CushCore Tire Insert - Review

Sep 14, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
CushCore review


Flat tires suck, plain and simple, especially if they happen during a race run. That 'pssst' of air escaping, followed by the feeling of your rim hitting the ground is gut-wrenching, and something that still happens far too often, even to the best racers in the world. Just ask Aaron Gwin, Greg Minnaar, Jared Graves, or Richie Rude how they felt when they got flat tires this season.
CushCore Details
• Closed cell foam
• 27.5 and 29" options
• Fits tire widths 2.1 - 2.5"
• Fits rims with internal width 22 - 35mm
• Weight: 290 grams (29" version)
• Price: $149 USD (pair), $76 (single)
www.cushcore.com

Schwalbe's ProCore system kicked off the tire insert party nearly three years ago with their tire-within-a-tire design, but more recently we've seen a number of foam inserts hit the market that are designed to help prevent pinch flats and damaged tires. Huck Norris, Flat Tire Defender, and CushCore have each released their own spins on flat prevention, but they're all designed around the premise that a section of foam placed in between the tire and rim will help keep the tire's sidewall from getting pinched and potentially sliced against the rim during an impact.

CushCore is made from closed cell foam that's been molded into sort of a T-shape, with the narrower portion sitting in the rim bed, and the upper part extending over the sidewall. CushCore doesn't just bill their system as something to protect against flats – they call it an 'Inner Tire Suspension System', claiming that the insert acts as a damper, with the air in the tire above the insert acting as the spring. That's supposed to lead to better traction, cornering, as well as a smoother ride in rough terrain. Does it work? That's what I wanted to find out.

The kit, which includes two inserts and two valve stems, retails for $149 USD, or a single insert and valve can be purchased for $76. CushCore is currently only available for 27.5 and 29” wheels, but 26” and 27.5+ kits are on the way. Even though it's “just” foam, the inserts aren't super light – our 29” version weighed in a 290 grams per insert. However, the protection that the insert provides may allow some riders to run a lighter weight casing than usual, which would help counteract a portion of that weight penalty.



Cushcore review
Cushcore review
The CushCore insert is designed to work with rims from 22 - 35mm, and tire widths from 2.1 - 2.5".

Installation

There's no getting around it – installing a CushCore system can be a royal pain in the ass. A lot of that has to do with the tire / rim combination, and familiarity with the process. Once you've done one install, the next one is easier – at the very least you'll know what to expect.

Before going near any tools, I'd recommend putting on some soothing music, doing some meditation and deep breathing, and possibly consuming an adult beverage or three in order to ensure that you don't end up snapping tire levers and throwing your wheel across the room in a fit of rage. Once you're all Zenned out it's time to grab everything and get to work.

CushCore recommends stretching the insert over the rim first, and then installing the tire, working your way around one side of the tire at a time. Don't do that. I found that getting one side of the tire seated on to the rim, and then sticking in the CushCore insert was much easier. That way, once you get the insert into place all that's left to do is dump in a couple scoops of sealant and get the other side of the tire seated. Of course, that's easier said than done.

The hardest part of the installation will be getting the final eight inches or so of the tire beat to pop over the rim's sidewall and into place. Be patient, and work your way around the rest of the tire, tucking the bead into the center of the rim as much as possible. This should help create enough room to pop that bead into place, although it probably won't be easy. A spray bottle of soapy water and strong tire levers are going to be very helpful at this stage.


Cushcore review
The shape of the valve keeps the insert from blocking airflow while the tire's being inflated.
Cushcore review
CushCore helps prevent flats, but when you run over knife-shaped rocks there's still a chance of a puncture.

Performance

I don't usually get a ton of flats (knock on wood), but with the Whistler stop of the Enduro World Series looming on my calendar, I decided to install a CushCore insert in my rear wheel for a little extra peace of mind. I typically run 23 psi in my rear tire, but after some experimenting settled on 20 psi with the CushCore insert. Running a CushCore insert is similar to installing volume spacers in a fork – it allows you to run a little less pressure without worrying about bottoming out. And believe me, I smashed that wheel into all sorts of things – curbs, rocks, roots – and the rim survived without any damage at all.

The insert also adds sidewall support, which helps keep the tire from folding over in hard turns. Even at silly low pressures it feels like it's only the top 1/3 of the tires that's really moving around – the rest stays the same shape thanks to the insert, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the tire to burp or peel off. There's a more muted feeling when you hit something hard, similar to the way a dead blow hammer behaves, or a medicine ball. In rough sections of trail it felt like my rear wheel wasn't getting bounced around as much, giving the bike a more planted feeling - it's genuinely impressive how much of a difference such a simple product can make.

After weeks of running the CushCore insert without any issues, I did still manage to get a small puncture on race day – even with a Maxxis DoubleDown tire a sharp rock was able to jab through the center of the tread. Luckily, the slit was small enough that the sealant helped slow down the amount of air leakage, and I was able to add more air and finish the last stage of the day. Punctures or slices are scenarios that CushCore can't completely prevent, but I think it does help – it limits just how far a sharp object can penetrate, which could reduce the amount of damage that occurs.




Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIf you're continually plagued by pinch flats, or can't seem to keep your tire from blowing off during hard cornering, I'd highly recommend CushCore. Yes, it can be tricky to install, and it's not light or cheap, but when compared to the alternative – flat tires and dented or cracked rims – CushCore starts looking more and more appealing. 
Mike Kazimer



310 Comments

  • + 601
 "If you're continually plagued by pinch flats, or can't seem to keep your tire from blowing off during hard cornering, I'd highly recommend MOAR AIR. Yes, it can be tricky to install, and it's not light or cheap, IT'S FREE but when compared to the alternative – flat tires and dented or cracked rims – MOAR AIR starts looking more and more appealing"

- Me
  • + 96
 I like this option and i may also look into the other possibility called the "PN System"
That's when I cut a Pool Noodle into the shape of my rim and tape it on there.
Wish me luck
  • - 40
flag usa-dh-racing (Sep 14, 2017 at 9:00) (Below Threshold)
 you can't be serious!
  • + 13
 HAHA!!! Now THAT was funny as f*ck!! Wink
  • + 41
 I struggle to get a grip with this MOAR AIR thing. Throws me out of balance too
  • + 7
 I would also add, MOAR TIRE - JMO - but I feel like the only reason these types of products exist is because tire technology hasn't caught up to where the end user is in terms of tire width x tubeless x running lower psi. Tire manufacturers need start to pushing the boundaries in terms of casing design development.
  • + 66
 @preach:
cush core system, $150
pool noodle system $3.50
knowing you're only out $3.50 for a system that works as equally as $150 (trend); priceless.
  • + 3
 @preach: I have done this, it works
  • + 14
 @morpheous: doesn't it absorb all the sealant resulting in no sealant+heavy af noodle?
  • + 3
 Exactly.
  • + 43
 @fedemeta: A pool noodle would be pretty useless if all it did was soak up water like a sponge when in use. Same applies to sealant. They don't soak stuff up.
  • + 15
 I have this installed in my wheels and I can say I agree with the OP, but the Cushcore acts as an inner tire suspension system as well.... I went the full day at MSA without arm fatigue due in large part (I feel) to the Cushcore system. Also it improves the stability and structural integrity of the tires at a much lower pressure....Which..... provides substantially more grip than you would have just by using the MOAR AIR system.....lol
The benefits far outweigh any harm you might experience using Cushcore....
IMO
  • + 26
 @cky78: MOAR AIR is good but STAY HOME works even better. May cause the sealant to dry to the inside of the tyre though but other than that, it works great for punctures

@fedemeta, I assume that Huck Norris makes wonderful sculptures from the sealant. AKA Stanimals.
www.instagram.com/p/BW4ZlRsAmer/?taken-by=angrybikemechanic
  • + 6
 As much as I like MOAR AIR, I have been running higher and higher tire pressure only to still get pinch flats at 40 psi in the rear.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Stanburgers
  • + 5
 While MOAR AIR is the obvious solution your still going to get flats and your sacrificing a lot of grip in the process.
I have been running CushCore all season in Whistler and can honestly say they are worth every penny!
Yes they arnt cheap but the amount of money you save on inner tubes and rims far outweighs the cost of Cushcore.
And it improves the ride and feel of the bike a lot + let's you run LESS AIR!! Worth every penny guys!!
  • + 20
 lol Yeah really , just get a DH casing and run the right pressures .. Done
  • - 2
 @theslowdown: Stanjizzaurus, Stan Jizzus
  • + 13
 Tired of casing every single jump?You may as well use helium and get MOAR AIR time!!!!
  • + 6
 @preach: I did that, well, i bought like 4 noodles, cut them into 15mm thick strips (they 60mm diameter) and then once you cut them, you realise how losing that outer layer of (im guessing melted plastic) makes the noodle super soft, as if it will do nothing in an impact.

my solution: wrap the noodle in fibre glass tape at 90deg to the direction that the rim will impact it, the tape will not tear and will give the noodle that outer skin it needs.

