Video: Sam Hill's Custom Nukeproof Mega 290 - EWS Madeira 2019

May 10, 2019 at 2:20
by Chain Reaction Cycles  

Team CRC Mavic manager Nigel Pages talks us through the Nukeproof Mega 290 that Team CRC Mavic rider Sam Hill will be racing at the third round of the Enduro World Series in Madeira this weekend. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!




116 Comments

  • + 233
 Nigel spoke, because Sam's review would have been like this: "It's yella, cause I like the color. Got the 29 inch wheels on. We'll see how that goes. Put some bigger gears in the back. I don't like the peddling too much. Ahh, dropper post, shifter, yeah she's good. Can't wait to race her. "
  • + 126
 I read that in Sam Hill's voice.
  • + 19
 To be fair Nigel didn't do much better. We eh thought we'd eh try the bike and thats what we've eh done here
  • + 6
 That was bang on.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: same HAHAHAH
  • + 3
 Amazing, so spot on
  • + 3
 Spot on!
  • + 3
 hahahahahahahaha fucking class!
  • + 3
 That was so spot on and for comparison's sake here's Sam talking about his pedal setup and his experience trying clips LOL @ 07:01 www.youtube.com/watch?v=SenIJ5I-yTM
  • + 2
 @chriskneeland: so did I ; )
  • + 39
 Thou shalt not criticize Sam Hill or his choice of wheel or pedal - (No - 3 PB Commandments)
  • + 6
 No... Thou shalt not be a poes on the internet from the comfort of thou armchair
  • + 5
 The only commandment: Don't be a poes, be lekker
  • + 4
 Yep, who is this headshot? Poes comments littered all over Pinkbike making it embarrassing to have our flag next to our name. Keyboard drols everywhere arguing with himself mostly like a bergie that downed a bottle of meths.
  • + 1
 @SimonD: howzit my chinas!
  • + 4
 No, just no. I'm ready to become Zimbabwean if you keen posting with the ZA flag next to your name.
  • + 4
 Jirre mense, Just because this is a public forum doesn't mean you have to crank up your South Africanisms, This isn't Durban.

I know you cape townians don't actually talk like that Wink
  • + 2
 @GumptionZA: shaddup man we partying.
  • + 4
 @GumptionZA: Lol. So true. More likely posh Rondebosch English.
Nice to see some Saffer banter though.
@headshot don't be a doos! Smile
  • + 0
 @Dustfarter: Kief man!
  • + 13
 Where does the belief that 27.5 are cooler and that a win on them over 29 makes the rider more of a rebel/champ? Why do people give a shit? Also a genuine question.
  • + 12
 because 29 used to be categorized as xc only, sad isn't as xc actually rips too!
  • - 43
flag chriskneeland (May 10, 2019 at 3:24) (Below Threshold)
 Because they suck to ride. They're over-hyped cheater wheels that people switch to when they start to bitch out. And according to Sam Hill, they're "gay". I wouldn't really give a shit if companies engineered their bikes equally in both wheelsizes, but they don't. They're stuck on convincing the public that 29er is faster, and faster means better, even though the results of the last two seasons of WC and EWS proved they're not.
  • + 2
 Because folk just like to moan about stuff and claim they're cooler than the next guy. No other reason
  • - 7
flag DavidGuerra (May 10, 2019 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 The answer is simple. Because 27.5 bikes are generally slower, so winning on them is more of an achievement.
  • + 3
 @DavidGuerra: Slower? Where do you get that from. Look at last years WC podiums and EWS results. If you're going too slow then you should probably just get off the brakes.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: Hum, that tickled you off, he? Come on, what I'm saying is common knowledge. Timed tests demonstrate that 29" bikes are faster in most situations, even if it's by only a hair, and even if rider skill supersedes "wheel skill". For everyone winning on 27.5 people will wonder how much faster he would have been on a 29". Maybe he wouldn't have been faster at all, but the perception does exist!
  • - 5
flag chriskneeland (May 10, 2019 at 7:06) (Below Threshold)
 @DavidGuerra: Haha timed tests? Who's? Everyone on 27.5 beating an entire field of 29ers are the only test results I need to see. Keep drinking the kool-aid.

