Before he headed out to the next block of Enduro World Cup races in Europe, our resident World Cup racer, Innes Graham, took delivery of his Nukeproof Mega 290 race bike. With top tier components throughout, and a very special paint job, this bike will definitely be turning heads as he makes his way through the rest of the Enduro World Cup season.
Already familiar with, and confident on the Mega platform, Innes made a few tweaks to this Mega to get it race ready and increase his comfort over the longer race stages that come part and parcel with Enduro racing. We sat down with Innes to get all the details on his setup and to understand why he has made the choices he has; read on for all the details.
Standing at 180cm tall, Nukeproof’s size chart puts him on a size Large frame, Innes however has opted for a size Medium, searching for extra agility with the slightly smaller frame size. A 455mm reach, when combined with the 64° headangle and 440mm chainstay length, gives Innes’ Mega 290 a wheelbase of 1222mm.
“Racing such long stages with so much going on, it’s easy to get caught out by tight turns or technical sections. A shorter wheelbase bike is more manoeuvrable, making it easier to hold your speed when you need to react quickly to unexpected trail features.”
160mm of rear travel on the Mega 290 is damped by a Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock. With adjustable high and low speed compression, as well as rebound and a hydraulic bottom out control, the Super Deluxe coil gives Innes plenty of adjustability to get the rear end of his bike exactly as he likes it.
Re-tuned from the standard Medium compression and rebound tune, Innes has a light rebound tune installed. This lighter tune allows his shock to rebound faster than the original medium tune, keeping his rear wheel glued to the trail, whilst the medium compression tune gives enough support to hold the bike up in high load turns without the shock feeling over-damped.
Innes has set his Hydraulic Bottom Out set to position 2 of 5; giving a varying degree of support to the final 20% of travel this means Innes can access full travel without experiencing any harsh bottom outs that could disrupt the bike in hard compressions.
At the front of Innes’ Mega is a Rockshox Zeb Ultimate. With 170mm of travel, 48 psi and 2 tokens installed, Innes runs a relatively soft front end but with plenty of progression to avoid unwanted fork dive. Fully open on both high and low speed compression, Innes’ rebound is also relatively fast at 6 clicks from open.
“Getting a bike that feels consistent front to rear is really important to me. With the Hydraulic Bottom out on the shock I feel like I can match the feeling of the 2 tokens in the fork quite well. The faster rebound tune in the shock means I’m running more clicks of rebound on the shock than the fork, but the feeling front to back is really balanced, the bike feels really composed over rough ground.”
A 42.5mm Burgtec mk3 Enduro stem leads the charge on the Mega, however Innes has chosen to go with 31.8mm bars over the almost ubiquitous 35mm that we see on most bikes. Cut to 720mm, the Burgtec RideWide alloy bars have 30mm of rise and are rolled slightly forward in the stem to promote a more assertive riding position even when riding fatigued.
“I struggle with arm pump on longer trails, so I decided to go for the 31.8mm alloy bar over the 35mm carbon to try and introduce a bit more flex into the cockpit of the bike. At the moment it’s just an experiment so we’ll see if it stays! Bars cut to 720mm give me confidence when riding trails blind, if everyone else is on 780mm bars and say the trail is a little tight, I know I’ll have more room so feel confident attacking more in my practice and race runs.”
Burgtec Bartender Pro grips, in the Super Soft rubber compound reduce vibration that makes it through the bar. Marginal gains to reduce arm pump and fatigue over long days in the saddle.
SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth brakes keep Innes’ speed in check, along with 200mm SRAM HS2 rotors front and rear. Choosing sintered pads for their extra power and resistance to fade, Innes is aiming for ultimate reliability from his braking system. Innes runs his brakes with very little free stroke at the lever, aiming for a near immediate bite. He balances this by running his reach fairly close to the bar, again in an effort to mitigate arm pump as much as possible.
