Nukeproof's latest Scout is prepared for anything, but never gets tied in knots, even on the twistiest trails.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Nukeproof Scout 290 Comp


  • Stellar specification. Compliant ride.


  • Care needed with sizing. Tall seat tube. Only three frame sizes.


Nukeproof Scout 290 Comp review


Price as reviewed:


One look at the Nukeproof website and you’ll notice there’s a strong focus on trail, enduro and DH riding, with a range of bikes that look very fit for purpose. There are no featherweight cross country machines here, so if your riding is very much gravity-focused and you’re looking for the best hardtail mountain bike, then Nukeproof is a brand that should be on your radar.

Nukeproof Scout Comp

Sculpted stays offer plenty of tyre clearance and there are tabs to fit a chainguide

In fact, the Scout is the only hardtail in Nukeproof’s range, but it’s offered with both 27.5in or 29in wheels. With three spec levels available, we’ve gone mid-pack with the 290 Comp at £1,799.99

Finished in a glossy ‘concrete grey’ and with a dose of stealthy black components, the Scout really has the look of a premium bike. A quick scan over the bike reveal components and details that give a strong hint at its intentions and mirror Nukeproof’s brand identity. The chunky rubber, 200mm front rotor, 800mm handlebar and chain guide mounts are typically found on an enduro rig.


The triple-butted aluminium frame has a longish 435mm chainstay, which helps provide ample mud clearance while giving the option to go bigger than the stock 2.4in rear tyre. The cable/hose routing is very tidy – all external (apart from the dropper) and takes a direct route to the rear.

Nukeproof Scout Comp

Full Shimano Deore 12-speed transmission is a benchmark for smooth and reliable shifting

A sure sign that the Scout frame is maybe not as up-to-date as the others is the cable guide for a front derailleur. This concept carries through to the dimensions of the frame more so than the angles; highlighted by the tall 510mm seat tube on the XL bike, a short 110mm head tube and a reach comparable to a large Whyte 629. With this in mind we feel that the sizing could do with a refresh – and certainly needs some attention when choosing which one suits you.

Nukeproof Scout Comp

Marzocchi’s Z2 fork provided a smooth, controlled ride


Nukeproof has designed the Scout 290 frame to work with a fork of up to 140mm travel, the pricier Pro model capitalises on this with a RockShox Lyrik. The Comp gets a 130mm Marzocchi Bomber Z2, and we hold the opinion that this is the optimum travel for a trail hardtail, giving enough comfort, grip and support but without huge swings in dynamic geometry as the fork moves through its travel.

The Bomber’s performance all round was first class with plenty of small bump compliance and realistic support from Marzocchi’s Rail damper. The recommended air pressures proved accurate too, giving the correct sag with no further tweaking needed.

Nukeproof Scout Comp

800mm bars are on the wide side, but can be cut down. Nukeproof’s grips use outboard clamps which are uncomfortable and force your hands inboard.


It’s nearly a full house of Shimano components for the Scout Comp, with the exception being the Level T brakes from SRAM. The Deore 12-speed transmission (which includes a Shimano chain) is faultless, with a stunning finish to the two-piece chainset.

The Maxxis tyres are a standout in the specification, especially if you’re either heavier in build or in your riding style. The 2.5in Assegai up front uses 3C Maxx Terra compound, as does the rear 2.4in Dissector, which is reinforced with the EXO+ casing. The Scout comes set up tubeless and we had zero issues with either sealing or indeed wheel build quality.

Nukeproof Scout Comp

Long stroke dropper and tall seat tube limit your options to sizing up


With the hard-hitting build kit we were surprised to find that the Nukeproof is the second lightest on test at just under 14kg. Those heavier duty tyres do increase rolling resistance though, so the Scout isn’t the quickest to accelerate, either from standstill or attacking a climb.

Nukeproof Scout Comp

The Scout is in its element on the descents.

And although the 475mm reach isn’t that progressive, the slack seat tube, 800mm handlebar and 50mm stem give plenty of room when seated. With a low 303mm bottom bracket height and longish chainstays, attacking a trail with the seat slammed is what this hardtail is all about though… show it a rock strewn descent and the Scout laps it up. With plenty of stability and shed loads of grip from the tyres the Nukeproof holds its line well. But it’s in slower, steeper chutes, where the mix of the tall seat tube and lower front end upsets the bike’s balance ever so slightly.

We quickly warmed to the Scout’s smooth, compliant yet solid-feeling ride. The build kit is stellar too, with a strong gravity-focus. With this in mind we feel that its sizing feels a touch dated, as riders looking to push the Scout frame to its limits would definitely benefit from a shorter seat tube and a shade more reach.


While we may question the Nukeproof’s sizing, one area we can’t fault is its ride quality. When we last reviewed the Scout it was the smaller wheeled 270 and we praised the compliance of its frame. It's no different with this 290 Comp either – smooth, comfortable and quiet, allowing your mind to stay focused on the trail ahead. Yes, the XL Scout would certainly benefit from a shorter seat tube and a longer headtube, or at the very least and adjustable stroke dropper to get the best from the frame and as it’s the one bike here that’s probably got its eye on the uplift.


Frame:Triple butted aluminium
Fork:Marzocchi Bomber Z2, 130mm travel
Wheels:Sun RIngle 110/148mm hubs, Sun RIngle Duroc 35 Comp rims, Maxxis Assegai/Dissector 29x2.5/2.4in tyres
Drivetrain:Shimano Deore M6100 32t, 175mm chainset, Shimano Deore M6100 derailleur and 12sp shifter, Shimano Deore, 10-51t cassette
Brakes:SRAM Level T two-piston 200/180mm rotors
Components:Nukeproof Neutron V2 800mm bar, Nukeproof Neutron AM 45mm stem, Brand X Ascend 170mm post, Nukeproof saddle
Sizes:M, L, XL
Weight:13.95kg (30.75lb)
Size tested:XL
Rider height:6ft 2in
Head angle:64.5°
Seat angle:71.7°
Effective seat angle:73.3°
BB height:303mm
Front centre:794mm
Down tube:760mm
Seat tube:515mm
Top tube:675mm