Nukeproof Horizon CL Clipless Pedal - Review

Oct 10, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition review test Photo by James Lissimore

Nukeproof's Horizon pedal range started with platforms and has since expanded to the clipless model that's reviewed here, the Horizon CL. It uses a mechanism that's compatible with Shimano's SPD cleat design, a cold forged aluminum body, and six replaceable pins that thread in from the opposite side. You can have the Horizon CL pedals with titanium axles if you're okay with spending $254.49 USD to lose about 100-grams, but my set used standard steel axles, weigh 526-grams, and cost a more reasonable $134.49 USD.

Horizon CL Details

• Intended use: trail/enduro/downhill
• SPD-compatible mechanism
• 85mm wide, 109mm long
• Steel axle (titanium option)
• Six adjustable pins per side
• Colors: black, red, blue and copper
• Weight: 526 grams
• MSRP: $134.49 USD

Aside from the steel or titanium axle options, there are two versions of the Horizon clipless pedal: the model shown here is the CL with a 6061 aluminum platform that measures 85mm across at its widest point and 109mm in total length, which Nukeproof says is aimed more at downhillers than trail riders. The smaller CS pedal is 69.5mm wide, 100mm long, and it's intended more for enduro and trail riding where you'd be pedaling much more than on a downhill bike, with the smaller size being less likely to catch on immovable objects and cause you to scorpion. Both share the same 55mm q-factor, however.

Nukeproof Horizon CS and CL Pedals

The CL and CS also sport the same sloping toe edge that Nukeproof says helps to prevent obstruction during engagement while the underside protects the mechanism from rock strikes. The face of the body has also been designed for maximum contact between itself and the shoe, especially on either side of the clipless mech, and the pin-to-shoe interface can be adjusted by fitting or removing spacers from under the heads of the traction pins that thread in from the opposite side.

Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition review test Photo by James Lissimore

Speaking of the clip mechanism, while it is SPD compatible, it differs from Shimano's design in a very important way: where the SPD system employs a fixed forward binding and spring-loaded rear binding, on the Horizon CL and CS pedals both the forward and rearward bindings are spring-loaded. Nukeproof says that this helps it function more consistently in muddy conditions, and also allows the rider to engage the pedal from more directions, be it forward, backward, or from straight down. Tension is adjusted via a 3mm hex key, and they come with ramped cleats that offer 4-degrees of float; you can also pick up a set of 8-degree cleats if your knees require more freedom.
Nukeproof Horizon CS and CL Pedals

Things are pretty straightforward inside the Horizon CL, with a common axle, dual outboard sealed bearings, and inboard bushing put to use. The smaller CS model sees a single outboard sealed bearing, which is where Nukeproof is able to shave that 9mm in width.

Nukeproof Horizon CS and CL Pedals


With an SPD-compatible clip mechanism, it's no surprise that the Horizon pedal feels a lot like, you guessed it, a Shimano pedal in some ways. This is especially true when it comes to their 4-degrees of float that leads up to a hard stop, requiring a good twist of the foot to get past and unclip, much like an SPD setup. With the release tension maxed, it feels about on par with an SPD pedal, too, which is to say that it'll be stiff enough for the very large majority of riders but not as high as what HT offers. So if you don't have an issue with blowing your feet out of Shimano's pedals, you also won't have that issue with the Horizons, but you'll probably want to look at HT if you require the firmest hold on your feet.

Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition review test Photo by James Lissimore

Nukeproof underlines the amount of support that the Horizon CL's body and pins provide, and they're not fibbing about it. The pedals were matched up with a set of Northwave Outcross Plus shoes with relatively flexible soles, and there was enough contact between the two that it actually hindered the float and unclipping by a bit. That said, the Outcross Plus' have a fairly deep cleat cavity and a meaty, heavily lugged sole, more so than a lot of other shoes, so it's no surprise that some fine tuning was in order. A cleat spacer would have done the job, of course, but tinkering with the pedal pins was a more interesting way to go about it.

In the end, completely removing the middle of the three pins on each leading edge made all the difference, freeing up the shoe to float but still feel supported. This is surely down to the shape of the Outcross Plus' sole, and it will vary between different shoe models as well.

Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition review test Photo by James Lissimore

As for Nukeproof's clip mechanism, there's a negligible difference on the trail when it comes to being able to enter them any which way. A rider can stomp down on a Crankbrothers pedal and expect them to grab hold of the cleat, but the same can't be said of the Horizons, even after some cleat/shoe/pedal interface tinkering was performed. They're not terrible, mind you, but they act a lot more like an SPD system than something new and different.

Of all the components on your bike, it's probably wheels and pedals that take the most abuse; it's not uncommon to see bent axles and floppy pedal bodies on most peoples' bikes. But after six months of proper B.C. riding, including plenty of mud and dust, the Horizon pedals are still flop-free. The steel axles are still straight, too, and the bodies, while scared from some serious rock strikes, look like they'd last forever at this point.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWhile the Horizon's hybrid, dual-sprung SPD binding doesn't do much to differentiate them from a Shimano pedal, Nukeproof's new clipless downhill offering did prove to be reliable and have more support than other pedal options on the market. So if you get along with SPD setups but feel like you could benefit from additional support underfoot, they're a solid pedal to consider. Mike Levy


  • 120 12
 What's that thing in the middle of the pedal?
  • 109 13
 It's so road bikers can use the pedal also
  • 108 3
 Bottle opener.
  • 148 8
 That thing you don't need to be the EWS Champion.
  • 36 44
flag fartymarty (Oct 10, 2017 at 8:47) (Below Threshold)
 something for muppets that can't ride flats.
  • 88 23
 @fartymarty: some thing for riders farther up the evolutionary scale
  • 9 8
 @bigtim: There's one bottle opener on each side incase one shoe's got poo poo on it.
  • 5 13
flag romkaind (Oct 10, 2017 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 I have same kind of things on my skis, but skis doesn't have handlebar and there are two of them. Why do you need those things on a bike, is there any new bikes with poles that I don't know about?
  • 16 25
flag ctd07 (Oct 10, 2017 at 13:04) (Below Threshold)
 There's a certain tragic irony in turning Sam Hill's signature pedal into a clip-in one, clearly unnecessary if you want to win ews races. In my experience most of your general weekend warriors use spds as 'they read it will make them better' and have incredibly poor technique on jumps and hopping because they haven't learned proper technique on flats... Not to mention the occasional hilarious crash from being unable to unclip in time! Such goons!
  • 5 1
 @ctd07: the jumping/hopping thing tends to be true (in my experience), but it's rare to see anyone with even a bit of experience partake in clipless planking, although the comedic value should not be underestimated when it does occur. It's all good...
  • 9 3
 Oh wow, now that a flat guy is the EWS champion, I must sell my clipless pedals/shoes if I want to be good!! Thanks guys to remind me, otherwise I would of think that I should continue to ride clipless like 95% of other champions on earth...

Do I have to buy shorter crankarms to not hit every rock while going up with my giant platform that can hold my feet correctly? And do I need to buy those white plastic shin protector to not have holes in my legs?

I read/hear those guys every single day since Hill's victory... where have you been all that time, flat pedals win medals? Must be far from the podium...!? Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: I've been on clipless pedals for 4-5 seasons now and I still have occational planking incident... although after growing up on a BMX with flats, jumping isn't an issue. I'd rather have it this way than the way you put it! Razz
  • 3 5
 @Timo82: If you don't make money for living with riding a bike, then probably your clipless pedals are just a waste of time and effort, you cannot ride a bike, if you can't without them on the point where your speed, skill and control are equal. We go biking for fun, don't forget that.
  • 1 2
 @millsr4: keyword: BMX
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: haha yea well that was long ago... my wrists can't hang anymore!
  • 1 0
 @b-wicked: Like you said, we go biking for fun! I don't have any with flat pedals! Did you read what I wrote??? Plus I have knee pain riding too long with flats on my fat bike! Prefer to have float with my clips!

