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 Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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 Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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 Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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! Jack Luke / Immediate Media
The rest of the coil shock looks fairly conventional Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Hugues runs a fleet of the unnamed shocks for the team Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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 27.5×2.4
Handlebars: Spank Spike 800
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 Jack Luke / Immediate Media
The whole team uses Trickstuff Diritessima brakes Jack Luke / Immediate Media
A little reminder of home for the French rider Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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 / Immediate Media