Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS Review
- Price: $7,381
- Frame: Carbon
- Tires: 29 inches
- Gear: 1 x 12
What we like about it: The top-notch carbon frame coupled with excellent components give this bike a decent descent riding experience.
What we don’t like about it: The expensive price is not attractive enough for riders who don’t have that much of a budget.
The Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS features a T700/800 UD braided carbon frame that optimizes the weight, strength and stiffness of the frame.
This, combined with excellent components, gives the full-suspension enduro bike a notable ability to perform.
Below, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications as well as other versions of this bike.
Additionally, at the end of the review, we will also compare several best bike models. If you want to know more about bike reviews, don’t hesitate to follow us.
The Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS is a heavy-duty, full-suspension enduro bike with a 170mm front travel and a 160mm rear travel.
The carbon fiber frame and powerful components make it fearless on any rough road.
To that end, I grabbed my gear and booked a trip to a mountain bike park near my home via Skyscanner.
With a lot of loose gravel descents and some big drop jumps in a row, I thought I’d have a good time with the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS.
The excellent geometry of the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS kept me in a more upright riding position as I rode up to the start point at the top of the mountain. This would give me a smoother launch on the climb.
I was riding up the steeper climbs and the SRAM X1 Carbon Eagle 12-Speed, 170mm, 30T crankset coupled with the SRAM XO1 Eagle 12-Speed, CS PG1295 EAGLE 10-50T flywheel had an abundance of 1×12 speeds. So I adjusted to the larger flywheel and could ride up easily.
The Michelin Wild Enduro 29″ x 2.4 large grain outer tire on a soft ground climbing route was
was able to grip the ground with great traction and good feedback to my pedaling power.
In no time, I arrived at the start point at the top of the mountain.
I rode this Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS from the start and was greeted with a big drop landing.
Thanks to the RockShox Zeb Ultimate Charger 2.1 RC2 fork and the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT rear shock, respectively with 170mm front travel and 160mm rear travel, the bike absorbed most of the impact.
Then came the long gravel descending section. As the speed increased, the bike shake also increased, but the SRAM X01’s rear chainstay with the chain stabilizer freed me from worries about the chain falling off.
When I encountered a sharp corner, I needed to slow down. The SRAM Code RSC with a strong and violent braking feel made me instantly slow down my bike. It provided me with much stability and safety.
Finally, the loose geometry of the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS coupled with the 29-inch wheelset made for a stable drop ride. Besides, its large wheelset enjoyed great passing power.
Overall, it’s a heavy-duty, full-suspension enduro bike. Thanks to good geometry and excellent components, it combines climbing performance with great descending ability.
The Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS uses a T700/800 UD braided carbon frame to reduce the weight of the bike.
There are 5 frame sizes (S-XXL) to choose from. On top of that, the full inner alignment and silent cable tube design makes the bike look neater and reduces noise when riding on bumpy roads.
Next, a 750ml water bottle can be accommodated in the front triangular frame, and the mounting holes at the top tube can carry some riding tools, thus facilitating long-distance riding.
The protective patch at the downtube reduces the splash of stones that can damage the carbon fiber frame during intense riding.
Moreover, the chain protector on the rear fork reduces the noise generated by the chain slapping against the rear fork during riding.
Finally, the design of the dropper allows for quick adjustment of the ride’s center of gravity between climbing and descending transitions.
The Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS is a top-of-the-line carbon fiber frame with premium RockShox and SRAM components, but there are some who prefer other brands of components and damping systems.
For this purpose we also offer a full-suspension enduro bike with the same carbon frame of different components in the same class. This could be good news for riders with different riding styles.
Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon Factory
The Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon Factory and the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS use the same carbon fiber frame, but the kits are different.
First of all, the Mega 290 Carbon Factory features a Fox 38 Float fork and Fox Float X2 rear shock, supporting more shock absorption. This gives the rider more confidence to fly over big drops.
When it comes to the drivetrain, the Shimano XT M8100 shifting gives the hand a smooth shifting feel, while the other capabilities will be less than the latter SRAM X01.
In terms of braking, Shimano XT M8120, I think ,is better than the latter’s SRAM Code RSC.
As a result, this bike gives an extra version of the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon series, more suitable for riders who like Fox damping system and Shimano components.
Below, we will list the specific parameters of the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS in detail and some other brands of gravel bikes with similar prices for your reference.
What do we like about it?
- Carbon fiber frame with excellent components gives this bike a top drop ride.
- It has (S-XXL) a total of 5 frame sizes to choose from to meet the choice of riders with different heights.
- The chain stabilizer and disc guard are designed to prevent the chain from falling off easily during the ride and the disc from knocks.
- Internal alignment design makes the appearance look more neat.
- Silent cable tube design reduces noise generation during the ride.
- With two mounting holes at the top tube, the bike can carry riding tools, thus supporting long-distance riding.
What don’t we like about it?
- Expensive price may not be attractive enough for riders with not so much budget.
- How much does this bike weigh?
It uses a top-of-the-line carbon fiber frame and lightweight components, making this heavy-duty, full-suspension enduro bike with only: 14.4 kg.
- What kind of wheelset does it use?
Front wheelset: Mavic Deemax Pro Sam Hill, 29″, 6 Bolt, 110x15mm.
Rear wheelset: Mavic Deemax Pro Sam Hill, 29″, 6 Bolt, XD Driver, 148x12mm.
- How do I choose the right size for this bike?
