Weighing 265g per wheel (29in size), each CushCore insert takes up almost half of your tyre’s cross-sectional area, as well as filling the rim bed.
The low-density foam is said to cushion impacts, absorbing some of their energy while protecting the tyre and rim. It’s also claimed to stop tyre squirm, by supporting the sidewalls.
With the foam fitted, things are noticeably quieter and my tyres felt more controlled over rocky terrain — both when compared to running a regular tubeless set-up and similar systems such as Huck Norris and Flat Tire Defender.
With the same tyre pressures, CushCore let through a little more feedback — it felt as if I’d added a few clicks of compression damping. But I found I could run lower pressures and still corner hard without the tyres squirming on the rims or slam into square-edged rocks without flatting.
I’ve yet to puncture a tyre with CushCore inside, which says a lot. It’s a pain to fit, taking 10 to 25 minutes per wheel, depending on tyre and rim width (wider is easier). But the protection, bump absorption and sidewall stability make it worth the wait for rock-smashing riders, especially racers.
- USA — $11
- International — $20