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May 8, 2019, 12:45 p.m. -  Metacomet

My rear wheel setup on my primary bike is Chromag BA30, CushCore, and a 2.3 Maxxis Aggressor with the DoubleDown casing. This has been a really great and dependable system. I think I've had one flat on it, and that turned out to be a spoke through the rim strip after a janky and near vertical roller with a displaced rock in a short transition that became a perfect square edge for my wheel on full compression. It turned into quite a ride. I put air in the tire a few times and it wasn't sealing, but I couldn't find a hole in the tire. The 2.3 DD tire stretched over CushCore was a more challenging install, so I really didn't want to make the group wait while I wrestled the thing off and put a tube in there. So I decided I would just hope for the best and rode on the flat for 6 miles of gnarly featured terrain and I did not hold back on anything. I was partly curious about REALLY trying it as a run flat, and also about exactly how things would hold up through that kind of abuse. I figured the rim and tire and insert were all going to be hacked up. The sound of a flat tire on CushCore on that kind of terrain for six miles was crazy. Big roller after big roller after jump after drop. Pedaling that package was an effort for sure, but the 2.3 width stretched over the insert kept the tire roll to a minimum and gave me a lot more confidence to do things I shouldn't have been doing on a flat tire. I got home and pulled it all apart, expecting to find the insert cut to pieces and the rim dented and flat spotted beyond its useable life, and the tire full of pinch holes. The insert had some marks on it but no cuts. The rim had a few minor flat dings and needed a spoke wrench. The tire had no holes! I added two more wraps of rim tape and aired it all back up. I was honestly Astonished. I'm still riding this setup. I think it was the combination of the Chromag BA's angled rim profile and the thick and rounded beadwall, the 2.3 width with a double down casing, and the CushCore insert. They all sort of protected each other and worked together in a way I have never experienced and never expected. The inserts have been worth their weight in gold to me. They are a bit of an inconvenience, but I think if all three components were made with each-other's strengths and weaknesses in mind, we could have these results in a more refined and hassle-free package.

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