CushCore eMTB Banshee Enigma NSMB Andrew Major
REVIEW

CushCore E-MTB Inserts

Photos Andrew Major
Reading time

Evolvement-MTB Pro

One of the 20th century's most influential philosophers said "'C' is for cookie, that's good enough for me,” and it would seem that this logic was onboarded by most of the kids who grew up to run the marketing of mountain biking today. Now, "'E' is for earnings, that's good enough for us" isn't quite as sweet, but when it comes to advertising, if you can't make it sexy then keep it simple.

We have e-saddles, e-shoes, e-tires, e-lubes, e-everything, and these products all have one thing in common. Whether they're superior, status quo, or total shite, there's nothing actually electric-motor-specific about them. And now we have CushCore's E-MTB model, the beefiest option from their next-generation insert lineup.


Like any love triangle, if there are tears involved it's rarely the fault of any one party.
CushCore eMTB 29 NSMB Andrew Major (1)

The next-generation CushCore products are designed so sidewall support is more progressive: "The harder you push, the more support you’ll feel."

CushCore eMTB 29 NSMB Andrew Major (2)

The E-MTB version has all the run-flat and low pressure capabilities of the CushCore Pro model, at a slight weight penalty.

Just as the 'e-bike rated' Shimano GF6 flat pedal shoes I've been riding are a gap-jump forward in grip, support, control, and hike-ability, the CushCore E-MTB system will be an obvious improvement to the majority of folks who have ridden their Pro tire inserts. The two CushCore setups feel identical in any straight line situation and the E-MTB inserts are still supportive, but more forgiving and progressive when pushing for cornering traction.

"An obvious improvement" doesn't render past products unrideable or even suggest the necessity of an upgrade. But while many new & improved products deliver gains that are almost inappreciable, folks riding CushCore Pro inserts should actually experience a benefit on CushCore E-MTB.

CushCore eMTB Banshee Enigma NSMB Andrew Major

CushCore E-MTB inserts front & rear. 12-13psi front with a 2.8" WTB Vigilante & 16-18psi rear with a 2.6" Specialized Laughter.

CushCore's updated insert designs deliver an improvement in my riding experience. It will be interesting to see how they continue to develop a product that I had previously considered finished art. I've also been enjoying the newer CushCore Trail inserts with all varieties of the We Are One Arrival and on my Marin El Roy.

The Trail inserts sacrifice the run-flat capabilities of heavier options like the Pro and Plus inserts I'm most familiar with but they provide a nice damping boost and increased sidewall support without the dead feeling of a beefier tire casing. They're no harder to install than the XC inserts and add only 65 grams per tire over CushCore's lightest mountain bike option.

The Trail inserts are an enhanced, more manipulated, version of what the XC inserts should have been: a lighter and easier to install pared down Pro insert which offers a scaled version of the CushCore benefits. What XC should have been to Pro, Trail is to E-MTB.

CushCore eMTB 27 NSMB Andrew Major

CushCore e-MTB 27 at 282 grams.

CushCore eMTB 29 NSMB Andrew Major

CushCore e-MTB 29 at 299 grams.

Installation Truths

The myths are many and in dispute, but after installing dozens of CushCore inserts, including a couple that were proper nightmares, I know a few things to be true about the process.

Like any love triangle, if there are tears involved it's rarely the fault of any one party. Yes, a 334-gram CushCore Plus insert is significantly more voluminous than a 217-gram Trail insert, but if the internal width of the rim and the volume of the tire are also enhanced proportionally, it's really not that big a deal to install the most massive option. Rim shape has a lot to do with the ease of fitment as well.

The worst CushCore installations I've done have combined DH casings, the more limited leeway of a smaller 27" tire, and certain carbon fiber rim profiles. Long before CushCore released their 13 USD Bead Bro, I had a 'Bead Buddy' I called Toucan who works for Haribo and IPAs. We've done a few four-hands-and-a-garbage-can installs.

