Pinkbike Poll: Are Tire Inserts Leaving You Deflated?

Mar 17, 2023
by Seb Stott  
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Back in 2018, we ran this poll asking if you were running tire inserts. The vast majority weren't, but many said they were keen to give them a try.

Since then it seems the wave of insert hype has come and gone. Every brand was scrabbling to launch its unique take on the pool-noodle-for-your-tires concept a few years ago. Now, I can't remember the last time a new one was announced. And while they're still clearly popular among enduro and downhill racers, a few I've spoken to recently have said that they're no longer running them.

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Plenty of pros are using inserts, but definitely not all of them.

Personally, I think they make a lot of sense, especially for people who ride rocky trails and don't want the rolling drag of a full DH tire. They allow you to run a supple and fast-rolling tire with added pinch protection, sidewall support and damping. On the other hand, the cost, hassle of installation, and extra weight (assuming you're going to run the same tires) are clear downsides that could put many people off. Then there's the fact that they're not 100% effective at preventing punctures, and if you do get one, you may have to carry the sealant-soaked insert home with you.

So, five years on, I'd like to see how attitudes have changed.

Do you use tire inserts?



If you don't always or don't currently run inserts, what puts you off?

Tick all that apply.



Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
306 articles

328 Comments
  • 219 3
 *insert puns here*
  • 66 1
 How tiresome!
  • 28 1
 A puncture?
  • 23 1
 You're deflating my enjoyment of these puns.
  • 18 2
 I am sure some people are just foaming at the mouth for this
  • 11 36
flag mountaincross (Mar 17, 2023 at 12:56) (Below Threshold)
 Q: How many tire inserts does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: none
  • 14 2
 This sites sidewall protection prevented my post
  • 4 2
 Leaky insertion..
  • 5 2
 I'm Tired of all the puns
  • 5 1
 All these tire insert jokes are running flat
  • 9 0
 I feel I am being pressured to draw a bead on the most pliant part of the article. Anyway, I feel pumped that I won both survey questions.
  • 2 0
 Why are you noodling me into the tiring process of coming up with a pun?
  • 3 0
 I just go flat out!
  • 2 0
 These puns just go round and round
  • 1 2
 underrated comment *clap emoji*
  • 9 0
 @OrangeGoblin: underinflated comment
  • 95 5
 Cushcore has been very effective in allowing me to run an EXO or EXO+ casing rear tire with almost zero flats.

Obviously nothing is going to prevent that one in a million sidewall slash, but I've noticed a dramatic reduction in flats. Remember Tubes? I used to carry two spares every ride lmao
  • 29 3
 And if you do slash a sidewall, Cushcore can run flat. Is there another insert on the market with run-flat?
  • 13 52
flag wolftwenty1 FL (Mar 17, 2023 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 Comparing tubes to tubeless + insert...lol.
  • 40 1
 @wolftwenty1: Not a comparison, reminiscing at best. Tubes haven't been in my life for at least a decade
  • 30 1
 @tremeer023: It can which is great for a race run or maybe laps at the bike park but if I'm on a normal trail ride 10 miles away from the trailhead I'd much rather be able to just pop a tube in than deal with an insert (breaking bead, packing the insert out, etc).
  • 5 2
 @devin-m: okay...whew!
  • 42 2
 In my experience, sidewall slashes are much more probable than one in a million.
  • 63 1
 Honest question —why not simply run tubeless with heavier casing?
  • 4 0
 @jeremy3220: I don't know how draggy it is to ride flat (haven't had to do it yet) but obviously depends on your tyre. I'd rather ride home flat and sort it there personally. It's such a rare occasion where plugs won't fix it.
  • 24 5
 @ride-801: I'd say ride quality. DH casing tyres tend to feel a bit wooden. A 120 tpi tyre with insert gives better feel and puncture/rim protection, best of both worlds. Plus CC has run-flat (I know I said this already, but I think it's a really good feature).
  • 18 0
 @tremeer023: Let the air out of your tire and try it out. You're not going to ride more than a couple miles like that before just putting a tube in.

Also, DH tires feel wooden at lower speeds like running too much damping. You might need that damping in certain situations though.
  • 6 12
flag Hayek (Mar 17, 2023 at 13:22) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: It could be less than 1 in 1,000,000. What's the unit of measure? mm, yoctoseconds, Planck Length?
  • 24 5
 @ride-801: Yep that’s the way to do it. Only see a point in inserts if a DH tyre isn’t enough. There’s no point putting an insert in a poorly damped, pingy exo casing. It’s heavier than a DH tyre, not as well damped, worse ride feel and doesn’t offer any protection against cuts and slices.
  • 4 1
 @tremeer023: You can run Vittoria Air Liners with a flatted tire. They say it's good for ~1 hour of downhill riding with the average rider according to their website.

I had one in the rear tire on my hardtail. It made the rear feel quite dead and muted. Never flatted with it so I can't attest to its run flat ability past their claims.
  • 5 2
 @ride-801: Obviously the insert is used with the assumption that it will absorb rim impacts better than a heavy tire. Some tires might do quite well in that regard, such as Schwalbes with Super Gravity sidewall inserts. They might approach the level of protection offered by an insert. But even then, an insert will help rolling if all air is lost (which can always happen), and will keep the tire from coming out. This is an advantage specific to racing. I would never feel comfortable running a tire, no mater how beefy, with pressures as low as I would run with an insert. I will not use an insert if I think I will be fine with higher pressures. If I want to use a soft compound tire anyway, I might want to run it at a higher pressure so as to not use an insert, but that's just a case among many.
  • 1 0
 @ride-801: thats what I do now and performance wise I find it really similar. Dont get the benefit of run flat though
  • 5 1
 @jeremy3220: I've ridden about 10km on flat tyre with insert. It is not that bad, cornering and braking is a bit weird but the rest is fine.

I rode that distance home on an almost flat front tyre recently. It was on the insert but still holding a bit of air. Not much slower than regular riding.
  • 13 0
 @tremeer023: Rimpact, which is also much lighter than Cushcore (and cheaper).
  • 5 0
 @tremeer023: Carbon fiber wheels
  • 15 1
 @ride-801: As a heavier guy, running inserts lets me run lower pressures that I would in normal tubeless because I have the confidence that I won't destroy my rim when I inevitably take a poor line that results in me monster trucking through a bunch of rocks (or any move that results in a heavy wheel slam). A heavier casing won't help enough in that situation. The cost of an insert is a fairly cheap insurance policy and I don't mind the weight. I've run cushcore front and back on my trail and DH bikes and regular EXO casing Maxxis tires for 4 or 5 years now with minimal flats. Actually I don't think I've had any that I can recall.
  • 5 1
 Same experience here. I'll never not run a rear insert.
  • 2 0
 @nickfranko: genius. Should have thought of it sooner. Carbon rims and duct tape is all you really need, just ask Sam Pilgrim.
  • 9 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I was in the DH casing camp until very recently. Got a pair of carbon wheels and decided to finally give the inserts a go. Result were as expected, less pressure for similar sidewall support and feel. I pushed the experiment further and used it with some lighter casing tire to see how it would pedal compared to a DH tire, similar overall weight, same compound, and same pressure (since the lighter casing would be run higher but the insert allow to use similar pressure than a DH casing). To my surprise the Light+Insert combo pedals a lot better, offers very similar grip and feel and so far I didn't feel the need to revert back to DH casings. This was only for the rear, I need to do the same experiment at the front.
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: you might be the one
  • 3 0
 @tremeer023: I have don’t it on Tannus Tubless. I didn’t think it would work, but it did keep the tire on the rim and I was able to ride sour about 3miles DH. I was about 180lbs at the time.
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: I’m with you. I hate climbing and inserts do the job and roll better. If I’m going to the bike park, DH casing.
  • 5 1
 I used to say the same thing until I realized DD with no insert does the same exact thing and way easier to deal with
  • 5 3
 @ride-801: great question!

I see so many people running inserts cause they don't want to run heavier tyres. Yet a pissweak tyre with an insert weighs more, so what's the point.....
  • 1 1
 @Balgaroth: Thats a good point. Definitely would make sense to run a lighter weight casing harder compound for rolling resistance if you live somewhere tyre slices aren’t a massive issue and you want extra protection but don’t want the drag from thick casing soft compound DH tyre.
  • 3 3
 Same experience for me. I started using CushCore 5 years ago and it solved flat tires. I’ve had exactly two flats in five years. Can’t ask for better than that.
Now, whenever I ride a bike without them, besides worrying about flats and destroyed rims, the suspension is simply not as good without CC either.
  • 1 0
 @ride-801: because it doesn’t even come close to as good of a solution.
  • 7 0
 @tremeer023: I have (carefully) pedaled back home around 10km on both Rimpact and Nukeproof ARD. Both times no air at all and the rim didn't suffer any damage. The Rimpact suffered a few cuts in the process, ARD faired much better.

