Same sizing, geometry and attitude as Sam Hill's bike
Nukeproof has done an amazing job with the new Nukeproof Mega 275 Comp. The geometry and sizing are on point, the specification is on the money.
Developed at the highest level of racing and with one of the most talented mountain bikers of all time, Nukeproof had a fairytale ending to 2017, with Sam Hill taking the EWS overall at the final round in Italy on the new Mega 275 Carbon.
But whether you’re spending £4.6k on the top-end Mega 275 RS with it’s carbon front end, or rolling out of the store on the full aluminium Mega 275 Comp tested here, both share the exact same sizing, geometry and attitude.
Nukeproof Mega 275 Comp
Designed to take 170mm suspension forks the new Mega sports as slack 63.7° head angle. The sizing has also been increased, where the size L now has a generous 470mm reach measurement, the XL a full 45mm longer again making it ideal for anyone over 6ft 3in tall.
The BB height is also low for a 165mm travel bike. At 332mm it’s more pedal friendly than the Whyte G-170 S though. It’s also Boost front and rear, even it if doesn’t boast the same degree of tyre clearance as the Whyte.
At 15.37kg (33.89lb) the new Mega is no featherweight, but it is still 0.17kg lighter than the G-170 S and that’s with the exact same Maxxis tyres fitted to both bikes.
With 35mm lower legs and 170mm travel, the RockShox Yari is a more affordable version of the Lyrik, where most of the cost savings are in the less sophisticated RC damper.
For 2018, RockShox seems to have upped the level of damping across the board in its forks, something we first noticed with the new Revelation that was fitted to all of the hardtails in our recent bike test.
As such, we were running the compression damping on the Yari RC completely open and the rebound adjuster just three clicks in from fully open; so hardly any damping at all, even though we weigh over 85kg. It was the same story on the Whyte too.
We also removed the single grey volume Token from the air-spring side, as we weren’t getting close to using the last 20mm of travel on the Nukeproof’s fork.
The new Mega has 165mm of rear wheel travel, and on the Comp it’s controlled by a Metric RockShox Deluxe R shock. Again we were running the rebound damping almost fully open and we always seemed to have some travel in reserve. Which is fine, as we did eventually bottom it when we came up short on a jump.
With an 800mm handlebar and 50mm stem the cockpit on the Mega 275 Comp gives you maximum control but we’d prefer more drop than the 120mm Brand X dropper post provides. Also, someone at Nukeproof must have a masochistic streak, as the distinct lack to padding on the saddle and grips is tantamount to torture.
Out of the blocks, the Nukeproof Mega 275 Comp has as a better turn of speed than the Whyte G-170 S. Maybe the frame is stiffer, or it could be that the hollow-forged Shimano SLX crank simply doesn’t flinch when you drop the hammer. Either way, the Nukeproof really gives back everything you put in when you wind it up out of a turn.
So we were somewhat surprised when it didn’t climb as efficiently as the Whyte. Yes, it has way better pedal clearance and the seat angle is plenty steep enough to keep your weight forward, but the rear suspension felt less supportive when grinding up climbs. Perhaps the slightly bigger 32t chainring means you’re mashing on the pedals more than spinning, which means the suspension bobs more than normal.
Stranger still, the bike never felt mushy on the descents. In fact the opposite is true, offering ample support for cornering, while the bike displayed balanced weight distribution making it very easy to ride. There’s a slight harshness to the ride of the Mega 275 Comp that wasn’t present on the Whyte G-170 S though, but we couldn’t put our finger on the source of it.
Nukeproof has done an amazing job with the new Mega 275 Comp. The geometry and sizing are on point, the specification is on the money and it offers a slightly more versatile ride than the Whyte G-170 S because the BB isn’t as low. In fact, you could take this bike straight to an EWS and you wouldn’t even need to change the tyres. We’d still like to have a softer initial touch to the 165mm rear suspension though, as the Mega gave a more jarring ride than the Whyte. You can still ride the rims off it though, and with a different shock tune it could have taken the test win.