Nukeproof Horizon CL 2017 Mountain Bike Review

Nukeproof Horizon CL 2017

Reviews / Pedals

Nukeproof 95,129

At A Glance

Nukeproof's new Horizon CL is their first foray into the world of clip pedals and as you would expect, contains plenty of DNA from their well respected flat pedals. As is the way for gravity style pedals, these aim to give your foot a better platform while clipped in, combining the security of a clip, with the 'feel' of a flat. After some serious development and testing from some of the elite riders on the Nukeproof team, such as Matti Lehikoinen and Mike Jones, they believe they have the created the ultimate clip pedal.

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Nukeproof the brand dateback to the 90’s in the US and specialised in exotic materials like carbon fibre. The brand, as we now know it, was re-launched in 2007 and is best know for the Mega Enduro bike, and a host of robust and, well, 'nukeproof' products.

This Horizon CL has been released off the back of the Horizon Flat, which is Sam Hills Signature Pedal, and the ones I  have been running for the last 12 months, as have many of the test team. With that in mind, I was keen to get hold of these and give them a whirl.

With the recent expiration of Shimano’s ‘SPD’ patent there has been a whole host of pedals being released with a very similar style, and it just so happens you can run Shimano cleats on these new pedals. What is different however, is that the Nukeproof cleats have improved multi-directional engagement and come in two (float) options +4 deg or +8 deg.

The look of the pedal is sleek, and with the option of 4 colours (black, blue, red and copper) and two axle materials there are plenty of options. These are the CroMo axle and they weigh in at 526g, although you could save another 100g if you have deep pockets and opt for the titanium axle.

The pedals run on DU bushings and sealed cartridge bearings, the body is a cold forged T1- 6061 alloy and each pedal features six pins each side to give the flat pedal grip. The cage is shaped to avoid snagging on rocks and is low profile to avoid any collisions in the first place. If the cage size is too much for you, the CS model has the same internals but a smaller cage

On The Trail

Upon fitting to my bike, the first thing I noticed was a slight colour mismatch to my tastefully (or not) anodised Hope build kit - I should have opted for black! After getting over this First World problem and getting my feet clipped in, the real first impression I got was the great support it was offering around the cleat, even on my tired old set of Mavic Crossmax shoes.

I initially started with my standard Shimano cleats and they clipped as I expected them to. I then swapped them out for the Nukeproof cleats which did have a slightly different feel; I found they needed to be pushed down on like a flat for engagement - this became second nature after a few miles.

You can adjust the pins in the pedal to give you varying degrees of grip, the CL comes with 6 pins on either side. I didn’t feel the need to adjust them, however, if I was using a flatter, or softer style of shoe I may want to make adjustment to the pin height to save any fouling on clipping in.

The Nukeproof Horizon CL uses the same axle and bearing set up to my flats, which I have been happy with over the last year and have recently fitted a bearing/bushing kit to. I like this design, it's easy to service when they do wear out and parts are always easy to get hold of.

I think this pedal will be snapped up by the downhill and enduro market, whereas the CS model will be aimed more towards your cross country guys. (This assumption is completely down to looking at the pedal weights alone - the CS is almost an estimated 100g lighter.)


Flats or clips? Clips or flats? In this modern age it's a daily conundrum for me, yet these Horizon CL’s have given me the support and feel of a flat with all the benefits of an SPD. For that reason, I can't fault what Nukeproof have created; a clipless pedal with the benefits of a flat platform. Whilst I continue to share my time between a true set of flats, these have become my ‘go to’ clipless pedal. If any clip pedal could convince a life long flat pedal user to try clipping in, then these are probably the ones.

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By Graham Beaumont
Graham Beaumont is a highly respected mountain bike coach, and has travelled the world riding his bike on the best trails the planet has to offer. His laid back attitude is in stark contrast to his hard riding style, and there are very few riders who have such exacting standards and demand so much from their bikes and kit.

Tried this? What did you think?