We've seen Nukeproof's enduro riders Sam Hill, Eliot Heap, and Nigel Page aboard a new bike this year, and that machine, version 4.0 of the Mega, is now available to the public. It's more of a revision rather than a complete reinvention of the wheel, since the previous Mega was already an impressive package. Nukeproof just looked to take all the good points of that bike and attend to the areas that needed attention.
Earlier this year we did a full review of the Mega 290 Factory
and found it to be a comfy, fast and all around capable bike bike for the money with the cherry on the cake being its proven racing pedigree.
That going through with a fine tooth comb also applied to the design of the bike, with them looking through the previous 10 years of Megas to find the best design elements to keep the new bike looking like a Mega.
Mega V4 Details
• Wheel Size: 29" or 27.5"
• Carbon fiber or aluminum frame options
• 29" version: 160mm rear travel, 170mm fork
• 27.5" version: 165mm rear travel, 170mm fork
• Sizes S to XXL
• 2.8kg frame weight (carbon frame w/o shock)
• Carbon frameset £2,500 / $2,500 USD / €3,000
• Aluminum frameset £1,800 / $1,800 USD / €2,100
• Complete bikes from £2,700 / €3,150 / $2,700 USD
It's like an old friend that went to the gym and visited the hairdresser for a shave and a new 'do. So let's look at the nips and tucks that Nukeproof have done to the V4 Mega.Frame Details
The Mega is still split by wheel size and frame material. Carbon fiber and aluminum versions are available, with the carbon version now seeing a composite chain stay and seat stay to match the tweaked main frame. That composite rear end not only allowed Nukeproof to drop the overall frame weight but to also drop the unsprung mass in the suspension system.
The seat tube shape was altered to allow more seat post insertion and the mainframe of the carbon version has tube in tube cable routing to make the internal routing a little easier.
The V4 Mega now has carbon fiber composite chainstays and seat stays as opposed to the previous V3 version's aluminum rear end.
There's a gear strap mount under the top tube too and a Nukeproof specific brake mount to fit the composite seat stay. The bike comes with a 180mm rotor and adapter as standard.
The biggest main frame shape change was done to allow a 750ml water bottle to live inside the main frame and away from the firing line of crud, welcome news for all the riders who prefer a little less mud on their bottles. There's also the inclusion of a gear mount on the underside of the top tube to carry the necessary bits and pieces for your ride.
There's still a threaded bottom bracket and now all frames are equipped with SRAM's Universal Derailleur Hanger, or UDH. Enduro Max bearings are at all pivots, although some of the pivots are naturally better shielded from the muck than others, and the main pivot now uses a collet style construction to allow you to tighten to the correct torque and then lock the head of the axle to resist undoing.
Frame protection is plentiful with the underside kink of the down tube being well covered and the industry standard ribbed chain stay protector also in place and working well.
Cable routing is all internal, with the aluminum frames being external at the rear. The main frame to seat stay routing now follows a bit of a different path, but one that flows nicely internally with the new downtube shape.
The carbon fiber main frame sees improved stiffness with 45% more head tube stiffness and 14% more bottom bracket stiffness, when tested to the Zedler test standards, compared to the V3 Mega.
All carbon models come with clear frame protection covering a large percentage of the bike to keep it looking fresh, and all bikes have moulded rubber frame protection covering the underside of the down tube, seat stay and chain stay with the latter being of the ribbed variety.
The aluminum version carries over all the same qualities as the carbon fiber version, but with triple butted and hydroformed tubes and forged parts where needed. Cable routing is internal in the main frame and external at the rear of the bike.
Geometry & Sizing
The V4 Mega now sees more frame sizes with M to XXL covering the same reach spans just with an additional size to break up the jumps. The addition of an S is also a good point for smaller riders, especially with the 29" Mega.
The nip and tuck refinement theme carries on with the V4 having a slightly slacker head tube angle at 64°, slightly shorter seat tube lengths to combine with long drop posts and now with a focus on the seat tube angle to bring it steeper but also adjust it for the different frame sizes.
Nukeproof now uses and quotes the designed seat heights for the individual sizes and also talks about the saddle offset, the horizontal distance from the bottom bracket to the seat height, with the larger frames having a larger offset combined with a 0.5° steeper seat tube angle on sizes L, XL and XXL.
The 27.5" version is slightly longer reach than 29", with a 5mm shorter chainstays and slightly higher bottom bracket, but is still in keeping with the overall shape of the previous version Mega and is available in the same S to XXL sizes.Suspension
The V4 carries the same four bar layout, with a Horst pivot and top mounted rocker link, as the previous version. Nukeproof gives a recommended sag range of 30-35% shock stroke.
The Mega 29" version has 160mm rear travel and the 27.5" has 165mm, both with a 170mm travel fork. The RS version also now keeps the 170mm fork, like the rest of the range, rather than the 180mm travel version on the previous RS model.
