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Why did cush core have to be so good?

Feb. 5, 2020, 7:14 p.m.
Posts: 448
Joined: May 11, 2018

I wasn't too keen on inserts until a friend of mine tried cushcore and told me that he liked them so much that if he had to give up something on his bike, the dropper would go before his inserts. I put off buying the $250 experiment for a month or two but after reading more, took the plunge. 

These stupid inserts are going to cost me a fortune by the time I upgrade all my bikes! They are so good I think I like The ride of my hardtail that has them better than my full sus without. 

So this thread is for people to sing the praises of cushcore and bemoan the cost. I have to say cushcore made my bike ride the way I've been trying to tune my suspension to feel for a decade!

Feb. 6, 2020, 12:22 a.m.
Posts: 1959
Joined: May 2, 2004

Yeah heard something similar, 'best new thing since dropper posts'...

Never really interested in inserts as flat protection as the amount of flats I get is negligible, but I like the sounds of improving tire feel, ill get it for the new bike in the spring!


 Last edited by: Kevin26 on Feb. 6, 2020, 12:24 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 6, 2020, 5:57 a.m.
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

So as someone totally ignorant to their application, what is it in terms of the setup that is giving you such a big improvement in ride feel?

Is it like they kinda make your tires "progressive"? Like you can run less pressure so you get more traction and they are softer initially, but the insert keeps them from sagging down or bottoming on bigger hits, and also keeps them from squirming in corners? 

So you kinda get the best of both worlds between less pressure and more pressure? 

Currently running 29x2.6 with decent casings and front tire I have no complaints. 20psi. Call it a day. 

For the rear I feel like I need about 26 or 28psi for support/rim protection but I pay a heavy cost in ride feel and traction. 

Goes for both my hardtail and fs. If this allowed me to run more like 22psi in the rear with better support I can definitely see the attraction.

Feb. 6, 2020, 6:56 a.m.
Posts: 448
Joined: May 11, 2018

In terms of their goodness, cushcore gives the Small bump compliance that forks are always claiming to excel at. Composed is the word I would use to describe it.

All the features you describe are true. You can run lower pressures and the tire feels stable. The ramp up is greater so lower pressures feel more supportive. The traction is pretty amazing as a result. I think just as important is the damping characteristics. I don't know exactly how it works but I Figure About a third of the air in the tire is trapped in little pockets in the foam. This air is dampened when it compresses and re-expands thus providing the ride feel. Whatever you read from cushcore is pretty much how I feel about the product. I don't feel like they are overselling it much. Maybe the reduced rolling resistance bit? But they are definitely not more rolling resistance.

bigger casings do not do the same thing unfortunately. I run everything from Exo minions to Dd and none feel like this. It's not just the low pressure thing either. I tried dropping the pressure as low as I could and although I tried everything down to about 15 psi I found the sweet spot was around 20 (18 front/20 rear).

I write all this as I really didn't want to add 1lb of rotational weight to my bike and had written these things off for clumsy/crazy riders. My friend told me the same thing I am saying and I figured why not give it a try. Now I bemoan having to shell out to upgrade the rest of the bikes in my garage. 1st world problems...I know.


 Last edited by: RAHrider on Feb. 6, 2020, 6:59 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 6, 2020, 7 a.m.
Posts: 277
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I've been on a couple rides now where CC riders had to do the "bandoleer of shame" when the KIA their tire/rim with CC inside and had to take the CC out all slimy with sealant and wear it bandoleer style for the rest of the ride while they limped home on a tube. It didn't look fun at all. Most other people did the same ride without zero issues and no inserts. Occasionally I'l read a CC article and get curious then think to myself why am I spending $$ to solve a problem I don't have and potentially add new problems to the equation?

If you are killing rims left and right I get the interest in CC, but that's not most riders I know.

Feb. 6, 2020, 7:17 a.m.
Posts: 904
Joined: June 26, 2012

Posted by: Vikb

I've been on a couple rides now where CC riders had to do the "bandoleer of shame" when the KIA their tire/rim with CC inside and had to take the CC out all slimy with sealant and wear it bandoleer style for the rest of the ride while they limped home on a tube. It didn't look fun at all. Most other people did the same ride without zero issues and no inserts. Occasionally I'l read a CC article and get curious then think to myself why am I spending $$ to solve a problem I don't have and potentially add new problems to the equation?

If you are killing rims left and right I get the interest in CC, but that's not most riders I know.

I’ve had one CushCore flat and just rode out on the flat tire with the CushCore still in.

In response to the original question - there is no question that the bike rides better with CushCore in. But the extra weight also makes me dread going uphill. I am currently waffling on whether to run it or not, based on what gives a better overall ride experience.


 Last edited by: D_C_ on Feb. 6, 2020, 7:20 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 6, 2020, 7:31 a.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I put Cush Core on my hardtail after I had almost rim destroying dent on a brand new rim. With things being super snowy and wet on the island I haven't really had a chance to test them on fast stuff but I do like the extra dampening. 

On a side note Muc-Off sealant is junk. It seems to just want to stay liquid and not deal the rims up. Might too water soluble. I am going to switch back to Orange.

Feb. 6, 2020, 11:55 a.m.
Posts: 805
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

I havent tried CC yet but can see the theoretical benefits, especially on a hardtail.

Im getting closer to pulling the trigger on a hardtail and Im also thinking that 29+ may be the way to go there.

Feb. 6, 2020, 12:22 p.m.
Posts: 2086
Joined: April 2, 2005

Posted by: RAHrider

I wasn't too keen on inserts until a friend of mine tried cushcore and told me that he liked them so much that if he had to give up something on his bike, the dropper would go before his inserts. I put off buying the $250 experiment for a month or two but after reading more, took the plunge. 

