First Ride Review: The New Pyga Hyrax Alloy 29er (and Slakline)

Pyga has just launched the aluminium 29er Hyrax and Slakline equipped for trail and enduro riding. The big news is that the new bikes are built in South Africa. For those familiar with the carbon bikes carrying the same name, the design is similar with some adjustments to better suit 29-inch wheels.

Made in South Africa


Patrick Morewood made a name for himself crafting aluminium bikes for Morewood Bikes. So it was no surprise when Pyga Mountainbikes also began with a range of aluminium bikes including the One-Ten, One-Forty Pascoe and others. They then ventured into the carbon bike market with the Stage platform followed by the Slakline and Hyrax. So the new aluminium Hyrax and Slakline signals a homecoming of sorts for Morewood.

 

Pyga Hyrax Aluminium Matt-3.jpg

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The new aluminium project is a huge undertaking for Pyga Mountainbikes as they have built a factory in Pietermaritzburg to construct the Hyrax and Slakline frames (fingers crossed for more to come). Here the frames are welded and all the finishing touches are applied. Although the previous alloy bikes were made in the East, Morewood still spent a significant amount of time at the factories to ensure quality (even jumping in to help with welding). Learn more about the local manufacturing here.

 

The Frame


The alloy Hyrax and Slakline frame designs are significantly influenced by the earlier carbon designs. The aluminium bikes, however, are now designed specifically for 29-inch wheels. This means that there are some geometry tweaks to better suit the larger wheel diameter compared to the 650b wheels that the carbon frames were originally designed around.

 

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The Hyrax frame has internal cable routing, a threaded bottom bracket for easier serviceability, and three mounts on the inside of the downtube on our prototype (a bottle cage plus storage perhaps). The frame is designed for a single chainring and has ISCG 05 mounts for chain guides and bash guards with rubber protection on the downtube and chainstay. The frame will accept 29-inch tyres with a width of up to 2.6 inches.

 

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Looking at the bike that we tested, the Hyrax features a four-bar Horst Link suspension system with 138mm of rear travel and is best suited to a 150mm fork. In the Low setting (on a size large), the Hyrax has a 65.5-degree head angle, a healthy 480 reach, a 1233mm wheelbase, and 77.3-degree effective seat tube angle. The chainstays are just a millimetre longer than the the 27.5" carbon design at 434 millimetres. The rear axle is Boost and the seat post diameter is 34.9 mm to accommodate larger dropper seat posts.

 

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The Hyrax has an adjustable geometry. The chip in the shock mount has two positions for two geometry settings.

 

While the alloy Hyrax and Slakline frames do look similar, there are some small differences to optimise geometry for each model's intended riding style. Take a look at the chart below for all the geometry and technical details on both the Hyrax and Slakline.

 

Pyga Slakline Hyrax Geometry 2020.png

 

Model Availability and Pricing


The Hyrax and Slakline are available now. The Hyrax Alloy 29er frameset will retail for R30,000 (with a Rockshox Deluxe shock) while the Slakline Alloy 29er frameset is R32,000 (with a Rockshox Super Deluxe shock). There are full bike options with both bikes offered as a GX Eagle build at this time. The Hyrax full build is R65,500 and the Slakline R67,500. There will also be frame and fork as well as rolling chassis deals ranging available. All the specification and pricing details are outlined below.

 

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Hyrax Alloy 29er Specifications:


  • FramePYGA Hyrax alloy frameset
  • Rear ShockRockshox Deluxe RCT 205x57.5mm Metric Trunnion
  • ForkRockshox Pike Select+ 150mm
  • BrakesSram Code RSC
  • RotorsSram 200/180mm
  • Rear DerailleurSram GX Eagle
  • Rear ShifterSram GX Eagle
  • CranksetTruvativ Descendant 6k
  • Bottom BracketSram DUB
  • CassetteSram GX Eagle
  • ChainSram GX Eagle
  • WheelsDEED TREN30
  • TyresMaxxis Minnion DHR2/Minnion DHF
  • HeadsetCane Creek ZS44/ZS56
  • HandlebarsDeed alloy riser 780mm
  • StemDeed alloy 40mm
  • GripsDeed Spiral Lock-on
  • SaddleDeed Cro-Mo
  • SeatpostBikeYoke Revive
  • PriceR65,500

Framset and Fork options

 

Hyrax Frameset - R30,000
Hyrax Frameset, Pike Select+, Headset - R41,500
Hyrax Frameset, Pike Ultimate Silver, Headset - R44,860

 

Rolling Chassis

 

Hyrax Frameset, Pike Select+, Headset, DEED TREN30 wheelset - R47,504

Slakline 29er Alloy Specifications:


  • FramePYGA Slakline alloy frameset
  • Rear ShockRockshox Super Deluxe RCT 205x65mm Metric Trunnion
  • ForkRockshox Lyrik Select+ 170mm
  • BrakesSram Code RSC
  • RotorsSram 200/180mm
  • Rear DerailleurSram GX Eagle
  • Rear ShifterSram GX Eagle
  • CranksetTruvativ Descendant 6k
  • Bottom BracketSram DUB
  • CassetteSram GX Eagle
  • ChainSram GX Eagle
  • WheelsDEED TREN30
  • TyresMaxxis Minnion DHR2/Minnion DHF
  • HeadsetCane Creek ZS44/ZS56
  • HandlebarsDeed alloy riser 780mm
  • StemDeed alloy 40mm
  • GripsDeed Spiral Lock-on
  • SaddleDeed Cro-Mo
  • SeatpostBikeYoke Revive
  • PriceR67,500

