UK Adventure: Far From The Maddening Crowds Fed up with the same old, same old of trail centres? Sanny reckons he has found the perfect antidote just a few miles…
Super-Enduro goes nuclear with the release of the Nukeproof Giga a 170mm or 180mm travel big rig with 27.5in or 29er wheel options.
At a time when every brand has a big travel 29er that’s longer, lower and slacker than the previous version, it can sometimes be a little difficult to get really pumped about another ‘super-enduro’ bike. But there’s something different about the Nukeproof Giga, it might have the same ‘super-enduro’ tag, but this bruiser is much more than meets the eye.
Before I get into the specs and features, let’s address the elephant in the room, and how that low shock position and low-slung linkage looks a lot like another brand’s suspension design. There will be people out there who compare the design of the Nukeproof Giga to what Santa Cruz is doing, but in all fairness to Nukeproof, I’ve heard rumours about the Giga for quite a while now, ever since the Dissent was released in fact.
It’s no coincidence that the Giga and Dissent share a similar design and suspension platform, after all the first Giga mule was simply a Dissent frame built up as an enduro bike. It might seem odd to whack a set of single crown forks and a dropper (the wrong way around) on a downhill frame to see how well it climbs, but anyone riding a Giga uphill will be glad those mad geniuses at Nukeproof did! Yeah sure, the Giga comes with as much as 180mm of rear-wheel travel and descends like a mini downhill bike, but should it really feel so efficient when seated? Should it really be this good at climbing?
Nukeproof Giga Launch Video
Nukeproof Giga Features
The Giga has been designed as a super capable enduro bike, and comes in either a 180mm travel 27.5in model or a 170mm 29er. Both wheel sizes are built from a beautifully sculptured UD 700/800 carbon fibre frame and will be available in a total of 5 sizes (Small – XXL). Nukeproof has planned the carbon layup of the mainframe to offer stiffness for predictable tracking in gnarly conditions, but have engineered a little compliance into the rear triangle to aid grip.
Making the Giga from carbon also allowed the Nukeproof designers to get imaginative when it came to finding room for a water bottle. We’ve seen all sort of ‘solutions’ for getting a bottle into a cramped front triangle, but the Giga’s solution is the neatest we’ve seen for a some time. Rather than using a round or a flat carbon downtube, the Giga uses one that looks like it’s had a long, continuous scoop taken out. It’s a smart method of retaining strength and stiffness while increasing bottle room. The design is so successful that you don’t need to use a fancy magnetic bottle either, a simple cage will suffice. While adding room for the bottle, Nukeproof have also added mounts for a trail-tool or accessory beneath the top-tube, so you really can take the Giga out and leave your pack at home if you prefer.
The modern carbon frame is designed with a short seat-tube to allow riders to run a longer dropper than they might usually. This medium-sized bike that I’ve been riding has a seat tube length of only 410mm and I could easily move to a post with a couple more inches of drop if I needed too.
Being modern means we get a long and low geometry, but it’s not as extreme as some bikes we’ve tested over the past 12 months. I’ll include a full geometry chart below, but a medium-sized bike has a 455mm reach (460mm in 27.5in) while a large has 480mm. In comparison, a Commencal Meta AM has a 495mm reach for a large, and a Pole Taival is 480mm on a medium! The head-tube angle is slack at 63.5 degrees, not that you would notice while riding, and the seat angle is placed at 77.75 degrees (or 78 degrees on L-XXL) which plants you in a very comfortable and efficient position for spinning up climbs.
Speaking of efficiency, that rear suspension set-up really is impressive. After testing their Dissent Enduro mule and discovering just how well it pedalled, Nukeproof perfected the linkage and kinematics for an enduro bike, and it’s clear they’ve done their homework. The first time I swung a leg over the Giga I instantly felt comfortable, and by the first pedal stroke I knew this big bruiser would surprise on the climbs.
Nukeproof tends to design its suspension with a low anti-squat but good mid-stroke support, and the Giga shares the same anti-squat as the Mega meaning high 96-100% in climbing gears, but reducing to 39-56% when you change down for descending.