Cush Core Bead Dropper NSMB AndrewM (7).JPG

The Bead Dropper has been my go-to tire lever for all applications since it came to market. I have worn a couple out. They're worth every penny.

CushCore Bead Bro NSMB Andrew Major

I laughed at the Bead Bro clamp until I needed its help with a really, really stubborn 27" Schwalbe Rock Razor tire. Sometimes it's the only friend I need.

This E-MTB insert installation actually breaks down into two very different stories. My front tire essentially mounted itself. The 2.8" WTB Vigilante, the largest volume CushCore recommends with the E-MTB insert, had already been stretched out on a rim. The rim itself is a few millimeters wider than CushCore recommends (i39 vs. i35). And, 29" tires are always a bit more forgiving in terms of working the bead under the insert. Despite the insert being properly chunky, I didn't break a sweat.

The rear tire is another story. The 2.6" Specialized Slaughter is low volume relative to other rubber with the same printed size; the 27" tire's bead is less forgiving, and the tire was brand new. The real issue revolves around an experiment I might discuss more at a later date, which is to manipulate the tire and insert profile by running a narrower rear rim.

CushCore states that the E-MTB inserts can be run with rims as narrow as i22mm but I'm very skeptical. The Velocity Blunt SS I just laced up is i26.6mm and the E-MTB insert owns that entire channel, bead hook to bead hook. Encouraging the bead to go under the insert to install the tire actually involves lifting the CushCore while Bead-Droppering the tire to the center of the rim. Certainly not mission impossible but I wouldn't sign up to install this on anything narrower.

CushCore eMTB 27 NSMB Andrew Major (2)

The E-MTB insert stands tall in an i26.6mm rim.

CushCore eMTB 29 NSMB Andrew Major (3)

The E-MTB spreads flatter in an i39mm rim.

Sometimes, lighter-duty CushCore inserts and many other less supportive inserts from other brands like to be installed with one bead of the tire already in place. When this goes together, it does so quickly and cleanly. Bead the tire up first without an insert or sealant installed, then just break one side to insert the guts.

I never do this with CushCore Pro or Plus, nor will I with the new E-MTB version. For these inserts, I'd always recommend applying a dose of patience to the tested method of putting the insert on the rim first, then getting the rim and insert inside the tire, and finally working the tire bead underneath the insert to fully install it. One side, then the other. And remember, if there's not enough slack the tire bead can always be pushed a little further into the center of the rim.

Specialized Laughter CushCore eMTB Insert NSMB Andrew Major

27x2.6" Specialized Laughter on an i26.6mm Velocity USA Blunt SS.

CushCore eMTB WTB Vigilante NSMB Andrew Major

29x2.8" WTB Vigilante Light/High Grip on an i39mm Velocity USA Dually.

Sorry.

CushCore now has six different inserts. Five if we don't count Gravel inserts. But I have hunch that only three will stay in production.

XC is most obviously on the chopping block. You'll either choose not to run a CushCore at all or suffer the extra few grams a wheel to get the actual performance benefits and proper rim protection of the CushCore Trail setup. Further, very few folks I know riding more XC-style trails using 3"+ tires are running inserts. They don't need or want the extra weight and support. I've been jumping back and forth between running Plus and Pro inserts with my 2.8" tire and i39/i40mm rim setups and I like the somewhat less damped ride of the Pro. I run the Plus setup with a 3" tire, but in the greasy seasons, I prefer stickier rubber than what comes in that size.

Shimano GF6 NSMB Andrew Major

Next up, the 'e-bike rated' Shimano GF6 flat pedal shoes, seen here with a pair of CushCore Pro inserts versus... (Photo: The Clairebarian)

Shimano GF4 NSMB Andrew Major

...the less-stiff but still 'e-bike rated' Shimano GF4 flat pedal shoes, seen here with a pair of CushCore E-MTB inserts. (Photo: The Clairebarian)

Pro vs. E-MTB is the more obvious match up and I imagine the least manipulated of all their inserts, and the first released, will be retired. Certainly, if I was running a bike shop I'd be transitioning my Pro customers to E-MTB inserts.

