Nukeproof’s proven formula gets a touch more hardcore for Version 3 of it's popular hardtail mountain bike
Calling all hardcore hardtail fans! The Nukeproof Scout, the only hardtail in the Nukeproof line-up, has always dished out a class leading ride quality and for 2022 it’s been given a full makeover.
Hardcore hardtails certainly resonate with the UK market in particular, but trail riders are constantly upping their game, pushing harder on more challenging – and often uplift-assisted – trails. It’s here where we felt the limits of the V2 Scout, with its slightly dated geometry and sizing holding us back. The hardware and tyre choices have always been on point though.
With the latest V3 Scout, Nukeproof has turned up the gas, with every aspect of the frame from the dropouts to the dimensions getting attention. The sizing, geometry and fork travel have all been tweaked without straying too far from the original Scout blueprint.
The result is a lower slung bike, with an aggressive stance, that looks fit for a hardcore hardtail title fight. Good enough to make it on our hotlist of the best hardtail mountain bikes on the market? Time (and some serious testing) will tell…
Everything you need to know about the 2022 Nukeproof Scout
- UK designed aluminium trail/hardcore hardtail
- Available with either 29in (290 models) or 27.5in (270 models) wheels – no mullet/MX option
- 140mm travel forks, with RS models boosted to 150mm travel
- Five frame sizes spread over two wheel sizes, with a XXL topping out the options
- Frame size specific chainstay lengths – from 422.5mm (270 in size S) to 440mm (290 in size XXL)
- Shorter seat tubes allow longer stroke dropper use or upsizing to a larger frame
- Longer reach and taller stack measurements on most sizes remedy issues we had with the outgoing model
- Under top tube accessory mounts, ISCG chain guide tabs and comprehensive frame protection are neat touches
- Well thought out external cable routing is easy to maintain for the home mechanic and quiet too – no rattling
- All new dropouts with SRAM’s UDH hanger
Key updates to the Nukeproof Scout V3
With a Nukeproof 290 Pro recently in our longtermer fleet and a Nukeproof 290 Comp in a recent MBR hardtail test we’ve had plenty of riding time on the V2 Scout and got a full understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of wheel size Nukeproof has always blended a robust feeling build and sweet but surefooted handling with a smooth ride quality. The well placed external cable routing helped make it stealthily silent out on the trail too.
The good news is that all of the above features are retained on the new V3 Scout frame. There’s still a choice of 27.5in or 29in wheels too, with clearance for 2.6in tyres which is bang on for four season riding here in temperate climates like the UK.
A key change is the increase in fork travel, moving from a 130/140mm mix across the 2021 model range to 140mm on the new Race, Comp and Elite models, with the flagship Scout RS getting 150mm up front. This mirrors the longer travel forks spec’d on hardtails such as the Canyon Stoic, Merida Big Trail and One-One Hello Dave; a notable move to satisfy the demands of the hard-hitting hardtail rider.
Nukeproof has overhauled the Scout model designations too, with four spec levels rather than three. The range kicks off with the Race 275 or 290 at £1,299.99 and tops out with the flagship RS at £2,799.99. There’s also a frame only option at £499.99. And in a world of ever-increasing prices, the Scout’s value is as good as ever.
2022 Nukeproof Scout geometry
With the previous generation Scout it was the sizing more than the geometry that held it back. Every tube on the new frame has had attention and the result looks as up-to-date as any of the competition. It’s 2022, so naturally, it’s now designed specifically for a 1x drivetrain.
The tall seat tubes have been shortened (a size XL drops from 510mm to 460mm), allowing for a longer stroke dropper post or the option to upsize for increased reach. There’s more height at the front, with taller head tubes (and increased stack height), resolving another issue we had with the older model.
Geometry refinements are subtle: head tubes slacken by 0.5º to 64.5º, seat tubes steepen a touch and the reach grows – now 458mm (470mm sagged) on a size large 29er.
The move to size-specific chainstay lengths is great news (and a rare sight on a hardtail), aiming to give better weight distribution across all frame sizes, which sits well with the other geometry and sizing tweaks. Add in some neat new touches – such as the under top tube accessory mounts, comprehensive frame protection and SRAM UDH hanger – and it really does highlight that Nukeproof has sweated every detail.
A case of evolution rather than revolution with this new Scout then?
Well yes, but while Nukeproof’s carefully considered approach has kept the previous model’s DNA intact, it’s brought some design details and traits across from the class leading Mega and Giga enduro bikes and in doing so ticked all the boxes on our hardcore hardtail wish list.
Nukeproof Scout models and range overview
Nukeproof Scout Race 275/290
The entry point to the Scout range, but with a no compromise and a pragmatic approach to the spec the Race gets an air-sprung 140mm RockShox Recon RL fork. It’s matched to 2.6in Schwalbe Magic Mary and Hans Damph rubber to give ample traction and control when paired with Nukeproof’s proven cockpit hardware.
Shimano’s workhorse 1×10 Deore drivetrain is reliable as well as affordable to maintain. The only omission is a dropper seat post – an essential upgrade to make.
Nukeproof Scout Comp 275/290
The second tier Comp gets a stouter and more refined Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork leading the charge, with powerful 4-piston Shimano Deore brakes to slow things down. Shimano’s 12-speed Deore drivetrain gives a huge gear range for more ambitious terrain and a Brand X dropper post comes a standard kit, with drop specifically chosen to suit each frame size – a neat and practical touch.
Nukeproof Scout Elite 275/290
At a price point that almost mirrors last year’s Scout Pro, this new Elite model also runs a full Shimano SLX groupset, with a wide range 1×12 transmission and 4-piston disc brakes. A 140mm travel Fox 36 Rhythm fork with a user-friendly Grip1 damper adds refinement, as do the DT Swiss XM 1900 Spline wheels. The Schwalbe tyres, as with all the V3 Scouts, are soft compound rubber in a 2.6in wide casing
Nukeproof Scout RS 275/290
The RS is the all-new flagship model in the Scout line up and the only model that’s been over-forked, with a 150mm travel RockShox Lyrik Select+. It’s SRAM for the transmission too, with the super-wide 10-52t ratio GX Eagle 1×12 gearing for crisp and reliable shifting along with SRAM’s test winning Guide RE 4-piston brakes. A DT Swiss XM1700 Spline wheelset, the finishing touch on this great value range-topping hardtail.