Nukeproof Horizon Pro wheels review – the poshest and lightest Horizon wheelset

With a fast-engaging ratchet hub and 28 straight pull spokes, the Pros save around 10 percent weight over regular Nukeproof V2 Horizon wheels

Nukeproof Horizon Pro wheels
(Image: © Mick Kirkman)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Nukeproof's Horizon Pro wheels deliver all the reliability and toughness of the brand's well-proven Horizons in a lighter package with 28 spokes and a tough ratchet freehub design. Considering the extra cost though, not all riders will need or immediately notice the Pro benefits.


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    Well-proven, tough and dent-resistant rim construction

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    Competitive weight for aluminum, enduro-ready wheels

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    Fast engagement and high-quality bearings

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    Freehub ratchet engaging simultaneously should add strength

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    28 spokes for extra compliance


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    Not the lightest aluminum wheels

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    Slower engagement than regular Horizons

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    Straight pull spokes can be harder to look after

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    Different spoke lengths on each side of the hub

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    28 spoke drilling might not suit heaviest riders

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In a crowded marketplace of MTB trail and enduro wheelsets, Nukeproof already has a solid reputation for its affordable V2 Horizon wheels. This Pro model fine-tunes the successful formula with various incremental improvements for an extra £200 a pair (unfortunately Nukeproof products are no longer available in the US).

Sold individually and built around a 28-spoke rim, the Pros are made from the same materials as the proven-tough V2s and look to increase compliance and save weight, as well as offer a sleeker and shinier silver hub shell and rim graphics.

Close up of rim of mountain bike wheel rim

The rim is sleeve joined, rather than welded, for consistent stiffness and toughness (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)

Design and specification

Using the same sophisticated alloy blend as the latest version of Nukeproof’s Horizons, the Pro rim mixes small proportions of magnesium and silicon in with the aluminum to gain extra performance. The brand claims its special formula "produces the stiffness and hardness of a 7-series alloy with the ductility and yield properties of a 6-series alloy". This means the rims should pack extra ductility or a greater ability to yield and ‘bounce back’ in an impact – like getting smacked in the sidewall by a big old rock while you roll along, for example.

Nukeproof’s rim is also sleeve joined, rather than welded, as the heat involved in welding rims together can distort materials and further compromise stiffness and toughness. The Pro version wheels use four less spokes than ‘regular’ 32-hole V2s and are available in either 27.5 or 29in sizes with a 30mm internal rim width (designed primarily for 2.3in to 2.5in tires). I tested them with 2.5in and 2.4in Maxxis tires.

Nukeproof Horizon Pro wheels hub detail

The Pros have a totally redesigned hub with a 54-tooth engagement ratchet mechanism (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)

The biggest difference over Nukeproof’s regular V2s (aside from the jump in cost) isn’t a few less spokes in the rim, but a totally redesigned hub. The Pros use a straight pull spoke design with completely new internals that engage all connection points simultaneously for extra durability. The rear hub is available in SRAM XD, Shimano HG and Micro Spline options, and uses a ratchet system with a 54-tooth zig-zag engagement mechanism. 

The rear hub is considerably more polished and lower profile than the ‘regular’ Horizon model; something stemming from the reduced dimension of the ratchet design inside and also the shift to straight pull spokes removing the need for a continuous hub shell flange.

The straight pull spokes themselves are laced 3x by hand, round (not bladed) and also double-butted (2.0mm-1.8mm-2.0mm). Inside each hub shell, Nukeproof uses premium Enduro ABEC 5 bearings with double-lipped labyrinth seal bearings filled with 80 percent grease and the labyrinth design means there is an enclosed ‘chamber’ of grease to better resist moisture and grime ingress.

Wheels come supplied with tubeless tape pre-installed (unlike some others such as Hope) and also with premium Nukeproof tubeless valves in place that have a useful valve core tool on the cap.

Nukeproof Horizon Pro wheel

The wheels come supplied with tubeless tape pre-installed (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)


I’ve used many pairs of Nukeproof Horizon wheels over the last few years and been really impressed with rim toughness. Durability has consistently proven excellent, and that’s on both e-bikes and hardtails which accelerate damage and potential for buckling/denting due to extra weight and lack of cushioning respectively.

Basically, I’ve never knocked Horizons much out of true and the worst damage I’ve inflicted is a slightly dented rear rim on a Megawatt that got dragged and smashed up and down the Ard Rock course for weeks, when building and testing tracks at the famously rocky enduro event.