A SRAM XX Transmission powers Innes to the top of the next race stage. Featuring the new direct mount rear derailleur this new T-type Transmission delivers seamless shifts over the 10-52t cassette, even when under full load.
“The SRAM Transmission on this bike is incredible! The shift is almost unnoticeable and it’s basically removed chainslap from my bike. I run 165mm cranks on my bike to give a bit of extra clearance, I haven’t noticed any major loss in pedal power.”
Nukeproof Horizon V2 wheels keep Innes rolling down the trail, and with their 102 points of engagement power is never far away. The front and rear of the bike place different demands on wheels, with the rear more likely to take large impacts than the front. To this end, Nukeproof have given the rear Horizon V2 a thicker sidewall than the front, increasing the strength of the rear wheel and trimming unnecessary weight from the front.
Innes is running a Cushcore Pro insert in the rear wheel of his Mega. Giving him extra puncture protection, as well as supporting the tyre in high load turns, the insert brings peace of mind to his bike when he’s charging into sharp rock gardens.
Innes’s wheels are shod with Maxxis rubber, with an Assegai up front and DHRII out back. Choosing to run DH casing both front and rear, Innes wants the extra safety given by the thicker casing tyre; on his race bike he is aiming for total reliability throughout the day. Maxxis’ softest compound, MaxxGrip, is fitted front and back, giving maximum traction when Innes is searching for speed wherever he can find it.
Running 21psi up front and 23psi rear when at home in the Tweed Valley, Innes increases pressures by around 2-3 psi front and back when riding the faster and harsher trails scheduled on the Enduro World Cup.
On the theme of reliability, Innes has chosen to run a full chain guide on his race bike. The extra security of the lower guide bringing extra peace of mind over the course of a race weekend.
Innes is well prepared for any on trail emergency repairs with a OneUp 70cc pump and EDC tool installed close at hand by his water bottle. With its easy on head design and high capacity, the pump can get Innes back up to pressure after a puncture or burp quickly. Innes has Oneup’s EDC tool installed in the pump handle, giving him quick access to almost any tool he could need for a trailside repair.
Rounding out Innes’ Mega race bike is a 210mm OneUp Dropper connected to a OneUp V3 lever. With a low overall stack height and dropped saddle rail clamps, the OneUp dropper gets Innes’ Burgtec Cloud saddle well out of the way for descents but still puts him in the ideal position for seated pedalling.
Innes’ Nukeproof Mega 290 full spec
Frame: Nukeproof Mega 290, size Medium
Fork: Rockshox Zeb Ultimate, 29”, 170mm. 48 psi, 2 tokens, LSC: 0, HSC:0, Rebound: 6 from open
Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil, 375lb spring, LSC: 0, HSC:0, Rebound: 9 from open, Hydraulic Bottom Out: 2 from open
Wheels: Nukeproof Horizon V2, SRAM XD freehub
Tyres: Front: Maxxis Assegai, 29 x 2.5wt, DH casing, Maxxgrip, 21psi. Rear: Maxxis DHRII, 29 x 2.4wt, DH casing, MaxxGrip, 23psi, Cushcore Pro insert fitted.
Brakes: SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth, 200mm HS2 rotors front and rear, sintered pads
Drivetrain: SRAM XX Transmission, 10-52t cassette, 32t chainring, 165mm crank
Handlebar: Burgtec RideWide Alloy, 720mm wide, 30mm rise, 31.8mm clamp
Stem: Burgtec mk3 Enduro stem, 42.5mm reach, 31.8mm clamp
Grips: Burgtec Bartender Pro, Super Soft compound
Seatpost: OneUp Dropper V2, V3 dropper lever, 210mm drop, 31.6mm diameter
Saddle: Burgtec Cloud
Misc: OneUp 70cc pump and EDC tool
If you’re interested in getting a Mega for yourself, get in touch to hear about our stock options, or book a test ride on our Medium Mega 290 demo bike.
01896 831 429