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Video: A Deep Dive on Sam Hill's Nukeproof Giga Race Bike

Jun 28, 2021
by Pinkbike Originals  

Sam Hill is no stranger to the EWS circuit and his Nukeproof Giga reflects his experience. Take a look at the flat pedal shredder's EWS race rig.

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Nukeproof Giga Details

Frame size: Medium
Wheel size: 29"/27.5"
Rear Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe
Fork: RockShox Zeb Blackbox
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 AXS
Pedals: Nukeproof Sam Hill Horizon
Cockpit: Nukeproof Sam Hill bars, stem and grips
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Wheels: Nukeproof Horizon
Tires: Michelin DH22

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Sam Hill has mostly been riding his Mega race bike but as both rounds this week were on similar stages he decided to run the Mega for race one and the Giga for race two.

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Sam is running a size medium for his race bike as this is the size he has always had in the past and he says: "I’m not getting taller so my bike doesn’t need to get longer."

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For round one in Val di Fassa Sam was running his Mega race bike where he opted for the Michelin Wild Enduro tire for the rear. But with the mullet setup on his Giga for round 2 Sam wanted some extra grip so he ran the DH22 tire front and rear.

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94 Comments
  • 47 0
 I've suddenly realised that this may be the longest I've heard Sam Hill speak uninterrupted. They usually have to cut to him blazing down something fast and loose doing turns that don't quite seem to follow physics.
  • 3 0
 I had a look on YouTube for the Vital ten questions or whatever it was where readers would send questions in. The Sam Hill one was funny for the obviously over it answers he gave. What pressures do you ride? Erm... (squeezes the tyre) About half a thumb.

The Dave Weagle one was also hilarious for different reasons. Just a really funny guy.

I couldn’t find them sadly.
  • 49 5
 Sam Hill doesn't buy into the whole longer slacker bike thing. Who is this guy, anyway?!
  • 54 5
 He literally had custom bikes made when racing DH that were slacker and longer.
  • 20 20
 @nouseforaname: It's hard to take him serious. My new bike is long and slack and it the best thing ever, on everything! Guess he doesn't enduro, bro!
  • 14 0
 I mean, if you like the setup, and it works well for you, why change it?
  • 16 0
 Maybe not now, but he did before the industry caught up. His "medium" Sunday was the length of a large but with a medium seat tube and a way slacker than stock head tube.
  • 10 8
 I actually can’t think of any top racer WC or EWS who does buy into the massive bike theory other than Greg Minnar. I think it helps when your learning as they’re stable and relaxed but when your trying to squeeze out every millisecond you need something more responsive.
  • 18 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Adrien Dailly and Yoan Barelli are both 5'8" or less and ride size larges.
  • 8 1
 @nouseforaname: In 2014 he had a custom made NukeProof DH bike with a shorter reach, longer chainstays, and steeper HTA
  • 7 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: Makes me think that the ratios of the bike itself matter more than the height of the rider (unless it's extreme) -- the right balance of chainstay/front-center/etc. might just be better in a size large in some bikes or a size medium (Rude runs a medium on the sb150) on others, especially if the chainstays aren't growing with sizes.
  • 18 0
 Except he's only 5'9" so he is supposed to be riding a medium, it's the right size for him. And whether he likes it or not... in the last 4 years his medium sized bike has gotten substantially longer and slacker (and the Giga is even slacker). If he wasn't a fan of the longer bikes, he could size down to a 2021 size small which would actually be very similar to his 2018 medium and/or use an agleset to go back to a steeper HA.
  • 4 6
 @ksilvey10: bingo. We need chainstays getting longer
  • 8 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Except they all inadvertently do... because unless they are downsizing the bike they ride, over the last 4 years pretty much every single enduro and DH bike has gotten longer/lower/slacker. A medium from 2021 in almost every brand is a much bigger/lower/slacker/longer bike than a medium from 2018. Yes, some of the riders who are at that "in-between" height and frame size have chosen the smaller size, but again, even many of the 2021 mediums are longer and definitely still slacker than 2018 larges.
  • 11 0
 With a 63.5 deg head angle and 455 reach it isn’t exactly some kind of old school sled though, is it?

Maybe he just means he isn’t into riding bikes too big for him, he is riding the right size for his height as others have said.

