Nukeproof Cub Scout First Look – a proper hardtail for kids

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It’s been new bike day at Singletrack Towers this week – this Nukeproof Cub Scout 26 Race has made its way to a very lucky junior member of the STW family.

This Nukeproof Cub Scout isn’t a test bike – it’s Kid2’s (Hannah’s youngest) new bike, but since lots of you are likely on the lookout for a new bike for your offspring (why oh why do they keep growing?) we thought we’d bring you a closer look.

Nukeproof Cub Scout 26
Looks proper.

The Cub Scout Range

The Cub Scout comes in 20, 24 and 26in wheels, each in a Sport or Race model. The Race model is the higher spec of the two, so what we have here is the largest and highest specced bike in the range – the Cub Scout 26 Race.

Rider HeightInside LegApprox AgeColour/DecalsPrice
Cub Scout 26 Race140-158cm64-70cm10+ yearsBlue/Silver£999.99
Cub Scout 26 Sport140-158cm64-70cm10+ yearsGrey/Yellow£849.99
Cub Scout 24 Race127-142cm57-66cm7-11yearsSilver/Black£999.99
Cub Scout 24 Sport127-142cm57-66cm7-11yearsGrey/Yellow£849.99
Cub Scout 20 Race120-130cm52-59cm5-6 yearsRed/Black£999.99
Cub Scout 20 Sport120-130cm52-59cm5-6 yearsGrey/Yellow£649.99
Manitou Markhor fork
Proper fork, proper tyres

For the money you get a proper air fork custom tuned for lighter riders (Except the 20in Sport model, which has a rigid fork), hydraulic disc brakes with child specific levers, size specific cranks, and child specific grips. In the box you get a set of basic composite pedals and a pedal spanner, a multitool, a few frame protection stickers, a set of cable ports to use if you want to fit a dropper (it comes fitted with solid/blank port covers), the usual bell and reflectors, and a pot of touch up paint for the inevitable scratches.

Cub Scout 26 Specification

Cub Scout 26 SportCub Scout 26 Race
FRAMENukeproof Cub-Scout 26”, custom butted hydro-formed 6061 Alloy, internal cable routing for dropper seat post, threaded bottom bracket, 142mm Bolt-thru rear axle spacingNukeproof Cub-Scout 26”, custom butted hydro-formed 6061 Alloy, internal cable routing for dropper seat post, threaded bottom bracket, 142mm Bolt-thru rear axle spacing
FORKX-Fusion RC32 27.5” Air Suspension forks, 1.5” Tapered Steerer, 46mm Offset, 15x110mm Bolt-thru AxleManitou Markhor 27.5” TS Air, 120mm Travel, Custom Kids tune, 1.5 Tapered Steerer, 51mm Offset, BOOST 15x110mm Bolt-thru Axle
FRONT WHEELJoytec D041-B15 15x110mm BOOST hub on WTB STi30 26″ TCS RimNukeproof Neutron 15x110mm BOOST hub on WTB STi30 26″ TCS Rim
REAR WHEELJoytec D952TSE-X12 12x142mm hub on WTB STi30 26″ TCS RimNukeproof Neutron 12x142mm hub on WTB STi30 26″ TCS Rim
TYRESFront & Rear: Maxxis Minion DHF 26″ x 2.5” EXO TR (Tubeless Ready)Front & Rear: Maxxis Minion DHF 26″ x 2.5” EXO TR (Tubeless Ready)
CRANKSETSamox TAF38J 2 Piece Crank 160mm, 32T, BCD 104Samox TAF38J 2 Piece Crank 160mm, 32T, BCD 104
SHIFTERBOX FOUR 8-SpeedShimano M4100 Deore Rapidfire 10-Speed
REAR DERAILEURBOX FOUR 8-Speed short cage with clutch Shimano M5120 Deore, Shadow Plus, 10-Speed
CHAINBOX FOUR 8-SpeedKMC X10-1 10-Speed, with Quick Link
CASSETTE Sunrace CSM680 8-Speed, 11-42TSunrace CSMS2 10-Speed, 11-46T
BRAKESTektro M276 Kids Specific Hydraulic BrakesTektro M291 Kids Specific Hydraulic Brakes
FRONT ROTORTektro Wave, 160mmTektro Wave, 160mm
REAR ROTORTektro Wave, 160mmTektro Wave, 160mm
HANDLEBARSNukeproof Urchin 700mm Wide, 15mm Rise, 31.8mm ClampNukeproof Urchin 700mm Wide, 15mm Rise, 31.8mm Clamp
STEM50mm, blackNukeproof Neutron AM, 45mm, black
SADDLENukeproof Urchin, BlackNukeproof Urchin, Black
SEATPOSTNukeproof Urchin, Black, 27.2mm, 300mm Long, 0 OffsetNukeproof Urchin, Black, 27.2mm, 300mm Long, 0 Offset
HEADSETNukeproof Warhead, 44-44 IETSNukeproof Warhead, 44-44 IETS
GRIPSNukeproof Urchin Single Clamp lock on, 132mm Long, Soft CompoundNukeproof Urchin Single Clamp lock on, 132mm Long, Soft Compound
WEIGHT:  12kgs/26.5lbs (Tubeless)11.83kgs/26lbs (Tubeless)
Nukeproof Urchin pedals
Blue Bling added

