Pyga Industries Oneten29 review

As far as 29ers go, there haven’t been many as successful in opening the minds of hardcore 26″ riders as the Pyga Industries Oneten29. 

Steve Walker, or ‘The Butcher’ as he’s known (he’s a butcher), has an open mind to all sorts of bikes and all styles of two-wheeled riding. In his first bike review for Bike Magic (he has been a Dirt Magazine contributor for quite some time), The Butcher takes the Pyga for a spin and falls head-over-heels in love.

You can read our first-look at the Pyga in which you’ll find a gallery of initial thoughts and details. Read Steve’s review below to find out how she rides…

PYGA ONETEN29 REVIEW

Words and photos: Steve ‘The Butcher’ Walker

I find it difficult to write bike intros. You know the usual BS of: “It’s a rocker link with a backwards-forwards stroke, that ramps up at the bottom, then springboards back at the end”. I mean are we talking about bikes or my hero Tom Daley?

Pyga Industries Oneten29.
Pyga Industries Oneten29.

What I do know is that Patrick Morewood understands a thing or two about suspension and geometry, and how to combine both to make a great mountain bike. He designed and built, in my opinion, the best production DH bike ever made, that being the Makulu.

But nothing lasts forever. Pat parted company with Morewood bikes to go it alone and so the Pyga 29er trail bike was born. With Pat’s pedigree, surely the bike’s destined for glory?

Read on.

Build it up

The Pyga that we had on test from the UK importer R53Sport came equipped with an SLX groupset, Formula brakes, an ICE cable operated dropper post, Fox forks, Fulcrum wheels and an XC race bar and stem combo that I simply couldn’t get to grips with (no pun intended).

It weighed in at 31 pounds (with XT clipless trail pedals) and Powafenda front mudguard. A slightly porkie bike, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little de-rhining, so to speak.

Pyga Oneten29 trail bike, available now from UK importer R53Sport (Note - only available in green).
Pyga Oneten29 trail bike, available now from UK importer R53Sport (Note – only available in green).

I tried riding the Pyga with said bar and stem combo for one or two rides until I could huff and puff no longer. This here big, bad, ginger wolf fitted a 70mm stem and a zero rise trail handlebar and the bike was transformed to a trail-destroying brute.

The frame is the important bit though so let’s focus on that.

Construction

There’s not a hint of sticks and straw when it comes to the build quality of the Pyga frame. It’s one of the most solid of frame builds I’ve ever come across. The frame is more-or-less flex free, very well engineered and as solid as a rock, with the most simple (yet effective) bolt-up of rear ends.

Jumps

In layman’s (or mountain biker’s) terms, it can jump. I’ve heard and read countless horror stories about how 29ers don’t like to jump or manual, but this is definitely not the case with the Pyga. It jumps and manuals as well (if not better) than any 26” trail bike I’ve ridden (a lot), is solid and well balanced in launch mode, mid-flight and landing.

Nice headbadge.
Nice headbadge.

Corners

Here’s the fact – there is a turn we regularly test trail bikes on. Its nickname amongst locals is ‘the turn’ (pretty imaginative). Anyway, ‘the turn’ is a slightly off-camber, 20mph foot out, flat out, ‘railer’. We could go around ‘the turn’ on our Pat’s Pyga consistently 2mph (don’t ask how we measure this, it’s very scientific and tricky to get to grips with) faster, time, after time, after time than we ever have on any 26” trail bike. This means you can go into turns faster, which means you can go around them faster, which means you come out faster. If speed is what you’re looking for then the 29er Pyga is the answer to your prayers.

Climbing

The Pyga is generally happy most of the time. However it’s as happy as a farm animal in shit when going up a muddy, rooty, rocky climb. This bike comes with two-wheel drive. In other words the Pyga goes up technical climbs better than most. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t any cross-country race bike, but if you want to climb a tech uphill in the middle of an epic ride, the Pyga excels. It’s a beast with traction control and because of this you hardly ever have to drop from the big ring…  When I fitted some Hope XC 29er race wheels (that Alan from Hope had loaned me, thanks Alan), the Pyga turned into the fastest turbo-charged 29er trail bike on this here planet. That I know of at least.

Where’s the bottom of this Pyga?

No matter how hard we tried (yes other riders rode the Pyga), we just couldn’t get the bike to bottom out. Don’t ask me why (I’m not an engineer – no point in pretending), but what I do know is that even when running 40% rear shock sag, the rear end never, ever bottomed out. The front did, but not the back. If we had fitted a bigger-hitting fork this bike would be more than comfortable on any uplift trailer.

It rides amazingly well, is super-fast and you wouldn't know it's a 29er... Plus that shock is just bottomless, in a good way. I'm sold.
It rides amazingly well, is super-fast and you wouldn’t know it’s a 29er… Plus that shock is just bottomless, in a good way. I’m sold.

The most important bit: how fast is it?

Here’s the thing. No BS now. I’ve ridden a lot of trail bikes with 26” wheels and several trail bikes with 29” wheels. When you talk to most people regarding the bigger wheel size they usually bang on about ‘rotational weight’, ‘traction control’ and ‘stability’. But, (and it’s a big BUTT) the general consensus of opinion is they aren’t as much fun. Initially I kind of agreed, but after spending a lot of quality time aboard the Pyga, in lots of different riding situations, the answer is simple. YOU’VE JUST GOTTA GO FASTER…and when aboard the Pyga, you can.

