The Pro is the top bike in Nukeproof’s Mega TR trail trio and as the name suggests, it shares a lot of design DNA with its Mega AM enduro machine. It’s well equipped too, though the spec isn’t quite as nailed as it could be.
After being impressed by the bike at its launch in the autumn we were keen to try it out on more familiar trails.
Frame and equipment: heavy-duty build – with one notable exception
The Mega TR frame is one of the toughest and tightest-riding in its category. Big box-section main tubes join a straight 44mm head tube to an unapologetically in your face cut-and-shut insert for the top tube swing linkage and the main pivot and bottom bracket block. The deep rear stays are box-section too, with a big chainstay bridge and dropout sections giving the Nukeproof real trail tank aesthetics.
Pivots at the end of the seatstays mean the 142x12mm rear axle swings in a simple swingarm arc. It’s good to see a Pike-style Maxle Lite axle across the rear wheel rather than the original, less secure design. ISCG-05 mounts are used to mount an e*thirteen chain guide for belt-and-braces transmission security with the narrow/wide chainring. Bolted external cable clips allow multiple routing options and easy cleaning. The wide chainstay yoke and unbraced seatstays mean there’s plenty of mud clearance out back too.
The Monarch RT3 DebonAir shock adds subtle adjustment and is smoother over small bumps than the Monarch R on the cheaper Mega TR Race
The TR may be Nukeproof’s ‘trail’ model but the sturdy frame is ready for some gravity-fuelled action and is loaded up with appropriately aggro kit. Even without the chain guide the SRAM X01 transmission would be all set for some rowdiness with its X-SYNC ring and clutch-stabilised X-HORIZON rear derailleur. The internally routed RockShox Reverb dropper keeps the seat out of the way on steeper, faster trails too.
The 760mm bar and solid-forged stem give extra control over the outstanding all-round grip from the Schwalbe Magic Mary up front. The semi-slick Rock Razor out back adds easy speed and helps you slide the relatively long rear end out with a tap of the brakes.
The Schwalbe Magic Mary up front offers outstanding all-round grip, while the semi-slick Rock Razor out back adds easy speed
The cam-assisted braking power gives excellent traction control in sketchy situations and the 180mm rear rotor boosts stopping power on faster, longer descents. The top-spec RockShox Monarch RT3 shock with extra volume DebonAir sleeve adds extra plush and adjustability to the back end too.
The Revelation up front is a consistently controlled and relatively light XC/trail fork. The 32mm stanchions, however, look and feel undernourished in 150mm (5.9in) travel guise.
Ride and handling: a fork switch away from being a class-leader
First impressions of the Mega TR are rock solid, with an immediate ‘anchored to the trail’ character above and beyond its near 14kg (31lb) weight. The Schwalbe treads are securely supported on the broad, tubeless ready rims, and the supple fork and DebonAir rear damper seem to sink the bike into the surface of the trail rather than leaving it perched on top.
Pedalling is more stable and neutral than we expected from the low-pivot set-up too. The long stays and naturally ground-following suspension design mean the Nukeproof will charge or claw its way up technical climbs with impressive tenacity, although the weight does start to tell on faster, flatter rides.
The Mega TR frameset is a seriously tough and attitude-loaded structure
The low top and seat tubes drop the centre of gravity and, together with the stiff frame, help lock the Mega TR in through turns or when cutting an aggressive line across roots or rocks. There’s no shortage of leverage through the bar and stem, and there’s category-leading grip even in filthy conditions from that leading Magic Mary. Trouble is, the harder you push through turns and trouble, or the harder you brake, the more obvious the flex in the fork is.
This weak point in the spec has become more apparent the more we've ridden the Mega TR. It certainly doesn’t feel like the Revelation has more control for its extra stroke.
Thankfully the frame stiffness means the Nukeproof is still a sharp ride overall, but knowing it could have a real advantage with a different fork is slightly frustrating. For similar reasons, while the shock’s ‘descend’ setting adds supple smoothness, we nearly always kept it in ‘pedal’ mode for a sharper feel that matched the rest of the bike better.