Review: Pyga Industries One Twenty 650b

28 October 2013  |   |   1 Comment

Angus has been putting the Pyga Industries One Twenty 650b through its paces for an in-depth review on MoreDirt. Check out his thoughts on the mid-size ripper!

Pyga is a South African brand founded by Patrick Morewood and Mark Hopkins. Why do I recognise those names you may be asking? Patrick Morewood was one of the original founders of Morewood bikes the highly successful South African brand as ridden by the Hutchinson United Ride team up until the 2013 season. You may have heard of Mark Hopkins as the co-founder of Leatt brace and the man behind C Sixx Components!

Pyga One Twenty 650b

The brand has some pretty serious fire power at the helm and some serious knowledge of the world of Mountain bikes one would of thought that they could put together quite some package!

We’ve been riding the Pyga One Twenty 650b Aggressive XC/Trail bike for the past few weeks and the time has come to share our thoughts!

First Impressions

The bike from the outside certainly looks like it could do some damage. It’s got a good set of components on show with our test model supplied with Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes along with Bos Deville forks up front.

The 650b wheels don’t actually look noticeably bigger than bikes with 26” wheels. Especially not in the same way that 29er’s can look like a bit of wagon wheeler with vastly bigger wheels than our eyes are used to.

Pyga One Twenty 650b

We are really big fans of the colour that the Pyga One Twenty 650b is supplied in and the overall styling of the frame make for a very attractive package.

Angus was excited to saddle up and see what the Pyga was made of!

Pyga One Twenty 650b
Tested By: Angus McIntosh
RRP: Frame Only £1749.99
Other Notes: For Full Builds and Demo Rides contact Drover Cycles

Frame Design.

Patrick Morewood knows what he’s talking about when it comes to suspension platforms, geometry and generally making some of the best pedaling bikes in the business.

He has carried through his expertise to the trail bike world and made an absolute humdinger of a bike. He has somehow managed to make a bike that feels supple in the rear but supportive when the time comes to get on the pedals. Pedal feedback is minimal and the suspension even performs well under breaking.

Pyga One Twenty 650b

The shock suited my riding style straight from the off! Set the pressures to the rough ball park you are after and then forget about it. Even with a tad more sag in the rear than I would usually run the bike felt composed and I can’t think on any occasion I bottomed the bike out. It was still however using its full range of travel!

The 650b wheelsize feels like the obvious choice for a bike with intentions such as this. In a blind test situation if you were to be placed on a 26” bike and then a 27.5” bike you would be hard pushed to actually feel noticeable differences. Handling characteristics are very similar to the standard wheel and even the way it breaks grip when you really push in the turns has a familiar, small wheeled feel.

In the turns.

Now I wouldn’t usually take a whole paragraph to outline how a bike performs in the turns but the Pyga One Twenty genuinely feels like it justifies it. Whatever the turn, I felt instantly at home on the bike and that I could throw my weight into the turn, load up the front wheel and let the back do as it pleased as it wasn’t going to come back and bite me.

I just couldn’t manage to get the bike to lose composure and when it some much as thought about doing it, it was already tracking straight again.

Everything from fast loose long turns to slashing round 90 degree loamy ruts the one twenty 650b took it in it’s stride and I don’t think I’ve seen characteristics like that in a bike before.

Component break down.

The bike supplied to us for review had a good range of kit on show including Shimano XT for the braking and shifting duties, the awesome looking new SLX chainset, Hope Pro 2 hubs paired with Stans ZTR Arch EX tubeless ready wheels and a Massi stem and Truvativ DH Boobar cockpit.

The cockpit set up was the only slightly confusing choice on paper but it actually made for a great aggressive riding position that forced you over the front wheel at the same time as keeping things stiff and stable.

Pyga One Twenty 650b

The BOS Deville forks up front are a real talking point however with absolutely unrivalled performance to any single crown trail fork I’ve experienced. So much so I got in contact with Roger at R53 sports to find out quite why!

