The idea behind Schwalbe’s Procore system is simple – use a small volume, high pressure inner ‘tyre’ to protect the rim from the inside and lock the edges of any 2.3in or larger tubeless-ready tyre in place so it can’t burp air or burst against the rim and provides a more stable ride feel too.
The price is huge for what’s essentially a tubeless kit with a couple of unique dual-position-valve inner tubes and inelastic Procore liner ‘tyres’, but as long as your rims are more than 23mm wide internally and you follow the instructions exactly, setup is simple.
The next bit is more tricky, because the system is incredibly sensitive to pressure changes. Just 5psi can separate a tyre that feels normal in terms of roll, grip and cornering shape from one with a flaccid, mushy footprint that gives amazing grip and rollover in rock or root-infested sections but stumbles in corners and fumbles lines.
To complicate matters further, the super-narrow pressure sweet spot can be anywhere from 10 to 25psi, depending on your riding tastes/style, rim width, the volume and carcass character of your tyres and how much pressure you run in the Procore inner (50 to 80psi is recommended, but check your rim’s pressure limit, particularly on carbon hoops).
The polar opposite of set and forget
What feels supportive and dynamic on firm, high-speed trail centre berms, turns and lips won’t get you full potential on slower, rooty, muddy, rocky off-piste trails, and on some days we found ourselves changing pressures every run depending on which way we were heading down the hill. You’ll likely need to change your suspension rebound settings to reflect the bouncier ride too, and the Procore pressure will actually squeeze some wheels enough to make their spokes baggy and turn accurate tracking noticeably approximate.
If you’re patient enough to find your perfect pressures though, the system offers next-level performance, making your tyres as buoyant, speed carrying, impact ignorant and outrageously grippy as plus-size rubber, but with accurate, predictable handling, from harder turn-in to easily controlled slide.
The extra impact puncture and rim protection insurance means that, as long as the sidewalls don’t get torn, you can also smash into rock gardens or down riverbeds on an 800g tyre as though it was a 1,200g downhill tyre, offsetting the 222g per wheel that the kit adds. Alternatively, you can run a dual-ply DH tyre at 10psi and corner so hard your bar plugs are in danger! Even if the outer tyre does blow, you and your wheel stand a far better chance of surviving with the inner intact and outer still locked in place.
If full-gas riding is your game, then the price suddenly starts to look more reasonable, and I’m certainly not intending to take the system off my long-term test mule any time soon.