Framset and Fork options

 

Slakline Framset - R32,000
Slakline Frameset, Lyrik Select+, Headset - R43,500
Slakline Frameset, Lyrik Ultimate RED, Headset - R46,860

 

Rolling Chassis

 

Slakline Frameset, Lyrik Select+, Headset, DEED TREN30 wheelset - R49,500

 

First Ride


Pyga sent us one of their prototype frames for testing. The bike was in hot demand with potential customers desperately wanting to do the same, so our time with the bike was brief. Being the week ahead of SA Enduro Champs, all testing took place in the mountains above Stellenbosch, on the suitably challenging Jonkershoek trails. It is hard to come to a firm opinion of a bike in just one week, so please take this assessment as only a first impression.

 

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After the first few turns, it was pretty clear that the hero feature of the Hyrax is its cornering ability. There seems to be endless grip on offer while hitting the apex catapults you out of the bend. The bike is also impressively capable on the rough rocky stuff too, allowing for some bashing when your line choice goes wrong. The rear suspension acts predictably, providing sufficient support and a gentle bottom out at the end of the Hyrax's travel. If you've ridden a Pyga trail bike before, then the Hyrax is a reassuringly similar feeling bike. With the downhill specced SRAM Code brakes and grippy Maxxis rubber, the Hyrax is an impressively powerful stopper allowing for controlled late braking.

 

The geometry appeared to be spot on for the Jonkershoek trails. At 192cm tall, I appreciate the roomy 510mm reach. It was a good balance between being able to tackle the tight, technical sections as well as stability while speeding down the smoother flow trails.

 

Pyga Hyrax Jonkershoek Enduro 2.jpg
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The Pyga Hyrax was the ideal ride for the EWC #3 at Jonkershoek. Photo Credit: Chris Hitchcock.

 

Trail bikes have come along in bounds when it comes to climbing but the Hyrax's keenness to ascend stands out. Of course, fancy suspension and geometry can’t cheat gravity but it certainly helps make the bike feel a lot lighter than the scales show - the extra-large frame (so worst case) prototype bike just scraped under the 15 kilogram mark.

 

The mid travel trail bike category produces bikes with a wide range of personalities through varied geometry, suspension tunes, and component choices. From bikes with sharp handling all the way up to enduro big bashers. The Hyrax leans towards the enduro side of the spectrum. The Hyrax is not the most nimble bike to boost off little bumps, roots or rocks in the trail. But the payoff is confidence on the faster, steeper, more technical sections. It's a hugely capable 140 mm bike when the trail gets rowdy. It is worth noting that my experience may have a lot to do with the suspension setup but unfortunately, time was limited for tinkering.

 

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Conclusion


Patrick Morewood is making frames in South Africa again! This alone might be enough for the Pyga faithful to place an order. There is far more to the Hyrax than simple patriotism though. First impressions are that the Hyrax is a well-rounded trail bike that will having you floating over rock gardens and whooping through turns.

 




11 Comments

Hairy, Nov 17 2019 08:28

Flipping decent pricing!

Knersboy, Nov 22 2019 08:19

Agreed Hairy. I have already written to Santa for Pyga to make an alloy 120mm marathon bike with 2 water bottle cages and a threaded bb. I have been a very good boy so hopefully Santa will listen.

MarcBurger, Nov 22 2019 08:27

Can't wait to get my hands on one. It may have to come in old-school Pyga120 orange... for reasons  :ph34r:

 

Nicely kitted. It's refreshing when things like brakes, tires and forks aren't skimped on

*question: why would you spec a NX chain? from what I understand they're awful and rust/fail

Knersboy, Nov 22 2019 08:27

Always thought they shoulda called the Hyrax the Dassie instead

Thermophage, Nov 22 2019 08:59

Please for the love of peanut butter don't spec a trail/enduro bike with a damn EXO tyre at the back. You're just unnecessarily looking to make your life hard :(

Rad lookin bike though. Miss my old 120 sometimes :(

lenzman, Nov 22 2019 09:41

Cable routing looks more sensible these days

Christofison, Nov 22 2019 12:20

Can't wait to get my hands on one. It may have to come in old-school Pyga120 orange... for reasons  :ph34r:

 

Nicely kitted. It's refreshing when things like brakes, tires and forks aren't skimped on

*question: why would you spec a NX chain? from what I understand they're awful and rust/fail

Their website says GX chain. Strange.

V18, Nov 22 2019 01:05

I can't believe the pricing! Locally made (bar the hydroformed tubing). It's quite the achievement. Top of my want list. Sorry deviate Cycles highlander.

Nick, Nov 22 2019 01:25

Can't wait to get my hands on one. It may have to come in old-school Pyga120 orange... for reasons  :ph34r:

 

Nicely kitted. It's refreshing when things like brakes, tires and forks aren't skimped on

*question: why would you spec a NX chain? from what I understand they're awful and rust/fail

 

The bikes will come with a GX chain.

 

There was a mistake in the early spec list I received.

BikeGenie, Nov 22 2019 03:25

Trade in my Pascoe for a Hyrax....? mmmmmmm

Hairy, Nov 28 2019 12:28

So PYGA ... anychance of doing the same comp for SA riders too please?
https://reviews.mtbr...e-frame-contest