The Nukeproof Mega has been on my radar for a while now after seeing pictures of the prototype a few years ago and coming into this year, was top of my list for a long term ‘trail bike’ test rig. Trail, All Mountain, Enduro (or what ever you want to call bikes that fall into the 140-160mm travel bracket) represent for me something far more than just a bike that can go anywhere and do anything, but instead a trail access tool, a key to unlock and explore the trail before you and unleash your creativity upon them.
You might be thinking, “another Nukeproof?” well, yeah, we do have two built up and getting the job done; the Scalp just kinda happened, but the Mega was there all along and has been with us for quite some time, but before writing the actual ‘review’ I wanted to get a few photos up of the finished build to show what bits we are running and why. There will be a full in depth review later in the Summer and please fire any questions to us on Facebook. What I can tell you from the off, is that this is one of the most smile inducing bikes we’ve ever had the pleasure to play on…
Words: Olly Forster
Photos: Nathan ‘Nate Dawg’ Carvell
The build had to accentuate the Mega’s handling prowess without cutting out it’s ability to ascend like a little mountain goat. A good BB height, short stays and a slack head angle, all add up to smiles for miles with a steep seat tube keeping your weight where it needs to be when going back up for another run.
The first component we looked at was the fork and decided upon the highly capable Rock Shox Lyrik DH. These are fully coil sprung with 170mm of travel – I was initially concerned that they would upset the geo at 10mm over what you could consider normal, but all concerns have so far been forgotten, even the weight! Coil forks, if you are not too much of a weight weenie, will always be better than air and that’s just a fact and when that Reverb goes down and gravity is staring me in the face, well, I couldn’t care less about a few grams when I’m having as much fun as I do on this little ripper! The build below weighs just over 33lbs. Not bad considering the parts?
I love Renthal bars. There, I said it, but they’re great and feel somewhat instinctive now with all my bikes running these at 750mm wide. I use varying rises depending on the bikes intended application with the Mega running the 20mm’s and the 50mm Duo stem. Top stuff!
Just like on the Scalp, were looking at a full 3M moto style graphics kit on the Mega and it’s only a matter of time before after market kits in rad colours and designs start popping up on the market.
Dinner plate cassette! I don’t do front derailleurs if I can help it. They look crap for a start, clutter your bars with something else to break and riding in the granny gear is like, well, watching a granny riding a bike. Bloody slow! For me, the 1 x 10 set up utilising a 36 rear and a 34-36 front is just about good enough to get you up most hills and if they’re that steep, you’ll likely push up just as quick as you would struggle up on a 22. The drivetrain is full a Sram X7 affair from a previous bike and after a year of abuse is still running like new. Cheap, cheerful and you can run the little ‘super short’ cage mech even with the 12-36 cassette. Sweet!
I’m not a Sramaholic or anything, it’s just that their gear bolts together rather harmoniously and looks cool. The new X7 is compatible with the new MMX mounts, as is the Reverb remote, meaning that if you go 1 x10 with a Reverb and run Avid and Sram, you can run just the two clamps on your bars. Clutter free and minimalistic. The MMX mounts aren’t my favourite design to date, but they certainly take care of making a clean cockpit. Gotta say a big thanks to Dan at Worcester Cycles and the bods at Sram for a last minute fix for this shoot!
The Nukeproof Warhead headset is just solid. Big cups, big bearings, well priced and with more options than you could possibly know what to do with, they’ve got you covered.
With the Reverb remote upside down, you not only gain the ability to turn your bike upside down for wheel removal without fear of damaging it, you also get an optimised position not available to those running a front mech. Renthal Kevlar grips again for my trail bike this year and with no contest really. I’m a massive fan of non lock on grips right now and these were the catalyst that proved there’s no school like the old school. I do wire my grips on, but we all have our off days…
The LG1+ is still going strong with a slight crack in the lower guide, but showing no signs of quitting on me anytime soon. I do have a massive soft spot for e*thirteen chainguides and came close to hounding them for the LG1 Trail, but in all honesty, the weight gain is minimal and the added security from the bash guard could really make or break a ride, especially on a bike like this which only encourages stupid behaviour. The front ring is of course the fly weight R4 Renthal in a 34 tooth. I’m playing with a variety of differing ring sizes to see what works best and where, so stay tuned for more on that in a future article. Sram GXP cranks were inherited from an ’11 Specialized and do the job, so they’re on there happy as Larry. Job done!
Underrated or unknown quantity? I’m a big fan of the Monarch RT3 shock and even bought one after market for my bike last year. Like all Rock Shox, the Monarch keeps things super simple so you can focus on the more important things like skids and wheelies. Cable routing for the Reverb isn’t the most well thought out and I have heard about issues with snagging, but being slightly OCD I made double sure my hose is the optimum length and so far, no snagging.
The Rock Shox Reverb dropper post is nothing new, taking the market by storm last year and after fitting the all black 2012 bad boy, it’s not only amazing, it’s a bloody wonder how we coped without them for so long. Fit, shred and forget. I use the little wrap around collar thing so I always get the saddle to drop to just where I want it. Being a downhiller I use my saddle quite a lot for added control between my thighs and get freaked out when the post is fully dropped as it pretty much disappears. Maybe I should’ve opted for the shorter Reverb?
Schwalbe Hans Dampf’s have been doing the miles over the last few months and what a revelation they’ve been. I ride mostly forest trails to which they excel, although I have heard that rocky ground eats them for breakfast. Saying that you can’t fault there grip or handling. They’re also fat buggers like all Schwalbe’s coming up a little large against the competition, so check for any clearance issues as they are pretty close in the Mega. Review coming…
The Nukeproof x DT Swiss 12 x 135mm Maxle axle is a great addition to the Mega, keeping things tight and precise.
Burgtec’s every time I’m afraid. I did spend some time clipping in last year when I was testing some dapper shoes from 5-10, but have since neglected to fit them this year as I hammer through testing platform specific shoes from Vans, Teva and Sombrio. It’s all about the flat pedal thunder! That furry stuff on the chainstay is industrial strength velcro. I buy it on a reel from the hardware store for about £13 and discard the hard plastic side (with the little hooks) and keep the softer side to keep things protected and quiet.
The last saddle was looking pretty tired and after hearing how good these were, I had to find out for myself. I’m a fan of Charge bikes as is Nathan, so the Spoon saddle was a perfect match. So far, so good.
So there you have it, a bike built purely with fun in mind, but isn’t this how all bikes should be? It goes up and comes down. It likes to do jumps, skids and generally helps you forget what time it is, although it doesn’t represent a good enough excuse to your other half for running late home every Sunday. I know this is just a preview, but I’m so stoked on this bike it’s unreal. Even looking at these photos as I cobble these words together, I’m already planning my next ride. The Mega is as its name suggests. Any questions or comments, fire ‘em over to Facebook – I’m aiming to get the full on review up pretty soon, but all feedback is appreciated. Happy trails!