Product Review Nukeproof Horizon Advanced Rim Defence

You don’t come across a lot of folks running a tube nowadays. Tubeless tyre systems in mountain biking are certainly here to stay but it doesn’t entirely eliminate the chance of a flat tyre does it? The early days of tubeless setup were only just okay but I was beating my rims up pretty badly in those days. Now though? Touch wood, I haven’t copped a dented rim for a long time thanks to rim protection. I’ve used a few and have been very satisfied with what I’ve used. There is one in particular that has ticked every box on my list though; the Nukeproof Horizon Advanced Rim Defence from Chain Reaction Cycles.

I’m surprised that there isn’t more rim protection out there. There are a few types but the ones that make sense to me are the simple idea of a chunk of material inside the tyre that creates a barrier between that sharp edged rock and your alloy rim. The Nukeproof Horizon Advanced Rim Defence is a super light closed cell foam material that sits nice and snug against the inside face of your rim but is roomy enough to allow your tyre bead to be seated just right. Its stupidly cheap and ridiculously light. My scales say the pair of ARD’s weight under 300 grams and my credit card statement says $80.99 for the pair. I’m running the system on a set of 650B wheels but the price stays the same for a 29er setup. Also included in that price is a great pair of tubeless valves with a nifty groove in the base of the valve stem that allows not only the air to circulate into the tyre to get your desired pressure but for those who use a tyre sealant injector, its plenty of room for the sealant to stream in. They’re a sweet copper coloured stem too! That never fails.

Fitting the ARD to your wheel is a simple exercise. Take your tyre off, chuck the ARD valves in, lay the hoop of the ARD around the rim and whack that tyre on. Fitting the last part of the tyre is tighter than normal as the tyre needs to get underneath the ARD and seat itself. That’s the first nod of confidence though as you know the Rim Defence is located exactly where you want it when the hardest rock on earth tries to get intimidate with your alloy or carbon rim edge. Worth noting is this closed cell foam material doesn’t absorb sealant but I add an extra 40ml just so it covers me in case I need that bit extra that is stuck to the ARD.

How does the Nukeproof Horizon Advanced Rim Defence feel on a ride though? Does it actually feel any different to what you’e used? Yes and no. If you’re using tubes then this will feel similar to that but way lighter as the rotational weight of a tube is gone and replaced with something super light. If you are used to running tubeless and no rim protection then you’re gonna feel something similar to a tyre that has a stiffer sidewall but paired with lower pressure for grip; you’re winning. Lets touch on the lower pressure thing. Why run your tyre pressure lower? Well, lower pressure means more tyre surface making contact with the trail as your tyre flattens it’s contact face and those knobs that too many people refer to as side knobs are actually biting into the trail. Lower pressure has more positive than negative and if it means you’re getting more grip? Do it. This is where rim protection comes in! Lower pressure means the gap between the trail surface and your pricey rims is less and having that barrier between your rim and that hard rock is reassuring and I guarantee will stop pinch flats (…..snakebites in a tube) and will protect your rims. Running a higher tyre pressure will still see the need for rim defence as the characteristic of the tyre only changes by how much the tyre can flatten out with lower pressure. Higher pressure means less rolling resistance but less grip, feel me?

This review is not intended to be a long winded babble about some snake oil cool aid thing. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that we’ve seen some top notch developments that have progressed mountain bikes into the next phase. Things like adjustable suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and dropper posts to name a few. While tubeless tyre systems aren’t a new thing, we certainly haven’t seen any radical enhancements to that setup. The idea of rim defence is a must for anyone running tubeless though, I cannot say enough about how valuable this system is. I have rim defence in all of my mountain bikes and to this day, I have not had one flat tyre and my rims look fresh with no dents or chips from hard hits. Rim defence is a no brainer and is executed extremely well with this amazing interpretation of how to make a simple product work so well with the Nukeproof Horizon Advanced Rim Protection. Don’t even think it over, add it to your basket on Chain Reaction Cycles and ride harder with more confidence in your gear. It really is that simple.
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Just bought a set of ARD for my HT. I’ve managed to dint my syntace w35 rim at 2 spots, and am hoping the ARD is going to reduce my chances of dinting the rim further.