Since first trying them I decided I will always run an insert on the rear wheel. I don't go crazy low on tyre pressure though, just a couple of psi less than I would without inserts. Schwalbe Supertrail casings and a light insert is a great combo for me.
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: I reckon I've run over well over a million rocks since my last tyre cut. Would be surprised if that wasn't the norm
  • 2 1
 Fixing a puncture in the backcountry while your buddy swatted bugs away, don’t miss that at all. Tubeless and inserts might be a pain at times but nothing compared to that.
  • 4 0
 @tremeer023: Vittoria had or may still have a run flat guarantee. I use them on my dh bike but not on trail
  • 2 5
 @tremeer023: Pool noodles run flat. And they only cost $2 to replace after.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I live in a rocky area but the stones don't slash (sandstone), if I was living somewhere with limestone, slate or granit it might he different. I use light casing with soft compound, same as when I use DH casing so the difference is only due to the lighter casing deforming better during climbing. Spe and e13 offer trail tires with really sticky rubber (respectively T9 and MoPo) which is great for this application.
  • 3 0
 @tremeer023: my old Snakeskin tires with tubes were very good at running flat. It didn't get much flatter than that.
  • 2 0
 @tremeer023: I’ve run rimpact flat with no issues
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the replies, good to know. I'm only ever less than 4-5 miles from home or a car so I only carry a mini-pump and plugs. Been fine for 5+ years so run-flat would be a very rare and freak occurance. Just extra insurance.
  • 2 1
 @tremeer023: This. Amazing to me how many people still think inserts are about flats and carbon rims are about weight savings.

I agree that lighter casing + CC is more versatile. Supple enough at slower speeds but supportive enough at high speeds. But I get DH tires without the fuss of inserts if it's an uplift \ winch-and-plummet bike.
  • 1 0
 @ride-801: in the rear it's a possible solution, in the front to harsh.
  • 5 0
 @juicebanger: "Actually I don't think I've had any that I can recall."

Well that's done it - double flat at the far end of your ride for you next time champ
  • 2 0
 @Tambo: it’s been about 3 weeks for me. But I may have ridden over a million rocks, so touché.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: absolutely spot on!!
  • 2 1
 But why would you want to run anything less than a DD casing? Unless it’s an XC bike or something.

Insert adds weight all the same so only purpose I see has nothing to do w weight savings…yet people talk about how it allows a lighter casing tire. So exo + insert vs DD/DH without? Seems dumb to me.

If it’s a feel or durability thing then by all means. The inserts do seems to change the overall feel and some like that, I remember neko m saying he liked the dampened feel iirc.
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: For me, price. Exo+ can be found on sale in my region far more than DD/DH.
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: I’m currently running DD front and rear, with Cush Core in the back. Not running a rear insert with any casing isn’t possible for me. Lots of very hard compressions.
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: it was counter intuitive for me too but for the same overall system weight you can have a bike that pedals better, with the same rubber compound and very similar level of grip/feel. On a DH bike I would run DH tires, but to do 1000m+ days on the bike, having a little help on the way up helps to be fresher for when it matters, i.e going down.
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: hmm so it pedals better with a light casing + insert than heavier without even if weight is similar? Why is that?
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: so your bike pedals with more weight. Very counter intuitive!

Trail/Enduro Tyre + insert > DH tyre

Unless you are using ultra light xc tyres or something like that then your logic makes no sense. And if you are using ultra light XC tyres with an insert, you must be highly confused about the type of riding you are doing....
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: that’s a reason I didn’t consider
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: A 1300+ gr. tire will usually come in a super soft compound, and a 1000 gr. tire will usually come in a medium/soft compound. Although it's possible to get an EXO+ in Maxxgrip, a "strong" WTB tire in medium compound or a Continental DH tire in Soft (besides Super Soft), overall, burlier tires come in super soft compounds (I'm not sure it's even possible to get a Maxxis DH tire in Maxxterra) and for this reason they are harder to pedal. It's a crucial factor for rolling resistance, definitely more important than weight.
  • 3 0
 @nvranka: the suppleness of the casing and it's ability to conform to irregularities in the trail. I'm not a roadie, but pretty sure that's why all those guys went to higher volume tires with lower pressure. In their world, psi (and probably casing too, but have no idea). In our world, more supple casing accomplishes the same thing when you're not traveling at really high rates of speed (i.e., descending).

The better argument, at least to me, is not that a lighter casing and insert is better than a burlier casing for descending. It's that the former is more well rounded than the latter for bikes that get ridden in a lot of different scenarios.
  • 5 0
 @ride-801: “simply run tubeless with heavier casing” true, but preventing flats is just one benefit of inserts. The most important one IMO, in janky or sloppy conditions (too often where I’m from): with inserts I can lower any tire an extra 5psi. Increase grip without any sidewall squirm.

ALSO, running a DH casing does nothing to protect your $200 rim from getting absolutely mashed in a rock strike, that’ll take forever to rebuild by hand.
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: I run Spé Butcher Grid T9 so as tacky a rubber as you can get, and with inserts it pedals better than the same tire in DH casing, performs similarly, for a weight that is similar. I had similar results using e13 MoPo coumpound which is available in their TRS casing as well as their DH casing. Problem is, not many tire brands offer intermediate casings with tacky compound, but this is what you need to make the most of an insert. Also I don't think the weight is really the problem in that case as I tested these tires without inserts and they were pedaling similarly, going down was either pinchflat and squirm everywhere or less feel/grip because of higher pressure.

@ponyboy24 : for some enduro riding, as a rear tire I don't see any drawbacks compared to a DH tire no. I still need to try it at the front. I generally don't find the limits of tire grip as much when enduro riding compared to DH/Bikepark where I can push a lot more as you get to do the same trail over and over. If I still had a DH bike I would go with a DH tire no doubt and probably would also experiment with inserts. I might build of Park wheelset for my "superenduro" bike with DH tires if I find the current setup too limit in that scenario.
  • 1 0
 @tremeer023: Impact run flat pretty okay, enough to get home on without ruining a tyre or rim. Also are significantly cheaper than cushcore with 90% of the performance I'd say (Reviews and mates reckon CC are a little better at ride damping and feel).
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: the flat tire gods actually struck twice almost immediately after I wrote that, but it wasn't on my bike (because I have inserts). My wife and I both got flats in our cars this weekend....FML
  • 60 5
 Am I the only person still running 30psi in my DD Minions? I don't care...
  • 27 0
 No brother. We're here and we've got your back
  • 14 0
 heavyweights, such as myself, need more psi's. 30psi is my happy place for no flats.
  • 8 0
 Nothing wrong with 30.
  • 5 0
 same here but with dh casing from Conti. I also weigh 200 lbs with a 50 lbs bike and I am prone to casing most jumps. no flats without inserts.
  • 7 0
 Right here, Buddy. Never damaged a rim or any weird stuff that I've seen happen to my buddies. I try hard to damage everything, too.
  • 4 0
 yea 200lb rider here. DD minions front and rear on my main wheelset. Lighter (reasonably) wheelset has trail tires for when i'm cruising
  • 3 7
flag matjtom90 FL (Mar 17, 2023 at 16:56) (Below Threshold)
 Yep, still running tubes too.
  • 9 0
 @matjtom90: whoa whoa, calm down buddy!
  • 2 0
 That just sounds horrible.
  • 1 1
 @matjtom90: Oh, shall I join you below threshold? Except for this one wheel where I'm running Pepi, I'm running tubes too in all my other wheels.
  • 2 0
 Low psi riders are typically rather slow tbh.

30 in the rear won’t save your wheel or race run the way 30 + insert would though.

I don’t use inserts, but I’m also not racing. I haven’t tried them so can’t comment on the feel, but the concept makes sense for certain use cases.
  • 58 9
 Absolutely always. And pretty much not for the rim protective qualities at all. The sidewall support, damping properties and runflat features are awesome. At least for a proper insert like Cushcore Your tire is basically a shitty air spring fork without any compression or rebound damping. Running Cushcore basically gives you a rebound and compression damping, with a bottom out bumper and air volume spacers. If you haven't run it front and rear give it a try, its a game changer for me with a bum wrist, noticeably quiets trail chatter and allows the fork to work when it actually needs to.
  • 51 54
 disagree entirely. having an extra pound of weight to the unsprung mass that is your wheels rolls slower and also doesn’t allow your suspension to work the way it would otherwise. if you like a heavy, completely dead feeling bike it’s fine, but if you want active properly working suspension, cushcore especially is too heavy and damped.
  • 19 0
 Same here but I started using to prevent rim damage and tire burping. I found the benefits far out weight the cons, I can run lower psi if I want, stopped burping tires, break rims a lot less and since I can ride flat I don’t brother bring tubes anymore. And the additional damping is pretty fantastic
  • 3 0
 Hmm you may have convinced me to try them once my new bike comes in
  • 27 4
 @bikingonbikes: I was totally in the camp of its better...but I was on a trip this winter, had a sidewall rip...didn't have the tools to get a cushcore in with a new tire so went without...will not be going back to it on a trail bike. Bike feels and rides better in every single way without it. Its just so much faster without all that weight.
  • 14 9
 @bikingonbikes:

They don't weigh a pound per tire, you can run a lighter tire using them as well.

