Edging ahead of the pack

Look at the numbers, but listen to your gut. It’s a simple principle that underlines how Pyga Industries designs its high-end trail and mountain bikes.

The launch of Pyga Industries is a journey that started six years ago. Patrick Morewood, a three-time South African downhill champion and founder of Morewood Bikes, yearned for a new challenge. He wanted to rediscover his passion for designing bikes that provided the freedom, speed and fun that every rider, and not just racing snakes, could enjoy while bombing down South Africa’s trails.

 

Morewood shared this vision with fellow South African trailblazer Oliver Burnett. As an avid Mountain biker and all-round sportsman, Burnett who is one of the owners of John Burnett Insurance wanted to be a part of something completely different. Karen Morewood, Pats wife is also a founding partner and takes care of the ever important background goings-on. Together they made the perfect dream team for turning a small South African bike design shop into a global brand.

 

The bikes of Pyga Industries are now rated among the top 5 percent in the world, with Single-track Magazine describing their flagship One Ten as a “truly great all-round machine.” Helping to grow their brand is their sponsorship of a team that couldn’t be any closer to home than African MTB, who now ride Pyga Stage bikes to podium finishes.

Putting a smile on riders’ faces

Most bicycle companies design their bicycles outright for performance and speed,” says Morewood. “At Pyga, however, we put a lot more emphasis on making our bikes fun and comfortable to ride, which automatically makes you want to ride faster. The main driver for us is the smile on a customer’s face after they have taken one of our bikes out for a ride.

New materials pose new challenges

The biking industry evolves at a pace that mirrors that of its riders. New materials are emerging all the time that can give bikes an extra edge in speed and reliability. Pyga knew that, to compete with larger manufacturers on fewer resources, it had to find a way of harnessing the latest carbon composite materials while reducing its time to market. 

 

Pyga also knew that it couldn’t simply feed the new material into its manufacturing process and expect a better result. Its designers needed advanced product development tools if it was to gain the speed and flexibility to make its new designs a reality.

Fast, functional, and feature rich

With Pyga’s existing CAD software, design changes were difficult and slow. Whenever a design was scaled to a new frame size, Pyga’s designers often had to start from scratch. 

After assessing the options, Pyga decided to upgrade to Solid Edge from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software. This would provide its designers with a complete suite of product development software tools, from 3D design to simulation to manufacturing to data management. 

 

“Solid Edge is a very intuitive and easy-to-use product compared to most other CAD software,” says Heiko Redecker, CAD designer at Pyga. “This makes it very quick to get used to its functionality and learn new features. It includes simple yet powerful surface design capabilities that are ideal for designing aesthetically pleasing consumer products."

A top-down approach to design

Traditionally, designing a full-suspension bike begins with the definition of the suspension kinematics. These determine the connection points between the different linkages of the suspension. Only once these are determined can the 3D CAD design process begin.

 

However, with the new software’s parametric design tools and synchronous technology, Pyga can take a top-down approach. Its designers can start by creating assembly sketches that define the overall shape of the bike and link part interfaces. Then the individual parts are modeled within the assembly and linked using interpart copies and constraints.

 

The ability to rapidly remodel designs, make revisions and scale onto new frame sizes means Pyga can roll out new bikes with less prototyping and fewer complications. “In the past it has taken us three to four months to create a new frame design,” Morewood explains. “This time frame has been reduced to two-and-a-half to three months using Solid Edge. These productivity gains help us reduce time to market, which is crucial in the fast-changing mountain bike industry.”

 

This gives Pyga the priceless edge it had been searching for to compete with larger competitors on the world stage and thus continue its journey toward global success.

2017-06-09

Picture credits: Siemens AG, PYGA Industries

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