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Nukeproof Megawatt Carbon RS Review

Alex Boyce
By
Alex Boyce,
E-Bike Reviewer
Taylor Moon
By
Taylor Moon,
Contributing Editor
Images from manufacturer's website

40 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

3 hrs

CHARGE TIME

52 lbs

WEIGHT

Mid-drive

MOTOR TYPE

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Nukeproof Megawatt Carbon RS Review: Takeaway

Leveraging the Brose motor, commonly seen in other premium bikes, this particular model introduces a unique feature that, once experienced, truly stands out. It’s entirely plausible that future Enduro eMTBs could draw inspiration from the Megawatt. We eagerly anticipate further innovations, including auto suspension lock-out and other exciting features.

Given its advanced offerings, this bike presents considerable value, even at a premium price point.

Ideal for...

  • Enduro trail riding
  • Bombing hills
  • Riders who want simplicity and trust the tech.
  • Racers who want to focus on riding. 

Nukeproof Megawatt Carbon RS Overview

Nukeproof operates as a subsidiary of Chain Reaction Cycles, one of the world’s leading online bicycle parts retailers. With an active racing program, the company is deeply rooted in the cycling industry, prioritizing both quality and value.

Nukeproof products are available online or from various outlets across the U.S. and Europe. The brand primarily focuses on gravity-first bikes. With Megawatt Carbon, they aim to dominate the high-value, high-performance Enduro market. While the Megawatt alloy version has been available for several years, the recent addition of the SRAM Eagle Powertrain and the carbon frame brings fresh excitement to the market.

Components

The product, as its name indicates, boasts a full-carbon frame powered by a core SRAM motor. It also incorporates other components from SRAM’s collection.

Its electronics seamlessly integrate with SRAM’s new top tube LCD color display, the AXS bridge. The user-friendly screen showcases all necessary information in a single view.

The drive and gear-shifting are facilitated by SRAM’s latest XO T-type system, which we’ll delve into later. Braking is handled by SRAM’s powerful and dependable CODE RSC brakes — one of our top picks for stopping power. The hydraulic seat tube, also from SRAM, features wireless activation via handlebar-mounted remotes.

Nukeproof provides the wheelset, complemented by Continental tires.

This eMTB offers a suspension travel of 170 mm in the front and 172mm in the rear, courtesy of Rockshox, employing the ZEB Ultimate for the front and Vivid Air for the back — both high-quality and adjustable. A carbon handlebar from Nukeproof adds a refined touch to the bike’s front profile.

SRAM Motor and Battery

SRAM’s entrance into the powertrain sector is significant. They recently acquired a motor company, presumably aligning with their long-term growth strategy. Meanwhile, they’ve partnered with Brose, who boasts a refined motor system with all the initial kinks resolved.

The motor is quiet in operation and produces 90 Nm of torque at an average 250w. This is a market-leading performance baseline. The motor though in SRAM’s case is not independent of the drivetrain performance and shifting, unlike most other motor companies.

Yeah, the Megawatt is pretty amazing looking. Look at those lines! Photo by: Rupert Fowler

The SRAM battery we evaluated is a 720Wh unit, capable of covering around 40 miles or achieving 6,000 ft. of elevation, depending on rider specifications and the selected power mode. Employing the cutting-edge Lithium Ion 21,700 cells, this battery promises a superior current output compared to the 18,650 cells found in many alternatives. A clever magnetic connector securely attaches the battery, ensuring a firm hold during rides but allowing effortless detachment when required by the user.

What truly distinguishes the SRAM Eagle powertrain controls from its rivals? The answer: Autoshift.

Once activated, the system requires minimal intervention. Simply pedal, and the Eagle Powertrain autonomously manages gear shifts under any condition. Its wireless T-Type chain and cassette system shifts rapidly upon motor detection of a needed change. Working in tandem with a high-resolution 6-pole speed sensor, the motor, armed with detailed data and gauging rider feedback, determines the optimal gear selection.

The system performed very well, surpassing our expectations. Whether ascending or descending, it consistently selected the correct gear that complemented our riding technique. Intriguingly, even on descents without pedaling, the motor actively adjusted the chain to align the gear with our speed – a truly commendable feature.

This intricate functioning is managed by two compact wireless pods affixed to the handlebar. Two power modes are available: ‘range’ for distance and ‘rally’ for power. Both can be fine-tuned using the AXS app. Operating the wireless pods was a breeze; their buttons were easily accessible, with corresponding actions promptly displayed on the top tube screen. Adjusting the autoshift’s responsiveness to our cadence was straightforward with a single button click.

From our perspective, this is one of the most advanced systems on the market, poised to revolutionize the experience for a majority of riders.

Geometry

The Megawatt prominently features an “Enduro” design in its geometric configuration. Nukeproof’s team has diligently fine-tuned the suspension for optimal performance, details of which are elaborated on their blog. From a hands-on perspective, the bike’s seating stance is perfectly contoured for rapid rides, complemented by a rear design that cushions the ride. Additionally, the vertical seat tube ensures a commendable climbing posture.

With a wide head angle, the bike embraces a ‘mullet’ geometry, incorporating a 29” front wheel and a 27.5” wheel at the back. This design not only ensures stability at high speeds but also capitalizes on the agility of the smaller rear wheel, enhancing cornering capabilities.

On The Trail

When on this bike, it feels less like a mere assembly of parts and more like a cohesive trail tool. Its auto-shift feature and streamlined power modes render the ride intuitive and straightforward. A common challenge for e-bike novices is the inclination to select a higher gear with a slower cadence. This can detract from the overall experience and lead to some uneasy situations on the trail. However, with auto-shift activated, riders find themselves in the appropriate gear about 90-95 percent of the time.

