Polygon has partnered with Naild suspension design to create a new genre of mountain bike, one where travel no longer dictates how and where a bike should be ridden. The Square One EX9 has 180mm travel front and rear, 27.5in wheels and a ride that’s claimed to live up to the hype.
Darrell Voss is the designer of R3act suspension; he believes “if a bike pedals efficiently, what’s the downside to having more travel?” The other unique idea from Voss is that the bike’s rear end is a “terrain tracking system” as opposed to a suspension system.
Polygon’s Square One EX9 is a 180mm travel bike that actually pedals quite well
The aim with the Square One was to create a long travel bike (180mm) that truly pedals like a short-travel machine (120mm). A lofty goal for sure and one that gets thrown about a lot with each new wunderbike.
Polygon Square One EX9 first look
The EX9 version of the Square One comes loaded with all the standard enduro trimmings from Fox, Race Face, e*thirteen and SRAM.
A bar-setting Fox Factory 36 fork leads the charge with 180mm, although this fork features Fox’s Fit4 damper (instead of the Fit with high- and low-speed compression) with three compression settings, Open, Medium and Firm. The fork spec is a nod to the fact that despite its 180mm of travel, the Square One is meant to be pedaled.
Fox’s air-sprung Float X2 rear shock is loaded with high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjustments to control the 180mm of action. The compression tune of the shock is considerably less than what’s found on most bikes. To highlight the confidence in the rear end’s efficiency, the rear damper also doesn’t feature Fox’s 2-position compression lever.
A SRAM XX1 Eagle is on board for the go, and Guide Ultimate brakes reel it in.
Carbon e*thirteen TRS Race wheels were shod with Schwalbe Magic Mary tires, but Polygon’s spec sheet shows mid-fat 2.6in Nobby Nics.
A downhill-worthy Fox Float X2 is tuned with very low compression
The stubby Race Face Turbine R stem and wide Next R carbon handlebar spec follow the enduro calling with 35mm diameter. A KS dropper post handles the up and down.
Polygon Square One EX9 aesthetics
The looks of the Square One are sure to bring comments. The R3act rear suspension is entirely new, and the chassis represents that in its appearance. It shouldn’t matter though because when you’re on it, you can’t see it and your riding should do the talking.
We hope to get more time on it to bring you a full review — stay tuned!