I am almost exactly the same height and 450-460 reach is my sweet spot.
  • 2 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: I think Barelli is actually riding a size 4 (XLish) with a cut down seat tube and GGs proprietary reach adjust headset in the short setting. So xL maybe, long bike for his height what ever you want to call it.
  • 1 1
 amen to that. refreshing to hear
  • 7 1
 He doesn't yet he is still riding a longer medium rather than switching to a small...
  • 4 4
 @islandforlife: 450mm reach on the medium mega. That’s been standard size roughly for a medium for a while now. Just seems like all the pros have got to a certain reach they’r not willing to go past and they will downsize to keep it also most riders who are between sizes always go for the smaller size I was mainly referring to the proponents of massive bikes and it not taking off, mondraker, pole, geometron etc than some of the mainstream manufacturers who have gradually and conservatively increased sizing over the years.
  • 1 0
 @ksilvey10: Μy thoughts exactly. Front to rear center balance for good handling, and different wheelbase lenghts to fit different courses. Hard to do in practice of course, but I like the theory.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: My '19 medium had 450mm reach and the '21 Medium I just got is 465mm so you can't say there is a "standard size". At 5'8", I could have downsized and gone with a small @ 445mm reach but with a steeper STA I would have been cramped with a short effective TT even with a 60mm stem.
  • 1 0
 @nouseforaname: Not compared to today.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Talking about that Sunday with a 62 or something headangle.
  • 4 1
 @Joecx: agreed there’s no standard sizes but on a whole mediums have seem to have settled around that 450mm reach. We’re not seeing the huge increases in length anymore just fine tuning. I’m 6,3 one of my bikes has a 455mm reach and my other has a 480mm I wouldn’t go longer or shorter but will happily ride anything in that range. I don’t think bikes need to get any bigger anymore and some bikes are too big. Unlike pre 2015 where everything was way too small.
  • 2 1
 @thenotoriousmic: At 445 reach you ride roughly the same size bike as me and you are about 5-6 inches taller.

Just like we can’t we we the same trousers I doubt the same bike would fit us both and I know who I think that size of bike fits best….
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: I’m happy on ether I love how agile my small bike is. It corners on rails but it’s not as stable as my longer bike but then my longer bike isn’t as good in the turns. 455mm reach is still a long bike compared to what we’ve traditionally used,
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: Honestly *anything* these athletes do/use is of little relevance to average joes. Unless you have a six pack (great core strength), flexibility to make a yogi happy and the upper body strength from gym work 4 days a week, we're probably not able (even with talent) to ride our bikes like these guys do.
  • 1 1
 I've heard he uses "RAD" sizing, also called knuckle height - details on Joy of Bike youtube channel
  • 1 6
flag SintraFreeride (Jun 28, 2021 at 23:15) (Below Threshold)
 @thenotoriousmic: Bikes are not long enough but they are getting there. A medium should be 480mm in my opinion. I ride a 515mm reach bike and have tried a 535mm one that also worked well. I'm 180cm/5'11''.

PS: Seat tubes also need to get shorter in general now that 200mm droppers are becoming the norm.
  • 2 1
 @nouseforaname: a sixpack is only an indicator of body fat %, not of core strength. Core strength is so much more than rectus abdominis.
  • 2 2
 Hahahah I laugh at the fools downvoting
One day you’ll learn what a better balanced bike rides like and it’s way better than the crappy short chainstays. Balanced bikes actually ride better…
  • 5 0
 @SintraFreeride: Going for that I’ve stolen my dads bike feel? Wink
  • 3 0
 @SintraFreeride: seat tube lengths were fine for few years already, seat post insertion depths is what needs sorting. it doesn´t matter if you have 400mm seat tube on size L if you have to run it with 10cm of post still visible, all you get is more flex in the post and more binding.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: i'm on a 441 reach (HT) and 515 reach (FS) and both bikes butt to bar measure the same at about 710mm at full seat height and i'm 6'1". There are too many other factors to conside reach alone - stem length, bar sweep, bar roll, seat position on rails.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Agreed farty. Reach is just one factor.
  • 1 3
 @thenotoriousmic: Nah, I just prefer adult sized bikes that's all...hehe.
  • 1 3
 @Mondbiker: Yes seat post insertion is also important but I think having a 500mm seat tube on an XL is ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Greg Minaar is massive though, so he would obviously need a massive bike.
  • 16 2
 The gold finish over the visible carbon fibers is gorgeous
  • 4 1
 Where are these visible fibres then?
  • 4 1
 For half a second I thought that was supposed to look like wood grain.
  • 3 0
 @BeardlessMarinRider: It looks like a transparent gold finish over the raw carbon. Or they could've used a paintbrush to get that effect. either way it looks way nice.
  • 11 1
 Not really a deep dive. Basically telling you what you can see in a photo.
Things like bike weight, tire pressures, suspension setup, etc would be a "deep dive". Lots of riders keep that info close to their chest which is o.k. but the title is clickbait.
  • 3 1
 I'd really like for rider stats for reference.

For instance, Riding a medium means nothing without knowing his height (at thr very least).

And his pedals, highly regarded, but seem on the small platform size......so what size feet is he putting on them?
  • 22 0
 I’m not 100% on this, but I think they are the same size feet as he used for the past few seasons
  • 1 1
 @jaame: well played sir
  • 1 0
 I stood next to him and he's not very tall, so a medium is quite long for him I think, at least in contrast to Rude or Gauvin and their medium bikes
  • 4 0
 Long bikes allow new riders to ignore their cornering capability because they give them so much confidence in the steep and straight.
  • 2 2
 Or maybe because the long and slack bikes corner as they should in the first place instead of plotting against you lol.
  • 4 0
 Still haven't heard why he placed so low over the weekend. Crash? Mechanical? Just not riding well (for him)?
  • 9 0
 According to Nigel Page he’s not quite found his flow and fitness after having 18 months away from racing.

