Bike Check: Sam Hill's Ferrari Themed Carbon Mega 290 - Trophy of Nations Finale Ligure 2019

Sep 27, 2019 at 4:59
by James Smurthwaite  
Photos: Kike Abelleira

With the Trophy of Nations basically equating to the World Championships of enduro, it's no surprise we're seeing some custom bikes for the riders to be racing on Sunday. Nukeproof have decided to celebrate all things Italy with a trio of Ferrari themed Nukeproof Megas ready to canter through the rough, rocky Finale trails.

One of the most interesting bikes here is the prototype carbon Mega 290 that both Sam and Kelan Grant have been racing for the Nukeproof team since Whistler, while Elliott Heap sticks on the smaller 275c. The aluminum Mega 290 is now three years old but has had minor tweaks throughout the years to keep it on-trend. With the Mega 275c being released over a year and a half ago, we're not surprised to now see this carbon version in development for its bigger brother.

It looks very similar to the aluminum version at first glance but we wouldn't be surprised if there have been some race-inspired geometry changes to bring the platform on top of current trends. Unfortunately, Nukeproof are staying very tight-lipped about any further details for now.

Sam has been racing on a carbon Mega since the Whistler EWS. Coincidentally, he hasn't finished worse than second since so it must be working for him.

The shape of the carbon front end looks similar to the aluminum version of the 290 except for the linkage. On the carbon version, the link bolts directly onto the toptube whereas on the aluminum model it sits a bit below it.

The stays remain aluminum on this bike as they did on the production version of the Mega 275c.

13 is Sam's old moto number. He has stuck with it for his entire racing career and it's in his Instagram handle too. It's a number that's unlucky for most but Sam says he "just likes it" and poor luck seems to not be the case for him.

Remember Sam Hill's Day of the Dead bike from Finale and Ainsa last year? The graphics carry over here on these bigger, aluminum Mavic wheels.

The carbon Mega 290 is set up for internal cable routing, unlike the aluminum frame, however that won't be a huge worry for Sam as he's running a full AXS set up with drivetrain and dropper post in Finale.

The all-important numbers on Sam's signature Horizon bars.

Yosemite Sam ready to fire on all cylinders in Finale.

TON Finale Ligure 2019

The Nukeproof fleet all revved up to go. Elliott's also has his moto number while Kelan's 419 is the Sky TV channel number for Extreme Sports that got him first interested in mountain biking through shows like Drop-In TV, back in the day.



137 Comments

  • 243 1
 it's like a sport illustrated 'swimsuit editon' but for bikes. "damn, are those real or are you running tire inserts?"
  • 61 1
 Pinkbike does a great job of showing us some of the breast bikes made
  • 57 2
 *whispers* I'm running tubeless, baby.
  • 5 0
 @jamessmurthwaite Where's the shot of the headtube badge detail? I can only just see something vaguely ferrari there in one of the shots...
  • 18 0
 I can make out the (spoke) nipples.
  • 1 0
 @landscapeben: It's the Nukeproof logo set into the square version of the Ferrari shield.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Ahh yes now i've zoomed right in I can just make it out tup
  • 15 0
 I'd tap that bottom bracket.
  • 3 0
 @number44: I'd like to put my quick release in those dropouts
  • 1 0
 And with all these expensive bikes, there will be plenty of money shots...
  • 51 2
 Looks like a Fezzari.
  • 2 65
flag pineapplejuicer (Sep 27, 2019 at 7:27) (Below Threshold)
 *Ferrari !
  • 4 0
 @masonstevens: @pineapplejuicer a drone couldn't fly that far over his head!!
  • 2 12
flag pineapplejuicer (Sep 27, 2019 at 15:31) (Below Threshold)
 @masonstevens: dam 42 of y’all ain’t got no sense of humor! shoulda added a winky face or something to show i was making a dad joke, sheesh
  • 1 2
 Would’ve been sick to use Ferrari Ripple Red like they have on their valve covers
  • 41 1
 The #13 is unlucky....I have proof, whenever it shows up to races, everybody else looses
  • 22 8
 loses*
  • 6 2
 @stumphumper92: your correct, thank you
  • 7 3
 @dwojo: *you’re
  • 1 3
 @dwojo: YOU'RE correct, homie ????
  • 10 1
 @CRAFTY-P: haha, I thought the sarcasm would have come through on that... Maybe I need to layer it on a little thicker next time. I was just having some fun with the spelling police.
  • 30 0
 All I see are Michelin tires I still can't get.
  • 5 2
 they look quite the same as the wild enduro front which is a great tire and strong enough for most tracks
  • 3 21
flag Svinyard (Sep 27, 2019 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 Worst logo work ever. Blinded by that mess of yellow and blue
  • 2 17
flag spankthewan (Sep 27, 2019 at 8:46) (Below Threshold)
 @pAzk: Wild Enduro tires have weak casings and sub-par grip.
  • 6 2
 @spankthewan: weak? riding mine with low 20 psi front/rear at 75kg and no problems at all
  • 13 1
 @spankthewan: sam wasn't aware of that when he dominated 2018 on them
  • 3 2
 @pAzk @kanasasa: I typically run Maxxis DHF DD front and rear, and I've never had a problem with punctures or breaking traction like I have with the Wild Enduros. I ride the same trails, same lines, and the same speeds, and the tires just don't suit rocky Colorado trails. Also, Sam Hill doesn't race the Wild Enduros, he only uses them in non-race media.
  • 1 0
 @pAzk: Different tire completely. I've held them in my hands.
  • 3 1
 @spankthewan: I've done plenty of enduro racing on my wild enduros and have had no punctures and only done minor rim dings across 2 bikes. DD high roller basically fell apart in one race at Afan. 4 days in Morzine completely destroyed it (I'm not a skidder), punctured and dented the rim. I find the wild enduro have stiffer sidewalls than Maxxis DD, and cut into any softness in the terrain better. That being said, I do find Maxxis conform better to rocks and roots.
  • 7 0
 Tires choice = personal preference Wink
  • 2 0
 @Clem-mk: but then what are we supposed to argue about?!
  • 23 2
 The italian flag is a weird idea on an Aussies bike in a national challenge event.
  • 4 1
 See my reply below, that's not the Italian flag...
  • 4 0
 @sernevi: still when you consider Ferrari is Italian, I'm assuming they wanted to reflect the race being in finale.

