Nice bike at a decent price - makes a great ebike.
Bought to convert to an ebike with Bafang Mid Drive Motor. Conversion went well and the result is very pleasing Components all of decent quality and frame geometry makes for a comfortable semi-upright ride. Topeak Super Tourist non-disk model rear rack can be made to fit with a little bush mechanics.
Surprised at how much bike you get for your money, $100's cheaper than the big brand names with the same group set. Nice smooth welds, rides really well. Small and very basic amount of building required, watch the online video's to ensue you "turn the handle bars the right way and you can't go wrong putting it together. Very comfortable bike good on road, good on dirt roads and great on bike paths,one of the best looking Hybirds (imo) I would not advise mountain biking on it. Very happy with my purchase. Would make a great commuter bike.
- Handle bar grips,
- A little heavy.
Great bike for the price
Polygon Heist 5.0 Review
+ good component levels (Deore groupset, Shimano disc brakes, Schwalbe Tyrago tyres)
+ comfortable, sturdy frame
+ clean internal cabling for gears (single external cable for rear brakes)
- on the heavy side
- only colour is black (boring!)
- rack mounts are unconventional, have to remove rear wheel to access
- DIY assembly
"All the tools required to assemble the bike are included." - incorrect, e.g. you need a 5mm hex key (preferably a torque wrench) to install the handlebars
- permanently "on sale": to quote the ACCC: "if a business … uses two-price advertising in relation to sale periods, there is a significant risk that the use of two-price advertising will involve conduct that is misleading."
After considering a number of options for a hybrid bike suitable for both a short bike tour in South East Asia and regular commuting in Sydney, and potential for conversion to an ebike, I settled on the Polygon Heist 5.0.
My general requirements were (in order):
* similar geometry to my existing commuter bike (Giant Cross City, size L)
* capacity for larger tyres
* smooth rolling: 29", suspension fork
* sturdy yet lightweight (frame, wheels)
* potential for conversion to a mid-drive ebike
Alternatives included Giant Toughroad SLR 2 (nice looks, light weight, solid fork so more suitable for city riding, odd/non-standard seat post, biggest let down is the mediocre components - Shimano Acera and Alivio), the Merida Crossway family, and the house-brands from Reid and Cell, and also the Cube Nature City from CRC in the UK. Overall, none came close to the Heist in terms of equipment levels for the price.
Sizing and Assembly
At 183cm, I'm on the Medium-Large threshold - based on the sizing of my Giant Cross City I went for the Large. I also ordered the rack recommended by Bicycles Online for the Heist. Three business days later, a bike-sized box arrived at my Sydney doorstep and I set about getting it ready to ride. The bike's well packed, and arrives mostly assembled with only the handlebars, seatpost, front wheel and of course pedals to be installed. No assembly instructions were provided in the box, though I found later that Bicycles Online do have generic assembly videos on their web site. The Polygon manual, and all of the component documentation from Shimano, are provided in a little bag - of course, it's all pretty much a waste of paper, the Polygon manual is the usual bike manufacturers' generic "this is a clipart diagram of a bike, it has wheels and brakes, don't hurt yourself" stuff, and the Shimano papers can be summarised as "we only give instructions to bike mechanics, and you're not a bike mechanic" presented in a dozen languages.
Despite the assertion on the web site that "all the tools required to assemble the bike are included", my bike arrived with just the bike bits, no headset hex key or pedal spanner. Not to worry, I have enough left-over hex keys from flat-packed furniture to do the job of tightening the stem, and the pedals have hex sockets too.
The rack was also in the box, and this is where I discovered the Heist's rack mounts are a little unconventional - they're on the inside of the frame just above the dropouts. It's puzzling why Polygon did this, I guess it looks a little cleaner but it means you have to remove the rear wheel to install or remove the rack. I also worry a little about the rack bolts coming loose - I used some threadlocker on them, but will have to keep a close watch. If the drive-side bolt gets loose, it'll catch the chain for sure; similarly a low-profile head bolt is required - a regular hex head 5mm bolt will stick out too far. I also found the rack's top-centre mount fouled on the tyre, even with the rack at full extension, but inverting the little U-bracket fixed the problem completely. The rack frame seems rather lightweight, I hope it holds up to touring. The Ortlieb Back Roller Classic panniers fit quite nicely on the rack, far enough back to give plenty of pedal clearance for my size 9 feet.
Bicycles Online were adamant that only the specific Heist rack would fit, though I suspect a number of other racks will also work. The bike's disc brakes are mounted forward of the dropouts so would be clear of most any rack leg.
The bike's weight including rack is 14.8 kg, which seems a little on the heavy side.
The frame has an unusual "kick up" at the rear axle, this is a hollowed out section of the frame that is probably nice and strong, but will I expect become packed with mud and other detritus over time. Access to clean this out is pretty tight. I've no idea what is going on there regarding the frame design.
I got to try out the first ride in drizzling rain - even in damp conditions the bike's a comfortable ride, gear changing is very smooth, brakes are good - responsive but not too grabby - and the shock lockout works very well. When open, the front shock does a good job of soaking up the worst of Sydney's inner west "roads", or construction zones as they're known elsewhere.
I switched the pedals to some nicer MTB pedals that I already had, and after a couple of rides and initial adjustments of the seat, bars, etc, I've replaced the stock 110mm stem with a slightly shorter one and installed mudguards. The mudguards, Axiom Roadrunner LX Reflex 29er, fit well including under the rear rack. They're slightly fiddly to mount and a some screws need shortening, but the result is reasonably solid and clatter-free. The front fender stays need to be bent to fit the attachment points on the suspension fork, and shortened - though leaving plenty of clearance to avoid any chance of the fender catching the tyre and folding in and jamming the wheel.
Unfortunately the bike's geometry is such that the brake levers hit the frame when the wheel's spun around, so that part of the top tube will cop a beating over time. Some protective vinyl will be in order.
The bike's styling is nice, if a completely boring colour - why are all modern city/hybrid bikes black? Where's the colour in your life! That's probably the only complaint I can level at the bike. All in all, the Polygon Heist 5.0 is a good bike for city and light trail riding, and is very hard to fault for the price.
I took the Heist on a two week cycle tour around Cambodia. It came through just fine, only the paint job's a bit worse for wear. The heavy duty wheels and decent drivetrain survived the air trip (packed in a box), the roads and tracks, and a couple of instances of being tied on to the back of a Cambodian minibus - literally hanging out the arse of the bus along with the chickens. One of the wheels came home with a very slight buckle, but honestly given the abuse it copped, I'm very happy with the build quality.
Oh, and I ditched the bike rack supplied by Bicycles Online - it just didn't seem sturdy enough. I bought a great quality Topeak rack, the "Super Tourist DX" (the standard version, not the 'disc' version), which fits great and handled the trip without a hiccup.
Questions & Answers
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