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Trail and Enduro Bikes

NUKEPROOF MEGA 290 COMP

The Mega 290 is the result of ten years of solid development from Nukeproof, a brand totally focused on harder hitting side of mountainbiking. They’ve not deviated from their initial gameplan or intentions – this is one of our favourite 29ers.

In 2007, Nukeproof released its first products – titanium springs, quickly wider 800mm handlebars, which were a rare sight at the time. A sure sign of what was to follow. What came next was the Mega – a frame with its development process beginning way back in 2009. Built with enduro racing in mind and in particular the event that this model name hints at – the Megavalanche in the French Alps.

Although these Nukeproof frames were conceived with racing in mind, they hit the spot for many riders looking for a bike that can be used for anything from aggressive trail riding through to sessioning DH tracks. A tough beast, with good durability and sorted geometry, the Mega initially ran 26” wheels back in 2012, progressing to the new wave of 27.5”/650B the following year. Long travel trail or enduro bikes with 29” wheels were a rare breed back then as few brands dared move into these (as then) unchartered waters. They played safe, with a focus on what they knew worked, and worked well.

‘If you’ve spent time on an older Nukeproof then you’ll find yourself at home on the Mega 290’

Moving on a generation or two, Nukeproof debuted their latest Mega range with a choice of either 27.5” or 29” wheels. Here at Dirt HQ, we’d well and truly seen the light, and with mid and longer travel big wheelers from Specialized and BMC scoring places in the Dirt 100 listings we were glad more brands were thinking this way.

In 2016 the Nukeproof Mega 290 impressed us immensely and joined the ranks in our yearly pick of our favourite bikes – their first shot at a full-suspension 29er and they’d got it right… A year on and it’s here again, our choice being the 290 Comp.

With Nukeproof’s pedigree in making some very sorted components it’s only natural that they fit them as standard to their bikes. A Nukeproof headset, Warhead bar and stem fit the bill well, although some folks will prefer a wider bar than the model spec’d. Shimano is a brand absent from the 290 Comp, with almost a full SRAM theme throughout. A SRAM transmission is a sound choice, with GX gearing driven by a Descendent crank (in a 170mm length for a touch more ground clearance) and finished off with an MRP top guide for added security. SRAM Guide R brakes are a Dirt favourite and give excellent modulation as well as a big dose of power when needed. Mid width RaceFace rims and high volume 2.3” WTB rubber round out a well spec’d bike.

The suspension tune of the fork and shock, balanced geometry and modern sizing all play well with the larger 29″ wheels – this is a sorted bike, ready to charge hard in rough terrain.

NUKEPROOF MEGA 290 COMP

The Mega 290 is a design that was spot on from the start. If you’re looking for a big wheeled, aluminium framed enduro bike at sensible money then this is it.

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Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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