Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

dougal73
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Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:29 am

Hi all,

I've been looking at replacing the commuter bike with potentially a Gravel/Cyclocross. Been thinking of various options. In short my requirements/situation is:

- Have a roughly 25km commute each way, mainly on road bike lanes, but also paths, plus a a gravel path for a few hundred metres (path is avoidable, is a short cut). Road condition is mostly reasonable Aus standard. THe odd bump, pothole here and there. But the odd tram track here and there. I'm in Melbourne.
- Hydraulic disc brakes is a mandatory for all the standard reasons...but I mostly just love the modulation and all weather stopping power.
- Prefer non-carbon frame due to being a commute and need something that can take the knocks and I can still sleep at night without worrying about cracks (may be over worrying ont hat though).
- Been riding flat bar roadies for the last 8-9 years, but am willing to switch to drop bar
- Comfort is important...I'm 43, am very fit for my age, but the creaks etc that come with age are starting...but comfort not so much to the point of feeling like Mary Poppins when I ride ;)
- If I got a cyclcross/gravel bike I'd likely head out on rail trails here as I think these would be perfect for that use. But this is a nice to have.
- I have a Merida Speeder 500 and do like it, but it is too small for me (stupidly brought the wrong size..yes yes, lesson learnt) but I dod like the responsive and fairly quickness of it (yes, I know, not as fast as a full proper drop bar road bike)

Budget is roughly 2K.

I've road tested a Merida CYclocross 700 and Focus Mares Tiagra. Both were good, but I felt like I was riding 'on the bike'. Perhaps due to the nature of the geometery of the cyclocross, or could be not ideal set up....or just something I'd get used to...

But I've been very strongly considering the Polygon Bend RV, as on paper (well, on screen) it looks like a compelling offer. But I'd like to know people's experiences of them? I see there is an odd comment here and there on this site...so, if anybody with one of these could share their experiences using one of these, especially as a commuting bike, that would be appreciated.

I am a little worried it may be a bit sluggish due to bigger tyres? I likely would sitch tyres to trusty Marathon Pluses, maybe 28s (I could pull these off my existing bike, and the tyres are still got a lot of life in them).

Thanks in advance

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trailgumby
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:20 pm

That on-versus-in sensation is due in part to the bottom bracket height and cockpit length. A lower BB height and longer cockpit will give you better sensation of being "in" the bike. So a proper roadie rather than a CX bike might be what you are looking for. A gravel bike will be somewhere in between.

Bigger tyres aren't necessarily slower. There is a bit of a trend to wider tyres, with the peloton mostly being on 25s these days. Some guys are running 28s, which look like 29er tyres to me :lol:

Rolling resistance is more impacted by the rubber compound and tyre construction, and whether or not you are using latex tubes or no tubes at all. Past a certain point though, aero considerations and rotating mass will take over from rolling resistance. Continental GP4000s are in the top 3 for rolling resistance.

However, on the dirt wider tyres run at lower pressures have lower relative "suspension losses" (where you lose forward momentum because you're converting your kinetic energy into vertical movement over the uneven surface) as they absorb the bumps better instead of transmitting it to your body mass.

This is why unfit me on my 29er with big knobs on the tyres kicks CX riders asses on my local fire trails. OK, maybe rider skill has a bit to do with that (I tend to pop over things instead of running into them) but larger diameter and more cushiony tyres has a fair bit to do with it.

Does that help or have I left you more confused?

dougal73
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:23 pm

It does help (most I understand :wink: )..thanks Trailgumby...I have been considering going the 'proper road' bike route as well. Been considering something like the Giant Defy Advanced 3, or Merida Ride....I am a little nervous about getting any bike without a test ride, hence the reticence about the Polygon....they do have the 14 day return policy though.

But I do find myself returning to the Polygon a lot as it looks to put ticks in all my boxes.t is just hard to find much info about them. There is the very good cycling tips review, that's about it really.

