Review: Nukeproof Mega 290c Factory

Jul 6, 2020
by Dan Roberts  



The Megavalance is a truly infamous race. Held in Alpe D’Huez, France, it starts on a steep glacier at 3300m, surrounded by 399 other riders and is probably something that every mountain biker should do at least once. This race is where Nukeproof took the name for the Mega, a bike that originally came about for exactly this style of racing that we now know and call enduro.

The Mega is now in its fourth iteration, and has seen more than its share of success at the highest level of enduro racing, most notably under Sam Hill, who has piloted the bike to an unmatched three overall EWS series victories. Needless to say, there’s a lot of heritage and racing pedigree in the Mega bikes.

Nukeproof Mega Details

Intended use: Enduro
Rear wheel travel: 160mm
Fork travel: 170mm
Wheel size: 29"
Material: Carbon fiber main frame with aluminum rear end
Sizes: M, L (tested) & XL
Colours: Bottle Blue
Weight: 14.8kg / 32.63lbs (L, w/o pedals)
Price: $4,900 USD, €5,700, £4,900.
More info: Nukeproof
For 2020 the 29” versions of the Mega now come with a 170mm fork and 160mm of rear travel, available in all aluminum and half carbon/half aluminum versions. There are 27.5" bikes available too.

We took the Mega 290 Factory spec, with Fox suspension, Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes, DT Swiss wheels and Nukeproof finishing kit and gave it a damn good testing over the past four months to see how it holds up for the common man, rather than a flat pedal legend of the sport.







2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
A carbon fiber main frame and an aluminum rear end are employed on the Mega Factory. Lower models in the range have full aluminum frames.
2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
The seat stay link area is narrow and out of the way of your knees, but does look a bit skinny when put up against some other meatier enduro bikes.

Construction and Features

The Mega 290 Factory is a half-half affair, with the main frame being made from carbon fiber composite and the chain stay, seat stay and link being made from aluminium.

Those chain stays and seat stays are skinny in their width, which does go towards keeping the rear of the bike more out of the way of your feet and legs. There’s a double shear connection at the Horst pivot, with the chain stay wrapping round both sides of the drop out part.

It is possible to run a water bottle on the Mega, but it’s under the down tube and right in the firing line of rocks and all manner of things you don’t want covering your bottle.

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
Large stick on protection covers the belly of the down tube. Unfortunately, this is the only place to mount a water bottle.
2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
The frame is covered in clear protection which after four months of riding has taken the brunt of the hits and left the paint work underneath all good.

The frame is heavily covered in protection. There’s thick rubber chain stay and seat stay protectors silencing chain slap, and a large down tube protector right on the belly of the tube. The rest of the frame has clear protection over the vital wear points which should help the paint underneath looking good for years to come. Not something than all manufacturers do.

There’s internal cable routing on the main frame, with a mix of push in rubber grommets and bolt in parts. Up near the head tube, where the cables enter the frame, they’re cable tied to the plastic bolt in part to help secure them and, along with the foam tubes over all the internal cables, reduce rattling.

It’s all external routing on the rear of the bike, with the cables running smoothly down the seat stays. It does put the gear cable in the firing line of the chain though. It’s also possible to run a remote lockout for the shock through the main frame. When not desired, the hole is plugged up with a small rubber piece.

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
Cable routing is internal for the main frame, but is securely clamped and has foam over all the cables, stopping any rattling.
2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
The Factory version uses Fox suspension and also their bearing mount hardware at the link.

The Mega frame uses a 160mm post mount rear brake and uses a standard adapter to increase the size up to its specced 183mm. There’s a threaded bottom bracket and standard size zero-stack headset allowing you to fit your own choice or even play with the angles or reach if you desire. Boost hub spacing and a 31.6mm diameter seat post round out the bike that just uses all the most common standards to make it easy to work on and find parts for.

Overall, the Mega now looks a lot more angled and edgy than its predecessors, and in my eyes is a good-looking bike, although that’s all subjective. But the bike design definitely seems to keep function in mind and doesn’t employ crazy sharp design lines or kinks right where you’re likely to bump into it with your legs or body.





Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Geometry

Geometry & Sizing

The 29” versions of the Mega come in M, L and XL sizes. Unfortunately, no S is available with it being tricky to have enough trouser clearance for smaller size riders with big wheels and big travel. There is, however, a size S available in the 27.5 version of the Mega.

There’s a 64.5° head angle, 76.75° effective seat angle, 450mm chain stays and 30mm BB drop. The size large that we tested has a 470mm reach, 630.5mm stack, 110mm head tube and 458mm seat tube length. There’s the same chain stay length for all sizes, which does work well for the bigger of the bikes, but could feel a bit too long on the smaller sizes.

Our L size bike fell nicely in line with the geometry that I personally prefer, but the shorter 110mm headtube does mean that adding stem spacers for steeper riding reduces that on paper reach. Long forking also reduces the reach, and alters the rest of the geometry too. The RS model, which sits above the Factory version does exactly this with its 180mm travel Lyrik. Just something to keep in mind before you purchase or want to change your fork travel.

The size gaps between bikes are a little odd, with the M size going down to 455mm reach and the XL jumping right up to 515mm, so it’s wise to check exactly which size would be the best fit and if you’d need to change any components or setup if you’re a bit in between sizes.

Our test bike had a slightly higher BB at 340mm compared to the quoted 336mm, chain stay length was a few millimeters longer too, at 454mm and actual seat angle was measured at 73°.





Suspension Design

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat

The Mega uses a four-bar system with a Horst pivot out near the drop out and a top mounted link on the top tube. The shock is mounted to the down tube, and is why the bottle cage is relegated to under the down tube. A bridge ties the two seat stay sides together and helps out the slim connection to the linkage.

It uses a 230 x 62.5mm shock and for our Fox equipped bike it used their bearing hardware at the link. All bikes in the line come specced with an air shock, and even the race bikes rarely see a coil shock being run.

The leverage ratio on the Mega 290 goes from 2.81 up to 2.84 and then falls to 1.98. From its highest point, at 23mm travel, it has 30% progression down to full travel.

Anti-squat in a 50T gear starts at 101% but quickly falls down to 68% at the end of travel, with around 92% at sag. Anti-squat then drops in each harder gear and in the 10T gear starts at 51% and drops to 23%. Anti-rise starts at 110% and falls to just 3%. All the curves are relatively smooth in their path, with only the leverage ratio having that hump at the beginning of travel.





Specifications
Release Date 2020
Price $4900
Travel 160mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X2 Factory
Fork Fox 36 Factory Grip 2 170mm
Headset Nukeproof Warhead
Cassette Shimano XT M8100 10-51
Crankarms Shimano XT M8100170mm
Chainguide MRP SXG 28-34T
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT M8100 12-Speed
Chain Shimano XT M8100 12-Speed
Shifter Pods Shimano XT M8100 12-Speed
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon 800mm 25mm Rise
Stem Nukeproof Warhead 50mm
Grips Nukeproof Sam Hill Signature
Brakes Shimano XT M8100
Wheelset DT Swiss E1700 Spline
Tires Michelin Wild Enduro Front 2.4" / Michelin Wild Enduro Rear 2.4"
Seat Nukeproof Horizon SL
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 175mm


2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat





Bike Setup

Having briefly ridden a Mega in Tuscany at an event I already had an insight into getting one set up and some possible component swaps for a long-term test.

