NUKEPROOF HORIZON CS CRMO TRAIL CLIPLESS PEDALS REVIEW
Review by Robert Johnston
Finding a clipless pedal that ticks all your boxes is becoming easier every year, thanks to an increasing number of companies taking a stab at producing their own version. Nukeproof is one of these companies and designed their Horizon CS and CL pedals to offer trail-focused or downhill-focused options to cater for riders who aren’t wannabe Sam Hills. We’ve been putting the Horizon CS Crmo pedals through the ringer over the last couple months, and now it’s time to share our findings.
The Nukeproof Horizon CS Crmo is the clipless trail pedal in their lineup. The clipless mechanism is Nukeproof’s construction of the classic SPD system, ensuring near enough every clipless rider will feel comfortable and familiar. The tension can be adjusted by allen key, with a scale to indicate the level of tension being used and ensure all sides of the pedals are equal. As standard a four-degree float cleat is provided, with an eight-degree option available to purchase separately. There’s a trail-size alloy body surrounding the SPD mechanism (with the CL Downhill pedal featuring a full-size platform), forged and machined from 6061 aluminum with an offset and chamfered profile. The bodies are fitted with four thread-through pins on each face – two up front and two behind – to give the optimum interface with clipless shoes.
The CS Crmo model tested features a standard Chromoly axle, however the weight-conscious rider can save a chunk of weight by opting for the CS Ti which comes with a gold-anodized titanium axle fitted that produces a 12% weight reduction over the Crmo pedal. The standard Horizon CS comes in at 436g (actual), whereas the Ti axle brings the Horizon CS Ti to 388g. The bodies spin around these axles with the classic combination of an inboard DU bush and pair of outboard cartridge bearings, with a rubber seal to keep the crud out. The Nukeproof Horizon CS Crmo is available in a choice of six colors to match your ride, with a retail price of £109.99/$149.99.
With any platform clipless pedal, setting up the interface between the sole of the shoe and the pedal body is vital to obtain the best performance. With the Horizon CS pedals, this proved to be an easy task. On all shoes bar the extra-deep channel of the Leatt gravity range, there was no need for a cleat spacer – simply plug the cleats into the desired position on the shoes and go.
I began with relatively loose tension with the theory that the pins would offer the security against foot twisting, but as it turns out they are less impactful than expected, so the tension began going up until I hit a sweet spot at about 70% of the maximum on the scale. At this tension, entry and exit was smooth and positive, and I didn’t have a single unexpected unclipping through weeks of enduro and eMTB riding across a range of conditions.
The platform and pins proved to offer a good level of support, especially notable on less stiff shoes such as the Etnies Camber CL. That said, the level of grip on offer for the moments riding a technical section unclipped is considerably less than a full-size platform. This isn’t an issue for the majority of the time when you’re clipped in, but for serial unclippers riding tech, especially in the wet, you may be better served by the larger Horizon CL. The smaller profile of the body offers significantly improved clearance, especially notable on deeply rutted tracks, and so the Horizon CS pedals have seen limited contact with the ground.
The Horizon CS pedals have been my go-to pedals for the last few months, finding themselves in America for our eMTB Shootout and on a variety of bikes back in the UK. Save for the occasional classic Scottish slopfest ride, the majority of the testing time has been in dusty conditions. I’m unsure at this point exactly how many miles they have covered, but it’s certainly a decent amount. Thus it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that they’re finally starting to feel (and more importantly sound) a little tired. One of the bushings had started to squeak when spinning, and when I pulled the bodies off the axle it was clear that they’d been letting in a little dust through the inboard rubber seal. A refresh kit is inexpensive and servicing is easy, so it’s not a concern, but I’d suggest they’re not quite as weathertight as the likes of Hope’s Union range. Otherwise, they’ve taken a bunch of abuse across a range of bikes without flinching aside from a few battlescars, with the clip mechanism still functioning flawlessly and the pins still intact.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overall, the Horizon CS Crmo pedals have been great and earned themselves a spot as my go-to trail pedal, with no issues aside from some dust ingress after many bone dry miles.
Weight: 436g (measured, pair without cleats)