Luxury Bikes

Key Test Sessions – Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon – Mountain Bike Feature

Nukeproof has developed the Mega into a “downhill trail bike” over the last decade and has achieved great success with three consecutive Enduro World Series titles under Sam Hill. Not only have they found success on the race track, but also in their quest to develop a true downhill trail bike. What is now categorized as an “enduro bike” originally fell under the term “long-travel trail bike,” and many aspects of the Mega can be described as such.


  • 29 inch wheels
  • 160 mm (6.3 inches) rear travel // 170 mm (6.7 inches) fork travel
  • Carbon fiber frame
  • 64 degree head tube angle
  • 78 degree seat tube angle
  • 495 mm reach (size XL)
  • 440mm chainstay length in all sizes
  • Horst link suspension
  • Internal cable routing
  • Water bottle and accessory holders
  • Down tube and chainstay protection made from 3D molded rubber
  • Clear frame protection over the entire length
  • 12 x 148mm Boost rear hub spacing
  • SRAM UDH and T-Type compatibility
  • 73mm bottom bracket with BSA thread and ISCG05 tabs
  • Price: $5,899 as tested (Carbon Elite)



  • Conservative geometry ensures easy handling.
  • Playful riding experience on the trail with smooth off-the-top suspension
  • The performance level rear shock absorber offers a limited adjustment range.
  • Lack of geometry and sizing adjustments can cause riders to vacillate between sizes.



Nukeproof is clearly not trying to push boundaries with the Mega. The geometry isn’t exaggerated, the rear suspension feels very consistent and the frame is straight forward, with attention to detail where it counts. Our three-person test team chose this bike and we would take it home based on its on-trail performance and great value for money.


The Elite level kit is configured with a well thought out component specification. Suspension is provided by a Fox 38 Float Performance Elite Series fork at the front and a Fox Float X2 Performance shock at the rear. Stopping power comes from the new 4-piston SRAM DB8 mineral oil brakes with 200mm front and rear discs. A SRAM GX AXS T-Type drivetrain delivers crisp shifting, paired with Nukeproof’s own wheels, saddle and signature Sam Hill cockpit to top it off. Other nice touches include torque ratings on all pivot pins and a clear frame protector kit that covers the entire length of the frame.



The Mega was the smallest bike in our enduro bike testing sessions with a comfortable reach of 495mm, paired with a 64-degree rear and a chainstay length of 440mm across all sizes, what with its 1275mm wheelbase and a 78 degree seat provides a balanced feel, tube angle for a nice upright pedaling position. Sizes Small-XXL are available with 20mm reach gaps between sizes and approximately 14mm center front gaps between sizes. We swapped the handlebars to give a slightly larger back sweep, but this kit comes standard with a 38mm rise handlebar, which makes a lot of sense for XL size bikes.


On the path

The decade of evolution of the mega platform comes to light on the trail. From the component specification to the suspension kinematics and geometry, everything works well together. Our testers did have difficulty with the shock adjustment on our particular kit, but that was more due to the lack of adjustment of the specific shock we tested. Aside from the lack of rebound damping, the rear suspension’s performance felt consistent across the terrain we tested. Kinematic characteristics include a very light feel from the top with a consistent ramp throughout, which helped maintain traction on varying terrain and keep higher speed bumps under control. The Mega’s geometry was significantly more neutral than other bikes in the test. The shorter chainstays and reach values ​​as well as a predictable head tube angle gave the bike a light feel on the trail and enabled precise handling even on aggressive terrain.



What is the end result?

All three testers chose this bike as one of their top picks in testing because the bike’s suspension, geometry and body position felt so balanced. The bike’s no-fuss approach made it very easy to ride and it adapted well to whatever terrain we pointed it at. It’s a shame that consumers can no longer purchase this bike in the US due to the recent unrest within Nukeproof’s parent company. But if you find one of these at a local dealer and aren’t sure, it’s worth the money.

We stayed right at the base of the mountain, courtesy of Visit Big Bear, and we couldn’t have imagined a more convenient way to spend the week testing bikes. Since our condo was less than a minute from Snow Summit Village, we were able to easily return to our unit between laps to swap bikes and had plenty of room to work on our bikes. Off the bike, we were grateful to have enough space for our entire test crew, as well as a pool and hot tub within walking distance to relax after each day of testing. Big Bear has a wide variety of dining options and a great downtown area that we explored when we wanted to mix up our dinner plans or just grab some ice cream afterward. If you’d like to explore Snow Summit or Big Bear, California for yourself, come visit us or for more information…

Thank you to everyone who sponsored this test and made our trip possible!

Click here to watch the whole thing Enduro test session feature 2023

Find out more about the Nukeproof Mega at

View key specs, compare and rate bikes Nukeproof Mega in the Vital MTB product manual.

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