Recreating MTB History
PYGA are all about brilliant mountainbikes and have been riding, racing, designing and building them since 2012.
However, the PYGA mountainbike’s team history, heritage and passion for the sport dates back way before 2012, through founder and bike designer, Pat Morewood, who launched Morewood Bikes in 2002. In fact, another PYGA board director who used to compete has his original race bike from 1997 on permanent display in the Marin Museum of Bicycling’s Mountainbike Hall of Fame in Fairfax California!
You could chart the PYGA family’s passion even further back to the beginning of mountainbiking, right back to the early 90’s when suspension design – good and bad – exploded onto the scene (don’t mention those unified rear triangles!).
Those early designs had one thing in common – they all looked fantastic with anodised parts and florescent paint. Everyone would surely agree that back in those days, if you didn’t have a pair of purple anodised quick release skewers you really weren’t a serious mountainbiker, were you?
With the rise in popularity of carbon framed bikes, PYGA believe something has been lost from the ‘soul’ of mountainbiking. Carbon performs really well but the look is sleek, modern and basically getting pretty boring. Today’s bikes are all starting to look so samey.
To break up the monotony PYGA envisaged the bling retro-look bike blended with the modern trail bikes of today and have made that vision a reality with the PYGA RETRO DREAM BUILD!
Working together the PYGA family came up with the great idea of re-creating their interpretation of the first ‘proper’ suspension bike, one that performed and had a pedigree. After considering a number of options, notably the GT RTS, Manitou FS and the ProFlex/Offroad they landed on the Italian made Verlicchi.
Not everyone will instantly recognise the name, but this bike is one of the most iconic designs of all time. It had revolutionary suspension design, and it was the frame that a number of brands ‘re-badged’ and rolled out in their own range including Sintesi, Kona, Diamondback, Saracen, Haro, to name just a few, but the Iron Horse FS Works, 1993 model, was the one chosen for this project. That bike didn’t only look great but was the bike that powered Dave Cullinan to win the Downhill World Cup in Bromont, Canada in 1992. Sintessi later named the same model the ‘Bromont’.
The Iron Horse FS Works
The original ‘poster bike’ of the day, everything was top spec; 50mm of Marzocchi air suspension front and back and all new XTR groupset. The 1992/3 season was the first year Shimano produced XTR (M900) too.
Every PYGA frame is famously built in South Africa, by hand, and now with a powder coating/anodising and assembly facility in Nottingham, England to support the European market too, PYGA had the capability to create a ‘one-off’ bespoke bike pretty easily.
The PYGA HYRAX has been transformed into the dream build as the alloy 140mm trail bike is a good fit with the Varlicchi’s 1993 ethos. The rocker, rear chain and seat stays have been anodised in the exact same purple as the Iron Horse as well as the front triangle anodized in silver. The pantone colours of the decals also exact replicas too.
PYGA HYRAX Retro Dream Build
The key noticeable difference, especially when side by side, is the wheel size. The HYRAX is of the ‘new breed’ of 29er’s, utilizing modern geo, while the Iron Horse is 26” and pretty short.
Spot the difference
Who decided it was ever a good idea to have a 13cm front handlebar stem?
PYGA partnered with producers www.pembree.com who are U.K. based and make artisan carbon neutral pedals, in house. PEMBREE have magnificently created a bespoke colour combo of the R1V pedal, especially for this project.
PEMBREE pedals – a thing of beauty
The tyre choice was obvious; ‘gum wall’ tyres are back in fashion and they really give the HYRAX that authentic look and feel. ONZA were making tyres back in the 90’s so were a perfect fit, featuring the ONZA Porcupine TRC 60.
ONZA giving the authentic retro look
To polish-off the retro-look, a Hope finishing kit really does the job! Hope have been in the business since the 90’s too and are still producing amazing high-end products in a number of classic anodised colours.
Hope – the godfathers of the anodise game
“Looking back at early bikes really fills me with nostalgia. The Iron Horse was the pin-up bike of the day, and as a young guy I was just hooked on the look (although they were well out of my price range at the time). It was these bikes that inspired me to ride more, start racing and ultimately become a mountainbike design and manufacturer. It only seemed right we salute our history and heritage with the PYGA Retro Dream Build HYRAX and I’m delighted with the final outcome of this fun project!”
Pat Morewood – Founder, PYGA Mountainbikes
The original Iron Horse poster.
PYGA HYRAX Retro Dream Build
Frame: PYGA HYRAX (140mm)
Fork: RockShox PIKE (150mm)
Shock: RockShox Deluxe RT3
Stem: Hope AM
Brakes: Hope Tech 3 E4
Pedals: Pembree R1V
Crankset: Hope Evo
Rear Derailer: Sram GX Eagle
Front Derailer: N/A
Shifter: Sram GX Eagle
Cassette: Sram GX Eagle
Handlebar: Hope Carbon
Wheelset: Hope Fortus 30 Pro 4
Front Tyre: Onza Porcupine TRC 60
Rear Tyre: Onza Porcupine TRC 60
Headset: Cane Creek Forty
Seatpost: BikeYoke Revive Max
Iron Horse FS Works (1993)
Frame: Verlicchi – Italian made
Fork: Marzocchi XC 400 (50mm)
Shock: Marzocchi (55mm)
Brakes: Shimano XTR
Pedals: Shimano XTR
Crankset: Shminao XTR
Rear Derailer: Shimano XTR
Front derailer: Shimano XTR
Shifter: Shimano XTR / STI
Cassette: Shimano XTR
Handlebar: Zoom Brahma Bars
Grips: Ritchey Logic
Wheelset: Shimano XTR / Mavic 117 SUP
Front Tyre: Panaracer Dart
Rear Tyre: Panaracer Smoke
Headset: Shimano XT
Saddle: Flite Titanium
PYGA hope they have made their mountainbike forefather’s proud. The feedback so far has been so positive they, may actually start offering anodisation as an option so watch this space!
In the meantime customers can use the ‘mix and match’ tool on the website to choose between over 700 paint and decal combo’s to create their own dream build
PYGA Mix and Match Tool