It was mid season in 2012 that the first Pulse graced the racing circuit and raced by the world team. But it was in the winter of that year that team manager Nigel Page made one of his bravest moves yet by going in search of Sam Hill to ride the bikes made in Belfast in anger. Hill was coming back from injury, fighting for form but he liked the bike instantly, signed on the line and set after winning his twelfth world cup win.
Hill had a great season, his best for some time, and later that year the team start experimenting with 27.5″ wheel frames which would enable them to go a step further. Slowly, the team was gathering momentum and good feeling.
The new 2016 Pulse is very much like its predecessors yet the most striking part is the beautifully arcing top tube which sweeps low into the seat tube area. Angles wise the bike is similar to past models but importantly they have gone for a slack 62 degree head angle. Ali Beckett of Nukeproof say this was done in conjunction with team rider feedback to counter the new light weight of the bike in order to gain a hint more stability.
The key changes geometry wise include a longer wheelbase, for example the medium size goes from 1206mm (long setting) to 1232mm. Reach goes up about five mil’ on all models whereas the chain stay now settles at 440mm for all models. Bottom bracket is also lower. The weight of the new all-aluminium bikes is set to be around 35lb.
By the end of 2013 Hill was flying and over the winter Pagey signed up south Wales talent Mike Jones onto the team. By May last season the rookie was within tenth of the multiple World Champion at the season opener in Ae forest and nobody would have predicted how quickly Jones was to rise through the rankings.
Yet all eyes were on Hill. He narrowly missed out on Fort William after a mechanical on the lower part of the course. Only weeks before Hill visited us here in Monmouth and said “its going to happen.” On the 2nd August 2014 it did. At the famous Mt Sainte Anne world cup event Hill won his first world cup after five years, Nukeproof’s first. Within a month he had win 13 wrapped up in Meribel.
Hill’s win was on a modified 26″ Pulse. Beckett had made a custom link part and with Rockshox providing a different length shock and the larger fork, Mavic the wheels the bike was now a winner. In terms of suspension the Pulse retains all it former characteristics but with tweaks to manage the effect of wheel size.
More than anything the Pulse is a bike for a wide spectrum of riders as it has proven. And with the component package for 2016 looks set to continue as a favourite. Mike Jones and Joe Smith are now filling Hill’s shoes very quickly with Mike having podium the World Cup opener in Lourdes and Smith fresh off the Llangollen hill with momentum into Fort William.
Full aluminium it seems still has a place amongst the smooth carbon operators of the world. 2014 was a big year and 2015 has started seriously well. With a range of four sizes from small to extra large and a build mixing Sram with Nukeproof’s own established components 2016 is looking good for the small bunch of enthusiastic – actually change that – obsessed group of people who eat, sleep and drink bikes. Cheers to that!