JP
  • 2 0
 Just not riding well. Page said something along the lines of them having to make Sam love to ride his bike again.
  • 22 0
 @BenTheSwabian: enjoyed the time at home with thw family too much, good for him I say, a legend of the sport no matter how well he does
  • 3 0
 @melonhead1145: this - brief look on social media and you can see life looks good over there, gonna be hard to leave and go racing after a year off and he has nothing at all left to prove.

Sams not one to rule out though as the past has shown he is more than capable.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername:

It has to be an interesting head space to be in. Staying competitive whilst 'maturing in the sport' and planning your post race career to keep the family fed.
  • 4 0
 Sam, can you win a race? Yeah
Can you win loads of races? No worries
Can you win titles and championships? Spose
Can you do it for years and years, back to back? Yeah sure

...I can see why he might be lacking enthusiasm. What's left to prove?
  • 1 0
 @IllestT: after his lackluster results from the last two races, I could see that being the motivation to start hitting it hard again. Prove that he's still got it in him, after that though I wouldn't be surprised if he does start phasing out of racing. Everyone was talking about him being a potential first place. From the video after the race, you could tell he wasn't pleased. That's a lot of potential motivation right there.
  • 4 0
 will the mullet stay, or will it go... ?
  • 10 1
 Yes
  • 2 1
 @grldm3: you're totally right, mate
  • 4 0
 What's that over the pedal cap? Dirt?
  • 5 1
 Looks like a bit of moto foam, not sure it'll do much good there tho.
  • 3 0
 The porno-sonic soundtrack is on point.
  • 2 1
 Also worth noting Sam Hill never has extraordinary results in ews events involving serious climb sections, this will only become amplified with age….
  • 1 0
 How about the rock guard painted on the side of his crank arms, with the flat pedals guess he needs more grip.
  • 3 0
 Its SRAM X01 DH Crankarms, or least the griptape they put on those arms
  • 1 1
 @avg-roadie: I was wondering if they had sprayed rhino lining on the arms, but is there tape that has that look/texture? I noticed the end of his pedal spindle also has something covering the hole that looks similar?
  • 3 0
 @msalcher: I'm not sure if they sell the tape but it looks the same as the production DH cranks, for the pedal it's moto foam to keep some mud out, you can also see it near his rear shock mount as well.
  • 3 9
flag islandforlife FL (Jun 28, 2021 at 11:04) (Below Threshold)
 @msalcher: It's called griptape and the Skateboarding industry has been using it since... well almost since skateboarding was invented. And I think that's mud on the end of the pedal spindle.
  • 3 0
 @islandforlife: it's not normal grip tape, check out the new X01 dh cranks, its textured but not sandpaper, and its moto foam, bike is clean and not mud on the bike but prep for the mud
  • 5 1
 My question is how is he running dh cranks on a 73mm bb.
  • 1 0
 @avg-roadie: @avg-roadie: Cool thanks. That tape/coating could be useful in other applications on the bike as well. Might have to look into it.
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: I was curious if the same thing! Hope we can find out…
  • 2 0
 Is the frame giga 275 or 290 considering it is mullet build?
  • 1 0
 Katy Winton uses a 290 front end with a 275 back end. This could be the same?
  • 1 0
 I'm still waiting on the catfish build. Where the front looks really pretty but the back is the ugliest bike you've ever seen.
  • 2 0
 Get back on the mega man.
  • 2 0
 Anyone know how he's managed to get a DH crank on a 73mm BB?
  • 2 0
 If Sam Hill wants it, Sram will make it.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: not that hard to glue shorter axle to DH crank, they have both already produced.
  • 1 1
 Nukeproof seems to be good at making high performing bikes that are not overly complex in their mechanical layout. Which is why I just bought two of them!
  • 2 1
 Result Mega: 18

Giga: 43
  • 3 3
 Put him back on the Mega so he can keep winning! Too much travel makes Mr Hill a dull boy
  • 1 0
 Is that a 190mm travel fork?
  • 1 0
 Only Sam Hill decides what bike to ride. At the race.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know which Wahoo mount he is running?
  • 3 4
 He also said he doesn't buy into 29er, look at him now
  • 5 2
 Look at his results. If I told you I'm against 29rs, then rode one and had my worst finish ever wouldn't that make me right in disliking them?
  • 1 0
 I see him performing his worst race on a new wheel size. He seems to have a point, even if it's not proven to be causation yet.
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce: That's beside the point. Sam disliked 29ers and is now riding them (and has won plenty on 29ers), Sam claimed to dislike long low slack and has been riding it that way for years (and has won plenty on new geo as well). The point is Sam may say one thing at one point in time but is free to change his mind and it doesn't necessarily discredit industry trends simply because Sam Hill says something
  • 1 0
 @mchenrya: I completely agree with you. My comment was just barely on this side of serious.
  • 2 4
 Is that the new Santa Cruz Nuke?
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