The Giga has a 2 stage flip-chip with an eccentric axle system that actually alters the progression of the rear end. In setting 1 the Giga has 25.5% progression while setting 2 increases progression to 29%. In either setting, the Giga’s suspension is supple at the start of the stroke, with an incredible platform before ramping up towards the end of the stroke. Progression also dips off towards the end of the stroke to prevent a harshness. Switching the position of the flip-chip has a similar effect as adding a volume spacer to an air shock, and we imagine it would come in handy for riders wanting to ride a coil shock.
Hidden away in the rear suspension system are Enduro Max Bearing which promises long life and smooth operation, great for the current winter conditions. Most riders will also be happy to see that the Giga uses a 73mm threaded BB, comes with an integrated rear mud-guard (yes, I forgot to fit it) a clear paint protection kit to protect your paintwork and plenty of 3D contoured rubber frame protection for a quiet ride. Being carbon, the Giga also uses internal cable and hose routing.
Nukeproof Giga Geometry
Nukeproof Giga Range
Nukeproof Giga Comp
The Comp is our entry point to the Giga complete range and features the awesome new Rockshox ZEB suspension fork paired with a custom-tuned Super Deluxe shock, Shimano’s bulletproof Deore 12 speed drive train, powerful 4 pot brakes and Nukeproof Neutron dependable finishing kit. All Giga models are tubeless-ready with pre-taped rims and Michelin’s Wild Enduro tyres as standard.Nukeproof
Nukeproof Giga Elite
Our Mid-tier model features the brand-new Fox 38 Performance Elite Series (Grip 2) suspension fork paired with a custom-tuned Float X2 EVOL shock. Dependable and crisp shifting comes from Shimano’s SLX 12 speed drivetrain and stopping power from the SLX 4 pot brakes. To complete the build, it’s rolling on DT Swiss EX1900 wheels with our premium Horizon finishing kit.Nukeproof
Nukeproof Giga Factory
The Factory is our premium build in the Giga range, coming with a Factory spec Kashima coated Fox 38 suspension fork and custom-tuned X2 Factory shock. Crisp, direct and reliable shifting from the Shimano XT 12 speed drivetrain is seamlessly paired with powerful 4 pot Shimano XT brakes. Also featured is the awesome Bike Yoke Revive dropper post (drop depends on bike size) and the brand-new DT EX1700 wheelset. Finishing kit is from our award-winning Horizon range.Nukeproof
Nukeproof Giga Frame
Frame only with a custom-tuned Fox Factory series X2 shock and Sram Maxle. Frames also include a factory fitted clear coat frame protection, Nukeproof Headset and seat clamp.Nukeproof
Nukeproof Giga Availability
The Giga will be in authorised Nukeproof stores from 28th January 2021. More info here.
Nukeproof Giga Pricing
Nukeproof Giga First Impressions
It’s early days with the Giga still. The plan was to have it longer but due to unforeseen circumstances, I’ve only been out on the Giga a handful of times, but it is telling that it’s the Giga I reach for each of my rides now. Even though I have short travel down country bikes, eBikes, and other enduro whips, it’s the Giga that I know I’m going to have a good ride on.
The frame and suspension are just spot on both in terms of comfort and kinematics, but the attention to specification is impressive too. I’m a huge fan of the current crop of Fox suspension, so I was really happy that our test bike came with an X2 and 38. I’m also blown away with how good those Michelin tyres are! The spikey rubber is pretty narrow so rolls along well but doesn’t half bite when it needs to. I’ve ridden the Giga in mud, snow, and frozen trails and those Michelins are super impressive.
I’ve banged on about how well the Giga climbs, but the gallons of confidence this bike delivers when heading back down again is grin-inducing! That solid suspension platform helps to keep you in the centre of the bike at all times, for fast direction changes, ripping down steep chutes. To be honest, I don’t remember riding so confidently as I do on the Giga!
Nukeproof’s own brand kit is excellent stuff as are the DT Swiss wheels and SLX 1 x 12 drivetrain. The only problems I’ve encountered so far are with Shimano’s variable bite point technology, something that the current crop of XT and SLX still suffers from.
A full review of the Giga will be published in the 20th Birthday Edition of Singletrack Magazine, but I’m sure there will be video and more coverage of this bike in the meantime. Stay tuned.
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