Nukeproof Scout 2015 - first look

Mega TR, Mega Am and Pulse ranges receive updates

Nukeproof has introduced a brand new go-anywhere hardtail for 2015, which goes by the name of Scout.

The slopestyle-specific Rook is no more; instead Nukeproof has focused on its versatile trail, all-mountain and downhill lines for 2015.

The most visible difference to the Mega AM, Mega TR and Pulse ranges is the aesthetics overhaul across the series. The mandatory yellow and black is out, and a plethora of new tones and graphics are in. There’s less Nukeproof-branded finishing kit too. The addition of the latest RockShox and SRAM components, makes this another solid lineup of fun-loving bikes.

With the new range due to be with dealers very soon, BikeRadar headed to Hondarribia in the Basque Country of Northern Spain with its steep and rocky coastal trails to check them out…

Scout

The Scout is Nukeproof’s first trail-specific hardtail, and is new for 2015.

It offers a 66-degree head angle, ample standover, a lengthy front centre and snappy 425mm chainstays to help deliver a bike with fun at its core. It’s designed for exploring, with the focus firmly on the trail.

There are two complete bike models in the range. The Race features a 150mm travel RockShox Sektor GRL fork and Shimano Deore 2x10 transmission and brakes. There’s also the Comp, which has a 10-speed SRAM X7 transmission, Revelation RLT fork and an OKLO dropper post.

The Scout Comp is fitted with a 10-speed SRAM X7 transmission

Both bikes are made from 6061 T6 alloy and come equipped with the essentials for hassle-free fun on the trails. It could be, dare we say it, a viable winter ‘hack bike’.

There are three style options for frame-only, including a traditional Nukeproof black and yellow, a polished number and a matt-black offering with neon green decals.

Pricing

  • Scout Race: £1,299.99 / €1,599.99 / US$2,099.99
  • Scout Comp: £1,599.99 / €1,949.99 / US$2,599.99
  • Frame only: £349.99 / €424.99 / US$549.99

Mega AM 275

Nukeproof’s race-ready 650b, 160mm travel all-mountain machine, the Mega AM, returns for 2015, with two complete bikes in the range.

The Mega AM Comp

The AM Comp is the entry-level model. It features the formidable RockShox Pike RC fork and Monarch Plus R shock, SRAM X7 10-speed transmission, DB3 brakes and the new Nukeproof OKLO dropper post.

The top-spec AM Pro is specced with a SRAM X1 11-speed transmission, Guide RS brakes, a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, Pike RCT3 fork and the new Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir shock handling rear suspension duties.

Mega AM Pro 275 first ride impressions

To test the Mega AM in the best possible way, we headed into the wooded valleys surrounding the coastal town of San Sebastian, where steep and technical off-camber downhill tracks, infested with wet roots and rocks, awaited us. The weather was doing its best to dampen our spirits, but the bright green AM Pro did quite the opposite.

The RockShox Monarch Plus DebonAir shock was a standout addition to the AM Pro, providing superb support on the demanding terrain, which – in the spirit of enduro – we were hitting blind and for the first time. The balanced ride feel between the new rear shock and the Pike in the front was an excellent confidence booster, accentuated by Schwalbe’s amazing Magic Mary front tyre and SRAM’s new Guide RS brakes, which delivered consistent braking in the worst conditions.

The Mega AM Pro

While the 2015 Mega AM Pro might not be the lightest 160mm bike on the market (at just under 32lb), the price and spec should attract many riders to this race-ready steed. The 11-speed transmission, well chosen tyres with different tread and compounds front and rear, welcoming yet aggressive geometry, and dialled RockShox suspension make the AM Pro ideally suited to enduro racers or those looking for a solid bike to tackle the most progressive terrain or even mini-downhill tracks. The AM Pro is back and better than ever before.

Pricing

  • Mega AM Comp: £2,499.99 / €2,999.99 / US$3,999.99
  • Mega AM Pro: £3,199.99 / €3,899.99 / US$5,199.99
  • Frame only w/Cane Creek shock: £1,599.99 / €1,949.99 / US$2,499.99
  • Frame only w/RockShox shock: £1,299.99 / €1,599.99 / US$1,999.99

Mega TR 275

The Mega TR is Nukeproof’s go-anywhere, shred-anything machine. It sports 130mm rear travel, and its steadfast construction and fun-focused geometry is aimed at riders who want to connect with the trail and maximise the opportunities for fun on an every day ride.

The Mega TR Race

There are three models in the range: the Race, Comp and Pro. The brightly polished entry-level TR Race weighs in at just over 31lb and packs a RockShox Sektor 150mm travel fork, Monarch R shock, Shimano’s superb Deore transmission and ultra reliable brakes, Nukeproof’s new OKLO dropper post and Schwalbe’s tried-and-trusted Hans Dampf tyres.

