Nukeproof Mega Comp 275
6 months of hammering later …
review by Jamie Edwards / photos by Ian Lean
The Nukeproof Mega Comp 275 landed at the end of last year as the autumn closed shop. It’s been through the foulest of winter West Country weather and emerged out into the spring sunshine. It’s seen big days in Welsh hills, snow driven Bike Park Wales laps, a heaps of uplifts, local laps, xc rides, downhill tracks and everything in between.
So far, it’s been up, down and across pretty much everything I can find short of a trip overseas.
- 27.5″ wheels
- 160mm front and rear travel
- SRAM drive train
- Rock Shox Monarch RL and Pike RC Solo Air
- Nukeproof cockpit
- 15″, 16.5″, 18″, 20″ sizes
A bit of background
Let’s start with a bit of a back story. Once upon a time there was the Nukeproof Mega TR – a short travel version of the Mega with its own lighter, slightly steeper frame. It was designed to be a bit more ‘trail’ than ‘enduro’. It was a good bike.
That bike has now gone from the Nukeproof range and, unable to bring it back, the Irish brand have tried to recreate it by hand picking components that suit less rough, less gnarly and a bit more pedaly trails. The result is the Nukeproof Mega Comp you see here.
The Mega Comp is designed to be a very ‘British’ trail bike, aimed at riders that want to ride aggressively but spend more of their time on British hillsides and trail centers. It takes the principles of the Mega and puts them in a slightly more reserved package.
Whilst the rest of the range is for big mountain descending, the Mega Comp is more about singletrack, trail centers and laps of the local woods.
The piggy back shock seen elsewhere in the range is replaced for a lighter, easier to setup RS Monarch RL that comes with lock out. There’s a Pike RC Solo Air up front, rather than the beefier and longer travel Yari or Lyric seen elsewhere in the range The bike also comes with the very capable but slightly less aggressive X1/GX group set.
My first ride on the Mega was a big day in South Wales riding steep, rooty, natural tracks. Loads of roots, loads of jumps, drops, berms and rocks. A big fire road climb up, a muddy schlep to the trails and then the tracks we used to (and plenty still do) ride on downhill bikes. Repeat. Not a surfaced blue trail in sight. In my head, a Nukeproof Mega is aimed at that sort of stuff.
From the off, the Mega was easy to jump on and ride. I did the standard 30% sag set up on the rear shock, set the rebound and was charging in no time. The shock comes with lock-out and rebound – so there’s no bells and whistles but in their absence set up is quick and easy.
The Pike RC fork, similarly, doesn’t offer much in the way of adjustment or hassle. You’ve got 12 clicks of compression for locking the fork out on climbs or adjusting on-the-fly and you’ve got rebound, of course.
Geometry on the Mega is an interesting one. Where Nukeproof were previously a little out with their sizing they’ve nailed it on their new range. No more ‘I’m in the middle of the sizes’ and no more ‘seat up my arse’ because stand-over is an inch too high. They’ve made comfortable, roomy bikes that are sensibly sized without being crazy.
Don’t expect a wildly long, canal boat bike but don’t expect out of date, short reach either. My large test bike has a 460mm reach which is bang on the same as a Marin Attack Trail 7 and 15mm longer than a YT Capra and a Santa Cruz Bronson.
The big thing for me with the geometry is the good and slack 65° head angle. Whilst a few of the numbers on the bike aren’t hugely remarkable, the head angle is a beauty and gives loads of confidence when you’re chasing your mate down a churned-up Caerphilly hillside or diving into a steep corner hoping the berm will hold. This will almost certainly make you a more confident rider.
And back up the hill again
The climbs then. The Mega certainly doesn’t seem to be causing Sam Hill any problems round the epic loops of the Enduro World Series. A sprightly feather weight it isn’t but it has taught me to care less about feather weight carbon bikes.
My last few rides on the bike have been round the notoriously flat Swinley Forest, round White’s Level and lots of sprinty laps of our local Bristol trails. I’m far from the fittest human being you’ll meet and I can pedal it up, along and down just fine.
The limits of the Nukeproof Mega Comp so far have been the wheels, the rear shock and the bearings.
The shock is deliberately specced for less rough, shorter, more “British” riding. That’s fine around Cwm Carn’s Red trail but take it onto rough, cut-up, wintry Monmouthshire mud and rocks and it does start to feel a little on the limit. That’s not a bad thing, the bike is fun, it’s exciting to ride and despite the travel it doesn’t sanitise the trails. If you want a more aggressive shock, there are three other bikes in the range to choose from, including a version that’s £500 cheaper. For a big mountain summer Alps trip I’d probably want something a bit more capable.
If I owned the bike I’d also swap out the Race Face Aeffect wheels for something a little wider and a little more confidence boosting. The Aeffect’s 27.3mm external/23mm internal widths are just a little bit too ‘trail’ for the sort of trouble I think a Mega would encourage you into. They took a beating early on, dented and never came true again. In the pictures you see here, the bike is fitted with CrankBros Iodine wheels which arrived for test and needed a home. Also non-standard are the grips and tires – both swapped for long term test kit.
A few could do betters
Lastly, the bearings didn’t prove invincible to a tough winter. With three months on the bike they are creaking and groaning with every pedal stroke. They need either full replacement or stripping and repacking with grease. The later of these jobs is an easy home fix that you can do in under an hour with no special tools. If you can change a puncture, you can re-grease bearings.
I also found the DU bush failed and needed replacement after about a month and a half, resulting in that tell-tale knocking as you lift the saddle. That’s a job best done by a mechanic but that shouldn’t take more than an hour. Nukeproof tell us that this comes as a result of the shock mount also being next to a pivot – meaning significant pressure goes through this part of the bike resulting in things suffering. We’d recommend an upgraded DU from TFTuned available here and there’s a good guide from TF on how to do the work here.
Oh … and the mount for the bottle cage are under the down tube. Not the end of the World but it puts me off running a bottle and I have to stick one in my base layer’s back pocket.
There’s a lot that’s really good about Nukeproof’s Mega Comp 275. The geometry isn’t particularly crazy but is spot on for all but the biggest, roughest terrain. The head angle is what I want from a bike. I like the sensible hand-picking of components that creates a bike that suits a style of riding and keeps costs sensible. It’s a bike that suits the riding I actually do, not just what I think I do.
It’s a bike for day-to-day riding, mid-week rides, weekend laps and it will just about cope with the once-a-year trip abroad if you don’t care about having the plushest and smoothest ride on the mountain.
The price is good. At £2799 it’s very good value indeed. There are cheaper bikes, particularly direct sales bikes, but there are plenty way more expensive ones.
The Mega will require a bit of maintenance. Bearings will need your attention. The DU bush will need replacement. The wheels may go the way mine did. The paint will take a bit of a battering. These things will cost you money to correct but won’t catastrophically halt your bike ride mid-lap and are easily fixable.
Most important of all. The Mega is really fun to ride. If you ride singletrack and trail centers it’ll tear them to bits. If you go further afield and like your bike fun without destroying the ‘feel’ of the trail then it’ll serve you well. If you prefer your bikes with a bit more plough, give the rest of the range a look.
- Solid geometry
- Simple, no gimmicks design
- Easy to ride and easy to have fun on
- A tough, reliable all rounder
Could do better:
- Bearings will need some attention
- The wheels aren’t brilliant, but aren’t terrible either
- Paint goes a bit shabby quite quickly
For more on the Nukeproof Mega Comp 275, visit Nukeproof’s website.
Thanks to Ian Lean for missing his dinner after a hard day’s shooting the British Downhill series to shoot these photos. You can check out his instagram here.