Wow, what an epic weekend. Indeed, what an epic week. I'll be honest, I've been eyeing off the new Polygon Siskiu T7E for two weeks now, ever since its launch announcement on Bikes Online.
Unbox, Test Rides & Review
It's 2nd June 2023. I've procrastinated on buying an e-bike since before Covid back in 2020, and in recent months as I edge closer to race fitness, my eye has oft wandered towards the Thok TK01R. It's very well specced and now heavily reduced in price. More than once in the last month, I've found my finger hovering wilfully over the buy button.
And then, as if by divine intervention, something happened. A subtle announcement. Polygon had released a new line of e-bikes, and best of all, they were the Siskiu T series. I already own the Siskiu T8 acoustic version - Yes, the timelessly sexy purple one with rainbow under-tube graphic - and I love it.
I took a deep breath and pulled my finger away from the buy button.
"Step away from the Thok", I repeated in a slow and steady mantra.
On Wednesday, I finally bit the bullet and bought the Polygon Siskiu T7E. Expecting the usual two weeks delivery from Sydney to Rockhampton - everything gets lost in Brisbane for ten days - I refused to get excited and buried my mind in other things.
Thus, I was stunned when my new man-toy turned up on Friday. Whatever plans I had previously held for the weekend were now scattered to the wind like the powdery red trail dust of my local bike park.
Before I get into the review, let's talk about the two different models. Thus far, Bikes Online have released two Polygon Siskiu T series e-mtb models. The T7E is the top-end trail bike, with the T6E being the model below. Here are the specs to compare them.*
*correct at time of publishing. Check with dealer for spec updates or changes.
|MODEL||POLYGON SISKIU T6E||POLYGON SISKIU T7E|
|FRAME||ALX Trail Frame, 29" Wheels, Mullet compatible, High-Low Flip Chip, Dropper Post And Rear Derailleur Routing, Direct Post-Mount Disc Brake, 148x12mm Boost Thru-Axle, 73mm Threaded BB, ISCG 05 Tabs||ALX Trail Frame, 29" Wheels, Mullet compatible, High-Low Flip Chip, Dropper Post And Rear Derailleur Routing, Direct Post-Mount Disc Brake, 148x12mm Boost Thru-Axle, 73mm Threaded BB, ISCG 05 Tabs|
|BIKE WEIGHT||23.8kg (size M, including battery)||23.4kg (size M, including battery)|
|FORK||SR Suntour Zeron 35 LO-R, 150mm Travel, 110x15mm Q-Loc Thru-Axle, 51mm offset||SR Suntour Aion 35, 150mm Travel, 110x15mm Q-Loc Thru-Axle, 51mm offset|
|SHOCK||SR Suntour Edge Plus RC, 210x55mm, 140mm Travel||SR Suntour TRIAIR2 3CR, 210x55mm, 140mm Travel|
|SHIFTERS||Shimano SL-M4100-R, 10 speed||Shimano SLX SL-M7100-R, 12-Speed|
|DERAILLEUR||Shimano Deore RD-M5120-SGS, 10 speed||Shimano SLX RD-M7100-SGS, 12-Speed|
|CRANKSET||Shimano SM-CRE70-B 34T, 52mm Chain Line, S-XL: 160mm, 104mm BCD||Shimano SM-CRE80-12-B, 34T, 52mm Chain Line, S-XL: 160mm|
|MAX/MIN CHAINRING||38T/34T, 104mm BCD||38T/34T, 104mm BCD|
|CHAIN||KMC X-10E, 10 speed||KMC E12S, 12-Speed|
|CASSETTE||Shimano Deore CS-M4100, 10-Speed, 11-46T||Shimano Deore CS-M6100, 12-Speed, 10-51T|
|BRAKES F/R||SRAM Code-R, 4-Piston Caliper, Hydraulic Disc Brake, 203mm Centreline Rotor *mine came with Shimano SLX (thankfully)*||SRAM Code-R, 4-Piston Caliper, Hydraulic Disc Brake, 203mm Centreline Rotor *mine came with Shimano SLX (thankfully)*|
|RIMS||Entity XL3, Alloy Double Wall, 35mm Inner, 32H, Tubeless ready||Entity XL3, Alloy Double Wall, 35mm Inner, 32H, Tubeless ready|
|FRONT HUB||Shimano HB-MT400-B, 15mm Thru-Axle, 110mm spacing||Shimano HB-MT400-B, 15mm Thru-Axle, 110mm spacing|
|REAR HUB||Shimano FH-MT400-B, Freehub, 12mm Thru-Axle, 148mm spacing||Shimano FH-MT410-B, Microspline Hub, 12mm Thru-Axle, 148mm spacing|
|TYRES F/R||Schwalbe Hans Dampf EVO, 29x2.6”, Super Trail TLE Addix Speed Grip, Tubeless Ready||Schwalbe Hans Dampf EVO, 29x2.6”, Super Trail TLE Addix Speed Grip, Tubeless Ready|
|SEAT POST||TranzX JD-YSP23JL, 1x Remote, 30.9mm, 150mm (S-M), 170mm (L-XL)||TranzX JD-YSP23JL, 1x Remote, 30.9mm, 150mm (S-M), 170mm (L-XL)|
|SADDLE||Entity Xtend||Entity Xtend|
|HANDLEBAR||Entity Expert, 35mm Clamp, 780mm Width, 25mm Rise, 9° Bend||Entity Expert, 35mm Clamp, 780mm Width, 25mm Rise, 9° Bend|
|STEM||Entity Expert, 35mm Length||Entity Expert, 35mm Length|
|MOTOR||Shimano STEPS DU-EP600 85Nm (250W)||Shimano STEPS DU-EP801 85Nm (250W)|
|BATTERY||Shimano BT-EN805-L, Internal, 504Wh||Shimano BT-EN806, Internal, 630Wh|
|BATT WEIGHT||2.9 kg||3.2kg|
|DISPLAY||Shimano STEPS SC-EN600 Display||Shimano STEPS SC-EN600 Display|
|SWITCH||Shimano STEPS SW-EN600-L, Left Hand Switch for Assist Mode Change||Shimano STEPS SW-EN600-L, Left Hand Switch for Assist Mode Change|
