First Look: Nukeproof Scout 290 Race

by
July 6, 2017

We’re not short of experience with Nukeproof’s latest full suspension models, such as the Mega 275 that Rob tested and reviewed, and the Mega 290 that we currently have on test. But when it comes to the Irish brand’s hardtails, we can’t say we’ve spent a lot of saddle time aboard Nukeproof’s Scout range of bikes.

However, we’re addressing that after having received one of the latest Scout 290 Race models in to feature in the upcoming issue of Singletrack Magazine. Before we get it all dirty though, lets have a look at what makes up this tough alloy hardtail.

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Irish brand Nukeproof is making some killer-value mountain bikes at the moment, including the Scout.

The Scout takes you back to minimal fuss, raw mountain biking. Whether its embracing your spirit of adventure or attacking the trail, the Scout is designed as a do it all Hardtail. Its low bottom bracket, slack head angle and stiff frame allow you to explore endless singletrack, rail berms or session the pump track. Whichever wheel size you choose, we guarantee you will enjoy every second of your ride, so get out and explore natures playground.” – Nukeproof.

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
There are two Scout 290 models. This is the entry-level spec, called the Race.

Nukeproof Scout 290 Race Features

  • Hardtail trail bike
  • Custom hydroformed T6 6061 heat treated alloy frame
  • 29in wheels
  • Tapered 44-56mm head tube
  • Designed for 130mm travel forks
  • 66° head angle
  • 73° effective seat tube angle
  • 440mm chainstay length
  • 142x12mm thru-axle
  • 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell
  • 1x and 2x compatible
  • External cable routing
  • Option for stealth dropper post routing
  • 31.6mm diameter seatpost
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, & X-Large
  • Bike RRP: £1300
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
No suspension here. Just a tough alloy hardtail frame.

Nukeproof currently offer the Scout hardtail in 27.5in and 29in versions. The 29er is the newest of the two, having been released for the 2016 model year. For 2017 the alloy frame is the same, being made from custom hydroformed 6061 T6 aluminum tubes with zero rear suspension out back. For riders on a budget, those looking for a tough winter bike, or pure and simple hardtail lovers, the Scout is designed for you.

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Geometry is kicked out, with the emphasis being on providing confidence for taking on technical trails.

With Nukeproof’s roots in trail and enduro, the Scout is no anaemic XC racer. This is designed to be a tough, solid and capable trail hardtail with a 130mm travel fork, 2.3in wide knobbly tyres and geometry that errs on the slacker side. There’s a 66° head angle, and the wheelbase is kept long on each of the four sizes to maximise stability.

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Manitou Minute fork features 130mm of travel.

Up front is a Manitou Minute fork with 130mm of travel and the iconic Reverse Arch fork arch. Splashed with an orange paint job to match the Scout 290 frame, the Minute gets 32mm black anodized stanchions and a tooled thru-axle. It’s an air-sprung fork with oil damping, and you can adjust spring rate, low-speed rebound and compression via the Absolute Plus dial at the top of the right-hand fork leg.

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Classic Reverse Arch magnesium lowers.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Tooled 100x15mm thru-axle.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Front brake hose routes around the back of the fork and up the Reverse Arch.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Decent clearance for the 2.3in wide tyres.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Maxxis High Roller II tyre up front.

Nukeproof has spec’d the Scout 290 hardtail with 2.3in wide Maxxis tyres front and rear. Both tyres feature reinforced EXO sidewalls and a Tubeless Ready casing that allows for easy setup without tubes. Our test bike conveniently arrived with tape, valves and sealant installed, so we could set it up with lower pressures from the get-go.

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
And a Maxxis Minion DHF on the back.

Interestingly, the Scout 290 Race comes setup with a High Roller II tyre on the front, and a Minion DHF tyre on the rear – which is the opposite to how some other brands would setup the same combo.

 nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Wheels are custom built numbers with Novatec sealed bearing hubs and WTB SX23 rims.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Hubs are thru-axle non-boost front and rear.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Reliable Shimano M447 stoppers with 180mm rotors for added power.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Lever reach is adjusted with a small hex key, rather than the external dial that comes on higher-end Shimano disc brakes.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Short and wide Nukeproof Warhead cockpit.

Being a Nukeproof bike, the Scout 290 Race of course comes with a swag of Nukeproof components, including a Warhead cockpit. There’s a short little stem with a 4-bolt faceplate, and 760mm wide riser bars.

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
SRAM NX 1×11 shifting.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
SRAM NX cranks mate up to a threaded bottom bracket shell.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Based on the XX1 rear mech, the NX derailleur also gets a roller clutch to keep the chain tight and slap-free.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
Cassette is of the 11-42t variety, while the chainring is a 30t.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
No dropper post on the 290 Race, though the more expensive 290 Comp does feature one if you step up a price level.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
The Scout 290 frame is ready for a dropper upgrade when you are though, with both internal and external routing options available.
nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
It’s also 2x compatible too.

We’ll be testing the Nukeproof Scout 290 Race over the coming weeks as part of a three-way group test for Issue #114 of Singletrack Magazine. If you want to get your hands on the full feature as soon as you can, then head to the subscription page to line up a digital subscription for as little as £1.49 per month – BOOM!

nukeproof scout 290 comp 29in hardtail manitou
For £1300, the Scout 290 Race is a good looking rig with loads of upgrade potential.

2017 Nukeproof Scout 290 Race Specifications

  • Frame // Custom Hydroformed T6 6061 Alloy
  • Fork // Manitou Minute Comp, 130mm Travel
  • Hubs // Novatec Alloy Disc, 100x15mm Front & 142x12mm Rear
  • Rims // WTB SX23, Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres // Maxxis High Roller II EXO 2.3in Front & Minion DHF EXO 2.3in Rear
  • Chainset // SRAM NX 30t X-Sync
  • Front Mech // N/A
  • Rear Mech // SRAM NX 11-Speed
  • Shifters // SRAM NX 11-Speed
  • Cassette // SRAM PG-1130, 11-42t, 11-Speed
  • Brakes // Shimano M447, 180mm Front & Rear
  • Stem // Nukeproof Warhead Alloy, 50mm Long
  • Bars // Nukeproof Warhead Alloy, 760mm Wide, 20mm Rise
  • Grips // Nukeproof Element Lock-On
  • Seatpost // Nukeproof Warhead, 31.6mm Diameter
  • Saddle // Nukeproof Trail
  • Size Tested // Medium
  • Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Weight // 12.7kg (27.94 lbs)
  • RRP // £1099

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First Look