They allow your suspension to work as intended by reducing the bounce of the tire when it hits and deflects off obstacles since the air mass is reduced so it actually improvs your damping.
  • 11 0
 Totally agree. You feel the weight in a good way on rough trails it feels like and extra 10-20mm of plush travel. On smooth rolling trails you feel the acceleration lag, but still get really good cornering. The tire is much more supported on the sidewall and you can feel it. Tried Cush XC. Not a fan. Doesn’t do much. I have a set of wheels with Cush and DD. Another set with exo+ and no Cush. Each have their place.
  • 4 7
 >At least for a proper insert like Cushcore Your tire is basically a shitty air spring fork without any compression or rebound damping. Running Cushcore basically gives you a rebound and compression damping, with a bottom out bumper and air volume spacers.

That's what it feels like if you compare a light casing tire with or without Cushcore. Heavier casings definitely add damping to the tire. Running low pressure in an EXO casing with Cushcore in high speed rough terrain is like an undersprung air fork with too many volume spacers.
  • 8 1
 @bikingonbikes: weight weenies aren't dead
  • 17 1
 Sorry to ask the tough questions here, but when are you armchair engineers going to get to work making us aerogel inserts that are strong, compliant, and virtually weightless? Is that too much to ask?
  • 5 1
 @Hayek: Tannus are the lightest, I believe. Without Tannus, here in Utah, I'd have to run DD tires and carry a spare tube. With Tannus I can run EXO+ so the weight savings is negligible.

Since running inserts full time I don't bother to carry a tube with me. I've flatted twice in the last 4 years, one of which was reparable with bacon, one which wasn't.
  • 4 1
 @mountaincross: Thank you! Hey, if you can make them virtually free as well that would be great.
  • 7 1
 @Hayek: I have an idea. We could use air. Just air.
  • 4 1
 I totally second this. They really dramatically can improve the ride quality and reduce the fatigue you feel riding in chattery terrain. Very noticable, especially if you drop a few psi from your normal tubeless pressure to swap them in! The prevention of damage to rims is a huge plus! I think it can take a rims that I used to think of as a more or less wear component and make them quite long lasting...
  • 3 0
 I just started running Cushcore on dual suspension. I absolutely love the supportiveness of it especially over tough sections. My bike and suspension both track better and feel better. I played hockey for about ten years and my shoulders and fingers greatly appreciate this addition to my bike.
  • 7 0
 Totally agree. And I’d add that being able to run low pressures without flatting or wrecking rims makes an amazing difference in slimy steep wet and sketchy conditions.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Do you get a squeaking sound from the tannus insert and tire moving against each other through rock gardens and other chunk? Was loving tannus on the trail bike except for this. Maxxis tires and orange seal. Talked to tannus and they said more sealant, but a small lake of it didn't help. They also said they most of their crew runs orange seal, so don't think another brand would matter.
  • 1 0
 @dancingwithmyself: nope, but I've never run orange seal.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: thx for the answer. what sealant are you running?
  • 1 0
 @bikingonbikes: try riding faster
  • 1 2
 @tmtb999: yet some of the fastest dudes in sea to sky don’t ride inserts. Hell look at the PB daily drivers…the fastest guys (kaz and Matt) are the only ones without inserts…
  • 31 4
 Rather just rock DH casings front n rear. I prefer the dampened feel of them to the lighter duty stuff. For me it feels a little counterintuitive to use inserts to run lighter casing tires when all that weight just gets passed on to the inserts. The increase in rim protection is a plus but not enough for me personally to want to go thru the trouble and cost of using them
  • 7 1
 I'm curious about the weight difference of heavier duty tires vs. lighter tires + inserts.

Personally I run an insert on the back tire only on both my bikes - one DH one trail. You really have to be tip-toeing around to *never* get a flat. We just tested a new jump at the local trail and I came down on a rock which caused a slow-leak pinch flat on the rear tire even with Cushcore. That'd be a rim-dinger without it, I reckon.
  • 9 2
 This. I also just don't like how inserts ride. It's like adding too many volume spacers to a fork. Makes things too rampy.
  • 5 0
 I ride 2.6 inch tires with light casings (on my enduro/park/trail bike). Wheel rims are 30mm very light carbon (b/c umm I'm a weight weenie?). The Panzer insert I use on the rear adds a lot less weight than going full DH casing, but protects the rim from an expensive disastrous confrontation with Earth (Ok, "first" world problem there).

Performance improvement in traction and bump absorption is modest but significant.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: Try Tannus- they are lighter and technically lower volume than other options.

@brycepiwek Many inserts also help with burp protection, something I appreciate. Also when running aliexpress carbon rims, inserts are pretty much mandatory...
  • 5 1
 Cushcore + light casing tire has les rolling resistance than dh tires. When rolling along, the casing gets repeatedly deformed and the more rubber in the casing, the more that deformation will absorb energy. Light casing tires absorb less energy and therefore cause less rolling resistance. Cushcore is only in the inner half of the tire volume so it absorbs almost no energy when just rolling along. I personally much prefer cushcore + light casing tire. More traction and the bike feels more lively.
  • 3 0
 If you aim for a system that weight the same as a DH tire (1400/1500gr) you basically can end up running the same pressure for similar feel and grip as a DH tire. The real benefit is how much better a light casing will pedal. I tried inserts to protect some carbon rims, ended up trying a lighter casing to see if at similar weight it would pedal the same, it didn't. For a DH bike I would just go DH casing but I ride both enduro and DH with the same bike and this works well to allow good performance DH and better performance going up.
  • 9 0
 Rolling Resistance has more to do with the hysteresis of the tire than it has to do with weight. That's why an EXO+ tire with MaxTerra and an insert rolls faster than DH casing MaxGripp tire. Rolling speed is always a trade off with grip; but inserts allow for different set ups to optimize different qualities. I run two wheel-sets. One with DH and Nukeproof inserts for grip and durability. One with EXO+ and Rimpact Pro for trail riding.
  • 1 0
 @WaterBear: your wallet will weigh less
  • 3 0
 This guy ( @Markfour ) inserts.
  • 22 0
 I reckon my world champion ambitions are being thwarted by other things than tire inserts
  • 13 2
 probably your antiquated non-headset cable routing!
  • 22 1
 I’ve tried a bunch and Rimpact are my favorite for combo of price, weight, install, feel, and protection.
  • 4 0
 Up vote for Rimpact. Installed Dec 2020. Flat tyres = 0. tried cush core and vittoria previously, dented rims with both.
  • 18 0
 As a person who runs them, I still want to see the answers to the second poll. Can we get a "I just want the answers" box?
  • 2 0
 As of 1215 pacific time, the results are:
52, 113, 90, 20, 20, 123
  • 31 0
 @pisgahgnar, you got it. Added.
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: thanks boss man!
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: same boat as pisgahnar, so appreciate you adding

It's captured within "difficult of installation," but I'd be fascinated to see the result of a poll about CC pro and casing wobbles, especially with maxxis. I'm CC pro front and rear on my enduro bike, and I love it.

But installation feels like open heart surgery with maxxis tires. I've got bead cream and a very gentle method, but there's always some anxiety until it's fully installed and I spin the wheel and confirm the patient lived and there's no casing wobble.

And I know there's something of an issue with maxxis and casing wobbles in general, but I'm convinced uncareful installation of inserts is a huge contributing factor.

To me, the main reason not to use an insert like CC pro is that you want to swap tires for conditions and it's pretty likely that, sooner or later, multiple removals and installations with CC pro is going to stretch or otherwise damage the casing.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer @sebstott: and if there's any appetite for drilling down deeper, I'd be super curious to hear from manufacturers about inserts shaped like CC and asymmetric rims. I run them in combo and it seems fine, but would still be curious.
  • 2 0
 I feel it is pretty hard to draw conclusions from this info. Some answers like "Difficulty of installation" also depend on the combination of insert and rim. For instance on a conventional rim with a single center channel, I find it super easy to install ProCore. Then when I first laced up a wheel with a rim with two off-center channels (Spank Spike) ProCore was near impossible. So for that wheel I used Pepi and there it was super easy. As the insert sits in the middle hence doesn't occupy any off-center channel, you still have them free for the tire bead during installation or removal. Yet the insert does push the beads to the sides when you inflate the tire so it still seals near instantly. You may not be able to do the installation with a mini pump (which you can with ProCore) but you'll be fine with a basic floor pump.
  • 13 1
 Stopped breaking rims ever since I started running rimpact pro inserts on all my wheels. Use less pressure and have great grip and support! Still have had tire punctures, but they are a rarity now.

