Nukeproof recently designed an in-house pedal for all of us that aren’t Sam Hill. Of their own admission, they felt that they could take the current offerings and improve in big ways. Nukeproof sent us a pair of their Horizon CS pedals in a sweet root beer brown flake to put to the test. U-turn is our resident clipless kook, so he threw them on for some ripping around during our wet PNW spring.
Nukeproof has two models of the Horizon pedal, the CL and CS. The CS is aimed at the trail crowd, offering a slimmer profile and 100G less than the full size CL. Coming in at 432g in chromoly and 352g in Ti, the CS falls right in line with other trail offerings. Where this pedal stands out in the design aspect is the ultra low profile leading edge and high amount of shoe contact area. The clip mechanism moves in both directions rather than a fixed front or rear clip that is offered by other pedals. This allows engagement in any direction, especially when searing to get your foot back in less than ideal conditions.
One of the best features of this pedal is SPD compatibility. Although the Nukeproof cleat has a chamfered design and is a bit easier to engage, standard SPD works well with the system. A Q factor of 55mm allows this pedal to be run with 142/148/150mm axles without heel strikes. To top off the design, the CS has DU bushings as well as 2 sealed bearings per pedal, so it is built for the long run.
So does the Horizon CS stand up to all the marketing and design claims? We threw them on a handful of bikes this spring while wearing the Specialized 2FO and the 5.10 Kestrel shoes. After a week of wear in time to get things operating smooth, we really focused on how the pedal performed in some nasty conditions.
Engagement is good with the CS, it is true that you can step in from any direction and the mechanism will work. We had a few issues with snow and mud clogging our cleats, especially with the recessed cleat area of the Specialized shoe. Other than that small issue, we found that once the muscle memory took over, the pedal was reliable and easy to step into.
Retention is as good as any pedal out there right now. We ran the 8-degree cleat which offers good float while keeping your foot locked in even in gnarly trail sections. U-Turn cranked the retention down a few clicks after the first week of use to keep things nice and tight. Exiting the pedal is quick and easy as well with a quick twist of the ankle, you can be out of the pedal for a loose corner or dab.
Shoe contact is noticeably increased from other pedals. When putting the power into climbs, many pedals feel that all the pressure is focused right on the cleat. The CS offers very good shoe contact on either side of the clip mechanism in both shoes we tested with it, spreading the pressure to the entire front of the foot. We moved the pins up a bit from the factory setting, which allowed us to get a quick foot back on the pedal even if not clipped in and feel fairly secure.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Nukeproof has refined the trail pedal to a new level and addressed some of the major issues with entry in every position. While the cleat system was able to be clogged with heavy snow and mud, it was easy to engage in every other condition.
Inherent SPD-style/clipless issue – clogs with snow
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