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trailgumby
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:33 pm

It does look good. I'd take the 14-day test ride option. It's pretty much risk free.

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V2rocketeer
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby V2rocketeer » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:35 am

Mate

Have you given thought to a proper touring bicycle?
Steel frame, relaxed geometry, robust rims, mtb gearing, and braze ons for racks n stuff.
50k a day if I'm reading your post right is a good commute and you might be better suited to something like that. I just bought a VWR and picked it up yesterday. Previously I commuted on a Giant Expedition touring bike of which I got 20 to 30 thousand k on and the previous owner another 10 at least. Obviously a few complete rebuilds during that time but overall I think the bike lasted some 26 years of continual use and is now going to be given to my university attending daughter to continue riding.

Well within your budget is the Fuji Touring bike (but lacking disc brakes)
http://www.cyclingabout.com/2017-fuji-touring-bike/

If you can squeeze a bit more out of your budget I got a Vivente World Randonneur with Hydr Disc brakes and simply love it. I do not regret one second buying this bike.
https://viventebikes.com/

Cheers
Bear
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dougal73
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:51 pm

V2rocketeer wrote:Mate

Have you given thought to a proper touring bicycle?


I did consider that when I got my current commuter bike. I did a ride on the Giant one, but felt so so. But he ones you link to are interesting ideas. Will give it some more thought.

dougal73
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:17 am

I just saw the 2017 version has been released. It has gone SRAM Rival all the way, and a 1x11 drivetrain. The 2016 is sold out.

dougal73
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:37 pm

I took the plunge and have pre ordered the 2017 version. Irt won't arrive until a couple of weeks but I'll post up my experiences once I do if anyone has interest.

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trailgumby
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:08 pm

Brilliant. You've got me interested - could be a workable commuter bike :shock:

mitzikatzi
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby mitzikatzi » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:52 pm


dougal73
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Mon May 01, 2017 10:39 am

trailgumby wrote:Brilliant. You've got me interested - could be a workable commuter bike :shock:


Stock is supposed to be dispatched on May 11th. I guess it'll be a few days after that before it arrives. I am looking forward to trying it. But I can't believe it took me until 43 to own my first drop bar bike though... :shock:

I may end up putting a bigger chain ring on the front though, but I'll see how I go with it for a few weeks before I decide on that.

dougal73
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:26 pm
Location: Mill Park, Melbourne

Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Tue May 02, 2017 9:32 am

Well hold the phone...seems the stock arrived early and they dispatched yesterday afternoon. So all going to plan it'll arrive tomorrow.

dougal73
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Thu May 04, 2017 9:35 am

Well despite me asking to deliver in Wednesday, when i got home it was there on my doorstep on Tuesday night. Lucky it was still there...

Packaging was very good. Lots of straps and foam etc. In terms of assembly had to put on front wheel, seat, handlebars and pedals. All quite strighforward, except one glitch. The through axle was my first time using. Had real problems until discovered there was a little thingy (sorry, excuse my laymans terms) that had come out and was in the box. Found that and was plain sailing from there...and I'm a bit of a mechanical luddite...so if I can assemble it then anyone can.

One proviso though, the gears were slipping and I had to adjust cable tension to get it right again. So minus one to Bicycles Online there...as it supposedly was checked over by mechanic before delivery. But a minor thing.

Oh also, tools were in the box. There was a manual as well, but the only use that served was providing lots of laughs about the quasi-English it was written in...Plenty of quotes to put up on those Facebook humour pages ;)

I took it for a 23km test ride. Keep in mind this is my first drop bar bike.

The following thoughts are mainly in comparison to my existing commuter - a flat bar, Merida Speeder 500.

Short is I like this bike, I really like this bike.

Long is...Ok, various things come to mind and some worries that proved to be ok after actually trying the bike. In no particular order, just what came to mind as riding it:

Gears: I like the SRAM gear changing system. At first it felt odd and found myself changing down when I was wanting to change up. But literally within a few minutes I got he hang and by the end of the ride I really liked them. I think it is the fastest I've ever adapted to a gear changing system.

