Staff Bike Check: Tom’s Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory

Tom with his new Nukeproof Mega Factory 290

Our MTB Guide, Tom, took delivery of his new Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory a few weeks ago. Swapping from the 180mm linkage driven single pivot Giga 297 the the 170/160mm Horst link driven Mega, Tom has taken a couple of weeks to settle into his new bike and get it set up exactly how he likes it. 

Now he’s got a good few rides under his belt, we thought we’d get his initial impressions on the bike and find out how he’s gone about getting his Mega dialled in. Over to Tom…

Tom's Nukeproof Mega Factory 290 frame in Petrol Green

Frame and Wheelsize

I’m 188cm tall which, according to Nukeproof’s size chart, puts me just into the XL height range but, living in the Tweed Valley and preferring a smaller bike, I decided to go for a size Large frame. Both the Giga and Mega use the same reach figure, 475mm on a Large, and have a pretty similar wheelbase so I knew roughly what to expect in terms of bike fit.

 One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed coming onto the Mega is the 29” wheel setup, not only is the rear wheel larger but there’s an extra 5mm on the chainstays. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s definitely noticeable on trail, getting the bike up to manual takes more body language and the rear tyre just feels more stable in changes of direction; it takes more of a push from me to break rear wheel traction. The extra chainstay length also means I stand more centrally on the bike, a very small but noticeable difference to the more rearward bias on the Giga 297. 

A Fox Factory Float X2 rear shock on Tom's Nukeproof Mega Factory 290


Being the first Fox equipped bike I’ve ridden in a few years, getting my baseline pressures and rough number of volume spacers has taken a couple more rides but I fairly quickly started to narrow in on what felt good. 

 I started with the rear shock, the 62.5mm stroke on the Mega gives a static 30% sag measurement of 18.75mm so I aimed for between 18-19mm of static sag to get me started which put me at 183psi. For my 80kg body weight, Fox recommends 90psi so that gave me my setup for the first ride. 

Fox Factory 38 and Maxxis tyres on Tom's Nukeproof Mega

The bike came with 2 volume spacers installed in the shock and fork. For the first ride I dropped to 1 spacer in the fork and kept the 2 in the shock. This worked well for the first ride but as I started to gain more confidence on the bike and pushed harder into the trail I found myself using all the travel too regularly so I added a volume spacer front and rear and also upped the pressures slightly. 

I’m now pretty settled on my current setup which is as follows: 

Fork: 95psi, Volume spacers: 2, LSC: 2, HSC: 1, LSR: 0, HSR: 0

Shock: 187psi, Volume spacers: 3, LSC: 2, HSC: 1, LSR: 0, HSR: 0

DT Swiss EX1700 wheels and Maxxis tyres on this Nukeproof Mega

Wheels & Tyres

The Factory builds for both the Mega and Giga both come with a DT Swiss EX1700 wheelset. This is essentially a complete wheelset built around DT Swiss 511 rims, which is what I would choose if I was to build a wheelset up myself. DT Swiss 350 hubs are solid and reliable. Not a super flashy wheelset but it more than gets the job done. 

 For tyres I’m currently running a MaxxGrip Assegai on the front and a MaxxTerra DHRII on the rear. This setup is incredibly popular here in the Tweed Valley but for good reason. Up front the Asseagi feels like it delivers exactly the same levels of grip no matter what the lean angle, and it transitions onto the cornering lugs very smoothly. For the rear, the DHRII just offers incredible braking performance pretty much no matter what the trail conditions are. When it starts getting consistently wet I’m pretty keen to try a DHF on the front to see if that performs better through winter than the Assegai. 

Maxxis Assegai front tyre

Casings are DoubleDown front and rear and I typically run 21psi front and 23psi rear in the valley. If I head somewhere with bigger berms and higher speeds I’ll add around 2psi front and rear. I’ve fitted a Cushcore Pro insert to the rear wheel, mainly to give extra support to the tyre in turns but the rim protection is good too.

