In terms of vibration damping, the Nukeproof Scout frame has the edge over its rivals
The Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp has seen a lot of development. Its low-slung profile remains, but the bike has been stretched to a more generous cockpit.
Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp review
With every revision, the Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp gets one step closer to becoming the perfect trail hardtail.
Last year, we saw the geometry and sizing on the Scout get a refresh: updates that extended the front end length by 15mm on the size L, while also increasing the chain stay length by 10mm to 435mm. Two changes that increased stability while retaining a balanced weight distribution between the contact patches of the meaty 2.6in Maxxis tyres. Nukeproof also added one degree to the seat tube angle, to give a more efficient saddle position for climbing.
Granted, the resulting geometry and sizing weren’t extreme by any measure, the reach on the size L Scout still shorter than the size M Saracen Mantra and Whyte 905. Out on the trail however, the Scout feels longer and more stable than the Saracen.
This year, Nukeproof has turned its attention to the specification. Out goes the 1×11 Shimano SLX drivetrain and brakes, in comes 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle and Guide R disc brakes. The wheels have been updated too, Mavic XAs replacing the Nukeproof Horizons. With all of the changes the Scout 275 Comp has shed some puppy fat too, and at 13.06kg (28.79lb) it’s the lightest bike in test.
The Revelation suspension fork on the Nukeproof gets all of the latest tech from RockShox; including a Charger damper and Debonair spring. Adjustment wise, it has external rebound and a five-position compression dial. It also gets 140mm of travel but because we ran the fork slightly higher in the stroke to increase the overall height of the front end, we had to forgo the last 10mm of travel on all but the biggest hits. Having the fork set up like this didn’t impact its superb small bump sensitivity, even if having the ability to increase the stem height by an extra 10mm would be a better option to rise the height of the front end.
One of the reasons the Nukeproof feels bigger than its numbers suggest is the extra-wide 800mm handlebars. It has the best profile of any in test and combined with the 45mm stem, the cockpit on the Scout perfectly matches the proportions of the frame. Sam Hill’s signature grips add extra rubber were it’s needed most, while the Nukeproof saddle gives great support without ever feeling too firm.
The switch to SRAM’s 12-speed NX drivetrain has been a positive one. Not only has the gear range on the Scout been expanded to keep your legs spinning rather than grinding up the steepest climbs, it also highlights just how good the cable routing is on the Scout. By running the gear outer under the top tube and down the seatstay, it gives a much straighter line to the rear derailleur, resulting in really light, precise shifting. The external routing makes the bike easier to work on too, but there are other advantages that we’ll get to in a minute.
What is it about a silent bike that’s so appealing? Is it being closer to nature, or simply eliminating unwanted vibrations? Either way, the Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp instantly won us over with its blissfully silent ride. No cable or chain rattle, just the sound of the 2.6in Maxxis Minion DHF tyres and the wind in your ears.
But this bike isn’t just silent, thanks to the carefully selected tubing profiles it’s also an assassin. It offers the most complaint ride in test, which encourages you to press on, ignoring the rocks and roots that disappear beneath your wheels. So if you are more concerned with covering miles efficiently than seeking out the steepest descents, the Scout 275 Comp is the best option here.
It could be an even more versatile trail bike though. A slightly lower BB height would have the same affect as raising the handlebar height with the added bonus of increased the overall stability of the bike. That said, we’d settle for a softer compound 3C Minion tyre up front just to bolster the Scout’s downhill potential without eroding its natural speed.
With a forgiving ride quality that would put a lot of steel hardtails to shame, the Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp zips along at a blistering pace. Offering an even more compliant ride than the test winning Whyte 905, despite the fact it is rolling on narrower 2.6in tyres. It's still a couple of small steps away from becoming the perfect trail hardtail though. The size L is equivalent to size mediums from most other bands and we found the front-end a hair too low even with the stem at full height. Nothing major, but it's enough that Nukeproof will have to settle for a very close second place.