The Nukeproof Horizon cockpit made it easy to get my hands in the right place, as it comes with a good bit of rise in the bar and so I started testing with no spacers under the stem. The 50mm stem is also my go-to length.

Shimano XT brakes and shifter combine together for less clamping clutter on the bars, and the Reverb 1X remote has a slimmer clamp than the normal button so it was easier to find a good position.

I didn't get along all that well with the Michelin Wild Enduro tires, so I ended up swapping them out for a trusty combo of a Schwalbe Dirty Dan front and Magic Mary rear in DH casing, 2.35” and Ultra Soft for the vast majority of the testing.

Dan Roberts // Technical Editor
Age: 33
Location: Champéry, Switzerland
Height: 188cm (6'2”)
Weight: 78kg (165 lbs)
Industry affiliations / sponsors: Garage Bike Project, former engineer at Scott Sports
Instagram: @le_crusher
Test Locations: Switzerland: Champéry, Morgins, Plaffeien, Leysin & Cousimbert

Suspension setup was also straightforward. Rear sag was set to 25%, or 15.6mm with 210psi, and I luckily already knew the setup for the Fox 36 from previous rides, and had 80psi and two tokens installed. Compression was set at 7 and 12 clicks for low and high-speed and 5 for both the low and high-speed rebound.

Nukeproof deliver the bike with two tokens installed in the shock, citing that it would the best option for more aggressive riders while one will be fine for most riders. Having the bike arrive with two also means you have a spare one for playing around with your setup if you desire.

For help with setup the Nukeproof website points you to the Fox setup page where you can get some information on initial suspension setup. I ended up running the shock pretty firm at 3 and 2 clicks from closed on the low-speed and high-speed compression respectively. Rebound was set at 10 clicks for low-speed and 5 clicks for high-speed.

Our L size came with 175mm dropper and could probably fit a longer drop post too with the current crop of shorter insert long drop posts.

I even got the chance to run the Mega for a portion of testing with a 180mm fork, which upped the amount of party at the front but did bring some setup quirks which we go into later. The reach change with the longer fork was noticeable, but the rest of the geometry changes weren’t so much as to be detrimental to the feel of the bike.


2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat

Climbing

Immediately from the initial setup the Mega felt comfy. It was easy to just get on and go and felt similar to my personal bikes. There was no need to really shunt the seat forwards to achieve a good position or adopt an obscure setup quirk to make the bike feel right.

When climbing, the suspension does bob a bit, and you can benefit from the lockout lever, even though ours felt like it added only a slight support compared to other shocks. Technical climbing actually felt best with the shock open rather than in the climb mode as there was a bit of give when going over roots and rocks while still having some support.

On smooth tarmac roads and even with very smooth pedalling there’s still a bit of suspension compression, but not a huge amount that feels like you’re pedalling through glue.

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat

The Mega 290 Factory comes with 170mm cranks, which felt like a nice balance of length for producing torque while not whacking into things on miss-timed pedals. The 30T chainring did mean that for all but the absolute steepest slogs of climbs I wasn’t in the easiest cassette gear. But chain ring size is a personal choice and can be easily and inexpensively swapped out if required.

The 25mm rise bars with no spacers felt good for climbing, with only some extreme body language needed on the steepest of climbs to keep the front end from feeling like it was lifting. Going higher with the bars did make this feeling a little worse, but made the descending position more comfortable, and I eventually settled with 15mm of spacers under the stem, which was the maximum possible.

The Mega isn’t the spriteliest of big enduro bikes when climbing, and there are others that feel a touch more supported and direct. But Big Blue always got to the top with no fuss and was actually a lot comfier than some of the other bikes recently tested in the same category.


2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat

Descending

When the terrain points the other way the Mega wants to go fast. At slow and medium speeds, the Mega feels like a big bike. Not cumbersome, but you feel that it’s a big 29er with big travel and aggressive geometry. Other bikes at these speeds were a bit easier to throw around, despite being heavier or even longer on paper. It’s more than manageable at these speeds, but just lacking the fizz that some other bikes have at non- breakneck speeds. After all, we’re not doing those speeds all the time on every ride.

But once you really go for it the Mega does comes more alive. It just wants to go fast everywhere. It has a comfortable descending position, with my hands and feet feeling like they were in the right zone. This was without any weird setup points or changes. From that easy initial setup, the bike felt very comfortable and easy to get along with.

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat

The Mega’s suspension also felt predictable, despite the Float X2’s quirks. Once you got it going it is a fun bike and not hard at all to get in that zone, but it does feel like it generates that fun from the thrill of just going fast everywhere rather than an underlying playful nature.

That MY20 Float X2’s characteristic of holding and then letting go can leave you a bit choppered out in some situations. The vert berms of Morgins were a place where you could really get it to happen regularly. Running the compression nearly fully closed does help the matter, but it never completely gets rid of the problem. Riding with the longer 180mm travel fork is just enough of a subtle weight shift to make the problem arise more often. Running the fork slightly softer in damping helped - the idea was to dynamically keep more weight over the front and reduce the number of times the fall through happened.

The newer 2021 Fox shocks don’t have this characteristic, so it’s something that can be remedied and not an inherent problem of the suspension.

With all that compression damping the bike can be a touch harsher when landing into rough sections from zero travel. The Mega does have a bit of a regressive hump at the beginning of travel in the leverage ratio which can add to this subtle harshness off the top.

When riding full speed in Morgins chasing downhill bike I felt like I was close to finding the limit of the bike. It’s not a like you cross a knife edge and the bike wants to throw you off, more that the conversation you’re having with the bike changes. Other bikes at this very extreme do have just a fraction more composure and egg you on to try and get away with murder again and again. But the Mega does quietly tell you that you’re probably pushing your luck a bit, however this is very much the last few percent.

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat

Maintenance

The Mega uses a mix of very standard bearing sizes and some odd ones with extended races, although Nukeproof do provide all the bearing codes on the website making it easy to order replacements. There are double row bearings at Horst pivot with a washer between.

All pivot bolts have very long threads and come built with lots of thread lock from the factory, which is nice to see. The single shear pivots do feel noticeably less stiff compared to the double shear pivots and do put a lot of stress on the bolt. But we experienced no failures or problems during the entirety of the test. The top tube pivot on our test bike, however, was a bit narrow and meant that when tightened the link squashed and added some friction to the pivot.

You don’t need any proprietary tools to work on the Mega with all the pivots using standard size hex keys. Although you do need an array of sizes for the entire bike. The whole bike is simple to strip down, especially with the external routing on the rear. You can easily do a whole bike service without disconnecting the brake or gear lines or having half the rear triangle dangling from them.

The bike is also easy to clean with only a few pockets and areas to make sure to blast to get the mud out. After an unseasonably dry spring we were met with copious amounts of peanut butter clinging to the bike after every ride, highlighting the little pockets at the chain stay bridge and inside the drop outs. Be careful to empty the bike out after washing as it can have a tendency to hold the water inside the main frame and rear triangle.


How Does It Compare?

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory.
Raaw Madonna V2 review
RAAW Madonna V2.