Run them front and rear with rekon exo+/ rekon race exo, assgai/dhr2 exo+, and ultra soft magic mary super gravity.

Absolutely love them.
  • 4 0
 I still reckon everyone needs to get onto Rimpact original in the front and pro in the rear. It is such a good combo.
  • 13 1
 there was a time where I thought rims were indestructible and I started jumping into rock gardens, then I bought tire inserts thinking that would solve my problems, but the real solution was line choice
  • 4 4
 But sometimes the only line is death for your wheel, and you're miles from home. Incomes cushcore! No rim death... And you enjoy your day!
  • 2 0
 Run what ya brung
  • 11 0
 I did run Cushcore and Tannus, and have largely ditched both (I have a backup wheel with a DH casing continental and Cushcore installed). I find that I prefer the feel of a heavier casing tire with a little more pressure. I'm a heavy and "smashy" rider, so I found while the inserts let me run less PSI and helped with rim dings, they didn't help with squirm cornering. The cornering squirm was a bigger turn-off than the benefits of lower pressure otherwise, so I went back to using heavy tires.

It's all about compromise and balance, and I just found the inserts weren't quite the right mix for me. I did grow up biking pre-tubeless, so I think my inclination towards firmer tires may stem from the old days too. Either way, my balance turned out to be softer suspension, faster rebound damping and firmer tires. Doesn't seem to slow me down!
  • 3 0
 Agreed.

There are conditions where lighter casing tire, low psi, insert are advantageous. I'm thinking places with seasonal riding over steep and/or wet rocks and roots, more natural than man made features. Grip while upright or nearly upright combined with rim protection are paramount.

I enjoy that setup until I go into a long, fast berm and I get that disconcerting squirm. So my preferred compromise is a DD or DH tire at a bit higher pressure but it's exactly that - a compromise. Giving up a bit of grip. Ya can't have it all.
  • 14 1
 I just run 30 psi in my dh casing minions on all my bikes
  • 4 1
 @naturaltalent doesn't care about your opinions
  • 9 0
 The main problem is the amount of sealant you need to use and how often you need to replace in order for it to work! Sometimes a simple puncture can be the end of the ride because the sealant is all over the insert and not the tire.
  • 8 0
 I feel like a trail hardtail is by far the best application for inserts (more comfort, more traction). On my enduro bike I've found I can't really lower the tire pressure enough with inserts to make a big difference in traction or comfort. I'll fold the tire if I lower it more than about 2 psi. I'd rather just run a bit heavier casing tire in that application and gain the additional cut resistance. I think heavier casings give more predictable handling than EXO tires with Cushcore which tend to feel supportive but fold with less warning. I also think modern carbon rims with wide flanges are generally just as effective as inserts at preventing pinch flats. Last pinch flat I got was with Cushcore in an alloy rim.
  • 2 0
 I’ve noticed the same. Not a huge fan of inserts on the enduro bike. DH tires feel better and the suspension keeps the rim mostly alive.
On the hardtail the inserts really shine. Lighter casing tires to keep it lively and still able to run low-ish psi without decimating wheels.
  • 8 0
 What would really be an interesting poll question is if people have tried them and stopped using them.

the "if you don't use them, why not" poll shows a lot of people just don't (think they) get enough flats to use them... the amount of people that answer with that response is going to be a huge proportion of people who never tried them at all, like me, for example.
  • 8 0
 *raises hand*

Ran inserts consistently from mid 2017 through early 2022. Most of that time was spent on Cushcore, but tested most of the other available options in that timespan. The added weight and hassle is undeniable, and after testing a TON of different combinations of tires/rims/inserts/pressures, I ended up back on dual ply tires at 30+ PSI, which was exactly what I was aiming to avoid by adding pool noodles to the equation. Finally ditched them last spring and haven't looked back.

They work really well for some riders, and they're worth trying for those who are curious. But they won't make up for inappropriate tire selection, and they don't magically make silly low tire pressures work for full size people.
  • 2 0
 I run one on the rear of my hardtail. I like the ride feel, but I have one major problem. I found installation really easy, but strangely it deformed three tires, two of them brand new. When I put the tires back on to see if it was just the insert causing it I was really disappointed to see that the tires were still permanently wobbly and ruined. But I had no more tires left, so now I run my original worn out tire that is the least wobbly. Anyone else have this problem?
  • 3 0
 @olrustybones: I've had the tyre wobbly with the insert fitted, but after smashing into a few things they sort themselves out (guess it's the insert being not centered inside the tyre to stay with). I've had double down Maxxis DHR develop a wobble twice without inserts and swore I'd never buy them again
  • 1 0
 @olrustybones: if you didn't test the tire before the insert, i wouldn't 100% assign blame to the insert. I've had tires from several brands be super wobbly right out of the box.

Maxxis specifically had a run of tires a few years back that were consistently terrible.
  • 2 0
 I tried Cushcore pro with EXO+ and DD tires, as well as a Tannus with DD. I've gone back to straight DH casing. If you run lower pressure to improve grip, then yes, there is more grip, but at the expense of responsiveness. Having lower pressure and an insert still doesn't get rid of tire squirm under hard cornering, braking, and jumping (it also just feels dead when you try to bunny hop, and wiggly when manualing at speed), and that for me was an instant no. I then tried just running my normal pressures with the inserts, but then quickly realized there was no point in having an insert except to protect against the occasional rim strikes (which if running alloy rims, is more important perhaps)

I also just found that the tire didn't behave how I would expect. Given that half the sidewall is supported, and then the top half isn't and is still squirmy. Someone else said it, but it's like riding a fork with all the tokens in it and getting weird spikes in its rebound.

I think there is a time and place. If you ride a lot of big steep rock faces with big G-outs (like in Squamish and on the Shore) then I think it makes sense.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: one wasn't tested before trying, but the other brand new one was. The used one I ended up sticking with wasn't wobbly before the insert. Plus they were Bontrager, although they've had their problems with wobble too.
@mountainsofsussex I took the insert out and they remained wobbly.
  • 6 0
 Disappointed. I thought this article was going to be about using pool noodles as inserts and the reason I thought that could have been a thing is because some kid brought his bike into my shop for a flat fix and he had actual pool noodles as inserts.
  • 5 0
 I wonder why relatively few people state price as a reason for not runnlng inserts. Personally, I don‘t think that bikes or parts are overpriced in general, but pricing for these glorified pool noodles is indeed absolutely ridiculous. Margins must be crazy, especially seeing that some of these inserts don‘t seem to even address the basic problems one might face with an original pool noodle, like it soaking up all the sealant, etc.
  • 6 0
 Rimpact front and rear. Assegai Exo+ front and DHRII DD back.

I now run this on both of my bikes (Evil Insurgent MX and Canyon Super Strive (180/160 with coil) out here in Madeira which is rock central.

Before I used inserts I was flatting almost every other ride (with or without tubeless). Since going to inserts, I have had zero flats, burbs or any hassle, plus the inserts do seem to make a big improvement to the ride over the harsh heavy stuff.

For this specific riding, and as a hard-hitting, talentless fat b$sr$ard I think it's a no brainier to run them. For other places, maybe not.

They have their place.
  • 4 0
 to me cush core has become super vital because it allows me to ride the tires as hard as I can without really worrying about denting a rim or slicing a tire. I run dual exo casings with pro inserts front and rear and have really only had one failure in 4 years. plus its still pretty possible to ride some gnarly stuff back to the car on just an insert.
  • 5 0
 Run one in the back only for rim protection. Have experimented with them in the front, and now don't bother. Makes less of an impact on performance and hardly ever front flat.
  • 5 1
 I started running Tannus in the rear only after multiple issues with flats, mostly due to impact. They've helped some, only 1 flat from a hard impact on the edge, but I'm going to a heavier casing on my next tires.
The insert makes tire feel dead and it's also a huge pain when you do flat. Do I leave insert in and try to reseat & reseal? Pull insert (wear it home?) so I can put a tube in? Much easier to just throw in a tube in the event of a flat.
I've also had a lot more problems with long term sealant stability once I put insert in. Seems like you need 2x the amount of sealant to keep tire healthy.
  • 5 3
 I’ve had very similar experiences. The whole “run flat” thing is also a myth, at least for larger riders in rocky terrain. I could see potentially finishing a race run as long as you have a sponsor with a fresh, free rim waiting for you at the bottom, but for regular riders, even limping back to the trailhead will trash your rim. I loved running light supple tires with inserts, but after too many flats am now back to DH casings without.
  • 2 1
 I run a rear Tannus insert on all my bikes, for the first year in a DH-casing Maxxis and now in enduro-casing Contis. Noticed a huge reduction in rim strikes and better sidewall support, and it feels a little more damped so I’m sold.