I don't know why you guys all say that we are stupid to ride clipless as it don't give us better performance (you really think that's the reason we all use them.....) but then say that we don't need it as we aren't racers.... Sooo you are saying that clipless IS faster!!!
  • 2 2
 @Timo82: I'm waiting for clipless grips, then I'll explain this once again. Good luck.
  • 7 0
 Just ride your F-ing bike fellas - - some people like flats, some like clip ins. Some like Asians, some like Blondes. Some like IPAs, some like Pilsners. . . . . . ..Many of the worlds problems stem from catorizing people and hating on them - - hate on fuckers killing inocent people - not a trivial preference of how someone wants to have fun - -you guys are fucking pathetic - down vote me - I give zero fucks
  • 2 0
 @mikeyb76: I think the majority of folks on here are open minded and are with your opinion its just such good fun to wind up the muppets
  • 1 3
 @nick1957: Yup Big Grin There is no hate. It's just fun to see people get too serious and competitive. Also its fun to see them going crazy when you point out that they use unnecessary mechanical aid to achieve something that could be easily done without Big Grin
  • 3 1
 @b-wicked: " If you don't make money for living with riding a bike, then probably your clipless pedals are just a waste of time and effort, you cannot ride a bike, if you can't without them on the point where your speed, skill and control are equal. We go biking for fun, don't forget that"

This has to be one of the stupidest posts on pink bike ever (and this pink bike we are talking about)
Clipless pedals give you power on up and down stroke. This makes it ideal for powering up 20+ degree hills. Yes real mountain biking, not the take the ski lift up to the top and ride down because I weight 300 pounds and can barely walk up a hill let a lone ride up one.
  • 25 4
 Why is it called clipless, if it had a clip?
  • 90 0
 Back in the old days, when all rides were uphill both ways, in the snow, pedals used toe clips and straps. Then along came pedals like this, which don't use toe clips, and they became known as 'clipless' pedals.
  • 13 61
flag bigtard (Oct 10, 2017 at 9:00) (Below Threshold)
And some of us evolved, and some didn’t.
Clips clip, flats don’t.
C’mon mike. You’re pink bike. You could change this.
Clips and flats. The other pedal options DON’T EVEN EXIST ANYMORE.
  • 62 3
 @bigtard: good to see you're still holding onto the "tard" portion of your name, old buddy.
  • 4 1
 @bigtard: lol yeah they do...
  • 32 24
 Quite frankly I feel stupid whenever I must write or say the word clipless... I can even imagine how some twats may find pride in calling them this way, because this term is so ridiculous only an elitist could find it attractive. Hey let's call a hardtail as suspensionless. Sussless it shall be. It kind of has the suspension in form of the telescopic fork but it isn't a full suspension bike. Or half rigid. Yes. Halfie. But well so many people call it this way, so I have to respect it. They feel offended otherwise, we hurt their feelings @bigtard. Go away with your microaggression.
  • 34 1
 why do they call it Ovaltine? the Mug is round... the jar is round... they should call it Roundtine.... that's GOLD Jerry! GOLD!
  • 9 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 10, 2017 at 11:08) (Below Threshold)
 @dtax: I am also among billion of things Porscheless, Tealess and Anteaterless, but I don't tell people about it all the time. I don't believe in existence of God, but if I were to be an Athiest I would also need to be a lot of Apersons like Agolfist and Adruid, maybe even Atherton. I wish there were more dumbless Amorons. I know what will get on your OCD, I ride SPDs - which ones? - Times. Bbbbbbbbbbbbbut...FUUUUUUU!
  • 5 10
flag makripper (Oct 10, 2017 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: flat pedals are clip-less, clip-less pedals are clip-less, flat pedals with toe clips are clip-more pedals I guess? we should eradicate this junk with a new word for clipless... maybe click in or clip in pedals?
  • 9 4
 @makripper: No. Stop trying to modernize everything. Go away.
  • 11 12
 Clip into a Clipless pedal... makes perfect sense! Like Aluminum with Uranum, Titanum and Potassum. This brings me to a question: Is our cyclers learning?
  • 2 5
 @therealtylerdurden: no. you go away with your nonsensical dated jargon terms.
  • 5 13
flag bigtard (Oct 10, 2017 at 12:50) (Below Threshold)
I’m here to be downvoted for making perfect sense.
Cuz that’s how pinkbike works.
  • 12 15
 @bigtard: If I cared for downvotes I'd kill myself. I'd be dead. Like 9237599384 times. One has to get into a mind of a person that frequently uses propping system... something tells me they also vote for American Idol or Eurovision
  • 6 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Have one on me. Negative props are useful when the collective consciousness of PB deems something to be so incomprehensible that reading it can be harmful to the brain.
@Otto99: To sort out the wheat from the chaff.