The TR Comp is finished in an attractive matt black with neon green graphics, and comes with a RockShox Revelation RLT 150mm fork, Monarch R shock and Reverb dropper post. Add to that the well-chosen Schwalbe combo of Magic Mary (front) and Rock Razor (rear) and 1x10 SRAM X7 transmission with e*thirteen chainguide, and the TR Race is ready to hit the trails.

At the top of the pile is the TR Pro. It has a matt black finish and gloss blue graphics, seamlessly colour co-ordinated with the SRAM X1 11-speed transmission and RockShox units. A 150mm travel Revelation RCT3 fork is paired to the DebonAir Monarch RCT3 shock and Reverb Stealth post.

Mega TR Pro 275 first ride impressions

We headed away from our base in Hondarribia with our guide from Basque MTB and disappeared into the hills that shadow the Bay of Biscay, close to the French border. A mixture of long (very long) fireroad and singletrack ascents and fast, technically challenging descents, littered with sandy rocks and multiple lines, set the scene for an epic day on the 2015 Mega TR Pro.

The Mega TR Pro in action

The Mega TR was a blast. The rear tyre, a Schwalbe Rock in PaceStar compound, helped to eliminate excess drag. The RockShox Monarch shock’s three-position compression damping helped on long smooth climbs, but pedal-induced bobbing was never a massive issue with the compression in ‘open’ position. The SRAM X1 transmission, with a 32-tooth front ring and 10-42 11-speed cassette, made things feel effortless, delivering precise shifting throughout. The e*thirteen XCX guide and the X-Sync thick-thin chainring and derailleur pulleys helped round off a reliable transmission.

The suspension was where the biggest difference between this model and the 2014 TR could be found. The bikes was certainly boosted by the DebonAir upgrade to the Monarch RT3 shock; it worked well with the TR’s linkage-driven single-pivot design.

With 150mm travel at the front and 130mm at the rear, the TR was at home on fast and technical terrain. The shorter travel chassis allowed for a great deal of creativity thanks to its increased connection with the terrain – something that can be lost on 150 to 160mm travel bikes.

The 20mm rise and 760mm wide bars, Schwalbe Magic Mary front tyre (in VertStar compound) and SRAM’s new Guide RS brakes, all helped control the speed that the TR dished, making it hard to see why anyone who doesn’t ride big alpine terrain would want any more travel than this. The ability to feel and react to the terrain was liberating and a lot of fun, proving that a stiff and responsive bike can be just as much, if not more, as a long travel all-mountain bike.

Pricing

  • Mega TR Race: £1,999.99 / €2,399.99 / US$3,199.99
  • Mega TR Comp: £2,499.99 / €2,999.99 / US$3,999.99
  • Mega TR Pro: £2,999.99 / €3,599.99 / US$4,799.99
  • Frame only w/Cane Creek shock: £1,449.99 / €1,749.99 / US$2,349.99
  • Frame only w/RockShox shock: £1,249.99 / €1,499.99 / US$1,899.99

Pulse

There’s no denying the pedigree of Nukeproof’s highly capable downhill machine, the Pulse – especially not after all three of Nukeproof’s factory race team riders (Sam Hill, Joe Smith and Mike Jones) finished in the top 10 at the recent Windham round of the World Cup.

It was expected that a 650b Pulse would be revealed for next year, but the 2015 model is still a 26in machine, which might be a disappointment for some but will undoubtedly be a relief for others. The designers at Nukeproof say they are holding off using this new wheel size for a production bike (the team riders are riding prototypes) until they know they can deliver a bike that they feel is as good as the 26in model in the 2015 range.

The 2015 Pulse stays on 26in wheels for 2015

While the wheel size remains the same, Nukeproof has noted the current trend for larger and more stable bikes, and has added 12mm to the reach of the Pulse frame, and brought in an XL size for tall riders. Some may argue that this is a nominal upgrade, but for 6ft-plus riders who have always been crammed into tiny downhill bikes, it's a commendable move.

There are two complete bike models, the Comp and the Pro, and two frame-only options, one with a Cane Creek Double Barrel shock and the other with a RockShox Vivid R2C coil shock (in three finishes including a team replica).

The Comp sports a race-ready RockShox Boxxer Race fork and Kage RC shock, Schwalbe Magic Mary VertStar tyres, a SRAM X7 and e*thirteen 10-speed transmission with some Sam Hill-inspired 38mm rise, 760mm width bars.

The Pro comes with the Charger damper equipped Boxxer Team fork and a Vivid R2C shock, a X01 DH 10-speed derailleur and X-Sync chainring, and Guide RSC brakes.

Pricing

  • Pulse Comp: £2,599.99 / €3,199.99 / US$4,199.99
  • Pulse Pro: £3,599.99 / €4,399.99 / US$5,799.99
  • Frame only w/Cane Creek shock: £1,99.99 / €2,399.99 / US$3,199.99
  • Frame only w/RockShox shock: £1,799.99 / €2,199.99 / US$2,899.99

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