links required for the IFS suspension layout?

Weight aside, the Collosus is doing pedal well, especially for a bike with 170mm of travel. The suspension is compliant enough that I didn’t feel the need to flip the Float X2’s climbing switch, and even on longer fire road gravels I was perfectly happy to keep it in the open position. The chainstays are on the shorter end of the spectrum, but the steep seat angle and slack head tube angle work together to keep the bike from feeling like it wants to coast on steep climbs. Even though it’s a fairly chunky, slack bike, I didn’t find it too difficult to maneuver through tighter switchbacks or more technical sections – it’s really the slow-rolling tires and overall weight that give it a more understated feel as a you go uphill.

When it comes time to descend, the Collosus isn’t the fastest out of the gate, but it feels very solid and ready for anything once it gets up to speed. The rear end is quite stiff, and that trait combined with the shorter chainstays makes it easy to clip the rear wheel in and out of tight corners, although that comes with slightly reduced traction and stability – at times it felt like the rear of the Collosus wheel was more likely to slide through a turn rather than cut a clean arc. It also doesn’t have the softest, flutteriest suspension feel; it takes the edge off the rough stuff, it just doesn’t erase those bigger hits in the same way some of the other bikes in this travel bracket do.

Overall, the Collosus N9 delivers great value when it comes to parts spec, and the geometry won’t hold it back as long as you keep it on steeper, more technical trails. The weight is the biggest drawback, although that may not be much of an issue for riders who spend most of their time climbing in a shuttle vehicle or sitting on a chairlift.

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