The sealant stability definitely is a problem though. Two identical rims taped the same way with the same sealant, my front wheel without an insert holds air indefinitely, the back one loses 1-2 psi per day.
  • 4 1
 Tubes front and rear on my DH bike...It is not fun slashing a brand new tubeless/insert tire on shale above 2000m's. Then having to put a tube in anyway...after you stuff a pool noodle covered in Stan's jizm into your pack with all your spare clothes.
  • 3 0
 I wouldn't bother running without an insert actually. I like to be able to safely ride home with the cushioning of the insert even when the tire is deflated. But the main thing is that with the pressures I'm running, the bead would constantly burp when cornering. I usually ride with ProCore though I do have one rear wheel with Pepi. Another advantage of ProCore is that I can install and inflate a tire without ever worrying whether the bead will seal. Inflate the tube to 3bar and you can inflate the tire to without a single hiss. Then inflate the tube to 5bar and the bead will never burp even when riding the tire below 1bar.
  • 6 2
 I use to run full Cushcore with lighter tires. I don't see the point anymore and simply use DH casing tires when appropriate. The weight is practically the same and DH tires are more resistance to cuts in the sidewall.
  • 4 0
 I only run tire inserts so I don't have to do the 'Walk of shame" back to the parking lot. Instead, I do the "slow roll on a flat of shame".
  • 1 0
 I tried running a tire flat with an insert one time and it took about 30 seconds for the tire to fold over and start rubbing the frame… what am I doing wrong?
  • 3 1
 Ridiculously overpriced for what they cost to make. Plus the added weight and the fact that I ride in a very rocky area (CO, UT) and rarely get a flat running tubeless and Orange Seal. My riding buddy had them in for a couple years but his Specialized Enduro was SO heavy with them and I kept reminding him that I wasn't dead on the trail, that he removed them. That was a great investment, eh? I can see how DH'ers and anyone else who is harder on tires than I am, would need and want them. Just because they're not worthwhile for me, doesn't mean others don't need them. I also don't need a Bugatti, but some folks do.
  • 3 0
 Cush Core and double downs on Colorado's front range. I honestly have no idea how people are running anything less. Especially considering a good tire seems to cost close to $100.
  • 1 0
 Really? Because I find Cush Core completely unnecessary on the Front Range. I run regular Maxxis Exo tires up front and the Specialized version of Exo + on the back tire, and I have no problems. Maybe I weigh less (about 170 in gear). Maybe I’m not rad enough. But I haven’t seen the need.
  • 2 0
 This is me. I’m heavy and run heavy tires with heavy inserts. I like the rim protection, but I like the ride feel even better.
  • 2 0
 I run inserts front and rear on my Enduro, more for reducing tire squirm in corner snd hard landings than for puncture prevention. Will be putting a set on my trail bike for the same reasons. Weight be dammed, going OTB from a tire folding is not worth the risk. Pass the noodles please.
  • 4 0
 Needs a "I don't feel the need as I don't puncture often with DH Tires, and prefer the feel and simplicity of DH tires" Poll option.
  • 2 0
 i used to go through 2 or 3 rear rims a year. and probably flat every 7 -8 rides. almost all on the rear tire. about 4 years ago i started running Cushcore on the rear and been very happy with it. basically never destroy rims anymore. and i probably flat once or twice a year. in the front range Colorado so trails are pretty rocky here. most of my flats were rock-impact pinch flats. i also like the way it rides. it quiets the really fast chattery feeling stuff.
  • 2 0
 When you're over 220lbs it used to be you had to choose between flat prevention (higher pressure) or traction/ride quality (lower pressure), never both. With inserts I can get away with tires that ride really well but don't flat often. The trick is finding a balance. Tannus are light but cannot ride flat and it's not like you're about to sling them around your body like a bandolier after a gooey tube installation. Cush Core Pro work really well but they're heavy as hell though they can ride flat.

My hope is that Octamousse will provide the right combination of light weight, good riding characteristics and ride flat capability so I'll stop carrying a tube for the first time in 30 years and just run DD casings and bring a pump and Stan's dart plugs.
  • 2 0
 If somebody has come and made all of the bike trails in flow trails...don't want to point any fingers, then you don't really need them at all.

I live in northern Switzerland and between the flow trails vibes and living in a 30 m^2 flat, I have gone all in on the TPU tubes because I basically never puncture and I don't have to faff with sealant.
  • 2 0
 Using DH casings with Cushcore front and rear (enduro bike) and no complaints. I love not having to worry about punctures, to the point of not bringing tools when going out riding. I'd rather carry a bit of extra weight than have to bother with fixing a flat on the trail.
  • 2 0
 The benefit of running inserts in lighter, more supple tires is you have lower rolling resistance compared to the same weight reinforced tire. I know that doesn't matter for park rides but for me it does.
I use inserts I made and designed myself out of 5 mm high density Eva foam (think sneaker midsole material). They add some protection against rim and tire damage on impact and weigh only 100g each.
  • 2 0
 One of the reasons tyre inserts are becoming less popular are because tyres are getting much better. With Maxxis tyres I was starting to need inserts cause I was regularly getting sidewalls tears on DD and DH casing tyres even running 30psi. Take for example the new Continental DH tyres. They are just so much stronger and sturdier in the sidewall, I can even run much lower pressures without tyre roll. You simply don't need an insert with the new conti tyres
  • 3 1
 I always run CushCore in the rear on the DH bike.
Used to always flat spot them even at 30+ psi (155 lb rider), hasn’t happened now in 3 years and can run lower psi.
And I like the feel.
Tried on the trailbike and liked the feel of grip at lower psi but not the weight for climbing, switched to Zipp rims and don’t need them- the feel is pretty similar with how they flex.
  • 2 0
 Put a Cushcore in the rear tire-stopped dinging rims. Put one in the front too-same.

CushCores do all the things they claim, but the weight can be felt. I’d love to see rim/tire combos optimized for inserts to trim that weight. For example, if you run an insert, dual casing might still be worth it, but the apex (bead protector) belt could go.

I might go with lighter wheels too-whenever the Cushcore protected ones need replacing. Which probably means on the next bike.
  • 2 0
 DH Tires have by far the superior ride feel, maybe slightly more trail feedback but so much more support, dampening and puncture protection than their whimpy counterparts, bouncing off those super super sharp rocks which a cushcore cant help with. If you're an aggressive rider I feel like the best way to go is just buy DH tires, and then go up in rim protection if you need it, from normal tubeless setup, to maybe a cushcore xc, to a cushcore pro depending on your weight/ride style.
There's also still a lot to be said for oldschool DH tyres, quality tubes and "high" (25psi+) pressures, atleast in the rear
  • 2 1
 If you're complaining that an insert is hard to put into your mtb tire, then you've never installed a bib mouuse on your moto. Watch a few videos, use soapy water and always ALWAYS make sure your bead in sitting in the rim dish on both sides when you're using your tire spoons.
  • 1 0
 How are people dealing with flats with inserts installed? Is there a small tube or something with a long stem that will run thru the insert? The Rimpact inserts don't have a hole, but I don't see the harm in drilling one thru for emergencies?
  • 1 0
 I've never had to do it. But for enduro races I carry a 1.5" (I think) Continental tube with removable core that I've fitted a valve extender to. Figure I'll ride out the stage on the insert and worry about how to do it at the bottom. No point making the hole in the insert before hand - it'll probably move anyway
  • 1 0
 Cushcore saved my holiday a few years back - big, square-edged hit would’ve destroyed my rear rim. As it was, just a small ding to the sidewall of the rim. We made the rim airtight again with an adjustable spanner. I dread to think what would’ve happened without it…
  • 1 0
 I've never got a flat in 4 years on my YT Capra...other than 5 min into the first ride where I ripped the sidewall (probably due to bead not seated from factory). Fortunately not many jagged rocks where I live. I thought about inserts to protect my custom wheelset, but feel like they add too much weight and I rarely case jumps.

