Words: Dave Arthur
A few years ago Patrick Morewood left his own bike brand, Morewood Bikes, so start a new venture called Pyga Industries. Bikemagic has already had a razz on the Oneten29 which really impressed, and the OneTwenty650 and now we’ve got our hands on their new Zero650c. It’s a carbon fibre hardtail with a light carbon frame and 650b wheels.
“The ZERO650C was designed for the adventurous XC rider, light and stiff but using the trail oriented geometry that makes our bikes more fun to ride,” says Pyga.
The sleek looking frame with a curvaceous down tube caters for anything up to a 130mm fork – our review bike has a 100mm RockShox Sid fitted making the front-end pretty low – and has full internal cable routing and there are external dropper guides on the underside of the top tube. A PressFit BB92 bottom bracket has allowed Pyga to make the down tube supremely wide and oversize the chainstays as well, ensuring it’s going to be massively stiff under pedalling.
The head angle is a bit slacker than the norm as well at 69 degrees on the size large we’ve got here. Other notable measurements include a 1123mm wheelbase, 73 degree seat tube angle, 305mm bottom bracket height, 130mm head tube, 425mm chainstays and 625mm effective top tube. Those numbers should make for an exciting and communicative sort of ride.
There are some other neat details worth mentioning. The rear dropouts are convertible between regular quick release and 142x12mm – our bike has the latter already fitted. There’s a direct-mount for the front mech, though it’s glaringly redundant with the 1×10 drivetrain on this bike the short head tube caters for a tapered steerer tube and there’s a post mount brake located on the chainstay.
On initial inspection the bike might look like your typical race-ready hardtail, but looking a bit closer it’s clear Patrick Morewood’s downhill roots (he’s a three-time South African downhill champion) have shone through. Our review bike might have a 100mm fork but it’s sporting a generously wide 750mm handlebar and short 70mm stem so it’s clear handling has been an important consideration of the bikes appeal.
R53 only plan to offer the frame and it costs £1,449. However they sent us a fully built bike to asses the frames performance though, and it’s a decent level build without being excessive, the sort of equipment potential customers might actually choose anyway.
Though the frame has been designed to accept up to a 120mm fork, they’ve fitted a RockShox SID with 100mm of travel. There’s a Shimano XT crankset with a Hope Retainer Ring with narrow/wide teeth, paired with a Shimano XT ShadowPlus rear mech. Brakes are XT too so reliable stoppers.
Though the bike here has been built up as singlespeed, you could easily stick a front mech on, making using of the available direct mount, so if you need a wider spread of gears that isn’t a problem.
Wheels are Hope hubs laced to Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Crest 650b with Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres, so an easy tubeless conversion waiting to happen there. Finishing kit is where the bike sparkles a bit, because they’ve fitted a 750mm wide Truvativ BlackBox Jerome Clementz Riser Bar with a 75mm Truvativ Noir stem. That’s a nice trail-friendly setup in our books. A matching Truvativ Noir T40 carbon fibre seatpost is topped with a svelte Massi saddle.
First impressions are revealing, it’s damn fast and it should be considering it weighs a scant 21 lbs on the scales, but it’s the way it sprints up hills and accelerates out of corners that near takes your breath away. Yet the sorted handlebar and stem combo ensures that through our favourite singletrack it’s easy to place the 650b wheels right where you want them, and weight balance is good.
We don’t want to give away too much now though. We’ll be hitting the trails loads more while they’re still pristine and dusty so watch out for the full review soon.