I don't corner like a Pro, so it's entirely possible that some larger or more aggressive riders will prefer the firmer side-knob support that the Pro inserts deliver, but for most riders, the E-MTB model is going to deform differently, allowing for more cornering traction while maintaining plenty of support, rim protection, and run-flat capability.

CushCore E-MTB inserts are available in three options: 27" (2x), 29" (2x), or MX (1x 27" / 1x 29"). Packages can be had for 160 USD a pair, including valve stems.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major

Height - Steve Buscemi-ish

Wait - Patiently

Ape Index - T-Rex

Age - The same as DOS

Favourite Trail(s) every week - Pipeline (thank you Ken!) to Lower Crippler (thank you Andy!)

Favourite Song(s) this week - I'm Your Man. Nick Cave (covering Leonard Cohen)

Favourite Colour - Cosmic Lilac

Bar Width - It depends

Reach & Stack & ETT - It depends

Crank Length - 175mm except when it's 170mm

Wheel Size - Hot For Mullets

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Comments

ackshunW
+5 Niels van Kampenhout 93EXCivic BarryW mudhoney Timer

Didn’t read yet, just came here to sound my appreciation for your slyly subversive cover photo for this e-bike merchandise review!

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AndrewMajor
+7 Alex_L Andy Eunson Vincent Edwards BarryW BadNudes nowthatsdoomage Timer

I’m much more pleased with the Cookie Monster quote, but I appreciate your appreciation all the same. Cheers!

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niels@nsmb.com
+4 Andrew Major ackshunW BadNudes Timer

This product could easily have been branded as "R-MTB Inserts" in a parallel universe where the marketing folks jumped on the "rigid" branding!

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AndrewMajor
+5 gubbinalia BarryW fartymarty Offrhodes42 BadNudes

I have this pet ‘theory’ I call 50,000:1 which holds that in a decade everyone will either be riding a full suspension E-MTB or a rigid single-speed. 

It’s interesting how many more rigid MTBs / rigid #1FG MTBs I know of on the Shore compared to even a year ago. 

When everyone’s fighting over the same pie why not make a different dessert, and own that category? Even if it’s much less popular (1/50,000 even). Or at least that was my failed pitch to WTB to keep making the 29x2.8” High Grip Vigilante.

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Shinook
+4 Andrew Major gubbinalia bushtrucker FlipSide Andy Eunson Dogl0rd

Seems a lot of people I know are "downsizing" their bikes and going more towards the XC or DC side of things compared to massive enduro bikes. Even me, I spend more time on my 120mm SST than I do much bigger bikes I have and am faster on it up and down. Prior to that I was almost HT 100% of the time for at least a year.

I think it helps that some brands are producing hardtails that have dialed geo, whereas in years past they were really unforgiving to ride, and even more XC oriented bikes (FS and HT) are pretty stable/forgiving compared to previous iterations. I think we're gonna see more people flocking to that segment of the market, as a result, because they offer a more engaging ride.

I'd stop short of full rigid, though, at least where I am. Our terrain here is really eroded with hardpacked dirt and it'd be straight up painful to ride, but if you could tolerate it, I see no reason why you couldn't get on with a full rigid bike and large tires from a control perspective. I think current trends are such that geo and kinematics/suspension components have gotten so much better than they were, people are able to get by with less and enjoy it more than they would bigger bikes.

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AndrewMajor
+4 Cr4w gubbinalia bushtrucker FlipSide

The big-bike to do-it-all-bike to under-bike pendulum is always swinging one way or another. All these HP+I brands currently taking advantage of the fact that folks generally don't mind pedaling an almost 40-lb Enduro rig, but the next-generation carbon Stumpy will be waiting in the wings for a light over-forking and a 30lb-ish build with grippy-enough tires. It's one of my favourite parts of watching bikes evolve. 