Just use the word. I've never tried a pair, even once, but that's what they're called. It's better than "pédales automatiques", which suggests that they turn themselves (no, let's not go there...)
  • 7 9
 @BenPea: because using a name "clips" is so wrong. Like SPDs or Times or CBros. Not so long time ago people used to call them all SPDs... but now they cashed out on Crank Bros or LOOKs with Power Meter and they are too proud. Oh and "automatic pedals" or "pedals with mechanism that holds the foot" is what I hear most often from people who know little about biking. And I can respect that much more than "clipless". Most people I know say "clips". We are such idiots... we fail to understand that first there were clips and then they made those "automatic pedals" so we called them clipless. It reminds of rants of deeeight from long time ago, when every post of his involved an essay on MTB history from at least 1985.

The moment people from the street have no fkng clue what you are talking about is the moment you should go back and think for a moment. Trust me they have no idea why you say clipless when you refer to sht that you clip into. That's the moment when you know you are ears deep in Elitist shambles.

Ok, let me end with one sentence that sums up all that bullsht I wrote: Naming clips or clip-in pedals "clipless" is stupid.
  • 7 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I've only ridden with French people and their "pédales auto" for the last 15 years. In the UK it was SPuDs. The only English speaker I've ridden with here says "clipless". In the unlikely eventuality that I ever have to mention clipless pedals to an anglophone non-biker, I'll give them the simple 10 second spiel that explains the term and they'll have learned something about the shit we once used to spin the cranks. When you get older, pointless knowledge that nobody gives a monkey's chuff about is all you've got left.
  • 8 9
 @BenPea: if you meet me in the woods or at lunch and call them automatic, clipless or strapless I won't judge you. I won't care as long as I get what you mean. I only judge people who actually have time to think over what they are about to say and still use a stupid term. I would really love to see people who came up with that word when they came up with it. Why do I have an idea that their face expression was like "am I about to fart or poop?" Can't blame them, at their age and with their Brooks saddle ravaged arse you can't trust a fart and you have a lot of time to think while waiting for the pee to come out.
  • 7 3
 @WAKIdesigns: lol you need to get laid dude...
  • 3 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I actually loled, but then I read it again and I did the opposite.
@therealtylerdurden: He's working on it. He's already got the duct tape (who the hell wants to talk?).
  • 7 8
 @therealtylerdurden: I got laid on sunday. She came twice. Or do you mean with another woman than my wife? That would take considerable amount of energy and money... then the risk of getting kicked out of my home - not sure if I'm up for it at this stage of my life. In my world view, the marital infidelity is so impractical that there is no point to even start looking at it in ethical terms.
  • 14 1
 @WAKIdesigns: congrats on the sex
  • 3 2
 @therealtylerdurden: you need to get laid. we all need to get laid. it's the secret to a happy life
  • 5 1
 Why do we park in a driveway and drive on the parkway?
  • 3 1
 @slyfink: deep questions here.
  • 2 0
 I say spuds.
Whatcha gonna do?
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: agree - - I always refer to em as 'clip-in' style pedals. It stymies the horse n' buggy crowd who still call em clipless, yet it describes exactly what the pedal is designed to do. Works for me! But, I never clip-in...platforms, or bust for me.
  • 2 1
 @makripper: True. Guess I'll hit up your mom again!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: What is read (through my fingers in this case) can never be unread.
  • 1 0
 @bigtard: is this blank verse?

Best thread.
  • 2 2
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Thank you. I've never got to 4 though... I can last long but the message doesn't get there for the 4th time. Getting to 4 seems like a backflip but after 3 (which I must sadly admit I managed only twice) my bag of tricks is empty. That despite following giants like Randy West and James Deen on various sites. I even watched Fifty Shades of Gray, but had to rewind through most of it, freaking terrible piece of acting and script writing. However we still had afight in the morning and I came to work pondering divorce... quite a crappy feeling to be honest. She said I am not cleaning after myself at all...

