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.
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.
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.
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. Performance
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.
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.
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.