Nukeproof Mega 290 Custom | Bike Check
July 20th, 2016
Nukeproof Mega 290 – Adam’s dream build
Although it’s genuinely hard to buy a bad bike these days, we like to do things a little differently here at Factory Jackson.
My Mondraker #frankenbike project has undoubtedly got my juices flowing when it comes to wheel sizes and tyre configurations. You’ll be able to read up on the final piece of the #frankenbike story soon, but let’s just say whilst the fatter tyres are unequivocally faster in many situations, it’s still questionable as to whether they’re more fun. When I swapped the plus wheels out for the 29er wheels, despite slightly less grip than the mid-fats, the fun scale got turned up a notch and it made me have a rethink about what I wanted from a bike.
And now it’s all change and I have this beast!
The Nukeproof Mega 290 is one hell of a bike on the spec sheet, but the thing that caught my attention the most was the genuine thought that’s gone into the geometry. Where many companies are designing bikes with super short back ends and slack seat angles, Nukeproof have gone longer at the rear – which is a good thing in our opinion.
They’ve also maintained a steep seat angle which means climbing steep stuff is loads easier due to the body position in relation to the bottom bracket. Whilst the head angle is reasonably slack at 66 degrees, I really like things slacker so I’ve dropped a Cane Creek Angleset in with a 1.5 degree reduction – giving the Nukeproof Mega 290 a serious head angle of 64.5degrees. Added to that I have kept the Fox 36 fork at the full 160mm, rather than the 150mm that the 290 is designed around – taking another half a degree off – topping out at 64degrees.
Another benefit of the taller fork and slackened head angle means that the wheelbase has also grown – by about 20mm, taking it up to nearly 1250mm. This is going to make the Nukeproof Mega 290 such a fast bike on the terrain here in New Zealand.
And I can’t wait to get stuck in!
Nukeproof Mega 290, size large. Although 5ft 7in, I really like my bikes longer and can just about fit the seat tube with 150mm dropper post.
I’m running a Push tuned Fox Float X, offering 150mm travel at the back wheel. I’m well aware it’s upside down – should you feel the need to point that out! It’s mounted upside down because it’s the only way it actually fits!
Although I love Rockshox forks and have had so few issues over the years, a recent ride on some modern Fox 36 forks encouraged me to change over. The overall feel and damping performance is so damned impressive – and it’s nice to have a change too. These are Fit4, Boost 110mm compatible and offer 160mm travel.
You probably notice that I have a Mudhugger mudguard on there. Unlike some who remove mudguards in dry weather I leave mine on all the time – it’s so inoffensive I have no reason to remove it.
Sixth Element carbon rims built onto Hope Hubs, 38mm ext and 32mm internal width. We were so impressed with the less normal 45mm wide hoops we had on the #frankenbike, we decided we’d like to try something more mainstream – and boy do they look good! More on them once we’ve put some miles in on them.
Slowing me down are my trusty old Shimano XTR stoppers. New cables, a fresh bleed and a bit of a clean. Job done.
I’m running Pro Tharsis carbon bars cut to 780mm, and an Easton Haven 35mm long stem. A lot of people are changing to 35mm bars and stems, but this set up suits me well – stiff and comfortable.
A proven Shimano XT 11 speed transmission just keeps on trucking, and I’ve fitted a 32t Oval One UP chainring and chain guide.
Race Face turbine cranks with 30mm axle and Hope BB give a no-fuss, no creak platform for shredding.
I absolutely love Fabric Slim grips – although firm they just feel right in my hands. And grips are such a personal thing. I also use the Line Performance saddle – fits my ass good and its the neatest design out there – I love no fuss products.
The Fabric saddle is perched on the brand new Fox Transfer Post – which initially has impressed me. After a few more miles I’ll be posting a review. Keep your eyes peeled.
It’d be fair to say, it’s a definite #dreambuild. That said, the aim is to have some bling bits but also a spec that is ‘real world’ achievable for many.
I tend to break stuff quite a lot so I’m looking forward to putting this spec through its paces over the coming months – watch this space!