Little tweaks are also present in the kinematics, with the new bike having slightly less overall progression, at 17%, with a higher average leverage ratio, at 2.6, when compared to the old bike's 22% and 2.5 values.
Nukeproof say this was done to improve the sensitivity of the suspension, with the bike also still using the bearing eyelet at the rocker end of the shock, while giving the bike a touch more support for better responsiveness when pumping or cornering.
The leverage ratio curve shape has been tweaked to remove the initial regressiveness and allow the shock to begin moving from zero travel with more ease.
The overall suspension forces, when combined with the shock, have slightly less force needed at the initial portion of travel, slightly more needed in the middle portion and with less final force needed to reach the end of travel. The curve shape is now closer to a constantly changing line as Nukeproof wanted this to avoid any sudden changes in the suspension feel and have a predictable feel all the way through travel.
Anti-squat is massaged to have an increased amount in all gears while not pushing it too far and keeping the trend of dropping amounts as the bike goes through its travel. The V4 now has 102% at sag in the 32/50T gear compared to the previous bikes 96% in the same gear.
Anti-rise is reduced a smidge to keep the same bike stability when braking hard but to introduce a touch more activeness to the suspension when hard on the anchors.Options & Price
The Mega V4 range is split from the RS version, through the Factory, Elite and Pro and is rounded out with the Comp, with all spec levels available with 29" or 27.5" wheels.
Mega RS: Rockshox Zeb Ultimate fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate shock, SRAM X01 and Descendant Carbon drivetrain mix, SRAM Code RSC brakes, Rock Shox Reverb dropper, Mavic Deemax Pro wheels with Michelin Wild Enduro tyres, Nukeproof finishing kit and components - £5,500 / €6,400 / $5,500 USD
Mega Factory: Fox 38 Factory fork and Float X2 Factory shock, Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes, Bikeyoke Divine dropper, DT Swiss E1700 Spline wheels with Michelin Wild Enduro tyres, Nukeproof finishing kit and components - £5,000 / €5,700 / $5,000 USD
Mega Elite: Fox 36 Performance Elite fork and Float X2 Performance shock, Shimano SLX drivetrain and brakes, Brand X Ascend dropper, DT Swiss E1900 Spline wheels with Michelin Wild Enduro tyres, Nukeproof finishing kit and components - £4,000 / €4,700 / $4,000 USD
Mega Pro: Rockshox Lyrik Select+ fork and Super Deluxe Select+ shock, SRAM GX and Descendant drivetrain mix, SRAM Guide RE brakes, Brand X Ascend dropper, Nukeproof Neutron V2 wheels with Michelin Wild Enduro tyres, Nukeproof finishing kit and components - £3,400 / €4,000 / $3,400 USD
Mega Comp: Rockshox Yari and Super Deluxe Select, Shimano Deore drivetrain and brakes, Brand X Ascend dropper, Sun Ringle Duroc wheels with Michelin Wild Enduro tyres, Nukeproof finishing kit and components - £2,700 / €3,150 / $2,700 USD
Our test bike is the Mega 290 Factory, which is handy as we previously tested the V3 Mega 290 Factory, so there's already a lot of familiarity there in the components and bike character.
Some of those components are now updated however, with the move to the Fox 38 up front and Float X2 out back, but still with Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes with DT Swiss aluminum E1700 Spline wheels.
One nice spec highlight though is the BikeYoke Divine dropper. Our size L test bike comes with a 175mm drop post, but we're also testing the 213mm drop Revive, so that's on the bike too for anyone with eagle eyes.
The Mega looks like, well, a Mega. Which is a nice thing to see a brand stick with a good design and refine it bit by bit over the years rather than feel the need to radically change their direction to have something "all-new" to help sales. The V4 Mega looks and feels like an old friend that just got a bit toned in the gym and had a bit of a makeover. It feels familiar jumping on it and that dependability of the old bike still feels to be there.
The suspension was easy to set up, with it feeling already in a good ballpark after the initial setup. Water bottles seem to drive a lot of bike design, but the fact that you can now take a water bottle inside the front triangle on a ride, and also some spares to boot, is a good thing and just makes the bike even more dependable for those wanting to leave the backpack at home.
This V4 Mega's slight loss in weight, improved climbing position, upped anti-squat and the new Fox shock make the bike into a rapid climber. It feels very direct and positive when climbing, and even when it gets bumpy while going up it's able to absorb to the impacts without having the feeling of a loss of speed or momentum. That gives the new bike the ability to cover ground incredibly well and get you to the start of the trail down with the sense of being quicker and a bit less tired.
On the way down, that old friend feeling is still there, just better. It is slightly more supple, but still with good predictability when you open up the taps. There's also some additional sprite in the bike's character compared to the previous version's more abundant liveliness at higher speeds and technicality of terrain.
