Barney does his level best to destroy Nukeproof’s Horizon wheelset. And, as in so many other things he tries in life, he fails.
Nukeproof is a brand with a long and storied history, the most recent successful iteration of which has to be a certain Mr Sam Hill and his propensity for winning Enduro things aboard his Nukeproof Mega. To capitalise on Mr Hill’s prodigious cycling acumen, Nukeproof has released a range of quality branded peripherals; pedals, bars and so forth, with considerable success.
These Horizon wheels are not Sam Hill branded (he rides Mavic, as it happens). What they are, though, is very good.
Opening the box, I was confronted by the wheels, which came ready taped for tubeless and a box containing a couple of tubeless valves and 8 spare spokes and nipples. Nice.
In the middle of each wheel is a hub built by Novatec, anodised in a spangly bronze colour. On the back, there’s also a 6-pawl freehub, which gives you 84 engagement points. Our freehub came in Shimano flavour (with Novatec’s anti-bite guard to protect the splines against naughty, naughty sharp cassette sprockets). SRAM is of course, available, and the whole hub shebang is designed to be easy to tear down and service.
Sandvik double-butted straight pull spokes add stiffness (according to Nukeproof, all interface surfaces including spoke beds are CNC machined for nice tight tolerances and good alignments), and they feed, via some good proper brass nipples, into aluminium rims. These have an internal width of 29mm, which Nukeproof claim is good enough for 2.6in tyres in the 29in flavour, or 2.8in tyres if you roll with 27.5in wheels.
My test wheels are Boost, of course, but if you’re not Boosted yourself, the wheels are also available in non-boosted front and rear, as well as 20x110mm (front) and 12x150mm (rear) options. It says quite a lot about the abuse Nukeproof believes these wheels to be good for that they come in a full DH spacing like that.
The wheel set comes with 28 spokes per wheel, but even so, this is not a light pair of wheels. The combined weight of our 29in set is north of 2100g. This is pretty much as you’d expect for wheels touted as capable of anything from trail riding all the way up to DH racing and other gravity orientated pursuits. Plummeting, in my case.
My tyres of choice (I played around with Kenda, Schwalbe and Maxxis rubber during the test period) slipped on with nary a peep, and everything has sealed admirably. I couldn’t seat the properly with just a track pump, though – I needed to use a tubeless-ready charged compressor pump – but once everything was on and sealed I’ve had no leakage whatsoever. And the tyres have been fine too (arf arf).
On The Trail
Rolling, it’s possible if I really, really concentrate hard to notice the high weight – but it’s equally easy to forget about it. Perhaps the wheels are a trifle more sluggish to accelerate up to speed? Perhaps I need to fight them a minuscule fraction more to get them round corners? Maybe. It also might just be in my mind, though.
But if you’re buying these for their XC finesse, then you’ve bought the wrong wheels – although I certainly didn’t notice any slowness when I was riding with my mates. What you do get for your £349 though, is a totally bombproof package.
I’ve run these wheels on bouncy bikes and hardtails, bike packing with kids and on my local ‘only an idiot would ride that – oh, he has’ loops, and they’ve not missed a beat. I’ve crashed on them; walloped them too hard into corners; run them with not quite enough pressure in when I’ve launched myself over things; not cleared the things I’ve launched myself over, so I landed in them with a sickening feeling; and generally behaved like a massive kid when I’ve been riding them, and they’re still here. Bearings still in good shape. Defiantly circular; defiantly true. They’re barely even marked for goodness’ sake.
So then – easy to service. Spangly hubs. Bombproof construction. Spare spokes included. Ready to tubeless-ify. Slightly portly. But did I mention bombproof?
They’re ace. If you’re in the market for bombproof wheels, and you’ve got £350 to chuck at them, you’d be foolish not to take a long hard look at these things.
|Product:||Horizon 29er Wheelset|
|Tested:||by Barney Marsh for 3 months|