Now based on my luck...I'll probably get a flat and break a rim next ride...
  • 1 0
 Can someone smart/engineering minded answer if its REALLY lower pressure you can run? Given the insert takes up some much space in the tire...is 22psi with an insert a relatively higher pressure given the volume it takes up than 22psi without?
  • 3 3
 The insert is basically a bunch of compressible air bubbles so it's not really robbing you of much air volume in the tire. That's partly why they have to make them such a pain to install, because once the tire is aired up they'll be smaller / less tight on the rim. 22psi with insert won't feel the same as 22psi without one but it's not like going down to a smaller tire from a spring curve perspective.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: Hmmm...I guess that makes sense but the foam must take up some space...and 1-2 isnt much. Thats what Im trying to ask, is it really even a lower relative pressure. Youre saying its negligible...but I wonder...Cushcore is pretty sturdy.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: oh I'm not saying it's negligible but it's not like just subtracting the insert's volume at 1 bar from the tire volume. The real answer is... it's complicated.
  • 1 0
 It's like a spacer in your fork. You still have 22 PSI in the tire, but you have less compressible air volume.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: Would they be less tight when aired up? Yes they will be smaller but that will also make the length smaller. Hence most inserts will shrink into the center channel and will actually provide back pressure against the tire bead. At least Nukeproof ARD will do that. I've got a rear wheel with two center channels (Spank Spike) where I installed Pepi as that was easiest to install there, does the same. In can imagine it may not go for the inserts from Vittoria and Tannus as these are actually hollow above the center channel so there is little to push back against the tire bead. But on the other side, my other wheels all run Schwalbe ProCore. I inflate the tube up to somewhere between 5 and 6 bar and I doubt it matters much whether I inflate the tire (the big chamber) up to 0.9 or 1.3bar, the tube (inside the small blue tire) won't give way. So yeah, that one might be a bit more progressive but then again that's what allows me to inflate them to such low pressures. And I still have this bumper as a safety net for those sharper impacts.

So yeah maybe in the static sagged situation the pressure in the tire is lower unless you'd otherwise be running the higher pressure just to avoid tire roll and pinch flats. But otherwise, yeah the pressures would be equal there. For the same area of tire contact patch (for that same tire), you'd have the same pressure in the tire. Some people run inserts to stabilize the sidewall. ProCore doesn't really do that, but for instance CushCore does from what I understand.

TL;DR: Yeah sorry for my somewhat unstructured comment. It really depends on what you're trying to achieve. One type of insert is good to achieve one thing, the other for something else. Look at what keeps you from lowering your tire pressure even more and then get the one that helps you with that.
  • 1 0
 @motts: I understand but relative pressure and traction. Is the amount the tire ‘flexes’ the same at 22 with cushcore and 24 without (just as an example)?

That’s what I’m trying to get at. Is the traction really better with the lower pressure or not. I’m not sure it is after testing.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: "Flex" is such a complex subject, I think it will be pretty hard to measure on a one-dimensional scale. It also really depends on the insert. So let's identify three dimensions.
1. Tire bead stability (against burping in hard flat corners)
2. Sidewall stability (against this "squirming" sensation)
3. Radial support (to protect the rim and the tire against pinch flats and flat spots due to sharp direct impacts) You may not want to call this "flex" but at least it progressively reduces tire deformation through this final of the hit so I included it regardless.

If I take the inserts from my previous posts:
ProCore and DeanEasy improve 1 and 3 (both quite strongly) but does next to nothing for 2.
The others aren't as stiff as you still need to be able to install and remove the tire, but they'll often also support the sidewall somewhat. And the balance between the three properties is different for all of them. An insert with a center channel like Tannus or Vittoria will probably provide less for property 1, but Vittoria largely fills the tire so will probably do more for 2 than Nukeproof ARD.

At the end of the day, I think you should identify what is keeping you from lowering your tire pressure even further. For me burping is critical and tire squirm doesn't bother me much, so I'm using ProCore. Those who ride a lot of berms and little flat corners would choose something else. But if you do know what is keeping you from lowering your tire pressure and you install the appropriate insert then yes, you can lower the pressure.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: hmm. Yea interesting. I guess for me it’s fear of damaging the rim. Which may be rational for a light insert rather than a heavy cushcore pro I’ve run the last 5 years. Even with cushcore pro at a certain pressure you get tire roll and squirm. For me I found that was sub 20psi with maxis exo+ tires when riding a more flowy trail.
  • 5 0
 Cushcore is great for DH, but it's a real drag for everything else.
  • 2 0
 Agreed, really wanted to use them too. Cornering on the rear is amazing with them. Outside of downhill they are sluggish feeling, a super PIA to deal with, and if you do have an incident, there is no trailside option.

For half the weight I can run EXO+ or DD and carry a tubolio. I do love them for DH/Park riding tho.
  • 1 0
 Where is the poll option for only in the front? I use it for comfort and grip rather than flat protection. I've tried a few of the top inserts and found them to be largely overrated. However one of the lesser popular inserts works fantastically and I rate it much better than cushcore.
  • 2 0
 Which one mate?
  • 2 0
 @mwysel: FTD II.
  • 1 0
 @panaphonic: Cheers.
  • 2 0
 Finally gave in and tried some about a year ago after too many pinch flats on DD tires. Before that I just ruined aluminum wheels, but the carbon is holding up. I guess I could have tried a DH tire.
  • 1 0
 I have a set of weareone unions and given, yes they do have a lifetime warranty, i still would rather sacrifice some rotational weight in order to gain lots of comfort smashing through rock gardens without risking cracking my rims. I don't really care about the dampening feeling they offer
  • 1 0
 I've tried running Nukeproof NARDS and Cushcore, stuggled with putting a DH casing on the cushcore recently and starting to get annoyed with the inserts despite minimal or no flats. So how about a line in the pole for those who have tried and are now running tubeless? Or how about 1 tire only?
  • 3 1
 I stopped using them. I didn't like the feel of them, basically it's like running more volume spacers in your suspension, which I don't like either. I like things to feel more linear.
  • 1 0
 I run a 28 spoke rear wheel that's light af so the added cush core for pinch flat protection and to protect the rim itself from a bad casing. Nothing in front wheel cuz I never flat the front and just send it with more sealant.
  • 1 0
 Switched from trail tires to trail tires with cushcore to trail tires with vittoria airliner but landed on enduro tires.

Ride with cushcore was the best but in the end the cost and hassle when you dó have a puncture have put me off.

Installation is fine, removal is the disaster. I run relatively narrow 28mm wheels.
  • 1 0
 This is a bit of a vague poll, I run an xc insert in the front on my hardtail for a bit of extra support to stop tyre squirm and soak up trail chatter, I also run an insert in the rear on my enduro bike to take the big hits from cases and sketchy landings so not just one answer fits all . I run cushcore xc in both set ups with trail tyres on both bikes but slightly stiffer casings on the enduro bike they do feel slightly muted but I weigh 95kg and don't ride overly smooth. I think they are probably better than running dh casings when you have to pedal a bit. I had a complete nightmare installing the one on the enduro bike but the hardtail one went on easy enough will definitely carry on using them .
  • 2 0
 Tire inserts have saved the fuck out of my carbon wheels. Especially here in North Van and surrounding areas. Could you imagine just sticking a pool noodle inside your tires though hahaha.
  • 1 0
 Run procore on all 3 bikes....saved my ass on several occasions including riding out on my Enduro bike on a ripped tire carcass procore held air kept bead locked...2 miles later was back at truck... DH bike has them as well and I'll keep them in... Won't run the pool noodles, won't install em for customers either ...
  • 1 0
 I can’t believe no one has integrated a foam “liner” onto the inside of tires yet. I’m imagining ~4mm thick foam cured to the inside of the sidewalls. It’d solve the installation problems and should be fairly light.
  • 3 0
 One of the advantages of inserts is that it locks the bead in place, so no burping
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I’ve burped with Cushcore in place. Basically I didn’t know about the sealant problem (which I think is partly about the increased surface area, and partly about puncturing and sealing repeatedly without being aware of it when running inserts) and the pressure dropped enough during a ride that I burped the rear on a corner in the road riding home.
  • 3 0
 Dh casing with no inserts is kinda sick, I run 30 psi but it still feels dampened down and incredibly stable when jumping into a rut or corner.
  • 1 0
 At my 142 pounds and relatively tame riding style there isn’t much benefit. I tried Tannus Tubeless inserts but I found that I needed the same pressures to keep the fires from rolling in hard corners so there wasn’t any benefit. I get very few flats as it is.
  • 1 0
 I couldn’t believe the results. Baffled people don’t ride inserts. If there’s one thing I always do when I buy a bike, it’s always put in a cushcore in the rear. One of the few things I can actually feel a difference.
  • 1 0
 "On the other hand, the cost, hassle of installation, and extra weight (assuming you're going to run the same tires) are clear downsides that could put many people off."