These stupid inserts are going to cost me a fortune by the time I upgrade all my bikes! They are so good I think I like The ride of my hardtail that has them better than my full sus without. 

So this thread is for people to sing the praises of cushcore and bemoan the cost. I have to say cushcore made my bike ride the way I've been trying to tune my suspension to feel for a decade!

do i need these on my gravel bike?

Feb. 7, 2020, 12:09 a.m.
Posts: 448
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Sethimus

Posted by: RAHrider

I wasn't too keen on inserts until a friend of mine tried cushcore and told me that he liked them so much that if he had to give up something on his bike, the dropper would go before his inserts. I put off buying the $250 experiment for a month or two but after reading more, took the plunge. 

These stupid inserts are going to cost me a fortune by the time I upgrade all my bikes! They are so good I think I like The ride of my hardtail that has them better than my full sus without. 

So this thread is for people to sing the praises of cushcore and bemoan the cost. I have to say cushcore made my bike ride the way I've been trying to tune my suspension to feel for a decade!

do i need these on my gravel bike?

Probably for the gravel bike? 

In regards to the weight, before cc I kept getting Heavier and heavier tires for the sidewall support, not the traction. I think I am going to try lighter tires with the cushcore as I suspect this will still ride well. When you are running 2.5 Dd minions, it's pretty easy to find a 250 g lighter tire with equivalent traction. The lighter sidewalls will have far less rolling resistance and the bike will be the same weight with less rolling resistance. That's the theory at least....

Not sure why your friend tore out the cushcore on the trail. It's rare you can't plug a hole on the trail and it not, just ride the flat home. That's what cc is for.

Feb. 8, 2020, 11:58 a.m.
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug. 1, 2019

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: Sethimus

Posted by: RAHrider

I wasn't too keen on inserts until a friend of mine tried cushcore and told me that he liked them so much that if he had to give up something on his bike, the dropper would go before his inserts. I put off buying the $250 experiment for a month or two but after reading more, took the plunge. 

These stupid inserts are going to cost me a fortune by the time I upgrade all my bikes! They are so good I think I like The ride of my hardtail that has them better than my full sus without. 

So this thread is for people to sing the praises of cushcore and bemoan the cost. I have to say cushcore made my bike ride the way I've been trying to tune my suspension to feel for a decade!

do i need these on my gravel bike?

Probably for the gravel bike? 

In regards to the weight, before cc I kept getting Heavier and heavier tires for the sidewall support, not the traction. I think I am going to try lighter tires with the cushcore as I suspect this will still ride well. When you are running 2.5 Dd minions, it's pretty easy to find a 250 g lighter tire with equivalent traction. The lighter sidewalls will have far less rolling resistance and the bike will be the same weight with less rolling resistance. That's the theory at least....

Not sure why your friend tore out the cushcore on the trail. It's rare you can't plug a hole on the trail and it not, just ride the flat home. That's what cc is for.

For the record, I've been running EXO sidewalls with CC's for the better part of a year now with zero issues (and zero flats - knocks on wood). There is no way I could get away with EXO sidewalls without the CC's. For the most part, the CC hype is real. They do everything they claim to do. I sometimes have a hard time reconciling the weight penalty, but I would pretty much be running DH casings otherwise, so it's probably pretty close weight either way(?)

Also, after doing the install/removal a couple times, it's not that hard - so long as you have a really good set of tire levers and a trash can to support the wheel (as per the CC video). I carry a good assortment of tire plugs on my rides, in case of a flat, as I don't think I have the mental or physical strength to attempt a trailside removal of these things!

Feb. 8, 2020, 2:01 p.m.
Posts: 1161
Joined: June 20, 2010

I ran them most of the year last year. Loved them on the trail bike. Pinch flat a couple of brand new tires so decided to try them. For me they take out a lot of microvibrations. the bike just floats over tiny bumps without it even reaching the suspension. I'm running DD f/r with cushcore and have smashed them good without fault. Will def be getting one or a set for the dh bike this yeah.

Feb. 9, 2020, 1:54 p.m.
Posts: 521
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: Vikb

I've been on a couple rides now where CC riders had to do the "bandoleer of shame" when the KIA their tire/rim with CC inside and had to take the CC out all slimy with sealant and wear it bandoleer style for the rest of the ride while they limped home on a tube. It didn't look fun at all. Most other people did the same ride without zero issues and no inserts. Occasionally I'l read a CC article and get curious then think to myself why am I spending $$ to solve a problem I don't have and potentially add new problems to the equation?

If you are killing rims left and right I get the interest in CC, but that's not most riders I know.

For bigger/heavier riders who have to run higher pressures to prevent burping or rim strikes I bet they make sense. It would be nice to be able to run reasonable pressures for good traction along with a tire of suitable sidewall toughness then have the tire support and rim protection handled by the Insert. Kind of makes sense. So far I've only tried a Huck Norris and didn't think too much of that. I'll try Cush Core or something similar next.

Feb. 9, 2020, 6:08 p.m.
Posts: 2121
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

I'm trying the XC 29 versions on a new build. I am a bigger guy but surprisingly easy on rims and tires. Looking at a bit of extra sidewall support and bead security as the biggest benefits.


 Last edited by: GladePlayboy on Feb. 9, 2020, 6:21 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 10, 2020, 1:49 a.m.
Posts: 448
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: craw

Posted by: Vikb

So far I've only tried a Huck Norris and didn't think too much of that. I'll try Cush Core or something similar next.

I don't think there is anything similar to cushcore. I am kind of curious how the Xc version works with 2.2-2.4 tires. The review on Nsmb only used them in tires they aren't meant for. 

Gladeplayboy, if you can, it would be awesome if you could post your ride impressions.

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