The RAAW Madonna V2 is a bike I’ve ridden a lot, and can use as an ideal comparison due to the identical amount of front and rear travel, spec and overall bike intentions. Comparing geometry, The Mega is a bit shorter at the front and longer at the rear, with a bit higher BB.

In climbing, the Madonna has a bit more of a comfortable position and more support. The Mega is comfortable, but it’s when you go back to back that the small differences in seated position and climbing support do come through. The Madonna is one of those bikes that has a bit more of a direct feel to its climbing. The Madonna is also one of the bikes that’s more alive at slow and medium speeds. Just a touch more fun when you’re not wanting to risk life and limb and ride a bit more mellow.

And at the absolute limit, that last few percent, the Madonna really has your back with more of that go-on then feeling, more of that invitation to try it a notch faster or pull a bit harder. But, again, the two are very close. It’s like the equalizer dials have just been nudged up one little bit more on the Madonna and the sound that emerges is just that bit cleaner and crisper and doesn’t quite push it right into the red.

Both bikes can do all the same rides and go at the same speeds, but if it was only a choice between the two then I’d side with the Madonna. But if the choice were a broader one, I’d happily grab the Mega over many of the other big enduro bikes out there available today. And this was often the case while the Mega was being tested in parallel to other upcoming review bikes.

2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat
2020 Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Photo Kifkat

Technical Report

Fox Suspension: Overall feels great, despite its quirks in the shock. The newer generation shocks would easily fix that, and be a step forwards in overall performance. The 36 in this MY20 guise is also a great performer and the new version is also a further step forwards in performance.

Shimano XT Brakes: It’s a similar story again. The feel is brilliant but there is still a changing bite point. Modulation and feel around the bit point are superb, but the bite point is often all over the place, and seemingly unrelated to brake heat or braking time. In longer sections of braking bumps, for example, the kind where you get a good body vibration going, the bite point pumps up to give almost no lever throw with it then changing next time you pull the brake. The 180mm rear rotor is too small for the Alps, with a 203mm being better. But for a lot of places the smaller rotor will work just fine.

Shimano XT Drivetrain: The work horse of the Shimano range. Dependable, spot on range for many people's needs and brilliant value vs performance. Perhaps our test bike was getting a little tired towards the end of the testing with an occasionally sticky derailleur, but a bit of lube worked a treat and it just keeps shifting nicely.

Nukeproof Components: Solid, dependable and well-engineered. They never skipped a beat and I actually use some Nukeproof components on some of my own bikes, which can’t always be said for house brands. The saddle is comfy, the bars have good angles and dimensions and the stem just quietly goes about doing its job. The grips have a good shape and compound, just a touch too big for my hands.

Michelin Tires: I’d found the Michelin Wild Enduro tires hard to get on with in the Tuscan loose over hardpack trails, but even back in the Alps and in softer ground the issue still remained. There are always fans of parts that others don’t enjoy, but I had the same feedback from other riders as well.

DT Swiss Wheelset: Another solid and dependable part on the Mega. They’re easy to mount tires on, easy to maintain and put simply, just work. They’re still as true as when I got the bike and I haven’t needed to touch them once.




Pros

+ A fast, stable and predictable bike
+ Solid and dependable spec for the price
+ Racing pedigree, if you’re into that
Cons

- Needs to be up to speed to bring it alive
- Water bottle in the firing line if you choose to run one





Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Nukeproof Mega is solid, dependable and I actually grabbed it from the shed when I had the choice a lot of the time. It likes to just go damn fast, and when in that zone it’s stable, predictable and a nice bike to ride. Outside of that it does drop a bit of zest in slower speeds and mellower rides, and up at the ragged edge it does give you a little nudge to make sure you know to wind your neck in.

Nit picking might be over analysing for some, but that’s where we differentiate the great from the truly special. Overall, it’s a fantastic combination of all the factors and a worthy companion for the race that sparked the bike’s beginning and exactly the type of riding surrounding it.
Dan Roberts







167 Comments

  • 82 4
 Ok the frame protection is pretty legit. I know some people think, “it’s a MOUNTAIN bike - who cares!?’, but I’m one of ’those people’ who painstakingly applies Invisiframe to every bike I get and it makes a big difference when it comes time to sell. For a bike company to go this extra step is a bit like, “hey, you may not like/need/want the protective covering, but it’s there just in case.”

Very cool.
  • 8 2
 This. I laid mine down in a minefield of sharp rocks at speed awhile back, in a crash that has scratched carbon on past bikes in similar crashes. Picked it up seeing marks fearing the worst, and then realized all the marks were the invisiframe getting scuffed up. The paint under it is still 100%. Really nice feature and not something most bikes that cost a whole lot more do.
  • 11 17
flag E-ROG (Jul 6, 2020 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 Agreed. Also...

I NEVER understand the 2 bike comparisons at the end of these reviews??? Great review, but a 1-2 paragraph comparison against only one other bike and by just one rider makes NO objective sense to me. By this I mean it has no objective value to me as the reader, the comparison data only applies to the ONE rider doing the test.

Other than that, great write-up.
  • 9 0
 @E-ROG: I think these comparisons came from people asking “yah but how does it compare to this or that bike or one similar to itself.” PB started doing it for public demand.
  • 3 1
 Yup, should come standard, worth paying for if it looks better than what I apply...
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I like the plastic frame protection on the downtube. Much better protection and easier to replace than the decal type.
  • 11 1
 Or here's a better option: buy frames that last, with geometries and standards that are new and up-to-date. Keep those frames/bike for years, then sell them so cheap future owners will care less about a few dings and nicks. This whole "invisiframe my bike so I can sell it for nearly new prices but without a warranty 8 months from now" thing is pretty lame.
  • 3 3
 @PHeller: No thanks. I bought my 2017 with 'dated' geo at half off and like a nice looking bike so I wrapped it. When someone goes to buy a used bike and can see mine looking good vs one that's clapped out they'll probably choose mine. Not to mention these things are thousands of dollars and my dad drilled it into my head to take care of my stuff. I also wash my car properly and wax it for the same reasons. If that's lame I'm fine with it.
  • 4 1
 @PHeller: don't really care too much about resale, it's just nice to have a nice looking bike.
  • 6 0
 There is difference between protecting rock-prone areas and covering the entire bike in invisiframe because you're not just worried about resale, you're intending to sell the bike as soon as you get it. It's just crazy how many used bikes (often overpriced) try to use "fully wrapped in invisiframe" as a reason to overprice last years bike they got a EP deal on. I think it's cool that Nukeproof is adding more protection from the factory, maybe it'll keep used bike sellers from trying to use that a reason to overprice their worn-out wares.
  • 1 0
 @jeremiahwas: Makes sense, but just objectively difficult to quantify what it means to "me" as a rider. Geometry & spec comparisons 1v1 makes senes, but ride comparisons are just tough with that small of a sample group. But I hear what you are saying and I'm sure you're probably right.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: I put probably several pounds of invisiframe wrap on my bike and bubble wrap. I have to say bubble wrap is much better than invisiframe wrap. You just have to replace it more often when the rocks pop the bubbles.
  • 47 2
 So, now that MY21 is on its way, that super expensive fox x2 everyone was raving about is immediately shit?
  • 7 5
 No I'm pretty sure people were aware of the problem right after it was released. Certainly, half the reason I didn't buy an x2.
  • 40 2
 @hmstuna: stokedonthis makes a fair point. I don't think I ever read that criticism of the x2 in a pinkbike review
  • 6 0
 Its not shit... he just said the new one is slightly better...
  • 2 3
 @thegoodflow: perhaps not but it's also not an unknown issue people pointed it out almost immediately
  • 11 0
 @philmtb99: that's not how he presented it though. He didn't say that it's a great shock but the new one's slightly better, he presented it as a flaw that could be resolved by replacing the shock with the 2021 model.
  • 6 1
 It's not uncommon for bike reviewers to prefer the DPX2 over the X2. I've read it several times here and other online mtb publications. However if you ask the Fox Dialed series about it and you will be frowned upon!
  • 2 0
 @thegoodflow: And he is right since they started to use actual midvalve on 2021 model to give some support instead of harshness in previous model years...
  • 5 0
 I agree, I think the Super Deluxe works ace and I can't see what all the fuss is about Fox.. Personal preference I suppose
  • 22 0
 If you want an honest review wait until the next model comes at and suddenly all the reviewers that have spent the last three years trying to sell you something have a whole list things that are wrong with the exact same product they’ve been trying to bullshit you into buying.
  • 12 0
 Five years ago, the only thing that could make the x2 any better was a climb switch:

