2022 Nukeproof Scout 290 Review: Trail Toy!

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The 2022 Nukeproof Scout 290 is more than just a colour change. I’m sure we’re used to it by now, so after three let’s chant the updates. 1… 2… 3… Longer, lower, slacker!

Things I loved

  • It feels like a toy, and I feel more youthful when I play with it
  • Freehub sounds like a bumblebee
  • It’s suitable for so many different riding styles. Pumptrack, dirt jumps, trails, big mountain days…

Things I would change

  • I really don’t rate Nukeproof Bottom Brackets for durability
  • Michelin Enduro tyres are too draggy
  • It’s a heavy build, but I’m not sure what I’d swap aside from the tyres

Nukeproof demonstrated great post-pandemic resilience by introducing the 2022 Nukeproof Scout as a BYOB – Build Your Own Bike, to solve the challenge of sourcing parts.

This meant we had the opportunity to take the 2021 Nukeproof Scout we tested and swap out the frame, or start from scratch with components currently available.

Bike journalists being treated like the general bike-buying public and putting their own bikes together? What a treat!

What’s changed, at a glance

  • Longer reach
  • Longer wheelbase
  • Slacker seat tube
  • Higher BB height
  • Lower standover
  • Shorter chainstays

Production models will come in four different builds. RS, Elite, Comp and Race, all available as 275/290.

The Scout RS 275/ 290

  • Brakes // SRAM Guide RE w 200mm Front and 180mm Rear Rotors 
  • Fork // RockShox Lyrik Select+ Charger 2.1 RC 150mm 
  • Seatpost // Brand X Ascent (Small 125mm / Medium: 150mm/ Large 170mm/ XL-XXL 200mm)
  • Cockpit // Sam Hill Signature Grips Nukeproof Neutron V2 25mm Rise 
  • Drivetrain // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed 
  • Crankset // SRAM GX EAGLE, DUB, 170mm 
  • Wheels // DT Swiss XM1700 SPLINE 30 
  • Tyres // Schwalbe Magic Mary Snakeskin Addix Soft, Hans Damf Snakeskin Addix Speedgrip
  • SRP // £2,999.99

The Scout Elite 275/ 290

  • Fork // FOX 36 Float Rhythm, 140mm, BOOST, Grip Dampe 
  • Seatpost // Brand X Ascent (Small 125mm / Medium: 150mm/ Large 170mm/ XL-XXL 200mm)    
  • Drivetrain // Shimano SLX 7100 12-Speed  
  • Crankset // Shimano SLX M7100 12 Speed Crank, 170mm
  • Handlebars // Nukeproof Horizon V2 25mm Rise 
  • Brakes // Shimano SLX M7120 w 200mm Front and 180mm Rear Rotors 
  • Wheels // DT Swiss XM1900 SPLINE 30 
  • Tyres // Schwalbe Magic Mary Snakeskin Addix Soft, Hans Damf Snakeskin Addix Speedgrip
  • SRP // £2,499.99

The Scout Comp 275/ 290

  • Seatpost // Brand X Ascent (Small 125mm / Medium: 150mm/ Large 170mm/ XL-XXL 200mm)    
  • Fork // Marzocchi Bomber Z2, 140mm, RAIL Damper 
  • Drivetrain // Shimano Deore 12 Speed Handlebars 
  • Cockpit // Sam Hill Signature Grips Nukeproof Neutron V2 25mm Rise 
  • Crankset // Shimano Deore M6100 12 Speed Crank, 170mm, 32T 
  • Stem // Nukeproof Neutron 45mm 
  • Wheels // Nukeproof Neutron V2 Hubs, built onto WTB KOM Trail i30 TCS 2.0 Rims 
  • Tyres // Schwalbe Magic Mary Snakeskin Addix Soft, Hans Damf Snakeskin Addix Speedgrip
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore M6120 4 pot w 203mm Front and 180mm Rear Rotors
  • SRP // £1,899.99

