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We get the inside knowledge on this modern classic of an enduro bike. Synonymous with the Megavalanche, but by no means strictly limited to Alpine plummeting, the new 2018 Nukeproof Mega is here and it’s really, really rather special. IMB go behind designing the world’s fastest enduro bike…
Currently leading the Enduro World Series and fresh from a 6th place finish at the Downhill World Championship in the hands of legendary athlete Sam Hill, it feels the stars have aligned ready for the release of the new Nukeproof Mega 275c.
When Sam announced his switch to focus on the Enduro World Series it gave Nukeproof the opportunity to pitch our Mega against the largest bike brands in the world and develop our products on the world’s toughest test tracks at race speed.
The goal wasn’t to make just another carbon bike, it was to engineer the fastest machine possible, capable of carrying Sam Hill to EWS glory and a bike true to our DNA, attitude, and fit for the Nukeproof customer.
Since its introduction in 2011 the Mega has always been on a constant design evolution, this is the next step forward for us.
The Technical bit:
The big news is the development of the Mega 275c, Nukeproof’s first ever carbon bike, leaning on our experience of developing award winning carbon products such as our Carbon Warhead handlebars.
“The new Mega is podium proven in both an aluminium and carbon.”
The Mega 275c had to offer riders that edge over the alloy frames. This frame has been designed with mountain bike legend Sam Hill, whose input has helped shape the Mega 275c into a winning machine. Not only is the chassis now 320g lighter than its aluminium counterpart, the strength of the frame has also been vastly improved enabling every rider to push harder, faster and with more confidence than ever before.
We have a long history with our aluminium bike. The aluminium bike receives all the updates the carbon version has, and the results speak for themselves; EWS podiums, race wins and a whole lot of fun to ride, making this the finest aluminium bike we have ever made. The new Mega is podium proven in both an aluminium and carbon.
On all of the Mega 275 and 290 models we have focussed on the smallest details to provide the biggest improvements on an already podium proven chassis. We made the decision to commit to a dedicated 1x drivetrain configuration across all models; this enabled our engineers to achieve maximum stiffness – by utilising the space required for a front derailleur we could increase the main pivot bearing placement. This additional stiffness prevents torsional flex under pedalling and helps the chassis track through high speed, rough terrain without compromise.
With stiffness in mind, we took the time to incorporate the very latest Boost 148 rear axle spacing allowing us to spec much stiffer and stronger wheels both front and rear. All 2018 Nukeproof Mega models will come with new wider spaced Boost wheels and forks enabling the rider to feel even more confident on the increased capability of the bike.
With the demands of Enduro World Series racers progressing at a rapid rate, we looked again at our geometry and saw an opportunity to tailor the frames to suit not only the fastest racers, but also the growing tribe of riders that utilise our bikes every weekend, whether that be shuttling runs at their favourite bike park, or heading off for an all-day epic in the local hills.
Slightly taller head tube lengths help tailor the cockpit feel to increase rider confidence, and a lengthened top tube on large and x-large frames should help even the tallest of riders feel at home on the new Mega. All frames have had their geometry altered to take advantage of 170mm forks for 275 and 160mm for 290, with longer rear travel (165mm on the 275) to make the new Mega even harder hitting.
The new Mega utilises the brand new Rockshox Super Deluxe rear shock, and hardware now comprises of a wider spaced 25mmx8mm front mount, with a rocker link mounted bearing system to improve shock sensitivity and reduce the amount of wear through heavy usage. This combination adds even more stiffness to the chassis through these more secure fixtures and the ‘Metric’ rear shock system with increased bushing overlap. Working with our race team, engineers, Fox and SRAM we have tested and developed our shock tunes to make the most out of the Mega frame.
Tested on the toughest of terrain and in the most varied conditions by Enduro World Series Winner Sam Hill, the 2018 Mega sets out to tackle every ride with its trademark attitude.
Real world testing:
After 4 years of development and behind the scenes testing, the new prototype Mega made its aluminium debut at the Enduro World Series debut in Rotorua, New Zealand. A fine 4th position was backed up by an awesome 3rd in Tasmania and solid 5th in Madeira, leaving Sam sitting in 3rd overall in the EWS.
After further testing of the Mega 275c whilst in the UK (visiting the lake district and Fort William, Scotland), Sam took the decision to race the Mega 275c in Ireland’s EWS. He took the Prototype Mega 275c straight to an incredible 2nd place in Wicklow, Ireland. After a super tricky race to 6th in Millau, France, there was that break through win in Aspen, USA. A truly awesome performance in a season of outstanding results.
Last time out at the EWS, Whistler he took a remarkable 2nd place, including a huge stage win on stage 1 by over 17 seconds to consolidate his overall lead with one round to go.
Sam Hill has always been synonymous with the Downhill World Championships. As a 5-time world Champion, he relished the opportunity to pull on the green and gold. This year there was the added incentive to race in front of home family and fans. An incredible 6th place overall was an amazing result and testament to Sam’s speed and skill as well as the capability of his Mega 275c.
Whatever happens in the final EWS race, this is an incredible season for Sam and the team, and the ultimate test session for the new Mega.
The final sign off:
Before any Mega’s are put into production they are put to the test at the race that inspired the original bike, the iconic Megavalanche. In July, we took a team of athletes and staff to put the new Mega to test. To ensure the limits were pushed to the max we included Megavalanche first timer Sam Hill.
No matter what model you choose from the new Mega line up, it has been designed, developed and tested to ensure you redefine your limit.
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