"The Float X2 is a highly impressive shock, with excellent performance out on the trail, and enough tuning options to satisfy even the pickiest of riders. The only thing that could make it even better would be a lever to quickly add compression damping when faced with a long climb, but by the sound of things this should be a reality sooner than later, although final timing and pricing have yet to be determined. When all is said and done, the Float X2 earns its place as one of the best gravity-oriented air shocks currently on the market, one that's capable of anything from World Cup downhill racing to rowdy all-mountain adventures in your own backyard." -mike kazimer
  • 16 0
 @thenotoriousmic: And they tell you in a way that infers that everyone knew about the problem from the start. It's annoying.
  • 4 2
 On my 3rd bike where I swapped for an X2- nothing but happy smiles for me.
  • 11 0
 I came here to say the same. The review states: "That MY20 Float X2’s characteristic of holding and then letting go can leave you a bit choppered out in some situations." I have no idea what that really means, care to elaborate @dan-roberts ? I too don't recall ever hearing this of the previous gen X2 in any reviews/forums, of which I read a lot of since I owned one. Also I just re-read the old X2 review and there was zero mention of any issues in the article or comments... The big problem I had, which wouldn't necessarily show up in a review, was that the shock blew it's seals roughly twice a year and I had to get it serviced a lot. It's performance was near flawless when it was functioning properly, but I now run a Super Deluxe and warn anyone with/buying an X2 to be aware you'll be spending a lot of money on servicing.
  • 2 0
 @tgent: Also not something I've noticed on my two (pre-2020) X2s, which I've used on four-bar and single-pivot bikes.
If anything the X2 held up too well on my first gen Mega 290, so it felt a bit harsh.
Any more info @dan-roberts ?
  • 3 0
 @tgent: remember when the latest debonair spring came out for the lyrik and a fork that had previously been and this previously faultless for suddenly had a whole host issues that had now been resolved by a red anodised spacer. Hilarious but if I remember correctly pike bike did actually say the last fork was amazing and it was only a slight improvement or something like that.
  • 1 0
 @tgent: Exactly. That description of the problem is not informative. Also my pre 2020 X2 is nothing but butter on my pivot 5.5
  • 1 0
 @tgent: Totally agree with the first part. I have an 2020 Fox X2 and this is the first time I've heard of the "characteristic of holding and then letting go". While not perfect, I find it better than the Rockshox Super Deluxe that came with my bike (even after I had it custom tuned) and it certainly is not unpredictable. Frankly the only issue I can see some having is that the internal bump stop is really big and hard so unless you are Godzilla sized you will never use full travel (I'm 225lbs, run 35% sag and only occasionally get close to fully bottomed, though I'm always within 5 mm).

I am interested to hear about your issues with the X2 reliability. I've been riding mine for a year and a half with 0 issues or needing any paid service. That said, I do the air can apart to clean / relube the seals every few months just to keep it feeling freshly lubed (which does require shaft clamps) so maybe that's what has saved me.
  • 1 0
 @Xorrox: The Pre 2021 X2 was notoriously hard on seals, I believe because of the high air pressures and the twin tube damper design. I found this out through multiple local shops that service them, and have never really seen any confirmation of it from any reputable source in person or online unfortunately so take it with a grain of salt. I was rebuilding mine usually mid season after 3-4 months of riding and end of season after another 3-4 months, due to the sucking or whooshing sound it made as it compressed and extended. I think once it made it through an entire season in the 4 years I had it. I don't recall if my suspension guy told me it was air in the damper (I think this one) or oil in the air chamber, but regardless seals were not holding up. I've seen this happen to at least 50% of my buddies riding X2's as well, probably around 10 people, so not insignificant, the most recent of which my friend is in Tahoe 2 weeks ago and his blew out.

That was just my experience though, and sometime you get lucky with a shock/bike/rider combo in which a particular part will last forever.
  • 21 0
 Shimano, you hear this?!! Do something about the break point problems - already on my second pair, better but still not like the old ones from 4 years ago!
  • 13 35
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 6, 2020 at 5:40) (Below Threshold)
 The noisy minority of deluded shimano fanboys are being weirdly quiet today. Usually all over articles like this. Probably too busy doing lever bleeds and trying to fix the clutches on their cheap shitty mechs. Wink
  • 4 4
 Never had this issue, but I think it's because I don't live in a cold location. Seems like low temps are the main culprit from past discussions.
  • 6 0
 @gumbytex: I live in Alabama and it’s been a constant issue. Particularly on my rear brake. Lever bleed will fix it for a bit, but it always comes back
  • 4 0
 I had Deore M615s that I absolutely loved, then because I apparently have more money than brains (and I don't even have a lot of money...) decided to buy M7000s because the Deores were five years old and I didn't want to service them. A piston was a bit sticky, and the lever was starting to feel a bit rough at the pivot, but they still worked fine. The SLXs worked just as fine for like 2 weeks... and then after a year of getting fed up with not knowing where they'd bite, I sold them and got MT5s. 0 regrets so far over a month. Idk how Shimano's managed to f*ck it up so badly, those M615s were the best looking, best performing, easiest to maintain (and required the least maintenance in the first place) AND CHEAPEST brakes I've ever used.