@BenPea - you're French, you ought to be a good lover, help a brother out! How to get to 4? Is it like learning to Wheelie? or backflipping Crabapple bits? PM me.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: bloody hell, I don't think you need my advice mate. For 4 I would suggest doing whatever you did for twice as long. Seems like the most scientific approach. Or two women simultaneous if you're pushed for time (2x2). I'm sure you can handle it.
  • 1 1
 @BenPea: I like the way this discussion about cleats is going... ok, I bail out, otherwise in 10 years my son, while entering puberty will go. - Hey dad, you are an a-hole! i hate you! I read your posts on Pink E-bike from 10 years back! - oh well... it was still called Pinkbike by that time, I did get overexcited about carbon wheels, wheelsize debate and called a few people names for inventing the first gen of Boost. - no dad! You did this to Moooooom?!
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: "You're right son and now it's time I showed *you* how to be a loving husband. Twice." Where did you say the exit was?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: used to race mtb before spd not only with clips and straps but a cleat with a slot to engage with the back rail of the pedal . no accidental pull out from that set up but a few tip overs .then along came spd
  • 10 0
 I have a pair of nukeproof proton pedals that have had the crap beaten out of them both summer and winter here in MN and have held up perfectly... I'd buy more of their stuff in a second. Keep it up nukeproof. Now if I can just get a hold of Sam Hill's bike.
  • 11 1
 I'm a fan of Nukeproof items, I find they are quality, hold up great, priced reasonable and look good. Good Jerb Nukeproof!
  • 8 0
 This product is not endorsed by Sam Hill
  • 5 0
 Just made the switch after years of running clipless – Sam Hill's Horizon pedals and 510 freerider pros. Mind = blown.
  • 1 0
 i got these a few days ago and bought new shimano SPDs to go with them (got the pedals second hand) and they are so difficult to clip into, at this rate im going to put my shimano DXs back on.

any tips? lighter riders cant even clip in because they cant put enough force on the clip, and once im in they unclip really easily.
  • 5 0
 Try moving the spacers on the pins/ removing any catching pins, on some branded shoes they can catch on the shoes making it more difficult to engage or add a spacer under the cleat to raise it a little.
  • 5 2
 I think the next time my mallets die I'll just give up on them and go for these. lol
  • 4 0
 whats this PB pedal week?
  • 2 0
 Mike Levy, I think you have it mixed up. CL is the large one you reviewed whereas the CS is the small Trail version...
  • 3 1
 Just FYI this is the CL version being reviewed and not the CS. The CS is the smaller platform.
  • 9 6
 sam hill had nothing to do with this design, he don't need cleats!
  • 4 0
 Aren't cleats meant for stimulation.
  • 3 0
 In time you will spend $350 for pedals
  • 2 0
 Sam Hill: "I don't often ride clipless pedals, but when I do I ride Horizons. Stay thirsty my friends."
  • 2 1
 Now... bring me that horizon... "And really bad eggs." Drink up me 'earties. Yo ho.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer so they work with Shimano multi release cleats?
  • 1 0
 No pivoting platform, expensive... Meh. How comes people defines $100+ pedals as "bargain"????
  • 2 0
 Can we get a comparison with the DMR v-twin?
  • 1 0
Specifically I'm interested in the difference between using pins here and the spacers on the DMR.
My assumption is that the spacers will provide more platform contact, while the pins will be the only points on the front and rear actually touching the sole. (unless you have the perfect shoe/pedal combo.)
  • 1 0
 I have this pedals and they are great. Even when I am not clipped in they still give you grip on the pedals.
  • 1 0
 Quite a bargain compared to the time endur-bro pedals
  • 1 1
 Is the twist that Sam Hill comes to your house and yells at you for not riding flats?
  • 2 0
 Not endorsed by SAM HILL
  • 1 0
 Nice to see Numeproof offering a clipless pedal now!
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