When CushCore debuted a handful years ago it took the gravity side of MTBing by storm and for good reason. No false promises, just a solid product backed up by heaps of testing and data- lots and lots of data. As the years have passed the race results have started to add up and so has the amount of riders using it.
Who's this item for: Trail, Enduro, All Mountain, E-Biker, DH racers and riders alike. Or anyone who wants to make a marked improvement to their bikes performance.
Tubes / Tubeless: CushCore is not intended to be used with tubes- but it can be if you find yourself in a tricky situation.
Materials: It's made from a specifically designed and formulated closed cell foam.
Theory: Ideally a tire would act more like a suspension system with both a spring and a damper. The spring would support the load while the damper would dissipates the energy. CushCore's 'Inner Tire Suspension System' delivers this technology to tyres for the first time. The engineered foam insert mounts inside a mountain bike tire and divides the inner volume of the tire in half. Air underneath the tread patch and the CushCore insert next to the rim. Together they work as a spring and damper. The air is the spring, the insert is the damper.
Durability: Cushcore inserts are extremely durable. One of the early tests to determine how well the foam would 'rebound' back into shape was to repeatedly strike it with a hammer on a concrete floor. Agricultural yes, but it served the task. The foam is engineered to repeatedly withstand poundings without degradation. A set typically lasts a rider a few years although the service life does depend on riding frequency, terrain, tyre pressure and other factors.
Fitment difficulty 1 - 10 (10 being the most difficult): This is the most commonly asked question about tyre inserts. How many gorilla's am I going to have to be-friend to get these things installed? If you have never installed CushCore and prefer to work things out yourself rather than read instructions- all of the gorillas. If you don't mind taking 5 minutes to read the instructions or watch the installation video it's not too bad. You will run into difficulties if you don't use CushCore's installation method. Fitment difficulty = 7/10 Oh, a garbage bin will be a huge help too.
Stand out Features: This is currently the only tyre insert on the market that offers rim protection as well as a tyre suspension system.
- Motion Instruments, a data acquisition testing specialist, mounted accelerometers (“G-force” sensors) to two test bikes and ran a course with CushCore and without CushCore. The accelerometer is mounted to the head tube, which can accurately measure bump forces as they are experienced by the rider.
- Riders with CushCore experienced 11-12% less G-force from bump impacts.
- In addition to Motion Instruments’ testing, CushCore conducted tests to evaluate cornering performance using an MTS Roehrig EMA-2K suspension dyno.
- Lateral Stiffness Test: The tire sidewalls are compressed equally from both sides. This measures sidewall stiffness.
- Tire Roll Test: The rim is fixed in position while the actuator presses against one side of the tire and deflects it horizontally. This mimics the forces exerted on the tire in aggressive cornering.
- CushCore adds lateral stability by exerting a constant outward pressure against the tire sidewalls.
- Motion Instruments, used sensors to measure suspension travel usage with and without CushCore.
- CushCore absorbed some of the bump forces before they affected the rest of the bike. This effectively means you don't feel the bumps or the bumps feel less abrupt/harsh.
- Wheel Energy, an independent tire and wheel testing contractor based in Finland, performed rolling resistance tests for CushCore. They apply a fixed load to simulate the rider’s weight and roll the wheel on a drum. The test compares a Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.35 tubeless tire with and without CushCore at 25 psi.
- Standard tubeless tire: 37.1 watts
- CushCore equipped tire: 35.9 watts
- Energy savings: 1.2 watts (3.2%)
What's in the box:
- 2 x CushCore inserts
- 2 x CushCore tubeless valves
Pros: All in all CushCore makes your ride more comfortable, stable and enjoyable. This is easily the cheapest, performance driven upgrade you can do to your bike. Just think about feeling 10-12% less impact from your front wheel. How nice would that be!
Cons: Installing CushCore does add some weight to your ride.