Nukeproof MegaWatt is motorised version of V4 Mega, with 170mm travel front and rear. Designed around the Shimano Steps EP8 85Nm motor and 630Wh battery.

Product Overview

Nukeproof MegaWatt 297 Factory Alloy

Pros:

  • Pitter patter suspension that can plough through the roughest trails, while retaining the light touch that keeps the handling lively. Good sizing and geometry. Top quality components that are fit for purpose.

Cons:

  • Battery cover could be integrated. Shimano EP8 motor rattles when freewheeling.

Product:

Nukeproof MegaWatt 297 Factory Alloy: first ride review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£7,000.00

Built around Shimano’s compact EP8 motor and 630Wh battery, the Nukeproof MegaWatt really is a plug and play version of the current Mega – the full alloy frame using the same 4-bar suspension design to deliver 170mm of plush, controlled travel.

Read more: Best electric mountain bikes – join the riding revolution!

Nukeproof MegaWatt need to know

  • Motorised version of the V4 Nukeproof Mega, with 170mm travel front and rear
  • Designed around the Shimano Steps EP8 85Nm motor and 630Wh battery
  • First MX wheel Mega, and it runs 2.5in tyres front and rear
  • Takes a 620ML bottle with adapter mount supplied with the bike
  • Five frame sizes: Small to XXL, where the larger sizes have steeper seat angles to better centre the rider when seated
  • Three versions available: Comp £5,000, Elite £6,000 and Factory £7,000
nukeproof megawatt

Shimano EP8 drive system

Kilowatt, Terawatt, Gigawatt and Megawatt. All units of power, but only one of them is the new e-bike from Nukeproof. With no Tera or Kilo bikes in the current Nukeproof range, that just leaves the Mega and the Giga platforms that can be powered up. One look at the Giga and it’s obvious that the low-slung suspension layout precludes it from accepting a motor, making the Mega the obvious platform on which to develop Nukeproof’s first e-bike.

The Factory version even shares a lot of the same components as the equivalent Mega too, including staples like the BikeYoke Divine dropper, Shimano XT brakes, Nukeproof Horizon cockpit, Fox Factory suspension and DT Swiss wheels. Even the colour is the same artichoke green. All top quality, proven kit then.

nukeproof megawatt

MegaWatt by name and nature

That’s not to say the build kits are identical though. With the Shimano EP8 motor pumping out 85Nm of torque on a bike that weighs 24.37kg in size L, some aspects of the build kit have been beefed up. Anyone that’s ridden an e-bike for any length of time already knows it’s the wheels that take a beating, so the MegaWatt comes with DT Swiss Hybrid H1700 wheels as standard. There’s also a switch from Michelin to Maxxis tyres, where the tougher and heavier DoubleDown casings are used to reduce the risk of punctures and further protect the rims.

And while Nukeproof produces the Nukeproof Mega, Nukeproof Giga and Nukeproof Reactor in both 29in and 27.5in options, the MegaWatt splits the difference with mixed wheel sizes on one bike. It doesn’t mix tyre sizes though, so unlike a lot of mullet e-bikes that run a 29×2.5in tyre up front with a 27.5×2.8in out back, the MegaWatt has 2.5in tyres front and rear. The reason for this is three fold. Maxxis doesn’t currently offer a 2.8in tyre in the DoubleDown casing and the 2.5in tyre offers a less floaty ride, especially when cornering hard. Also limiting the max tyre width to 2.6in helps keep the chainstay length in check.

Long stroke shock

One look at the geometry on the Megawatt and it is crystal clear that corning hard is exactly what it was designed for. With relatively short 442mm stays and a low 338mm BB height the Megawatt snaps in and out of turns with surprising ease for a big bike. With the ground hugging BB you do need to be more precise when setting up the rear suspension though, as running it too soft will have you constantly clipping pedals. Too much sag also impacts it’s climbing ability, as it puts too much of your weight over the rear tyre, even with the steep 77.1º seat angle. So it’s worth spending time to get it just so, even if the temptation is just hop on it, stick it in Boost mode and start to rip.

