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Cush CoreTire Insert Set


Item # CCU0001

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  • Grey, 27.5 ($149.00)
  • Grey, 29+ ($149.00)
  • Grey, 29 ($149.00)
  • Grey, 27.5+ ($149.00)
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Item # CCU0001

Why We Like The Tire Insert Set

We dream of a future where the grass is green, the dirt is tacky, and we never get flat tires. Thankfully, we're not the only ones, which is why the engineers at Cush Core have been putting their all into designing a tire insert that far surpasses yesteryear's attempted quick fixes, and even goes beyond to provide suspension of its own, inside of our tires, for a plusher, more supportive ride of the future. The Cush Core Tire Insert Set might be a dream come true for riders who have blown countless tires or cracked rims on rough rides, designed to mount inside of mountain bike tires to divide the inner volume in half, protecting the rim with dense foam that reduces vibration and adds lateral stability to the tire.

  • Inserts for avoiding pinch flats and prolonging rim life
  • Adds suspension damping to your tires
  • Increases lateral stability for confident cornering
  • Compatible with tubeless tires and rims
  • Specially designed tubeless air valves included
  • Weighs about the same as a standard butyl inner tube
  • Fits rims with an internal diameter of 22-35mm
  • Ideal for 2.1-2.5in tires

Tech Specs
Materialclosed-cell polyolefin foam
Includes2 inserts, 2 valve stems
Activitymountain biking

Actual Weight

Grey, 27.5
Grey, 29+
Grey, 29
Grey, 27.5+

Claimed Weight

Claimed weights are provided by the vendor.

Have questions? Chat with a Gearhead

[size 29, single] 9.3oz, [valve, single] .2oz

Actual weights are measured in-house by the Competitive Cyclist team.

Have questions? Chat with a Gearhead

What do you think about this product?


>Rating: 5

Biggest development since tubeless

I've put it through the wringer

15+ years ago I ditched tubes for the first time and immediately realized the huge improvement to ride quality that tubeless brought to the table. Despite the obvious advantages and my raving, it still took a few more years before tubeless started becoming mainstream. Tire inserts are in that same phase right now. The difference in ride quality after installing Cushcore is night and day, but like tubeless years ago many riders remain skeptical. One of the big drivers of this skepticism is misunderstanding the most important role of a good insert. A lot of the rhetoric about inserts from people who haven't tried them tends to focus on rim/tire protection and being able to reduce tire pressures. These benefits are certainly real, but they're more like positive side effects than the main point. The really massive advantage that Cushcore and a couple other premium inserts bring to the table can be difficult to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. The way that Cushcore pushes against the sidewalls completely transforms the way the tire reacts to the terrain. A tire without an insert tends to work like suspension without damping, bouncing around with little control. Different tire constructions can have minor differences in the amount of natural damping, but none compare to the damping that a good insert provides. The pressure of Cushcore pushing against the sidewall adds significant damping to the system, massively improving the way the tire reacts to bumps. If you take the same bike through a rock garden with and without Cushcore, it's mind-blowing how much smoother the Cushcore bike feels. It's a far more drastic difference than a simple change in tire pressure can create. Additionally, Cushcore is supporting the sidewall of the tire at a much higher/wider point than the rim does, greatly improving tire stability when cornering hard. Nothing comes for free, and Cushcore does have disadvantages when it comes to installation, weight, and plus compatibility. Regarding plus-sized tires, Cushcore just doesn't provide the same benefits when you get beyond 2.5". I believe it's because there's so much tire sticking out beyond the insert that the damping and stability improvements just aren't there. The installation of Cushcore can be quite challenging the first time, but once the right technique is learned it's pretty quick and easy. The added weight is significant and there's no sugar-coating that, but the benefits are so drastic that even my XC bike is running lightweight inserts. For trail/enduro builds, Cushcore becomes a no-brainer. For anyone still skeptical, I highly recommend giving Cushcore a try. If you've got a friend running it, borrow their front wheel for a run through some rocks and you'll immediately understand. If you've already got a half-decent bike, there's no upgrade that will make more difference than running Cushcore.

