Round 2 of The British National Downhill Series saw so many top-flight riders come to Fort William ahead of World Champs in August. But one name jumped out of the page when I got the start list and that name was Sam Hill. The man, the myth, the legend. Sam was back on a Downhill bike. I mean that's enough to get anyone excited, but when that bike is one of Nukeproof's new Dissent Carbons it was an opportunity we could not miss. So I sat down with Sam's mechanic Jacy Shumilak to get the lowdown on Sam's latest Nukeproof DH bike.
The Dissent Carbon has just been launched by Nukeproof this month and the bike was pretty new to Sam. Chatting to Jacy there was a lot more firsts going on with this bike. This Dissent is running mullet and that's a first for Sam on a DH bike, as well as that it's the first time Sam has ridden a Carbon Nukeproof DH bike and a long time since he's been on a carbon DH bike. Add to that the prototype suspension that is on the front of this bike, there has been a lot for Sam and Jacy to work out and by no means is this set-up a finished product.
So let's get into the details of Sam's Dissent frame. First up: size. Sam is riding the NP2 Dissent frame which is their equivalent to their medium. The Dissent has plenty of adjustability built into the frame with plus and minus of 6mm reach adjustment in the headset. From what I saw it looks like Sam was riding the bike with plus 6mm on the headset. The rear swing-arm on the Dissent Carbon can be changed from being able to run a 27.5 to a 29" rear wheel by simply inverting a flip-chip on the rear triangle and swapping out to 29” or 27.5” rear wheel. Adjusting this flip-chip compensates for the new wheel size and ensures the kinematic and geometry are not compromised. This was set in the 27.5" position for this weekend. The next bit of frame adjustment is the adjustment in the rear chain-stay. This allows the wheelbase to shorten or lengthen by 5mm, but in Sam's case, the rear axle is set in the centre position. On top of this, Sam has a custom team paint job on his Dissent.
The new Dissent Carbon has a recognisable shape to the previous aluminium versions, and that's no mistake. Even down to the fact that parts from the existing Dissent Alloy will transfer to the new Dissent Carbon frame, making it easy for current owners to upgrade their frames if they wanted to.
The bump stops on the side of the Dissent hide internal cable entrances.
For the drivetrain, it's all SRAM for Sam with the SRAM XO DH 7-speed groupset being used.
Of course, at the end of the carbon SRAM XO DH 170mm cranks we find a set of Nukeproof's Horizon Pro Sam Hill enduro pedals. I mean it's Sam Hill's bike after all!
With SRAM being a title sponsor of the Nukeproof SRAM factory team, it's not exactly a surprise to see Sam running a full SRAM drivetrain. It's a pretty standard set-up, however, with a SRAM 7-speed DH rear cassette and a 36T SRAM front chainring.
The brakes are shiny new and they are SRAM's new Code brakes with the new levers. Sam is also running a 220mm SRAM rotor at the front and a 200mm on the rear.
Brake set-up is something that Sam is really particular with (I know we all like brakes that work), this is something familiar that I hear a lot from pro-riders. Next to suspension, brakes are one of the parts riders are really picky about. But for Sam, it's all about lever position. He has it set relatively close to the bar reach-wise but with a short throw on the lever.
Cockpit-wise, it's a full Nukeproof setup for Sam, with the 50mm direct mount horizon stem holding a set of Sam's signature Nukeproof bars to the top of his Boxxer forks. Sam has his bars cut to 750mm. Sam is using the 38mm riser versions of his signature bars.
Running the rear 200mm of travel of Sam's Dissent is a 2023 Rockshox super deluxe coil. Upon this is a RockShox 450lb spring. There are no crazy settings with Sam's shock. The low-speed compression is set slightly open. Other than that, Sam has all of his settings on the shock right now set to the centre position. That being said, Sam and Jacy were running telemetry all weekend trying to work out the best possible set-up for Sam's bike.
There isn't too much they could tell me about the new Boxxer fork out front on Sam's bike other than he has no tokens in the fork and was running 130psi and -8 on the rebound from the centre position. One thing I will say when I rode the bike across to shoot it, Sam's Dissent is super supple and running really soft.
Wheel-wise it's a mixed set of Nukeproof Horizon wheels with a set of Michelin DH22 tyres. Sam doesn't run any tyre inserts, for pressures he has 23 psi in the front tyre and 28 psi in the rear and he's running tubeless too.
Interesting to see Sam uses some grip tape on his saddle to give him a bit more purchase on wet days, not that we saw any rain this weekend in Fort William.
Sam's build is finished off with his own signature Nukeproof grips.
Big thanks to Sam and Jacy for their time to do the bike check during a busy weekend for both of them trying to get the bike set up.