And yeah I am pissed. Oversized wheels that ride like trash are ruining this sport just so some Jerry with $8k to blow can pedal through a rock garden easier on his new Hightower. This sport is selling out HARD.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: Plenty of timed tests around, on youtube and elsewhere. Anyway. Those who like 27.5 have nothing to complain about. There is more than plenty of material for you, unlike 26". And no, 29" bikes don't ride like trash at all, at least not any more than 27.5 ones. Totally misguided notion. There is not even a set rider/wheel ratio. A 29" is proportionally the same as a 27.5 wheel to a smaller rider. So to each his own. Quite a stupid thing, wheel hate.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: why would the industry prefer to push 29" over 27.5"? What's the conspiracy? Not buying the ground clearance argument...my Rallon R5 has a lower bb than my old Bronson...
  • - 5
flag chriskneeland (May 10, 2019 at 7:44) (Below Threshold)
 @metareal: 29 on a trail bike makes sense where you're pedaling through terrain. Not on a gravity bike. At high speeds a 29er handles like shit and isn't any faster.

@DavidGuerra: Those who like 27.5 have nothing to complain about? How about bike companies no longer offering 27.5 enduro/dh bikes? It's not that stupid when there's an obvious sell out going on.
  • + 2
 @chriskneeland: 27.5 is not disappearing. So what if not all brands have it. Not all have 29" either. There's still more than plenty of options.
  • + 3
 @DavidGuerra: Did Yeti come out with a 27.5 SB150? I don't see one on the horizon. Is there a 27.5 M29? Will companies like Devinci invest in a carbon mold for a 27.5 Wilson if it's only selling 29ers? It's not looking promising.
  • + 2
 @chriskneeland: As for the high speed I can't comment because I have never ridden my 29er above 70 km/h. But I have done some pretty rocky stuff at 63 km/h and it was fine.
  • + 3
 @DavidGuerra: 29ers are great at going in straight lines, if that's all your into.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: lots of 27.5 bikes out there... but saying that 29er handles like shit is quite ignorant. I just switched to 29 from 27 and it does take some time to adjust but you can rail just as fast if not faster.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=APZUzePObF0
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: They also corner fine. I bet you tried an old geo version and have assumed they're still the same?

Anyway, wheel size on it's own is nothing as it combines with everything else. What Ben Cathro's video comparing them on V10s.
  • + 0
 @chriskneeland: No, they are great at going in any kind of lines. Of course that when there are turns, especially high speed ones, there's more fun. The same with 27.5 bikes, I'm sure. I have had nothing but a great time riding my 29er. If I had to use a 26er anywhere (never set my feet on a 27.5), it would be on the super slow, super tight stuff.
  • + 0
 @gmt: Quite true. The main difference I noticed riding was the longer chainstays. The wheel size itself was not something I had to adapt to.
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: They're not even close to as nimble. I'm 27.5 enduro and 26 on my park bike. Compared to how snappy and nimble my 26 is, a 29er feels like trash. But I guess noone will notice how trash they are if they have nothing to compare it to after the bike industry kills 27.5 the way they did 26.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: You know what I find funny about all of your comments? You simultaneously call 29er wheels "cheater" wheels AND they "ride like trash" or can only "go in straight lines" etc, etc. Which is it dude? They either suck or they're cheating. Pick one.
  • - 3
 @Lotusoperandi: They're cheater wheels because riders get mind f*cked by bad results and think they'll get a little speed by going to a bigger wheel. And then they end up compromising ride quality just to chase a few seconds they'll never actually get. And the bike industry is happy to push that fake narrative because Jerry has a $10k bonus to spend on "bigger and better " so he can race the new local Weekend Jerry Enduro now that he can easily pedal through that tricky rock garden.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: "They're cheater wheels because riders get mind f*cked by bad results and think they'll get a little speed by going to a bigger wheel. And then they end up compromising ride quality just to chase a few seconds they'll never actually get."

So then they're actually NOT cheater wheels? If they're not cheater wheels stop calling them that. Thanks.

Oh wait: "now that he can easily pedal through that tricky rock garden."

So then they ARE cheater wheels? Jeebus. Keeping track of your logic is like trying to herd cats. Never mind.
  • - 2
 @Lotusoperandi: Haha...if you don't know what I'm talking about you're one of those Jerry's. A gravity bike at speed feels like shit with 29 inch wheels. So that tells me you don't ever actually get to speed.

