Video: Pyga Moves Aluminium Manufacturing Home to South Africa

Nov 21, 2019
by Sarah Moore  


PRESS RELEASE: Pyga Mountain Bikes

2019 has been a momentous year for us as it has seen the realization of a dream to bring manufacturing back home to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. A fitting place to manufacture mountain bikes given its strong ties to both the roots and greatest achievements of the sport in South Africa.


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.

Credit Max Jameson

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 aluminum frames were manufactured in the East under Pat's supervision and watchful eye; the first batch were worked on in China, by Pat himself.

We 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.


bigquotesUp 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.

For me it was more than just having bikes made in South Africa, it was about my need to create and use my hands as well as hopefully inspiring others as well as youngsters to believe that we can compete on the world stage.
Pat Morewood

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 aluminum 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.

140mm Trail/Enduro

160mm Enduro/Park


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 commoditization and mass production to deliver a truly artisan, handmade frame to our customers is the dream all of us at Pyga subscribe to. Our aspiration to become a globally recognized, 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 centers of excellence in South Africa.

bigquotesMy experience in South Africa with the entire Pyga family was unreal. I was blown away everyday by the people, the culture, the wildlife, and the South African vibe is the best part. Then being able to visit the factory and see our bikes being built right in front of me gave me a special feeling. The craft of small-batch alloy frames is still a tremendous process. I can't wait to go back and see what the factory and the Pygans have going on next year. Patrick and Karen literally opened their home to me before actually meeting me in person. One of the coolest places I have ever visited and I met some amazing people. I truly appreciate what Pyga has done.Howie Zink, PYGA USA Distributor

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.