My advice after the experiment: it totally works and is much cheaper than any retail alternative, but unless you use at least 30mm thick pool noodle you will still damage your rim, even if you dont damage your tyre in big impacts

what i learnt: the tape at 90deg to the rim bead is brilliant and will stop the snake bites in the foam and help your insert survive longer, whatever insert you used (I've since changed to another insert, but still wrapped it in tape) the problem is that it gets in the way of your sealant flow, only i'm not sure if that is actually a problem or not because i cant see inside my tyre
  • + 15
 @VFreehd: you likely need to run MOAR SKILLZ to ensure your line choice is optimal to avoid continual flats even at increased TP.
  • + 67
 '30 psi in my Minions, don't care about your opinions'
  • + 7
 RRW (Reasonable Rim Width) in conjunction with TCT (Tough Casing Tires) works well for me, for years now...
  • + 5
 @TimRidesBikes: $150 US +exchange of Canadian Peso + Duty and taxes, I'm into them for $300 cad. First ride out the valve stem broke some how lost air put a 3 in. Crack in my Enve am rim. Calculate that in and im over $k into them. That being said running arc 30 now and love them.
  • + 2
 @Hyakian: totally agree!
  • + 20
 You claim it's free, but I fear the real cost may be over inflated
  • + 3
 seems like ghetto tubeless would help remedy at least some of the issues being addressed here - do people still do that, and does it work?
  • + 0
 @donpinpon29: say MOAR HELIUM one more time... I won't laugh... ok ok I'll try
  • + 5
 After years of R&D, the latest version of MOAR AIR is actually quite light.
  • + 1
 @powderturns: I run ghetto tubeless on 27.5 / 29mm ID rims with a 24" bmx tube. Pain to install, but haven't flatted in over a year.

That being said, I will switch to a Cushcore once they make them for 27.5+ in a month or so.
  • + 0
 Hold your thumbs for my go at procore guys... installing these beauties in 2 weeks time
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: used procore for awhile, be sure to retension your wheel with procore @ 90psi. The pressure will slightly detension your spokes and both myself and a friend had wheels fall apart from it.

Other than that its pretty rad and not too bad to install with lots of soapy water.
  • + 0
 @Grosey: isn't it enough to put like 70 in? But yea, I'll do. Great tip, thanks! Not sure if I will run it on front though
  • + 5
 Setup wasn't too bad after I watched the setup vid and have now done a couple tire changes due to worn tread. Been riding cushcore for 3 months now. The pinch flat and rim protection is great. The benefits I am most impressed with is the way my bike rides at 20psi... extra grip and the feeling of extra supple travel. I would destroy wheels at t20psi otherwise. More pressure certainly will solve some problems but performance won't be the same. I'm a big fan of cushcore even with the extra weight.
  • + 1
 That is too f$-king funny!!
  • + 3
 @donpinpon29: hydrogen is better, it's da bomb
  • + 1
 @fedemeta: they don't absorb water so why would they absorb sealant?
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: ditto on Ghetto and never pinched a tyre.
  • + 3
 @fedemeta: anyway, sponge noodle weight same as noodle + sealant. Physics.
  • + 2
 @preach: Do they still make this for 26"???
  • + 5
 Forget MOAR AIR and fit a MOIR yeah! yeah? YEAH!
  • + 1
 @GuidoD: #winsinternets #today
  • + 0
 @fracasnoxteam: except that the sealant doesn't seal anything anymore when it is soaked up in the sponge. So you would have to add more sealant.
  • + 0
 @GumptionZA: smart idea to use the tape, what you could also do is buy stronger stuff than pool noodles. e.g. this type of foam: www.foambymail.com/PE6-/polyethylene-foam-sheets-6lb-white.html
  • + 1
 @CanIHaveADoOver: it also makes setting up your tubeless tires explosively easy
  • + 2
 @ak-77: that's just a silly assumption. My Huck Norris didn't drink much at all.
  • + 1
 @ak-77: it's not question I answered to
  • + 1
 Interesting
  • + 4
 I always have trouble getting the last 8 Inches in
  • + 1
 Even the actual author killed this. By using the heavy cushcore system you can use a lighter tire. YAY. How about I just use a good tire. Not like I'm a pro or anything.
  • + 1
 @RONDAL: lol I knew someone would think that
  • + 1
 @allballz: sticking them together into a ring wasnt an issue (just tape worked fine) it was losing that outer skin that made it lose all its strength, although i think you might have just solved that!
  • + 1
 @VFreehd: LESS FOOD and MOAR CLIMBS/LESS SHUTTLES also helps with pinch flats at 40psi. Of course we all know MOAR BEER is ok with or without MOAR AIR or CUSHCORE
  • + 1
 I heard they'r working on an enduro version of this. Seems to contain more oxygen with partial helium. Lighter yet not cheap. But enduro.
  • + 2
 @seidla: you can also get a thinner one and it's So NOT Enduro specific - a.k.a. Trail Version. That racingless grey zone where nobody can point at you for lack of results. That thin red line between Plus Tyres and Enduro.
  • + 1
 I've got a question which is not really related but I can't find the answer on google. Perhaps some of you guys know.
I have only one set of wheels. At the moment set uo tubeless with cross country tyres. Say this weekend I want to do a shuttle day, changing to DH tyres. When I unmount my xc tyres, which have only been on for two weeks, can I just leave them leaning up against the wall for a day or two with the sealant in, and then put them on again? Or will the sealant be ruined? Should I use bulldog clips around the bead to keep the two sides together?
That Stan's ain't cheap, so I don't want to throw it out every time I change tyres.
What do you reckon?
  • + 1
 @TimRidesBikes: Anyone else read this as Pot Noodle? Brits hopefully did, and will appreciate how odd but tasty that concept could be!
  • + 2
 @jaame: I don't change much but when I do I use a large syringe and suck and goop out and transfer it to the new tire. Takes seconds...
  • + 0
 @powderturns: this!

@jaame - However I would personally recommend finding a cheap second hand rear wheel for DH. I've done a lot of remounting/resealing this year and it's just a god damn pain in the bottom. I mention back wheel because I run my front wheel with tube anyways. I do puncture the front occasionally but it's a hassle either way.

/Wacek
  • + 1
 Thanks for the tips. Syringes are in stock at my house.

I was planning to get another set of wheels with hope/dt swiss... but I changed my mind. I'm getting a road bike instead, then I won't need to do xc for fitness anyway
  • + 0
 @jaame: HERETIC!!! I do road only to burn fat and spin out lactic acid after MTB and gym. And I used to do it on a XC HT with slicks Big Grin But now I bought a roadie too... not sure how long will I endure it though Big Grin
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: what have you got?
  • + 1
 @usa-dh-racing: Very! I know a few people who've done this. Thought it was joke as well lol!
  • + 1
 @jaame: My 2 pence worth... use just enough Stans to seal the tyre to rim. Then you don't waste it when changing. I have found Stans takes a while and a lot of sealant to seal a hole. If you get a hole you are best to just use a tyre plug, pump the tyre back up (which you have to anyway) and get on with your ride. I guess this also reduces wheel weight.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: thanks for that Marty. I very rarely used to get punctures with tubes, and never pinch flatted a super gravity tyre with tubes when I used them. I was kind of wondering if I could reduce the sealant to about half a cup per tyre. How much do you use for 2.3-2.4" tyres? Currently I am using about a cup and a half, so about 100ml I guess.
  • + 1
 @jaame: I typically use 1 Stans syringe per 29x24 tyre which is 60ml but reckon I could get away with less.

I use split tube ghetto tubeless and you get a reasonably good seal between the tyre and split tube without sealant so reckon I could use the bare minimum to seal the tyre joint - maybe 30ml

I also rarely get flats (touch wood) which are mostly thorns and don't race so time is not an issue if I have to use a plug and pump up the tyre.

I guess the other issue is air leakage but I generally check my tyres before every ride.

