Review Summary (Quick Stats)
If you don't have time to read the full article, here is our quick review.
A great entry level gravel / road bike, the Bend RV provides just enough features, without breaking the bank. Certainly worth considering if you're looking for your first gravel bike or even for seasoned riders. Built on the robust Polygon frame. (Available to purchase online here.
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
PRICE (at time of writing)
Polygon Bikes is known for providing a significant range of gravel bikes for users. While it's an Indonesian company, it manufactures almost a million units per annum, which is surprising. Although this company is known for making MTB bikes for international racing, gravel bikes have also gained popularity recently.
Gravel riding (or adventure riding for some people) combines both road biking and mountain biking. Considering that you're likely to go over several unpaved roads, you must get a robust and reliable bike that can go over these unsurfaced roads.
One of Polygon Bikes' offers for gravel grinding is the Polygon Bend RV, which is considered an entry-level gravel bike. Some of this bike's most interesting features include hydraulic disc brakes and an 11-speed 105 groupset by Shimano.
We took the Polygon Bend RV to the test to see if it's a reliable option for those who want to get the best experience possible while riding. Considering its current price of AUD 1,599, some people may want to see what other people have to say about it before making the purchase.
The following review is going to cover the Polygon Bend RV gravel bike, as well as other interesting purchasing factors you may consider for buying bicycles online or at your local store. If you're interested, keep reading!
What Does the Polygon Bend RV Gravel Bike Offer?
Considering the number of bikes currently on the market, you may be wondering what makes the Polygon Bend RV so special for gravel riders. Overall, we believe that the Bend RV gravel bike comes with a lot of high-quality factors that make it a decent purchasing option for anyone.
We've compiled some of the bike's most remarkable features so that you can decide if it's an option worth considering for you.
If you didn't know already, Polygon is known for creating aluminium alloys for most entry-level bikes. Taking that into consideration, the Bend RV also features an alloy frame, specifically the ALX Advance Endurance 6061 Aluminium alloy frame, which is also paired with a carbon fork. According to the company, this alloy is used in a wide range of its MTB products, such as downhill and enduro bikes.
Also see our article on how to choose a MTB frame that's right for you.
What's the Difference Between the Bend RV and Downhill and Enduro Bikes?
In essence, these bike types are fairly similar. The main difference between them is that a gravel bike is mostly used for both paved and unpaved roads, whereas enduro or downhill bikes are used primarily for unpaved roads since they provide better suspension. Still, both options are equally good for those who want to go for off-road riding or off-road racing teams.
Additional Features of the Bend RV's Allow Frames
Moreover, the company uses hydroforming to allow the tubing to allow for more tyre clearance for riders. The bike's chassis comes with a BSA bottom bracket, flared drop handlebars, fender mounts, external routing for the rear brakes, a 27.2mm seat post, and a tapered head tube. In essence, it offers a 1.5-inch lower headset bearing and 1.125 inches upper headset bearing.
Thanks to the taller head tube, people may be able to ride the bike much more comfortably while keeping an upright riding position, which is something a lot of people look for when purchasing one of these products.
Some other features for this bike include a flat mount for the rear disc brake, internal routing for the gearing cables, and more. As mentioned before, this frame is mixed with a carbon fork, which gives the product a nice finish even though it's an ‘economical' feature.
An interesting thing about the Polygon Bend RV's frame is that it comes with a NAILD thru-axle, which is a system that helps users secure the wheels by closing a quick-release lever.
Depending on the bike you're buying, you may either need a long or a short cage derailleur. In this particular case, it features a short one, which unfortunately limits the maximum rear cog size to approximately 28T.
Some people have claimed that they would have liked a crankset with at least a 32T cog to ride through some unpaved climbs in a more upright riding position.
Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Hydraulic disc brakes have gained quite a name over the past few years for any mountain bike or gravel bike rider. If you didn't know already, a hydraulic disc brake system can produce much more stopping power than regular mechanical brakes. When you activate the brakes, the hydraulic system multiplies the force you're already applying, allowing the bike to stop even faster; this makes it an overall more responsive bike.
On the other hand, a hydraulic brake system doesn't require as much maintenance as others, making them much more efficient. In the case of the Polygon Bend RV, it uses SRAM Rival hydraulic brakes, which may also be used in other cyclocross bikes.
As for the wheelset in this product, the Bend RV features MAVIC XM119 Rims, as well as Schwalbe G-One tyres (700x400c) and Novatec Hubs. The Schwalbe tyres are perfect for many riders since they work excellent on both paved and unpaved surfaces. If you're looking for riding off-road, you may not need to worry about the wheelset on this one.