Here we provide you with a size chart, but of course you do not have to follow this standard. The best way to find the most suitable size is to test ride.
|159cm – 169cm
|167cm – 177cm
|175cm – 185cm
|183cm – 193cm
|191cm – 201cm
Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS Specs
|Nukeproof Mega V4 290 Carbon, 160mm Travel, ultra-strong monocoque UD Carbon Fibre frame, internally piped cable routing, ISCG 05 mounts, Enduro Bearings, Threaded 73mm BB, Boost 148mm rear axle spacing, 3D contoured Rubber frame protection and Factory fitted clear paint protection kit covering TT/DT/CS/SS.
BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded
Hanger Standard: UDH
Color: Bottle Blue
|RockShox Zeb Ultimate Charger 2.1 RC2 170mm, 44mm Offset, BOOST, Debonair, Grey
|RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT, Custom LIN L1 HOTDOG S320 tune, 230×62.5mm, Bearing End, 2 bottomless tokens fitted.
|BSA, 73mm, threaded
|Nukeproof, 44-56 IITS
|Nukeproof Horizon, 50mm, Black
|Nukeproof Horizon V2 25mm Rise, Width – S780mm, M780mm, L800mm, XL800mm, XXL800mm)
|Nukeproof Horizon Enduro, Black
|RockShox Reverb Stealth with 1x Remote, 31.6mm; S: 346mm length, 125mm drop; M: 409mm length, 150mm drop;ML: 409mm length, 150mm drop;L: 462mm length. 175mm drop; XL/XXL:514.5mm length, 200mm drop
|Nukeproof Sam Hill Signature
|SRAM X01Eagle 12-Speed, Red
|SRAM X1 Carbon Eagle 12-Speed, 170mm, 30T, B148, DUB
|SRAM XO1 Eagle 12-Speed, Red
|SRAM XO1 Eagle 12-Speed, CS PG1295 EAGLE 10-50T
|SRAM GX Eagle 12-Speed
|P 1x AMG V2, 32-38T, ISCG-05, black
|SRAM Code RSC Sintered Pads
|Mavic Deemax Pro Sam Hill, 29″, 6 Bolt, 110x15mm
|Front: Michelin Wild Enduro 29″ x 2.4, GUM-X TS TLR, Rear: Michelin Wild Enduro 29″ x 2.4, GUM-X TS TLR
|Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert
|150mm rear, 160mm front
|1 × 12 Electronic
|Trek Slash 9.8 XT
|160mm rear, 170mm front
|1 × 12
|Scott Contessa Genius ST 910
|150mm rear, 160mm front
|1 × 12 Electronic
|YT Industries Capra Launch Edition MX
|170mm rear, 170mm front
|1 × 12
Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS VS Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert
The Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS and Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert are both excellent carbon full-suspension enduro bikes.
The former’s RockShox ZEB 170mm fork has longer travel than the latter’s FOX FLOAT 36 Performance Elite 160mm travel fork, which is able to absorb more shock during big drop-offs and has better sensitivity in the initial stages.
In terms of drivetrain components, the Mega 290 Carbon RS uses the SRAM X01 drivetrain whereas the Stumpjumper EVO Expert uses the SRAM GX Eagle AXS.
The former is one step higher and more robust in terms of component grade and has a better feel for shifting, but the latter boasts an electronic shifter and will be more stable.
When it comes to the braking system, both bikes use the same SRAM Code RS with strong braking ability.
In the end, between these two cars, I would recommend the former more because of its lighter weight and better drop performance.
Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS vs Trek Slash 9.8 XT
Both the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS and Trek Slash 9.8 XT have the same front and rear travel, with internal cable routing carbon frames.
In terms of damping, both have 170mm of travel in the front and 160mm in the rear, and both are from the RockShox series in terms of damper choice.
However, the Mega 290 Carbon RS has a looser geometry, which makes it more stable on descents.
As for the drivetrain, the SRAM X01 on the former will feel crisper and sharper than the Shimano XT on the latter. SRAM X01 is also an excellent drivetrain.
When it comes to choosing a brake, I would prefer the feel of the Shimano XT M8120 brakes. Because the SRAM Code RSC on the former is too direct and violent.
Between these two full-suspension enduro bikes, I would recommend the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS, for I like the drivetrain it uses.
Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS vs Scott Contessa Genius ST 910
The Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS and Scott Contessa Genius ST 910 are similar in price, but the former has longer travel.
The RockShox Zeb fork is no less supportive than the Fox Performance Elite Float 36 and has better initial responsiveness, so it will perform better when descending fast on gravel.
As for the drivetrain kit, Mega 290 Carbon RS SRAM X01 is more powerful and better-performed than the Contessa Genius ST 910 SRAM GX Eagle AXS, but the latter’s electronic shifting is more convenient to maintain.
When it comes to the brakes, both bikes have strong braking ability, but I have a preference for the latter’s Shimano XT M8120 braking feel.
Overall, both bikes are excellent full-suspension enduro bikes. Personally, I like the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS with its more powerful kit.
Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS vs YT Industries Capra Launch Edition MX
Between the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS and YT Industries Capra Launch Edition MX, the latter has a really cool personalized paint job.
Both use RockShox Zeb forks for the shock system.
But the Industries Capra Launch Edition MX uses CANE CREEK DB KITSUMA coil damped rear guts, making it better than the former in terms of groundholding, and less likely to be bounced off the ground by counter-impact when landing on a big drop.
Coincidentally, they both boast SRAM X01 drivetrain and SRAM CODE RSC brakes.
Considering that both bikes are similar in performance, if you like this paint job and have the budget, then go for the YT Industries Capra Launch Edition MX. If you don’t have much interest in this, then the cheaper Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS is better.
Above is the ride review of the Nukeproof Mega 290 Carbon RS.
In our opinion, it’s a great all-round full-suspension enduro bike. That’s why we gave it a 4.8 rating.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other similar bikes, we have reviewed a variety of bikes at different price points that you might find interesting. Feel free to check out our other reviews as well.
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