Pyga OneForty650 Pascoe - first ride review£1,799.00

Teak-tough 650b trail muncher

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Pyga’s OneForty650 Pascoe is a brilliant bike for riders who want to feel totally involved in the ride, and who love – even more – those luxuriously long seconds of victory as you wait for mates at the end of every technical section.

Frame and equipment: industrial strength

The JCB yellow frame is genuinely building site tough. The stumpy, ring-reinforced tapered head tube, steeply sloped top tube and kinked base, extended top seat tube combine with a multi-section down tube to form a bombproof front end. ISCG-05 chain guide tabs, a direct mount front derailleur, Syntace X-12 rear axle and all-bases-covered (including stealth dropper posts) cable routing cover the practicalities.

PYGA’s floating shock design eats up the bumps but still provides great trail feedback: pyga’s floating shock design eats up the bumps but still provides great trail feedback
PYGA’s floating shock design eats up the bumps but still provides great trail feedback: pyga’s floating shock design eats up the bumps but still provides great trail feedback

Pyga’s floating shock design eats up the bumps but still provides great trail feedback

The Monarch Plus shock is squeezed between the rocker and the extended chainstay tips to give a bottomless but never ‘lost’ feel to its 140mm (5.5in) of travel. The frame is lighter than its resolute stiffness and authority would suggest too.

Pygas come as frames, not complete bikes, but the build that UK distributors R53 supplied us with – based on RockShox’s outstanding Pike fork, a single-ring Shimano XT stop/go set-up, Stan’s/Hope wheels, Truvativ’s excellent Clementz bar and hardcore stem, plus a Thomson dropper – was spot on.

Ride and handling: trail connected

Pyga’s OneTwenty650 and OneTen29 are proper hammer bikes, but adding travel can often add distance – in physical and feedback terms – between rider and trail as the bike rolls and pitches through the mid stroke. Not so on the Pascoe.

Our first ride coincided with the first properly filthy ‘summer is done’ night of the year. That time when previously dusty, grippy trails turn to treacherous slithering snake pits of wet roots and glistening green rock far faster than your mind can react. Despite blinding wheel spray and rain, the Pyga refused to back down.

A syntace x-12 through-axle keeps things in line out back: a syntace x-12 through-axle keeps things in line out back
A syntace x-12 through-axle keeps things in line out back: a syntace x-12 through-axle keeps things in line out back

A Syntace X-12 through-axle keeps things in line out back

With a 67-degree head angle and a fairly high 350mm BB, it’s not as slammed and stable as some in its category. That means the Pike up front still needs some steering rather than just letting it lead, but it turned in and tracked flawlessly no matter what was underfoot. The relatively short 430mm rear end cuts in tight when you need it to, but is super-stiff and responsive enough to grab traction immediately if a root or rock kicks it wide.

The floating rear suspension stays consistently connected and firm enough to put the power down or corner hard, and we never needed to toggle into the ‘descend’ or ‘climb’ mode on the Monarch shock to manage pedal bob or add sensitivity either. We just sprinted, braked, climbed and cornered at full gas without even thinking about the bike between us and the outstandingly clear but never noisy trail feedback. We’ve heard of no reliability problems with Pyga bikes and the pricing is dandy for the quality and performance.

Specifications as tested:

  • Frame: 6066-T6 alloy, 140mm (5.5in) travel
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3, 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore XT w/ Hope 32t single ring
  • Wheelset: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Crest rims on Hope Pro 2 EVO hubs
  • Front tyre: Onza Canis 27.5x2.25in
  • Rear tyre: Kenda Nevega 27.5x2.3in
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore XT
  • Bar: Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox, 750mm
  • Stem: Truvativ Holzfeller, 60mm
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite Dropper
  • Saddle: Massi ProDue
  • Weight: 12.96kg (28.6lb) without pedals

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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