I'm 83% joking. I don't think everyone who isn't riding an e-bike in a decade will be on a rigid single-single speed. But I do think there will be proportionally more folks on rigid and/or one-speed bikes over the next decade.

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FlipSide
+1 Andrew Major

True, and I am on totally board with downsizing (to be honest and clear, I am talking about supersizing the fleet with a new downsized bike).

Being overbiked is absolutely real and I really don't like riding mellower trails on a big 180/165 enduro bike. It lacks the trail connection you get riding a hardtail or a short travel bike. Since I got my modern hardtail, I rode at least 2/3 of the time on the hardtail and I had a blast.  They are simply more fun...until they are not anymore when they get overwhelmed by trails that are too fast/gnarly. I am now in the process of building a short travel trailbike. Should be a lot of fun. 

To stay on topic: I find running a rear insert is a must for a hardtail. I ride with a CushCore Pro and I suspect a rear CushCore will be great on the short travel trailbike as well. On my big enduro bike, I run dual CC Pro for lift-assisted days, but no inserts for general trail riding. Looking at the shape of my rear rim, I should probably ride with a rear CC all the time.

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AndrewMajor
+1 FlipSide

For general riding on a bike where you don’t currently have inserts, the Trail is a great option. I think we’ll see them come as spec too (rear only?) mated heavy duty rubber - like how the Rocky Slayer uses CushCore XC + DD tires, but the trail insert is better in terms of its affect on ride quality.

andy-eunson
+3 Andrew Major FlipSide Skooks

Yeah. I think many are downsizing because many have decided that geometry is more of a factor than absolute travel. On flow trails one doesn’t need as much travel unless you’re landing big jumps. Rough terrain and high speeds favour big travel but that doesn’t seem to be the direction trails are going.plus as I age I’m more risk averse.

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AndrewMajor
0

Geometry is key. Followed by rubber and brakes (not necessarily in that order). Then a dropper post. Good pedals! Grips… saddle… suspension is on the list somewhere?

Fat_Tony_NJ
+5 Andrew Major BarryW HughJass Velocipedestrian Timer

"2.6" Specialized Laughter" sounds like a way cooler tire than what I think it once was....

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AndrewMajor
+6 gubbinalia BarryW HughJass Velocipedestrian Timer Suns_PSD

I think if Specialized had gone with that from the start they would have sold a lot more… it even looks cute.

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Fat_Tony_NJ
0

Any take on how that performs vs the Rekon EXO+? It's certainly more affordable.....

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AndrewMajor
+3 gubbinalia cxfahrer Fat_Tony_NJ

I don’t mind the Rekon as a rear tire but I’ll choose a Laughter or Schwalbe Rock Razor every day.

They’re more rim width sensitive. With sag (sitting on the bike) you don’t want the side knobs to touch the ground. But with the right profile I love how they roll along fast and then grip hard when leaned over. 

On my El Roy I run a Big Betty out back and I’m definitely fluent in the fast versus grip conversation for the back of hardtails. On the #1FG though I’ve gone back and forth a lot and fast is the (current) winner.

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93EXCivic
0

How does it compare to the Forekaster?

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AndrewMajor
+1 93EXCivic

I haven’t ridden the Forekaster, my personal bikes are both mullets and the largest 27” Forekaster is a 2.4” which is smaller than I’ll generally run on a hardtail.

There is a 2.6” option in the 29”.

craw
+1 OldManBike

I wish they offered the Forekaster in 2.4WT EXO+ Maxxgrip. That would be an awesome winter tire for mid travel bikes.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Timer

I love a MaxxGrip tire (up front) in the winter as much as the next person, but isn’t any (or at least much) of the rolling advantage of a Forekaster over say a DHF or even an Assegai lost once you go super grippy?