I thought it was the Irish flag being the origin of nukeproof.

At first glance it's a bit odd thougj
  • 2 2
 @russthedog: Nukeproof / CRC is from Northern Ireland I think, which would be the union flag
  • 14 0
 Needs an Iron Horse logo, you know, prancing horses and all
  • 2 0
 Maybe on the last day of the weekend?
  • 8 0
 Hey Michelin - I'm gonna say that the 3 year Prototyping phase for the DH22 and DH 34 has completed with some signs of success.
  • 3 0
 Yeah when can we actually buy the heavyweight casing DH and Enduro tyres?
  • 8 0
 The question is just why the head tube badge has the Hungarian flag in it... (The Ferrari logo has the colours ordered Green, White, Red...)
  • 7 0
 *me crying
  • 3 0
 @Bruccio: Ireland innit?
  • 1 0
 It’s the thought that count’s
  • 1 0
 Probably because Ferrari logo is protected.
  • 8 0
 Love it if Sam Hill posted a bike check like this but switched a set of SPDs on there for a laugh. Cat, pigeons, among
  • 4 0
 Does anyone know what this means?

"The shape of the carbon front end looks similar to the aluminum version of the 290 except for the linkage. On the carbon version, the link bolts directly onto the downtube whereas on the aluminum model it sits a bit below it."
  • 3 0
 It means @jamessmurthwaite mixed up the top tube and down tube.

Edit: I see that's fixed now...
  • 4 0
 man, i thought i was just dumb when i read that before. still dumb, but not cuz of that.
  • 7 2
 Just happened to be rereading Chris Harris’ expose on how Ferrari games their press reviews: jalopnik.com/how-ferrari-spins-5760248
  • 4 1
 Jalop! AF.
  • 6 0
 I wish Michelin would sell these tires! They would sell at least one, to me.
  • 3 0
 Unicycle?
  • 4 2
 "The shape of the carbon front end looks similar to the aluminum version of the 290 except for the linkage. On the carbon version, the link bolts directly onto the downtube whereas on the aluminum model it sits a bit below it."

That's not the downtube.
  • 4 0
 I looked sixteen times at the photos and don’t see any difference. Downtube? Clearly a typo but still the linkage looks pretty similar to my eyes.
  • 4 0
 @Someoldfart: Same here. I'm not seeing the difference. It's stuff like this that makes me wonder if I'm the dummy, blind, or just losing my mind.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: I think James is assuming the frame shape is identical, thus the extra 'mount' on the aluminum frame means the pivot is closer to the BB.

