Hard Tales #2: Nukeproof Solum

We’ve got a custom build on Nukeproof’s new(ish) hardtail and it’s pretty darned sweet.

Photos by Ben Winder.

Nukeproof Solum.

Nukeproof Solum hardtail.

We’re beginning to roll out our new series of hardtail features here on Dirt, and having already featured Stanton’s 4X frame we thought it best to go in a slightly different direction with subject two: the dark art of mountain bike dirt jumping.

Nukeproof’s Solum frame is a relatively new addition to the company’s line of bikes and frames; it’s steel, low-slung and has been designed with the input of Canadian dirt jump and freeride supremo Jack Fogelquist (who now rides for another brand), so it is certainly promising on paper. Take a look around the frame and Fogelquist’s input is clear – what we have here is a simple and effective design with some neat finishing touches.

Groundwork

Size: The Solum is available in two sizes: Regular (1028.4mm wheelbase) and Long (1048.4mm). Ours is a Regular and feels bang on for a rider of 5’10”.

Nukeproof Solum on Dirt.

The 44mm head tube.

Numbers: The most important numbers are pretty standard for a bike of this ilk, with 69.5º head angle (remember Stanton’s 4X comes in at 68º), 20mm BB drop and a chainstay of 385mm (as opposed to the 4X’s 400mm). The head angle and short chainstay keep things sharp for tight trails and tricks.

Gallery: a quick look around the frame.

Head angle: 69.5º
Chainstay: 385mm
Wheelbase: 1028.4/1048.4mm
Reach: 400/420mm
Effective top tube: 579.5/599.5mm
Recommended fork: 100mm travel.
Designed by: Jack Fogelquist and Nukeproof.

Features

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the Solum; a whole host of neat finishing touches certify this as a well thought-out dirt jumper and not just any old catalogue bike.

Nukeproof Solum on Dirt.

Rear brake optional… We’ll be running one though. Also note the integrated chain tensioner. 

Smooth lines and a low-slung nature keep the frame nicely out of the way, but the small details such as the integrated seat clamp and chain tensioner go the extra mile to ensure there’s as few protrusions as possible – which is nice when you’re throwing yourself at jumps and crashing out regularly. The brake hose guides are also detachable for riders “who prefer not to run a rear brake,” and although we don’t know many folk who run no brakes on an MTB it’s a nice touch to keep things neat and tidy. Up front the 44mm headtube is compatible with either 1 1/8 or tapered headtube and is apparently compatible with a hydraulic gyro for bars and whips.

First impressions

The Solum is just one of those bikes that everyone in the office wants to grab and ride. It looks good, and it looks fun. It is. We’ve managed to get a few rides on the Solum at our pumptrack now and first impressions are good. There’s plenty of room in the front end to inspire confidence, the head angle is of course steeper than the Stanton we rode, but not enough so to make it feel nervous railing fast berms.

Gallery: our Solum build (as the bike is available as frame only with no build options).

It’s not the lightest (at around 25.5lbs with pedals), but that of course isn’t the point – reliability and strength, throw-ability, and space to move around the bike for tricks are areas where this bike should focus its efforts. It’s frame only (no build options), so you’ll have to pick and choose your components. We’ve got a full crop of Nukeproof components (bar, stem, wheels, seat, seatpost, grips), combined with bombproof three-piece BMX crankset (Amity cranks, Proper ring), and an Avid Elixir brake to finish things off.

Price: £349.99 frame only (but you can get it a hell of a lot cheaper)
More information: Nukeproof Solum frame

Hard Tales

  1. Hard Tales #1: Stanton’s 4130 Tubed 4X Hardtail
  2. Hard Tales #2: Nukeproof Solum
  3. Hard Tales #3: Cotic Soul 27.5
  4. Hard Tales | DMR Sect 2015

 

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