Nukeproof Horizon wheels review

Tough rimmed wheels available in 650b and 29in

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Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £350.00 RRP | USD $520.00
+£40 for SRAM XD driver
Nukeproof Horizon wheels

Our review

After fixing their freehub gremlins, Nukeproof’s Horizon is among the best value wheels for hard riders
Pros: Great value without compromising on ride quality; rapid freehub engagement; tough rims
Cons: SRAM XD driver costs extra; my Maxxis EXO casing tyres were harder to inflate tubeless than with other rims
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I tested an early version of the Horizon wheelset in August last year, which did not go Nukeproof’s way, scoring 2.5 stars out of 5. The wheels were impressive in every aspect apart from the freehub mechanism. Some of the pawls, which engage the ratchet ring when pedalling, cracked where they attached to the freehub. I tested a second wheelset and found the same issue.

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Following this, Nukeproof redesigned the freehub so all six pawls engage the ratchet ring simultaneously, instead of engaging three at a time alternately as in the previous design. This halved the points of engagement in the freehub from 84 to 42, but halved the load on each pawl because the force was shared among twice as many pawls.

I’ve put the revised wheelset through its paces to see if this has fixed the problem.

Nukeproof Horizon wheels
Nukeproof’s Horizon wheel is available in 650b and 29in.
Georgina Hinton

Nukeproof Horizon wheels ride

Pedal pickup with the new freehub is still plenty fast with 42 points of engagement corresponding to just 8.6o of rotation in the cassette. There’s a satisfyingly loud coasting buzz too.

Best of all, after disassembling the freehub, the internals still look like new despite deliberate bottom-gear pedal-punching during testing, so it appears the fix has worked.

Nukeproof Horizon wheelset
Nukeproof has updated the freehub on its Horizon wheels.
Georgina Hinton

The pre-taped, 29mm-wide WTB rims have proven tough once again, with no burping, dents or truing required during testing. Getting Maxxis EXO+ casing Minion tyres to seat tubeless with a track pump was unusually tricky, but I’ve used these rims with other tyres without issue.

Differences in ride feel between wheels are subtle, but when back-to-back testing over rocky descents I found the Horizons to be among the most comfortable of the 14 wheels I’ve tested. I experienced less hand pain when riding these than Hunt’s similarly-priced Enduro Wide wheels as well as several carbon wheelsets costing several times the price.

They’re not the lightest, but the weight is not bad considering the price. Realistically, it’s tough to tell you’re riding such an affordable wheelset when out on the trail.

Nukeproof Horizon wheelset
The rim’s internal width measured 28.9mm.
Georgina Hinton

The Horizon has a strong rival in the form of the DT Swiss E 1900. They’re slightly lighter on our scales and I found tyres were easier to inflate.

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Based on RRP, the DT Swiss wheels are £5 cheaper too, and if you want a Nukeproof Horizon wheelset with a SRAM XD driver they are sold separately for an extra £40. So, of the two I’d pick the DT Swiss wheels, but the Horizon is still a seriously compelling option for those who want tough wheels for less.

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £350.00USD $520.00
Weight 2,117g (29in) – Measured weight (with valves and tape)
Brand Nukeproof

Features

Brake type Disc
Freehub Shimano driver included (SRAM XD compatible freehub available separately)
Rim internal width 28.9mm (measured)
Spoke count 28 front, 28 rear
Spokes Sandvik 302T double butted straight pull (excluding 20mm x 150mm option, which is J-Bend construction)
Tubeless compatibility Tubeless ready
Wheel size 27.5in/650b and 29in/700c