Polygon Siskiu T8: Outdoor Gear Lab Review
The guys at Outdoor gear labs compare the best dual-suspension mountain bikes under $2500 and here's what they have to say about the Polygon Siskiu T8.
Polygon is one of several bike brands that is operating with a consumer-direct sales model. This allows them to skip the middle man and pass the savings on to the consumer so you can theoretically get more for your money. This is the case with the Siskiu T8, an affordable mid-travel trail bike that has a build and performance that far exceed the asking price. The Siskiu put up a good fight for our Editor's Choice Award with an excellent well-rounded performance and capable composed trail manners. It was bested by the Yt Jeffsy this time around but still earned our Top Pick Award. This bike climbs well, descends even better, and truly impressed our testers for a bike in this price range. This bike is a solid value and a great entry-level trail bike that does it all well.
Should I Buy This Bike?
The Siskiu T8 has a great all-around performance and was a close runner up for our Editor's Choice Award. This mid-travel trail bike is comfortable and downright fun to ride up, down, and all around. It doesn't particularly excel at any specific thing, it's just good at everything. The more we rode the Siskiu, the more we grew to like it and it quickly became a tester favorite for its consistent and well-rounded performance that responds well to rider input and doesn't hold you back from getting after it. The geometry is modern, but far from extreme, and the 140mm of front and rear wheel suspension feels balanced and performs better than most bikes in this price range. High speeds or low speeds, mellow or gnarly, we didn't find a situation where the Siskiu felt out of place. This is one of only two bikes in this review that our testers felt truly comfortable riding as hard as they could, a huge compliment for such an affordable bike.
When asked what he thought about the Siskiu, one of our testers said, "I couldn't wipe the smile off my face". It's true, we all saw it, he was grinning ear to ear while riding this bike. Our testers love riding bikes, but this isn't the typical response when testing the bikes in this price range. Feeling 100% confident in a bike and its components really allow you to focus on riding and not thinking about the bike keeping up with your intentions.
For most riders, their primary reason for riding is ripping the descents. The Siskiu T8 is no slouch on the downhill and can hold its own far better than most people would expect for a sub-$2500 bike. If our testers stoke levels were any indication, this bike inspired the confidence to charge on the descents with a balanced feel that worked well at all speeds and trail types and never made us feel the need to hold back.
A bike's geometry is one of the biggest factors that influences its downhill abilities and Polygon nailed it with the Siskiu. They gave it a modern number without going to extremes with the length of the wheelbase or reach which helps to explain why it performs so well all-around. The measured head tube angle of 66.25-degrees hits a good sweet spot that is slack enough to charge into rock gardens or steeper trails while not being too slack resulting in sluggish handling. The 1194mm wheelbase is moderately long, not so long that it loses playfulness or struggles at lower speeds or in corners, but long enough that when combined with the 438mm chainstays give it excellent stability at speed. Our testers agreed that the geometry felt dialed and there wasn't anywhere this bike didn't perform well on descents as a result.
The Siskiu complements its stellar downhill abilities with a solid climbing performance. It's not a featherweight XC bike by any means, and at 31lbs 8oz its right up there with the heavier models in this review. It really doesn't feel all that heavy, actually, it felt like one of the fastest rolling and easiest climbers of the bunch.
The rear suspension is relatively active, especially at the very top of the stroke. While seated and pedaling it didn't result in too much bobbing, although more than the YT, when out of the saddle the suspension movement was more noticeable. The three-position compression damping switch helps to reduce pedal bob and we found the middle, "trail", setting to feel somewhat more efficient for extended periods of climbing.
The Siskiu T8 really knocked our socks off for a bike in this price range. It has a very solid all-around performance and feels comfortable on the climbs, descents, and a huge range of trail types and conditions. This is a great bike that performs well at a range of speeds and can be ridden more aggressively than many of the other models in this review thanks to its quality component specification.
With a retail price of $2,499, the Siskiu just makes the price cutoff and is the most expensive model in our under $2500 review. Despite being slightly more expensive than the competition we do still feel that this represents a good value considering this is one of our highest rated models with a great all-around performance and a quality build for the price.
It was a tough battle for the top step of the podium in our under $2500 mountain bike review. In the end, the Siskiu T8 was just narrowly edged out by the YT Jeffsy but it remains one of our most highly regarded bikes in this price range. The Siskiu performs well on both the climbs and the descents, at any speed, and in any type of terrain. This bike is far more capable than you'd expect, with a build and confidence-inspiring trail manners that exceed the asking price. If you're looking for an affordable trail bike that can do it all well we don't think you could go wrong with the Siskiu T8.