The V2 Horizon wheelset from Nukeproof is a great option for any privateer enduro/downhill riders looking for a solid, yet pedal responsive and well-detailed budget MTB wheelset that strikes a great balance between cost and performance.
Design and specification
The wheels come pre-taped with tubeless valves installed, this leaves you to just throw on a tire which with the narrow sidewalls is effortless. The valve caps even include a core tool so you can fill with them sealant once the tires are mounted. Slots in the valve base also make them tire insert compatible.
The wheelset is tightly laced with 32 J-bend spokes in a three-cross (each spoke crosses three other ones between rim and hub) pattern front and back. This spreads the stress across plenty of spokes and the longer length and shallower angle of the three cross build add spring too. Speccing J bend, rather than straight pull spokes, ensures no matter where you are you’ll always be able to find a quick replacement in the event of a snapped spoke.
The front and rear wheels have the same 30mm inner rim diameter and low 21.6mm rim profile, but the front has a slightly slimmer side wall. The alternating design cuts out any unnecessary weight up front while giving a stiff and reliable rear wheel. This also opens the door to the potential of a lighter or more substantial wheelset, by matching up on front/front or rear/rear rims (£70 each) to tailor your build.
The Horizon V2 hub is precisely machined to reduce weight and comes fitted with Nukeproof’s loudest pawls and springs. This gives the hub a satisfyingly assertive buzz following you down the trail. If loud hubs aren’t your thing, Nukeproof also has an aftermarket kit to quieten down the hub while maintaining its 102 points of engagement and instantaneous drive.
When it comes to bearings, Nukeproof’s decision landed on the excellent Enduro ABEC 5 bearings. Their LLB/LLU seals make light contact with a channel which forms a network to aid in containing contaminants from entering the bearing. On top of this, Enduro bearings come with a much larger volume of grease to ensure complete surface coverage of the ball bearings to avoid metal-on-metal contact and excessive wear. As a result, this did make the axle slightly tight for the first ride or so, but it quickly loosened up and ran flawlessly.
While this is by no means the lightest enduro wheelset the lighter front still means it pops and lifts ok when needed. The longer, slacker spoke arrangement, differential rim wall thicknesses and alloy blend provide really controlled ride characteristics too. The Horizon V2’s controlled pliability also noticeably reduces the harshness of trail chatter and helps dampen the heavy blow when hitting a square edge. The thicker rear rim is less likely to split a tire or get dinged/split itself too. The solid baseline feel - particularly at the rear - reaffirms confidence that they won’t fold when you’re deliberately hitting turns hard and late.
While they’re definitely sturdy rather than having a super lively in trail feel, the near-instant 3.5 degree freehub engagement makes them very responsive through the pedals. It proved to be priceless when you need a quick nudge to hop up and over any slow and awkward trail segments. You will notice more/earlier pedal kickback if you have a bike with a lot of anti-squat/chain growth in the suspension system.
After a long-term test period of deliberately hard - often rocky and rarely careful - riding, the wheels came out in perfect condition with the rim remaining true and all spokes retaining near enough factory tension. Those Enduro bearings should make a big difference to dirty weather lifespan too, though we've not had a stereotypical UK summer to prove that.
While there’s nothing revolutionary about the Horizon V2s they include a lot of features and performance details normally found on much more expensive wheels. They’ve proven to be a really durable and solid all-rounder for more aggressive riding so if you’re planning on riding rougher enduro or downhill tracks with the occasional park day, this wheelset is a great budget choice.
Tech Specs: Nukeproof Horizon V2 Wheelset
- Prices: £204.99 / £149.99 Front, £351.99 / £249.99 Rear, $690.99 / £399.98 Wheelset
- Weight: 900g Front / 1125g Rear / 2025g Total (Includes tape and valves)
- Sizes: 29in and 27.5in
- Hub Spacing Options: Front: 15x100mm; 15x110mm; 20x110mm Rear: 142x12mm; 148x12mm; 150x12mm; 157x12mm. Aftermarket kits to convert to QR for all hubs apart from their 148mm Microspline hub