Anyway its worth a go if you aren't racing.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: even with the setup I use I have to reinflate every couple of weeks
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah, 70 is good. I'd prefer a DH casing in front, about same weight, less hassle. Never really ding up my front rims.
  • + 1
 So I'm about to pop the procore into my rear tyre for the weekend, I will use Rock Razor Evo... I'm just thinking... If I tear a knob off, which I know from experience is likely... I will have to ride home at a very very slow pace on procore. I think I will need to order new tubeless tyre plug kit before I try this.
  • + 2
 @powderturns: Try "gangsta tubeless". Use an even smaller tube than the next size down(24 for 27.5 or 26 for 29), and after mounting tire, fold the excess tube flap back over the rim. This gives you 2 layers of rubber instead of 1. Kinda tricky to install sometimes but Bomber flat protection when combined with RRW and TCT.
  • + 1
 @konarrider2007: “That’s what she said”
  • + 1
 I just don't get how people can run 25 psi on Dh bikes without inserts. I run 35, Magic Mary 7ply sidewall tires for 185lbs weight and there is no way I'm not bashing my rim if sending it a minimum into a decent rock garden. So I don't know. Maybe some foam will help at one point.
  • + 119
 installing some today on my buddies envy rims with dh casing. I might not survive, tell my family I love them.
  • + 12
 Haha bring a lot of water. Maybe something to reduce cramps....
  • + 2
 I just installed the flat tire defender inserts on both my wheels and it really wasn't bad at all.
  • + 5
 Tire talc is your friend. I installed a similar set up last week, soapy water makes it harder. Tire talc and a six pack will help.
  • + 3
 running Enves with minions and cushcore since last week.
Install was pretty straight forward, followed their instructions with soapy water on the first one. made a big mess in the living room and got into trouble with the wife...
installed the second one without water and it actually worked better because the stuff wasn't slippery as f##k and I could push it into its placeway easier.

bottomline, grab the whole tire and insert, bend it so the tire can slip under the insert and the bead sits all the way in the sent or the rim, if you do that and start opposite the the valve it works like charm.
wasn't even able to finish a single beer it went so smooth and quick...

only problem, the supplied valves don't really fit enve wheels, stay with the enve ones! they work just fine!
  • + 1
 @michibretz: about the valves, have you tried getting air out of the tire without slashing the side wall?

It can be a problem with normal valves because air pressure makes the inser block the valve hole.
  • + 40
 So wait a second, you spent $2500 on Enve's to save 30g over aluminum rims, only to pay $150 to add 300g back on???
  • + 1
 @feeblesmith: no problem. getting sealant in was the tricky part...

@SlodownU: I broke one of my rims the second day i was riding them going through a rock garden.
they came with the bike and i would have definitely not bought enves... hate their stupid nipples and DT centerlock stuff.
I decided to try the cush core because i destroyed tons of rims both alloy and carbon in the past and this time had to wait good 5 weeks till i got my replacement wheel and i really don't want to not ride my new bike for that long again...

Anyways, I really like the stiffness of carbon wheels compared to alloy ones specially on the big wheels...
  • + 3
 @dannywaskie: When does a 6 pack not help?
  • + 2
 @bbachmei: FTD's have worked amazingly well for me. The only issue I had was having to use a razor to cut off my old tire so I could put on a new one. Hopefully no severe flats on the trail.
  • + 103
 Prediction:
-rider buys (insert brand here) insert
-rider drops psi because more traction and new possibilities
-rider starts getting cocky
-rider blows through insert and still ruins rims and tires
  • + 34
 LOL this is my story with the Huck Norris.
  • + 21
 my friend actually broke his carbon rim while running a cush core.
  • + 6
 It works awesome until your rim explodes.
  • + 28
 It's like what they say about big tires and big lifts on 4x4s: you just get stuck deeper.
  • + 4
 This is my exact story with Huck Norris. Except I was running more pressure. Two pitch flat tires in two rides.
  • + 4
 Hasn't happened with my procore system and I have had it now for 2 years!!! Loads of grip, no more dualply tires needed and the confidence to smash into anything!
  • - 2
 vro thats like saying everyone should stay on tubes because they will run too low psi on tubeless and start breaking things
  • + 1
 @adrennan: i broke mine without cushcore! installed some cush and no more breaks. brank new wheel too when that happened.
  • + 98
 "Just ask Aaron Gwin, Greg Minnaar, Jared Graves, or Richie Rude how they felt when they got flat tires this season. "

These guys were all running inserts when they flatted this season.....
  • + 16
 You just couldn't let it go, don't you?
  • + 3
 the foam doesn't seam to work as when flat it still comes off rim. Theres a good few flatted but tyre stayed on rim something like a procore setup i'd guess.
  • + 10
 @WAKIdesigns: had to point it out. I'm pretty sure specialized and yeti teams are also crushcore sponsored......

not saying they aren't useful, just that it's a pretty ironic statement to make, considering....
  • + 2
 What insert was Minaar on? Gwin is on Flat Tire Defender, Cush Core for Graves and Rude...
  • + 2
 @heatproofgenie: can't recall exactly, but I think this season he was on the new Enve pinch protector along with an unknown foam insert: off-road.cc/content/news/enve-launches-new-m-series-carbon-rims-with-pinch-puncture-protection-887

can see it here, both the enve insert and the foam: ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb15097177/p6pb15097177.jpg
  • + 1
 yeah yeah yeah... maybe the would have had even more flats without? no way to know....
  • + 0
 @atrokz: I know Wink i just liked how it cut straight to the bone
  • + 63
 Unless you ride really hard and destroy DH casings, why not just mount a burlier tire with 300g more?
  • + 3
 Yes! This thing is impossible to install, ungodly heavy and doesn't project against slices. Just pinch for the most part. The only real benefit is the ability to run a lower pressure.
  • + 50
 because that isnt enduro.
  • + 15
 You stop denting the shit out of rims, if your not racing or this is a non issue for you then fair enough. Other wise this wrestling match with cushcore to install it is totally worth it.
  • + 3
 @nicolai12: being able to run lower pressure is a huge benefit though, especially for racing
  • + 11
 If you're not already running DH casings and considering fitting the Cushcore then there's probably a bigger issue at hand. i.e you're a div
  • + 4
 @samsq: Agreed. But a 1200g tire + 200g core is pretty crazy for anything other than DH. Most of these guys are rolling their tire (burping) it off the rim or slicing not pinch flatting it. A light weigh bead lock will be seen next year. This years world cup was all about keeping the tire on the rim.
  • + 8
 I tried the Huck Norris with a DHR WT Exo casing, still dented by rim, didn't protect the rim at all. DD casing and a little more tire pressure, knock on wood, no issues since.
  • + 2
 bingo
  • + 9
 I've destroyed two rear carbon rims running Huck Norris and double down aggressors with 32-34 psi on a 130mm xc bike, interestingly the last one that blew up the tire didn't flat, but the rim was destroyed.
  • + 4
 @anthony3vans: I weigh 140lb and I have gone through 2 rims just this summer, running 32PSI.... installing these on my bike tonight.
  • + 5
 @Chasen911: what rims??? Maybe time for a burlier rim and gravity casing tire
  • + 0
 @Chasen911: your problem is your using the wrong tires. Get DHR 2 wire for DH. These have the strongest casing. But these tires are draggy. There mainly for DH and free ride.
  • + 0
 Exactly, I would prefer running a stronger heavier tire.
  • + 2
 @nicolai12: please fill me in on an INSERT that prevent slices??
  • + 2
 If you destroy DH casings then there isn't really a burlier tire to mount is there? I run inserts so I don't have to run DH tires and still have a lighter wheelset that I can hit the rough stuff hard with the benefit of having more grip!
  • + 1
 @treekilla: It's called a tougher casing - not an insert.
  • + 1
 @nicolai12: you said it yourself that's why I was wondering.
  • + 1
 @Kitejumping: you must be very rich....and very fat. Smile
  • + 26
 Been on cushcores for a little over a month now. Some thoughts:

Install was way easier than everyone whines about. Follow the video instructions carefully and it's really not that bad. Maybe I just got lucky with my tire rim combo, but it really wasn't bad at all.

Secondly, my reason for getting them was 2 parts. First I just want to ride trouble free for as long as possible. I don't get to ride as much as I like, so nothing is more of a bummer than having to waste time fixing a flat or dented rim. Secondly, $150 is pretty cheap rim insurance. I just bought a new wheelset and I wanted it to last.

So far, no dents or flats. I have run them on really low pressure, and they do their job. I will say, surprise benefit they do "soften" the ride a little. The foams acts as a bit is suspension, and I honestly do feel like they have helped in the arm pump battle.