Go look at the Whistler opening day poll and compare it with previous years lol it seems a lot of people are doing what I did and saying "f*ck it, I'm done" after being burned by the last (and apparently the current) generation of Shitmanos.
  • 1 0
 @gumbytex: I ride in the cold and haven't had any issues. But that's with ~7 year old xts, so might be before the issue arose. Though, with a wind chill of -30 F thick gloves and semi numb fingers... brake inconsistency would be hard to notice, and is the last thing on my mind.
  • 6 2
 i have a pair of 5 year old Shimano Zee M640 and they have always had a wondering brake point and while annoying on the ground i have never been bothered by them on the trail. Its not like i think to only move my finger 1mm every time i need the brakes, i squeeze, feel resistance and then squeeze harder or lighter once they bite. Braking for me or more about feel and sound then it is about what distance i need to move my finger. It also helps that the fronts have never wondered so its mainly on the lower consequence rear. The only real downside is i have to run the levers a little further from the bar to account for the time the bite point moves in so they dont bottom out on the grip. I service my brake pistons yearly also. I had a set of SRAM Guide RSCs on a different bike i bought used and they never wondered but I still preffered the power of the Zee. If i built up something i would probably try the mt5 or mt7 since the price isnt much different once you put the 1 finger lever on the mt5
  • 4 9
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 6, 2020 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 @BamaBiscuits: I’ve got a set of XT’s and SLX’s and yeah they’re good for three or four rides then you have to do a lever bleed. I think it’s the ceramic pistons letting air in and they leak oil over the pads. I’ve just had to put a new calliper on my slx’s after they leaked over my rotor during lockdown. They’re just cheaply made and poorly designed.
  • 1 1
 I think it has something to do with calipers not being centered or rotors being out of true. Seems like the bite point changes if the piston finds itself resting in a slightly different position than normal
  • 1 0
 Could wandering bite point be fixed by pairing Shimano levers with MT5 or MT7 calipers or Shiguras suffers from the same illness?
  • 1 0
 @Snowrydr01:
Same experience with ZEE, but still my favorite. When on bite point very precise and powerful.

A lot of similar text in years. I guess, on rear brake line with mineral oil expanding, they should double oil chambers on lovers, but sadly Shimano went weight saving SRAM way.
  • 1 0
 Putoline hpx will solve the problem with shimano brakes.
  • 1 0
 @Jammerlappen: Suspension fluid?
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: yes, works perfect for me for several years in all of my shimano brakes. The 2.5 i think...
  • 3 0
 Its definitely the levers. Running them as shiguras and still get the wondering bite point. This has migrated from the the latest saints to the new xtrs. Always the rear only. Used shimano mineral oil and redline likewater suspension fluid, same on both. Having said that if someone could let me know of a more powerful combination let me know. There simply isn't a larger master to slave ratio in the same ball park along with the servo wave to take up extra lever travel.
  • 2 0
 @pakleni: my shiguras with 2017 (or 18, not sure) suffer from this A LOT. I do a lever bleed before every ride and it comes back after the first descent. But it only affects my rear brake so it might be the lever/hose interface not properly sealing (although I replaced the olive 3 times to the point I can't shorten the hose any more)...
  • 22 1
 "Sam Hill, who has piloted the bike to an unmatched three overall EWS series victories"

Pretty sure Tracey Mosley also won three in a row?

Great review, though, as usual!
  • 15 0
 and Cecile Ravanel
  • 9 0
 Yeah, Tracy is a legend. Always happy to help others. Great person and great athlete.
  • 11 0
 This is a good review.
I especially like the maintenance section. I want to know if I can replace my own bearings etc. That is a totally overlooked thing especially for riders in wetter climates (all be it I live in the UK and its been positively arid for the last few months bar the lst 2 weeks).
On a different note, I have spent the last couple of years laughing at the water bottle debate. This weekend I ordered a new bike. I had agonised over 3-4 narrowing it down and would keep going back to the Nukeproof Reactor (3rd place) especially when some came in stock. In the end it was the lack of water bottle space that killed that off. Most of my rides are 1-2 hours sans pack so a bottle is very important to me. I dont consider underslug as viable for dog/horse/cow/muddy sh!t reasons. Spending 3+k came down to water bottles! Damn.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree about the water bottles, wear a pack for big rides, but don't want to wear one for a 1-1.5 hr ride. Need that bottle!
  • 1 0
 This may sound unhealthy to a lot of people but you can actually train your body to be more efficient with water. I live in the desert southwest. I'll drink less than a liter within an hour of a ride and don't take anything to drink if the ride is less than 15 miles or three hours. I think Aaron Gwynn does like I do also.
  • 1 0
 @agauna: you must not be riding hungover
  • 8 0
 I love my Mega and agree with most of what this review says. It feels a bit bored if the trails are tight, or there's not a lot of gravity. But up the speed and it's great - really easy speed. With a bit of bodgery, it's possible to fit a 500ml bottle in the front triangle. Side entry Zee cage with zip ties at the front and SKS anywhere cage at the back does it: m.pinkbike.com/photo/18990673
  • 2 0
 Thanks for sharing. What size frame do you have, and would that 500mL bottle fit smaller frames? Would an XL fit a full size bottle?
  • 2 0
 @ozhuck2flat: mine's a large. I suspect you might struggle to get a larger bottle in there. The Elite Fly bottles do 550ml, which I know fit. Or maybe a bigger one with an old fashioned small lid might sneak in there. I'm pretty sure the Canyon Eject would fit, but might hit your knees.
  • 2 0
 @ozhuck2flat: PS, I think it's possible to turn the shock round so the reservoir is at the back, which would give clearance on smaller frames or for bigger bottles. I've not tried it though.
  • 5 0
 The non-intuitive spacing between sizing is what has removed this bike from my list personally. Otherwise it reviews really well most places.

The medium has a reach of 455mm, the large is 470mm, and the XL is 515mm. So the large is only 15mm larger than the medium, but a huge 45mm smaller than the XL.

I'm 6'1", and my current bike has a reach of 475mm, and I'm wanting it to be a bit larger. I'm just not sure I like the reach, ETT, and seat tube length of the XL.

If I had to guess, I'd say the weird sizing is a request of Mr Hill. If I remember correctly, he's swapped back and forth between medium and large sizes (at least in testing).
  • 1 0
 There was a large long in some models introduced, no?
  • 2 0
 Its a pity you cant try an XL, i went from a bike with 487mm reach to 522mm and it has been amazing, highly recommend. that said, i knew what i wanted and was happy to take the risk, and i can understand if other's wouldnt want to take that risk
  • 1 0
 I think you are right about the sizing being the result of Sam. He used the medium size with previous reach around 425-430mm if I am right, so then the gap between Medium and Large was about the same as Large to XL - around 45mm. Now the medium has an increased reach its closer to the Large frame so there is a weird jump now between the two. I imagine in the future things will change, but carbon moulds aint cheap and they probably dont want sizing differences between models.
  • 1 0
 @Lornholio: I believe you are right. I have heard of medium, medium long, and large. Perhaps just on the 275 though.
  • 1 0
 I am 6'1" on a large mega. It feels short on climbs. I didn't buy it to be the best at climbing. I have a sentier vrx for that..
I ran into a guy with the 29er size large mega and it felt similar, tight on climbs. XL would probably be fine, just narrow the bars 5 - 10mm.
  • 2 0
 I had a hard time buying mine because of this. Went with an XL and it feels great (I'm between 6'1" and 6'2"). As you might imagine, it's a beast on more wide-open chunky stuff, but feels long in tighter trails especially if I get lazy and am hanging off the back too much.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I have the 20q7 Mega290 in medium and it's 435mm reach. So sounds like you're right about them stretching it out closer to the bigger sizes.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: *2017 Mega290, that should have read.
  • 1 0
 Same, it's quite odd the small jump between M to L and then the huge jump to XL. I'm between a L and XL and I think buying either would be a compromise that I'm not willing to make on my bike.
  • 1 0
 @GumptionZA:

How tall are you? And which bike did you go from, and which did you go to?

