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Garson Fields

Garson Fields

Park City

Garson Fields's Bio

Grew up in Western Mass, then spent a few years in Vermont before relocating to Utah. Between family, swimming holes, and the mountain biking, my heart will forever be in New England. I love to pedal, despite growing up racing Downhill. When I'm not writing copy for Competitive Cyclist, I'm usually riding bikes, snowboarding, drinking coffee, or some combination thereof.

Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on November 27, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: 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.

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Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on October 2, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's a useful tool, especially if you're dealing with a questionable tubeless setup. Seat your tire first, then add sealant, and pretty much eliminate the chance of making a pneumatically-powered mess. It's a staple of my travel tool kit.

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Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on July 17, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my go-to rear tire. The tread pattern rolls fairly fast and offers plenty of braking traction. As you lean over, the tire transitions smoothly to the side knobs, which bite hard and slide predictably. The rubber compound strikes a nice balance of being grippy without wearing at an excessive rate. The Double Down casing is significantly more supportive than the EXO casing, and it's far more tear and puncture-resistant as well. Well worth the weight penalty, ATMO.

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Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on July 17, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Big fan of the material-- stretchy, stays dry, and has proven to be durable despite having a very lightweight feel. The shorter length is ideal if you're not wearing pads. Not sure if the buckle is necessary? The fit works well for me. Just enough room to move, without flapping. They haven't knocked the Livewire Pro shorts off the top of my list, but they're quite nice none the less.

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Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on February 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Hydration bladders are pretty simple, which made this one a pleasant surprise. The wide mouth makes it easy to clean, and the high-flow hose is a noticeable improvement. It's not quite revolutionary, but it's a step better than most of the hydration bladders I've used in the past.

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Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on November 29, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things are sweet. They're grippy on dirt, roll fairly fast on pavement, and they'll shrug off some serious hits without flatting. It was painless setting them up tubeless on WTB i19 Asym rims with one layer of Gorilla tape. They're not the longest lasting tire, and the 40mm size will be too big for most race-focused 'cross bikes, but they're absolutely worth running if they suit your intended use.

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Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on November 29, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

SPD mountain cleats seem to last forever, or at least a few seasons, but they'll wear out before a set of pedals. That's where these come in. These singe-release cleats are what come stock with your pedals, so you won't be in for any surprises.

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Garson Fields

Garson Fieldswrote a review of on July 8, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The only thing the M8000 cassettes give up to their XTR brethren is weight. Otherwise, you're looking at excellent shifts, surprising durability, and a wide range of gearing options. Not the first choice for obsessive gram counters, but probably the best choice for anyone else running a Shimano drivetrain.

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