I went with a lighter sidewall tire as suggested. I will say I feel the weight a little on climbs. Not a huge deal to me as I ride a lot of park, and when I ride real trails, I have no problem putting it in the granny gear and taking my time so I can enjoy the down more. If you're a weight weenie, obviously not for you, but I just want my bike to be as indestructible as possible so I can have the most fun, and for that reason I love them and will keep using them.
  • + 7
 This is far too rational and evidence-based. Get outta here with that mess. This is Pinkbike. Smile
  • + 1
 That's all well and good, but the price is absolutely ridiculous. It's not like you're paying for a brand name as no one has ever heard of Cush Core. You're not paying for street cred because no one can see them in your tyres. The price is just... why? How did they come up with that price, honestly? Probably made in China in a factory that molds them then rinses out the releasing agent down the drain. They must cost under $1 American to make. $67 for one? Hahaha! I don't care how good it is at that price!
  • + 23
 Extra psi in my tires is free. The simplest fix is often the best fix.
  • + 10
 doesnt work for everyone... 30psi in a double down aggressor and i still managed to dent my rim and tear my tire
  • + 1
 @adrennan: how? I'm not smooth, but running 20-25psi in DD tyres and I haven't done more damage than one slight rim dent in a year. No flats either.
  • + 5
 @riish Weight difference/trail difference/riding style. I weigh 180lbs, run 32 psi and super gravity casings and still manage to ping my rims
  • + 21
 30psi in my minions...
  • + 8
 @riish: i weigh 200 pounds with gear and like smashing rocks. not very smooth.
  • + 9
 @ThomDawson: I care about your opinion
  • + 5
 @adrennan: So run a DH tire.
  • + 1
 Yeah I was running almost 40 psi in my rear wheel and dented the shit out of my rim the first week I had it. I'm a big dude that rides hard but for someone like me this is well worth the money
  • + 1
 I run 40lbs front and 42 rear at Angel fire. I still flat on Minion DH.
  • + 5
 Everyone on bottoming out tires: Add more air
Everyone on bottoming out shocks: What pressure you running? What's your sag? What's the rebound? Do you have any bottomless tokens in place? Can we look at your progression curve? Have you tried a ramp cartridge?
  • + 1
 @riish: used to pinch flat DH tyres with 36 psi so i'd say having an insert will do me good.
Back then i switched to a 2.8 michelin dh comp to fix my pinch flatting issues, seems like 2.6 minion wasn't enough.
  • + 11
 @mikekazimer : "but when compared to the alternative – flat tires and dented or cracked rims – CushCore starts looking more and more appealing."
Could we rather get a comparison with the other alternatives (procore etc)?
Inserts aren't cheap and comparative info is scarce
  • + 28
 vital did a comparison with all the different offerings.
  • + 13
 Also Veggie Core is always an option when things go bad
www.instagram.com/p/BXv5mlxjZ7P
  • + 8
 To each his own, but I don't understand why anyone would want to run 20psi in their rear tire. I tried procore and experimented with lower pressure and found it unbearably squirmy at anything lower than 28, and traction got worse not better.
  • + 3
 Agreed. And if you're running strong casings they start to feel extremely sluggish at such low pressures.
  • + 3
 theres too much deflection in the tire which makes it harder to control and easy to burp. I run my tubeless at about 32 front and rear because of that.
  • + 9
 The pressure you need to run depends heavily on your body weight and tire and rim choice. Tire pressure is mostly meaningless without any context especially rider weight.
  • + 9
 I weigh 114kg and dont exatly have a gently riding style. I run 2.5" Magic Marys on a Pro Core front and rear. Front 18 PSI in the tyre, 50 PSI in the ProCore, Rear 26 in the tyre, 65 in the ProCore. Tons of traction, very predictable tyre bounce and anything but squirmy. On soft ground it even rolls acceptably well. I run the setup on 33mm internal width rims. I do not understand you problem, especially considering the fact that I am propably heavier than you are. I have customers who go as low as 20 PSI in the rear tyre, but most of them are of a a lot lighter than I am. Maybe you used far narrower rims? The best thing about Procore is that I can run that kind of pressure in the tyre without burping or the tyre just folding away under pressure. I have nothing but love for the system. I killed one ProCore tube, thats about it. When it died it released its pressure into the tyre and I was left with more than enough pressure to finish my run. I only noticed the defect at the end of the run because my front end felt more bouncy. ProCore reduces tyre bounce a lot, you are effectively control your tyres "spring rate" by playing with the ProCore / tyre pressure.
  • + 2
 Cushcore is different than procore in the sense that cushcore literally presses up against the sidewall which, surprise to me, made a huge difference.
  • + 2
 The Cushcore is the only insert that PROVIDES sidewall support, because of the shape. Low pressure with the Cushcore, within reason, is not squirmy.
  • + 3
 @Helmchentuned: What you say and explain is logic and easy to accept and understand BUT for a lor of brains is not clear and they prefer the FCKflats Cushcore,Hucknorris,and spend a lot of £€$ on trash that dont really work and have a short lifetime and sad lifetime.Ask Greg Minnar if FCKflats are great....
  • + 3
 @thuren: Strange, it cant be the only insert to provide sidewall support since ProCore does the same, it eliminates most of the side movement of the tyre without restricting its movement completely. It only works with wide rims and the right tyres but when the right combination of equipment is used (wide rims, huge tyres) its a treat. You do have a road tyre with a high pressure tube pressing the tyre into the rim hook and that on a height of about 2cm. It really helps to keep the tyre centered while cornering. The upper surface on the tyre however can work a lot more due to the vastly decreased pressure. I went down from 36 to 26 PSI in my rear tyre, this helped traction a lot since more thread actually hits the ground at any given moment. Cornering stability is vastly improved as is small bump compliance. I do not see how any of those foamy thingies can do the same for me, in the same tunable manner.
  • + 1
 @Helmchentuned:
For context, I am 80kg, run 2.5 DH casing DHR2 on 31.6mm internal carbon rims.
I usually run 38psi in the rear in Whistler BP, and my sidewalls still get threadbare criss-crosses before the tread is worn out completely.
I realize 38 is higher than almost everyone. But at 26 psi I would destroy the sidewalls in a few days of park riding (and my rims). As for traction, in dry conditions it hooks up much better at high pressure than at low pressures like 20psi, where I find it just starts breaking loose and keeps going because there is no support for the knobs to bite under hard cornering.
When I had narrower Mavic 823's with UST Minion DH's (shitty sidewalls) I used to run 30psi front and 40psi rear and flat all the time. After my 2nd flat of the day and hearing about the 4th person suggest it was because my tires were too hard, I tried 25 and 30; first corner I flatted front and rear tires so back to 30/40 I went. It wasn't until I went carbon rims that I could drop it to 28/38 and get almost no flats, but still occasionally crack rims. After procore, I thought it would be cool to go really low, but I settled on 24/32 in the dry and don't like the feeling of anything less. After blowing the procore in the rear, I'm back to just running 38psi and no insert. I do like the front procore so I can run 24 without cracking rims, which for me is just not possible without it.
Anyway, long boring story over. From my perspective I'd say it's all about preference and riding style above all else. I don't know anyone else running as high as I do, but it works for me.
  • + 1
 @fakiko: To be fair, Procore is pretty digital in its dampening. Soft in the outer tire, but very firm once you hit the inner tube. I experimented a bit with the Pepis Tire Noodle (PTN), which is basically tube isolation, and it had a much softer dampening. Although in the end it turned out too lightweight even for my front tire, at least with the tire pressures I'm using (or like to use, I already increased the pressure a little bit with the PTN in comparision with ProCore).
I imagine CushCore and Flat Tire Defender offer a much more pronounced dampening. And MrWolf's Banger probably even more.
  • + 1
 @camcoz69: been contemplating going tubeless on my 26" Transition for lower psi, poss better cornering but run 30/32si and never flat, pinch or otherwise with tubes so wondering if there would be any benefit now. Hmmmmm.....
  • + 1
 @kram:

Well, I used to do the same.

I ran the minions at 38 PSI to stop them from giving me flat rear tyres all the time. Also, even those heavy reenforced tyres tend to bounce to much at those pressures. I think it makes ProCore even more of an archivement that it stopped me from flattening, allowed me to go tubeless and with about 10 PSI less I got more grip and less flats.

The minions also tended to move on the rim under hard braking and if I wasnt careful I sometimes ripped the valve stem out of the tubes. Another problem ProCore solved entirely. I am full of love for the system.