I'm on a Kona Process 153 29, and feel like I need more reach (feel hunched a bit), and longer chainstays (425mm on mine).

I really want to try to demo a bike with similar-ish numbers. But with COVID, its been difficult to find anything locally with geo numbers like that. And you're right, it feels like a big risk (on paper).

I think my best chances are to try to find a Transition Sentinel, or Norco Sight. As I'm not likely to get a demo for a Nukeproof, Privateer, or Raaw here stateside Razz .
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: Im 194cm (6ft4 in socks, I'm sorry you use that silly system), i went from an XL radon Swoop 170 (650b, 428mm cs, 487mm r) to an xl bird aeris am9 (29in, 445cs, 522mm r)

a mate of mine got that same process as you and i really believe that for taller people it is not a good choice due to that chainstay length. The longer chainstays on my bird really were a game changer, the extra cs length alone increased to size of the window where my CoG was not in a dangerous place massively, and then along with the reach its a massive difference.
The only time where the extra length is annoying is on switchbacks where you have to turn back on yourself and the outside of the entry and the ouside of the exit of the corner is the same as your wheelbase, everywhere else the extra size has given me so much more confidence to throw the bike around that I find that as long as I'm willing to actively ride it, its just as agile as anything else, in fact i think its more agile than my radon was because the radon had a 65mm stem, which i really liked, you never get knocked off line at the expense of quick steering.

the only things stopping me going bigger is top tube length, i think the TTL on my bird is 680mm or so, which is about as long as i'm willing to risk going as all my height is in my legs. I would love to try a Pole or geometron, but I've heard nightmares about Pole customer service and Leo annoys me, and Geometrons cant take waterbottles... but both of those are longer bikes without going further on that TTL


anyway, sorry for the tangent, I've been eyeing new bikes and I'm not even considering things with CS lengths 440mm, the Norco Sight is definitely on my list, although Norco's Range is due an update soon, so maybe wait for that. I really like that sentinel, but the short (for XL) CS length makes me feel as though i'd struggle with weight distribution on it.
  • 1 0
 @GumptionZA:

I appreciate the feedback man!

Your experience and opinions mirrors my own. The Process has "too" short of chainstays for my preferences (~186cm here), making it really hard to weight the front correctly. But I bought it when I had no opinions (first "real" mountain bike), and its been a good bike to learn on.

I absolutely agree. The Transition Sentinel looks great for me... other than the fixed CS length. The Norco Sight is similar, but with slightly longer CS's in XL. And those are the main ones I'm likely able to find to demo someday.

I REALLY like the RAAW Madonna, but its a bit too spendy for me. So the Privateer 161 has me really interested. And the Privateers geo is really close to the Norco, so I'm hoping demoing the Sight can be a stand in (if I can just find one to test ride).
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: something to pay attention to (although you dont have to worry about it with any of the bikes youve mentioned) is actual seat tube angle, if your legs are long (like 800mm from your bb to your seat long). the actual seat angle on some bikes can send the seat over the rear axle, even though the geometry sheet says the bike has a 76deg virtual seat angle.

but in my internet stranger's opinion youre on the right track, i'd highly recommend being firm on chainstay length, it will make such a huge diffference
  • 9 1
 Only 14.8kg? Too light for an enduro bike in 2020.
  • 7 0
 Great review, also good to see that maintenance gets a mention.
  • 2 0
 Indeed. Home mechanics need to know this level of detail. Nice!
  • 2 0
 Was hoping a comparison to the Madonna would be there, and confirms that it’s at the top of my list for next year. I want to like the Mega, had a 2012 and loved it at the time - but this just doesn’t excite me and I ride a lot of slow tech as well as higher speeds son sounds like the Madonna would suit. I’m currently in hospital after the heaviest crash of my life bringing out some other health issues, so looking ahead. The one thing that seems extreme to me is the stack on the Madonna - 670mm on the XL - compared to similar bikes and especially compared to my current Patrol. Any comment on that compared to other bikes @dan-roberts ?
  • 1 0
 I swapped from a Mega 290 to a Capra 29 and I find the Capra to be a lot better downhill, and a bit shitter everywhere else. The mega was a bit dead on undulating ground I always thought, and the back end was a bit too long for most riding. Good on some stuff like climbing and flat turns, but not that good everywhere else. Actually what I quite fancy is a mullet Mega. The review did back up my feelings of the mega not being anything special on the downs. Overall it’s a sweet bike and I would have another... just not 29/29
  • 1 0
 I bought a Madonna v.2 and the stack height feels huge to start with. It has a huge headtube and I run a very low rise handlebar almost slammed to approximate the stack on my much shorter trail bike. It was relatively easy to adjust over to though after some fiddling. The Madonna handles tech pretty well, but it's still a really long bike. I feel like it's forte is high speed rough terrain and fast corners.
  • 3 0
 @jaame: I think my Mega is "bored" on flatter ground or tighter stuff because the anti squat is low, and the mid stroke isn't well supported, so it's a bit mushy and slow to accelerate. It's helped by a lot by a MegNeg. I find it good on steep tech, ploughing and proper high speed.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I did look at the Megneg but in the end the Capra was an itch that had to be scratched.
How do you get on with the really long back end? I always found it to be a bit hard work catching backsides and hopping logs on the trail, that kind of thing. I did rate that bike though. I mulleted it for a couple of weeks and it was really fun with the smaller wheel. I reckon a sweet compromise would be a 275 with a 160mm 29er fork. Perhaps I'll give that a go next year.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: well, it's not exactly easy to wheelie, and it didn't like tight trails. But the upside is awesome calmness at speed over the rough. I've heard the Capra is even more of a downhill sled than the Mega.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: The Capra 29 is distinctly better than the Mega 290 downhill. It's better at jumps. It's worse at everything else. Also I would guess about 500g heavier for a frame, which is hard to make back if you're into that kind of thing.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Didn't find the Capra 29 to be worse at anything at all than the Mega 290. That's comparing a carbon Capra to an alloy Mega. Neither of them are great climbers, but going from the Mega to the Capra I definitely found an improvement in that area. The numbers also confirm this, the Mega always sits well below 100% anti-sag...
  • 3 0
 I ride a mega. Awesome bike. Loves the speed. Worst drink bottle location ever. Bit of running joke with the crew about if I should take a sip during a muddy ride. I always do anyway though haha
  • 1 0
 Having had 2 megas (TR275 and the 142mm spacing mega, not this one though), the one complaint I have with them is that they doent carry speed on lots of little najjury roots or rocks like other bikes do (Nomad, even old 6 point, Azure). Might be a single pivot thing.
Saying that, I would take my Mega out of the garage before my Dh bike most days, take it on a modern dh style flow trail and it wants to go fast, not feel fast, but just is going fast. Its a very stable bike, not a playful bike, just stable and fast, very predictable under braking too.
If I was to ride najjury, little square edges and old school trails then there are more satisfying bikes that need much less work to carry speed. These kind of trails are dying off these days as people prefer back country/flow trails.
  • 2 0
 This version isn't single picot, though.
  • 1 0
 "The Mega does have a bit of a regressive hump at the beginning of travel in the leverage ratio which can add to this subtle harshness off the top." - This sentence does not make sense to me, surely a regressive hump would make the compression compress easier off the top, or maybe I have my math mixed up?
  • 3 0
 yeah you got that mixed up.
  • 1 0
 Guys we have to remeber that Dan was the on epointing out the relationship between pedal feedback and point of engagement.. He knows stuff... I like when he gets picky because he makes a difference compared to other test and puts those differences in the right perspective
  • 1 0
 I had the first-gen Mega 290 and found it to be a very soggy pedaller, also giving up its travel too easily descending with a harsh feel at the pedals on steppy rock. I understand the suspension kinematic has been revised for this model, in which case it could be a great proposition - because the geometry was excellent and it was a fast and capable bike in a lot of situations. Definitely sounds like it's still on the sleddy side of things, but that's what you get with a plush four-bar set-up and long geometry.
  • 3 0
 Same here. But mine is muuuch better with a new super deluxe with adjustable compression damping. Then I threw a MegNeg on there, which massively improved the pedaling. Now it's a bit more spritely, without losing the "plough through a rock garden" feel.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I tried a Monarch, Fox X2 and Cane Creek coil inline - but in all cases the bike started feeling too harsh as I added enough LSC to prop it up for pedaling. Coil gave the best feel, with a fairly stiff spring to stop it plunging through the travel.
Glad you've got yours sorted, I gave up but it was still the bike that opened my eyes to the benefits of long chainstays.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: I think it's mainly the MegNeg that fixed it, propping up the mid-stroke. I agree that the LSC can make it harsh, and I may knock it back a click as my feet were getting a bit bounced off at the weekend.
  • 1 0
 I got a SD coil and sent it to vorsprung. Really big improvement on the 275 mega
  • 2 0
 Have a long shocked XL 2018 Mega 290. No plans to part with it any time soon and use it for everything from trail riding to downhilling alongside folks on their big bikes. So versatile.
  • 2 1
 “the shorter 110mm headtube does mean that adding stem spacers for steeper riding reduces that on paper reach. Long forking also reduces the reach, and alters the rest of the geometry too. The RS model, which sits above the Factory version does exactly this with its 180mm travel Lyrik. Just something to keep in mind before you purchase or want to change your fork travel”

