Today sees the launch of a 2019 ‘range update’ from Nukeproof Bikes. Although there isn’t anything glaringly new in the line up, there are a few tweaks and alterations to what we already know from the Northern Ireland based brand. Similar to Ross’ story from a few weeks back with Orange Bikes, I headed down to the Forest of Dean last Friday, for a day of presentations, photoshoots and of course, a spot of riding, with help from a friendly uplift service.
So what’s new then?
The line up is very similar to last year’s, with just a few alterations to the number of spec choices in a few of the models. From a Mega point of view, the range for 2019 (as it stands) looks like this:
- Mega 275 Carbon with three spec alternatives
- Mega 275 Alloy with two spec alternatives
- Mega 290 Alloy with three spec alternatives
Let’s Take A Closer Look
First up, looking at that list, we see a new bike added to the Carbon Mega line up, which comes in the shape of the Mega 275 Carbon Pro. More about this bike, to come. With a 64.5° head angle on the 275 iterations and 65.5° on the 290, and reach numbers from 410mm (S) to 515mm (XL) this is still a big old set of bikes. For 2019, slightly taller head tube lengths across the range aim to give increased rider confidence. Nukeproof also says that along with the taller head tube lengths, it has also lengthened the top tubes on the Large and X-Large frame options, to make taller riders even more at home on the bikes across the range.
On the Mega, all bikes now run the very latest Boost 148mm rear axle spacing, and all 2019 models will come with wider spaced Boost wheels and forks, to give riders even more confidence on the bikes. The 275 iterations of the Mega run a whopping 170mm travel fork up front, with 165mm of rear travel and the 290 version now has a 160mm fork, with 155mm of travel from the rear shock.
On the topic of travel and shocks, for 2019 Nukeproof has updated all its Mega bikes to brand new ‘metric’ shock standards. This has helped to improve on areas where it felt was needed, such as hardware improvements and higher spec shocks. Interesting to hear was that all the shocks on the new Mega models will come with two bottomless tokens already installed. This seems to be the way around getting spares with the bikes, so they are there if needed, or can be taken out on delivery and kept as spares.
Nukeproof Mega 275 Carbon Range
Mega 275 Carbon Pro
Last year, the carbon framed iteration of the Mega was only available in the high-end Factory and RS specs. With the addition of the Pro, Nukeproof now has a full carbon framed Mega, with a competitive RRP price of £4,199. Coming with a Lyrik RC up front, a Super Deluxe RC3 rear shock and SRAM GX Eagle, this is a spec that rivals plenty of alternatives on the market.
Mega 275 Carbon Factory
The bike I rode for the day at the Forest of Dean, the Factory, is very similar to what we know from last year’s model line up. The spec comes with a Fox 36 fork up front, with the Fit Grip 2 4-way adjustable damper, and a huge Fox Float X2 rear shock. Running Shimano XT through the drivetrain and brakes, the Factory certainly looks the business. Priced at £4,499, this sits in the middle of the 275 Carbon range.
Mega 275 Carbon RS
Top of the pile is this, the 275 Carbon RS, boasting the Blueberry paint job, and new Red Lyrik RC2 Red fork. The story behind the paint job came from Rob (Global Marketing Man). Apparently from the most innocuous of conversations at an EWS round this year, Sam Hill leant over the breakfast table with a handful of blueberries, looked at Rob and said ‘I want my bike this colour’ – or something along those lines anyway. But here we have it, the RS for those amongst us aspiring to be the man himself, Sam Hill. An out and out enduro ripper, this spec comes with a SRAM Eagle X0-1 drivetrain, SRAM Code R brakes and a DT Swiss EX1501 Spline 1 wheel set. With an RRP of £4,999, this is proper bit of kit, sitting at the top of Nukeproof’s range.
For all the numbers on the Mega 275 Carbon, look no further.
After speaking with Rob, Steve and Dale from Nukeproof, we have a very slight (pretty positive) suspicion there may be some more newness to come. It’s not going to be until March time next year, but all we can say is keep your eyes and ears peeled/opened and as and when we hear more, we’ll keep you updated.
Nukeproof Mega 275 Range
With two spec choices for the 275 Alloy Mega, both run the brand new Rockshox Super Deluxe rear shock and hardware. This now comprises of a wider spaced 25x8mm front mount with a rocker link mounted bearing system set to improve shock sensitivity and reduce the amount of wear over time. First off, in my very personal opinion, I think these two bikes have the best finished aesthetics from the whole 2019 update.
Mega 275 Alloy Comp
Straight out of the box this bike looks mean. A battleship grey and black paint job suits this kind of bike down to the ground. Priced at £2,599 this model runs a Rockshox Yari RC fork with the charger damper and the Super Deluxe R ML 1 rear shock. SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, Guide T brakes and a Nukeproof finishing kit set this bike up to be a great entry level competitor.
Mega 275 Alloy Pro
Top of the two Alloy 275 bikes, the Pro comes out of the box in a stunning maroon, running a Lyrik RC upfront and Super Deluxe RC3 shock out back. Mavic looks after the wheels with the Deemax Elite wheel set, wrapped with Michelin Wild Enduro 2.4in tyres. With an RRP of £3699, this is looking like a great piece of kit.
All you need to know from a geometry perspective, for the 275 Alloy bikes is below for you.
Nukeproof Mega 290 Range
Onto the big-wheeled, 290 range for 2019. Similar to that of last year, we’ve got three spec alternatives for the 290 – a Comp, Pro and Factory.
Mega 290 Alloy Comp
For 2019, the new 290 Alloy Comp, runs a Rockshox Yari RC with the Charger damper up front, with a Super Deluxe R ML 1 keeping things on track at the rear. SRAM NX Eagle is the drivetrain of choice for this entry level 290, along with Guide T brakes. RRP on the 290 Comp is £2,599, offering great value for such a strong spec.
