Introducing a brand-new feature on the Drovers blog – welcome to bike of the month!
Of course we’re here for the little things – the puncture kits, inner tubes and ding-dong bells – and our dedicated team of in-house technicians are always ready to help you get your broken down ride running sweet again.
But anyone who’s paid a visit to the shop will know we also sell bikes – and we’ve got a huge fleet of demo models for you to test-ride, umh and ahh over, as you make up your minds.
There are kids’ bikes, sleek and stealthy carbon road weapons, burly all-mountain full sussers, hardtail big wheelers, electric bikes and tourers. And they’re all begging to be taken out for a ride – by you!
With that in mind, we’ll be running a regular column featuring local people trying out a steed from our demo fleet.
We’re not going to bore you with head angle this and bottom bracket that. (We can give you all the tech stuff if you’re interested).
These aren’t super-technical reviews – we want to get to the soul of the bike, the heart of the ride. We want real people to share what they think of our bikes – so get in touch if you’re interested in trying one out and featuring in our blog.
First up for January is young mountain bike hot-shot Lewis Day.
Lewis is one half of furniture makers Barnby & Day. Judging by his workmanship, Lewis has an eye for quality.
We reckoned Pyga’s new OneTwenty 650b trail bike would suit him down to the ground. We weren’t wrong…
First impressions then, Lewis. What did you think?
This ticked all the right boxes. The clean look of the frame dripping in the high-end demo build kit – it certainly is a sleek and purposeful machine. Swinging a leg over was encouraging – the size instantly felt right and on the pedals it was light, nimble and accelerated well. The front wheel was very easy to lift and I knew this would make the bike talented on tight and twisty ground.
You’ve got to go up before you can go down – what was it like out on the trail?
I took it to the Forest of Dean – there are plenty of trails on offer, all of which start with a bit of uphill. Climbing on the Pyga is actually an enjoyable experience considering it isn’t the lightest frame on the market. You can lock the rear shock to ensure the energy put into pedalling isn’t absorbed by the suspension, but the frame is so well-designed I didn’t need to use the lock-out. The seated climbing position the frame accommodates is comfortable and makes you feel as though you can climb anything!
So you get to the top – it’s time to let rip. How does it handle when the going gets rough?
This thing covers ground very convincingly; it’s certainly more nimble than a 29” wheeled bike but carries speed better and is more stable than a 26” bike. A true happy medium?
The frame feels incredibly stiff, so together with the sorted suspension it goes wherever you point it and shrugs off whatever lies in its way.
I threw a variety of trails at the bike, starting at smooth-surfaced, flowing ground and working up to gnarly, steep, loose and rooty trails with jumps and drops. Nothing felt like it was challenging the bike, it just shrugged it all off in a very controlled manner. That doesn’t mean it felt boring – it remained fun and lively and, with its ability to carry speed so convincingly, it meant it was at times scarily fast, really flattering your ability! All these traits inspire confidence in spades, which can surely only be a good thing.
To summarise – who do you think is going to get the most out of a bike like this?
It’s really aimed at the aggressive cross country/trail market, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect or if I’d enjoy it. In fact, it’s capable of a lot more and I couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Pyga manages to be both an incredibly effective piece of kit (up and down) whilst still remaining great fun to ride.
The 650b wheel size really does seem to be the hallowed ground, it offers greater trail speed but all the fun and familiarity of a 26” wheeled bike.
This really could be all the bike many people will ever need. It ticks all the boxes both aesthetically and out on the trail. Whether you’re into smashing around trail centres, all day epic adventures in the mountains or even enduro racing, with a little thought to how you kit the bike out, the Pyga will conquer all.
Pyga 650b and 29er framesets are £1749, with full custom builds starting at £3000.
We have both bikes in various sizes waiting for you to try!