In the unthinkable event of nuclear holocaust, only the Nukeproof Pulse Pro and the cockroaches would be left standing. Well, actually, Nukeproof’s speed-seeking downhill rig wouldn’t be standing at all—it would be hurtling down technical terrain at mind-numbing speeds. And it would crush any cockroach that scurried into its path. Watch this video to find out why.
Final Take: The Pulse and cockroaches would be the only things intact after a nuclear war. A bomber, downhill speed machine.
The Nukeproof Pulse Pro looks like it was carved out of a solid piece of aluminum. With such an imposing presence, it's a bike we were eager to swing a leg over, but not so eager to lift onto the tailgate.
Everything about this bike screams burly, from the double-welded T6 6061 hydroformed tubeset to the swingarm that would make a motocross bike jealous. Housed in that robust swingarm is a 150 x 12 through-axle and Nukeproof's interchangeable dropout inserts that allow you to adjustchainstay length from 435 to 445 millimeters. Nukeproof's three-stage Fallout Linkage suspension delivers 210 millimeters of rear-wheel travel and, when combined with the Cane Creek Double Barrel shock, decimates everything in its path.
We all agreed that components are stellar. Out of the box you need not change a thing, although you might want to go to Cane Creek's website for tips on tuning the shock.
The Pulse quickly became known as the brawler of the bunch. You didn't have to worry about it not being able to take a punch, although you did have to worry about it hitting back. You had to keep the "Eye of the Tiger" on it, relax and get off the back. Then it became questionable as to who was riding whom. Stay on top of it, though, and you were rewarded with a stable, speed-hungry beast. Long and low, the Pulse begged to be uncorked. The active rear end devoured everything in its path and made rock gardens its bitch. At 40-plus pounds, it's a lot of aluminum to muscle around, and our testers noted that it felt unresponsive at slower speeds, got bogged down in flat sections and was challenging to get off the ground. The price, components and performance outweigh the heft.
DH bikes are a considerable investment, and it's nice to know that if you accidentally backed over it with the truck that you might actually do more damage to the truck. –S.S.
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Looking for reviews of the most promising mountain bikes for the 2014 season? Bike magazine's fifth-annual Bible of Bike Tests is the mountain-bike world's most comprehensive gear guide, with honest, balanced reviews of 34 new models. Each review is a consensus of our seasoned crew of testers, who put every bike through its paces on the challenging trails of Sedona, Arizona. We've also included a video of our often-heated 'Roundtable Reels' discussions on each bike to give you a clearer idea of what each tester thought. Expect the unexpected.