Words & Photos | Ian Linton
This review/test was never really planned as such, it just “kind of happened” and needed done as the bike deserved some recognition for what it’s evolved into. The old outgoing model was a chunky single pivot designed bike which is a proven platform that I’m used to and don’t have a problem with. A lot of folk that owned the old one complained about it being heavy and suffering brake jack etc.. Well, enough of the old – enter the new 2016 model.
Not only has the bike been on a lean-mean diet, it also has a new suspension platform. Also new for 2016 is a 150mm travel 29r to go with this 160mm 27.5.
The old single pivot design has been replaced by a more linear Horst Link 4 bar setup; this allows riders to adjust the spring curve through the addition of volume spacers in the shock to more suit the individual rider. This system will also help reduce the brake jack that many complained about.
Geometry and sizing of the models have changed quite a bit from the older model. The wheelbase and tube tube sizing have been stretched a bit for the more forward geometry styling. Head angle has been slackened off by a degree and the whole bike sits a bit lower down.
I’m 6ft 1″ and the large sized bike just felt bang on size wise and with the 50mm stem and 760mm bars we were good to go.
Getting back to the reason I have this bike is that due to my own bike needing a complete overhaul and rebuild, the guys at Alpine Bikes let me have this bike to use for the time being. That loan stretched out to a few more weeks and into the local Tweedlove bike festival and so it became the “media bike”
During the weeks that I’ve been riding this beast I’ve found it to climb really well; actually really, really well for a low slung 65º head angled bike. I spent a bit of time setting the suspension up for me and my camera bag. Then another load of settings for just me sans bag, but it’s well worth doing as the bike straight from the shop was ok – but after some tweaks it was like a different bike.
In the time I’ve spent with this bike I’ve been able to ride a fair and varied terrain. The first real test was on an uplift day riding a mix of the DH runs at Innerleithen and mixing in some of the more off piste enduro trails. I didn’t have any time to play with volume spacers to tune the rear shock, or tokens in the Pikes for that matter. If you were buying the bike and intend hitting big stuff it’s probably a good idea to tune it to your prefered settings as it’ll pay dividends. This is a job you’d be wanting do with any bike that comes fitted with Pikes and a Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair shock anyway. Even in stock “slightly-tweaked” mode the bike felt really stable and planted on the faster less technical DH trails.
Taking the bike up into the hills and pointing it down some of the more technical trails above the golf course was where the bike comes into its own. The varied terrain up there is always a good test of a bike and it just felt so stable and buttery smooth.
On the slower steeper sections the super slack and longer design was just perfect for some aggressive riding but you need to get over that front end to stop it wandering about.
The photo below sums up the way the valley has been over the last month or so, dry dusty trails and riding till the sun goes down. When you have a bike that just clicks with you, it sucks when you have to go home when the sun goes down.
I was going to say this has been a limited test of a bike but not really, yeah it’s not a long term 6 months riding but it was almost 4 weeks. Most “tests/reviews” are no more than a few rides long, if that. The bottom line is the 2016 Nukeproof Mega 275 Pro is a vastly improved bike over it’s previous model.
Now you don’t need to take my word for it, Alpine Bikes paid the ransom fee and now have said bike back in the shop for you to go try for yourselves. They have both a medium and a large Pro models for you try and beware if you have your credit card on you: you’ll be around £3k lighter by the end of the day as it’s that good – I’d have one if I had the spare cash to part with for sure.
The new bike is available in three build options for each of the wheel sizes, the Comp (£2599), Pro (£3199) and the Team (£3799) there is an entry level Race model in the 27.5 which retails at (£1999) it comes with with a Manitou Mattoc comp fork, Monarch HV shock with WTB SX23 wheels and a basic Shimano drive gear.
I do however want to go and get a 29r version to try out and see how that beast handles the Tweed Valley – watch this space…
Thanks to Matt at Alpine Bikes for making this happen and if you want to try before you buy get yourselves along to the shop at Glentress or Innerleithen to see the extensive range of bikes they have to hire. A great way to try before you buy.