Pyga is a South African mountain bike brand that got its start in 2010 when founder Patrick Morewood moved on from his eponymous gravity bike brand to make a fresh start. The company designs and builds straightforward, full suspension mountain bikes primarily for racing, but with an eye toward the everyday rider as well. Buyers won’t find gravel bikes or even a hardtail in the brand’s current line up, leaving the relatively small Pyga team to focus on creating fast bikes for rough courses.
I’ll be testing the brand’s “all-mountain mid-travel smash machine,” called the Hyrax. This alloy bike is offered as a frame-only, or with one of two builds which can be customized based on the buyer’s preferences. The builds on offer clearly reflect Pyga’s race-first, party-second philosophy, giving buyers the choice of a competition-worthy X01 setup, or an every-person, GX-equipped build. My test bike leans toward the race side, though I most definitely will not be racing this winter, unless you count chasing a few PRs in the mountains.
Named for the rock hyrax, also known as a rock rabbit, the Pyga Hyrax is a 140 travel bike with a 150mm fork, designed to be as fast and as sure-footed as its namesake across challenging lines. Hyrax — the critter, not the bike — is also considered to be a minor pest, so getting to know this bike’s trail personality should be interesting.
The 29er Pyga Hyrax starts with a 6066-T6 aluminum alloy frame, and the bike I’m testing features a beautiful raw aluminum finish. Internal cable routing keeps the lines nice and neat, and there’s even a port on the right side for those who run their brakes moto, or racers looking to route a shock lockout remote cable. This size extra-large frame has more than enough room for a giant water bottle.
Starting at the top and front of the bike, the Hyrax sports a 66° head tube angle, which can be slackened half a degree to 65.5° by flipping a chip at the lower shock mount. This also serves to drop the bottom bracket by 5mm, from 345mm to 340mm.
The 77.3° effective seat tube angle isn’t the steepest, but it should be plenty to keep the 66° front end planted when the trail turns uphill. Size large Hyrax bikes have a 480mm reach and all sizes feature 435mm-long chain stays.
|Headtube Angle (High)||C||66deg||66deg||66deg||66deg|
|Headtube Angle (Low)||C||65.5deg||65.5deg||65.5deg||65.5deg|
|Actual Seattube Angle||F||70deg||70deg||70deg||70deg|
|Virtual Seattube Angle||G||77.3deg||77.3deg||77.3deg||77.3deg|
|BB Drop (High/Low)||H||29mm/24mm||29mm/24mm||29mm/24mm||29mm/24mm|
|BB Height (High)||I||345mm||345mm||345mm||345mm|
|BB Height (Low)||I||340mm||340mm||340mm||340mm|
The Hyrax uses a metric trunnion shock mount and is compatible with both air and coil shocks. Home mechanics will also be stoked to know the Hyrax comes with a threaded bottom bracket.
The rocker and rear brake mounts are built with machined aluminum, adding to the bike’s precision-crafted aesthetic.
The boost rear end is said to be 27.5+ compatible with tires up to 2.8″ wide. The included 2.4-inch 29er rear tire leaves good clearance and suggests the potential to possibly go another tenth of an inch wider.
Without pedals, my extra large test bike weighs 31.8lbs. While the exact build I’m testing doesn’t match up with either of those currently on the Pyga website, the closer match retails for $4,899.
This Hyrax build comes with a 150mm RockShox Pike Ultimate fork and a RockShox Deluxe Ultimate shock. The brakes are SRAM Code RSC and the whole thing rolls on Industry Nine Enduro S alloy wheels. A 34.9mm diameter OneUp dropper post with 200mm of travel serves to get the Ergon SMC men’s saddle out of the way when it’s time to drop in.
A SRAM XX1 Eagle crankset is mixed with an X01 derailleur and this build features a 32-tooth oval chainring. Personally, I’m not a fan of oval rings so I may change this out during my testing.
The cockpit consists of 820mm-wide Race Face SixC carbon bars, mounted with a shiny 50mm Industry Nine A35 alloy stem. Mine shipped with Sensus Kyle Strait Signature Meaty Paw grips with a massive 35mm diameter. I’m a tall rider with large hands, and these feel great, though clearly they won’t be for everyone.
In the tire department, this Hyrax build comes with a 2.4″ WTB Ranger in the rear and a meatier, more aggressive 2.6″ WTB Vigilante in the front.
Overall the build spec looks smart, and the matching silver and gray accents make it clear a lot of thought went into choosing each part. Stay tuned for a full review once testing is complete.