What’s the step up from Mega? Giga of course! Nukeproof present their newly developed 2021 Nukeproof Giga, slotting in as the big brother of the Mega, offering more travel and a more extreme geometry. Will this be Sam Hill’s weapon of choice? We already had the chance to put the flagship 2021 Nukeproof Giga 290 Factory through its paces to find out if one up from Mega is better and whether we really need a more capable enduro bike.

Nukeproof Giga Factory 2021 | 180/170 mm (f/r) | 15.64 kg (Size XL)
6,999 € | manufacturer’s website

With the name Giga, expectations are high and as the big brother of the already very successful enduro bike Mega, it hopes to build on its successes. As you might expect from Nukeproof, the Giga comes with either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. With 180 mm travel up front and 180 mm (27.5″) or 170 mm (29″) at the rear, it rolls off the assembly line with added reserves to take on the most demanding trails. The design of the 2021 Giga is in line with Nukeproof’s new image, as you’ll be familiar with from the latest Reactor and Mega, but the beautiful carbon frame promises to be more than just an eye-catcher.

The 2021 Nukeproof Giga in detail

With the new Giga, Nukeproof rely solely on carbon as the frame material for all three builds. That way, the British brand want to keep the weight to a minimum despite the long travel suspension and robust spec. Our flagship Giga Factory model only weighs 15.64 kg in size XL. All models come factory fitted with protective tape on the frame, which should prevent unnecessary scratches and damage. The Giga isn’t lacking in other useful details either, and in addition to the integrated tool mount on the top tube and the well thought-out frame protectors made of soft pads, the dimensions of the shock are given directly on the frame. The internally routed cables rattle occasionally, though this is easy to fix.

The protective tape on the frame saves you from having to apply it yourself, preventing scratches and paint chips and increasing the resale value.
The integrated carbon bottle cage is an absolute eye-catcher and offers enough space for bottles up to 750 ml.
The integrated mudguard protects the bearings and linkage from getting covered in dirt and offers clearance for up to 2.6” tires.
Unfortunately, the frame only offers the option of inserting the brake line of the rear brake on the right-hand side, which can make for awkward cable routing.
In our opinion, the integrated bashguard of the chain guide is an indispensable part of a hard-hitting enduro bike.
The cleverly positioned tool mount allows you to store the essentials on the bike when you head out for a ride.

The progression rate of the linkage-driven single pivot rear suspension can be adjusted easily via a lever. Unlike most bikes, the adjustability of the main pivot point isn’t for the geometry, intended to change the progression instead and thereby allowing to dial in the suspension even more precisely. With the lever in the “+ Progressive setting”, Nukeproof claim the progression is increased from 3.5% to 29%, which corresponds to the effect of an additional volume spacer.

The progression lever is easy to adjust using an 8 mm Allen key, which allows you to adapt the suspension to suit the conditions of the trail on the fly.
Nukeproof rely on the widely available SRAM UDH derailleur hanger for the Giga.

The geometry and sizes of the 2021 Nukeproof Giga

The Giga is available in five frame sizes, offering a suitable option for riders from 159–201 cm tall. The size XL Nukeproof Giga 290 Factory model that we tested was a perfect fit for our 186–190 cm tall test riders. The reach has also been appropriately chosen by the manufacturer, offering a good starting point to finding the right size. The XL has a reach of 495mm. The chainstays measure 445 mm across the board, coming in at the longer side spectrum and should provide added stability, especially on fast trails. Nukeproof also kept the riding position in mind when designing the frame, promising taller riders a central position above the bottom bracket. This is made possible by the adapted steep seat tube angle, becoming progressively steeper as you go up in frame size, ensuring the optimum pedalling position. The relatively short seat tube also offers enough insertion depth for very long dropper posts, allowing riders to choose the frame size based on the reach.