@sp00n82:
If ProCore feels like a 2 step tyre you need to play with the pressure more in the outer and less pressure in the inner tyre. after fiddling for about 20 runs I got it dialed and wont ever go back to riding without. At least as long as this bike only sees bike park and lift service Big Grin
  • + 1
 @Helmchentuned: Why using a procore that can pinchflat too when you can use an insert like cushcore that will not ?
both should provide the same benefits right ?
  • + 8
 Not the best review in my opinion. Stated "supposed to lead to better traction, cornering, as well as a smoother ride in rough terrain. Does it work? That's what I wanted to find out." but barely talked about this and did not try running it in the front where it gives just as much, if not more benefit.

I installed these on my hardtail and am completely sold. Running cross country tires paired with fairly light rims so overall weight is not crazy. I weight 155lbs .Beyond the obvious benefit of being able to drop from 27psi on the rear to 22psi on a hardtail, the amount of support and dampening that this gives the tires is crazy. Can slam corners and tires feel stable, this was not the case when I was running 27psi without cushcore. The tires really do feel damped which translates into more chassis stability, less fatigue, more predictable drift, less rolling resistance in high amplitude bumps.
  • + 7
 Actual experience alert: Cushcore is heavy, expensive, and a nightmare to install. I haven't reduced my tire pressures, and haven't stopped tearing lightweight casings. However, I've stopped pinch flatting Double Down casing tires, and they do make the bike feel noticeably calmer in chatter. which has been a real improvement. Overall, I'm mostly satisfied. The one thing that NOBODY seems to be talking about is lifespan. IME, Cushcore inserts break down pretty quickly. They last through about two tires before the insert is loaded with slices, and the insert itself gets far more "noodley", and rim strikes start to feel a lot harsher. Personally, that puts me at two or three sets of Cushcore inserts per year, which would be a lot easier to live with if they were $20 a pop. In the meantime, consider me converted, begrudgingly.
  • + 1
 Thank you ! All the experts who havent tried it make me mad. I recently bought it myself and i really like it. reduced my tirepressure by 4 psi, and calming the chatter is huge for me. I do not have longterm expierience though -cushcore claims a lifespan of 2 tires -which is korrekt according to your expierience. I also think that it comes down to terrain -if you regularly flattet DD casings before, cushcore has probably alot of work to do in your tires.
  • + 1
 How much do you weigh and what pressures are you running to pinch flat DD casings? I'm a fat boy and have yet to pinch flat a DD tire running around 25psi.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: 175, pressures around 26f/29r for 2.3-2.4's on 30mm ID rims. 30-ish bike park days a year, plus expert-class enduro/CAT1 DH racing on a trail bike. Also, Utah has plenty of fast trails with sharp, embedded rocks. Pinch flats and/or catastrophic rim damage are fairly common around here, regardless of rider weight.
  • + 1
 @DirtCrab
@mikekazimer

Given that these are, at best, a bit tricky to install in a shop: how have you dealt with flats in the wild? Can you get the tire off, core out, and do the necessary repair in a reasonable amount of time? Then do you shove the core in a pack for the remainder of the ride?
  • + 3
 @AaGro, I found that they're a lot easier to remove than install, which is beneficial if you get a flat. You could shove the core in your pack for the remainder of a ride, or you could bring a tube with an extra long valve stem, and push it through the inset and then through the valve hole in the rim.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: thanks...I'm tempted on these because of the rim protection and ride qualities but all of my recent flats have been sidewall or nasty punctures between the tread - Cushcore won't help me there and I would like to avoid a long walk of shame out of the woods.
  • + 7
 "However, the protection that the insert provides may allow some riders to run a lighter weight casing than usual"

Why not just run a heavier weight casing (which is probably less added weight than this) with tougher sidewalls that don't get cut so easily, chunkier sidewalls also dampen better so that gives you the improved cushioning too.

It's also just as expensive as a new rim and if you do still puncture out on a ride its going to make removing it and putting a tube in trail side a royal pain in the a$$.

I guess at least we are trying to improve the puncture issue, this just has too many negative side effect in my eyes especially the weight in an area we all agree it makes a big difference.
  • + 2
 Singleply casing tire + insert is lighter than DH tire with tube. It also allows you to run less tire pressure and thus gives you more grip.
Why is it better than a DH tire setup as tubeless? Because it a) prevents burping since it holds the tire to the rim more securely and b) prevents pinch flats even if that is harder to get with thicker DH casing tires

I was running DH tire with tubes for year and though flatting was not so common I still managed to damage rims, especially rear ones. After two years running singleply tires with schwalbe procore system I know I will never go back! Way more grip=way more confidence, no more flats ever and it is lighter!
  • + 2
 Pretty sure an exo casing + cushcore is a fair bit lighter than a dh tire

I run DH casings on all of my bikes personally...not going for any records on the climbs, so why not
  • + 0
 @SintraFreeride:
While i don't see harm in running this if you want i don't think the advantages are very big or outway the disadvantages.

in response a) I run Spank rims with beadbite which adds zero weight and holds the bead like glue, never burps and i recently changed my tire and even with no air in i had to use quite a bit of force to unseat it, so absolutely no need to make that more secure if you have the right rm.
b) Pinch flats are only a real issue with tubes and with tubeless id argue a thicker tyre is less likely to get cut by a sharp rock that a thin tyre with cushcore, yes cushcore with stop your rim cutting the tyre but ive never found that an issue, sharp rocks on the other hand will cut a thin tyre.

As for it being lighter a Double Down or Super gravity tyre is approx 200g heavier than a trail tyre and a DH tyre is 200g further so whichever tyre you usually run one step up in tyre is only 200g vs 290 for cushcore.

I just know how much difference rotational (and unsprung) weight makes having changed rims a few years back saving 200g per wheel and i instantly noticed the difference.
I have run Tubeless with super gravity tyres (saving further weight over DH tyres) on my DH bike for years and cant remember my last puncture, even after weeks in the alps and races at Fort william. admittedly i am only 70kg, bit more with kit, but this is probably why i can get away with things more.

i will admit the one and only thing maybe worthwhile with cushcore is stopping rim dents with lower pressures as i have dented rims (although never causing a puncture) but the weight and fitting hassle just isn't worth this alone.

I would be tempted to try Huck Norris tho as my spank rims mean i don't need the cushcore to hold the tyre bead but it will help protect the rim for a much more acceptable 70-80g weight penalty, and much simpler and cheaper.

Sorry that got a bit long...
  • + 1
 @maglor: First don't apologise for the long reply! It is always better than short and pointless! haha

Well if it works for you great!
I just love the advantages of the insert system. The added grip even with a less grippy compound compared to DH super soft durometer is mind blowing! I can ride offcamber roots and rocks like never before!
Before I was running super gravity tires with tubes and going to single ply tires with procore I still lost weight off the bike. I heard so many nightmare stories from friends that I never tried tubeless for mountainbiking.
Now all that was great but I really appreciated not having my back wheel full of flat spots at the end of every lift season!
I am interested in cushcore as an alternative to procore if I upgrade to some bigger wheels next year seeing as it is slightly cheaper.
  • + 7
 If you are mostly shuttling or lift assisted, and a heavier more aggressive rider, these things WORK. I was able to safely drop 5psi front and rear, giggling while center punching sharp lava rock. The more damped feel and front tire grip/confidence is unreal compared to 5psi more pressure. Thicker casing tires with less pressure and no insert can still get squirmy, and push through all the way to dent/break the rim. The sidewall support in high traction high G corners these provide, WHILE at lower pressures, is a huge positive. Pain to install sure, but it really depends on the tire. Some are easy. Double Down Aggressor 2.3 = NOT EASY.
  • + 7
 I am completely sold on the Cushcore setup. I am rough on tire sidewalls in corners and end up normally running heavier sidewalls and 30-31 PSI in the rear. I gave these a try purely for sidewall support and keeping the tire on the rim. I haven't dropped much air but find I am liking 28-29 PSI with Double Down casings. The sidewall support these add is mind boggling. I feel very little if any sidewall "roll" in hard corners. I have also not had a single tire unbead since I added these. If you follow the install process as they describe these mount up easy. People that say otherwise aren't installing them correctly. Adds maybe 3 mins tops to the whole process. They do add weight but the peace of knowing I have the sidewall support I need makes it worth it.
  • + 1
 Are you running the inserts front and rear or just rear?
  • + 1
 @acali: Front and rear
  • + 1
 @Sapling: me too. Haven't had to true a wheel all season long including nw cup. Lol cush core is awesome.
  • + 7
 In 10 years time we will look back and have one of those "What the f%^k were we thinking of" moments. All this to solve problems due to fundamentally crap rim / tire design. Maybe we will end up with some sort of tubular tire with built in smaller 'core'. Maybe we'll end up with the roadie 'tubs for racing / clinchers for training' scenario. No, I don't think tubulars in their current form are the answer, but the current solutions are a bit of a joke.
  • + 1
 I have on my trail bike, deaneasy tubeplus. been faultless as 2 years. only about 120g per wheel inner tub is at 120psi. only works with narrower rims like 23mm internal.
  • + 4
 I think we just need to accept a heavier tire, really. All of these solutions to trim the tire down, then add some foam, then some sealant, then a special valve, but there's rim protection, but not enough, but more than none....seem a bit silly when you could just run a DH casing in the rear and an EXO on the front.