Reach is not an indication of how well a rider fits on the bike. The BB to handlebar distance is, and it not only remains unchanged with fork changes, but actually increases with the addition of spacers, even though the reach is reduced. Rider area distance (RAD) actually increases more by adding spacers than by an increase of reach. It’s just important to consider reach when comparing bikes. Consider a reach that’s 2.1 mm shorter than stated, to compare with that of a bike whose headtube is 5mm longer.
  • 1 0
 This is a great review of a good bike. The reviewer’s candidness with showing the pros AND cons of the bike is admirable. The attention to detail was excellent and paints a clearer picture of how the bike rides everyday vs. a race setting.

Thanks.
  • 1 0
 "Our test bike had a slightly higher BB at 340mm compared to the quoted 336mm, chain stay length was a few millimeters longer too, at 454mm and actual seat angle was measured at 73°."

What's up with that? Are they just saying that it has different numbers to make it fit closer to being on trend with geo or is production QC that bad?
  • 1 0
 I read a good article in MBR saying how there are always variations in individual frames. They found more variations in alloy frames and less in carbon ones because of the carbon frames using premade moulds. But yeah some of the differences in actual versus claimed numbers are actually pretty wild.
  • 1 0
 Fox forks (sure RS is the same) have a +/- 5mm tolerance on the axle to crown. You could end up with two forks, at either end of that tolerance, that are up to 10mm different, which is about a half a degree of head tube angle. Check out the engineering docs - www.ridefox.com/fox17/help.php?m=bike&id=1090

Do they vary that much? Who knows but they are claiming they can't hold that tight a tolerance on there. I'm sure frame manufactures are in a similar boat. Lots of parts, and lots of areas for small off-fit items to stack up.
  • 1 0
 @bicycle019: I've heard similar for frame tols, +- 5mm for terminating points out from the central plane, I.e. From mid of bb.
  • 2 1
 I don’t understand the issue with the bottle location - I have a Mega and use the under downriver bottle bosses; I just unscrew the cap before drinking. It’s really not that arduous. If you’re really bothered about ingesting nasty stuff just get a bottle with a flip cap.

JP
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts... wanted to float an additional thought out about the slightly additional composure at the sharp end you experienced with the Raaw. Any thoughts if the shorter stack/head tube and associated steerer tube flex may have been a contributor? I'm riding a XL Mega 290 and have a reasonable amount of spacers under my stem and find that the flex transmitted through the steerer to the bars is my biggest complaint when it comes to really getting on it. IMO, there's a perceptable difference to a frame with a low stack and steerer spacers and one that has a taller stack and uses minimal in conjunction with single crown forks.
  • 1 0
 Do you mean a for-aft flex? Or a torsional flex? The former I can picture but that latter I'm struggling to see how that would even work.
  • 1 0
 @dirtyburger: Bending moment about the steerer which is something I am able to notice. This is exacerbated by shorter steerers and additional steerer spacers. Shame that the 1.5" steered standard went away.
  • 1 0
 @Inclag: huh? I'm assuming you mean shorter head tubes. So fore-aft?
  • 1 0
 Good review. The only thing I'd argue is that the frame protection is there because they're using crappy paint. In 2 or 3 rides from new, the paint on the rear triangle of my Mega had worn through to metal in places. I wish I'd got it completely invisframed before riding. I was hoping that the frame protection that was already installed would be all that was required, but unfortunately not. Its a damn good thing that its easy to get nail polish in Nukeproof's 'Ron Burgundy red.
  • 1 0
 I just don't get why bikes like this come with a 160 post mount? Who's going to run a 160 rotor on a bike like this??? No One. 180 post mount should be stock on all enduro bikes. Maybe if it came in an XS, it would be appropriate, but not on M and up.
  • 4 0
 its a hit or miss with the tires... I love the Wild Enduros.
  • 2 0
 On our local rough trails several friends and I all had the Enduro Rear side knobs shred incredibly fast. Front is good, and I love the Rock’R2 in the rear.
  • 2 0
 Me too, amazing tyres, not sure how some don’t get on with them, too grippy perhaps?
  • 1 0
 I agree. Love these tires as well along with the casing/damping feel they provide. However the rear tire can get a little overwhelmed in the right type of grease due to the shorter and more tightly packed knobs. Also, for super dry loose over hard, they just aren't the same as your 'transition channel' tires.

