After yet another sterling season from Sam Hill and Elliot Heap, Nukeproof sits atop the EWS standings, and for 2019 Nukeproof is refreshing the bike on which Hill dominated, the Mega, with a refreshed look with a cheaper carbon spec level.
There are also revisions for Nukeproof’s Scout hardtails and Digger all-road-slash-CX machine.
Nukeproof Mega 275 Carbon
The Mega is ideally suited to UK riding Lawrence Crossman-Emms
The 27.5in wheeled Mega 275 is the flagship platform from Nukeproof — it being the one piloted by Hill and Heap in the EWS — and in 2018 a carbon version of the 275 was introduced. For 2019, the 275 will now see a cheaper spec level added to the carbon frame version, the Nukeproof Mega 275 Carbon Pro.
All the 275c bikes (RS, Factory, Pro) get the hardest-hitting suspension from Fox and RockShox; Lyrik forks and Super Deluxe shocks or 36s and Float X2s.
The bikes also get either a SRAM Eagle 12-speed groupset or Shimano’s XT kit, and all the bikes in the range have Nukeproof Horizon finishing kit, along with Sam Hill Signature grips.
Prices start at £3,699, rising to £4,999
Nukeproof Mega 275c Pro
Nukeproof’s Mega 275 Carbon Pro Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
My pick of the range goes to the new cheaper Pro model, which comes in at £4,199.
Plugged into the carbon front triangle is a RockShox Lyrik RC fork, providing 170mm of travel. The Lyrik is one of our favourite forks — even with the less adjustable version of the Charger 2 damper — thanks to its great damping and the DebonAir spring giving a supple and supported ride.
The 165mm of rear wheel travel is controlled by a RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 shock, while SRAM also provides the drive via the GX Eagle groupset and Descendant Alloy cranks.
Guide RE brakes provide plenty of power and reliability in our experience, and at a cheaper price point than Code brakes might.
Mavic supplies the DeeMax Elite wheels with a 30mm internal rim width across the range, which support the Michelin Wild Enduro 2.4in tyres.
Finishing kit largely consists of Nukeproof’s Horizon kit, with the Sam Hill Signature grips and a RockShox Reverb finishing off the package.
Nukeproof Mega 275 and Mega 29 Alloy
Number 1 — Sam Hill and Elliot Heap dominated the EWS this season Lawrence Crossman-Emms
While the EWS team race on the 275c, also available are Nukeproof’s alloy Megas at cheaper price points.
And it’s in the alloy framesets that the bigger 29in wheels are on offer. The reason there’s no carbon 29er (yet) is that Nukeproof feels that it doesn’t have a 29er carbon offering that provides significant advantages over its alloy models.
Both wheel size options get Pro and Comp versions in the alloy range, while the 29 also gets a Factory level build.
Prices range from £2,600 to £4,000.
Nukeproof Mega 29 Comp
The Mega 290 Comp’s spec is well-chosen Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Nukeproof’s Mega 29 Comp stands out from the crowd with a competitive price and some decent kit choices.
For £2,599 you get an alloy frame with 155mm of rear travel and 160mm up front.
Nukeproof has specced the RockShox Yari fork on this model, but for 2019 it will come with the new Yari and a version of the Charger damper — a noticeable improvement on the Motion Control versions of the previous Yari.
You also still get a piggy-back Super Deluxe R shock on this bike, and the increased oil volume means better control and consistency on longer descents.
Sam Hill Signature grips are found across the range Lawrence Crossman-Emms
SRAM’s NX Eagle might not have the full 10-50t range at the back, but you still get the lowest 50t sprocket paired with an 11t at the top end.
The bike is fitted with SRAM Guide T brakes and Nukeproof’s own wheels. Again, there’s the Michelin Wild Enduro tyres and Nukeproof finishing kit that’s joined by a Brand X dropper and MRP chain guide.
Nukeproof Scout 275 and 29
The Nukeproof Scout 275 is an aggressive trail hardtail Lawrence Crossman-Emms
The Scout is Nukeproof’s do-it-all hardcore hardtail, which saw an update to its design in 2018.
The Scout is offered in 27.5in and 29in versions, as per the alloy Megas, but this year Nukeproof has specced RockShox suspension across the range and is fitting 2.6in rubber to the smaller-wheeled bikes, in order to boost comfort and control.
The range starts at £1,000 for the Sport model and increases to £1,700 for the Comp models. Look out for a first ride of the Scout Comp very soon on site.
Nukeproof Scout Sport 275
Nukeproof’s Scout 275 Sport looks a steal for £1k Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
It’s not just the bluey-turquoise colour that drew our eyes to the entry-level Scout Sport 275, but also the sensible looking spec that’s available on this £1,000 bike.
Alloy hardtails aren’t ever going to be the most comfortable bikes to ride, so getting a decent Maxxis Minion in 2.6in width on the bike, front and rear, should make a massive difference to how rideable this bike is.
Add in a Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain with Shimano brakes and a RockShox Recon RL fork and we reckon this should be a super competitive price-pointed bike.
Nukeproof finishing kit is seen yet again, and that’s no bad thing.
The Digger looks to be the most versatile bike in Nukeproof’s range and, as drop-bar do-it-all bikes go, it looks like one designed for the mountain biker.
The frame can take 700x45c, 29×2.1in and 650bx2.3in tyres, so all your rubber needs are covered. The frames are 1x specific, take a dropper post and have bolt-thru axles (15x100mm front, 142x12mm rear).
Both the Pro (£1,850) and Comp (£1,500) come with 650b wheels shod with WTB 47c Sendero Road Plus tyres and either a SRAM Rival (Pro) or SRAM Apex (comp) 1×11 groupset.
Nukeproof ARD and springs
The cross section of the ARD insert Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Rim inserts might look like pool floats, and that’s where Nukeproof’s engineers started, but they aren’t as simple as that.
The ARD is brand new, and at £50, and weighing 130g for a 27.5in wheel, it’s both well priced and light compared to the competition.
The rim protector is cut from blocks of foam and then bonded into a ring, which gives a lower weight than one that’s moulded as a single piece.
There’s another tyre insert in the market — the ARD. And it’s only £50 and weighs 130g Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
It’s profiled to give a bump-stop when hitting rocks and roots, and there’s a little sidewall protection too — although Nukeproof says that it’s not designed to hold the bead of the tyre in to the rim like some others.
The insert slips reasonably easily over rims (I’ve mounted one already) and Nukeproof says it’ll stay secure because it will shrink in diameter when the tyre is up to pressure. The ARD is supplied with its own valve.
Nukeproof also offers a range of lighter replacement springs for most common coil shocks Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Nukeproof also has a range of enduro-orientated coil springs. Thanks to the treatment of the metal they can be coiled with more space between coils, meaning shorter overall lengths and therefore lower weights.
Adapters for length and internal diameter will be available to make sure there’s a spring to match the most common shocks.