We rode the first incarnation of the One Ten 29 back in January 2012 just before the official launch, but only got to test a production model now. In that time, the media reviews have been glowing. Is it really as good as they’ve been saying?
– Photos: Dino Lloyd
Single-pivot suspension design, aluminium frame, one chainring – no complexity in that, but there’s a high volume of less obvious detail and experience that comes in the Pyga One Ten 29 frame. The bicycle industry is obsessed with carbon fibre as a high performance frame material, but Pietermaritzburg-based Patrick Morewood, one of the world’s most respected aluminium frame designers, has continued to explore the possibilities with the metal with his Pyga brand, which took flight with the One Ten 29. Not surprisingly, each 6066 aluminium tube is hydroformed to offer the ideal blend of strength and lightness without compromising ride feel.
The virtual seattube angle is 74.5 degrees, while the headtube is a relatively laidback 69.5 degrees. The toptube is a longish 600mm and the asymmetric chainstays a shortish 443mm. The main pivot is offset and positioned just above the inner chainring – if you were to run two chainrings, which you can, as there is a front derailleur mount.
The rearmost pivot is positioned on the seatstays just above the axle, which Pyga says delivers active suspension under braking, while the brake mount is on the seatstays, which apparently minimises disc rotor wear. The shock, attached to a suspended damper at the top and the main pivot at the bottom, is a Rock Shox Monarch RT3 with two settings – full and platform. Other notable aspects are the internal rear cable routing through the chainstays, the X12 rear through-axle design, tapered headtube, pressfit bottom bracket and dropper seatpost cable guides on both the left and right of the belly of the top tube.
The frame colour is predominantly Acid Green, which has a metallic glint. The colour is bright and bold and definitely grows on you and the black seatstays almost disappear, leaving a very flowy, clean-lined looking bike. The One Ten 29 is essentially sold as a frameset, but Pyga also does full-build bikes. Our test rig had a Stan’s Arch wheelset, Rock Shox Revelation 120mm-travel fork with lockout, SRAM’s XX1/X0 1×11 groupset and Truvativ’s bars, stem and seatpost.
The first thing we noticed was how well the One Ten 29 climbs. Initially, we rode all ascents with the Monarch shock on the platform setting and liked the firmness it delivered, but after a while decided we preferred it on fully active on all but the smoothest ascents. The design (the low main pivot) hooks the back wheel traction up beautifully on long, steady ups and doesn’t lose much of that on short, steep ascents under power.
The 1×11 delivered adequate gearing on most terrain, but unless you’re really powerful, you’ll need a 30-tooth ring if you intend riding gradients steeper than 15 degrees (our test bike had a 32). Not surprising though was the stability of the One Ten 29 on descents. Morewood’s a former multiple national DH champion who achieved global credibility for his work on Morewood gravity models before he left that company to start Pyga. Despite the relatively small BB drop (30mm), it’s remarkably planted on both long, sketchy surface descents (think gravel roads) and steep, twisty, uneven surfaces.
The 110mm travel Monarch shock never once felt inadequate on big hits and under heavy braking into tight turns, the rear suspension maintained its composure (no noticeable brake-jack). The 120mm Revelation fork was superb too, balancing the bike’s feel and comfortably soaking up anything uneven. It was in the corners where we really made our biggest judgment decisions. Corners are the courts where the laws of physics are truly challenged on a mountain bike and the One Ten 29 got away with murder…
The Continental Mountain King (front) and X-King (rear) tyre combo was superb on most surfaces, but there’s only so much you can attribute to the tyres. The wide bars, short stem and long toptube put you in a position of superb control. The more corners we railed, the broader our grins became. Our testers set a number of Strava PRs on a variety of trails on the One Ten 29 in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and North West provinces. At 11.76kg it’s not heavy, but it’s not super-light. But then we’ve never based a bike’s performance on weight, but rather ride feel. All our testers might have shed a tear when reluctantly handing the One Ten 29 over after riding it.
You get trail bikes and you get marathon bikes and the difference is usually a couple of kilograms, 20-30mm of travel and a couple of geometry degrees. Seldom do you get one bike that feels so right for both types of riding. The Pyga One Ten 29 is one of those bikes. It shoots up and down steep, technical trails with amazing agility and accuracy and it cruises smoothly for hours with efficiency and poise. We’d even ride it in Enduro events (it’s won two Enduros already in KZN). The One Ten 29 is undoubtedly one of the most versatile bikes we’ve ever ridden…
SIZES: M, L, XL
TOP TUBE LENGTH: 600mm
SEAT TUBE LENGTH: 460mm
HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 69.5 degrees
SEAT TUBE ANGLE: Virtual 74.5 degrees
CHAINSTAY LENGTH: 443mm
PRICE: R48 000
COLOURS: ACID GREEN
FRAME: Hydroformed 6066 aluminium
WEIGHT: 11.76kg (without pedals)
FORK: Rock Shox Revelation RLT with 120mm of travel and lockout
REAR SHOCK: Rock Shox Monarch RT3 with 110mm of travel with floodgate switch
SHIFTERS: SRAM XX1 11-speed
FRONT DERAILLER: N/A
REAR DERAILLER: SRAM XX1 11-speed
CRANKSET: SRAM XX1
BRAKESET: SRAM X0 hydraulic disc with 160mm rotor (rear) and 180mm rotor (front)
WHEELS: Stan’s NoTubes Arch EX Thru axle
TYRES: Continental X-King 2.1 (rear), Mountain King 2.1 (front)
OTHERS: Truvativ carbon bar, stem and seatpost (alloy versions on test bike); WTB saddle.
CONTACT: www.pygaindustries.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
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*Originally published in TREAD Issue 26, 2013 – All rights reserved