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Nukeproof Horizon V2 wheelset review

Nukeproof’s alloy is specially blended, so do the Horizons feel special on the trail?

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £400.00 RRP | USD $634.00
Nukeproof Horizon V2 mountain bike wheelset

Our review

A solid, dependable pair of wheels, at a competitive price
Pros: Well-thought-out construction; decent rear hub, with a quiet option if you prefer; classic alloy ride quality
Cons: There are lighter wheels
Skip to view product specifications

Nukeproof ‘sHorizon V2wheels are designed for everything from all-mountain to downhill riding.

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They’re built from Nukeproof’s own alloy blend, plus the wheels feature a high-engagement hub for snappy reactions.

There are plenty of spec options for the hubs too, so it’s likely there’ll be a wheel to fit your bike.

Nukeproof Horizon V2 specifications and details

Though all brands will have some claims on performance, Nukeproof says its alloy blend has the hardness of a 7-series alloy yet the ductility of a 6-series.

This, in theory, should balance strength, stiffness and weight to give a superior ride quality.

The rim itself is well-shaped, with a fairly broad central well that lets both tyre beads easily sit inside, and a decent internal depth that makes getting tyres on and off a cinch.

Getting the tyres to pop into the bead is easy too – achievable with just a few strokes of a track pump in my experience.

Nukeproof Horizon V2 mountain bike wheelset
Tyres seem to slip easily from the central well, into the bead.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

Though their profiles are the same, the rear rim is built with thicker sidewalls than the front rim to boost its strength. This accounts for the weight differentials between the wheels – while the front wheel is pretty light for the money, the rear isn’t quite so light.

The rims come with tape pre-applied, and I had no issues with air leaking.

The valves are really tidy: their aluminium covers include a core removal tool, and the rubber head of the valve is channelled to allow air to flow past tyre inserts (such as Nukeproof’s ARD Insert) – it’s a small touch, but a neat one.

Nukeproof Horizon V2 mountain bike wheelset
The valve is designed to channel air past tyre inserts.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The 32 J-bend spokes are laced in a three-cross pattern.

The hub comes with some heftily sealed bearings, which feel stiff when spun between your fingers, though on the trail this is undetectable and Nukeproof claims they will loosen a little with use.

The flipside is that the extra sealing should add durability.

Hub options include Boost and non-Boost, 15mm and 20mm at the front, as well as QR at the rear, with a full gamut of freehub options too. Both 29in and 27.5in wheels are available.

Nukeproof Horizon V2 performance

Like many of the alloy wheels on test, the Horizons don’t feel harsh when being rattled over rocks and roots.

There’s a slightly damped feeling that takes the edge off square hits, as well as giving plenty of grip when skimming over matted roots.

Nukeproof Horizon V2 mountain bike wheelset
Rim tape came pre-applied and held air well.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Though the rear wheel has a slightly beefed-up construction, I detected no extra buzz being transmitted through my backside when riding.

They were one of the alloy rims that survived testing entirely dent-free too – but that’s not an empirical test, given the natural variables there are when testing mountain bikes. It’s far from a bad sign, though.

The Horizon V2 hub feels entirely dependable, gave no clunks or bangs, and has a satisfying buzz as you make your way down the trail.

Nukeproof Horizon V2 mountain bike wheelset
The pop on, pop off freehub is easy to work on.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

I was impressed by the freehub’s quick pickup too. Nukeproof’s website says this hub is fitted with its louder pawls and springs, though I didn’t feel they were obnoxious on the trail.

That said, Nukeproof offers a quieter set of pawls and springs aftermarket, should you want to go fully stealth.

Nukeproof Horizon V2 bottom line

While their ride quality is on a par with the bulk of the alloy wheels I tested, the Horizons’ finishing touches, such as the valves and adaptabilities, only add to their appeal.

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Considering their very competitive price, I think these are a solid option.

How we tested

Wheels are a pretty pricey upgrade, so we put 12 trail/enduro sets to the test to find out if there’s an inherent benefit to pricey carbon fibre hoops or is alloy better for hard-hitting rims?

The wheelsets were taken on back-to-back runs down selected tracks in the Welsh woods and at BikePark Wales. They were pummelled over and into rocks and drops, turns and berms, and off-camber roots.

To keep things fair, all our testing was done on the same bikes, both hardtail and full-sus, with the same tyres (thanks Specialized!) at the same pressures.

We tested 29in wheels, but most are offered in 650b versions too. While we predominantly ran 2.6in rubber, we also slung some 2.3in tyres on, and we varied the pressures between test sessions to see what difference we could feel.

Bikes shouldn’t be a pain to live with, so we took into account the ease with which tyres could be fitted and inflated. Likewise, we considered how easy it was to access bearings and swap freehubs, too.

Also on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £400.00USD $634.00
Weight 2,025g (29in) – as tested per set
Brand Nukeproof

Features

Features Weight (f): 899g
Weight (r): 1,126g
Rim width external: 35mm
Engagement angle: 3.5 degrees
Freehub options: Shimano HG, Shimano Microspline and SRAM XD
Brake type Disc
Rim internal width 30.1mm
Spoke count 32 front, 32 rear
Spokes J-Bend
Tubeless compatibility Tubeless ready
Wheel size 29in/700c