If you want to bling things up a bit, aftermarket there’s the Nukeproof Urchin range of bars, pedals, and grips that come with matching decals/anodising, plus you can add a 27.2in internally routed dropper post. Rather than the included composite pedals, we first fitted a set of size small crankbrothers Stamp 3s Kid2 has been using for a while, but when the blue (‘ooh my favourite colour!’) Urchin pedals arrived we’ve swapped over to them. With size 4 feet, Hannah’s Kid2 is just below the recommended shoe size for the Stamp pedals, and he says he prefers the smaller Urchin ones. But, that could be because they’re blue as much as for functional reasons!

Cub Scout 26 Geometry

Nukeproof Cub Scout 26
One of them Nukeproofs!

The 26×2.5in Maxxis Minion DHF tyres look great on the bike and with that straight line through the top tube into the seat stays the Nukeproof Cub Scout has the look of a proper hardcore hardtail for kids. Indeed, a first outing through town drew shouts of ‘nice bike!’ and ‘ooh, that’s one of them Nukeproofs’ from a gang of mountain biking teenagers with enough gear and GoPros between them to start their own YouTube channel (it’s probably TikTok these days, right?). A bit of kudos from the older kids added a bit of extra sparkle to that new bike glow!

Maxxis Minion
Education on the relationship between gratuitous skids, tyre wear and pocket money will be taking place.

The tyres are tubeless ready and on Nukeproof Neutron hubs with WTB STi30 rims, further adding to the solid looking build. The tick-tick-tick of the hubs is appreciated by Kid2.

Nukeproof Cub Scout 26
‘Stop moaning, it’s only a 25% hill’

The 10-speed Shimano gears with 11-46T cassette gives a huge range for little legs to spin their way up even the steepest of Calderdale’s climbs. There’s an indicator window on the shifter to show where on the block you are. Kid2 noticed immediately that it’s on the rider side of the bars so he can see it easily when riding along – on his old bike this window was on the same side as the brake levers, meaning he had to peer over the top of the bars to see it.

Nukeproof Cub Scout 26
Simple and clear controls.
Nukeproof Cub Scout 26
Dropper post routing

There’s room for an internally routed dropper, which pops out at the side of seat tube and down tube junction on its journey through the frame.

Nukeproof Cub Scout 26
We’ve been playing out already

There’s room to add a bash guard or chain guide too, if things are getting gnarly (or jumpy and a bit casey?). It’s a threaded bottom bracket which will be good news when you inevitably come to hand it down or sell it on to…child 2…child 3…child 4? This bike certainly looks like it will stand the test of time and questionable line choices. We won’t be reviewing it since we don’t want to bring our buyer’s bias to a review, but if you’ve got any questions drop them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them. So far we’ve been out every day since it arrived, new trails have been tackled, and rooty, rocky off-road descents are the new favourite trail!

Should you want one, Nukeproof bikes are available online and through local bike shops. This is from a shipment that just landed, so there should be stock to be grabbed right about now!

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Comments (3)

    I would hope the Cub Scouts are getting a small percentage of every bike sold, to help pay for hall fees and the like.

    Nice looking bike but too heavy for a kids hardtail. Unfortunately big brands are not interested in making light bikes for kids. If you want a capable and really suitable MTB for your kids, you need to look for brands specialised in kids bikes.Like Vpace, Trailcraft, Prevelo or Spawn.

    Our 5 year old was lucky to get the Cub Scout 20 Sport for his last birthday, we looked at lots of options and hesitated on this because the weight is a bit more than some other alternative models but on closer inspection those are street bikes or a 4 figure price tag (for a 5 year old?!). In the end it was the geometry that persuaded me and to save weight we skipped the suspension fork option. It is a real MTB that is proving easy to ride on the rough trails that make up most of his riding, very happy with the purchase so far. If we go on some longer XC tours in the summer I might swap the tyres to a faster rolling option for him, otherwise I see no reason to change anything on it right now.

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