Syncline C5 Carbon MTB Looks Like It'll Empty Your Pockets but Only Costs Around $2K

Syncline C5 MTB 7 photos
Photo: Polygon Bikes
Syncline C5 MTB (Version 1)Syncline C5 MTB (Version 1)Syncline C5 MTB (Version 2)Syncline C5 MTB (Version 2)Syncline C5 MTB (Version 2)Syncline C5 MTB (Version 2)
While searching for budget-friendly bicycles, I found myself stranded on the island of Java in Indonesia. While roaming around banana trees and taking in the smell of salty sea air, I was soon greeted by another sight, the Syncline C5 hardtail MTB, a carbon wonder from the factories of Polygon Bikes.
If the name Polygon Bikes is new to you, you aren't alone. However, this bicycle manufacturer from East Java has been around since 1989. Since the early days, this crew has risen to be a real threat to already established cycling manufacturers like Trek, Giant, and a few others.
Heck, some of their machines have seen action in the UCI World Cup Downhill Championships and even carried riders across the finish line in Red Bull Rampage events. Today they distribute their trinkets in over 30 countries. Let's look at why this crew is where it is today.

One way to get a clear feeling of what Polygon can achieve is to take a short journey of words. But, what are we talking about? Nothing more than one of the most affordable carbon fiber hardtails I've happened to come across in quite a while, the Syncline C5.

Two bikes are being shown as the C5 on Polygon's website, but there seem to be no differences in terms of geometry or components. Clearly, these are two different bikes; I mean, look at how the top tube and seat stay blend into one another; the red and black C5's tubes almost form a straight line. Only the wheelset seems to be the difference in the components list. But both bikes appear to be priced the same as well, €1,900 ($2,010 at current exchange rates). This rate is also the main reason why I decided to bring these mountain goats to light.

Syncline C5 MTB \(Version 2\)
Photo: Polygon Bikes
Yet, for this price, Polygon is offering riders a bike built using their own proprietary blend of Toray T700 and Modulus M Series carbon, also from Toray. One thing to note is that the C5s are suitable for 27.5-inch tires and 29-inch tires too, but this depends on the frame size. However, with overlapping sizing options, you can find a medium with 27's or 29's. Each frame is also designed with internal cable routing, but no mention of being suitable for a dropper post.

Being a hardtail, you'll clearly be relying on the carbon's flexibility to attenuate bumps and vibrations, but the front of the bike is loaded with a Fox Rhythm fork that boasts 120 mm (4.7 in)of travel. That should be enough to ensure you get some solid single-track action out of this machine. With a lockout feature, even city terrain doesn't stand a chance.

Syncline C5 MTB \(Version 2\)
Photo: Polygon Bikes
The final system we need to look at is the drivetrain. Frankly, I wasn't surprised to see that Polygon chose to equip the C5 with nothing but Shimano. Overall, a 12-speed SLX setup with Deore CS-M6100 cassette boasting 10-51T. If you don't like it, I'm sure you can drop some other drivetrain of your choosing onto the frame.

When I started this article, I pointed out that Polygon Bikes is known as a force to be reckoned with for several reasons. Maybe they build solid machines; perhaps it's because those puppies are pretty budget-friendly. Whatever the reasons, you must be the one to decide if the Syncline C5 is a bike you deserve. I'm just here to show you what's on this year's adventure menu.
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Editor's note: The image gallery features two versions of the Syncline C5.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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