My Bike

Phillimon Se­bona’s Pyga Stage

Bicycling (South Africa) - - Inside -

HHail­ing from Mid­del­burg in Mpumalanga, and res­i­dent in Mamelodi, north-east of the Pre­to­ria metro, Phillimon Se­bona com­bines his train­ing with his daily com­mute to Trail­wolf Cy­cles, where he works. No stranger to rac­ing, 25-year-old Se­bona has pro­duced some im­pres­sive re­sults over the last six years. With a string of Cape Epic Exxaro jer­seys, and a top 50 at this year’s Cape Epic with team­mate Wil­liam Mok­gopo, Se­bona is rapidly gain­ing in ex­pe­ri­ence.

Pyga Euro Steel picked him up for 2017, and he took wins at the Ma­galies Mon­ster and Sa­bie Ex­pe­ri­ence, while plac­ing in the top five at Berg & Bush and fourth at the Spi­oenkop Hill Climb. Not bad for a guy who bought his first bike by sell­ing peanuts!

Se­bona’s cur­rent bike, on the other hand, is a fully kit­ted Pyga Stage: a full To­ray car­bon frame specced with a mix of in-house Deed com­po­nents and team race-proven parts, for a bal­ance be­tween re­li­a­bil­ity and light weight.

1 GPS

With no com­puter spon­sor, team riders use their own choice of prod­uct. Se­bona uses a Bry­ton Rider 530, on a for­ward off­set mount, that syncs with a Quarq power me­ter. With sup­port for up to 85 func­tions and a 2.5-inch dis­play for 12 fields, it has an am­ple range of data for both train­ing and rac­ing.

A graph­i­cal sum­mary dis­plays such key info as power, speed, ca­dence, al­ti­tude and so forth. Turn-by-turn nav­i­ga­tion is view­able along­side ride data – use­ful in a stage race. Map­ping is of­ten zoomed at ei­ther 30% or 80% be­tween riders; this en­ables clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the two when nav­i­gat­ing at race pace.

Like most de­vices at this level, the Rider 530 syncs to Train­ing Peaks and Strava with au­to­mated FIT file for­mats. A key fea­ture is the gen­er­ous 33-hour bat­tery life.

2 Wheels and Tyres

Pyga’s in-house com­po­nent brand Deed sup­plies the car­bon rims and al­loy hubs. Pyga are trans­par­ent about the Deed parts be­ing open­sourced. Their ex­per­tise comes from their ex­pe­ri­ence in de­sign and car­bon man­u­fac­ture pro­cesses; this al­lows Pyga to set a qual­ity as­sur­ance stan­dard against any open-source­man­u­fac­tured parts.

Maxxis tyres are the rub­ber of choice, and 2.25-inch As­pens are typ­i­cal of the fas­trolling pro­file that the pros favour. Tyre pres­sures vary ac­cord­ing to ter­rain and rider weight. Con­sid­er­ing that pros of­ten weigh not much more than a grey­hound, tyre pres­sures can some­times be as low as 1.3 bar.

3 Ped­als

Look ped­als have been a sta­ple for the team over the last six years. The gen­eral con­sen­sus was to move from the older S-Track to the new X-Track Race Car­bon, which fea­tures bind­ings and cleats com­pat­i­ble with Shi­mano’s pop­u­lar SPD. The bind­ings are near-iden­ti­cal to Shi­mano’s, and even have sim­i­lar ten­sion ad­just­ments. Ac­cord­ing to the me­chan­ics there’s no dif­fer­ence vis­ually, and they’re ef­fec­tive with Shi­mano cleats.

Weight is com­pa­ra­ble to pre­vi­ous mod­els, at around 346 grams a pair, and the ex­tra plat­form space pro­vides greater con­tact, for im­proved power trans­fer. At least, that’s the the­ory; but it also trans­lates to more sta­bil­ity and com­fort – per­fect for marathon and stage rac­ing.

4 Chain Guard

Stan­dard Ea­gle XX1 takes up the shift­ing du­ties, but no driv­e­train is any good if the chain comes off. In the typ­i­cally rough ter­rain of many moun­tain-bike races it’s a real risk, and can undo an en­tire race or stage. Pyga de­signer Patrick More­wood de­signed a sim­ple yet ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion, pro­pri­etary to the Stage.

The Pyga Chain Guard is 3D-printed in How­ick by Rapid 3D. Con­nected to the main pivot, the guard is ad­justable to dif­fer­ent chain­ring sizes. The out­board of the chain guard is open, so in the event that a chain does drop, it can be re­mounted on the chain­ring with ease. Ac­cord­ing to team man­ager Ruan Lochner, there have been zero drops since they be­gan us­ing the chain guard.

5 Frame

Made from To­ray car­bon, the Pyga Stage hasn’t seen many re­vi­sions, bar some re­fine­ments. A longer-travel ver­sion is also avail­able, in the Stage Max. While some big­ger brands are only com­ing around to a longer, slacker ge­om­e­try now, de­signer Patrick More­wood has long been a pro­po­nent of the con­cept.

The Stage comes stan­dard with a Rock­Shox Monarch rear shock, and has 110mm of rear travel – which can be re­duced to 97mm with a fit­ted col­lar while keep­ing the same shock length, without af­fect­ing ge­om­e­try. Ex­cept for one rider, the en­tire team opts to run the rear with 110mm travel.

The ge­om­e­try, with a longer reach, and slacker head an­gle and rear travel, can run 100mm to 120mm sus­pen­sion travel up front. The team have been on test rides with a 120mm fork – the con­sen­sus be­ing that with a car­bon steerer, they would con­sider rac­ing with a 120mm World Cup Sid fork.

6 Cock­pit

Ritchey World Cham­pi­onship Se­ries com­po­nents are the cock­pit spec of choice, and are known as a stan­dard for light weight plus suf­fi­cient strength to with­stand the rigours of rac­ing. The light­weight car­bon seat­post, stem and han­dle­bars are in use on all the team’s bikes. Each rider is sized and fit­ted with the ap­pro­pri­ate stem length and han­dle­bar width.

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