The geometry of the Nukeproof Giga 275

Top tube length 564 mm 591 mm 610 mm 634 mm 654 mm
Seat tube length 380 mm 410 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Head tube length 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 140 mm
Head tube angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Seat tube angle 77.8° 77.8° 78.0° 78.0° 78°
BB Drop 10 mm 10 mm 10 mm 10 mm 10 mm
Chainstay length 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
Wheelbase 1,204 mm 1,233 mm 1,258 mm 1,282 mm 1,307 mm
Reach 435 mm 460 mm 480 mm 500 mm 520 mm
Stack 597 mm 606 mm 615 mm 624 mm 633 mm

The geometry of the Nukeproof Giga 290

Top tube length 565 mm 590 mm 609 mm 631 mm 653 mm
Seat tube length 380 mm 410 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Head tube length 100 mm 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Head tube angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Seat tube angle 77.8° 77.8° 78.0° 78.0° 78°
BB Drop 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm
Chainstay length 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
Wheelbase 1,216 mm 1,241 mm 1,265 mm 1,290 mm 1,314 mm
Reach 430 mm 455 mm 475 mm 495 mm 515 mm
Stack 622 mm 622 mm 631 mm 640 mm 640 mm

The 2021 Nukeproof Giga models: prices, builds and availability

In contrast to the builds of the existing portfolio, the Giga will not come in a RS variant modelled on the team bike with a slightly longer travel fork. Nukeproof will only offer three complete builds as well as a frame-only option. The flagship model will be the Factory version, followed by the Elite and Comp models. The prices of the complete bikes range from € 4,699–€ 6,999. The frameset is available for € 3,299. The bikes will be available from January 27, 2021.

Nukeproof Giga Factory 2021 | 180/170 mm (f/r) 15.64 kg (Size XL) | 29” | 6,999 €

The Giga 290 Factory model on test comes with a Fox 38 Factory Grip 2 fork and Fox FLOAT X2 Factory shock. You also get Shimano XT four-piston brakes with 203 mm rotors and the equivalent 12-speed groupset. The sturdy DT-Swiss E1700 aluminium wheelset is fitted with 2.4″ wide Michelin Wild Enduro tires, featuring the relatively soft Gum-X3D rubber compound. The BikeYoke dropper post nicely rounding off the build. For the rest of the components, Nukeproof rely on in-house parts such as the 800 mm wide aluminium handlebar with a 25 mm rise and the soft Sam Hill signature grips.

Nukeproof Giga Elite 2021 | 180/170 mm (f/r) | 29” | 5,799 €

The € 5,799 Nukeproof Giga Elite is hardly inferior to the Factory model. The FOX 38 Performance Elite suspension fork is very similar to the Factory model in terms of riding performance as the only feature it doesn’t have is the Kashima coating. You can’t adjust high-speed rebound and compression settings on the FLOAT X2 shock. The slightly heavier Shimano SLX brakes and gears also perform just as well as the XT components on the flagship model, with the exception of the multi-release shift function. However, you’ll have to accept a compromise on the dropper post and the heavier DT Swiss E1900 Spline wheelset. The cockpit and tires are identical to the Factory model. On paper, the Nukeproof Giga Elite is our best value tip.

Nukeproof Giga Comp 2021 | 180/170 mm (f/r) | 29” | 4,699 €

At the lowest price point, the € 4,699 Comp model comes specced with the entry level RockShox Zeb R, which only offers rebound adjustment. The fork is paired with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select R shock that you can’t lock out, which is unfortunate as we used this feature quite often on longer climbs when testing the flagship model. For the drivetrain and brakes, Nukeproof are sticking to Shimano components, speccing four-piston DEORE brakes together with the 12-speed DEORE groupset. The budget model also features the high-quality Michelin Wild Enduro tires.