It turns out up until the start of this year R53 sports were the UK distributors for BOS so they certainly know their way around the internals of a pair of the forks. They had worked a little bit of magic and the results were actually pretty mind blowing.

The advantages of having a genuinely lightweight wheelset become glaringly obvious when you start pedaling the Pyga from a standstill. Low rotational weight from the wheel and tyre combination really comes into its own. It’s fast to get up to speed and then holds onto it for grim death. The way it accelerates is almost effortless compared to some other big wheeled bikes that I’ve ridden in the past.

Pyga One Twenty 650b
Frame: Size Medium, 120mm Travel, tapered headtube, Syntace 12x142 axle
Fork: Bos Deville 140mm Travel
Shock: Rockshox Monarch RT3
Wheels: Stans No Tubes ZTR Arch EX on Hope Tech Pro 2 Evo hubs
Tires: Schwalbe Hans Dampf
Brakes: Shimano XT
Cranks: Shimano SLX 2x10
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Shadow + 10spd
Front Derailleur: Shimano XT
Shift Levers: Shimano XT
Seatpost: ICE Components V8 Lift Dropper
Handlebar: Truvativ BooBar
Stem: Massi

The Ride.

From the first pedal stroke I found the Pyga to be a grin inducing, trail pounding weapon that laughs in your face when you even so much as attempt to push it to far.

Pretty much everything to do with the suspension was faultless. The TRC system on the forks that adds an extra level of progressiveness upfront which balances perfectly with the Rockshox Monarch in the rear that gives the bike a feeling of bottomless travel not like the 120mm that is printed on the top tube.

The front wheel tracked the ground like nothing I’d ever felt before especially with only 140mm of travel at its disposal but that could be a whole combination of things including the added roll over of the 650b wheel aswell as some trickery in the forks.

Pyga One Twenty 650b

I found myself leaving the rear wheel to sort of just do as it pleased most of the time and not worrying or panic braking if it stepped out of line in the turns or on a greasy root or camber. I discovered you could let things get a bit wild then play themselves out until the Schwalbe Hans Dampf’s super gravity compound tyres would once again hook up and pull the bike in a straight line again with a satisfying little shimmy and a big grin appearing across my face.

There were 2 constants during my time riding the Pyga… The bikes metronomic, dependable performance and the permanent grin fixed to my face.

Climbing and on the flat stuff the bike felt just as, if not more comfortable than descending. Once again the bike remained composed and unflustered over rough stuff keeping the tyres rolling smoothly and generating grip by the bucketload.


The Pyga One Twenty 650b makes for one hell of a package! It's almost always composed and pedals efficiently over the flat and up the climbs. Where it really comes into its own though is in the flowing decsents where the bottomless feeling travel will soak up everything you have to throw at it.

It's one hell of a ride!

Don't just take my word for it... You can test the Pyga for yourself!

Pyga's 120mm travel 650b - along with its shorter travel, big-wheeled stablemate – are being unleashed on the unsuspecting public at a demo day in the Forest of Dean next month. Aimed at aggressive XC and trail riding, the steeds should find an ideal testing ground in Dean's classic, blue-graded Verderer's Trail, or the newly re-vamped Freeminer red trail.

Find out for yourself on Saturday November 16th when Drover Cycles ( – exclusive stockists in Wales – will be bringing their demo fleet to the Pedalabikeaway Centre.

Look out for the stand in the car park or give the shop a call on 01497 822419 to book a demo ride.

Pyga framesets are £1749, with Drovers' custom builds starting at around £3000.

Pyga One Twenty 650b

Go and ride this beauty for yourselves! It's quite some trail weapon!

Pyga Industries are distributed in the UK by R53 Sport. You can find out more about Pyga Industries on their website here

Words - Angus McIntosh
Photos - George Bennett

1 Comment

r1Gel said on: 20 November 2013 06:26

Good grief man, your writing is terrible. Is English your first language? Does this site do any editing at all?
That said, I'm really digging this bike. Definitely near the top of my lust list.

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