Here is my Nukeproof Mega. This bike was very popular so I would share my impressions and the setup I'm riding. I'm not a pro racer, I'm just a rider who is having fun with his bikes from many years now and who owned many bikes all towards freeriding, downhill and enduro riding.Bike details:
Frame: Nukeproof Mega (151mm rear travel), size M, silver anodized finish, year 2012.
Rear Shock: Monarch RT3 custom tuned for this frame (200x57, Medium rebound tune, High3 compression tune).
Fork: Marzocchi 55R 2012, 160mm, 1,1/8" tube, spring.
Headset: NP 44IESS.
Wheels: Nukeproof Generator, PP20 front, 135x12 rear.
Tyres: Maxxis High Roller DH 2.35" dual ply, 42A front, 60A rear.
Handlebar: Funn Fatboy DH (cut down to 765mm).
Stem: Funnduro 45mm.
Grips: ODI Ruffian MX lock-on.
Crankset: Shimano SLX, 170mm lenght.
Chainrings: Blackspire 22/34T (9/10 speed compatible).
Front mech: Shimano SLX 2 speed.
Rear mech: Sram X9, medium cage, 9 speed.
Shifters: Sram X7/X9 with matchmakers.
Cassette: Shimano XT, 11-36, 9 speed.
Brakes: Avid Code 5 (first series), 185mm rotors front and rear.
Seatpost: NP Warhead (cut down to 340mm).
Saddle Selle Italia Flow Q-bik.
Seatcollar: Deity Cinch.
Pedals: Superstar Ultramag (filed pins).
Weight: 15.5kg (34lb) pedals included.Ride and bike's setup
This bike is made to be point downhill mainly; you will climb it easly but its real nature is to take speed and have fun with the nose point down. The first thing I've noticed and the one that was confirmed at every ride is STABILITY. The bike is amazingly stable both in high speed section as well as in fast corners. Slack head angle (66°), low bottom bracket height (348mm) and an unusually long chainstay (439mm) work together to let the bike behave like that. The counterpart is a bit of lazyness on slow, tight turns and the more effort needed to manual the front wheel or to bunnyhop the bike (due to the longer chainstay).
The riding position is very well balanced between fornt and rear axle (the frame has a long reach of 415mm, 1-2cm longer than the other frames of this class sized as Medium); it is easy to load the front wheel when it's needed without loosing traction on the rear wheel (drifters may dislike this aspect, take it into account!).
Uphill you can go anywhere you want with a balanced position; the seat angle is very steep (75°) and paired with the long chainstay help the front wheel to stay on the ground even without shorten the fork (for who has U-turn, ETA and so on). My wheels are not the lightest considering double ply tires and tubes (hem, let's say they're heavy), so I take my time to reach the top of the hill and choose a dual ring setup with 22/34 teeth. Once on the bike the rear end goes to the sag point and stay there while pedalling, there is no bobbing, it is hardly noticeble only when pushing hard on the pedals (Monarch's flood gate in firm position).
The Mega has a preatty high stack (595mm!), due to the fact that the frame is designed around a 170mm travel fork as a maximum; that means that you have to use different stacked headset to compensate you fork travel/tapered or staright tube. The head tube is 115mm but in my case became 130mm because the stacked Nukeproof headset needed for my 160mm fork. I kept the front end low using a low stack stem (Funnduro) and low rise bar (15mm).
The 151mm rear travel are more than enough for almost everything you'll find on the trail: the curve is very progressive and even with 30% of sag bottoming-out rarely happens. The custom tuned RS Monarch has a too high compression setting in my opinion: in fast rocky section it tends to be lazy, not moving fast enough to absorb efficiently multiple hits; in all the other conditions it works well with no issues. I had to set the pressure to 140psi (I'm 75kg ready to ride) which give a shade over 30% of sag; with higher pressure (150psi, 25% sag) the rear end was too hard and the shock worked only for 85% of its travel. The low pressure could be caused also by the softness of the Marzocchi 55R. The bottom line is that I lost a good amount of travel in the sag to let the shock perform well. I'm really curious to try a spring coil on this frame (and I will, I boguh an overhauled DHX3), I guess it is more suited to the spring behaviour rather than air.
The fork is the most simple of the 55 Marzocchi range. It has fixed compression setting, spring preload and rebound setting; there is no spring choice but the rate is ok for my weight (avoid it if you're outside this range: 65-80kg!). The 55R has the usual open bath technology of Marzocchi (super plush) but this is true only for the left side; in the right side (rebound) the cartridge is closed so there is no oil free from floating inside the lower so no oil can lubricate the stanction and its seal. The compression side hosts the spring which is covered in a very rubbish plastic material that will detroy itself inside the fork causing debris floating in the oil (remove that spring cover immediatly if you own this fork!). In the field the fork performs really well but it has one major downside: it lacks almost completely suppot in the low speed; only the spring is contrasting low speed hits; this is noticable in hard braking and low speed hits (bottom out is round the corner). I tryed to mitigate this aspect using a 10W oil and increased level to 210ml (fork came with 170ml 7.5W oil, maximum level should be 220ml); this helped a lot but it doesn't fix it completely (only a real low speed compression circuit could). Still I prefer this fork over the old Fox 36 Van RC2 or over the old Pike (it is so much plush).
The cockpit has the Funn Funnduro stem (incrdibly light) and the Funn Fatboy DH with 15mm rise; the bar has a shape that really suits me with its 8° of backsweep; I was disappointed by the weight (almost 50gr more than the 294gr stated by Funn...). Grips are one of the best I've ever used: ODI Ruffian MX (lock-on, obviously).
The pedals are the incredibly light Superstar Ultramag (310gr./pair). The shape is decent (nothing close to dear old Easton Flatboy that I steel own); I would prefer a much more concave feeling. The pins were too big to grip efficiently so I just turned them down. Now they are ok and they give me plenty of confidence.
The chaindevice is the simple Blackspire Stinger for dual ring use. It never ever failed, it's incredible, so simple-so effective. C4 bashring and 34/22 green cahinrings complete the Blackspire set.Bottom line
This frame is very inspiring. It pushes you to ride fast with its unusual geometry. Maybe not the easiest frame to start with as a begginner but it would be very appreciated by who knows where to put its wheels. Keep it light with air shock and fork, light wheelset and ust tyres for longer rides and easier climbs (you will be around 14kg with pedals) or mount it with sturdier components to attack the trail without worries (15.5 kg).