These Pro versions have also shown the same toughness so far, despite coming on the latest version of the Megawatt that’s been hammered up and down Bike Park Wales for three days and also done a couple of days at Inners. During this time there have been a few big cased landings and plenty of bangs and clangs with no sign of any damage whatsoever.

My previous experience of Nukeproof hubs has been very good too, although I have seen rear V2 hub bearings and (the pawl and spring, not ratchet like here) freehub disintegrate on a high-mileage e-bike piloted by an aggressive enduro rider. This was rectified by a rebuild and new freehub body, and it’s a bonus that with Nukeproof part of CRC/Wiggle (assuming both brands stay operational), it’s relatively easy to source spare parts to repair and service Horizons, and the hub damage I mentioned could happen with most rival wheels too in my opinion.

While the Pro version is around 150g a pair lighter than regular V2s, it’s not immediately obvious on the trail, either in terms of snappiness or compliance. Ride feel is something of a subjective thing, but I’ve always found Horizons duller and more comfortable than sharp and zippy, and while you can sense a little less rotating weight here when climbing, I’d still rate the Pros as similar to V2s in terms of comfort and also mid-pack in terms of acceleration and ease of changing direction.

It's hard to define how this sense of urgency and snappiness comes across in wheels, but like regular Horizons, these don’t feel the fastest rolling along or like they really surge you forward when you stamp on the pedals like plenty of carbon wheels can (or even alloy wheels like Spank or lighter DT Swiss EX packages that offer more of a sense of urgent acceleration and tightness). 

However, what Nukeproof’s wheel packages give up in terms of zip, they gain back in terms of comfort and a calmer, less jarring ride. There’s no sense of being too stiff and wooden here like I find with the heavier Hope Fortus packages, and grip and tracking is so good, the Horizons never ping off roots or wet rocks unexpectedly or feel too sharp and staccato on rocks or baked dry, brake bump hammered trails in summer.

One other thing to consider, aside from cost and weight saving, is that the pick up at Nukeproof’s Pro rear hub is technically slower than the 104 engagement points on regular V2s. I didn’t find it an issue though, since there’s no noticeable lag or sense that power engagement isn’t there quick enough when you’re trying to time pedal moves on techy features or even when climbing right up the cassette at slow speeds on lumpy ground.

Nukeproof Horizon Pro wheels valve detail

Silver Nukeproof tubeless valves are installed which have a useful valve core tool on the cap (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)


Like Nukeproof’s cheaper Horizon wheels, there’s nothing extraordinary about the performance here, but this Horizon Pro package is tough and totally no-nonsense, with well thought-out features and a comfortable ride that makes it a sorted, reliable option.

Nukeproof’s straight pull hub system and rim appears still strong enough even with less spokes, but the small gains in extra compliance, noticeably faster acceleration and climbing efficiency aren’t hugely obvious to me.

These flashiest Horizon Pro wheels save around 150g a pair over standard V2 Horizons, but also cost £200 more cash and the fantastic value, cheaper Horizons V2s have a faster freehub engagement too. That means if saving weight isn’t a top priority, Nukeproof’s Pro version might not be strictly necessary with an asking price that’s getting closer to even lighter packages from rival brands like DT Swiss.

Tech specs: Nukeproof Horizon Pro wheels

  • Price: Front $299.99 / £229.99 Rear $399.99 / £369.99 = Total $699.98 / £599.98
  • Freehub options: SRAM XD, Shimano HG, Shimano Micro Spline
  • Sizes: 27.5in/29in front and rear options sold separately. 30mm internal rim width. Boost axle only
  • Weight: 863g front, 988g rear in 29in. Pair = 1,851g
  • Rival products:  DT Swiss XM1501, Spank 359 Vibrocore wheels, Nukeproof Horizon V2, Hunt Trail Wide V2
Mick Kirkman
Freelance writer

An ex-elite downhill racer, Mick's been mucking about and occasionally racing mountain bikes for over twenty years. Racing led to photo modelling and testing kit for magazines back in the day, and, nowadays, he's mostly riding enduro-style terrain on conventional and electric bikes. As curious as ever about products and tech, he's as likely to be on the other side of the lens or computer screen rating, reviewing and shooting all the latest gear. Mick's list of regular clients includes Bike Perfect, MBR, MBUK, and most of the leading UK MTB publications at one point or another.