When it comes to enduro racing, few bikes can match the prodigous success of the Nukeproof Mega. The platform, which has a lineage dating back to 2009, has racked up no fewer than four Enduro World Series titles in the hands of Sam Hill and Elliott Heap. Combine those wins with product lines carefully tailored to meet a range of budgets and you have a privateer classic. If you want a bike to have a crack between the tape then not much can match the Mega.
All that being said, it should come as no surprise that there was a lot of excitement surrounding the latest versions launch last week:
Just before that launch of what is now the fourth iteration of the model, Nukeproof pulled off that classic bike industry marketing move of quietly slipping some brand-new (bright yellow) bikes underneath their race team without saying a thing and left the internet to do the rest. A few weeks later, after a hectic, compacted 2020 race season the bike is now fully released and public knowledge. So what are the big changes?
- Newly-designed frame including fully carbon fibre front and rear triangles.
- Internal cabling with built-in guides to make mainteance easier.
- Increased range of sizing (S – XXL)
- Water bottle (750ml) mount
The bike is visually different from its predecessors largely thanks to the shape of the downtube having been massaged to allow for that water bottle space. That in itself is one of those small details that will make a huge difference. It’s one less thing for a rider to have to carry and to mess around with and helps to move more mass into a better position on the bike whilst also placing a chunky downtube between the bottle and the debris-spraying front tyre.
It’s a tweak which also feels indicative of the Mega’s continuing focus on clocking ever-faster stage times. The bike will also be available in both 27.5 and 29in wheel sizes to allow riders to get the perfect fit for them. If that wasn’t enough then the newly-redesigned suspension kinematics claim that they enable the 160mm travel bike to be both more supple off the top whilst also offering up better performance under pedaling. The increased range of sag will also allow that range of set-up options to be expanded even further.
Chain Reaction Cycles star rider and three-time Pro Men’s champion, Sam Hill, opted to sit out the 2020 season due to concerns about qurantining upon his return to his native Australia and the squad were also missing Irishman Kelan Grant due to shoulder surgery. Despite those absences, team manager/racer Nigel Page was joined on three stops by Elliott Heap and the rookie Ant Hale. Heap started the year extremely strongly with a seventh at Specialized EWS Zermatt and a sixteenth in Vittoria EWS Pietra Ligure only to suffer a mechanical at the final race of the year at Bluegrass EWS Finale Ligure.
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