You may still flat sometimes, but so far none of these expensive magic bullets have actually solved that problem, and they make fixing the inevitable flat exponentially more annoying. You may damage a rim sometimes, but again...same rules apply.

/endrant
  • + 1
 can run exo tyres with the tubeplus no problem at all. run dh tyres without anything ok so far but with 4psi higher. My 26" tyre doesn't deform as much as 27.5 on sharp rock strikes either.
  • + 2
 @maxwellington: totally agree, funny the @wallheater references roady ways cus I think this is part of the problem we have - everyone wants light tyres. We've seen our mtbs start to move further from their roady origins in geometry etc but we're still clinging to tyres that just aren't up to the job. We need to accept the 'DH casing' as a standard mtb tyre. I think they actually handle better too, aiding stability and we're all chasing confidence inspiring rides (our trail bikes now have the same HA as DH bikes do ffs), DH casing tyres give A LOT of confiedence. People just need to get their head around 1300g tyres. I'm not sure about elite level competition but perhaps we need a new 'DH casing' that's even stronger?
  • + 5
 I have over 10 years of car, motorcycle, and race care tire mounting experience and this was one of the hardest f&*cking tires I have ever put on! With that said these inserts are one of the best things I have ever added to my bike. The frustration of blowing out brand new tires, fear of destroying a carbon rim, and my disgust for the mushy weak sidewall feeling of low tire pressure led me to pick these up. I have yet to get a flat since adding these and have hit my rim so hard I'm almost positive it would have been destroyed without them. More importantly it has changed the way my bike rides. They allow me to run lower pressures while keeping the sidewall strong and stable. This lets the tread flatten out giving increased traction while keeping a consistent tire feel during preload and cornering. If that wasn't enough the combination of lower pressure and damping feature of the foam makes running over large loose rocks, shale, and rough terrain a breeze. People complain about weight but I remember the days of 50lb dh bikes and they complain about price but destroying a rim is far more expensive and inconvenient. Anything that improves my ride this much and makes me that much more stoked to go ride is worth $150.
  • + 5
 This review doesn't really get into the true benefits of the inserts, better one on NSMB. I've been running Cushcore for a couple months and the ability to run lower pressures combined with the dampening effect of the insert completely changes the ride. You can go faster and with increased grip. On top of that you get rim and pinch flat protection. Well worth the money.
  • + 0
 Well said. Furthermore there is a vid wich shows a smashtest with and without cushcore. the most interesting part of that vid is the end though. the tire without still wobbels like crazy after the impact -the one with insert simply does not -it is easy to tell what this does to your ride (kashima coating but this is to expensive ?? -wtf)
  • + 5
 If this is the future, rims need to be made for optimal mating of the tire and insert in the rim. As it stands now, inserts make installation really difficult, add a lot of weight and provide a limited improvement in terms of puncture resistance, tire support etc.

Just like it took years for tubeless tires and rims to get truly reliable, this is (for all intents) a beta product and you get to pay too much money to help develop the final, sorted version if you buy it.

One final thought-the claim that you can get away with lighter tires using an insert strikes me as specious. I don't wreck rims (at least if they're strong enough-currently running WTB Frequencies), but have grendaded several tires with lighter casings (esp. on the rear wheel). Switching from something like a Maxxxis DD casing to an EXO casing and then slamming through rock gardens at speed is a recipe for a massive casing cut across the carcass of the tire. The insert on the far side of that casing from the rocks won't do squat to prevent that. In fact, if the tire feels more supported, it'll happen sooner. So...like I said-this technology needs to be holistically incorporated into a rim/tire/insert design to optimize function (and minimize weight).
  • + 4
 It's not the easiest install, but to be honest I've installed tire/rim combos have been just as troublesome as installing cushcore. I still run the same PSI with my cushcore, but its saved my We Are One carbon rims 10x over from cracks, & I haven't burped or torn a tire off since the install...100% worth it!!
  • + 5
 I use cush core on all my bikes. It fucking rules. nay sayers are just hacks. Makes a huge difference from dh racing to casual trail rides on the hardtail. wouldn't run a bike without it anymore.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer What are the most common causes of flat tires currently? Has PB done a poll on that? Having not experienced a flat in the last 3 years in the rocky Northeast, I'm curious how most flats occur, and how pinches vs. punctures stack up.
  • + 27
 You havent flatted in 3 years? push it a little harder..
  • + 2
 I also ride in the rocky northeast and flat all the time. Usually it's pinch flats.
  • + 6
 @owlie: I ask/tell myself that often! Light Bicycle rims w/ Michelin Wild Grip'R Advanced Reinforced tires @ ~26 psi. Perfect setup. But, said it out loud, so I'm pretty well guaranteed to get a flat now...
  • + 1
 @owlie: Depends a lot on what rims you are running. A really good rim design doesn't pinch flat easily. Two years ago I raced the WV Enduro Series in Expert/Pro without one flat on trail tires and Enve rims. Now I flat all the time with the same tires on Mavic XA Elites.
  • + 1
 I had a bike with mavic 823 rims and combined with continental der kaiser dh tires I was always getting pinch flats no matter the air pressure, terrain etc. I switched over to maxxis and didn't have an issue. I don't think there was anything wrong with the conti tires, but I do believe certain rim and tire combinations could be more pinch prone than others.
  • + 4
 Sidewall tears are most common for me, no question.
  • + 4
 Been running them for months hammering them through New England gnar and they are excellent. Install isn't bad at all, soapy water and tuck the bead in and work your way around.. no tire levers needed.
  • + 4
 Presumably you could cram two of these into one tire back to back and do away with air completely and never get another puncture.... so long as you don't mind the slight increase in weight.
  • + 5
 F*CKING LOVE THESE! They make racing a weekend of Angel Fire without killing a rim possible!