Thanks Seb, now I don't have to say anything. There you go.
  • 1 0
 I use cushcore in the rear only on dt aluminum wheels to get more life out of the rim. I tried running inserts on my we are 1 rims and it wasn't worth the hassle. Specifically, I tried running tannus inserts and still managed a pinch flat. I tried riding out on the insert but it folded the tire over so it was rubbing on the stays and wore through the paint almost immediately. Tannus claims you can ride flat on their inserts but they don't mention it might destroy your frame by doing so. Needless to say, the tannus went into the bin.
  • 1 0
 They have way too much drag when pedaling. I used to run Rimpact but after going without inserts for a change I noticed just how easier it was to pedal. I also normally run somewhat mostly bombproof WR1 Unions so they can take the abuse and if they explode then my ego gets filled a little
  • 3 0
 As a heavy dude with a smash riding style inserts are one of the best upgrades I've done in years. Like others have said Exo + ( or something similar ) and inserts FTW.
  • 1 0
 I find cush core amazing for grip and the extra rotational mas kinda helps steering in a way, carries way more speed. However there's a weird bouncyness to them thats kinda anoying. On a hardtail it causes serious control issues with breaking, they start kicking off the ground and thats bloody anoying. The rotaitnal mass is also hard to slow down. They're still on my bike because i cbf to take them off.
  • 4 0
 Cushcore is tire suspension 1st and foremost. In the rocky areas it makes a HUGE difference
  • 2 0
 thanks for pointing this out - everyone thinks (and I thought at first) it was primary for cut prevention but cush is 1st & foremost suspension quality improvment and in my view it dramtically improves rough / raw / rocky terrain w/ cush vs. without. But - since adding cush Ive not once had a flat (esp pinch) and that seems to be an added bonus. Maybe that correlates with me getting better about tire pressures - dunno, but 4 yrs running now, not a single pinchflat and waaaay better damping from cushcore in rough terrain.
  • 2 1
 Maxxis unfortunately only makes the dual compound DHRII in EXO casing. People who say to just run a downhill casing must only be riding perfect loam all day or not be riding 100 miles per week. Here where the dirt is hard and there are rocks everywhere, I'm burning through a dual compound DHRII out back every 6-8 weeks. 3CT burns through even more quickly, and 3CG is completely impractical out back unless you get tires for free, so EXO with CushCore it is.
  • 1 0
 Cush core sounded great but was never an option for me when I raced DH simply because of cost. I recently bought a used gravel bike and guess what it came with... cush core! Seems like some sort of cruel joke why the hell would you need it for a road bike.
  • 1 0
 Dude. Unfinished Business was such a savage video. Still one of my all time favorites.
  • 1 0
 I tried them for almost a year and prefer the feel without inserts. Love the feel of the trails without them and would rather smash a rim to be honest! I tried the cushcore pro's and you could really notice the rotational mass of them once I removed them after months of riding.
  • 3 1
 My personal experience is that riders who say they don't need inserts either don't pay for their own gear or are slow riders who poke along the trail yet have a high opinion of their own skills and speed.
  • 1 0
 I've only had two flats on my tubeless mountain bikes in like 5 years, and both were with full sized Cushcore. Once I put a spoke through the rim bed, the other time I hit a rock so hard it buckled the alloy rim through the Cushcore and lost the seal. I still like how it makes light supple tires feel more supportive on my big bike, and like how it calms down the rear end of my hardtail a bit. But I no longer use it all the time. I'm interested to try it on my gravel bike, but it seems like the terrain where it would be useful I'd rather use my hardtail.
  • 1 0
 6"4 97kg with rocky trails so I really do need them. I hate putting installing them they're a pain in the ass but last time I put a new tyre on I didn't bother with an insert and smashed a rim on my 3rd ride (running 31psi with DH casing tyre)
  • 1 0
 Scenario:

You have tire insterts installed on your wheels.

You get a flat and your sealant can't plug the hole and you forgot to bring a plug/bacon. You do have a spare innertube tho.

Do you ride flat or take out the tire insert and abandon it or sling it over your shoulder and ride with it back to the car?
  • 1 0
 CC insert off since last tire tear (28 psi) w/gobs of sealant. Cracked carbon enduro rim with CC as well within two weeks of getting wheel. Insert likely wards off most punctures and rim damages, but really sucks when things fail with one in and can’t remove insert on super thick hookless beaded and walled DH carbon rim. Mostly trail/Enduro rider here on 54 lb bike, +200 lb body on DH casing and Super Gravity casings tires
  • 2 0
 The only reason I run cushcore is so I can reliably run lower pressures and still have confidence in my tires and have them not roll
  • 3 1
 I haven't figured out how to install them with a Maxxis DD tire without permanently stretching the tire causing it to visibly wobble.
  • 3 0
 oh geez, that's why I see a slight wobble on my tires since I started using inserts. I though I was just getting a bad batch or the bead wasn't fully seated.
  • 3 0
 Using a heavy duty trashcan helps a ton! I can install my cushcore and dh tires fairly quick using a trashcan now and no tire lever.
  • 2 0
 Have you tried riding in the parking lot with 0-5psi? That helps sometimes. That same reason actually made me switch over to Tannus and they have the same success rate for me.
  • 1 0
 This used to happen when I installed mine, I found the key was to push down the installed bead on the opposite side of where I was trying to get the tire over the rim, gives it some slack so you don't have to force it on with the tire lever. The cushcore install vid shows an example of this
  • 1 0
 @Johnnie8: Will try. Whats the theory on why this works ?
  • 1 0
 @kelownamike: a mechanic told me it seats the CushCore on the rim properly/evenly. It has worked some, but not all the times, specifically with dhr in DD
  • 1 0
 Every time. Didn’t think it really affected performance though. That is up until my front tire blew right off the rim landing a drop. I run Cush core in the rear ONLY now mostly because of this - if the rear blows off it’s way less dangerous.
  • 1 0
 I only use them for the rear tire of my DH bike. I'm from Northeastern Pennsylvania and it extremely rocky here so inserts are nice to have. Are they needed? Probably not but it does eliminate rim-flats.
  • 2 0
 For me personally, I think I would have to have some kind of failure that I could definitely say would have been prevented by running an insert before I would consider it.
  • 1 1
 I will always run inserts in my expensive carbon wheelsets, purely to protect my investment. I do love how they quiet the trail as well. But I prefer the lighter weight of not using them.

I got a cheap carbon rim wheelset from the recent The House liquidation sale (full wheelset for $464), and it's kind of awesome because I can run without inserts and not give a crap if they break.
  • 1 0
 I always run them front and rear purely for rim protection. I've somehow managed to dent a few wheels even through the cushcore, if that wasn't there the rim would have folded every single time. That shit saves rides lol
  • 1 0
 I've seen enough cushcores cut straight through at the rim. I run a large Vittoria airliner and pressures as if I'm not running anything. I think that offers better rim protection than cush does
  • 1 0
 Did you actually laugh out loud?
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: I did when it saved me from having to walk home
  • 4 3
 If you're here dissing inserts you either haven't tried them or don't understand what they're meant to do and how they work. Kind of how people reacted to tubeless tyres and dropper posts in the past.
  • 2 1
 I road inserts for a couple years and liked them, and then I took them out and felt like an absolute rocket. The added rotational mass definitely makes a bike feel more sluggish.
  • 2 0
 I don't do it for punctures. I run them to save the rim on really hard landings and rock strikes. Large Vittoria airliner on a 25 mm rim.
  • 1 0
 I used to run one in the rear, but on my new bike I don't run them at all. I do run them on my ebike which allows me to run similar pressures to my normal bike with the insert.
  • 3 1
 Forgot the option of "I don't get punctures _because_ I run beefy tires", and "tubeless without inserts because of strategic use of reinforced casings especially in the back"
  • 1 0
 Needs more choice:

ie. Always in the rear, sometimes in the front
or. Heavy duty in the rear sometimes, lighter duty always, etc.