And if you're pedaling through a rock garden, you need a 130mm trail bike, not a 165mm. Now go spend that $8k so you can feel fast.
  • + 3
 @dobermon: The most logical thing I've heard in this section yet!
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: It's obvious you're a relatively small guy, hence your problem with big wheels. My 29" wheels are probably smaller in comparison to me than your 27.5 are in comparison with you. I would enjoy trying something bigger.
  • - 2
 @DavidGuerra: Haha, I'm 6'. If you needed a bigger bike then look at reach, stack, top tube, and bottom bracket height. Going to a bigger wheel size is just going to inhibit your bikes ride characteristics.
  • + 0
 @chriskneeland: No I don't need a bigger bike but it would be interesting to try a bigger wheel. Just to try it out. Sub-29" wheels do look small to me now.
  • + 3
 @chriskneeland: BTW. What bike gave you the bad impression of 29ers?
  • + 3
 @DavidGuerra: The Evil Wreckoning. I own an Evil Insurgent. You couldn't have two better bikes to compare. The Wreckoning is a legit 29er, fully designed around that wheel size. Everything is nearly identical, reach, bb, head angle, travel. The most noticeable difference is how snappy and quick the smaller wheel size is.
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: I feel the same when I swap betwen my 26er steel HT and my 27.5 Enduro. I can't imagine how tank like a bigger wheel bike would feel.
  • + 5
 Always remember, choose your wheel size and be a bitch about it.
  • - 3
 @romkaind: You're only a bitch if you're on cheater wheels.
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: Great. But you really have nothing to complain about. Even if 27.5 bikes stopped being made, which could only mean that there was no demand for them (which won't happen). It would be better for you, you would be able to get great used bikes and parts for cheap. That's not the case with 26". Head angles are too steep, bb's are too high, frames are too small. If the current state of 27.5" seems unsatisfactory to you... switch to 29"!
  • + 0
 @DavidGuerra: Huh? I have two 26 in DH bikes. Both's geo is on point. 63 HA, short chain stays, long reach (2014 GT Fury & 2015 Operator Supreme). Geo was dialed for 26, which is why bike companies needed to bake up the next best profit driven hype.
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: Yes, reach ain't bad. Back in 2012 I didn't find anything as large. It does surprise me that 26" bikes were still being made in 2014. As for 26" enduro bikes with modern geo, I still know of none.
  • + 0
 @chriskneeland: agreed, I'm yet to find a, 29er I'm comfortable on, but stores have begun to dtich 27.5 tyre stock already.
  • + 2
 Who is that French guy who won the DH world cup overall last year? Wasn't he on a 29er?
  • + 0
 @jaame: You mean the one that was beat several times by bikes with 27.5 wheels? I'd say it was more rider skill than wheelsize. Also, that bike's suspension deserves a bit of credit.
  • + 2
 @chriskneeland: Every little helps, I guess. Most of the riders who had 29ers available used them. I could be wrong about this, but I would have guessed most of them would have done some back to back testing against the clock on both wheel sizes before making a decision. Wouldn't they?
  • + 1
 Look at Maes and Loic.... making the switch as well (well sort of)
  • + 2
 @chriskneeland:
I guess you should DM Sam to let him know how much of a cheater/bitch he is. It would mean a lot coming from you.
  • + 2
 It could be like "wow, he won on a 29" bike! He can win on anything! It's all about rider skill". Why is it not like that? Because 29" is considered to actually be faster. Some even call them cheater wheels. So the answer is really simple. A win on 27.5 emphasizes rider skill and is therefore "champ" and a win on 29" is like "the bike did it". Now, we know that these are exagerations and that it's always the rider that does it, but the perception that 29" gives you an advantage is why a win on 27.5 gets more "rider credit". These are obvious facts that don't seem to sit well with some people, as the downgrading of my previous comment shows.
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: Also my motivation to go to 29" was the extra grip offered by the larger diameter tires. The 26" bike already handled small and large obstacles more than fine.
  • + 1
 @DavidGuerra: Pretty much spot on. I am disappointed because Sam has for ages bucked the trend - flat pedals and smaller wheeled better handling bike FTW. To me he was proof that the best rider would always win no matter what bike he rides (within reason) and I liked that a lot. The fact that he thinks he may be quicker on the bigger wheels is fine, but I think its more a mental than physical thing, which of course cant be discounted. Either way, I hope Sam wins this weekend.
  • + 1
 @jlf1200: He knows. I don't have to tell him.
  • + 13
 Red fork lowers need to be purple!
  • + 4
 or at least black
  • + 3
 Needs to be orange so you call the bike a tequllia sunrise.
  • + 5
 290 ..for a moment I thought CRC were launching a new wheel size!


