This is the second time the Nukeproof Giga 290C Factory has taken part in one of our ENDURO group tests. Here’s why: with its distinctively smooth character and a Best in Test title in the ENDURO bike park group test under its belt, the Giga has all the credentials to rip it up in our “Best Enduro Bike of 2022” group test. But does it have the necessary all-round qualities to be the hottest enduro bike of 2022?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike of 2022 – 11 models in review

Nukeproof Giga 290 Carbon Factory | 180/170 mm (f/r)
15.6 kg in size XL | € 6,999 | Manufacturer’s website

The Nukeproof Giga 290C Factory is almost part of the furniture here at the ENDURO office. After securing victory in our bike park test, it has to prove itself against a test field of thoroughbred enduro bikes. In our bike park test, Nukeproof’s mean green bruiser set itself apart from the competition and left our test crew gobsmacked with its stoic composure, especially on rough trails and high-speed sections. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than endless reserves and great composure to secure victory in our ”Best Enduro Bike of 2022” group test, where versatility is key. With its 29” wheels, a flip chip that lets you change the progression of the linkage-driven single-pivot rear suspension and a price of € 6,999, the Giga 290C is an impressive machine. Protective tape covers critical spots of the frame, protecting its paint jobe. Nevertheless, the tape doesn’t cover the entire frame and countless test sessions have taken their toll on the Giga, leaving visible battle scars all over the frame. That being said, the extensive seat and chainstay protector as well as the small rear fender do a great job. A neatly integrated bottle cage helps satisfy your fluid intake while a tool mount on the top tube allows you to carry all your trail essentials without a backpack or hip pack.

Is this what the perfect spec looks like?

The answer is: yes, it’s the perfect spec for this test. Nukeproof did absolutely everything right with the 15.6 kg Giga 290C Factory, relying exclusively on robust, performance-oriented components. The burly FOX Factory fork features 38 mm stanchions, the excellent GRIP2 damper and generates 180 mm travel, while a FOX Float X2 Factory shock controls 170 mm travel out back. Shifting and braking is taken care of by a Shimano XT groupset consisting of a 12-speed drivetrain and powerful four-piston brakes with big 200 mm rotors front and rear. Michelin Wild Enduro tires in the GUM-X rubber compound are paired with a robust DT Swiss EX 1700 aluminum wheelset. The soft rubber compound ensures excellent grip while the robust casing offers good puncture protection. Only during blood-curdling g-outs and on hardpack terrain do the shoulder knobs tend to buckle.

Blasting through
High speed is the Giga’s mantra. The bike inspires huge amounts of confidence and encourages you to plough through everything.

For the cockpit, Nukeproof rely on their own 800 mm handlebars, using a 31.8 mm bar diameter to offer the best balance between compliance and precise steering. The BikeYoke Divine dropper has 185 mm travel (size XL) and can be inserted all the way into the frame of the Giga, while the Shimano remote provides excellent feel and ergonomics. On very rough terrain, a chain guide and bash guard prevent the chain from coming off and protect the drivetrain from impacts.

Fan club
All test riders loved the stock Michelin Wild Enduro tires. These generate tons of grip and offer excellent puncture protection.
All-round protection
The Giga comes equipped with a chain guide and bash guard which prevent the chain from falling off and protect the drivetrain against impacts.
Magic word: compliance!
With their own-brand cockpit, Nukeproof deliberately spec a smaller diameter 31.8 mm bar for better compliance. This doesn’t come at the expense of any precision either.

Nukeproof Giga 290 Carbon Factory

€ 6,999


Fork FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 180 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 170 mm
Seatpost BikeYoke DIVINE 185 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1x12
Stem Nukeproof Horizon 50 mm
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon V2 25 mm Rise 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss EX 1700 29
Tires Michelin Wild Enduro Front/Wild Enduro Rear 2.4

Technical Data

Weight 15.6 kg

Specific Features

progressive flip chip
tool mount

Something different
Unlike other bikes, the Giga’s flip chip allows you change the progression curve of the rear suspension and not the geometry settings of the bike. This only takes a few seconds and an 8 mm Allen key.
The Shimano remote delivers butter-smooth action and offers excellent feel and ergonomics – a treat for your thumb.
Almost invisible
The Giga comes standard with protective tape covering all critical spots. The clear tape looks discreet and protects the frame from scuffs and scratches, helping maintain the resale value of the bike! Why can’t all manufacturers do the same?

