Mountain Bike Action Bike Test: Pyga Carolina Craft Build Enduro Bike
Pyga Carolina Craft Build
Suspension front/rear: 160mm / 160 or 140mm
Tire Size: 29″
Pyga is a small bike company based out of Howick, South Africa, that was founded in 2010 by designer/engineer Patrick Morewood. If that name rings a bell, Patrick was also the founder of the gravity bike brand in the early 2000s known as Morewood Bikes. Patrick moved from Morewood to create mountain bikes that were efficient while still providing control and flawless handling.
He wanted to make bikes that were aesthetically clean without fancy gadgets or unnecessary fluff. After opening its own factory in early 2019, Pyga can now deliver handmade frames while overseeing quality and making any tweaks necessary on the assembly line. This month we had the pleasure of getting a prototype build from Pyga to learn more about how its bikes perform. Clip in as we dive into the custom Carolina Craft Build.
The Carolina Craft Build is the Slakline enduro frame with the suspension sizing from the Hyrax. Before, the Slakline used the same frame as the Hyrax with a long-travel front and longer rear shock stroke setup. Now, the Slakline frame has a lower bottom bracket height and a slacker head tube angle than the original Hyrax frame it was based on.
To meet the needs of enduro trail nuts, the Carolina Craft Build’s new, sturdy, 6066 T6 alloy frame features internal routing, Boost spacing, chainguard protection, a chip adjustment on the rear suspension, and a threaded bottom bracket. The chip adjustment on the rear suspension can easily be switched by the rider and put in a high or low setting. This will change the head angle 1/2 degree (65.25 degrees in the high and 64.75 degrees in the low when running 160mm up front) and adjust the bottom bracket height by 5mm (345mm in the high and 340mm in the low). Along with the adjustability of the rear shock, the frame can accept 140mm–160mm of rear travel and will fit in either chip height position to give riders the option to tailor the feel to their preferred riding style.
The Carolina Craft Build is fully loaded with all the parts you could want straight out of the box. Pyga will be offering the Carolina Craft Build we tested as a custom option on its website for $5999. We were fortunate enough to test the bike with a SRAM X01-Eagle drivetrain combined with the coveted titanium Cane Creek eeWings. Furthermore, Cane Creek components supplies the bottom bracket, headset and rear shock, as well as the front suspension. To keep this ripper in control, the cockpit features an Industry Nine stem clamped to a Renthal Fatbar35 with SRAM Code RSC brakes. Connecting all these parts to the ground are some beefy 2.4-inch-wide Michelin Wild Enduro tires that are set up tubeless on We Are One carbon rims laced to Industry Nine Hydra hubs.
Pyga designed this bike around the classic four-bar Horst Link rear suspension that we tested both with a coil at 140mm of travel and an air shock at 160mm of travel. The suspension design was the appropriate fit for this long-travel bike with a solid platform to get after the pedals, provide more traction under acceleration and increase braking to balance the feel of the bike. Towards the front of the Carolina Craft Build, we took advantage of the performance and high tuneability on the 160mm of travel on the Cane Creek Helm Air 29.
DOWN AND DIRTY
The Carolina Craft Build is not all the way trail with its enduro geometry, and not all the way enduro with its ability to run trail bike travel. The advantage of being able to go from 140mm to 160mm in the rear or change the front from 150mm to 170mm makes this bike an ideal option for a rider looking for a capable park bike with an emphasis on climbing, smacking corners and dropping into a garden of roots.
While getting after some climbs during testing, we found where the Pyga gained its tractionability. The DBair CS from Cane Creek features climbing-specific damping in both compression and rebound that keeps the suspension fully active during a climb. This provides traction without sagging into pedal bob. The relaxed seat tube angle puts the rider in a position that is perfect for a chill ascent in the saddle.
With its uphill efficiency, could the bike surprise us on the way down? As Morewood wanted, the bike is well-controlled through technical rock chunk and high-speed washboard sections. The Carolina Craft Build is playful in corners with the feeling of a 27.5, but in the end, it stomps through tech like the 29er it is.
MODS AND UPGRADES
With the hottest hand-laid carbon wheelset made in Canada, desired Ti crankset, tuneable Cane Creek suspension and high end SRAM drivetrain, it is just about impossible to ask for an upgrade on this build. The crew had no problem running this bike out of the box.
One thing worth mentioning is the suspension setup. We preferred the bike in the higher setting on the chip system and felt that it was plenty planted and low to the ground for cornering effectively. Cane Creek has its own method for setting up the suspension properly, but the mathematical madness does work. We recommend their handy videos to get your suspension set and an extra eye to help set up the coil shock. Trust us, you’ll be glad you had a friend to help. One hour of dialing in your adjustment will save you many hours of future trail-ride prep.
Pyga has come up with a mash-up of enduro and trail with this latest Carolina Craft Build. So, where does that leave it? We found this build to be a great balance of disciplines that oozes fun and fast-paced trail riding. The rider looking to purchase this build is not afraid to go big on steep descents and spend the day enjoying the climb up the mountain with the trail crew. We could see a rider using this bike as his only frame and maybe swapping fork and shock lengths to mix it up. Sounds like the bike for you but not sure how to get it? Pyga is now working with a distributor in Reno, Nevada, so the bike can be bought directly and delivered to your door ready for the adventure ahead.
Check Out Mountain Bike Action’s First Look On The PYGA Carolina Craft Build Enduro Bike Here↓
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