Having had South African brand Pyga’s OneTen29 bike in the office earlier this year we were keen to get their 650b wheeled bike in for test. The UK importer, R53 Sport, recently delivered the bike and so far, so good.
Photos: Andy Lloyd / ALPictures
Pyga is the new brand of Morewood Bikes pioneer Patrick Morewood and Leatt’s Mark Hopkins. The company’s aim is to make fun and fast trail bikes that are designed to ‘pedal efficiently, be active, supple and integrate the technology that makes new-age bikes amazing to ride.’
Pyga also state that ‘These are not super-duper race machines, they are bikes that are designed to enjoy riding on any trail.’ We like the ethos and if you look back to our review of the OneTen29 you’ll see that we certainly enjoyed the ride of that bike, so what about our first impressions of the OneTwenty650b?
Head angle: 68.5º
Wheelbase: 1132 (medium)
Suspension travel: 120mm rear, 130mm front recommended
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch RT3
Colours: Lava Orange only
Head tube: Tapered
Wheels: 650b (27.5”)
Sizes: Three (S,M,L)
Weight (frame and shock): 3.4kg
First ride reflections
The OneTwenty’s solid looks lead me to the conclusion that this was a bike of more than 120mm travel, although with good suspension and those slightly bigger wheels I was expecting the bike to also ride like it. I loaded the van and headed to some nearby trails; hand cut singletracks at a mellow gradient with a mix of natural tech, fast turns and the odd jump.
Although it looks pretty burly, the OneTwenty isn’t, it’s easy to pedal with the seat positioned well above the pedals. The sizing is also pretty good, medium is longer than most at 595mm top tube length (to put that into context, Ibis’ new Mojo HDR 650b in M is 587mm and Kona’s ‘proud-to-be-long’ Process 153 is 601), reach of 428mm and a wheelbase of 1132mm. The large size jumps to a 620mm top tube and 451mm reach, although there is no extra-large. There is a reasonable amount of room in the cockpit, which makes for a comfortable and confident ride.
The first few sections of trail I rode were spent faffing with slightly suspect cockpit arrangement – not to be worried about though as the bike is sold frame-only – but once I had the OneTwenty dialled in I was flying. It’s described as a bike for ‘aggressive XC/trail’ riding, but I’d be more inclined to associate the word ‘forgiving’; the Pyga isn’t a nippy, nervous race bike, however it does float down the trail with little phasing it. I must add that although the bike looks and feels capable of tackling anything in its path, with a head angle of 68.5º it will feel more at home on rides with a mellower gradient.
The rear suspension felt composed and gave the impression of more than 120mm of travel, without feeling too firm. The Pyga appeared to make use of the available travel while ramping up enough near the end of the shock stroke in order to limit bottom-outs, thanks in part to its ‘floating suspension’, see the gallery below for more on that. RockShox’s Monarch RT3 air shock surely plays a part in the smooth and supple travel and is a sensible choice as a stock damper. The rear features a ‘migrating active brake system’ – the brake moves with the seatstay – which should help alleviate any issues with brake-induced suspension issues, although whether that is a problem on trail rides or not is a matter of opinion.
I personally like the looks of the OneTwenty, although there is no choice of colour-way, which may be a disappointment to some. Given a little more time to fettle with components on the bike I have a feeling this could be one very fun, capable and durable trail bike.
I have to say, I’ll be needing more time on the bike to be absolutely certain of who its ride character will suit, Pyga say that it’s for the ‘shorter rider’ who is looking to ride ‘tighter, more technical trails [than those who the OneTen29 is aimed at]’. It certainly made light work of the mellow-gradient singletracks I tested it on.
The company is clearly headed by a passionate bike rider (Morewood) and for that reason I’m confident that Pyga have their target rider nailed and also that the bike features the “character of fun” that the company owners are after.