South African brand Pyga’s OneTen29 is something of a black sheep. It’s touted more as a capable do-it-all frame, which is just as useful on multi-day stage races as it is ripping it up on the trails. Simply change the bits and pieces – the fork, stem, bars and so on – and this one frame will, seemingly, do it all.
It’s a single pivot frame, activated by a rocker linkage. The lower seat tube pivot is slightly offset to the left to allow room for the front mech, and the shock is mounted in between the rocker link and the main swingarm – it’s not bolted to the front triangle at all. The chain stays are a brisk 17.4in to keep things snappy. Our large frame has a rangy 24.4in top tube and a 69.5//DEG// head angle. It also has an extensive seat tube, and enormous standover is provided by a very low top tube and a hulking great gusset. The down tube and top tube are vaguely triangular, presumably to impart rigidity – and this is a very stiff frame indeed.
The Pyga is available as a frame only. In light of this, and its chameleon-like nature, our test bike was outfitted as rather more of a trail machine than the other bikes on test. Light and rather cross-country Stan’s Crest rims on Hope Pro2 Evo hubs ran shod with light and fast Schwalbe Nobby Nic rubber. The fork was a 120mm-travel SID, and the drivetrain was (mostly) a Shimano SLX 2×10 setup with a press-fit bottom bracket, which performed well during the test period. The bike also ran SLX brakes with 160mm rotors front and rear; our reviewers would have preferred some larger rotors for more substantial stopping power. There were some concessions to more gnarly aspirations, however. We were grateful to see a RockShox Reverb dropper post, and the 740mm Truvativ Jérôme Clementz bars were held up by a short 40mm stem.
It’s to the Pyga’s credit that the dinky stem in no way felt out of place. The top tube is easily long enough to accommodate it, and the bike felt wonderfully poised on first legover.
Out of the gate (or the office door), this bike was a far better climber than other bikes we’ve tested. That’s not really a surprise though; the build was a good few pounds lighter than many, and the geometry is arguably better suited to climbing, but when things got properly steep there was commendably little suspension bob when cranking hard out of the saddle, even with the shock set to ‘plush’. This stability also applied when riding hard on flat or downhill sections of trail – but the suspension still remained noticeably supple-feeling. The frame itself felt notably stiff too, notwithstanding the lighter weight wheels and fork supplied, helped by the 12x142mm bolt-through back-end.
The real surprise was how well the bike handled the descents. Although the more laid-back geometry of other bikes lends them a certain assurance at speed that the Pyga perhaps can’t quite match, it’s seriously impressive how close it comes. That short stem didn’t feel bolted on as an afterthought: the more immediate steering it afforded really did the bike justice when the going got steep and rocky. The back end had a bottomless feel which belied its travel – it was only when we reached the bottom of the trail that we saw we’d used all the travel with nary a spike or bounce to show for it.
The SID on the front clearly did much to reduce the overall weight of the bike, but at the cost of some rigidity. Although it performed admirably for the most part, on very hard cornering the SID felt a little flexy – but then, as this is a frame, you can specify it as you’d like. Time and circumstances sadly prevented us from swapping out the fork to try something a little longer and/or stiffer (in fact, Pyga recommends a 130mm fork) but we think a 140mm Pike or a Revelation on this thing – with some larger brake rotors – would be an absolute hoot.
This, then, is a truly great all-round machine. It climbs beautifully, the suspension is subtle and much more capable than you might think, and the frame is so adaptable that you could build it up as a lightweight cross-country rig or a steeps-swallowing enduro bike by swapping out a few key components (principally the fork and wheels). If you’re after one mountain bike to do it all, this needs to be very, very close to the top of your list.
- Frame // Pyga aluminium
- Fork // RockShox SID 120mm travel
- Shock // RockShox Monarch RT3 110mm
- Hubs // Hope Pro 2 Evo
- Rims // Stans ZTR Crest 29er
- Tyres // Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29er 2.25
- Chainset // Shimano SLX
- Front Mech // Shimano XT
- Rear Mech // Shimano SLX
- Shifters // Shimano XT
- Brakes // Shimano SLX
- Stem // Sunline V One 40mm
- Bars // Truvativ Jérôme Clementz Black Box 740mm
- Grips // Lizard Skins
- Seatpost // RockShox Reverb
- Saddle // WTB Rocket V
- Size tested // L
- Sizes available // M, L, XL
- Weight // 29lbs without pedals
|Price:||£1,749.00 (frame only), build kits from £1,300.00 (SRAM X7/X9)|
|Tested:||by Barney for|