First impression, it fits nicely on my rim (30mm ID). Mounting 2.8 nobby Nic is not overly hard as the tyre has always fit loosely on the rim.
I tried to use my existing valve (save me using new one), turns out u can’t. It blocks the air from flowing in/out of the wheel once the ARD sits on. Alas..I have to use the valve it came with.

Had a short run around the trail today with it. I run the tyre on 15psi, and heck I’m getting heaps more grip than before (17psi). Noticed the sidewall is much stiffer now. The bike corner better, but not sure whether it’s the low pressure or because the tyre no longer squirm due to stiffer sidewall.

Anyways, I need to ride the bike more and hope it protects the rim (no I’m not going to try to test how much it helps by purposely landing on sharp rock).
...wait...what... you normally run 17 .....I cant imagine how you ride normally on 17 psi without blowing out or rolling rims
it's a 27.5+ HT, bad enough riding it with 17 psi, can't imagine myself riding it with my normal tyre pressure (24psi). Besides i'm only 60kg full kitted + water bottle.
Fitted my ARD to my Megaplower Carbon Reserve wheelset. Removed the DH wall Maxxis and fitted some Schwalbe. Increased the pissy a couple. The Schwalbe are much lighter carcass.
Good stability, good rolling, plenty of grip, rim protection from the inserts, bit more small bump compliance from the tires.
Small overall weight saving.
Mission accomplished.

Buying a burley wheelset for the DH rubber for DH shuttling.
I've ordered a set during the crc sale, I figured at less than 3 times the cost of cushcore its worth a gamble.
Just installed my set. I was bit worried because I dunno where my tyre leavers are but I got in by hand fairly easily. Props to nukeproof for making them easy to install.

Will test them at buller tomorrow

Reporting back from Buller.

I can run 20 psi with these things in and the side walls feel like im running 30 psi.

Running through rock gardens actually kinda does feel a little nicer too.
I'm quite happy with them, i dont really care if they stretch ether, seems like an easy fix and they are really easy to put it so I can't really imagine why anyone would pay $200 for a set of cushcores? Are they really THAT much better?
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Was chasing a noise, couldn't figure it out untill I had the wheel off and shook it.
The insert was rattling.
It had stretched to the point it was quite loose. Ended up cutting 2 inches out and refitted snuggly, no rattle. Will see how it goes. Was not an easy substance to glue.
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Mine has already developed the noise... after 3 rides. You don't think it be but it do.

I dunno how this got past product testing, like I get that its no big deal, but it doesn't make me think highly of nukeproof products.
If it's stretched it means the density of the material has reduced and would provide less protection. I would ask for a refund.
Mine have been pretty good so far... Especially when you consider you get two decent tubeless valves and two inserts for like $60...

I only run rear so will just shorten once or twice then turf it and move to the second.

That said... I'm probably 20 rides down and no issues... touch wood.
Just thought i'd drop in to say that the ARD i've been running in the rear since about Jan 21st has now developed the rattle. The second I added to the other wheel about two weeks ago is (so far) fine, but expect it'll go the same way.

Will pull it out to cut a chunk out & ziptie when It annoys me enough.
Mine started to rattle as well. I cut about 50mm out and glued back together with superglue.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Mine started to rattle as well. I cut about 50mm out and glued back together with superglue.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
So got a new rear wheel... and rather than put the stretched old ARD in thought I'd put the brand new one in (only using in rear tyre and bought a set)

I for the life of me cannot get the tyre to seat....without the ARD no issue at all... bit tight but gets on, pumps up tubeless.

I've tried both sides, I've tried both beads off, I've tried one bead on and one off, I've tried the missus' hair dryer to warm up the rubber.

Rim is RF Turbine... tire is old DHF DD...

Very annoying and I just knowing my luck if I say stuff it and ride without the ARD I'll f**k the wheel first ride... bound to happen!

Anyone else any hints?