With a three-time South African downhill champion behind them, Morewood bikes are built tough and practical. Designed as a four-cross sled, and versatile enough for general shredding, the Ndiza ST is no exception.
Hailing from the South African downhill hotbed of Pietermaritzburg (home of top racer Greg Minnaar), Morewood bikes are the project of former downhill racer Patrick Morewood. Having tired of inferior products, Morewood made a point of constructing simple but well-made designs.
The Ndiza ST is the short travel four-cross-speciﬁc member of the Morewood family. It’s designed to be ﬁrst out of the gate, quickest round the turns and smoothest over the rough stuff.
Ride & handling: rail-like cornering
The Ndiza is a long bike, which you don’t really notice until you sit on it because it’s so low-slung.
Even with low pressure in the shock, the Ndiza frame has a ﬁrm feel about it.
The low 12.5in bottom bracket height makes the bike feel slammed to the ﬂoor. This, combined with the fairly long 44in wheelbase, stiff back end and fairly slack head angle, made the bike feel like it was on rails.
The low single pivot kept active enough to enable the rear wheel to grip brilliantly in stutter bump style corners, but had no effect on pedalling.
Although it’s designed for four-cross racing, the Ndiza makes for a great bike for thrashing on short course downhill runs. It’s not made for extreme freeride, but it will handle more than most riders would throw at it.
Frame: meaty for flat landings
Made from custom-drawn 6082 aluminium tubes, the Ndiza’s build is beautiful. The burly box-section down tube has a huge contact point on the head tube, and is met by a meaty gusset and a huge shock mount plate that extends down the top tube.
The head tube itself is ring-reinforced at both ends to cope with ﬂat landings from jumping.
The head tube and bottom bracket shell are perfectly faced and ready for headset and bottom bracket ﬁtting.
We measured the head angle as 68.5 degrees with a 4in travel fork ﬁtted. It’s slack enough for cornering at speed, but not so slack that low-speed manoeuvres are hampered.
The Stable Pivot Interface uses huge sealed bearings and has virtually no ﬂex. Frame rigidity is enhanced by the sturdy chainstays and seatstays that make up the simple rear end.
Out back are standard 135mm dropouts and an international standard brake mount. An International Standard Chain Guide mount is present on the BB shell.
Equipment: picked for toughness
We built our frame with a 4in travel Marzocchi 4XWC fork, spinning in a Hope headset with a RaceFace Diabolus stem and Sunline V-One bars.
Rolling it along were DT Enduro EX1750 wheels with Intense EX Dual Compound LITE tyres, and stopping it are a unique pair of Formula The One brakes in a polished ﬁnish.
An MRP carbon chainguide on Shimano Saint cranks with SRAM X.0 mech and shifter kept the transmission running smoothly, and a brown Charge Spoon saddle complemented the graphics on the top tube.