Nukeproof Mega AM 275 Comp  2014 Mountain Bike Review

Nukeproof Mega AM 275 Comp 2014

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Nukeproof 82,912

At A Glance

Nukeproof are very much a no-nonsense brand. They make great value bikes that are built tough and have a bias towards fun descending. The Mega range has evolved and this year sees the progression continue. There are now two Mega options; a shorter travel TR version and the 160mm travel AM version we have here.

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The Mega AM looks like it wants to rumble, chunky squared off tubes, large welds and a long, low slung stance. This bike screams “hammer time”.

Tech Heads

Chunky tubes and improved construction ensure a stiff frame that boosts a 44mm head tube, ISCG mounts, direct mount front mech, 142x12 rear axle and stealth dropper compatibility.

Suspension units come care of RockShox, a piggy backed Monarch R Plus sits out back and a set of Pike RC Solo Air forks look after things up front.

The drivetrain is taken care of with SRAM X7, and shifters work a X7 rear clutch derailleur and a X5 front derailleur. The cranks are SRAM S1000 and they have 22/36 rings bolted to them.

Brakes are Avid Elixir 3 and they utilise 180mm rotors.

Nukeproof Generator wheels are strong and their wide profile works well with the top notch Maxxis High Roller II TR 2.3 60A tyres.

Nukeproof provide the rest of the kit; a 60mm Warhead stem has a tight hold on 760mm wide Nukeproof riser bars.

A 31.6mm in-line seat post is topped with a Nukeproof saddle.

Nukeproof Mega AM 275 Large

Seat tube 470mm
Effective top tube 618mm
Head tube 115mm
Chain stay 445mm
Front triangle 753mm
Wheel base 1198mm
BB height 340mm
Head angle 66°
Seat angle 73.5°
Reach 438mm
Stack 620mm

Weight w/o pedals 32.1lbs

On The Trail

Set up could not have been easier, 30% sag and a little tweaking with the rebound settings and hey presto, the Mega AM felt great.

This gave an active feel around the sag point that smoothed trail chatter and small bumps nicely. Delve deeper into the stroke and there is a smooth progressive feel with enough ramp up to avoid harsh bottom outs. The fork very much mirrored the shock giving a lovely balanced feel.

With a long wheelbase that comes from lengthy chain stays and a slack head angle there is a real sense of stability. Add to this the increased ‘in the bike’ feel that comes with 650B wheels and a low bottom bracket and there is a sense of near invincibility when charging down fast, rough rock gardens or railing berms.

This is where the Mega AM shines, it has a true Bulldog spirit that encourages hard charging, and it now has an underlying hint of refinement that adds to its overall abilities.

This new refinement has elevated the Mega AM to more than just a good value mini-DH rig. It is now a fast trail machine that tracks the ground smoothly and has tenacious grip that showcases the incredible sticking capabilities of the High Roller tyres. It would have been great to have had a ‘leanometer’ strapped to the bike as there were times when the ends of the bars seemed to be damn close to touching in the ground.

A contributing factor to its trail worthiness is the steep seat angle. This places you in a reasonable position to get on the pedals, however, it does also place you well forward of the rear axle. This meant that traction was hard to find when climbing on slippery ground, counter intuitively climbing gets easier the steeper the slope as more weight is thrown over the rear axle.

For

Great value and sensible spec mean you can race enduro or DH on a budget. The improved suspension feel matches the easy-to-live-with units. Also the bike comes with good tyres, it is so important to spec tyres that will allow the bike to shine and the HR II on the Mega AM match its purpose perfectly.

Against

For the money the spec is solid, but the choice of Avid Elixir 3 brakes lacked a little finesse on the downhill sections.

My second issue, which is actually more of a frustration, it would have been good to have specced the bike with a QR seat post clamp, especially as there is no dropper post.

Overall

The Nukeproof Mega AM has stepped it up a level this year. It now has a level of refinement that has improved it across the board, yet has not detracted from its boisterous, devil-may-care nature.

If you were planning to ride the Mega Avalanche or enter a DH series, whilst still blasting trails with your friends at the weekend, then there are very few bikes out there that would make a better companion and practically none at this price point.

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This review was in Issue 28 of IMB.

For more information visit Nukeproof

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By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

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