It may well be a dubious name at first sight but the Nukeproof Snap 4X frame has some tidy details that will silence the doubters out there…
From Dirt Issue 114 – August 2011
Word & Photos: David Jaquin
Having had the luxury of a nice short travel full suspension bike for the last couple of years and only really riding an XC hardtail I have to say I wasn’t sure how I would react to a stiff 4X race frame. However, the first razz soon floated those fears away and I may be a convert.
Facts and figures: 67° head angle, 73° seat angle, 13.4” seat tube, 42.9” and 43.7” wheelbase for the regular and long sizes respectively, with 16.5” chainstays and a 12.5” BB height being shared in both regular and long frames.
Construction is of a high standard and big, but neat, welds connect the custom 7005 series tubing. This frame thinks for the future too with a 44mm headtube that will take any fork, as well as a set of rear dropouts for every occasion and an ISCG 05 mount. Gussets all appear in the right places and keep the frame stiff. Bearing the name in mind you may think this is just an out and out race frame, the Mechura brothers are testament to its capability on the World and European circuit, but it does offer a bit more than that.
I have done some racing on this frame, practiced I don’t know how many gates, and given it some flat pedal drifting through my local woods. Each time I pick this bike off the hook I know it’s going to be predictable. After a day on this set–up I was comfortable with it, the tight and low frame means moving the bike and setting up for a corner or landing is simple. Point, and indeed shoot.
Does it pedal? After all it’s what bikes are meant to do, and the Snap does it well. It feels precise and if you have a bit of gas in your legs you will be duly rewarded with fast acceleration and evidently good cornering capability. The 12.5” bottom bracket height plays a part in this, and it definitely handles best with a Fox 831 or similar length fork fitted.
The stiffness up front is good and all the forces put through the frame during cornering at speed aren’t noticed. The back end is a little longer than other frames out there and some riders who rode it reckoned they would have preferred some slightly shorter chainstays. Personally, some days I would agree and others I wouldn’t. It took me a bit to get the manual right (having never been a master) but it performs well at speed and pulling for the pick up and pump comes naturally. I suppose it’s that classic case of having to compromise somewhere, and I doubt this bike would handle as well as it does at speed if it did have a shorter back end.
Having ridden all sorts, from rough stuff to BMX tracks on the Snap there is a certain suppleness to this frame. Don’t get me wrong it’s stiff as an iron gate when it needs to be, but compared to some other race frames it does maintain some comfort, which after a full day’s riding or racing is definitely welcome.
With such a good blend of performance, and such a reasonable price tag, it’s not surprising that there already seem to be a whole load of these frames at races, and I can only see that number growing.Price: Yellow £349.99, Black or Silver £399.99 Hotlines 01313 191 444