However the season didn’t come without its adversities as Sam battled a string of illnesses at the opening rounds. This left his way out of contention for the overall by the midway point of the season and it was looking near impossible that he’d be able to defend his title. Never write Sam Hill off though. He put on a masterclass throughout the second half of the year and clawed his way back up the leaderboard which set-up a dramatic showdown in the last race of the year in Zermatt, where Sam took care of business and finished the day by raising his Nukeproof Mega 290c above his head on the top step of the podium. So we thought it was only fitting that we took at closer look at Sam’s latest weapon of choice and his long time mechanic, Jacy, was more than happy to give us some insight into how the ‘Champ set-ups his new big-wheeled machine.
Was it a big deal for the team when Sam decided to change bikes mid-season and make the switch across from 27.5” wheels to 29”?
We were prepared and had been working towards making the switch for a while. Sam ended up making the change to 29” wheels just before EWS Round 3 in Madeira. He had been riding the bigger wheels on and off during the off season so we were relatively prepared for the switch but it still took a couple of days before the Madeira EWS to get the bike to a good base setup.
How much testing had Sam done on the Mega 290c before he decided to make the switch for racing?
Sam had been riding a 290 Mega on and off during the offseason before the 19’ season and after the first two races he focused on riding the two wheel sizes back to back, in the long run the 29” wheels won out. Obviously, there was a bit of a learning curve when it came to the bigger wheels but we worked through it and it paid off in the long run.
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