I don't think that's true, however - looks like the aluminum top tube has less of a downward bend than the Carbon one (which isn't limited by 'bendability' etc), thus the actual pivot point is the same.
  • 2 0
 Time to get the manufacturers to make wireless electronically actuated disc brake systems. Those hydraulic brake cables are cluttering up the cockpit!
  • 4 1
 As this is a Ferrari themed bike, the hand guards are a $10,000 option.
  • 2 0
 I did a quick measurement in bluebeam and the HA is around the 64 deg mark. Bike looks awesome.
  • 2 0
 Without being able to carry a bottle, what do they use for hydration?? The man is not a camel
  • 2 2
 What does the hand guards do? Are they supposed to just guard you hands from like loose rocks or dampening the force of punching trees?
  • 16 1
 don't know how they should make the force of punching trees wet
  • 3 0
 Guard against mostly bush/shrub/branch hits when cutting things tight.
  • 7 0
 Likely reduces the chance of shrubs pulling the brakes.
  • 4 0
 What everyone said below as well as reduces the chances of a broken lever. Oh, and they look all moto which clearly Sam digs.
  • 3 0
 @bashhard: trees that punch are bad enough!
  • 1 0
 All valid point about protecting the hands, and protecting against inadvertent lever pulls due to branches and shrubs etc. However I think sam said the main reason for them is to protect the levers in the even of crash or collision. It sure would suck to go to all the effort of racing just to have a broken lever from a silly branch take you out of the race. One fewer mechanical variable I suppose.
  • 3 1
 why does it look like an Instagram girl edited these?
  • 3 1
 Lowered highlights and boosted shadows. Pretty much every IG filter does the same.
  • 5 0
 We only finished assembling them late last night, so light wasn’t ideal. More images to come over on our social channels
  • 2 1
 @Nukeproofinternational: great job, I love the look of them!
  • 2 2
 @Nukeproofinternational: Twilight is the ideal time to photograph large shiny objects, like cars. It’s soft and even light. I like these photos. The style may be low contrast and dreamy. Nothing wrong with that, but if you want more pop out of these photos, it’s easy to adjust with contrast, color saturation and a touch of dehazing.
  • 2 0
 @Nukeproofinternational: Interesting that only Sam is running AXS. Does the team have to showcase a spread of SRAM equipment or do the other riders really prefer mechanical over AXS?
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: it's so expensive that only one set gets sent out per team
  • 1 0
 Whoa what are those zip tie clips? ive never seen those before. really cleaver.
  • 1 0
 How about we all list our moto numbers? It would be cool to see who else braaps. Mine is 914
  • 2 0
 Carbon? 29? Is my world collapsing around me?
  • 2 0
 Yes. Welcome to the 21st century! Smile
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: I looks like they may have gone up a shock size too. More travel on this one perhaps?
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Yeah the shock stroke does look pretty long! Also, I don't see any shock on the Rockshox website that look like those!
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: I think that is the megneg air can. I think this bike also has the shock size off the mega 275 so perhaps it has gone up to 165mm travel from the previous 150mm
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Have they brought that air can out to the market yet?
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: I believe it is available, yes. About $100 American.
  • 1 0
 This bike needs a card taped on chainstain hitting the spokes to make some noise!
  • 1 0
 Whats with the 2 cable tied sensors either side of the stem? Are they for the AXS system?
  • 1 0
 Number board magnets
  • 1 0
 They are zip ties with an extra eyelet at the end with plastic screws for his numberplate.
  • 2 0
 Those are sooo sick.
  • 1 0
 Love the custom bikes and stoked to see them show up in Enduro!
  • 2 0
 Ferrari Ligure
  • 1 0
 The aluminum version up there is nicer looking me thinks.
  • 1 0
 that doesn’t look like ferrari red to me
  • 1 0
 more chrysler than italiano
  • 1 0
 Sam Hill looks good in red, You guys really rock
  • 1 0
 Should have been the cureent matte hyper red as the '19 f1 is.
  • 1 0
 Finally a bike that looks like it was made for a red Lyrik.
  • 3 4
 Sorry if I am behind the curve here, but how long have mtb's had moto hand guards? Not seen them before in this application
  • 3 0
 Sam has been running them since 2016, he even has his own 'signature' model: www.pinkbike.com/news/sam-hill-signature-stem-grips-and-handguards-core-bike-2019.html
  • 3 0
 Sam has been running them for a few years now. There have been a few articles/mentions about it on PB.
  • 1 0
 @twhart20: Cheers you two. Clearly I was indeed behind the curve!
  • 1 0
 looks extremely fast
  • 1 0
 epic!
  • 1 0
 I’d buy that bike
  • 1 0
 Alboreto is nothing
  • 2 1
 Brake cables... yuck
  • 1 0
 Mega
  • 1 2
 Nukeproof must give one randomly to pb viewers
  • 2 2
 No dw link yet?
  • 1 1
 i was thinking the same. the mega is horst linked and the dissent is dw.
  • 1 0
 Dissent?@flipoffthemonkeys:
  • 1 0
 @flipoffthemonkeys: no it’s not
  • 1 3
 Aluminum rear, but still charge you for a full Carbon....
  • 1 3
 SAM FREAKING HILL!
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