CushCore is an engineered foam insert that mounts inside a mountain bike tire. It divides the inner volume of the tire in half, with air underneath the tread and the CushCore insert next to the rim. The purpose of Cushcore is to improve the ride quality of your bike. It is not just for flat protection. CushCore absorbs shock, stops deflection off obstacles, reduces vibration, and stabilizes the tire against roll and squirm. Think of it as suspension for your tires designed to give you a faster, smoother ride. This system is designed to be used with tubeless-ready or tubeless converted mountain bike rims and tires. CushCore is compatible with tubeless tire sealants. CushCore is sold as a set, and is designed for use in both front and rear wheels. Specially designed tubeless air valves are included with each set. The air valve allows air to move through the valve without becoming obstructed by the insert.
Compatible with 29” wheels and tires.
Provides protection to both tire and rim.
Improves ride quality by acting as tire suspension.
Came for the rim protection, stayed for the handling
I originally bought them mainly for rim protection but I love how these make the bike handle. I was totaling about 4 rims a year so these were to save me money. On the very first chunky downhill I immediately felt the improvements on how the bike handled square edges and repetitive hits in the chatter. It felt more dampened out and tracked noticeably better. It's not just placebo from dropping ridiculous amounts of tire pressure like some do either. Running the same Agressor Doubledown 2.5/Assegai EXO+ 2.5 combo I went from 23/26psi to 20/25 without any rim strikes or loss of stability. The performance gains are mostly noticeable when the trail gets rocky. Traction is improved overall with the inserts on tractor built county or city trails but these things really shine in places like South Mountain, Sedona, Flagstaff, bike parks and enduro racing. On rocky trails I used to pump the tires up to about 25/27 to save rim at the cost of comfort and traction but now there is no compromise. I got used to the extra weight within a ride and now I don't notice it. Pulling them out of the box I was amazed on how light something so substantial looking actually was. It feels like it weighs slightly more than an inner tube. If you've read any of the goofy PinkBike comments you'd assume they're literally impossible to install one and they're like wrestling with satan... It's all about technique. After 3 tire installs they probably add about 2-3 minutes to install time now, even with these tight Doubledown casings. I will note though that it's a little harder to pop the beads when swapping tires. My technique on that is to get one side of the tire off the rim, then reach into the tire and pull the insert off the rim before popping the opposite bead
An update to my "Why I Chose This" comment after purchase.
I really wanted to try these because almost every flat I get is a pinch flat with a hole RIGHT AT THE BEAD. The solution is to run my tires to a durometer that approaches concrete. You can guess how much fun that is...
While I felt the Cush Core system APPEARED to be the best alternative I was leery of it because of how difficult some people find it to install. After yet another pinch flat and ruined tire I had had enough.
Honestly, if you've ever fought installing a wire bead, downhill tire on a rim, you will know what it's like. And it's not that bad... provided you know the secret which is ensuring that the side of the bead you are trying to get on the rim is FULLY in the center channel of the tire and not on the mounting edge. Do that and it will be tough, and require levers, but the benefits far outweigh the extra 5 minutes it takes to install them.
I immediately dropped my tire pressure from 30# to 25# and definitely noticed the extra grip I had on technical climbs as well as some slick rock climbs with a serious incline. Plenty of grip. No slippage.
My second ride at maybe mile 3 I got a nice sidewall gash which surprisingly did not penetrate the entire sidewall but instead put a hole in the tire that dropped the air pressure down to almost nothing. It happened right in the middle of a fairly quick, rocky descent and I THOUGHT I felt my tire squirming a little but did not feel ANY contact on the rim from any of the rocks I was plowing through. I stopped at the end where I discovered the air loss. I pumped it up and shook the tire so my Home Brew sealant would be looking for the sidewall instead of the tread and it sealed up fairly well. Put a little more air in it and rode another 19 miles.
The only downside is weight but my Sentinel is over 34# already so another pound or two ain't hurting anything :)
I have 3 rides with inserts on both wheels. Running about 20 psi vs 23-24 on tubeless and they so far have been working great with what feels like a bit more traction on the loose stuff. Need to follow the mounting instructions and watch the video ... makes it easier, but still takes some practice and patience. Very satisfied so far.
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