Mega 290 Alloy Pro
Sitting in the middle of the 290 range is the Pro. With a price tag of £3,699, this is quite a jump from the comp, but with a spec to match. Running a Lyrik R3 up front and a Super Deluxe RC3 shock there is plenty of adjustability in the suspension department. With SRAM GX Eagle in charge of drivetrain and Guide RE brakes, the stopping power on this bike should be incredible.
Mega 290 Alloy Factory
Stepping up again is the Factory 290 model. Running Fox suspension front and rear in the shape of the Factory Float 36 with the Fit Grip 2 damper, and a Factory Float X2 rear shock. Shimano XT are in charge of drivetrain and braking, similar to that of the 275 Carbon Factory. Nukeproof finishing kit keeps saddle, handlebars and stem all in check. RRP on this big rig is £3,999.
Along with the slightly updated specs and model line-up for this year, the colours have naturally changed too. Now, this has a bit more context behind it than just looking at a colour wheel and pointing. All the colours are inspired by gig and concert poster colours. Looking through the shiny catalogue photos, all the bikes for this year were shot at the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, paying homage to its now Northern Irish roots.
Get to grips with the numbers for the Mega 290 Alloy here.
Nukeproof Scout 275 and 290 Range
Away from the full bounce Mega line up, Nukeproof also had a slightly updated Scout collection to show us. In terms of the models, they’re identical to that of last year, with three spec alternatives, each coming in both 275 and 290 wheel sizes. So let’s take a quick look through what there is.
Scout 275 and 290 Comp
The top end Scout, in the Nukeproof range is the Comp. With the spec on both the 275 and 290 versions of the Comp being almost identical, here’s a joint description to keep it swift. Rockshox is in charge of suspension with the Revelation RC with the charger damper on the front, giving 140mm of travel on the 275, and 130mm on the 290. SRAM provides the drivetrain with the NX Eagle 1×12 system and brakes coming in the shape of the Guide R. Rubber on the 275 Comp comes with Maxxis Minion DHF 2.6in and on the 290, we’ve got Maxxis High Roller 2 in 2.3in width. RRP on the 275 and 290 Comp is £1,699.
Scout 275 and 290 Race
Middle of the range, is the Scout Race. Coming in at £1,349 on both the 275 and 290 versions, this is a well equipped bike for the cash. Spec wise, the Race runs a Rockshox Sektor up front, a Shimano SLX M7000 11 Speed drivetrain and MT500 brakes. Nukeproof uses its own Neutron AM and 29 wheels on the Race, and also looks after the finishing kit with own brand saddle, bars and stem.
Scout 275 and 290 Sport
The entry level Scout from Nukeproof is this, the Scout Sport. Off the shelves for a penny under £1,000, this is a great value bike. Spec talk sees a Rockshox Recon RL fork up front, and a Shimano Deore M6000 10 Speed drivetrain. Wheels are from Nukeproof, similar to the Scout Race and the finishing kit is all Nukeproof too.
Hot colours again on the Scout range are inspired by gig posters, and the shots from the Empire in Belfast show off these bikes perfectly.
Anyway, enough spec talk for now, let’s talk about bike riding.
Riding The Nukeproof Mega 275 Carbon Factory
I’ve had the pleasure of riding two Mega models in the past as long term test bikes. I’ve tried both 275 and 290 wheel sizes, but both with alloy frames. When I got chance to get on a Carbon 275, I couldn’t turn it down, so last week at the Forest of Dean I managed to get a few laps in on this bruiser of a bike.
Unfortunately, on our chosen day of riding, the late summer sun and dust had decided to pack its bags and royally bugger off – leaving us with nothing but rain for the majority of the day. Being tough, hardy bike journalists, used to sloppy weather, we decided to get our kit on, get physically and mentally prepared, then head to the cafe to drink tea and eat fish finger sarnies until the rain calmed down. After lunch, it did just that – so top photographer for the day and the man in charge of all the shiny catalogue shots, Laurence, and I set off up the hill in search of some sweet spots to shoot the Mega 275 Carbon and see what this bike could do.
In usual photo shoot fashion, there was a lot of ‘yeah, can you do that again’ from Laurence, but I wasn’t complaining too much. The bike felt great, cutting into the loose, sloppy flat corners in the woods with real confidence. Shooting through the autumnal bracken and down into the woods was proper old fashioned bike riding fun. The Forest of Dean offers plenty of different riding, and Nukeproof was kind enough to set us up with an uplift service for the day. Taking the bus to the top of the hill is pretty quick, and from there there’s a choice of trails back down towards the cafe and carparks.
Through the rougher technical trails, especially after the rain, the Mega felt planted and confident, skipping over roots and rocks with the 2.4in Michelin Wild Enduro tyres doing their job keeping me glued to the trails. With 170mm of travel up front, and the huge X2 rear shock from Fox giving me 165mm to play with, there wasn’t anything that really frightened the Mega. On the faster sections of trail, the bike felt long and stable and carried speed incredibly well. On the lower trails, there are a few jump lines, which it would have been rude to avoid. Pumping through compressions and leaving lips at speed, the Mega at no point felt out of its comfort zone.
Yep, it’s a big bike – we’re all very aware of that. On the climbs, this does come into play, and drag from those big sticky tyres is noticeable. But this is a bike built for going down hills, more than it is up – so if you buy one, you know that factor is going to come into play.
We will be getting a carbon Mega in for full review soon, so we’ll be able to give proper feedback on the bike over the course of a test period. But for now, and a day on the Mega 275 Carbon – it gets a great thumbs up from me, and I can’t wait to get on one again and give it some proper testing.