As you look through the nips, tucks and additions all the way through the frame they all make sense and add to the already impressive package that the Mega offered. So far I've really enjoyed having the Mega back in the workshop and getting acquainted with its refined self. More time on the bike is of course needed for a long term review, but it's already a bike I want to put more miles in on and fire up the old friend conversation that finished with the previous Mega version.
Shooter: "I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast!"
Happy: "You eat shit for breakfast?"
Instead of complaining on pinkbike you can call Morgan at Trailside Kragerø and ask him when he gets the new Mega and book a test ride.
I suspect that Nukeproof changed the frame because people were butthurt that it couldn't accommodate a bottle. Then when they changed it so that it could accommodate a bottle, people were butthurt that they changed the frame.
So they're saying things like "just like your old buddy pally pal" to suggest that it's still the same bike that everyone asked them to change but no one wanted them to.
Aside from my utter distaste for shimano brakes, the $5000 Fox/XT build seems like a winner. And it comes it at a price range BELOW the premium offering from DTC brands like Guerilla Gravity, YT and Commencal.
Nope - I´ll stick with my old havyass 26" Mega and safe a coin.
So lots of cost for carbon tooling and development and no real volume for aluminium frames anymore > ca ching, high prices, no performance gain. Thank you, muppets, I hate you ;-)
My gravel is carbon.., all my XCs were carbon as well(either ht or full) but the big bikes(enduro/park) were always alu and will keep being alu as long as the frames I want are available in metal; if the only available material will be carbon, then they will carbon. But, as long as the bike model has an alu version and you're not racing XC...why bother paying more for the same performance?
When there is no limit regarding expenses of this type, buy the most expensive shtie you can throw money at it, 'cause why the f not?!
Also price for Kavenz was for frame only, so total (frame+shock) it was around 2.8k€ and now it is around 3k€.
At least my order details lead me to believe. WIll report back to see if I was swindled and am in "Covid Limbo" with my order or if they're telling the truth.
I'm guessing my big issue will be packability. Can't find any video or images of the Leatt DBX 4.0 packed down. If I don't like it, I'll swing by
So the old one had more liveliness, but the new one has more sprite? Which one has more Dew?
I didn't see that coming, as the Mega has always been on the long chainstay bandwagon, trying to keep the front/rear center balanced.
The Raaw Madonna, Kona Process X, and the Banshee Titan (kind of, its a dropout switch instead of a flip chip) all have that option, and it does make them very appealing.
I'm also a fan of the proportional chainstay length by size thing that Norco, Privateer, and even Specialized are starting to do (their S4/S5's have longer chainstays on the new stumpjumper and stumpjumper Evo).
Sounds like they've fixed the suspension, but shortened the stays. WTF Nukeproof?
Isn't this marketing 101 stuff. People are seeing team Nukeproof kill it, and they say ''I want that bike''. But they cannot get that bike in that colour in a build, only in a frame.
I don't know the answers, but this seems at odds with what is being generated as the image of Nukeproof and the passion from fans of their products to feel like part of the team.
It'd be cool if instead of such design elements we got "carved out" water bottle niches.
So this new bike has FAIRY in its character? What the hell is the translation there? How does a bike ride like a fairy?
Apparently it's not to be translated as being 'lively', because he says point blank the older bike was different because it had more liveliness.
Does it run around with a magic wand and spray pixie dust all over the place?
The old size Large was 15mm larger in reach than the Medium, but 45mm smaller than the XL. So this is a definite improvement. Plus there are way more size options now, which is also great.
I know its cliche to say it, but the geo looks really reminds me of the most recent Transition Sentinel (reach numbers across sizes, fixed chainstay length, very similar HTA, and STA), just with more travel.
Very vey few in the states and canada
This bike isn't the only one, but it's got the perfect example of there being more cable/hose in the loop from down tube to seat stay than is inside the seat stay. Plus Dan specifically mentioned that the main frame has tube in tube, does that mean the rear triangle doesn't? So fishing the housing through that 6 stupid inches is going to be literally the worst part of working on this frame?
So for the rest of the planet if you want to have a rear brake on the right side... and don't have AXS shifter and dropper... super messy cables LOL
£99.99 decrease over the cost of a bike 3 years ago.
There is no denying that the prices have increased (or stayed the same with lower end components).
Or maybe I'm BS-ing on the heavy side.
470 mm is a bit long and about 10 mm too long for me with the 170 mm dropper. Sad. Now I'm waiting what the new Field test will give us and at the moment thinking that the Propain Spindrift (or the Tyee) is going to be my next bike instead of Mega. I'm looking something more bike park oriented reasonabable priced bike than my current 160/140 mm Al Canyon Spectral.
Still, it's nice to see a lot of companies bringing out bigger hitting bikes again. A bike I always loved and regretted not buying in 2011 was the Yransition TR250. Now we have a few similar bikes coming out with bigger wheels. It's a good direction.
And you do realize that in some parts of the world, e-bikes are completely irrelevant to most people because they can't be ridden in e-mode on most trails (outside of adaptive uses).
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