Morewood Bikes is a joint venture with Morewood Engineering in South Africa. The company, based in Fletcher, North Carolina, imports mountain bike frames from South Africa, completes build specifications, and then distributes the bikes in the UK. Richard Beytagh and his son, Geritt—a champion mountain bike rider, operate the business.
The collaboration between Beytagh & Morewood began in 2003 while Beytagh and his family were living in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The family was very involved with local mountain biking sports and had met and formed a friendship with Patrick Morewood. At that time, Morewood had been manufacturing mountain bike frames in his garage and selling them at the local market. Since Beytagh and his family were planning to return to the United States where they lived, they decided to form a joint venture with Morewood, having fallen in love with his craftsmanship, and sell the frames in North America.
In 2004, Morewood Bikes USA was born. Beytagh chose to locate the company the company in North Carolina, due to the state’s many mountain biking trails. In order to promote their new brand, Morewood Bikes created a professional mountain biking team in 2005. Since its formation, the team has won numerous titles. Morewood has continued to pursue excellence in downhill racing in several countries including the UK. Their flagship production model—the much admired Makulu—is a clear demonstration to time well spent. Applying the exact same dedication as they have in downhill, they have worked diligently to create a frame for every discipline including cross country, all mountain, freeride, and dirt jumping.
Morewood currently offers ten frame styles targeted towards competitive riders and serious mountain bike enthusiasts alike. The current frames offered are Makulu, Izimu, Kalula, Zuza, Mbuzi, Shova, Zula, Kwela, Ndiza, and Enza. All of Morewood’s full suspension frames are hand-built with extreme attention to detail and all Morewood frames are still manufactured in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Morewood Bikes probably does more in-house processing than any other frame manufacturer in the world. From design and prototype fabrication, to tube mitering, machining, welding, heat treatment, powder coating, to branding and packaging—it’s all done under one roof.
Unlike many other mountain bike manufacturers, Morewood does not sell fully assembled bikes, only the frames. However, complete bikes are available to purchase with standard build kits or can be custom built according the cyclist’s specifications. To date, Izimu has been the company’s most successful bike on the race courses, where as the Shova has been the most popular, due to it being perfectly suited to trails.
Morewood has offices in South Africa, Europe, and the United States. Cyclists can place their bike orders through the appropriate office, and can purchase Morewood Bikes apparel as well. The company’s website also offers an archive of previous years’ models and online warranty information for current owners. There are also links available to the Morewood Bikes blog and racing team website, complete with photos and videos for mountain bike racing devotees. The leading excitement amongst Morewood followers are the upcoming 2011 models, which include changes to the Shova, Izimu, and Zuza.