First Look: Nukeproof Mega 290 Race

by Rob Mitchell 0

Back at the end of 2015, Nukeproof launched the all new Mega. With a sweet new frame design and coming in both 27.5in and 29in flavours and a range of specs, the new style Mega set out to hit the enduro circuit hard. We headed over to Italy for the launch, to get aboard the new Mega, and see what was all the fuss was about from this Northern Ireland based brand.

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“The original big mountain race bike”

Now, we had the pleasure of riding and testing the Mega 275 over the course of a couple of months last year and what a great time we had. A true enduro ready bike, the 275 was a machine on the climbs and like a bat out of hell on the descents. The Mega 290 then, has a lot to live up to. Let’s dive in.

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A mean, green, racing machine.

Nukeproof Mega 290 Race Features

  • Enduro ready 29in frame
  • 150mm travel front and rear
  • Custom hydroformed T6 6061 Aluminium tubeset
  • Progressive Enduro geometry
  • Tapered 44-56mm headtube
  • ISCG 05
  • Internal cable routing for Stealth dropper post
  • Head angle: 66°
  • Seat angle: 75.5°
  • Seatpost : 31.6mm
  • Rear axle: 12mm x 142mm
  • Chainstay length: 450mm
  • BB shell: 73mm
  • BB height: -30mm
  • Sizes: S (15″) M (16.5”) L (18”) XL (20”)
  • Price: £2299.99
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Look, real metal with those weld things. No carbon here.

Coming in three spec builds, there’s a 290 to fit the bill for all the aspiring enduro ‘brahs’ out there. We’ve got the Race spec on test, which sits underneath the Comp and the super drippy Pro. Built with RockShox suspension front and rear and a blend of Shimano and SRAM products forming the groupset, the 290 Race is an incredibly well equipped bike for the cash.

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Rockshox controls suspension at both ends, with the Monarch Plus at the rear. Set with 150mm of travel.
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Nukeproof is fully In charge of cockpit duties, with a Warhead bar and stem.
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760mm of width, with 20mm of rise.
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Nukeproof headset keeps the front end together, with appropriate Nukey branding.
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The 50mm Warhead stem keeps those proper metal bars pointing the right way.
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Brand-X Ascend dropper post is a great spec decision.

For 2017, Nukeproof has ditched the own brand OKLO dropper post, in place for a Brand-X Ascend. A good choice in our eyes, with the build quality on the Ascend slightly more suited to the style of riding this bike is built for.

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Shimano Deore M615 brakes for those stopping duties.
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The smart looking and well performing SRAM NX is in charge of shifting.
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Nukeproof’s own lock-on grips are a good thickness and have plenty o’ stick to keep your hands planted.
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A nice addition of the MRP 1x V3 utilises the ISCG mounts under the bottom bracket shell.

Nukeproof has set out it’s intentions for being an all out enduro-machine builder, with a hardcore spec, ready to take on the hardest EWS stages on the circuit. As a chassis, the 290 has all the right ingredients for doing just that.

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SRAM NX 170mm alloy cranks keep spinning duties moving along nicely.
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A 30T chainring holds onto the chain.
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1×11 is the order of the day. A SRAM NX rear mech keeps the 10-42t cassette shifting.
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Mega by name, Mega by nature.
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Neat little dropouts on the Mega keep things tidy at the rear.
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Routing begins at the top, and flows down the outside of the bike. Like old times.
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Cables work their way down the frame in a nice neat fashion.
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Stealth routing for the dropper post ascends up the seat post from here.
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Nukeproof does branding well, we can give them that.
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Plenty of mud clearance at the back of the Mega, with the stock WTB Trail Boss 2.3in tyre.
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Full stealth up top, with the Rockshox Yari.
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Black on black on black.
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This model is the RC 29in, Solo Air, with 150mm travel and the Maxle Stealth.
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The Monarch Plus offers three stages of compression damping, and plenty of rebound adjustability.
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The green finish and black components make for a good looking bike.

On the new style Mega frames, rear suspension is controlled by a Horst-Link system, with a small pivot located near the rear axle. This was one of the larger alterations from the previous design, which ran a four-bar, linkage driven suspension design.

Horst-Link pivot, a neat weld and a sprinkling of rubberised chain stay protection. Very tidy.
Horst-Link pivot, a neat weld and a sprinkling of rubberised chain stay protection. Very tidy.
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Rubber out front is a WTB Vigilante 2.3in. Plenty of stick for those slippy days out on the trails.
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A Trail Boss 2.3in sits on the back.

Wheels are made up of WTB STp i25, TCS, 29″ 32h rims – built as an affordable solution to updating to tubeless, these wheels have an internal width of 25mm and a claimed weight of 597g. On the Nukeproof, these are then laced onto Novatec D772SB hubs.

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Not overly clicky, which will be just fine with some riders.

There you have it, a quick run through this shiny (for now) Mega 290 Race. We’ll be giving this Nukeproof Mega 290 Race plenty of trail time over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled on the site and across social media to see more of this green enduro machine.

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Blending into it’s surroundings well.

2017 Nukeproof Mega 290 Race Specifications

  • Frame // Custom hydroformed T6 6061 aluminium
  • Fork // Rockshox Yari RC 29″, Solo Air, 150mm, Diffusion Black, Maxle Stealth.
  • Shock // Rockshox Monarch Plus +, 150mm travel
  • Hubs // Novatec D77SB / 462, Black
  • Rims // WTB STp i25, TCS, 29″ 32h
  • Tyres // WTB Viglante, 2.3 x 29″, High Grip front, WTB Trail Boss, 2.3 x 29″ rear
  • Chainset // SRAM NX 170mm, 30t, Steel, Black
  • Chain Device // MRP 1x V3, ISCG 05, 26-38t, Black
  • Front Mech // N/A
  • Rear Mech // SRAM NX-1 11spd, Black
  • Shifters // SRAM NX 11spd, Black
  • Cassette // SRAM PG1130, 11-42
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore M615
  • Stem // Nukeproof Warhead, 31.8mm, 50mm Long
  • Bars // Nukeproof Warhead 760 Riser; 760mm wide, 20mm rise,
  • Grips // Nukeproof Element Dual lock-on
  • Seatpost // Brand X Ascend, 125mm, Trigger, Black
  • Saddle // Nukeproof Trail Saddle, Black
  • Size Tested // Large
  • Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

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