The install sucks.. But more beer = less suck
  • + 3
 I have been using cushcore for 2 months. Have it on set of Enve M70s. I can say that it has significant benefits. I can run lower tire pressures without worrying about damaging the rim. This inspires more confidence. It also provides some dampening properties. Almost feels like I have extra travel. Also can hold lines better. Is it heavy? Yes but worth it IMO.
  • + 7
 Flat tyres suck, just ask Greg Minaar.
  • + 2
 I wasn't sure they sucked or not until i slid into greg's DM's. He reckons they suck so yeh I think they suck as well.
  • + 5
 Come on, these aren't that hard to install. Get a buddy, a couple of beers, and it's a 10 minutes job per wheel. Tested on various tires, casing and narrow or wide rims !
  • + 20
 If it takes two people I think that qualifies as difficult.
  • + 2
 I had a damn hard time mounting DH casings to ENVE, or worse yet, wheels where people use two passes of gorilla tape or both.
  • + 2
 @rwb500: I'm very tempted to make a dirty joke here !
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer hey, really interested to hear if the claims cushcore make about it being a damping system stand up? I know you mention a deadening of bigger hits but does it help reduce fatigue and armpump for the rider and add stability to the bike?
  • + 2
 I'm a big guy (6'3", 230 lbs when fully kitted up) and these have been amazing for me. I have them in both wheels on my DH bike and my rear wheel on my trail bike - they've made a massive difference to my riding and continue to protect my rims. Without them, I was running 45 psi in the rear, with them I've gone down to 30 on the trail bike and 35 on the dh and haven't had any issues. I had to switch to a rental with higher psi after breaking my frame and couldn't believe how bad it was without them. 10/10 would recommend.
  • + 1
 What level of riding/racing do you do? I weigh about the same and either my Enves just laugh it all off and I don't know how bad they're getting beaten up every ride or I'm just not riding hard enough. I usually run 25-28 in front depending on casing and 26-30 in the rear.
  • + 3
 i run 28 psi on my minions 26' tubes hope techs and I hardly ever get a flat... i also only weigh 135lbs but I ride pretty aggressively... idk i never graduated from tubes, maybe when i race one day ill run tubeless...
  • + 2
 i wonder if on narrower wheels the tread part is over the bead on hard impacts but on the newer 30+ rim width wheels the sidewall (which is less protective) is the part thats trying to stop the impact on the lip of the wheel....ie as in stretched car tyres offering zero protection.
  • + 2
 After lots of time on this and on procore, procore is betwe innperformance. Just be prepared to get plenty of procore tubes because they will get sealant in the valve ad you cant get good pressure reads... but cushcore you can feel the edge when pressures low and it throws your balance back. Since tis has been dead a while... and i cat sleep. Postin time!
  • + 2
 So cushcore all the way ?
  • + 5
 For anyone who wants to save money (and also their rims), there's this ----- www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlrvET4BgN0
  • + 1
 Have you tried this and had it work? Seems like air will leak out of the second valve stem
  • + 2
 It's still very possible to 'burp' your tire with Cushcore so all it really offers is rim protection if you absolutely can't handle running a little bit higher pressure or you ride like me and go straight through the sharp rocks instead of over/around them
  • + 1
 I'm using wire bead DH tires most of the time, and when I'm not, 50% of punctures happen due to ripped sidewalls. I think wire bead dual ply/DH setup tubeless is really nice, it also holds air much better (even better than tubes). Problem is, manufacturers will sell less tires if they were more robust...
  • + 1
 Don't think about it as a pinch flat solving miracle,because its not. It legitimately will help your tires bite harder however and it really helps with cushioning small and large impacts on trail. I wont ever not run one in my rear tire... I don't find a front inseert necessary at all though.
  • + 5
 prob just change my 26" inner tubes when I get a flat twice a year...
  • + 2
 Followed the installation instructions (something I rarely do) and it wasn't too bad. Valves were on the short side for my Nobl rims but they're sending me longer ones for free. No flats so far!
  • + 1
 I like to ride my tire pressure pretty high some days and pretty low on others... really depends on how I'm feeling and if I want the bike to "float" or I I want it to "bite"... if I'm riding casually I love some floaty, drifty burm action, but if I'm in race mode, I want my tires to destroy that burm, and slap it around as much as possible! I dunno, I guess everyone has their own opinions....
so here's a fact.... I ran these all summer, going out almost every day...... my wheels are still true after hundreds of lines shot down Steven's pass's gnarliest rock garden at pretty decent speeds, for a good chunk of the year. I believe in these systems. Tried a pool noodle and got one ride out of it before it was shreded in my tire.... messy.... dont do it.
Cush core takes a while to install for a noob. But it's worth it for a pro. Suck it up boys, and ride faster.
  • + 5
 Cush Core sounds like a music sub-genre that I'm too old to know about.
  • + 1
 It seems like the real benefit is the extra damping that makes for better traction. This damping is achieved at point of contact with the tire and ground. The rear shock and front fork suspensions cannot by themselves achieve this immediate point of contact suspension between the tire and ground. all this being said, i would NOT use something like crushcore because it's too hard to install. Instead, i use freeride or DH intertubes together with DH casing tires and inject 2 Ozs of sealent into the intertubes. Tires are easy to mount with intertubes. And it adds a little bit of extra suspension and i never get pinch flats off of big drops. This is because the tubes are so thick and DH casing adds a lot of strength to sidewall.
  • + 2
 THIS has NEVER failed me... no such thing as a tricky tire with this tool. NO tire levers required, ever. Easy. Peasy. www.koolstop.com/images/Accessories/KS-TBJ%20IMAGE.jpg
  • + 1
 So why not make an insert that is the entire size of the inner part of a DH casing tire but holds air inside it? Make it have a minimum (sealed into the material in a manner that cannot be punctured) with a central air chamber you can still inflate to higher pressure.

If your valve leaks or air escapes the central chamber, the impregnanted 18 psi external "core" remains and you literally do NOT flat. Ever.
  • + 1
 Using procore for +1.5 year, usually @17psi front /20psi rear, pumping +5psi when dry and -5psi when soaking wet.
Rider weight 85kg, 25mm internal width, and zero flats on rocky and rooty trails.
Like: adjust pressure for better feeling and grip and not worrying about flats.
Don't care about weight
Conclusion: Best upgrade by far! You pay for performance and not bling!

PS - I've ditched extra-tubes and pump (yes I know... but 1 year/zero flats adds a lot of confidence, until "The Day". Until then... no extra weight besides Procore)
  • + 1
 I have been having fun with a Mondraker Summum for 9 months in pretty gnarly rock gardens and had zero issues. I use two Magic Mary Vertstar 2.6x26 DH on Notubes Flow MKIII with Hope 4 pro and DT swiss competition spokes and brass nipples. I think the tyres weigh 1200gr but it considering that these weigh 300grams I don't see the issue. I have never had a puncture and my pressure varies between 23 psi and 30 psi. I think I hit the jack pot when it comes to wheel design. I was researching this heavy and just chose the most robust component I could find for my downhill weekends.
  • + 1
 are wider rims to blame??? not sure if they are or aren't but im not light and only have 21mm internal width rim wheels with 2.3 onza ibex and cannis tyres and have ridden several black trails and encountered many rocks with no issues....on a 120mm travel bike and i weigh over 200 lbs and only run about 24psi.
  • + 2
 No, what's to blame is riding trail bikes down trails that used to be used for national DH race tracks at the same speeds we used to go on the DH bikes. That's progress, imo, but has required some changes, such as tougher trail bike tires, and in my case, using CushCore. YMMV. If you aren't having problems with your current setup, then keep using it. Before CC, for reference I was running 27/29 psi in 950g tires, and at 175lb rider weight, my rims were getting f*cked regularly.
  • + 1
 Pinch flats and sharp rocks in WA state? Neither exist here so I'll go the "Moer Aier" option. Who goes sub 20 psi anymore on carbon unless u are sponsored and get your carbon wheels for free, or like the 99% of the majority who buy there own.
  • + 6
 What are tubes?
  • + 1
 idk...
  • + 1
 Let me summarize: it will cost a lot of money and be a pain to set up. You arent guaranteed not to get flats. You may experience better grip but not in a way that you can measure compared to no inserts. The pros run inserts and they like it but they get flats too.
Hmmm...
  • + 1
 OK so I got Cushcore 2 days ago, firstly the original valves are soft and the rubber heads are too narrow, I was getting leakage via the valve, upon tightening they actually pulled through my valve hole, maybe im heavy handed. lol

I replaced them with my whatever brand of tubeless valves which have a larger rubber "stopper".
This prevented the air leakage I was getting, this is good, the only problem now is i cannot let air out of the tyre as i pumped it up to 50psi to get a secure bead,.

I removed the tubeless lock ring and then pushing the valve back into the rim to let air out, but it worked. the cushcore valves are special , i.e. they have some cut outs. so you can add sealant remove air etc.

what i will do next is remove the tubeless valve and cut a small section out which will hopefully give the option to normally add sealant or remove air.

Rim used Spank ozzy 345, tyres used Bontrager se5 and Minion dhr II

I don't like dinged rims, where we ride is all rock garden and sandstone.

that is all
  • + 2
 All the smartasses I ride past as they fix flats love to tell me how dumb I am for using such wide rims and heavy tires back in the lift line.
  • + 1
 Looks good and it all sounds good but $149 USD ain't cool. I think I'll just go to the dollar store and buy a pool noodle, split it in half and presto that's my alternative lol
  • + 0
 I run Procore and Huck Norris and we tried this in the summer in les gets. It really is an overpriced pita and there was nothing good about Cush core compared to the two known solutions. And to correct some statements above procore secures the tire on the rim with cush core some of the big guys still burped off their tires. Imhe Procore is the best solution and Huck Norris the easier lighter and cheaper, albeit it does really work apart from burp protection.
  • + 1
 the reviews say it works as advertised,vital says it is the best, a lot of pros run it (without getting paid for it).procore never really caught on-thanks for letting us know how wrong racers and writers are.
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: I did say in my humble experience (36 of cycling). Have you any practical personal experience oder bist Du so ein cliché deutscher?
  • + 1
 @Keit: careful -i just might go ahead and invade your country. (if google tells me which flag that is). A buddy runs procore and i got to ride it -sidewall support felt better than without but not great. i am not the best burper -although i am pretty proud of my inner bryn atkinson. could not get it to burp. damping is pretty much the same as with regular tubeless - there was no harsh bottoming .

