The Review | Nukeproof Mega TR Race 2015
We aren’t all in a position to shell out € 6,000 for a new bike, so when Nukeproof launched the Mega TR Race, proclaiming it an ambitious all-rounder, one that’s both easy on the wallet costing just € 2,399 and a brilliant bike to ride on the trails. We threw our legs over the bike and took it to the bike park, out on the trails and on long rides to see just how much bike you get for your money and to find out when it’s really in its element.
At first glance, we like it. We start pedalling and immediately feel great. The geometry seems consistent, the bike’s agile, and we can’t get enough of its playfulness. But the entire package needs a closer look so we take a break. And what we see leaves us satisfied: huge, angular tubes, solid 2×10 Deore/SLX shifters and Deore 180 mm disc brakes, wide 760 mm handlebars and 60 mm stem, Nukeproof’s own dropper post (100 mm) and RockShox Sektor GRL Solo Air with 140 mm travel. The 2.35″ Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres (TCS front, and PCS rear) instil hope for extremely technical terrain. Next up is the weigh-in. At 14.3 kg, it’s not particularly light, we note, for a bike with 130 mm rear travel. But, on the flipside, we hope it’ll be extra stable because of this.
But after the first ride there are some home truths to face up to: the 2x gearing might work without any problems, but after every root section we’re forced to stop and replace the chain. Setting up a chainguide should probably be the first task of any new owner of the Mega – luckily they’re inexpensive and simple to put on. There’s not much to be said about the Deore brakes, which have decent modulation and performance. And when it comes to the rest of the components, you notice that you’re getting what you paid for. After three muddy rides, the paint on the Deore cranks was already rubbing off and the adjustable seat post shows a good two or three centimetres of play after a few uses.
Even on flowing trails with 30 % sag, the rear performance doesn’t convince us; it can’t seem to handle bumps in quick succession, resulting in poor shock absorption and a distinct loss of rear wheel traction. On rough ground the Sektor forks are well out of their depth – overly hard dampening and noticeable flex mean aggressive riding is a no-go. Because of this, we placed our weight further back for technical descents in order to remove the burden from the forks and our wrists. It’s a huge shame that the suspension can’t support an aggressive style, as the frame itself looks perfect for fun on the trails. A more plush variant could be the answer here.
Conclusion: Too heavy for purely fast, flat trails, and not strong enough for tough terrain. With the Mega TR Race, Nukeproof are offering a consistent and affordable do-all bike, but it is one that shows weaknesses at both end of the spectrum. The best places to ride it? Flowing singletrack, ascending connecting stages, hilly all-day rides that could verge on slightly technical – these are all under control until it starts to get heavier, tougher, and more technical. Then the cheaper components are undeniable, and the suspension shows its limits. But, if you keep this in mind, then it’s still a decent all-rounder. For the price, it’s worth it and it leaves enough money in the bank to play with your own customised build, swapping it part by part until it suits your purpose. Though an improved factory spec – particularly better forks – would show more of the frame’s potential right out of the shop.
Price: € 2,399
For more information check www.nukeproof.com
Words: Fabian Rapp, Andreas Maschke Photos: Fabian Rapp