The journey into manufacturing started a long time ago for Patrick Morewood, the founder and co-owner of PYGA. In his early years as a competitive downhill racer, equipment was always a challenge and coming from a long line of designers and engineers Pat continued the tradition by designing and building his own components. This then culminated in full blown bicycle design and manufacture with what would become the world renowned and critically acclaimed MOREWOOD BIKES brand in 1998.
After some 15 years with Morewood Patrick moved on to form PYGA in 2012 with the express idea to design bikes that were more accessible and rewarding to the average rider not only those competing at the top level. This saw the birth of the iconic PYGA ONETEN29. These aluminium frames were manufactured in the East under Pats supervision and watchful eye; the first batch were worked on in China, by Pat himself.
PYGA moved on as a brand growing its range to encompass XC, Marathon, Trail and Enduro bikes and branching into carbon frames, the STAGE which rode to victory in the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic’s Queen stage, piloted by Local team riders Matthys Beukes and Phil Buys.
Up to this point all bikes had been produced in Taiwan by high end factories, with all design work and real world testing being done in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. New partners in the form of Ollie Burnett and Richard Crouse joined the business to assist with this expansion. As the business grew, the challenges of outsourcing the manufacturing and freedom to make improvements became more significant and the inevitable discussions started around the possibility of bringing manufacturing home and opening our own factory, a dream all the partners shared.
In late January 2019 the final decision was taken to establish our own bespoke factory. This started the search for machines and tools both old and new and within three short months we had a fully functional aluminium bicycle factory. Two months thereafter we had our first prototypes and in October 2019 we shipped our first production frames out of our own factory, an accomplishment of which we are very proud.
The ability to now control our future in terms of quality, improvements and delivery are truly game changing for us. In a world of increased commoditisation and mass production to deliver a truly artisan, handmade frame to our customers is the dream all of us at Pyga subscribe to. Pyga’s aspiration to become a globally recognised, high end, mountain bike brand is vastly enhanced by the establishment of our own factory.
The freedom the factory gives us to prototype and move quickly to market with new models is a luxury one does not always achieve with outsourced manufacturing. With a current capacity to manufacture in the region of 1200 frames per annum and offer a vast array of customizable colours via our powder coating plant, we can offer a truly personal product to the customer.
Believing in better is something we live and breathe at Pyga and to truly deliver on this manufacturing frames in our own factory is an essential element. In a South African context with increased negativity and a doom and gloom mentality prevailing we are determined to become one of the many good news stories and centres of excellence in South Africa.
The first ride on our locally produced frames was an incredibly fulfilling and somewhat emotional moment, one that is only surpassed by seeing the genuine smiles and stoke on the faces of our customers once they swing a leg over one of our locally produced bikes.
Photo Story - Pyga Factory Tour
Last month, we joined the Pyga crew and their dealers in Pietermaritzburg for a weekend of riding bikes and fuelling stoke for the Pyga brand. For us, and many of the dealers, it was an opportunity to hear first hand why Pyga is “bringing it home” and what that means for the brand moving forward.
To cap off the weekend, we attended the public launch of the Pyga aluminium bicycle factory right here in South Africa. Here are just a few shots to give you an inside look at where your next (alloy) Pyga will be created.
The local factory means Pyga are able to rapidly create prototypes, test changes and maintain complete control over quality. Many of the machines which line the factory walls were purchased from old school local tool and die makers. From producing scientific equipment, tools and dies to bicycles, they now have a new lease on life.
While we're all for "local is lekker" there is a unique sense of passion that seems to further define the Pyga culture. Having had the privilege of spending the weekend with the extended Pyga family, it was all too easy to get swept up by the magic. As long-time fans of the brand, we're excited to see what more is still to come from the new momentum at Pyga.