Exclusive Review: Nukeproof’s New Horizon CL Clipless Pedals
It’s a fact, Nukeproof know a lot about pedals, and with Sam Hill on their team, it’s no surprise to see that Nukeproof’s new Horizon CL Clipless Pedal blends clipless efficiency with flat pedal feel. We headed to Ireland to check them out on the trail.
When someone mentions Nukeproof what do you think of first? Probably their iconic Nukeproof Mega 160 mm enduro bike, with its tough and rugged build it has always been the privateers favourite. However, Nukeproof’s most popular seller is, in fact, their excellent range of flat pedals. Last year Nukerpood released the Sam Hill Horizon flat pedal and you know what? They were totally awesome. So, it’s perhaps no surprise to see their latest Horizon CL pedals, give more than a nod to the clever design of the Horizon flats, but would the clipless versions still impress on the trails?
The age old battle between flat and clipless has been long fought, it’s rumored that the iconic war between Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke Of Wellington was started when Napoleon, a rapid French rider, insisted that flats were the faster choice for enduro. It’s a fact, whatever our pedal persuasion, there’s always a time when we have wished that our flats were more like clipless, and vice versa. The latest Nukeproof Horizon pedals aim to appeal to both camps with their ample platforms, adjustability, and stylish design.
Horizon Pedals at a glance
- Two models, CL with a 109 x 85 mm platform and the smaller caged CS with a 100 x 69.5 mm cage
- Cold forged 6061 aluminium body
- Side Support Platforms and Optimised leading edge
- Height adjustable / removable pins, 6 on the CL model, 4 on the CS model.
- Available with Chromoly axle as standard or optional Ti Version
- Dual engagment cleat
- Adjustable cleat tension.
- Avilable in Black / Red / Blue and Copper
- Prices: CL £99.99 / CL Ti £186.99 / CS £99.99 / CS Ti £186.99 / Cleats £10.99
- Weights: CL 526 g / CL Ti 430 g / CS 432 g / CS Ti 352 g (estimated)
Nukeproof Horizon CL Review
The first thing we were very happy to see is that even though Nukeproof have produced their own cleats, they have very sensibly maintained compatibility with the hugely popular Shimano system. Even though you can use Shimano cleats, Nukeproof have improved engagement performance using their own cleat design (+4 and +8 degree cleats are available) which features ramped edges on the front and rear. By ramping the edges the cleat drops into the pedal jaws from more directions and you can even stamp down the cleat from above. Those used to the ‘kick in’ feel of the Shimano system may find engagement little strange at first. For us, we found the flat mechanism and the tall pins made kicking in from the rear a little more difficult, and the best way to engage was to stand on the pedal like a flat then push down, where an audible ‘chang’ would indicate a good connection. After half an hour it became intuitive and we started to enjoy the feel of the Horizon CL.
There was a lot to like about the Horizon CL pedals, the tension adjuster has a broad range of adjustment including everything from ‘almost-there’ to a ‘vice-like grip’. The biggest highlight, however, is the two side support platforms which can be clearly felt when you roll your foot inside the shoe during hard turns, giving massive stability and a true flat pedal feel. While the 3 front pins only function when unclipped, helping guide your foot into the shoe, the rear pins can be felt when clipped in making the cage feel very large and supportive, far more so than most clipless pedals. The level of grip from the 3 rear pins can be tailored by changing the orientation of the washers. Of course, the large platforms also mean that the Horizon CL’s still provide ample grip if you find yourself barrelling down a rock garden unclipped.
Weighing in at 526 g for the chromo axle model, they are not the lightest pedal on the market but are on point with the large bodied competition. They are available in four different colours for those who love to colour match, and the build quality of the pedal looks excellent. It’s too early to comment on durability, however, the double outboard bearing and inner bushing are the same as those found in the Sam Hill Horizon flats which we have been abusing for 12 months without any complaint.
We have enjoyed riding the Nukeproof Horizon CL pedals, perfect for aggressive riding they appeal to our inner flat pedal fetish. Pedal entry is not quite as slick as the best on the market, but when clipped in we cannot fault the massive feeling of grip and control provided by the ample side support platforms. For a rider looking for a bigger platform feel, who does not mind a few extra grams, the Nukeproof Horizon CL’s are highly recommended. We have to ask, with the Horizon CL’s boasting such a flat-pedal feel, will we see Sam Hill clipped at an EWS?
For more information about the new Nukeproof CL and CS pedals, check out the Nukeproof website.