>Rating: 4

Experiment with your air pressure

I've used it several times
True to size
6` 2"
320 lbs

1. Installing these wasn’t so bad, I did it along with new tires, which was a bit touchy but ended up only taking about 30-40 min front and rear. I used lots of soapy water and a plastic trash can to hold the rim. YouTube gave pretty good guidance. 2. First ride impressions weren’t great. I ran with 30 psi front and back. I’m 210, so this is usually necessary to save my rims. With the reduced air volume, 30 psi felt more like 25 psi. It felt very spongy though, and the rear specifically felt somewhat unstable to me. I kept thinking I had a flat or my axle was loose. My next ride, I dropped down to 25 front, 27 rear. It felt much better. My recommendation would be to start with the same pressure you normally run and work down based on feel. 3. The material and construction is top notch. Foam is tricky to tool for in manufacturing, and these are very durable and appear high quality. The valve stems included may be the nicest valve stems I’ve ever seen. CNC’d valve stem covers are a bit much, but when your buying a $150 pool noodle I guess that’s a nice touch. While these are expensive, I’m on my 3rd rear wheel in 2 years, and second set of tires. So I felt this is worth the try. They do feel heavy, but I don’t notice it on trail. All in all, I am happy with the purchase and would highly recommend. Especially to heavier riders.

>Rating: 1

Worst MTB product I have ever purchased

I've used it several times

I actually didn't have too much trouble installing these. I threw them in a Maxxis DHF 2.6 front and an Aggressor 2.5 rear. My issue was the performance, or really lack there of. All I encountered were a slew of disadvantages. First off, they shrink the volume of your tire. People have mentioned that this makes them more "progressive." I just found that they were bouncing off of everything even after I kept dropping the pressure. I ended up with 17psi front and 18psi rear and they were still bouncing off of rocks and not holding a line (normally I run 20/23psi). Next is that I could really feel the extra weight in the front wheel on steep technical climbs. My HD4 is relatively slack but with a 35mm stem, the steering always felt really precise... until cushcore went in. Much more wandering and tire flop. Didn't make it up many of the tech sections that I regularly clear. At the end of my ride, I slowly lost air to the point I had to get off the bike. Replacing a flat on the trail would be a complete nightmare and nearly impossible. Luckily I was able to get a ride home. Turns out my rim tape was damaged due to trying to jam the bead to the center of the rim on install. So 2+ hrs later I finally got the cushcore pulled, the rim tape replaced after vigorous cleaning, and my tires back on. Never again

Welp I'm like you where tech climbs are all I'm about and it looks like I won't be buying these. Thanks for the info. Hopefully my DD tire will be stiff nuff

It's easy to tear the tape during installation when you're new to installing Cushcore. Installation actually becomes really easy once you've done it enough times to get the technique down. The bouncy ride you described is what I also felt when I tried Cushcore in plus tires. The benefits seem to be much greater for tires in the 2.3-2.4 range where the insert can really control the tire. The plus tires leave so much tire beyond the insert that ride quality doesn't improve in the same way. I suspect that's why Cushcore dragged their feet for so long bringing a plus version to market.


Is it sold per wheel or in pairs for both wheels?

>Rating: 5

Do it!

I've put it through the wringer

Cush core! It’s so the best and has seriously saved my carbon wheels. I never hear a ping anymore if I hit rocks or anything else on the trail. I use them in the rear of my trail and DH bike and the weight added seems negligible for the protection. They can be hard to install but with a little patience and by following their videos it is actually super easy. A little soapy water and the there was no need to use tire levers. I did it all by hand. Without is a little more work but if you really make sure you take the time to push the insert and tire into the center of the rim, it really offers a lot more space. Take a few deep breaths and it’ll all be worth it

>Rating: 5

Love me some Cush!

I've put it through the wringer

Seriously though, cush core is a game changer. Its like adding 10mm of bottom out control to your suspension all while saving you countless dollars on tire and rim replacements. I have been riding cush core for a little over a year now and have since recommended it to countless friends whom are only upset they didn't buy it sooner. Do your bike a favor and get CUSH CORE!

>Rating: 5

Problem(s) Solved

I've put it through the wringer

Below are the main benefits I found when running single-ply tires at lower pressures with the inserts. For reference, I run Maxxis DHF EXO 29x2.5 3C at @ 23r/20f on rocky / technical east coast terrain. They eliminate tire squirm while maintaining good feel and rebound characteristics. The inserts stabilize the lower portion of the sidewall, but keep the tread portion supple – resulting in improved cornering + overall stability. Reduced the air volume in the tire makes it more progressive – so it ramps up faster, then eventually engages the foam – making the tire behave more predictably + act more like part of the bike’s suspension. They lock the bead of the tire against the rim, eliminating burping. They do add rotating mass (vs running just a single-ply tire), but the weight is inboard (being on the rim side vs. the tread side). I was lucky enough to start with a pretty light set of wheels, so I felt like I had a bit of wiggle-room. Installation and removal are actually no sweat if you follow the instructions and use plenty of soapy water. I did a tire change a couple weeks ago and it took me about 15 minutes, Stan’s & all. Probably not for everyone, but it you are fussy about tire performance, run lower pressures and don’t want to drag-around DH tires, these are a pretty nice solution.

