The Pulse has been smashing the World Cup scene this year thanks to Sam Hill and the CRC team. We wanted to see just what all the fuss was about so we headed out to the Alps to put one to the test.
Ride & handling: Smooth and stable through the rough stuff
This is a full-on downhill rig that means business. At 40.8lb (18.5kg) it’s pretty hefty and you can feel that weight when you’re out on the hill. The steep and gnarly inclines at Val di Sole and Morzine where we tested the Pulse meant that weight was less of an issue. Heading into rougher territory, the central riding position created by the 600mm long top tube and lengthy chainstays creates a stable ride even on harsh trails.
After trying both chainstay lengths, we settled with the shorter 435mm option. The bike felt a little odd when it came to forward/backward weight shifts, as if the centre of gravity of the bike is a lot further into the front centre rather than over the bottom bracket area. We think this is due to the long chainstays in relation to the top tube length.
This front-heavy feeling was more apparent when airborne and we felt we had to hang off the back of the bike to maintain a level ﬂight path. It took a while to get used to on very technical trails, although ploughing through fast, straight, rough stuff the Pulse was still stable. The 63-degree head angle keeps the bike incredibly stable at speed but we could still throw it around when the turns got tight.
The Pulse’s Fallout linkage combined with the new RockShox Vivid shock irons out even the roughest of trails while providing enough low-speed compression to help get the cranks in when they’re needed. We found the shock easy to set up too, dialling it in within the ﬁrst couple of runs on the bike, although reaching the rebound adjuster wasn’t as easy as it could have been.
Frame & equipment: On the money for uplift fans and privateer racers
The Pulse uses a fully hydroformed, double welded 6061 T6 aluminium tubeset. Top tube lengths, across all sizes, are a bit longer than on Nukeproof’s other downhill machine, the Scalp. The frame has a 1.5in head tube, an 83mm bottom bracket, a 12x150mm rear end and 210mm of rear wheel travel delivered by Nukeproof’s Fallout Linkage.
The Comp build that we tested is on the money for the majority of riders and privateer racers out there, with good, solid kit that’ll really take a beating. It has a full RockShox suspension set-up – a Boxxer RC fork and new Vivid R2C shock. SRAM provide the 10-speed X7 drivetrain and Elixir 5 brakes with 200mm rotors. As you’d expect, most of the other components come courtesy of Nukeproof, including the wheelset and the cockpit.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.