The Scout Race 275/ 290

  • Fork // RockShox Recon Silver RL 140mm 
  • Drivetrain // Shimano M1500 Deore 10speed 
  • Seatpost // Nukeproof Neutron 
  • Cockpit // Nukeproof Sam Hill Signature Grips and Nukeproof Neutron V2 25mm Rise Bars
  • Stem // Nukeproof Neutron AM, 45mm 
  • Brakes // Shimano MT4100 w 220mm Front and 180mm Rear Rotors Grips 
  • Wheels // Nukeproof Neutron v2 Hubs, built on WTB STi30TCS 2.0 Rim 
  • Tyres // Schwalbe Magic Mary Snakeskin Addix Soft, Hans Damf Snakeskin Addix Speedgrip
  • SRP // £1,399.99

The Scout frame only

  • SRP // £499.99

I didn’t get a chance to ride the previous 2021 Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro, so I can’t offer a straight up comparison, and with that, I chose to build the bike with different components. I’d like to say these were educated choices, but honestly, it just looks so good fully monochromed.

A quick run-through of the custom build tested here. Manitou Mezzer 160mm fork dropped to 140mm, MicroShift Advent X 10-speed groupset 10-46 cassette with a 30T Blackspire chainring, Hayes Dominion brakes, Nukeproof Horizon wheels, Michelin Wild Enduro tyres, Nukeproof ARD inserts, Brand X Ascend seatpost.

The geometry updates: Longer, lower and slacker (and steeper). Longer – more sizings and bringing the Scout in line with the rest of the range. Lower – change to BB height. Slacker – well, it’s slacker. Steeper – The New Scout falls in line with the Saddle offset theory of the rest of the Nukeproof range. Steeper seat angles optimised on each size to ensure the saddle is in the most efficient position for laying down the pedal strokes and ergonomics in the saddle. 

Nukeproof press release
Frame SizeMediumLargeX-LargeXX-Large
Reach440.8 453.7 (SAGGED)458.3 470.1(SAGGED)475.7 488.4 (SAGGED)493.1 510.1 (SAGGED)
Stack642.2 636.5 (SAGGED)651.2 645.4 (SAGGED)660.3 654.2 (SAGGED)669.3 665 (SAGGED)
Effective Top Tube Length624.7 620.1 (SAGGED)645 640.4 (SAGGED)665 660.3 (SAGGED)685 680.3 (SAGGED)
Seattube Length410440460480
Effective Seattube Angle74° 75.54° (SAGGED)74° 75.51° (SAGGED)74° 75.48° (SAGGED)74° 75.46° (SAGGED)
Seattube Angle (Actual)72°
Saddle Height at Saddle Offset700750800850
Saddle Offset at Saddle Height194209224239
Headtube Length100110120130
Headtube Angle64.5°  66.04° (SAGGED)64.5°  66.01° (SAGGED)64.5°  65.98° (SAGGED)64.5°  66.36° (SAGGED)
Chainstay Length432.5435437.5440
Front Centre763.5785.2806.8828.4
Wheelbase1187.1 1172.5 (SAGGED)1211.4 1196.7 (SAGGED)1235.6 1220.9 (SAGGED)1259.9 1245.5 (SAGGED)
Bottom Bracket Drop-70 -81.7 (SAGGED)-70 -81.5 (SAGGED)-70 -81.3 (SAGGED)-70 -81.2 (SAGGED)
Bottom Bracket Height307 295.3 (SAGGED)307 295.2 (SAGGED)307 295.7 (SAGGED)307 295.8 (SAGGED)
Stand Over Height691.97mm707.63mm711.84mm715.84mm
Fork Travel140140140140
Fork Offset42424242
Axle to Crown 551 516 (SAGGED)551 516 (SAGGED)551 516 (SAGGED)551 516 (SAGGED)
Maximum Seatpost Insert255285300300

The 2022 Nukeproof Scout has a lower standover this year, this medium 290 being 691.97mm compared to the previous model at 714mm.