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Vikb
+3 Andrew Major BarryW bushtrucker

As a CC newb I recently installed a couple CC 29Plus inserts. My initial thought was "This is never gonna happen!", but with the power of Youtube, a garbage can, and one of those adult only CC tire levers I was able to make it happen. I did have to walk away a couple times for a mental health break. They ended up not being my jam, but if I was going to install more CC inserts they would be a lot less painful with some experience.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Vik Banerjee BarryW

I'm going to do a follow-up at some point running Bontrager's 3" SE4 with a CushCore Plus and CushCore E-MTB insert. It's all about finding the right balance between insert and tire volume. Or, I mean, if you're getting good traction and support (and suspension) with Plus tires sans inserts and not wrecking rims, I certainly don't claim CC is for everyone.

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Vikb
+4 Andrew Major Blofeld BarryW bushtrucker

I'm going to run 29+ [3.0"] tires rigid sans inserts and see what happens. It might not be a good long-term solution. With a few rides so far it's been fine from a rim damage stand point. Too early to tell if that's representative.

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gubbinalia
+1 Cam McRae

I took a quick look at the e-MTB inserts when I was on the CushCore site this summer ordering some of the Trail inserts to try and wondered whether NSMB would run a classic dual-review comparing the fluted, "progressive cornering support" design of the e-MTB vs. Trail. If I had to predict, I would have guessed something like Cam on the EXe for the e-MTB inserts and Deniz on the Rallon for the Trail!

The mention of the e-MTB being an improvement on the Pro insert, rather than a totally different design for a different application, reminded me of something Tani said on the Path Podcast – that SoCal riders who previously rejected heavier setup options (inserts, coil forks, Fasst Flex bars, to name a few) needed only to try them on an e-machine in order to understand the tech in context (that is, without the downsides of winching it up the hill). Cushcore's advertising kind of reverses that paradigm, by proposing the improved inserts for e-powered bikes in the first place. 

Re. future SKU-slimming in CC's lineup:

> "XC is most obviously on the chopping block. You'll either choose not to run a CushCore at all or suffer the extra few grams a wheel to get the actual performance benefits and proper rim protection of the CushCore Trail setup. ..."

>
>  "I've been jumping back and forth between running Plus and Pro inserts with my 2.8" tire and i39/i40mm rim setups and I like the somewhat less damped ride of the Pro. "

I would hate to see XC CushCore fall out of production, although I admittedly may be in the minority on that, judging from the boxes of XC liners sitting on the top shelf at my LBS for seasons on end, while Pro inserts sell through every month or two. Not many folks I know who are still racing marathon XC with any seriousness are running liners on their race bikes (and if they are, it's the super-light Vittoria option, or the Rimpact rim strip that barely has any damping benefit). I was initially inspired to try CushCore XC after seeing how well folks like Kabush were doing on technical tracks with low-knob tires and low pressures, and I for sure feel that benefit – I'd happily take a 120g lighter tire and an insert, vs. the heavier tire and no insert. Granted, in the eastern U.S. the lack of sharp things makes lighter casing Super Ground / EXO / Light / Grid tires much more of an option.

Even on a non-racey, trail / down-country / pedal-all-day-but-shred-a-bunch-of-steeps type of bike, though, I can't see going to CC Trail. It's not about suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous grams added, it's just that the Trail insert takes up too much space in a smaller volume 2.35"/2.4" tire to give good casing feel. Just as you say about the choice of Pro over Plus inserts for a 2.8" tire, the XC insert makes for a livelier feel vs. the bigger Trail. And when it gets proper wet and slimy and slow-speed around here, I was bottoming onto the insert almost constantly when running the types of super-low (~17-18psi) type pressures that I'm preferring most of the time for slow, off-camber, mossy-licheny, tight, low-speed, sloooow northern New England singletrack.

All to say not to overlook the CushCore XC insert – if you're content with a ≤ 2.4" tire on a ≤ 30mm rim and don't want a super-damp feel, it's a fabulous option.

