With slab sided hydroformed tubes, chunky linkage and cut-and-shut pivot mounting sections, Nukeproof’s Mega TR wears its heart on its structural sleeve.
Frame and equipment: stiff, impressively light and ready for sketchy terrain
As the name suggests this 130mm travel frame is a direct relative of the 160mm travel Mega Enduro race bike – and it feels like it too. Grip the bars and press your feet on the pedals and there’s a direct, unfiltered connection to the trail. That’s even more impressive given that the Revelation fork is stretched to the maximum 150mm stroke its more-XC-than-enduro diameter 32mm stanchion build allows.
If you’re a regular chain-dropper, the full top and bottom guide on the Nukeproof should make this about as secure as it comes on a trail bike
Nukeproof Generator rims are a wide, well proven way to hold a tyre and the Trailstar compound Magic Mary treads up front (at the rear is a Rock Razor) are more than capable of holding aggressive lines on scree, wet crag slabs or soft snow corners.
The frame itself is seriously stiff and despite all the downhill trimmings it’s impressively light – a couple of pounds lighter than its longer travel brother, in fact, so there’s a clear reason to go for this shorter travel version.
Ride and handling: infectiously aggressive with surprising staying power
We were surprised with how well the Nukeproof coped with longer rides too. The single ring, 36-tooth maximum rear sprocket and heavy-duty frame all pointed to a bike that could be purgatory to pedal and need pushing up most serious hills. But smart shock tuning means that even without a ‘pedal’ or ‘lock’ mode option you can still grunt a lot of power through the gear without it bobbing or wallowing.
When terrain gets dicey the Mega TR goads you into pushing things harder
With the top spec chain device removing any worries about chain jump or rattle it hustles along rolling singletrack surprisingly well, chasing the heels of significantly lighter, more XC bikes like a farmyard dog at every opportunity. There’s a serious incentive to carry every possible bit of speed into each technical section as you can too.
The rear end is sharp-tracking, hard-carving and altogether rapid through rough and ragged sections. It’s an infectious aggression that goads you into gunning the bike into trouble harder, squaring your shoulders and dropping your heels rather than skimming the brakes. The more you attack the trail, the more the TR loves it and whenever the geology got gruesome we didn’t have to look back to know we’d have left others trailing in our wake.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.