The Nukeproof Reactor was their original hardtail with a linkage suspension fork, built with a coil spring integrated into the headset. For the time, it has forward thinking ideas, like smooth coil sprung travel and a knock-block headset that prevented the linkage from nailing the frame in a wreck. This sample somehow survived the past 22 years in pristine condition, so they’ve been scavenging eBay to rebuild it with a top-tier spec of period parts and original Nukeproof components that you’re sure to enjoy seeing again…

The Reactor alloy hardtail got 2.75″ (70mm) travel out of a linkage fork. It has a 71° head angle, compared to modern XC bikes with something around a 69.5° head angle.

From the looks of it, the wheel path would have been slightly rearward as it moved up through the travel, and idea that Trust Performance is bringing back today.

original nukeproof carbon fiber wrapped alloy handlebar original nukeproof carbon fiber wrapped alloy handlebar

Above it sits Nukeproof’s original carbon fiber wrapped alloy handlebar, held in place by an extra long stem (we’re guessing 120-130mm!).

original 1997 shimano XTR on nukeproof reactor hardtail mountain bike 1997 nukeproof reactor hardtail mountain bike with original carbon handlebar and hubs

Small cassettes and big triples used to be the way we had “wide range” gearing.

original 1997 shimano XTR on nukeproof reactor hardtail mountain bike

They even found an XTR seatpost! Note the seatpost collar’s clamping mechanism, it presses a screw against a back plate that pulls the collar into the post to compress everything in to place.

The hubs are Nukeproof’s old carbon shell hubs, which were a lust-worthy item back in the day, if only because they had carbon fiber well before the wonder material was in widespread use for bicycles. Those skewers are Ti and didn’t lever open, you simply twisted them tight…unfortunately, they’re not sure what brand they are…any guesses?

1997 nukeproof reactor hardtail mountain bike with original carbon handlebar and hubs

XTR’s amazing-for-the-time V-brakes used a two-arm system to move the pad perfectly perpendicular to the rim. The design set a new standard for V-brake performance, but we’ll still keep our disc brakes thank you very much. The Panaracer Smoke and Dart tires were an extremely popular combo, battling with the WTB Velociraptors for front/rear paired tire supremacy…along with the IRC Mythos XC! Huge thanks to Nukeproof for showing off the old Reactor! Now for some new stuff…

ARD help protect your rims from being dented

The Nukeproof ARD tire inserts have been in their lineup for a minute, but not well promoted. Designed mainly to protect your rim from impact damage, they’ll help with pinch flat protection, too. And should you completely deflate, they’ll help you finish out your run without having to hike down. They say it can absorb enough impact to mean the difference between a severely damaged rim that prevents air from staying in, and a mildly dented rim that’ll still hold the tire in place and air inside it.

ARD, which stands for Advanced Rim Defense, is a closed cell foam, so as you inflate your tire, it compresses slightly and sinks into the rim’s center channel. This keeps it securely in place, and it’s designed to fit easily into your tire without making tires harder to install on the rim.

Retail is about £50 ($70) for the set, which is a bargain compared to main tire insert systems, and weight is fairly low at around 120g per wheel. They’re designed for mountain bikes only and come in 27.5″ and 29er options.

New clothing protects itself and your shades

Nukeproof’s new XXXXX line brings several nifty features to the trail/all-mountain category. For starters, the shorts use a stretch Cordura that’s lightweight and knee length even for taller riders, so they’ll prevent that kneepad-to-shorts gap that looks so awkward.

The shoulders get a bit of grip material to keep your pack in place, and the elbows have an abrasion resistant panel so they stay looking newer, longer. The shorts also get adjustable waist flaps and a microfiber bag that clips into the pocket. It’s large enough to store a pair of riding shades, or just use it to clean them. We’ve been riding with these for the past two days, and they’re great…though that bag is a little bulky in the pocket unless you can get it to stay perfectly flat. But it’s detachable, and the other pocket has a small D-ring on a leash for clipping your keys to.

Other new kits go from super casual (left) to trail performance (center) to full on enduro/DH race with vibrant graphics. Mostly, though, they’re leaning toward muted colors and logos that work well when you’re trying to mix brands of bike and clothing, or just trying not to look like a clown when you hit the story on the way home from riding.

Also check out their new purple Horizon component collection, which includes pedals, stems, bars, grips and more.


  1. Those skewers are Nuke Proof Titanium Twist Tight skewers. Back in the day very few brands had the $$$ to figure out proper cam locking action quick release levers…and the twist tight was a simpler design while also being lighter! An all-around 90s era mtn bike win!

  2. This is great! My nickname was “Mrs. Nuke” for a long time…my ex and I built the company from the ground up and the Reactor is still an amazing piece of art…a labor of love from the get go! Thanks for the write up and taking the time to gather all the goodies to make it as authentic as possible! Hi FoyeTroute! You did more than work for us, you were family! xoxo

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