The 2021 Nukeproof Giga 290 Factory on the trail

We had the exclusive privilege to test the all-new € 6,999 Nukeproof Giga 290 Factory model for almost two months. The Giga had to prove itself on our fast home trails in Stuttgart, on rough trails in the Black Forest and on big jump lines. It soon transpired that if you’re going to pedal to the trailhead, the Giga prefers easy-going forest service roads, where it’s comfortable to pedal thanks to the central riding position and light weight. On steeper climbs, when you’ve got to pedal hard or even stand up to pedal, the bobbing rear end will rob you of energy. Going downhill, the riding position on the Nukeproof Giga is low and stable, making you feel integrated with the bike and instilling you with confidence at high speed, ready to take on everything the trail has to offer.

The stoke…
…is real!

The bike offers plenty of support through berms despite the long travel suspension, allowing you to blast through corners while also generating tons of traction for you to stay securely on track. Despite its ability to absorb hits, the suspension provides a lot of mid-stroke support and invites you to pop off features. That said, the Giga absorbs harder impacts with ease, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re on a downhill bike. In the more progressive setting, the suspension feels more supportive towards the end and the bottom bracket is lower. As a result, the bike remains nicely balanced, even in rough terrain with hits following in quick succession. It also offers the necessary support to cope with unexpected surprises, like a compression or berm just as you’re coming out of a demanding section. The Giga lacks the agility needed for tight and slow trails, but with some effort, you will get it around the corners with precision. On flat trails, the Giga will quickly get bored, which shows that it isn’t designed for flow trails. If you’re looking for that extra bit of stability and usually rely on a shuttle or lift to get to the trailhead, you’ll be in for a good time aboard the Giga.

Gnarly rocks and steep shoots aren’t a problem for the Nukeproof Giga
There was snow on top…
… and flow at the bottom

Mega vs. Giga – siblings or a completely new bike?

We couldn’t resist comparing the Giga with the latest Nukeproof Mega. The Mega is considered the enduro race bike in Nukeproof’s line-up and also delivers an impressive performance with its all-round capabilities. When it comes to the bikes’ climbing characteristics, it soon becomes clear that the Mega is quicker and more efficient in this regard, bobbing less as you pedal. However, the moment you head downhill, both bikes display the usual characteristics of plush and capable suspension, instilling you with confidence and generating a lot of grip. While the liveliness of the Mega makes it shine on flatter trails, the Giga reveals its strengths in steep and rough terrain. For enduro racing, we would normally go for the Mega and only choose the new Giga for the most demanding, downhill-focused events like the EWS race in Whistler. However, anyone who frequently rides in rough terrain and bike parks will find exactly the bike they need in the Giga. The new Giga 290 Factory costs only 100 pounds more than the equally specced Mega 290 Factory. However, for all customers not based in Great Britain, the euro prices are shooting up due to the current Brexit situation. You can find more informations about the bike boom in a crisis here.

Up Up we go.
We just can’t resist.
Helmet Giro Montaro | Shampoo Schwarzkopf Schauma Frucht & Vitamin | Jersey Monserat J01 Jersey | Pants Specialized Demo Pro Pants | Shoes Shimano SH-AM9


The new Giga definitely deserves its place in the Nukeproof family and is a good fit for the big brother of the Mega. If you’re looking for that downhill bike feeling with a single crown fork, you will definitely find it with the new Giga. The plush suspension is confidence inspiring and offers composed handling, though providing enough support to make getting airborne easy. Do you need the Giga? For most enduro races – including EWS – the Mega will usually be the better choice. However, if you’re looking for that extra bit of stability and usually rely on a shuttle or lift to get to the trailhead, the Giga is sure to put a smile on your face.


  • Plush and confidence-inspiring suspension
  • beautiful looking and covered with protective tape from the factory
  • progression of the rear suspension is easily adjustable
  • cool features on the frame


  • Cable ports and cable routing at the cockpit
  • Bolts at the pivot points came loose (we recommend some LOCTITE)

For more information, visit: https://nukeproof.com/

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Words & Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Peter Walker

As editor-in-chief, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!