For durability, they're not always adequate to protect rims, forget the tire punctures.
  • 1 0
 I like how my bike feels when riding with inserts, but I change tires often for different rides and inserts make that a much harder job. So I only use them from time to time.
  • 2 1
 I used to run inserts when i had aluminum rims to protect the rim and keep from getting pinch flats. Ran cushcore and they worked great. Then I switched to carbon rims and ditched the inserts and haven't had a problem since.
  • 1 1
 I totally got rid of the cushcore when I bought carbon rims. I went from EXO+ in the rear to DH casing, kept EXO+ in the front and hasn't been a problem. Running 30 psi in the rear tire is so much better, than dealing with low psi, burps and tire squerm.
  • 3 0
 I run a rear cush core xc so my rear xc tire doesn’t wash out in the corners or i dont have to run high psi
  • 4 0
 Cushcore in the rear on hardtails for the win!
  • 1 0
 I run a tube up front. I can easily switch to an intermediate In the front for wet conditions. Run dh casing and Cush core in the rear that pretty much gets slapped on and stays there till the tire is well past worn.
  • 2 0
 No mention of rim protection? I'm quite capable of getting flat spots on rims without a puncture.
  • 2 0
 Every psi lower i can run, the better my traction gets. For that, Cushcore is worth it.
  • 2 0
 I've done so much unspeakable shit to my rim, it's amazing how well CushCore works!
  • 3 0
 Where's the option for running Cushcore and a tube?
  • 4 0
 I find Cushcore really challenging to install in a tube.
  • 1 0
 @MithrandirTheIstari: Yeah I’ve been considering doing that in the rear lately. Heavier but you could even slice a sidewall and still be able to ride down. With a something like a tubolito it might not even be that bad.
  • 2 0
 I'd be keen to try them on my gravel bike but don't feel the need on my mtb
  • 1 0
 I have some tannus tubeless on my gravel bike which hits singletrack pretty hard...might have saved my rim a couple times, but I can't say I love the rotating weight on such a light bike. Like it for the rear tire on the hardtail better personally.
  • 2 3
 I only had CUSHCORE on my GIANT 27.5x6 rear because is a HEAVY bike and in 2 occasions it became a RUNFLAT to the trail head. Now I have a TANNUS on my Epic Ex 29x2.4 because I cracked the rear Carbon rim. Worth every penny. Installing it for the 1st time is a task but replacing a TIRE is really hard.
  • 5 0
 Your caps lock is sticking.
  • 1 0
 @Eatsdirt: twice flat... little glass & a "PAPER CLIP"....different days & places
  • 1 0
 I've flatted twice since I started using them3 years ago, Used a Stans Dart to plug the hole and kept riding. The tire was 3years old and clapped out, so I replaced it.
  • 1 0
 I have 2 steel hardtails and don’t run inserts in either, just heavy casing rear tires. I tried cushcore for a few months and didn’t like the feel
  • 1 0
 All I know is I could barely get through a few rides without getting a flat or killing a tire/rim before running inserts. I was an early adopter and I will not go back.
  • 4 2
 I run DH tyres and tubes. Maybe get 1 puncture a year. Can't be faffing with tubeless and inserts.
  • 1 0
 Your bike isn't worth the cost of a cush core is it? Otherwise..
  • 1 0
 @MutleyAdams: that is very true haha. I got a pool noodle and cut it in half. Works great!!!
  • 1 0
 I have moved from tubeless + inserts to TPU tubes and I have been pretty impressed, actually... You do need that heavy casing, but it has been an extremely low maintenance and quite reliable setup for me...
  • 1 0
 @TopherJones93: yeah but i just don’t really like tubes. It’s Kinda thing like if you have it you love it if you don’t have it you hate it. Haha. I just love the way the pool noodles take up the rim chatter. I am about to release a YouTube Video about how to make them so if anyone is interested then keep tabs on @chasendirtMTB on youtube! Thanks!
  • 1 0
 I'll regret saying this, but I've never even used a plug. I needed to once in 2018, but that's before I carried them so had to put a tube in.
  • 3 0
 Anyone still run pro core? Very happy with cush core on the rear wheel.
  • 1 0
 Yes! Not sure why they stopped selling them. Easier to install, adjustable, run flat, great tyre retention, etc.
  • 3 0
 Yep, f & r and in park settings, for me cush is mandator. I"ve tested the exact same tires / rims (2nd / trail set) against cush-installed tires in park / rough settings and the difference is night & day - its palpable. I've also had buddies run my cush & no cush wheels in park and they can instantly see the diffence for damping. My trail set (dd or dh casings still, this is western NC) are fine in most conditions here, and maybe dd/dh casing is overkill for most conditions outside of park settings but I'd rather have a tad more casing than less if not running cush
  • 1 0
 If you're pushing hard and fast through g-outs and rock, you better have an insert or you're gonna be walking and might break a rim!
  • 1 0
 I love being able to run lower pressure, but they are such a pain in the ass to install. Using a Tanus tubeless type insert in the rear
  • 1 0
 After running cushcore, I'm glad I'm off this stuff. I'm only running a superlight effetto mariposa Tyre invader in the rear on certain trails.
  • 2 0
 All the flats I get are from sharp rocks ripping a hole in my tire. No insert is going to prevent that.
  • 2 0
 I feel more confident with the insert in the back. I’ll keep running it for the placebo effect if nothing else
  • 1 0
 The reason I quit running them is because they are a huge pain in the ass when you do get a flat. Riding out with a stinky insert draped over you is not fun.
  • 1 1
 Tire inserts absorb tire sealant, are heavy, add extra time to remove and install a tire, and the worst part of all is they always seem to mess up my rim tape which leads to a slow leak.
  • 2 0
 Interesting to read the range of views here - and its cool. I have the opposite experince - very easy to install (depends on rim type), can install just about as fast as regular tire now and have never once had rim tape doinked in doing so but - hey, we all have our preferences. If you are often on rough / rocky terrain, try having a spare wheel set w/ same tires with & without cush...for me the difference is shocking.
  • 1 0
 I've been happy with my 58gram per wheel Tubolights. Not too hard to mount. No problems remaining sealed or soaking up sealant. Fully believe they give me beneficial damping and sidewall support. In addition, looking at how ripped up they were after my son used my bike, I think they may have saved the wheel and tire from damage more than once.
  • 3 0
 aggressive hardtails + Cushcore = less Ibuprofen.
  • 3 0
 Anyone get any Tannus elbow trying to insert the things !!!
  • 2 0
 Cushcore and dual ply tires front and rear on my hardtail. Yes it's heavy, no I don't care.
  • 1 0
 I run one on the rear of my enduro bike but I don't run them at all on my trail bike. #weightweenie
  • 1 0
 Cush core XC f&r almost always, sometimes the front gets removed if I’m running an assegai or shorty in the wet
  • 2 1
 Big dude. Ran dh casing for years on my 150mm and dh bikes. no flats. Put in cush core got a flat. No more cush core.
  • 2 0
 Don't' answer, it's just to sell to ad agencies
  • 1 0
 Sure, save some weight with Exo and put the noodle in then.
Why would you use better damping dh casing?
  • 1 0
 Higher rolling resistance.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer @sebstott we need an inserts roundup review with timed climbing.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Has your opinion changed in the 5ish years that have passed since you posted the top comment on the previous poll?
  • 4 0
 Yup, but only halfway. I still think pieces of foam in our tires are silly, but I've also certainly seen the benefits of a mid-weight tire combined with an insert rather than a full-on DH casing that I don't really need. I could take them or leave them on my mountain bike.

I actually run a Vittoria Airliner insert in the back wheel of my gravel bike and it is by far the best application given the low volume (42mm width) and rocky terrain where I live.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I've grown fond of running CC on my mountain bikes since I usually stick to EXO+, but I went for more of more of a weight weenie build on my gravel bike. I am now curious about how of the airliners would work for gravel. Thanks for sharing!
  • 1 0
 I get pinch flats anyway, but I still run them, figure I maybe get fewer. -Walt
  • 1 0
 its like putting a blanket in a kick drum
  • 1 0
 Ooooooh the arguments I’ve had advocating for letting by bass drum sing it’s sweet song freely
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: ive got a whole pillow in mine so suck it
  • 1 0
 @Treytonreed: Look, mannnnnn, I didn’t schlep this 22” x 20” monstrosity across town just to make it quiet
  • 1 1
 I’ve considered running one in the rear on my hard tail but I’ve only flatted once without. Maybe when I need new tires.
  • 3 0
 It's more about the damping, running lower pressures without burping/pinging rim on a hardtail (rather than flats)
  • 1 0
 The hardtail can really benefit from dropping a few psi in the rear and using an insert. Also keeps your rims round.
  • 6 9
 People who need inserts need to:

A: run a thicker sidewall tire
B: learn how to pick a line better
C: Never take their bike to a shop for anything to do with wheels if they have an insert installed cause everyone in the back will hate you forever
  • 3 0
 Well, C: is covered because before running Cushcore I wrecked rear wheels pretty regularly. 3 years of using it front and rear and I haven’t even had to true one time.
  • 1 0
 Or D: they race pro and push hard into corners and work in the industry so fixing things is easy because they are the mechanic that fixes all your problems
  • 4 0
 Nah - I've nuked DH casings plenty before cush but not one since (4 yrs running) - and can still keep dropping times pretty often so they don't slow anything down for me anyway. Not sure how the line issue matters at all unless on XC or HT bike in rough conditions. I"ve taken cush-installed wheels in for tire change at any shop around me or in other regions and have never once had a mechanic bitch about it - my local shop charges same change fee w/ or w/o cush.

Everyone's got differnet views & that's fine, but when someone's are only negative, that's on them - not the product or other riders. I sense projection issues. I only have good things to say about cush (can't speak for others) but for me it/s the damping vs. w/o cush is stunning - in rough / park / rocky terrarin - its like night & day in my view.
  • 2 0
 I have an insert in the rear because:

A: run EXO+
B: thought I picked the best line
C: Don't take my bike to the shop cause I can fix my own shit when I break it.
  • 1 0
 Trails around IN and MI just haven't warranted inserts.
  • 1 0
 Put them on my wife’s bike so she can ride home with a flat.
  • 1 0
 I'm just happy you said "damping" and not "dampening."
  • 1 2
 Where is the option in question two for "I don't run them because I've then them cause more damage to rims than preventing damage."?
  • 1 1
 Lots of folks drank the koolaid, now the cold census is meh.

I could have told ya, but back then nobody listened Wink
  • 4 6
 Eat a dick inlnside your insert. Inside
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