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Nukeproof Horizon V2 Wheels

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First Ride: Nukeproof Horizon V2 Wheelset

Nukeproof by name, nukeproof by nature - the Horizon V2 wheelset delivers robust performance and great value for money.

Rating: Vital Review
First Ride: Nukeproof Horizon V2 Wheelset

With prices always seemingly creeping upwards, finding a good quality alloy wheelset for $500-$600 USD is not as straightforward as it used to be. At that price point, you might have to look for deals and discounts, or be ready to accept some spec downgrades. Nukeproof’s all-new Horizon V2 wheelset hides some nice features behind its somewhat understated appearance, and promises great value for money on paper. What is the story on the trail? Read on to find out!

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Strong rims
  • Quality build
  • Fast freehub engagement
  • Good freehub sealing
  • Wheels set up tubeless out of the box
  • A bit heavy

Nukeproof Horizon V2 Highlights

  • Rim material: “dynamically aged magnesium-silicone enriched alloy blend”
  • Rim construction: sleeved
  • Thicker sidewalls on rear rim for extra strength
  • 32 J-bend spokes per wheel
  • Freehub: 102 points of engagement (3.52 degrees)
  • “LLU/LLB” full contact labyrinth seal type
  • SRAM XD Driver: 142mm, 148mm, 150mm
  • Shimano HG: 142mm, 148mm, 150mm
  • Shimano Micro Spline: 148 mm
  • Wheels delivered tubeless ready, taped with tubeless valve installed
  • Weight: 934 grams (20mm front) / 1096 grams (12mm rear), 27.5”, verified
  • MSRP: $215 USD (front) / $355 USD (rear)

Initial Impressions

Pulling the Horizon V2 wheelset out of the box, the first impression was of a well-built product. The finish of the rim and hubs is exemplary, with the understated watermark graphics applied under clear coat for a classy look and to ensure longevity. The rims are sleeved and not welded, which Nukeproof claims gives them better control over the properties of the alloy and avoids the heat-related issues that can arise after welding. The tubeless ready rim tape is evenly applied and the branded tubeless valve is a nice upgrade over the standard items often used at this price point. Check out the short video below for a visual walk-through of the main features, then keep reading for our on-trail impressions:

The rims are made from a “dynamically aged magnesium-silicone enriched alloy blend” which is meant to combine the stiffness of a 7-series alloy with the ductility of a 6-series alloy. The 30mm internal width is optimized for tires from 2.3” to 2.6” wide. The sidewalls of the rear rim are thicker to deal with the increased levels of abuse the rear wheel often suffers. The rear hub offer 102 points of engagement which translates to a very fast 3.52 degrees. The bearings feature a full-contact labyrinth seal to help keep contaminants at bay. The wheels are laced up with 32 j-bend spokes, which makes it easy to source replacement spokes in most well-equipped bike shops.

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On The Trail

We installed the new Horizon wheelset on our “downduro” project bike (a 27.5” YT Capra fitted with a dual-crown fork set at 180mm of travel). Since these wheels are both enduro and DH rated they were a perfect match for this burly set-up (and Nukeproof sells the front and rear wheels separately, which helps when you need to mix and match hub dimensions or even wheel sizes). We fitted a pair of e*thirteen’s latest A/T tires, DH casing in the rear and enduro casing up front, which was relatively painless to do using nothing more than a floor pump to achieve tubeless seating. The clean and understated graphics of the Horizon wheels make them a good match for most any color scheme, and the rim profile looks burly but not over the top.

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Moving out, the first things we noticed were the snappy engagement of the rear hub and the overall solid feel of the wheels. The hubs emit what we would classify as a “pleasant” buzzing sound, enough to satisfy those who like that kind of thing without being overly obnoxious at all. Despite their weight, the wheels roll pretty fast and seem to be able to carry their speed well. Together with the slow-rebounding e*thirteen tires, the Horizons felt solid but not harsh, and they have taken anything we’ve been able to throw at them so far in their stride. Heavy landings and plowing through rock gardens do not phase these wheels in the slightest, and they feel very solid when you load them up through turns.

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The rim material was chosen in order to provide a good mix of strength and compliance, and that seems to have paid dividends here. During testing we’ve applied the full extent of our customary talent for picking the wrong lines or for coming up short on sneaky little rock doubles, and we’ve had more than a few cringe-inducing hits to the rim that have gone by completely unnoticed. Spoke tension has remained even after a month or so on the trail as well, and the wheels are still perfectly true. We have not had any snakebite incidents, and the tubeless seal has been perfect. Overall, the wheels feel pretty much like they are ready for anything.

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Things That Could Be Improved

We do not have a lot of complaints regarding the Horizon V2. Yes, the 27.5” wheelset weighs in at close to or over 2000 grams (depending on hub dimensions), which is at the higher end of the spectrum these days, but we feel like the durability is there to justify the extra heft.

Long Term Durability

This First Ride review has been written after only about 1 month on the trail, so we’re unable to provide our definitive feedback in regards to longevity. The wheelset has however already been subjected to numerous heavy landings and rocky trails, with no discernable damage of any kind. The rims are dent-free, the spoke tension is even and the wheels spin true at this point.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Wheels take a lot of abuse, and a good wheelset can mean the difference between just riding along and having to fix stuff on your wheels – or worse. Nukeproof’s new Horizon V2 wheels weigh in on the hefty side of the scales, but they also provide plenty of strength and the kind of robust performance that inspires confidence and lets you just get on with your riding. The snappy engagement of the rear hub is another noteworthy highlight. The price tag is very competitive too, particularly in light of the excellent finish and the quality build. If it’s value for money and peace of mind you want from your wheelset, we’d definitely put this one on the shortlist.

More information at: www.nukeproof.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos and video by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Nukeproof Horizon V2 Wheels
Riding Type Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Rim Material Aluminum
Rim Dynamically aged magnesium-silicone enriched alloy blend, sleeved
Inner Rim Width 30mm
Hole Count 32 front and rear
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Rear Hub Horizon V2, Machined body
High-performance Enduro ABEC 5 bearings featuring “LLU/LLB” seal type
102 points of engagement (every 3.52 degrees)
Option for different pawls and springs for a more stealth approach
XD, HG, and Microspline freehub options
Rear Axle 10mm QR x 135mm, 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost), 12mm x 150mm, 12mm x 157mm
Front Hub
Front Axle 15mm x 100mm, 15mm x 110mm (Boost), 20mm x 110mm
Disc Mount Type 6 Bolt
Spokes J-bend, 3x pattern
Nipples
Colors Black
Weight
  • 4 lb 7.6 oz (2,030 g)
  • 2 lb 0.9 oz (934 g)
  • 2 lb 6.7 oz (1,096 g)
Miscellaneous 2020 model year
Front and rear wheels sold individually
Front and rear rim profiles are the same but a thicker sidewall on the rear rim adds strength
Tubeless-ready, tape and Horizon tubeless valves installed – just add sealant
Designed for 2.3”-2.5” tires
Price
  • $211
  • $352
More Info

nukeproof.com

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