The Polygon Cleo 2 is a multi-purpose women’s mountain bike priced well for the components it offers. It handles pavement, gravel, and dirt trails competently with its wide, knobby 27.5″ tires, while not sacrificing too much efficiency on paved trails. In this article, I’ll be sharing my riding experiences, photos, and the specs of the Cleo 2.
The Cleo 2 is comparable to the Trek Marlin 6 and the Giant Talon 2. These are all very good entry level bikes with good components, such as hydraulic disc brakes, lightweight but strong frames, internal routing of cables (mostly), and just overall capable name brand components. All of these bikes are typically priced in the $600-$700 range.
|Drivetrain||24-Speed (double trigger shifter)|
|Brakes||Tektro Hydraulic Disc|
|Tires||TRAX 27.5″ x 2.1″|
|Weight||14 kg (30.86 pounds)|
Yes, there are fancier mountain bikes with fancier components, but if you’re just wanting a quality bike that will last (much better than your average Walmart bike) then bikes in the $600-700 price range are a great place to start looking.
The Cleo 2 is offered in two frame sizes, small and extra-small. Small fits riders 5’1″-5’5″ while extra-small fits riders 4’7″-5’2″. At 5’1″ I chose the extra-small frame, and I’m glad I did. Getting on and off the bike would have been a problem if the frame had been any taller. If you need a larger frame mountain bike, the Polygon Premiere 5 is very similar.
Buying and Assembling
I purchased the Cleo 2 from BikesOnline.com. It was a two-month wait to receive the bike due to it being back ordered at the time.
The bike was shipped directly to my house for free and the bike arrived in perfect condition. The box had seen better days, but the bike was fine. I did have a scare though, when FedEx told me the bike was delivered the day before it actually was. I feared I had been the victim of a porch pirate, but was greatly relieved when it showed up the next day.
Polygon bikes aren’t sold through dealers or local shops in the United States. A disadvantage of this is that you can’t see the bike in person, or be sized for the right frame. Advantages are that you don’t have to wait for it to be in stock at a local store, where inventory can be hit or miss, especially for different frame sizes, and you can shop from the convenience of your own home.
BikesOnline assembles and fine-tunes bikes that they ship, so you’re not going to get a bike shipped to you as it was straight off a cargo ship. Brakes are adjusted, shifting is fine-tuned, and the bike is thoroughly inspected and repackaged.
I didn’t notice a single scratch on the bike. The assembly was straightforward. You don’t have to be an experienced bike mechanic to assemble the bike. I put mine together in about a half an hour.
The brakes functioned perfectly straight out of the box and required no adjusting. Shifting is mostly smooth, but a little tweaking is still needed for the highest gears. I may have bumped the derailleur during assembly or when unpackaging.
My first ride on the Cleo 2 was one in which I encountered plenty of hills to test the gear range. The Cleo 2 has 24 gears, so I had plenty of gears to choose from, and I was able to pedal up long and fairly steep inclines. I was worried that the wide, knobby tires would make pedaling uphill too difficult, but that wasn’t the case.
The 27.5″ x 2.10″ TRAX tires make the bike extremely versatile for just about any type of terrain. The bike went through soft soil, gravel, and over sticks just fine. I didn’t do any serious off-roading, but the bike can certainly handle trail riding. It’s just me that wouldn’t be able to handle that just yet. After all, I’m the motor on this bike!
I can definitely tell that the tires absorb a lot of the bumps in the road. The bike tracks well and when leaning into a turn I felt in control.
The handlebars are 760 mm (almost 30 inches) and provide excellent stability. You’ll be putting some of your body weight on the handlebars, but not nearly as much as a road bike. The weight distribution is comfortable. There’s not too much weight on my wrists. The grips are comfortable, but I’d recommend riding gloves for increased comfort.
The Entity saddle is designed for efficient pedaling. This bike isn’t a cruiser, but rather a mountain bike meant for climbing hills. Since your body’s weight isn’t directed so much on the saddle as it would be with a cruiser, a springy saddle isn’t really needed.
You could add a suspension seat post, or better yet, padded bicycle shorts to ensure a more comfortable ride. I found the seat to be comfortable though there’s always a breaking in period at the beginning of biking season for any type of bike seat.
The Cleo 2 is equipped with Suntour XCM front suspension forks with 120 mm of travel. This greatly reduces shock to your wrists, arms, and shoulders when riding over bumps.
If you want a mountain bike from Polygon with dual suspension, check out the Polygon Siskiu T7. It goes for a $1000 more than the Cleo 2 and the Premiere 5, so you’ll have to decide if the higher price is worth it. If you ride a lot of non-paved trails and do serious off-roading, the dual suspension would be worth the cost.
The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes on the Cleo 2 have excellent stopping power for safety and control of the bike. If you haven’t had a bike with hydraulic brakes, you’ll probably prefer them over mechanical brakes once you have experienced them.
There’s much less maintenance with hydraulic brakes, and it takes less effort to pull the brake levers. If you have arthritis, hydraulic brakes are the way to go, and in this bike category and price range, you’ll get them.
The bike weighs 14 kg or 30.86 pounds. As someone who reviews electric bikes often, the light weight of the bike is appreciated. There’s a big difference when lifting a 30 pound bike, as opposed to many of my 60+ pound ebikes I’m familiar with.
Overall, the bike has been a joy to ride. As someone who has been riding electric bikes exclusively for the past 4-5 years, I didn’t think I’d be able to ride very far on a non-motorized bicycle, but I handled 5 miles of mostly hilly terrain and lived to tell. It felt great to work out my legs, heart, and lungs a little more than I do on an electric bike.
Okay, there were some moments when I wished I had a motor, but I expect to get stronger and more fit over the riding season.
E-bikes are an environmentally friendly alternative to cars, but you can’t beat the green nature of a non-motorized bike.
Check out the Cleo 2 at BikesOnline.com
Specs of the Polygon Cleo 2
-Hydroformed Alvtech XC Sport Frame
-Suntour XCM Front Suspension Fork w/120 mm of travel (lockout capable and adjustable)
-Shimano Acera RD-M360 Rear Derailleur
-Shimano Altus SL-M310 Shifters
-Shimano Altus CS-HG31 8-Speed 11-32T Crankset
-Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes
-Alloy Double Wall Rims; Alloy Hub Wheelset
-TRAX 27.5″ x 2.10″ Tires
-Bottom Braket Cartridge BB
-Nylon Composite Pedals
-Entity Sport Alloy Handlebars (W: 760 mm; R: 12 mm; BB: 31.8mm)
-Entity Sport 15 mm offset, 27.2 mm x 350 mm seat post
-Weight: 14 kg (30.86 lbs)
-Lifetime Warranty on Frame