Alex shredding the trails on the Megawatt; focused on the trail, not on his shifting. Photo by: Rupert Fowler

Uphill

In auto-shift and rally mode, the powertrain consistently provided the right gear for optimal traction and an even cadence. By choosing the -2 mode, we managed a steady climb under various conditions. The shifting, even under strain, was notably smooth and silent, marking a stark contrast to our past experiences.

The bike’s body alignment was commendable, offering an upright stance that prevented the front end from lifting, ensuring efficient power transmission to the pedals.

Downhill

This e-bike is a downhill champion, and we thoroughly enjoyed its descent capabilities. Its swift, seamless, and stable performance stood out, and its quiet operation added to the experience. The automatic coast shifting ensured we remained in the right gear during fluid descents, and it mostly kept pace on trickier downhills. While the bike can’t predict upcoming terrain, it impressively adapts to sudden trail gradients.

The suspension is notably smooth, adeptly mitigating trail inconsistencies. We’re fans of the ZEB Ultimate fork and appreciated the user-friendly adjustment of the rear shock. Tweaking the shock compression noticeably influenced the ride’s dynamics, accommodating various riding styles.

Its cornering is fluid, with the rear end adeptly navigating sharp bends, though not the most agile we’ve recently experienced. The bike’s weight balance, paired with its suspension blueprint, ensures that even under intense braking with sizable 220mm rotors, the weight remains evenly distributed, keeping the ride steady.

Reasons to Buy

Priced at $10,899, this carbon e-bike represents a premium investment. However, it’s equipped with the most cutting-edge technology available, dramatically enhancing the rider’s experience. For those still honing their technical prowess, this e-bike offers considerable assistance. With its high-spec features, it’s race-ready right out of the box. We believe it’s an outstanding choice for both seasoned riders and those eager to leverage the latest in technical innovation.

Things to Consider

This top-tier product is brimming with features that cater to the adventurous rider. While it’s tailored for a specific audience, we anticipate the innovative SRAM auto-shift feature will soon be available in more accessible bike models. For those willing to make the investment, this product promises immense satisfaction. Some may jest or be surprised by the auto-shift feature on an eMTB, given its novelty. But in time, many will recognize its value and desire the same innovation for their rides.

Specs & Components

Frame
Nukeproof Megawatt 297 Carbon, 170mm Travel, custom designed ultra-strong monocoque
Fork
Rockshox ZEB Ultimate 170mm
Shock
RockShox Vivid Ultimate
Motor
SRAM BROSE 90Nm 250w
Display
SRAM Bridge Display
Battery
SRAM 720Wh
Brakes
SRAM CODE RSC 220/200mm discs
Wheels
Nukeproof Horizon Pro, 29"// Rear Wheel: Nukeproof Horizon Pro, 27.5", 6 Bolt, XD Driver
Drive train
SRAM EAGLE Powertrain
Handle Bar
Nukeproof Carbon
Saddle/Seat Post
Nuke proof, Wireless AXS 180mm travel

The specs above come from the manufacturer and may vary from what you’ve experienced. Notice something that needs correcting? Let us know.

Ratings

Power
5/5
5

The Brose motor stands out, delivering the most potent power output among mainstream motors. This ensures silent yet robust climbing capabilities, guaranteeing an enjoyable uphill experience for riders of all skill levels.

Range
4/5
4

The 720 Wh battery provides a generous range, allowing a 200 lb rider to fully enjoy their ride. While it might not be the largest battery available, its size is perfectly balanced. In range mode, coupled with a gentle motor tune, reaching a 40-mile range is effortlessly attainable. Through our experience, a 720 Wh battery strikes the ideal balance between alleviating range concerns and maintaining a manageable battery weight.

Comfort
5/5
5

Boasting an optimal all-day riding stance and impeccable bar and saddle alignment, this bike’s comfort is further enhanced by its autoshift feature, allowing riders to focus on the journey ahead. From our extensive experience testing various bikes, the user-friendliness of this model is unparalleled in its category.

Durability
5/5
5

The Megawatt boasts top-tier craftsmanship, utilizing a motor system that’s been refined over time in the market. Its drive train is among the sturdiest available today. The frame reflects meticulous engineering and upholds rigorous standards, complemented by a reliable wheel package. The pristine white paint is its only delicate feature; after a muddy adventure, a quick wash will restore its gleaming appearance.

Style
5/5
5

The Megawatt shines with its impeccable design, carefully chosen components, and sleek aesthetics, making it one of our top picks. Its pioneering integration of electronics, paired with the convenience of wireless control pods, ensures a clutter-free experience devoid of messy cables. This bike sets the standard for how all e-bikes should be designed. Its handlebar is arguably the most harmoniously designed in the market, and the addition of the new SRAM display enhances its polished appearance.

Our Research Methodology

We personally research and test every e-bike featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn how we review.

About Our Editorial Team

Alex Boyce
Written by Alex Boyce
E-Bike Reviewer
Alex Boyce has been in the bike industry in various roles since 2008, he has tested more than 400 bikes over the years and created content for magazines and media outlets the world over.
Taylor Moon
Edited by Taylor Moon
Contributing Editor
Taylor Moon is a seasoned editor and content marketer with a diverse background spanning journalism, entertainment, travel, B2B SaaS, technology, and digital and creative marketing. Outside of her professional realm, she cherishes moments with her husband, daughter, and two dogs, drawing inspiration from both her work and family life.
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