The new Michelin DH 22 and 34, although DH casings, appear to directly address these little wrinkles with the Enduro. Oh, and yes the Wild Rock'R2 is awesome sauce.
  • 1 0
 @Inclag: agree on wild rokR2, fantastic rear tire, I use in very rocky, hardpack. never when its wet. .. The DH34 is a fantastic tire, and what I see is the rubbers or the way its constructed its different from the wilds, these are pigs, heavy but bulletproof.
  • 1 0
 another fan of the Wild Enduro's. I ride tech with roots, loam & some rock...... slowly. The tyres have been fantastic for me. Even ventured into Tigne bike park last week and they were great there too. Highly recommend for grip/confidence booster
  • 1 0
 I love the way the front wild enduro feels like it's undoing a zipper cornering on soft ground. Bit slow, and the firm casing doesn't conform so well to rocks and roots. It makes a hilarious combo on softer ground sometimes, when the rear can't cope as well as the front and there's massive, but predictable rear wheel drift.
  • 1 0
 I liked them, very predictable traction and drift point, but they shredded SO fast. Now use Assegai/Aggressor.
  • 5 0
 Weird saddle position.
  • 2 1
 Modern bikes with long front centers and long rear travel tend to sag a good deal more in the rear than in the front when one's seated. If when static the saddle is horizontal it ends pointing up when you seat. I run it pointing down on my AM9. Notice most people on Poles, Nicolais and such also run it that way
  • 4 1
 I run a similar angle but that's because I'm just climbing steep fire roads all the time and that makes the seat level for me. No need to be sliding off the back of the seat while climbing. The seat doesn't really get used at all on the way down.
  • 1 0
 Downhillers have it backwards and reviewer has enlarged testicles
  • 1 0
 I used to think so too until a friend convinced me to try it on a long 8km fire road climb - haven't looked back since. I used to just accept numbing but a nose-down saddle fixes that PLUS you're in a way better position for climbing because the saddle tilt counters the climbing grade. Result: less fatigue, more power, no more numb nuts.
  • 3 3
 That's a good looking bike! The only issue I would have with buying one is that you know within a matter of months it will for sale on CRC for a fraction of what I paid for it and as such the resale value would plummet. I have ridden one and it was fantastic though!
  • 7 1
 I don't think that's the case anymore buddy, all Nukeproof bikes tend to sell out quite quickly on CRC without discount. I was looking at a Reactor and they had all sold out and have noticed the unbelievable deals have vanished over the past year or so on their products
  • 1 0
 I wish that was true!
  • 1 2
 I've ridden multiple iterations and I don't agree. Sure, fast bike when you're on it but, for the majority of rides, a little borring and non-inspiring. That is why, from a custom 180-165mm bike, I have brought the Reactor, which is an awesome-awesome 150-130mm bike.
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: Have noticed the same trend. Bought a 2019 mega in december 2018 and was severely discounted around this time last year. They don't seem to be going with the same discount approach anymore. The new megas are also considerably more expensive now. I think they are trying to increase value
  • 5 4
 If the bike is so great and fantastic, why do you care about resale?
  • 3 0
 @pastaman23: yeah - not just because of Covid either, their products have drastically become more appealing and a fuller catalogue of models is testament to that. Reactor is a beaut for UK
  • 1 0
 It's not 2017 anymore. Nukeproof bikes fly off the virtual shelves as soon as they're restocked. You snooze, you lose.
  • 2 0
 @ricochetrabbit: I sold a mega 290 earlier in the year and I got within £20 of my asking price. They are sought after bikes both new and used.
  • 1 0
 2018 was the inflection point of reasonable value with Nukeproof and one was able to get a reasonably SLX spec'd Mega 290 for ~$2400 US and similar Vitus bikes for sub $2k US.

I doubt that we'll see any sales from CRC and I'm not sure that Nukeproof is the value brand they once were.
  • 1 0
 @ricochetrabbit: because soonerer or laterer there’ll be something greaterer and fantasticer?
  • 3 0
 Well yes, they drop the prices. But then they sell out. So if someone wants it new, they can't get it. So buying used at a discounted price would be the only option. While I don't think they'd retain the same value as a Yeti or SC would, I'd think it'd hold similar value to Trek/Giant. It's a great bike. People automatically attribute a higher price to a better bike. This is untrue in a lot of cases. Many cheaper bikes rip just as well as the boutique brands. Too many brand whores in this sport!
  • 3 0
 I don’t think Santa Cruz is boutique. Santa Cruz may think they are tho @stumphumper92:
  • 1 0
 Not compared to the drop you get if you buy a bike out of a shop at MSRP, that's for sure.
  • 1 0
 Also the Mega 290 just won the Enduro best affordable 29er group test. It’s getting a cult following. That helps keep prices high.
  • 1 1
 As a gen1 owner of that bike I really like the honesty and technical aspects of that review. It is a great bike, with some flaws, that need to be adressed.
To get the best out of your Mega you should really try and downsize on the chainring. I went as low as 26t paired with an e13 cassette. Sooo much better while sprinting out of the saddle, makes the bike much more direct to pedal input.
Secondly the digression at the beginning of the travel. With gen1 it was even worse. BUT: a good crossover stack in the compression circuit of the shock compensates for that issue nicely. Should be stock, but for some reason bigger companies do not have the balls to spec that on this and similar leverage curves.
  • 2 0
 Section on Maintenance is mint, thanks. Knowing what we're in for down the road for pivot maintenance is something I've not seen before in a review, critical information.
  • 2 0
 Has anyone ever seen a proper review on the RS version? I am wondering how the 180mm travel on the fork and the RS sus. will change the bike.
  • 3 0
 Hey man, great review! Enjoyed reading it.
  • 3 0
 Really like Dan's reviews!
  • 2 0
 I think it is just A great bike. Nice looking, kind of simple in positive way. Just great bike.
  • 1 0
 @danroberts
Hi, can you make any comment on this bike comparing it to the mega 275 RS (besides the usual 27.5 vs 29 comparisons)? Thanks!
  • 1 1
 Love my 2017 275 meg pro. No problem with back packs for water. Fit and forget the Wild Enduro tyres instead of wandering which tyres suit what conditions. Ride for fun and not just when flat out.
  • 2 0
 Most thorough review I've read. Give Dan Roberts a raise. I'll be on the lookout for his content
  • 1 0
 You lost me when you mentioned no bottle inside the front triangle. Such a small detail, but one which is incredibly important.
  • 1 0
 No gloves, no worries!! Looks like an absolute weapon, hoping they release a Sam Hill colorway again
  • 1 0
 Is every PinkBike bike review the same these days, or are most bikes in a category much the same these days?
  • 3 0
 The latter, I imagine.
  • 2 0
 You measured the actual seat tube angle? I think I’m in love!
  • 2 0
 That is a stellar spec for the price!
  • 2 0
 Well written report. Kudos
  • 2 0
 Tech editors need grammatical editors.
  • 1 0
 Nukeproof horizon frame strap on the top tube just behind the stem,Stick a a bootle in it and hey presto !
  • 1 0
 I see an incredible bike with lust worthy drivetrain and suspension at a great price and the paint job is dope....hello DH
  • 1 0
 no S? Small guys are officially out?
  • 6 0
 Small guys have no business with 29"... Better off with the 27.5" version...
  • 3 3
 I love my Cotic Rocket Max....if I was to change i'd get a 29 Nukeproof mega...
  • 7 3
 Great story
  • 1 0
 Aluminum alloy does the job and it's recyclable.
  • 1 1
 Yeah, but Madonna is heavier as it is all alu. I like Mega 290.
  • 1 0
 *downtube
  • 1 2
 regarding the Shimano brakes.... you forgot on first pull, they go to the bar first. then have zero pull
  • 3 5
 Where’s the water bottle mount tho
  • 3 0
 that's the joke.

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