Eagle eyed readers may have noticed the cables running into the headtube and that the downtube on the Mega bears more than a passing resemblance to the one on the Vitus E-Sommet that was in our E-bike of the Year test. It’s no secret that while Nukeproof and Vitus are separate brands, they do share the same design team, and in this instance the same downtube. Both bikes have very different characters though, which we’ll get to in just a moment. Getting the battery out requires you to remove the protective cover, so you remove one Allen bolt, loosen two more, pull the cover off, then insert the same Allen key into the release mechanism and the battery pops out. It’s secure and easy enough to do, but it would be even easier and faster if the battery cover was attached directly to the battery.

nukeproof megawatt

Downtube battery cover

There are two factory settings for the power profiles on the EP8 system, both custom tuned by Nukeproof. One focuses on “power”, the other on “range”. In the range setting I noticed that Trail mode has been turned down so it feels like there’s a more pronounced drop off in power from Boost mode and an increase in effort on the rider’s part. I think it’s a great option though as it really helps extend your ride time on the MegaWatt with the soft compound Maxx Grip front tyre that typically accelerates how quickly the battery drains. Also if you only have an hour to ride and want to hit as many trails as possible, simply swap to the power profile and go for it. Also if you want more oomph in trail mode, in either setting, you can adjust yourself in Shimano’s e-tube app.

The Factory and Elite level bikes get 630Wh batteries, while the entry-level Comp is powered by a 504Wh unit. And thanks to a flippable battery mount all models can take both battery sizes and Nukeproof even supplies the adapter you need to charge the battery off the bike. If you want to read more about the specifics of each model, check out the news story here.

Giving it a sound thrashing

How does it ride?

When Nukeproof first got in touch about supplying the MegaWatt for this first fide my initial consideration was sizing. Having tested the Vitus E-Sommet in a size L and knowing that the MegaWatt shared very similar geometry and proportions, I was worried that the size L MegaWatt would be equally unwieldy. With that in mind I arranged to meet with Nukeproof to try the MegaWatt in both the size Medium and Large. I started the ride on the size L and after the first descent I knew that I wouldn’t be trying the smaller size.

Err on the larger size if undecided

So even though the MegaWatt is only a hair lighter than the Vitus, and shares the same slow rolling front tyre, it rides lighter and feels way more dynamic. And that’s simply a byproduct of the suspension layout and suspension components. It’s better balanced too, so I never felt the need to slam the stem to load the front end like on the Vitus. Which is a good thing, as the MegaWatt also has the cables routed through the headset.

Verdict

In the true spirit of the Mega the MegaWatt is biased toward descending. Lean back and let gravity work it’s magic, and the MegaWatt seems to takes care of everything else. It’s plush, composed and planted, but the suspension retains fluidity so you can easily push into travel and use the rebound to get the bike off the ground to change lines or get air. Fun, agile and capable? You bet. I’ll even go as far as saying it’s the first Mega that truly climbs as well as it descends.

Details

Frame:6061 aluminium, 170mm travel
Shock:Fox Float X2 Factory
Fork:Fox 38 Float Factory E-MTB, 170mm travel
Motor:Shimano EP8, 85Nm
Battery:Shimano E8036, 630Wh
Display:Shimano EM800 w/Remote
Wheels:DT Swiss 110/148mm hubs, DT Swiss H1700 SPLINE 30 rims, Maxxis Assegai Maxx Grip DD 29x2.5in / High Roller II Maxx Terra DD 27.5x2.5in tyres
Drivetrain:Shimano XT, 165mm, 34t chainset, Shimano XT M8100 r mech and 12-speed shifter
Brakes:Shimano XT M8120 4-piston, 203/203mm
Components:Nukeproof Horizon 800mm bar, Nukeproof Horizon 50mm stem, Bike Yoke Divine 160mm dropper, Nukeproof Horizon Enduro saddle
Sizes:S, M, L XL, XXL
Weight:24.37kg (53.72lb)
Size tested:L
Head angle:64°
Actual seat angle:71.8°
Effective seat angle:77.1° (750mm)
BB height:338mm
Chainstay:442mm
Front centre:818mm
Wheelbase:1,260mm
Down tube:755mm
Top tube:605mm
Reach:470mm
Contact:nukeproof.com