A proven winner on the world stage in the capable hands of Sam Hill, the carbon-framed Nukeproof Mega 275c Pro is built to soak up the biggest hits you can line its path with.
After our previous review of the all-mountain spec Vitus Escarpe 29 VRX, we’ve switched things up by dropping wheel size and moving to carbon with Nukeproof’s enduro-focused Mega 275c Pro. New for us, carbon is also new to the Nukeproof Mega range for 2019.
Listen in to the full podcast review with the top man Garreth from MTB Tribe…
Equipped with top end suspenders from Rockshox, the Mega 275c Pro is boasting 170mm of travel upfront with the Lyrik Charger 2 RC and a whopping 165mm in the rear thanks to their Super Deluxe RC3.
Like the Escarpe, stopping power is provided by SRAM with their Guide RE system gripping a 200mm front rotor and 180mm rear. The drive chain is also SRAM and runs the mighty GX Eagle 12-speed – simply put, no hill is too steep for this 10-50T ratio.
Mavic Deeman Elite 27.5 (650B) wheel sets tip the scales at 1945g a pair without tyre. The Pro is shod with the new Michelin Wild Enduro Gum-X compound front and rear. Colour scheme is a striking moody midnight blue off set by bold yellow logos and graphics. Added touches like the world champion graphic tastefully complement the finished look.
The Pro is considered Nukeproof’s ‘entry-level’ of their carbon range, but don’t let that confuse you as aside from some componentry differences, it shares the same geometry as the RS and Factory editions, and the same rear shock as the top-tier RS for almost £800 less.
Nukeproof Mega 275c Pro – Technical Details
For 2019 Nukeproof has focussed on the smallest details in order to improve an already podium proven chassis. Making the decision to commit to a dedicated 1x drivetrain configuration across all models, this enabled its engineers to utilise the space required for a front derailleur to increase the main pivot bearing placement ensuring that maximum stiffness is achieved. This additional stiffness prevents torsional flex under pedalling and helps the chassis track through high speed, rough terrain without compromise.
With stiffness in mind, Nukeproof took the time to incorporate the very latest Boost 148 rear axle spacing allowing it to spec much stiffer and stronger wheels both front and rear. All 2019 Nukeproof Mega models come with new, wider spaced Boost wheels and forks enabling more confidence in the capability of the bike.
Updated Race Geometry
Slightly taller head tube lengths help tailor the cockpit feel to increase rider confidence, and a lengthened top tube on large and extra-large frames should help even the tallest of riders feel at home on the new Mega 275 Carbon Pro.
Metric Shock Sizing
The product development team work extremely closely with Nukeproof’s suspension partners to create the perfect shock configuration for the new Mega. The perfect partnership between rear shock technology and frame kinematics has always been in the very root of its thought process when developing bikes and the new Mega with its brand new ’metric’ shock standard is no different.
Designed to work perfectly with both air and coil sprung rear shocks, Nukeproof has addressed some of the areas that it felt could be improved on over the previous design such as hardware improvements and higher spec shocks across the board.
The new Mega 275 Carbon Pro utilises the brand new RockShox Super Deluxe rear shock and hardware now comprises of a wider spaced 25mmx8mm front mount, with a rocker link mounted bearing system to improve shock sensitivity and reduce the amount of wear through heavy usage. This combination adds even more stiffness to the chassis through these more secure fixtures and the ‘Metric’ rear shock system with increased bushing overlap.
High in Fibre
Nukeproof spent four years on the development of the new Mega 275 Carbon Pro, utilising a blend of the highest quality carbon fibre composites. Not only is the chassis now significantly lighter than its aluminium counterpart, the strength and reliability of the frame has been vastly improved enabling every rider to push harder, faster and with more confidence than ever before.
Nukeproof Mega 275c Pro – Specification
Nukeproof Mega 275c Pro – Ride Impressions
At first glance there is no denying that the Nukeproof Mega 275c Pro is more than your average trail bike. It sits long and slack in a relaxed pose that suggests it’s time to step things up out on the trail. And with 170mm of travel up front and a whopping 165mm in the rear, it’s certainly got the suspenders to let its talking do the walking.
Dropping into the descents and it’s all systems go as the bike chomps at the bit for speed. The suspension is fluid, soaking up the chatter bumps on corner entry and holding its line through it. That balanced feel allows you to keep the momentum high as you charge down the trail. When those hidden drops, rocks slabs or tree roots come darting out of the woodwork, the bike takes them in its stride. It took a while to adapt to that way of riding and in a sense train you mentality to lay off the anchors a little longer because it’s ok, the Mega’s got this.
Where the Mega truly came into its own is when you get that long, slack geometry, suspension and braking working together on the bigger, gnarlier terrain. The overall package hands you confidence to take more risk in your riding, if you want it. On trails slightly above my pay grade, the Mega totally surprised me as to how well it handled everything. Even in wet conditions I felt fit to ‘drop in’ knowing that I would ride it out – often with the expression ‘actually that wasn’t too bad’.
And while the positives in the Mega is its ability to handle the gnar, it left me disillusioned with the mellow gradient terrain and trails. Simply put, it wasn’t the right bike for it – rolling through it with a numbness that was less than awe inspiring.
For me the Nukeproof Mega 275c is a bike that simply wants to be ridden hard and hassled in the steep, techy stuff. It’s where it comes alive. And without doubt, if that’s where you like to get your kicks, you’ve come to the right place. In turn you will also quickly ramp up your riding ability and confidence as you become comfortable in the uncomfortable.
Trying to think with a competitive head, the bike is a solid investment if you’re a regular racer. It’ll climb like trooper between stages and soak up whatever is thrown your way, while stopping you later and deeper into corners, allowing you to get on with the business of racing. At a touch over £4,000 it’s competitively priced too. All-in if you slip into either (or both) of those theories, then Nukeproof are aiming the Mega 275c at you.
Is It The One For Me?
Personally, while I did enjoy tackling the gnarly riding – it’s hard to beat those giddy feelings – I don’t want to do it every time I ride, nor do I race. I guess that’s more a statement of myself than the bike, which meant despite its lack of flaws, the Mega wasn’t the right one for me on this occasion. Unfortunately, Nukeproof’s range seems to jump from their Scout hardtail to the Enduro-spec Mega, with nothing in between. If they could fill that gap with a similar spec’d shorter travel Trail bike then I’d be emptying my wallet.
Many thanks to Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast and Nukeproof for supporting this review.
Thanks to MTB Tribe for bringing on the podcast to chat bikes and discuss this review. Give it a listen!
We’re back out on the trails with the Vitus Sentier VR hardtail. Trail spec ready and priced at the sub-£1000, we’re looking forward to seeing how this already award-winning ride performs. Stay tuned!