pygaindustries.com


52 Comments

  • 22 0
 Cool stuff. Morewood was one of the cool brands over a decade ago with Mick and Tracey Hannah on board and getting great results. Having production close to where design is done is always great in my book so good luck with everything Pyga!
  • 15 0
 Ok Patrick
A single pivot DH/Freeride frame. No linkage
For the working class. Made in SA
Aluminum...... hmm I believe Moorewood bikes
Had one. Yup
Bring it back to life!
  • 14 1
 So are they butting and hydroforming tubes or just welding them together?
  • 15 1
 The dickhead who downvoted your comment didn`t understand the question.
The dickhead I am doesn`t know the answer ;-)
  • 2 1
 Probably just butting and welding, currently seems the be the best way to max quality and lower price (santa cruz do the same with carbon frames apparently). Keep an eye on africa though as many manufacturing industries are moving there due to cheaper labor and more. They could be locally (ish) sourcing the formed tubes in the next decade. Who knows Smile
  • 3 1
 @gaffney92: sounds like an economy with low wages & little trade restriction or health sanctions. I'd imagine manufacturing industries are "both feet all in" on that one.
  • 7 1
 @gaffney92: Yeah, we just need to sort out our electricity problems :-(
  • 10 0
 @blowmyfuse: FYI, SA have strong Unions and certainly a very active and proactive Health and Safety working environment ... we just work harder.
  • 1 0
 @HairyLegs: FYI...my post was just intended as slander against manufacturing, not your country.
Got a couple folks I call friends from there who are quality people.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: @hairylegs Yeah I agree on the manufacturing point. On a side note I love the song at the end
Ngikufisela Inhlanhla
  • 7 0
 Oh man, the late iteration of ndiza was so hot! We need some swingarms in the world of linkages and countless bearings, Orange can't do it alone
  • 1 0
 Go check out their site...looks like their bikes are getting the reboot...
  • 4 0
 @krashDH85: They've been "rebooting" for years now. Pretty much died when Pat left IMO
  • 3 0
 @MrBurger: The new owner sold the old inventory or bikes/frames when Patrick left. Or at least took payments for them, I don't know if anyone actually got any products for their cash?? Since then (2015?) they had some t-shirts for sale at best..
  • 5 0
 Cool stuff! Glad to see he is still producing. I had a Morewood Izumu back in the day and it was great, a beast, but a great beast.
  • 6 0
 My girlfriend had a Shova ST up until mid 2018. That thing was very light. She is on a 27.5" Kona Hei Hei now, and many of the PR's and strava trophies she established on the 26" Morewood with Vorsprung tuned suspension still stand. They were and still are legitimate bikes. Would be awesome to see them make a comeback.
  • 3 0
 I loved my 2010 (I think) Izumi. I’d buy one again immediately with updated geo/lengths. Immediately.
  • 1 0
 @kgbdhbiker: Check their site, looks like they're revamping. Website seems to be up to date
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: I also had a Shova ST and then also one of the very first Mbuzi's (The one I got was the frame Greg M did the Mega on many years ago). Had the pleasure of testing out the protype Zula's when they were being developed and then also the OneTen29 protype bike ...very nearly bought a second hand One40 frame, but ended up with a Banshee Spitty frame (which broke Frown ) and still regret not getting the one40.... Patrick just makes great bikes with a great feel to them.
  • 7 1
 Need these bikes in the Field Test!
  • 4 0
 Yeah since the more niche brands don't go by year they can be field test 10, 15, 20 bikes about 5 months later at the beginning of spring. This way we can compare reviews of the big bike companies to the smaller ones with the same reviewers and controls for feedback. Spring is when a number of people buy new bikes for the season. Why not test and let the little guys have the spotlight too?
  • 3 0
 Agreed ! Field test of bikes from small brands would be great
  • 12 0
 We tried to get them to test one last, but they weren't interested. We will have a test coming out with Mountain Bike Action, and then more tests will follow. If you are ever in Reno, feel free to schedule a demo. We will also have a demo fleet rolling around the West.
  • 6 0
 @PygaUSA: Just don't send the lightweight rear triangle...
  • 2 1
 @leviatanouroboro: Haha, yup. What idiots.
  • 1 0
 Yep!!!
  • 1 0
 Yep to the field test that is, not sure what this mombo jumbo is about a light weight rear triangle is all about. My carbon SlakLine is still as good as new after 1500 miles of enduro/DH riding.
  • 1 0
 just wanna say that i have personally rode this bike multiple times at northstar resort in tahoe CA and it is super sick, if your thinking of getting one, do it you will not regret it, the guys are all so nice there and will hook you up. stoked to people giving this company some love!
  • 5 2
 dang they actually have factories there? i thought chappie was just fictional.
  • 6 0
 Have you seen Elysium?
  • 6 0
 The factories are run by prawns
  • 2 0
 Hahaha
  • 4 0
 Such a happy video to just watch and enjoy!
  • 4 0
 Awesome Pyga!
  • 2 0
 good News! still love my SA built Shova! Please include natural alloy finishes: raw, ball burnished etc. would be great...
  • 2 0
 Great looking frame, and welds. Love the move of bringing manufacturing in-house.
  • 2 0
 Thank you. It’s really rewarding.
  • 2 0
 Good on ya, Lads! Way to push it through, best of luck!
  • 3 5
 Just wondering out of the 100s of amazing bike manufacturers why would you choose a Pyga? Unless your South African?
Cost/spec would be only reason surely and you know for sure these won't be cheap.
  • 16 0
 Why not? Cost is comparable to most direct brands. High quality manufacturing. Small batch bikes. A GX Eagle spec will be around $4200 USD. An X01 w/ We Are One Carbon wheels will be about $5500.
  • 5 1
 Maybe you should start picking bikes with your heart instead of a spreadsheet? Smile
  • 1 0
 I would consider buying any bike that would have the characteristics that I am looking for in my riding. A bike review from someone who has ridden a number of them and has provided a review before would help. Also, all of the suspension details would be great.
  • 9 0
 why would you buy from any other bike brand? I ain't ridin a bike without a story. I ride a GG now because they make bicycles, and after watching this I'm intrigued by Pyga.
  • 2 2
 @Coldspringer: you need a story to go with your bike? Okaay..

Night-night
  • 1 0
 @tobiusmaximum: narrow it down from a hundred to ten with a spreadsheet, then pick with your heart Smile
  • 1 0
 You will never know the answer until you ride one.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Process with smaller pivot bearings.
  • 2 0
 lets go
  • 1 0
 That raw Hyrax looks amazing!
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