Staff Bike Check: Innes' Nukeproof Mega 290

Innes and his Nukeproof Mega 290

Dirt School Coach and EDR racer, Innes Graham, has stepped onto a Nukeproof Mega 290 for the forthcoming 2023 EDR season. Having raced the 2022 EWS season onboard a Giga 297, and clocking up some impressive results along the way, chiefly a third place finish here in the Tweed Valley winning the Pro Stage both times it was run, 2023 sees him making the change to a full 29er setup and a different suspension platform. 

With similar geometry, but different wheel sizes and suspension layouts, how is Innes settling into his new bike? Does the Mega 290, with 160mm of rear travel, need a different riding style to the Giga 297’s 180mm or does the bigger rear wheel negate some of that travel difference?

So, get comfy and read on to get all the details on Innes’ new bike.

Innes' Mega 290

Standing at 183cm tall, Nukeproof’s size chart puts Innes on a Large, or even just onto an X-Large frame. However with a penchant for a more nimble bike, something that’s definitely an advantage in the tighter trails of the Tweed Valley, Innes is running a size Medium frame. Paired with his 30mm ride Burgtec RideWide Alloy handlebars cut to 720mm, it becomes clear that Innes has consciously built his bike to feel small and agile to give him extra confidence when charging tight gaps and narrow high lines. 

Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil shock on Innes' Mega 290

A bike with a shorter wheelbase will be less stable over rough terrain than a bike with a longer wheelbase. To give his Mega some extra stability Innes is running a Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil rear shock. A 350lb spring gives him his 30% sag and rebound and compression both set nearly open allows his rear wheel to track the ground accurately and claw out as much traction as possible.

At the other end of the bike, a Rockshox Zeb Ultimate fork keeps the front end planted and under control. Inflated to 50psi with 1 token, Innes has his fork set relatively soft for his weight of 69kg. Coming from the 2022 Zeb to this current 2023 Charger 3 model, Innes is finding that the air spring in the new Rockshox forks feels more progressive than the previous version. What may have needed two or three tokens in the Charger 2.1 fork now needs just one to achieve a similar feel. Innes is running his Zeb at 180mm of travel, increasing the stack height and slackening the head angle out slightly. 

Compression adjustment dials on the Rockshox Zeb Ultimate fork with Charger 3 damper

A Works Components Reach Adjust headset increases the stock reach figure of 455mm by 5mm, bringing Innes’ reach up to 460mm. A 50mm Burgtec mk.3 enduro stem gives a little extra length to Innes’ cockpit. 

“For a bike that’s so similar on paper to the Giga it’s a whole different machine. So far my experience riding the Mega has been great, I’ve found that it definitely rolls along on flatter, slower terrain a little more efficiently than the 297 Giga I’ve stepped off.”

The full 29” setup on Innes’s Mega 290 gives maximum traction and rolling speed thanks to that larger rear wheel. In order to accommodate the larger wheel, the chainstays on the Mega 290 are 5mm longer than on the Giga (or Mega) 297; 440mm as opposed to 435mm on the 297 bikes. 

WTB Verdict Tough Casing High Grip tyre

Nukeproof’s Horizon V2 wheelset is clad with WTB rubber. Both Heavy Casing and High Grip, Innes has chosen to use a Verdict up front and a Judge on the rear. With straight gauge spokes, and a thicker rim sidewall on the rear wheel, the Horizon wheelset is built to take a beating. 102 points of engagement mean that power is only ever 3.52° away and also gives the hubs a great buzz. 

A SRAM X01 drivetrain provides consistent reliable shifting over the 10-52t cassette. Up front is a 34t Burgtec narrow wide chainring. An MRP chain guide keeps everything secure. 

Rockshox Zeb fork fitted with a SRAM Code RSC brake and HS2 rotor

Keeping this fast rolling bike in check are SRAM Code RSC brakes on 200mm HS2 rotors front and back. Easy setup, consistent bleeds and great power and modulation are why almost everyone here at Tweed Valley Bikes chooses to run Codes. 

“The braking capabilities of the Horst Link suspension platform, combined with the 29” back wheel is a huge selling point for me. The Giga is a fantastic bike but really needs high speed trails to come into its own. The Mega feels more at home on a wider range of terrain and I’m hoping that the more versatile nature of the Mega will be its strength over the coming EDR season.”

Innes’ Mega Full Spec

Frame - Nukeproof Mega 290 Medium

Fork - Rockshox Zeb Ultimate 180mm (50psi, 1 token)

Shock - Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil (350lb spring)

Wheelset - Nukeproof Horizon V2 

Tyres - Front: WTB Verdict - Tough Casing, High Grip Rear: WTB Judge - Tough Casing, High Grip 

Brakes - SRAM Code RSC with SRAM HS2 200mm rotors

Cassette - SRAM X01 Eagle 10-52t cassette

Rear mech - SRAM X01 Eagle

Chainring - Burgtec 34t

Cranks - SRAM X01 Eagle 170mm

Dropper post - BikeYoke Revive 213mm drop 

Saddle - Nukeproof Sam Hill Enduro 

Bar - Burgtec Ride Wide Alloy 30mm rise, 35mm clamp, 720mm wide

Stem - Burgtec mk.3 Enduro stem, 35mm clamp, 50mm reach

If you want to find out more about how the two enduro bikes from Nukeproof compare, click HERE to read our Mega vs Giga article.  

For more information on Mega stock, or to discuss a custom build, give us a call or drop by our shop in Innerleithen.

01896 831 429


1 comment

  • Arnau

    Hello! I have a Nukeproof Mega and I am looking for a strap to mount the inner tube on the frame. Which one do you use?

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