The Nukeproof Megawatt goes carbon fibre for 2023. The aim being to make the bike considerably lighter without losing the recognisable silhouette. The team wanted to be able to replace the battery for their EDR-E riders as well as being able to fit a bottle within the front triangle. Not asking for much, right?
A T700/800 carbon fibre frame houses the SRAM Powertrain, with the 620Wh battery removable at the base of the downtube. Internal routing is fully sleeved and the motor housing has some space for storage. You can fit a 500ml bottle inside the front triangle and there’s a top tube accessory mount too. Max dropper insertion is key too, you 3D contoured frame protection as well as clear framewrap. All frame bearings are full compliment max bearings too.
Beyodn that, the changes to the geo is minimal. Half a degree slacker on the head tube and 5mm longer on the chainstays than the outgoing Megawatt. An increase in starting leverage ratio bumps the rear travel to 174mm, but also helps with that suppleness off the top. Overall progression bumps 2% from 22 to 24%. Anti-squat has increased 10% in the climbing gears whilst anti-rise stays similarly high. There’s also more rearward axle path to the new Megawatt.
Two models are available. The Nukeproof Megawatt 297 RS and the Megawatt 297 Pro. The Pro comes in at £8,799.99 with the RS coming in at £9,999.99.
The bike seen here is the Nukeproof Megawatt 297 RS. That carbon fibre frame is shod with Rockshox Zeb and Vivid dampers, both Ultimate in flavour. You get SRAM XO Eagle transmission combined with the SRAM Powertrain motor fed by a SRAM 620Wh battery. Brakes are SRAM Code Stealth Silver with big HSC rotors and dropper is an AXS Reverb. Wheels are Nukeproof Horizon V2s with Continental Kryptotal rubber. Finishing kit is Nukeproof’s own.
The Nuekproof Megawatt is available in Small, Medium, Large, XLarge and XXLarge.
Reach on the Medium is 455mm with a seat tube of 410mm. Head angle is 63.5 degrees with a size specific effective seat tube angle of 77.5 degrees. Chainstays are 447mm across the sizes with a wheelbase of 1249mm.
Very handily, I swung my leg over the Megawatt and the Vivid shock’s sag read 30%. Nice. Got the forks doing the same, swung the brake levers up and in, then wound an awful lot of rebound off the fork and we were good to go. I’d not yet ridden the new Vivid shock but I had heard good things.
Thanks to the help of the relatively quiet SRAM Powertrain motor, we were soon off road and spinning away. The steep seat tube angle helping keep the bike composed on the climbs, the Vivid and Continental rubber doing a cracking job of putting any of my energy into the ups. Only when we hit the treacherous Dolomite limestone did the traction come unstuck.
Jumping between Mid and +2 on the cadence modes on the Megawatt for fire road and anything else up hill respectively seemed to be the sweet spots for what we were riding in Andalo. Most of the climbs were new to me so I suspect the Powertrain would have been better set for what was coming had I been familiar with it. Its preference to retain the current gear does help with climbing traction from the off but unless you can retain that cadence, it can be hard going in certain situations.
While the idiosyncrasies of SRAM’s new Powertrain had my attention on the ups, when the ground pointed downhill, the Megawatt fully took over. It’s fair to say that I don’t think a bike has encouraged such reckless abandon on the descents since maybe the Kenevo SL, but the Megawatt had the dinner plate RSC rotors to bring everything to heel if I overstepped the mark.
The Vivid shock was a delight. buttery smooth and tracked like a dream on the chatter, but not doing anything weird into big compressions or square edges. The bike seemed well within its limits despite me feeling like I was approaching the edge of mine. The Continental rubber offered up a wonderfully predictable drift, and it seemed I was always in a usable gear when I needed to get on the pedals. Thank you Coast Shift.
Bike Connection’s ebike loop descent is easily one of the best natural trails I can think of. Beyond jumps and silly steeps, it has a bit of everything, and the Megawatt allowed me to crack on pushing turn and straightaway without even a hint of risk. When I did overcook it, the front would start to push, letting me know to either dangle a safety leg or back it off a touch.
When things got tight, you knew you were on an ebike. There were a couple of points were big arcing turns tightened with trees on the exit, and on a smaller, lighter bike, I don’t think the bike would stall so much, but then this is a 170mm+ travel ebike, it’s not going to be able to do everything.
With an afternoon of bashing out the laps, I’d barely gone beyond 25% battery usage, the real payoff of being around the 60kg mark. Usually the trade off there is that I don’t feel like I can fling the bike about. The Megawatt is in the very short list of ebikes that don’t require me to just hold on and hope for the best. The Specialized Kenevo SL, Levo SL and the Orbea Wild and Rise being the others. Only the Wild is full fat like this one though…
I could have happily spent the rest of the 70% battery just smashing out laps on the Megawatt, it really was that much fun. Alas, darkness was falling and dinner was calling. It was a very impressive first run out on the Megawatt. Rarely have I gone this fast this soon after getting atop a new bicycle.
You can check out the Nukeproof Megawatt over on their website here.