I'm beginning to wonder if this drive to inserts isn't in part caused by wider rims. I'd been on i26 rims for the past few years, and in combination with 2.3 DD rear and 2.4 EXO+ (both DHR2s), I'd found a winning formula. It was the first time I'd ever worn a tire out before cutting it at the sidewall (which I find is not fixable). I weigh 217 (it's been pretty steady for the many years), and I like to think I ride fairly hard (not pro, not beginner). At the end of this summer, I swapped to i30 rims.
In order to only change one thing at a time, I kept my pressures the same (26 front, 29 rear). I've found that I get more burping with the wider rims. I suppose it could be the different rims bead seats (went from Stans Flow EX to Chromag Phase 30), but I kind of doubt it. On my first week with the new rims, I burped the rear tire and dented the rim as I went through a significantly chundery section. (the rim now holds air just fine, but I'm still running fairly high pressure at around 30). A few weeks ago I finished a ride with a run down a very rocky section that's known to destroy DH wheels and tires (it's called the Dump...) I rode it gingerly, but managed to burp my front tire, which was a bit freaky in a high speed rock garden.
My theory is that wider rims create more volume in the tire. Since tires are essentially undamped springs, increasing the volume of the spring chamber is like running a more linear spring. As you hit things harder, the spring will blow through it's travel easier. This is my theory anyways. I can't help but feel that inserts are a way of countering this drawback. But so would simply running narrower rims.
I've been really interested in the Tannus inserts and been thinking long and hard about them. But I can't help but wonder if going back to a narrower rim would be lighter and more beneficial. I suppose I'd be giving up a bit traction by running lower pressure, but that's not something I'm really benefiting from at the moment anyways. At the same time, I'm willing to give EXO+ and Tannus a try to see if I can get the best of both worlds. @korc, do you know which distributor those shops are ordering from?