with cushcore (did 3 rides with it this week) i felt more tiresupport -also no burping but a whole different trailfeel -the wheels bounce of obstacles far less and calm down much faster -i have beaten all my strava (descending) times around here during the week and conditions are not even completely dry. As i already stated above look at the smashtest vid of cushcore -you can see the regular tubeless tire wobbling after the impact -the one with cushcore calms down way faster.
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: I am German. Invade yourself. I have all three and thus my own personal erperience.
  • + 1
 @Keit: really? "Du" already told me that.
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: so you rode one option once believe journalists every word and compare yourself to pro. We don't race we just ride. Give procore a chance and play with the pressures. It is a game changer. PS nice swoop
  • + 1
 Sure I can remember similar stuff for tubed wheels in the 90's. Snake charmer comes to mind. A big purple insert to put in the wheel which stopped this but weighed a fair bit.
  • + 0
 I run Procore and Huck Norris and we tried this in the summer in les gets. It really is an overpriced pita and there was nothing good about Cush core compared to the two known solutions. And to correct some statements above procore secures the tire on the rim with cush core some of the big guys still burped off their tires. Imhe Procore is the best solution and Huck Norris the easier lighter and cheaper, albeit it does really work apart from burp protection.
  • + 1
 I weigh 240lb and run 25/26 psi with Maxxis DoubleDown casings, 27-40 with EXO, and I have yet to dent a rim. I guess my goal should just be to build my skills and speed enough that I need these inserts.
  • + 3
 Going to ghetto rig a closed cell phone mattress into one of these and post a review.
  • + 1
 *foam
  • + 2
 actually pretty funny -also trying ghetto cellphones in my wheels
  • + 0
 "Before going near any tools, I'd recommend putting on some soothing music, doing some meditation and deep breathing, and possibly consuming an adult beverage or three in order to ensure that you don't end up snapping tire levers and throwing your wheel across the room in a fit of rage"...Or just don't bother, ride without them, save a bunch of cash, ride with tubes and spend a few minutes changing them once in a blue moon when you do get a flat.
  • + 2
 Getting a flat during a race run sucks. Cushcore is aimed for people who need the insurance.
  • + 3
 first of all -i have thrown wheels-hope e 23 damn you! in the right mood on a rainy september evening with a couple of beers mounting cushcore is pretty alright. getting / fixing flats on the 2 hours off the family on a sunny sundaymorning -not so much.
  • + 5
 Minnaar disapproves
  • + 2
 You are so right.
  • + 1
 So @mikekazimer is the increased weight and suffering to install worth it? Or is a slightly heavier tire with a touch more psi the way to go? For the average rider, not racing at all...
  • + 0
 you know the answer...
  • + 2
 I think for the average rider it's not quite as relevant, especially if you don't typically have trouble with flats. However. as funny as the top comment is, more air doesn't solve everything, and performance starts to suffer if you're pumping your tires rock hard to avoid flats. I'd say that for most riders, going with a DoubleDown casing or something similar will be enough, but if that still doesn't do the trick, then CushCore is definitely worth a try.
  • + 4
 That's nice that they give you a $1.50/unit discount for buying a pair.
  • + 3
 @gasket-Jeff interesting. Do you leave the pipe insulation whole, or cut it in half? What diameter are you using?
  • + 2
 I ran that for a while, use the bigger diameter one, works great but doesn't last very long and it absorbs a ton of sealant.
  • + 1
 I am using the smallest I can get and not having issue with insul absorbing sealant. I do want to try a larger diameter. I will next time I need to swap.
  • + 1
 Leave it whole and use gorilla tape to connect the ends together
  • + 1
 290 g.... That's a lot of grams. This has got to be DH only. For non DH, if you're heavy, stick more air in the back, it doesn't need to be that grippy.
  • + 1
 cheap insolationfoam with skin -google ptn longterm -desintegrates pretty quickly
  • + 1
 Cushcore works great on my bikes...zero complaints

People worried about price...bike hobbies cost $$$ no matter which way you spin it.
  • + 1
 Ive been riding rocky downhills for a bout 6 months without flats or rim damge... Why dont people just and about 8 PSI. like the difference is so over exagerated
  • + 4
 *snake oil
  • + 2
 Sorry, but you're wrong.
  • + 3
 Doesn't walmart sell a similar version for like $10.
  • + 1
 yeah it even cheaper its a pool noodle
  • + 2
 I think anytime someone announces their tire pressure, they first must announce their weight.
  • + 1
 >>>>INSTALL IS PIECE OF CRUMBLE CAKE.

Just installed with Minion EXOs. Didn't even use a tire lever. Soapy water was likely the key.
  • + 1
 "The hardest part of the installation will be getting the final eight inches or so of the tire beat to pop over the rim's sidewall and into place."

Thats what she said...
  • + 1
 what happens when i have flatted with 29x2.5 dh casing and cush core at 30 psi :/
  • + 5
 Well you were hauling ass through some rough shit so BRAVO!
  • + 0
 Just use proper DH tires and enough air dumbass! I only got a few flats and killed one rim racing Canada cups for 5 years! on an 8' dh bike duh!
  • + 1
 3 bar on a dh tire is not enough air ?
  • + 2
 How do you even get a pinch flat tubeless?
  • - 4
flag usa-dh-racing (Sep 14, 2017 at 9:07) (Below Threshold)
 you don't get a pinch flat but a brup with tubeless tires. A burp happens when the tire is compressed enough--the tire can come off the rim bead just for a second or permanently and much air escapes.
  • + 12
 @usa-dh-racing: not rue at all. you can 100% pinch a tubeless tire, just ask my wallet. if you come down with force on a sharp surface, rock, and tire pinches against rim its just like pinching a tube just a bit more costly and mood killing.
  • + 1
 You pinch right through the tire cutting the casing
  • + 4
 On impact the tire pinches over the rim and you get two cuts, one on the top of the tire and one right by the bead.
  • + 1
 I guess I don't ride hard enough or with too much pressure to ever cut a tire on the rim. I've had some pretty good knocks on AL rims, but not hard enough to actually cut the tire.
  • + 2
 @acali: Yep, had exactly this happen the other day. First time it's happened to me since switching to tubeless, but it was a fair smack on the rim that I could hear and feel. Next thing there's sealant pissing out everywhere. Am now running the 'moar air' solution.
  • + 1
 Why not a good old tube instead of thar shit ?

My Freeride Schwalbe tube is 200g.
  • - 3
 read my comment and tell me if you agree with it. "It seems like the real benefit is the extra damping that makes...
  • + 1
 If anyone is looking to try this out, I have a set in like new condition I'd be willing to sell cheap.
  • + 2
 I think it works great unless your name is Greg Minnaar.
  • + 1
 Minnaar was running the Enve system, not Cush Core
  • + 2
 Make it stiffer and hollow with 1/3 the weight.
  • + 1
 Ali Clarkson made one out of neoprene sponge foam (cell foam) and he rides trials, He has not had any issues.
  • + 2
 Must just be an Enduro problem, never happens when Mt. Biking!
  • + 2
 Ok yes that price ir reasonable X(
  • + 2
 RIPOFF
  • + 1
 I'm sticking with the old pool noodle trick, thank you very much
  • + 4
 I run pipe insulation. Prior to that I did ghetto procore (running a 700c tubular inside a tubeless) both worth flawlessly at a fraction of the price
  • + 1
 @Gasket-Jeff: I like it! does this actually get over the edge of the rim? or does it just provide some overall support to the tire? I would think the latter...
  • + 1
 @powderturns: it supports tire. Almost impossible to get tire off. Also offered rim protection but not a lot or only if impact the right way. More like Huck Norris than cush but light as every thing and $2 a pop
  • + 1
 @Gasket-Jeff: which one did you like better?
  • + 1
 @jewpowered: Both different. Insulation is way lighter. I actually flatter on the ghetto procore and was able to finish my downhill with p psi. Currently I am not running either. Ghetto procore comes in lighter than real procore. Not running either cause last tire change I didn't want the pain of set up. Cush looks insane hard to set up. Insulation easy to set up hard take the tire off after its set up.
  • + 1
 @rewob you top my list of flat tire posters
  • + 1
 A man can't always choose what he is remembered for
  • + 1
 @rewob: clean bikes, winning times, destroyed wheels and tires
  • + 1
 Why not use 3DO material maybe it will works
  • + 1
 It's too heavy and expensive. An accessory we I can live without.
  • + 1
 Pinch flats still happens!
  • + 0
 The solution to dented rims and flat tires is simple... Pick better lines... Stop sucking so bad. Smile
  • + 1
 By the way, Cush core works as advertised !
  • + 1
 Where do you get a set of these in Canada?
  • - 1
 Is this dentist approved?
  • - 3
 Urban Dictionary tells me this insert is made of some bomb-ass nugs of bud.
www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cush
  • + 2
 lol thats kush, urban dictionary is... wrong maybe?
  • - 2
 26 IS NOT DEAD!!!!!!!!!!
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