More on gears: I was very worried about the 1x11 drivetrain. I thought that it would feel restrictive or too slow. Especially I thought the change in gears would be too large and it would annoy me. But I gotta say that was simply not the case. Changing up and down at no point felt unnatural...it just felt...right...I was surprised, and quite relieved. Also, certainly initial impression was the single chain ring was not restrictive in any way. Plus it was a lot simpler, one lest thing to worry about. About a third of the ride was my normal commute so I think it is a good indicator. So I doubt I'll ever miss the second chain ring.

But a caveat. The 11-42 cassette...I think it is likely I will swap that out for something with less range. I found myself not using the slower few gears at all, other than just to get the idea of the feel. But once I got going I didn't use them. But I'll see how I go over the next few months. But I think I'll likely switch to a cassette that is 11-thirtysomething when this one wears out. Time will tell.

I was also worried the faster gears would not be fast enough, but I could open up on a stretch of the bike path and could get up a good speed...but I was going into a headwind. Time will tell if I need to swap the front chain ring for something faster, but my gut feeling is that is unlikely now.

Handling: Felt a little twitchy when I would stand on the pedals. But not as twitchy as the other similar bikes i tried (Merida Cyclo 7000 I think, and a Focus Mares). But as ride progressed I found myself getting used to it. But still feels a bit odd, but not bad...just different to what I'm used to. I think it is more towards the stable end of the cyclocross/gravel bike continuum though...Not that surprising though as this is how the bike is marketed, but at least shows the marketing is correct in this regard.

The ride is definitely softer than my existing commuter (has 700x28 tryes). That'll be because of the tyres (700x40). Before I got the bike I thought I'd switch the 28s (marathon Plus) to the Polygon. After riding on the existing tyres I'm not so sure. I found them to be really good. Not as quick off the mark and spritely feeling...but the comfort is definitely better. Soaks up the bumps better. Whilst the bumps are still there, they are nowhere near as jarring. Plus I didn't feel sluggish at any point. I think the more likely option is I'll switch to Marathon Plus's at 700 x roughly 40 or so (or similar puncture resistant tyres). Certainly as it is a primarily a commuter I want something with better puncture protection.

Incidentally, it was great on the gravel paths. There is a section where I take a gravel path to avoid a very and dangerously narrow busy road. It is only a few hundred metres, but has a lot of ruts etc. Existing bike I would have to grit my teeth and just put up with the slipping and jarring. This bike just cruised over it...was actually quite pleasurable. But given this is a gravel bike then this should be the case anyhow ;)

One slight worry is I did find myself getting a bit sore on the palms around between the thumb and forefinger. I think this is because I have not optimized the fit though, I just got it roughly close. Hopefully getting help tomorrow from someone with much more knowledge on bike fitting than me. Hopefully this will fix that. I do think i am in the ballpark though and some tweaks will sort it.

I was going to ride it today on the commute, but got an appointment after work. But will bring it in tomorrow.

Anyhow, hope this helps anyone looking at this bike. I'll maybe post up more thoughts in the future. Short is though, I think this is going to be a bike I love and keep for a long time. Hopefully that pans out in the reality ;)

JohnWaterloo
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Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby JohnWaterloo » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:49 pm

Am thinking of getting this bike as well
Are you still happy with your choice?
Thankyou

dougal73
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:26 pm
Location: Mill Park, Melbourne

Re: Polygon Bend RV - experiences?

Postby dougal73 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:27 pm

JohnWaterloo wrote:Am thinking of getting this bike as well
Are you still happy with your choice?
Thankyou


Hi John, I sure am. After riding it primarily as a commuter for roughly 6 months now I am very happy with it. I think the only downside is sourcing SRAM replacement parts etc (brake pads, cassette). That can be a bit of a pain. But I will go as far to say it is the most enjoyable bike I've ever owned.

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