|EST RANGE (flat terrain)||Eco 150km, Trail 75km, Boost 50km||Eco 180km, Trail 90km, Boost 60km|
|EST RANGE (hilly gravel)||Eco 100km, Trail 50km, Boost 35km||Eco 120km, Trail 60km, Boost 40km|
|Eco 75km, Trail 40km, Boost 25km||Eco 90km, Trail 45km, Boost 30km|
|CHARGE TIME||4 hours to 100% / 2.5 hours to 80%||5 hours to 100% / 3 hours to 80%|
Assembly - Polygon Siskiu T7E e-bike
I had two problems with assembly. The first was that the sheath of the dropper post got stuck. I pulled the battery out and wiggled the sheath for twenty minutes and it finally freed up. It still isn't perfect and I'll eventually replace it when it bothers me enough ($5 fix), so nothing major.
The other problem I faced was trying to wire up the display unit. Having never owned an e-bike before, I wasn't aware of how the electrics went together and no instructions came with the bike. I eventually solved the problem and it's all explained in the video above if you run into the same issue.
Aside from all that, the shock pressure will need some tweaking before I get it right, which is the norm on most new bikes, and I replaced the rather awful handlebar grips for some thicker ones by Jet Black.
Oh, and if you are fitting a Garmin or Wahoo mount on the top of your steerer tube, double check that it's tight after your first ride. I felt like mine loosened off during that first ride, but listening to some of the video footage, I can hear a clunk that sounds like I didn't do the bolt up tight enough in the first place.
Whatever the case, I've put the worry in your head now, so just double-check for your own piece of mind.
Build quality - Polygon Siskiu T7E e-bike
This is my third Polygon bike, and my second Siskiu T series. The build quality is just beautiful and I'd argue that the special paint tweaks like dimpled overlays, metallic flecks, and subtle colour changes in varying light, make them look even better than the Marin brand, with which they share so much of the build process.
Handling - Polygon Siskiu T7E e-bike
I conducted several tests over my wild weekend and put the Polygon Siskiu T7E through its paces on green, blue, and black trails. Head over to the Cycle CQ YouTube channel to see them, but in short, this thing sticks to the trail like clay to your boot.
I'm not a big fan of Schwalbe tyres, having lacerated many OEM Rocket Rons, Nobby Nics, and Jumbo Jims on the rocky trails of First Turkey, but I have to concede the Hans Dampf breaks the mould. They grip like all hell, even better, dare I say, than my beloved Minion DHFs.
Stopping power is provided by Shimano SLX 4-pots on 203mm discs. Need I say more? I don't think so.
Finally, the suspension. Shock and fork are by Suntour, a "second-tier" brand if names mean a lot to you. This is how Polygon have kept the price down on their Siskiu T series lineup. That's not to say that the shock and fork are second rate. Suntour have been around for a very long time, and even supply components to some of the "top-tier" suspension manufacturers.
I certainly gave them a thrashing over two solid days. I'm heavy so I'll probably add a couple of spacers, but overall, the Suntour performed as well as any upper-mid-range Fox or Rockshox components I've tried.
Shimano EP801 Motor
I've said before that half the reason I bought this bike was the frame build quality, and the other half was the motor. I'd previously ridden on a bike with the Gen 1 Shimano EP8. While the power was great, I felt underwhelmed by all the clunks and bangs, and particularly what I can best describe as an exhaust-brake effect when you hit the programmed 25 kmh limit.
So, you rightly ask, has the EP801 fixed all that? Succinctly, yes. The difference is astonishing.
Gone is the clunky back-pedal effect when you're tearing down a bumpy hill. Totally disappeared. Also thankfully eradicated is the exhaust-brake effect. Now when you hit 25, especially on flats and downhill, you don't even notice the engine stops helping.
If you have the momentum, nothing changes at all. In fact, I rode to the bike park on day 2 completely unpowered and averaged 28 kmh the whole way. Unplugged, it just doesn't feel like a super heavy bike.
Conclusion - Polygon Siskiu T7E e-bike
With a mid-6K AUD price tag, the Polygon Siskiu T7E is currently the best value mid-spec e-MTB on the market. Ring your local big brand retailer and find something with similar kit AND the new EP801 for that kind of money. You just won't.
Seriously, do yourself a favour and hit the buy button.
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Have a brilliant day,