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AndrewMajor
+1 gubbinalia

If you get a chance to try the Trail insert I'd be keen to hear your feedback. I ran the XC inserts for quite a while playing with different lighter-weight setups. Both out of personal curiosity and because I wanted to write something about bicycle weight.

https://nsmb.com/articles/weight-over/

https://nsmb.com/articles/but-weight/

The Trail insert does split the difference between the XC and Pro some, but it doesn't have the straight-line punching through stuff volume (and tire ramp) of the Pro. Where Trail is much superior, in my book, compared to XC is in the additional cornering support. It's rad. 

Anyways, as I said about E-MTB versus Pro,and  when it comes to Trail versus XC '"An obvious improvement" doesn't render past products unrideable or even suggest the necessity of an upgrade.' I'd personally run an XC insert before I'd run 'nude' tires for any mountain bike application, but I think most folks who try both will pay the weight penalty for the Trail on a 2.4"+ tire. 

I haven't run any setup, other than CC-Gravel, with tires narrower than 2.4" and rims narrower than i26mm so I can't comment on smaller tires/rims.

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gubbinalia
+1 Andrew Major

Thoughtful reply – thank you! And well said about how an "obvious improvement" doesn't need to obviate prior technology. I'm just really, really hoping that CC doesn't nix the XC insert and assume that folks will move over to the Trail.

I ran the Trail inserts for most of the summer and definitely agree with you that there's significantly more cornering support – that is, when we're talking about sizeable 2.5"/2.6" tires on ≥ 30mm iD rims, being pushed hard into supportive corners or G-outs with proper speed and aggression. I could push considerably harder with pressures that would usually feel uncertain on larger-volume tires. But for most of the year, especially the corner seasons, that type of setup is overkill for what I'm riding and doesn't really pay any dividends for the slimy, rooted, low-speed off-cambers that litter my local singletrack.

Given that I'm usually on 25mm iD rims (WAO Revives on 1/1 hubs – inspired by your 25mm DT Swiss rim setup from summer 2022) and light XC-trail-ish 2.35-2.4" tires (Schwalbe Wicked Will/Nobby Nic, Maxxis Forekaster, or Specialized Fast Trak), the Pro is just too rampy – pretty much unrideably so. The Trail insert works fairly well on that narrow rim/tire setup under hard cornering in dry, fast conditions. But the Trail feels "dead" by contrast to the XC and pretty much has me riding "on the inesrt," bottomed out, in wet and slow conditions.

There's also a comment up-thread about using Cushcore XC for a monster-cross setup, which is a super relevant idea as gravel setups get ever-wider and more folks get into the dropbar bikepacking game. Maybe Cushcore will someday market the XC insert as a gravel-plus option, much as WAO markets their Revive rim (25 iD) as a gravel – XC crossover.

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AndrewMajor
+1 gubbinalia

Yeah, with my DT EX 471 rims the Pro is too there-there. I’ve actually not tried the Trail inserts in those wheels as they’re dual 29” but maybe I’ll de-mullet the Marinster Truck and do a more deep dive XC Vs. Trail insert piece. 

Cheers!

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velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major

>Toucan-four-hands-and-a-garbage-can. 

This sounds like you're writing some fresh lines to go with "Cooking up yams in the frying pan".

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AndrewMajor
+1 Velocipedestrian

Hahahaha. I guess I am now!

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velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major

Though on further thought, and the tone of the tune, it might be better as a YDINAC anthem - Insane In The Bike Lane.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Velocipedestrian

Insane In The Bike Lane would require more radio edits than actually playable lyrics.

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geraldooka
+1 Andrew Major

I'm grateful I have not needed inserts in my riding life, I like my bikes to ride smooth and silky and the inserts I tried did everything but that. 

I am intrigued by the stiffer soled "e-bike" shoes though, I like my bike shoes stiff! 5-tens don't seem to retain their stiffness very long...

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AndrewMajor
0

I’ve been caught out before talking about shoes being stiff or flexy, so I’m preface this by saving I wear a size 43 and weigh a buck eighty five. 

The Shimano GF6 is the stiffest flat pedal shoe I’ve been happy to wear. The support hike-a-biking or punching down chunky trails on my hardtail doesn’t come at a cost if grip thanks to the rubber.

