NUKEPROOF: THE HISTORY BEHIND THE BRAND
Nuke Proof Industries, the brain child of founder John Muenzenmeyer, started life in 1990 from the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a passionate rider, John’s aim was to create desirable, innovative and reliable solutions to meet the demands of the emerging 90’s mountain bike market. Nuke Proof Industries was pioneering in its design with the use of exotic materials such as titanium and carbon fibre. They were best known for their famous carbon/aluminium hubs.
Nuke Proof Industries went on to produce titanium frames, carbon fibre handle bars and other innovative components, represented at races by athletes such as James Bethea, a local courier with an appetite for winning with a unique attitude to boot.
After the American bicycle boom of the 90’s, came a dramatic decline in the market and Nuke Proof Industries struggled to continue trading. In 2004 Northern Irish DH racer and long term admirer of the brand, Michael Cowan, saw the chance to save the brand. He set about acquiring the trademarks with the aim to re-invigorate the iconic brand. A leading and influential mountain bike racer himself, Michael put in place a product development team of experienced and passionate riders.
In 2007, Nukeproof launched its first products, Titanium springs. These were shortly followed by more gravity led products; 760mm and 800mm handlebars, which were a rare sight at the time.
The development of Nukeproof frames was conceived with racing in mind. The Nukeproof team’s desire was to develop a longer, slacker and more capable bike for the famous Mega-Avalanche race. This led to a 3 year development program resulting in the Nukeproof Mega.
Simultaneously, ex Downhill Masters World Champion Nigel Page was assembling the Chain Reaction Cycles-Intense team to compete in the UCI Downhill World Cup. Nigel chose to work with Nukeproof to develop components to meet the teams exacting standards, enabling them to test and showcase our components at the highest level of the sport (standing on the podium at the team’s first race). At the 2010 Interbike show in Las Vegas, Michael and Nigel decided the time was right to design and race our own bike, paving the way for the development of Nukeproof’s first downhill frame: the Scalp.
Today, with numerous UCI World Cup victories behind them, Nigel and the race team are integral to the development and testing of all new components and bikes. None more so than the iconic 3 times downhill World Champion Sam Hill developing his own signature series of Nukeproof components developed specifically for his requirements.
Now designed and developed in Belfast Northern Ireland, Nukeproof products are sold through select independent bike dealers around the world. The brand continues to evolve whilst retaining its proud history and traditions of being crafted ‘by riders for riders’.