According to the Bend RV manufacturer, you may find this product in four different sizes: small, medium, large, and x-large. These sizes range from 49cm up to 59cm, so it's safe to say that you have a wide range of options to choose from.
As mentioned at the beginning of this review, it uses a Shimano 105-11-speed drivetrain, which works with a ratio of 11/28 on the back and 50/34 on the front. Depending on what you want to use the Bend RV for, you may find the gearing not low enough.
Cyclocross bikes often tend to run a double crankset of a much lower ratio, such as 32/42 since it allows them to go up steep hills with no problems. Still, we believe the ratio offered by the Bend RV's drivetrain is good enough for the average rider.
The cabling system for the Bend RV has been thoroughly discussed among many reviewers and the general public. Overall, the cables used for the handlebars are great for any off-road riding. However, the gear cables cross from one side to another, which may help keep the cabling off the head tube.
Unfortunately, there's a bit too much on this bike, which may affect some riders. On the contrary, if you're looking to adjust the stem's length and height continually, this excessive cabling shouldn't be an issue.
Where Can You Buy the Bend RV?
If you want to purchase the Polygon Bend RV, you have many options to choose from. Overall, you can get it for AUD 1,599 at your local store or online retailer of preference. Some retailers allow you to take a 14-day test ride, which is perfect if you want to spend a couple of weeks riding this sound bike to determine if it's a nice option.
Those who live outside of Australia may consider going into Polygon's website since it offers several different gravel, enduro, downhill, or carbon bikes with international shipping options. Unfortunately, the Bend RV hasn't been offered through this website yet.
Polygon claims it provides a lifetime warranty for the frame. Moreover, some retailers also offer a warranty for the rest of the bike's parts, which is typically a year or less. Overall, you're going to get a double warranty for your bike, which is perfect for most users.
How Does It Feel to Ride the Polygon Bend RV?
Now, we've reached one of the most critical parts of this review. After testing this bike for a few weeks, we can safely say that it's a nice option for anyone looking for an excellent gravel adventure. You don't need to worry about getting the bike dirty since it features an excellent build and tyres for almost any road type.
Typically, entry-level bikes are limited in certain capabilities, but this wasn't the case for the Bend RV. Overall, this product was easy and comfortable to ride, so if you have a tight budget for one of these bikes, the Bend RV may prove to be a reliable option.
The Power of the Bend RV's Tyres
One of the most remarkable features that make the Bend RV so good for its price is its tyres. As mentioned before, it works with Schwalbe's G-One tyres, which are designed for uneven roads. In case you're looking for more grip on most roads, this may be an excellent choice for you.
Keep in mind that while this bike may work as good as another expensive bike, it may not be the best choice among them all. Polygon's MTB range may offer slightly better products for particular trails and uneven terrain. However, if you're not looking for a lot of off-road-oriented experiences, the Bend RV may be a decent option.
On the other hand, keep in mind that the tyres work much better on paved surfaces. While the bike may be a bit too heavy for some people (10.5kg), making it slightly less agile than a regular road bike, it's still comfortable enough. If you feel the tyres are not right for your biking dry and dusty conditions, you may change them for others that suit your needs.
What About the Bike's Saddle?
Generally speaking, you're not likely to experience any problems with this bike's seat post. However, keep in mind that the knuckle used for this bike may not be as reliable as others used in other bikes.
Overall, you may need to apply more torque to the bolts around the saddle rails. Otherwise, the saddle's angle could change slightly after some use. While this isn't such a big issue for anyone, it's still vital to keep it in mind for those new to gravel bikes.
Final Thoughts On the Polygon Bend RV
In conclusion, the Bend RV features just the right amount of items for most entry-level riders to feel comfortable when they tackle busy roads. With Polygon having such an enormous scope for manufacturing alloy frames and bikes in general, it's no surprise that the Bend RV is a perfectly optimized option.
Don't let its category fool you; while this bike is considered an entry-level one, we believe it can serve a wide range of riding purposes for most people. Remember that this bike isn't supposed to replace the versatility that other bikes may offer for roads with race geometry, for example. Still, it's a good choice for those looking for adventure riding on an isolated singletrack, steep roads, or even a volcanic landscape.
Things to Consider Before Buying Your Next Gravel Bike
Whether you're planning on buying the Bend RV or any other gravel bike, there are some factors you must consider. The following tips can help you determine which option fits your needs the best:
- Pick your favourite component spec. Considering gravel bikes can work on different road types, you must decide whether you want it more as a mountain bike or a road bike.
- Determine the terrain you're most likely going to ride
- Consider going for test rides before making your purchase
- Try to fit the bike's geometry to your riding styles and favourite terrain
We hope this review has helped you have a clearer idea of how the Bend RV works!