Alex Fayolle's Polygon Collosus DH9: custom shock with 'lockout' for Fort William

We take a closer look at the bike that took the win at Lourdes

All eyes will be on Polygon rider Alex Fayolle this weekend at Fort William after the French rider unexpectedly took the win at Lourdes last month.

While poor weather obviously played a role in scuppering the hopes of many at Lourdes, it was still very interesting to see a bike — an alloy bike no less — with a far more diverse range of components than is usually seen on the top steps of the podium.

It was particularly interesting to see an alloy bike at the top steps of the podium at Lourdes
It was particularly interesting to see an alloy bike at the top steps of the podium at Lourdes

Walking through the Fort William pits after timed practice on Friday we spotted Fayolle and decided to take a closer look at his truly unique bike.

From the (ludicrously expensive) Trickstuff Direttissima brakes, Suntour RUX fork and Kenda Hellcat tyres to the fully custom shock, this bike is a real hodge-podge of parts that are clearly working for Alex and his team.

Fully custom shock with lockout

The real highlight of the bike is the custom rear shock that includes an on-the-fly low-speed compression adjustment
The real highlight of the bike is the custom rear shock that includes an on-the-fly low-speed compression adjustment

Fayolle’s DH9 is outfitted with a gold anodized shock that is handmade by his mechanic Hugues.

While producing your own shock obviously opens up an enormous number of tuning options for the team, most interesting is the inclusion of an on-the-fly low speed compression adjustment that acts as a semi-lockout.

The 'lockout' is operated by an old Saint shifter
The 'lockout' is operated by an old Saint shifter

Operated by an old Saint shifter — which itself has seen a little bit of customisation with grip tape on the thumb paddle to improve feel in wet conditions — the effect the adjustment has on the feel of the shock is really quite remarkable, during a cursory car-park squidge.

Each of the shocks is marked with a letter to identify them, though Hugues wouldn't tell us what the T stood for!
Each of the shocks is marked with a letter to identify them, though Hugues wouldn't tell us what the T stood for!

The rest of the coil shock looks fairly conventional
The rest of the coil shock looks fairly conventional

Hugues runs a fleet of the unnamed shocks for the team
Hugues runs a fleet of the unnamed shocks for the team

Hugues claims that Fayolle likes to use this ‘lockout’ on faster, less rough and pedally sections of the course and fully expects him to use it on the infamous Motorway section towards the bottom of the brutal course this Sunday.

Polygon Collosus DH9 spec

  • Frame: Polygon Collosus DH9
  • Fork: Suntour Rux
  • Shock: custom shock with ‘lockout’
  • Headset: VP J301AC
  • Brakes: Trickstuff Direttissima
  • Shifter lever: Shimano Saint
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Saint
  • Cassette: E-13 integrated cassette
  • Chain: KMC DLC10 black/red
  • Crankset: E13 LG1R
  • Wheelset:  E13 LG1R
  • Tyres: Kenda Hellkat Pro 27.5x2.4
  • Handlebars: Spank Spike 800
  • Stem: Spank
  • Pedals: Crank Brothers Mallet

Keep your eyes peeled for a full tech gallery, more pro-bikes and lots else as the weekend unfolds here at Fort William.

Alex runs a 7-speed drivetrain, though he usually runs a Box Components derailleur out back
Alex runs a 7-speed drivetrain, though he usually runs a Box Components derailleur out back

The whole team uses Trickstuff Diritessima brakes
The whole team uses Trickstuff Diritessima brakes

A little reminder of home for the French rider
A little reminder of home for the French rider

Although I didn't catch his name, Polygon may have the best pit-pupper on the whole World Cup circuit, with Hugues delighting in showing off his ability to climb ladders
Although I didn't catch his name, Polygon may have the best pit-pupper on the whole World Cup circuit, with Hugues delighting in showing off his ability to climb ladders

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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