An all Burgtec cockpit on Tom's Nukeproof Mega Factory 290


My handlebar is a Burgtec Ride Wide alloy bar, cut to 760mm with grips fitted and 30mm rise. I’ve put a 10mm spacer under the stem and still have a 5mm above it so I can go higher if I feel like I need to down the line. 

Stem is a Burgtec enduro mk.3 stem at 50mm. I had a little experiment between the 42.5mm and 50mm length and ended up preferring the 50mm for the slightly longer cockpit and calmer steering. 

I have Burgtec Bartender Pro grips fitted in the super soft rubber compound. They work great with or without gloves and the softer rubber really damps the trail vibrations well.

I run my brake levers are run fairly close to the bar but I make sure the lever throw is as short as possible because, although I like the close reach, I don’t want the levers to bite with my fist closed. 

Burgtec Ride Wide alloy bar and Hayes Dominion A4 brakes

Speaking of brakes, these Hayes Dominion A4 brakes have really impressed me. The lever feel is very light, the throw is pretty short right out of the box and once they’re bedded in the power is huge and easily controllable. I’m finding myself braking later, harder and with more confidence with these brakes for sure. 203mm Hayes rotors front and rear.

SRAM X0/GX mix Transmission on the Nukeproof Factory spec bikes


This bike came fitted with a mix of X0 and GX components from the SRAM Transmission range. 

 There’s not really much to say about this that hasn’t already been said, but everything you’ve read about it is true. It was a breeze to install and the shift under load is really impressive, genuinely the harder you pedal the smoother the shift gets. 

 I’ve got a 30t chainring which gives me more than enough gear spread on the 10-52t cassette. The X0 cranks are 165mm long giving a bit more clearance over trail obstacles if I’m pedalling. 

Burgtec Penthouse mk.5 flat pedals

Pedals are Burgtec Penthouse mk5 flats. Loads of grip from the concave platform, easily replaceable pins and fully serviceable, what more could you want from a pedal.

Finishing kit

Rounding out this incredible bike, I have a BikeYoke Divine dropper with 185mm of drop. It’s just about enough drop but I plan on changing to a OneUp 210mm dropper fairly soon so I can lower the post in the frame a bit more and open up some more range of movement over the bike. The saddle is a Nukeproof Horizon enduro saddle which works really well for me. 

For the mixed weather we’ve had this summer I’ve fitted a bolt-on Mudhugger Shorty mudguard, I may end up changing to the full length mudguard come winter but for now it’s dry enough that I don’t need anything more.

MudHugger Shorty bolt on mudguard

All in all I couldn’t be happier with this bike, not only does it ride amazingly but I think it looks fantastic as well and I can’t wait to spend more time in the hills on it.

Tom riding his Mega on the Golfie in Innerleithen

Tom’s Nukeproof Mega Factory 290 full spec:

Frame: Nukeproof Mega 290, size Large

Fork: Fox Factory 38, 29”, 170mm travel.

Pressure: 95psi, Volume spacers: 2, LSC: 2, HSC: 1, LSR: 0, HSR: 0

Shock: Fox Factory Float X2.

Pressure: 187psi, Volume spacers: 3, LSC: 2, HSC: 1, LSR: 0, HSR: 0

Wheelset: DT Swiss EX1700

Tyres: Front -  Maxxis Assegai, 29x2.5WT, MaxxGrip, DoubleDown, 21psi, no insert Rear - Maxxis DHRII, 29x2.4WT, MaxxTerra, DoubleDown, 23psi, Cushcore Pro insert

Handlebar: Burgtec Ride Wide alloy, 760mm wide, 35mm clamp, 30mm rise

Stem: Burgtec enduro mk.3, 50mm reach

Grips: Burgtec Bartender Pro, super soft rubber compound

Brakes: Hayes Dominion A4, 203mm rotors front and back

Drivetrain: SRAM X0 Transmission, 10-52t cassette, 30t chainring

Seatpost: BikeYoke Divine, 185mm drop, 31.6mm

Saddle: Nukeproof Horizon Enduro

Tom riding Repeat Offender at the Golfie on his Nukeproof Mega

For more information on Nukeproof Megas just get in touch, or pop along to the shop and we’ll be more than happy to help with any questions you might have. 

01896 831 429

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