What's bigger than a Mega? A Giga, obviously. No word yet as to when the Tera bike is coming out, but for now let's take a look at Nukeproof's latest long travel machine.
This new carbon-framed addition to Nukeproof's fleet is available with either 27.5” or 29” wheels, with 180 or 170mm of rear travel respectively. Add in a 180mm fork and a slack, 63.5-degree head angle and it's clear where the Giga's intentions lie.
The Giga started as a side project during the development of Nukeproof's Dissent downhill bike. At the time, what would become version 4.0 of the Mega enduro race bike was already in the works, but the potential for an even longer travel option, one that preserved as many of the desirable traits of a DH bike as possible, was intriguing enough that an aluminum mule was created.
Nukeproof Giga Details
• Wheelsize: 27.5" or 29"
• Travel: 170mm (29") or 180mm (27.5") / 180mm fork
• Carbon frame
• 63.5° head angle
• Chainstay length: 435mm (27.5") / 444mm (29")
• Weight: 33.9 lb / 15.4kg (Factory 290, L)
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Price range: $3,700 - $5,500 USD. Frame only: $2,600 USD.
Dubbed the 'Mulse', a play on the Pulse model name, after a few rides it was clear that the concept was worth pursuing even further. Nukeproof's design engineers got to work, and went through numerous iterations before settling on a look that would set the tone for this model, along with others in the future.Frame Details
At the moment, all three models of the Giga use a full carbon frame that's constructed from T700/800 fiber, with an aluminum linkage joining the swingarm to the front triangle. There's internal, tube-in-tube cable routing to keep rattling to a minimum and to simplify installation.
Being based in the UK, Nukeproof's designers are no strangers to wet, muddy riding conditions. That's one of the reason's there's room for up to a 2.6” rear tire, along with an integrated mud guard. There's also room for a water bottle inside the front triangle, where it sits in a depression on top of the downtube. There are also two bolts for mounting a tube or tool on the underside of the top tube.
The bottom bracket is threaded, the rear spacing is 12 x 148mm, and there's a SRAM Universal Derailleur hanger, three welcome features on any new bike.Giga 27.5"Giga 29"Geometry
There are a total of 5 frame sizes for the Giga, from S all the way to XXL. According to Nukeproof's sizing chart, that should accommodate rides from 5'2” all the way to 6'7” in height. Reach numbers range from 435mm up to 515mm on the 29” version. The size large I'm on has a reach of 475mm, and a seat tube angle of 78-degrees.
Although the Dissent DH bike has adjustable chainstays, they're fixed on the Giga, and measure 435mm on the 27.5” model and 445mm on the 29” version. The head angle is 63.5-degrees with a 180mm fork.
The main pivot can be raised or lowered by loosening the 8mm hex bolt and changing the orientation of the black switch. This allows the level of progression to be set at 25.5% or 29%.Suspension Design
The geometry concepts used on the Mega are all in place on the Giga – a steep seat tube angle, longer reach, and shorter seat tubes with enough insertion depth for longer travel dropper posts – but it's the suspension layout that really sets the two models apart. The Giga's shock sits low in the carbon frame, driven by a rocker link that's connected to the seat tube and swingarm. This design is intended to reduce the weight of the rear triangle, and create a balanced ride, with the center of gravity closer to the bottom bracket.
There aren't any geometry adjustments to be seen, but there are two main pivot positions that are used to alter the leverage rate. In the first position there is 25.5% progression, and in the second position there is 29% progression. That second position is said to work especially well with a coil shock, or in wet conditions where a more supple beginning stroke is desired.
Depending on the main pivot position, anti-squat sits at either 96% or 100% at sag in the 32 / 50 tooth gear ration, and then drops as the shock goes deeper into its travel. The Giga is focused on the descents, but it's also meant to be pedaled back up the hill with as little fuss as possible.ModelsGiga Comp 275 & 290 - $3700 USD / 4700 Euro / 3700 GBP Giga Elite 270 & 290 - $4600 USD / 5800 Euro / 4600 GBP Giga Factory 270 & 290 - $5500 USD / 7000 Euro / 5500 GBP
The Giga just showed up, so I've only been able to squeeze in a couple wet and muddy rides in on it. My initial impression is that it stays impressively composed while climbing considering how much travel it has. The seat tube is nice and steep, and while there's no getting around that this is a bike designed for the descents, it carries its weight and slack geometry well.
Part of the reason for the Giga's balanced nature is the fact that Nukeproof didn't go too crazy with the its reach numbers. Giving the bike a more moderate rather than monstrous front center helps to temper the longer wheelbase created by that 63.5-degree head tube angle. On the descents, that makes it easier to avoid feeling like you're on an out of control semi-truck - instead, the Giga can plow when it needs to, and still maneuver through tighter sections without feeling too cumbersome.
I'm excited to start getting the Giga dialed in even more, and to try out the different main pivot positions to see how much of a difference that actually makes. I'm going to be hanging onto this one for a bit – stay tuned for the long term review later this year.