framebuilder Patrick Morewood recently left his namesake company to forge a new
bicycle company, PYGA Industries. 

Capitalizing on his proven history of
high-performance single-pivot machines, Morewood has again struck pay dirt with
the 110mm-travel OneTen29 full-suspension 29er, as we found out during our visit to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and its challenging World Cup course.

handling: Firm pedaling platform with excellent handling

We’ve noted a few
reputable companies in the past whose single-pivot full-sus frame
designs seem to have got a bit confused with the move to 2×10 drivetrains. But not PYGA… 

Morewood has placed the stout, widely set main pivot just above
the inner ring, yielding a firm pedaling platform that subtly digs the rear
wheel into the ground on steep climbs – something the Pietermaritzburg course
provided in spades. Yet the bike still feels reasonably efficient when attacking
shorter pitches in the big ring.

The main pivot is offset from the centerline of the main frame

“[The main
pivot] is very critical and has been placed to be suitable with the modern
chain ring sizes, especially the new single-ring configurations,” Morewood
told BikeRadar after
our test ride. “It is able to provide very good pedaling anti-squat
without being so high that the rider experiences excessive suspension

Even more
impressive is the fact that the PYGA displays such solid pedaling chops without resorting to
heavy-handed compression valving on the rear shock, lending a lively
personality that’s full of pop. 

We rode the course after all the weekend’s
racing had wrapped up, and even on the well-worn braking bumps the PYGA’s
rear wheel was surprisingly planted. Moreover, the unique rear brake
setup – the caliper is mounted to the seat stays despite having pivots located
above the rear dropouts – provides a slight floating arrangement that keeps the
rear end from locking up when the pads are engaged.

“I wanted to
design a bike that could provide an active suspension under braking, but it
needed to be single-pivot without infringing on any patents,” Morewood
said. “I found that by placing the pivot as close to the rear axle as
possible I could achieve this. It doesn’t give the same braking anti-squat that
other brands have, but there is another small benefit: the pads move up and down
slightly on the disc rotor, preventing grooves from wearing into the pads or

That capable
suspension performance carries over to bigger hits, too. We maxed out the full
travel on the course’s surprisingly aggressive main A-line drop – measuring
more than a meter from takeoff to landing at race pace – with no harsh
bottom-out or violent rebound despite the limited travel. It left us composed
enough to easily attack the next jump just a few seconds later.

PYGA normally recommends 120mm of travel at the front end rather than 140mm

Handling and fit
also seemed nearly spot-on for aggressive trail riding, if perhaps a touch
slack on account of the longer-than-intended 140mm-travel RockShox Revelation

With the standard 120mm front end, our medium-sized test bike would feature
a 69.5-degree head tube angle, 35mm of bottom bracket drop, a pleasantly rangy 590mm
top tube and a reasonably short 110mm head tube. Just right for
stretching out for long days while leaving us upright enough to tackle
challenging technical downhill sections such as Pietermaritzburg’s intimidating
spiral log staircase.

While the
OneTen29′s giant 29er wheels and generous end-to-end length obviously can’t
quite match a more compact 26in-wheeled rig in terms of maneuverability, it’s still admirably tossable as long as the confines aren’t too restrictive. That’s thanks to tight, 440mm-long chain stays and a reasonably compact 112.6cm

The OneTen29 isn’t
especially feathery on the scale, however. Our test bike was built with a mix of SRAM
X9/X7 components, correspondingly light ancillary gear, a RockShox Revelation
RCT3 fork and bantamweight Stan’s NoTubes Arch 29er rims. Even when factoring
in the useful RockShox Reverb dropper seatpost, the total package was a
somewhat average 13.02kg (28.7lb) without pedals.

On the positive
side, the OneTen29 is a seriously stout chassis. Big tube sections,
complex hydroforming throughout and well-designed pivots and links allow
little flex when you put the power down or aggressively muscle the bike through grippy, high-load corners or tough rock gardens.

Frame equipment: Aluminum experience plus tried-and-true gear 

Morewood has a
long history making aluminum mountain bike frames – he even welds prototypes
himself. That background is proudly displayed in the OneTen29′s
raw finish. High-end purists will undoubtedly miss the sex appeal and increased
stiffness-to-weight ratio of carbon fiber construction, but there’s certainly no
shortage of modern technology.

The laundry list
of features is long and impressive. Dramatically hydroformed tubing is
used throughout – the chain stays, seat tube, rear shock placement and links
are highly asymmetrical, the rear shock is anchored between floating mounts for
a more highly tuned spring rate, and press-fit bearing cups allow for an
extra-wide bottom bracket shell and correspondingly broad down tube, main
pivot, seat tube and chain stay dimensions.

The hydroformed aluminum tubing is extensively shaped throughout

For now, nearly
all of the non-tubular bits on the OneTen29 are CNC-machined. However, Morewood says
he might switch to more efficient cold forging later on, depending on sales

Moreover, PYGA
also includes the usual current must-haves, such as ISCG tabs, a tapered head
tube, a stout through-axle rear dropout setup, full-length housing with cleanly
executed clamps and routing for dropper posts, a direct-mount front derailleur and post-mount rear brake caliper tabs.

One test ride
obviously doesn’t give much away about long-term performance and durability. But one
aspect of the main pivot design suggests the PYGA will stay largely
creak-free. In a similar way to Santa Cruz, Morewood has
incorporated a collet feature into the pivot that expands the axle outward
against the surrounding swingarm, for a more secure hold. 

We don’t have an
actual frame weight to report, as we were operating remotely on a limited
time frame. But Morewood claims 3.15kg (6.94lb) for a medium bike with shock.

The build kit on
our OneTen29 tester comprised a mix of proven gear from SRAM, Avid and
Truvativ, so we won’t bother rehashing the same prior experiences here. It all performed well during our test day, with no issues to report.

The two-ring chain
guide from South African compatriot cSixx is worth mentioning, however, for its
ultralight carbon fiber construction and apparently reliable security. There’s
no bashguard to speak of, so it’s really only intended for cross-country applications, but
it’s impressive nonetheless. Our unit sported a twin pulley system but
according to company founder Mark Hopkins that’s likely to change for production

The burly chain stay protector that won’t go unnoticed

Finally, riders
who regularly find themselves on loose ground or soft, clumpy dirt will
definitely want to look into something other than the Ritchey Shield tires
fitted to our bike. They’re undeniably fast but pack up quickly and offer
little grip if the terrain isn’t especially solid.

As capable as the
new PYGA OneTen29 seems to be, Morewood is still in the process
of setting up international distribution, so if you’re outside South Africa it might be tough to buy one. 

International pricing is also still to be
determined, but based on current exchange rates we can expect a frame to cost somewhere
in the neighborhood of US$2,000/£1,250/€1,600.