The geometry of the Nukeproof Giga 290C

The Nukeproof Giga is available in five sizes, S to XXL, offering a suitable option for riders between 159 and 201 cm tall. Due to availability, we were sent a size XL test bike. Chainstay length is 445 mm across all sizes but the seat tube angle slackens as the frame size grows, which is supposed to ensure consistent handling across all sizes. At 460 mm, the seat tube is relatively short in proportion to the long 495 mm reach, ensuring good freedom of movement on the bike and allowing you to choose the frame size based on your anatomical needs, preferences and riding style. At 63.5°, the head angle of the Giga is the slackest in the entire test field together with the GT Force.

The Nukeproof Giga 290C Factory is the spec role model in our ‘Best enduro bike of 2022’ group test and also offers some impressive details and practical features.

Seat tube 380 mm 410 mm 440 mm 460 mm 480 mm
Top tube 656 mm 590 mm 609 mm 631 mm 653 mm
Head tube 100 mm 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Head angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Seat angle 77.8° 77.8° 78.0° 78.0° 78.0°
Chainstays 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
BB Drop 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm
Wheelbase 1,216 mm 1,241 mm 1,266 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 649 mm
Helmet 100% Altec | Jersey NEB White T | Pants Thrift Shop 2 Tight | Shoes Five Ten Hellcat Pro

On level terrain and gentle slopes, the Nukeproof convinces with a comfortable pedalling position but lags behind the entire test field on steeper climbs, where it ambles its way up the mountain alongside the Cannondale Jekyll. When pedalling uphill, the rear suspension of the Giga wallows significantly. However, while activating the climb switch elimlinates pedal bob, it also looses you a significant amount of traction on technical climbs. In other words, the Giga will get you to any trailhead but will take longer and cost you more energy.

The super-smooth Nukeproof Giga 290C Factory begs you to ride fast and inspires tons of confidence. However, it lacks agility and nimbleness when the trails get narrower.

Huck to flat
The Giga is stable in the air and provides sufficient reserves for botched landings.

However, the Giga comes to life when the trail points downhill. When the going gets rough, it ploughs its way through nasty rockgardens at Mach 10, blurring your peripheral vision with its spine-tingling speed and at the same time comforting you with its smooth, confidence-inspiring handling and top class suspension, which generates tons of traction but also provides excellent support and huge reserves. As a result, the Giga has no trouble keeping up with the best bikes in this test, the Orbea Rallon and Simplon Rapcon, in a straight line. When a corner finally comes up, the Nukeproof can be a handful, with its long frame making quick and spontaneous direction changes a strenuous task. This was a real struggle for our shorter test riders. Moreover, you’ll have to actively shift your weight around the bike to ensure an even amount of traction from both wheels. As a result, the Nukeproof is one of the least agile contenders in our group test and also one of the bikes that require the most physical input. It was only slightly better than the Kenevo SL and GT Force in this regard. In a nutshell, the Giga 290C is the undisputed queen of speed in this test, but has too small a range of applications and lacks the necessary all-round qualities that would make it the ultimate enduro rig, thus covering only a small range of application. So if you spend your days blasting down steep chutes and have already bought your bike park pass for the upcoming season, the Nukeproof Giga might be exactly the bike you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you love playing around with your bike on narrow trails with tight corners and technical sections, you should look elsewhere.

Tuning tips: None

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










The Nukeproof Giga 290C Factory rolls into the “Best enduro Bike of 2022” group test with a perfect spec and well thought-out details, such as the progressive flip chip and comprehensive frame protection. When the going gets tough, the Giga shines with its super-smooth character, excellent suspension and confidence-inspiring handling. However, the lack of agility limits its range of applications and its climbing performance isn’t good enough to make it a great all-rounder.


  • incredibly smooth on super-fast and rough terrain
  • perfect spec for the intended use
  • sophisticated details


  • demanding on narrow trails
  • rear suspension bobs on climbs
  • narrow range of applications

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike of 2022 – 11 models in review

All bikes in test: Cannondale Jekyll 1 (Click for review) | Canyon Torque CF 8 (Click for review) | GT Force Carbon PRO LE (Click for review) | Nukeproof Giga 290 Carbon Factory | Orbea Rallon M-Team (Click for review) | Pivot Firebird Pro XT/XTR – Air (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Altitude C90 Rally Edition (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS (Click for review) | SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL (Click for review) | YT CAPRA UNCAGED 6 (Click for review)

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Words: Peter Walker 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!