>Rating: 5

Hard to install but worth it

I've put it through the wringer

I run these with Maxxis Minions and feel like my wheels are bulletproof. It took me a while to get these set up but I was able to do with two bike levers, some soap and water (important!), and some techniques that I found on the Cush Core site. 5/5 stars hands down once they're on!

>Rating: 5

Nice Touch

I bought these for flat protection on my downhill bike. So far, they’ve worked awesome and add peace of mind when it comes to protecting my rims. I’m excited to see how they hold up during the rest of the season.

>Rating: 4

A Real Step Forward

I've put it through the wringer

Let's get this out of the way; if you think it's crazy to add a pound of rotating weight to your bike to mitigate flat tires and rim damage, Cushcore isn't for you. If you've had race weekends derailed by punctures, had to replace multiple rims per season due to impact damage, or have resigned yourself to running 30psi+ to fend off flats, this setup is worth a serious look. The Good: First and foremost, Cushcore actually lives up to the marketing promises. It acts as a bumper between the rim and tire under full tire compression, making it extremely difficult to pinch flat the tire's casing. Because the insert is much wider than the tire, it applies pressure to the sidewall of the tire, reducing the chances of burping air, and supporting the sidewalls in corners at lower pressures. It noticeably reduces the "pinging" sensation that you'll experience as the tire deflects off rocks at speed. The sensation of riding Cushcore is similar to the damping provided by dual-ply DH tires, although it's even more pronounced. I was originally skeptical, but the improved tire feel has become one of my favorite features of the Cushcore system. In practice, it has effectively eliminated pinch flats, stopped rim damage, and has plainly allowed me to ride my trail bike faster, especially in rocky terrain. The Bad: It's an absolute hassle to install. Following the instructions and using soapy water helps, but installing and changing tires is a bear. It's heavy, at roughly 200g/wheel. It's expensive for what amounts to a set of glorified (albeit carefully engineered) pool noodles. The included valve stems are not long enough to fit many modern carbon fiber rims. And one insert lasts through about two tires before the foam has broken down to a point where it looses its supportiveness and must be replaced. The Noteworthy: Although plenty of folks have claimed that they've been able to run lighter weight tires and much less pressure with Cushcore, that's not been my experience. Tire pressures have been reduced slightly, with attendant improvements in grip and rider comfort (26f/28r, from 28f/30r with 2.3-2.4 tires @ 175lbs). After experimenting with EXO casing tires, I'm back to running Double Down casings to avoid cut sidewalls. YMMV. Overall, I'm very impressed. It's not perfect, and it's obviously not for everyone, but for those of us who regularly exceed the air retention capabilities of reinforced tubeless tires, Cushcore is an effective solution to one of mountain biking's most persistent problems.

Awesome review. Personally, I didn't notice the rotating weight penalty, but did notice a big help in cornering. Straight up - I'm more confident going into corners and ripping them. And there's great cushion and support going over the chunder. Thumbs up, Cush Core. I'm pretty disappointed to hear that they break down/lose their support, especially at the price that they're at. To your point, since they're a glorified pool noodle, hopefully some competition can disrupt this market a bit with a lower price point.

I've been able to mostly get rid of pinch flats by running a DHF double down in the rear (28 psi) and magic mary super gravity, which also has a double case, on the front at 27 psi. If I can't go to a lighter casing, is there enough benefit in the ride with a cush core to justify the additional weight, especially given the even bigger weight penalty with the double casing tires I've already got to deal with?

@Absinthe, Cushcore probably isn't worth the headache if you've been able to successfully mitigate rim and tire damage by running tires with reinforced casings. The enhancements in tire damping and ride quality are immediately noticeable, but as much as I appreciate the benefit, I'm not sure that it sufficiently offsets the 200g weight penalty per wheel if the added flat resistance isn't your primary motivation. However, your use of "mostly" suggests that you may still be struggling with air retention. If that's the case, I can wholeheartedly recommend it, even considering my previously stated gripes.