Verdict

If you ride and race UK gravity enduro events and are in it to win it then the Pyga will not disappoint. Nor will it if you are in it purely to ride at the weekend for fun. No exaggeration here, it is the fastest trail centre bike I’ve ridden to date, with a solid feeling suspension system and bang on geometry to boot. Everything I asked our Pyga to do, it did. It jumped, manualed, took me around turns faster (by 2mph remember) than ever before and never once got me into trouble due to fatigue or rider error.

After a final hard day’s riding (both up and down), when I finally got back to the van to go home, I actually patted the Pyga on the top tube and said, “That’ll do pet, that’ll do”.

Price: £1749 (frame and shock)
More information including geometry, sizing and frame spec: Pyga Oneten29

  1. Adam cooper

    Saw this bike being tested ,looks awesome and is super light would be a awesome race machine and the raw finish looks great.

  2. Wayne Bull

    Quality write up from ‘The Butcher’ as usual!
    Looks a beast of a bike…Awesome

  3. Steven Hardwick

    Nice one butch, sounds like a bit of a beast. I need to check with the wife to see if can raid the pyga bank for an extra three inches….

  4. Morgan

    Hmm, still not convinced on the need for 29ers in the UK. Maybe in America where the trails are long, fast and open they make more sense. But for the UK, with the tighter twisty trails and more hardcore descents, I’m still unconvinced. However, I’m an open minded chap, so if Butcher wants to hook me up with this for a day at FoD, I’m quite prepared to change my mind! Looks quite a nimble bike though, unlike most wagon wheelers. Just pop some bloody riser bars on it!

    1. Foz willis

      Looks a perfect bike steve and a great write up dont think the fod is the place to test it need some trails for men I thick to put it through its paces….. If any knows about bikes it that ginger butcher looks awesome

  5. Nick

    I tried this around the Verderer trail at the FOD, as a serial 26″ bike (carbon mainly) buyer (addict) i was really looking forward to testing this & it didnt dissapoint. I’ve ridden a few 29ers & always felt a bit dissapointed. And true to form with the Pyga first the change seemed a bit much, overshooting berms/bends etc but after about 5mins it started to click, your carrying so much speed that you have to make a few adjustments to your usual riding style and before you know it, the Pyga is simply ripping & that’s on the flat, off camber fun stuff that makes you cackle! In another point I couldnt get my hat off how fast it goes up hill & how easy it makes it, head down, pedal & blast past the rest. Long story short, i think i now want one, but does it make the trail too easy? now to find some cash!!
    Great write up, butch, when can I have another go?

  6. R53 Sport

    Sounds like you liked it Nick!
    Thanks for the write up Steve glad you liked it. I kinda new you would…. ;-)

  7. Si Paton

    My Nan always told me never to ride a bike with the wheels bigger than your inside leg. At 5ft 6in tall im never going to run a 29er, but if I was 6ft tall, after reading this article, this would be on top of my wish list!

  8. R53 Sport

    Haha Si. Always listen to your Nan, she always knows best. It does ride like a 26 though.

  9. rod fountain

    If such a hardtail fanatic as Butch’ can be this moved by a squishy 29er there’s got to be summat there, eh? Just remind him it’s got to go back to the importer at some point, preferably before he sells it.

  10. Rob Smith

    Great review Steve, it sounds like an awesome bike.

  11. chris-m

    As I’ve said on Bikemagic’s first look, it looks super nice. I like some of the details. A hell of a lot of companies use others’ designs and add their own twists, but at least Pyga seem to be trying to do a few more ideas than just a carbon copy. I like the head badge and stand over – although, that seat tower does still bother me about its height, at least it appears to have a large gusset. Love the natural finish too!
    .
    I’m a big fan of 29ers. My Santa Cruz Highball absolutely flies and I’m getting a little tired of people slating the big wheelers without trying them!
    .
    It’s a shame you didn’t bring it for me to see, Butcher. This is one bike I would have liked to have given a test ride on my own trails.

  12. Nick

    @Si Payton, maybe the 650b version’s for you then?
    http://www.pygaindustries.com/onetwenty650.html

  13. Frankers

    I have one that I am just building up at the moment, super excited to have a go on it…. maybe this weekend

  14. R53 Sport

    @ Frankers, are you in the UK?

    1. Frankers

      @R53 Sport

      Yes I’m in the UK

  15. R53 Sport

    Is that the raw one from Bikes and Sports then?

    1. Frankers

      @R53 Sport

      Yes it was Ash’s idea for me to go for the Pyga, I was looking at a Turner Sultan or the Ibis Ripley. It’s just awaiting the forks being dropped to 120mm and new wheels.

      1. R53 Sport

        That is a pretty special one off frame you have there. You will absolutely love it. Enjoy!

      2. R53 Sport

        That is a pretty special one off frame. I’m certain that you will love it. First in the country other than our demo bike. Happy trails!

  16. Ryanpmb

    Loving mine. Off to joBerg2c in a few weeks time on it.

  17. Percyzn

    Joining ryanpmb at Joburg2C on my PYGA. lovin it!

  18. Luke

    Looks like a total gravity enduro weapon :). top review!!!!

  19. James McKnight

    Having ridden this one and plenty of Morewoods I’d have to agree! Enjoy.

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