The shoe isn’t perfect, for example the shape of the sole makes for less pedal surface contact if you’re a more arch-over axle pedaler like me, but it’s still impressive.

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earleb
0

Can we start a betting pool on how long that Blunt SS holds up? The original ones were pretty soft, I put numerous dents in them on DH tires. I see many rim dings in your future.

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AndrewMajor
+1 bushtrucker

There are only two ways to avoid rim dings (or cracks) on the back of a hardtail that I know of. And I’ve gone through my share of rims.

1) run an uncomfortable ‘basketball’ amount of air pressure.

2) 

I’ve heard tell of people smooth enough to air down a tire on an DT EX511 or Flow EX3 but at the cost of rims, spokes, etc. why bother finding out when I can play with inserts?

Those you don’t like the there-there factor of the E-MTB or Pro will probably love the Trail version.

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Vikb
+1 bushtrucker

I've got a set of Velocity Blunts on my SS hardtail and they are now on their 4th or 5th bike. There is one rim ding from running a rear 29 x 2.6" tire at 12psi for my 190lbs bulk...because I am lazy. I can't fault the rim for that. I'll fix the dent next tire swap [holds air fine] and I bet I'll be running the same wheels in 5 years.

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Bikeryder85
0

Are those the SS version or the 35s?  I think velocity has a few "blunt" variants.

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AndrewMajor
0

My new rim is an SS but I also had good experiences with the Blunt 35. 

The Velocity rims are a bit more work to build up tight/round/true than Stan’s or Mavic or especially DT Swiss (their aluminum rims tend to tension up like other brand’s carbon rims) but I like the small brand MUSA factor so we’ll worth it for my personal stuff.

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93EXCivic
0

Does anyone make 26in inserts?

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AndrewMajor
+2 MTBrent 93EXCivic

You can chop inserts and make them any size using zip ties. I recommend practicing with a friends insert they have sitting at home because they liked the damping but it was too heavy on climbs.

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Shinook
+2 Andrew Major bushtrucker

The Andreani system installs this way, it's a large tube that you cut to size, stretch on the wheel, and zip tie together. It works and seems to hold find, just be sure to file down the little bit of zip tie that pokes up when you do so and be sure to use sufficiently large zip ties. 

You also need to stretch it on tight or it won't do much good, so be prepared to cut some away and re-tighten it until it's tight enough around the rim.

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AndrewMajor
+2 arno bushtrucker

Yes, great point. The cut down CushCore needs to fit over the rim as tightly as a regular CC, just like the Andreani. 

I’ve been back and forth about making one for my daughter’s 24” using a CushCore XC. The goal would be to eliminate some of the squirrely action dropping below 13-14psi on her rig (24x2.40 EXO Minion). But up the rear wheel traction when she’s full gas standing to grind it up steep climbs.

Her rig is decently lightweight for a kids’ MTB but it’s still the rider/bike weight equivalent of me riding a ~70lb rig.

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MTBrent
+3 Andrew Major BarryW bushtrucker

I love the subtle shade thrown on said friend's reason for abandoning CC.

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AndrewMajor
+3 steelispossiblyreal BarryW bushtrucker

Hopefully not too subtle, I like to think they (plural) might see it. Hahahaha.

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steelispossiblyreal
0

I'm a Cushcore lover myself. I still run the Pro inserts on my trail bike. I recently popped some Cushcore 27.5+ in my Stan's Hugos (51mm internal) with a Duro Crux 3.25" up front and a Ground Control 3" out back. I could definitely notice the weight when loading my bike up on my truck, but I really appreciate the grip, even on climbs, and the fact that I can run that Duro Crux at 3 PSI (although something like 3.5 or 4 PSI is usually better). I've heard regular Cushcore works pretty well even on Plus setups, what do you reckon?

Also it would be a shame to see Cushcore XC go away for those Monstercross bikes that are wider than gravel tires but narrower than full on Cushcore size, but I digress.