I feel like there’s plenty of space between me and the bike (check out the top tube), and it feels like you can ‘escape’ mistakes easily, which is a real confidence booster.

I’ve been tackling the shonky rock gardens that I’m not entirely convinced I can get through, and since I don’t feel like there’s much consequence to any errors (I don’t feel trapped or stretched out over a big bike), I’ve been taking chances and committing more. And, it always goes.

Greasy rocks? Come at me!

At low speeds through really bouldery, rough stuff, it almost feels like trials riding. Want to get onto a different line? Maybe over that big rock up there? Just pull the front end onto it and claw up with half a crank.

The tyres play a huge role in the technical climbing ability. Michelin Wild Enduros are insanely grippy, in my experience regardless of the weather. But again, the short low frame being as predictable as hardtails are certainly helps with the nadgery stuff.

Big mountains? No problem.

The playful ride is earned by how much of a slog this bike feels to climb on. It weighs 15kg as built, which makes me wonder if the pros outweigh the cons.

I say ‘cons’, plural, but aside from the weight I can’t really find much I don’t love about this bike.

The MicroShift AdventX 10-speed groupset has been a true eye-opener for me. I started riding when 12-speed was pretty standard on new bikes, so getting to experience smooth, reliable shifting with no big gear jumps has been great. And there’s more than enough range to get my up hills comfortably, and not top out on fast sprint descents.

Hardtails are responsive, predictable and can spice up most trails. Whether you enjoy riding a hardtail or not, I can guarantee the Nukeproof Scout 290 will put a smile on your face and have you bopping around like a kid at the skatepark, despite it being a stiff, weighty thing.

If anything, that weight just makes it feel more aggressive and bombproof of the descents.

Riding the 2022 Nukeproof Scout 290 has given me a big boost in confidence, and has made me more playful on rides. I just want to hop around on it, learn how to bunnyhop consistently, practice manuals down fire roads, basically just play and try to find my limits.

It feels like a bike you can learn and progress on. I’m already a huge fan of hardtails, but I’ve never ridden one that taught me lessons. I’d kind of assumed all hardtails feel the same…


If you want a capable, aggressive hardtail that you can treat as a jump bike or trials bike when the mood takes you, this is the one for you. It’s a great little frame for a straight swap if you’re already riding a 130-150mm travel hardtail, or a good base to build exactly what you want. The sizing range should cover everyone, but make sure you read the numbers before assuming your size.


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Author Profile Picture
Amanda Wishart

Art Director

Amanda is our resident pedaller, who loves the climbs as much as the descents. No genre of biking is turned down, though she is happiest when at the top of a mountain with a wild descent ahead of her. If you ever want a chat about concussion recovery, dealing with a Womb of Doom or how best to fuel an endurance XC race, she's the one to email.

More posts from Amanda

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • 2022 Nukeproof Scout 290 Review: Trail Toy!
  • vickymegalith
    Full Member

    Really enjoyed reading this – the fun & joy, and capability + versatility, are things that people on the Nukeproof Scout Riders Group on Facebook frequently mention. I’m still very much learning on mine and I love it, it’s a joyful thing. PS – your fully monochrome build is one of the stealthiest, gothest gothbikes I’ve ever seen, very envious!! ⚡🖤⚡

    Full Member

    I’ve not compared the geo but I’ve recently bought a 290 Scout that is presumably the older 20-21 model.

    It’s great fun, however I’m sort of glad to see the comment about climbs being a slog as it’s certainly harder than my sprightly singlespeed! I’m working harder to keep up with friends on their 29er full sussers but it’s making me fitter, right?!

    Free Member

    Trick looking bike.

    Advent X 10 speed pretty solid for UK conditions. Still has great climbing range. I have a few k on my groupset. No issues just tightened the clutch.

    Free Member

    That’s a lovely build!

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

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