What ever the wheel size, Sam will rip the sh*t out of it!
  • + 3
 Looks unreal. I remember banging around on a mates older brothers yellow and purple Rm250 slingshot. Scared the crap outta me! This thing takes me back! Cool idea. I'm sure it feels rad to ride for the nostalgia. Hope you get back to where you wanna be this round!
  • + 2
 Switching to a 29" bike with contemporary-style reach made me forgo the platform pedals. You are more inside the bike, rather than on top of it, so it feels better being attached to it. It also reacts slower, so there is no need to get a foot out lightning-quick. You just learn to become one with it.
  • + 1
 @Dav82: I wonder if he will ever switch to clipless pedals. I remember him saying 29 inch wheels were against his religion. Or maybe that was clipless pedals. In any case, he's no mug. I'm sure he will use whatever is faster, and I think for most people, clipless pedals are faster. We will have to wait and see I guess.
  • + 1
 @jaame: It doesn't seem like you are addressing me, but he said that he has raced with clipless pedals as well. It's obvious that he would have tried them at least. I think his religion is bikes, period Smile
  • + 1
 @jaame: However with his signature shoe and all... He has an image to look after. It's not just a matter of whim, I think.
  • + 1
 @DavidGuerra: I'm just making the point that we have preferences but when you're getting paid for results, those preferences may go out of the window.
I thought he said he would never go 29, now he is because he knows it's faster. Perhaps the next switch will be to clipless, even though he said he won't at this particular time.
  • + 3
 Wagon wheels! For race and for the win every thing counts, if could be better, let's go! But I would prefer to see Sam on a 27.5 and smashing the 29ers and the crazy hybrids (29/27.5)..
  • + 2
 Quite a few changes to contend with. I know Sam is very experienced and obviously a World Class top rider, but does changing not only wheel size but also other things not make a difference to even someone like him. Genuine question.
  • + 3
 Probably. But as you said he’s a world class rider so would take next to no time to adjust. My understanding is he’s been testing back to back with the 650b mega so clearly feels comfortable racing the 29er.
  • + 3
 Long travel 29ers are hero-makers in rough stuff, would absolutely get one were I were racing. But I don't race, so I enjoy the slightly more agile 27.5 bikes.
  • + 4
 Where is Headshot with his hater comments?
  • + 1
 Wake up man - I'm way ahead of you. BTW I love the colour of this bike, shame about the wheels :-)
  • + 2
 My question is why change mid-season after two rounds? I would have thought this should have been sorted out in the off season.
  • + 5
 Et tu, Brute?
  • + 5
 OMG It´s not Carbon!...
  • + 3
 The colour is really ugly!
  • + 0
 As is your mother
  • + 1
 I kind of remember a video of him and Brandon in the good old specialized days, joking out loud about how 29ers were for pussies. Can't seem to find it any more, though...
  • + 2
 "let us know in the comments below what you think of Sam's change to 290..." lmao RIP
  • + 1
 Sam is a damn legend... His eye brows probably talk more than he does though.
  • + 1
 makes me want to try a 170 lyric on my Mega 290. beast of a bike, love it.
  • + 1
 Who really cares 29ers are fun and so are 27.5. I think ride what ever is comfortable and makes you feel faster.
  • + 1
 but..first i will try the franken wheeler version....
  • + 1
 I have mixed wheel sizes on My G16 Geometron - really good.
  • + 1
 But 275 or 290 to do it with? That's the hard question
  • + 1
 time to sell my 27.5 mega and buy the 290 frame...
  • + 1
 Thats what they want. Resist!
  • + 2
 Looks like a 29er
  • + 1
 Go hard Sam Hill, you are the man!!!
  • + 1
 Wonder why he changed the dropper length?
  • + 1
 Love purple components! Is it possible to buy the stem in purple yet?
  • + 3
 Will be next month!!
  • + 1
 paint the fork purple lads - other than that, looks ace!
  • + 1
 He would probably win a prize for the ``ugliest bike of EWS``.
  • + 1
 Why a 170mm crank when changing to a 29er?
  • + 0
 Keep awake at the back of the class. The 29er has a higher BB so less chance of pedal strikes, that was the only reason Sam ran 165mm cranks.
  • + 1
 If you know of a Dub XO in 165 please let me know...@Publicanus:
  • + 1
 @Publicanus: Don't think so. The are going to very close. The difference is drop is 20.2mm. Doing some quick math that would actually make the static BB height actually a few mm lower on the 29er than the 27.5
  • + 1
 @Moody1971:
You will find it on the Nukeproof website, look at 'day of the dead bike'
If you listen to the Youtube at the top of the page it's also in there 165 cranks.
  • + 1
 @mfoga:
But you are looking at a bike with 160mm not 170mm Lyrik.
  • + 1
 @Publicanus: Ok so that raises it a few mm and will offset the fact it was lower with 29 160mm fork. Still no point where there is 5mm of extra ground clearance we are talking like 1mm difference.
  • + 1
 Fast and Loose!
  • + 1
 Upside down stem
  • + 1
 RIPPER!

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