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AndrewMajor
+1 bushtrucker

That's interesting, I've never come across anyone running CushCore for Monstercross. Makes total sense for that, or even a really aggressive touring application where CushCore Gravel is too diminutive. 

I preferred CushCore Pro in a 2.8" 29+ tire and CushCore Plus in a 3.0" 29+ tire but either works with either. I'm currently running the CushCore E-MTB front with a 29x3" Bontrager SE4 and I'm very happy with that setup.

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just6979
0

"The Trail inserts sacrifice the run-flat capabilities of heavier options like the Pro and Plus inserts"

From CushCore FAQ: "CushCore is not intended to be a run-flat tire"

Neither have official run-flat capability... but Trail and Pro are pretty close to the same overall width, and very much the same width at the rim where a run-flat system would need to be offering protection. Why would Trail have any less (unofficial) run-flat capability?

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AndrewMajor
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If you’re asking me about my methodology, to test run-flat capabilities I air tires down to 0psi and then see if my bike’s still rideable or not.

In terms of Pro vs. Trail it’s the same as how 300-grams of pasta fills you up more than 200-grams of pasta even if they look like a similar amount in the bowl.

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just6979
-2 Joseph Crabtree dhr999

So the Trail at 0 psi is unrideable compared to Pro? Doubtful, since I've seen people gingerly ride out on Trail and other even lighter inserts.

It's limp-home mode, an extra 20% of mass (212g to 260g claimed) in almost the the same volume isn't going to make or break limping out.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Joseph Crabtree

If you don’t believe me I guess try it for yourself?

I have Trail inserts in my El Roy, they are not run-flat friendly. I have determined this by letting all the air out of my tires and trying to run them flat. It’s not that I don’t think they work as advertised, but someone who wants to be able to ride out should go Pro/Plus/E-MTB.

Here’s my Trail insert review;

https://nsmb.com/articles/cushcore-trail-inserts/

Here’s a flat tire photo from said review in case you’d also like confirmation that I actually took all the air out to test it:

I’ve tried the 0psi test with quite a few different rim, tire, and insert combinations but at the end of the day I can only speak to my experiences. That either has value to an individual reader or it doesn’t.

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just6979
-2 Joseph Crabtree dhr999

That picture alone says nothing, not without a pic of the Pro in the same situation. But either way, that looks decent enough from here: rim isn't totally on the ground, sidewall still has some slope to it. I've also seen someone try to ride out on a Pro, and it's not any better than that, which is to be expected since it's basically the same size as the Trail.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Joseph Crabtree

Circling back to ‘From CushCore FAQ: "CushCore is not intended to be a run-flat tire"’

Of course they don’t recommend it. I imagine more than anything, it’s about the lowest common denominator. Some dude would be expecting them to replace his egg-shaped wheels after a top to bottom full-speed run of a WC DH course with 0psi.

Another example of this is a number of bike designers I’ve talked to about dual-crown compatibility on their long-travel ‘single crown only’ big bikes. The issue has nothing to do with frames being strong enough for the forces of a d-c fork, the main issue that comes up is folks not running their fork bumpers properly (or just not running them) and then denting/breaking their frame. 

It’s a lot cheaper and easier to say “no dual-crown forks” than it is to design in integrated bumpers or manage JRAs.

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GB
-1 Joseph Crabtree

They make these tire inserts that are for DH . They pump up with air and I believe also E bike ready . 

You can't run the tire pressure as low but burping a tire does not happen .  They do increase sidewall stability. 

This particular insert never wears out and can be fixed with a patch. 

much easier imo. Than wrestling with a cush core insert , messy fluid . 

Punctures can easily  be resolved by installing a new " insert " 

I carry an extra in my pack . I know the absurdity in carrying an extra insert .! 

Cost : 10 to 15 $

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AndrewMajor
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Happy that tubes work for you. 

I’m happy to deal with the extra install effort for the ~ flat-free experience and the improved ride quality of the right insert/tire combination.

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