Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp review

Versatile, smile-inducing hardcore hardtail

“Be prepared” is the Scouts’ motto — and an adage that the latest incarnation of the Nukeproof Scout certainly lives up to. It’s ready for pretty much anything you might want to ride, from trail centres to pump tracks, and dirt jumps to nasty, rooty, natural trails.

The low-slung top tube, tight rear triangle and slack 66-degree head angle instantly tell you that the Scout means business. It’s unashamedly built with fun in mind, coming up relatively short on reach (415mm on my medium test bike) and with short 425mm chainstays.

The rear brake hose and gear cable are routed externally but there’s internal routing for the provided ‘stealth’ dropper post. No chain guide is fitted but the frame has ISCG-05 tabs in case you want some added security.

Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp spec overview

  • Frame: Hydroformed aluminium
  • Fork: RockShox Yari RC Solo Air, 140mm (5.5in) travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX M7000 (1x11)
  • Wheelset: WTB Frequency i23 rims on Novatec D77SB/462 hubs
  • Tyres: WTB Vigilante Light/High Grip 27.5x2.3 (f) and WTB Riddler Light/Fast Rolling 27.5x2.4in (r)
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX M7000
  • Bar: Nukeproof Warhead, 760mm
  • Stem: Nukeproof Warhead, 50mm
  • Seatpost: Brand-X Ascend 125mm dropper
  • Saddle: Nukeproof Vector AM
  • Weight: 12.85kg (28.3lb), medium size without pedals

The kit

Every ride on the Scout was wet and muddy but the 1x11 Shimano SLX groupset worked consistently, not once skipping, grinding or missing a shift.

Thanks to the clutch rear mech and deep chainring teeth, it never dropped a chain either. Gear shifts had a lovely light feel that made me wonder why you’d spend more on XT or XTR.

The Nukeproof Vector saddle was way more comfy than its racy looks suggested, and the Brand-X dropper post did a solid job given the wet conditions. That said, it’s a shame not to get a 150mm post on such a low and capable frame.

My only real gripe, though, is with the grip end-caps, which come off too easily when you crash or lay the bike down — I’d lost both by the end of testing.

The ride

The Scout 275’s stiff rear end and short reach mean it’s not suited to big miles in the mountains
The Scout 275’s stiff rear end and short reach mean it’s not suited to big miles in the mountains

At first, the RockShox Yari fork didn’t offer enough support for my 85kg, limiting how hard the Scout could be pushed. But adding an extra ‘Bottomless Token’ volume spacer (three are fitted as standard) meant the bike’s true capability could be unleashed.

The Yari then did a great job of keeping the front of the bike composed when things got rough, which meant I could really push the front tyre into turns.

Only one other change was required — fitting a tough, grippy Michelin Wild Rock’R2 Advanced Reinforced rear tyre in place of the stock semi-slick WTB Riddler. The thicker sidewalls of the replacement rubber also took some of the harshness out of the back of the bike and aided traction over roots and off-camber sections.

To get the most out of the Scout you need to work it hard, creating your own traction, linking features and leaning it in to take advantage of the low bottom bracket and short stays. Its lack of reach makes it a handful at higher speeds, but also means that when the trail gets twisty it can be flicked around the tightest corners with ease. For more stability, you could always go up a size, or even two, as the standover is so low.

If you’re a rider who likes to let the bike do the work, then this isn’t the machine for you. Its stiff rear end and short reach mean you’ll get bounced off-line and struggle to ride anything rougher than surfaced trail centres. With the right input, though, a good rider can really push the Scout hard, keep up with mates on short-travel full-suspension bikes and have a lot of fun!

Early verdict

The Scout lives up to all of the hardcore hardtail clichés, wherever you choose to ride it.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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