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  1. #1
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    Cush Core, have it? want it? used it?

    Setting up for my first set of carbons on my Ripmo. Gone back and forth a bit whether to invest another $150 into the wheels by adding Cush Core (https://www.cushcore.com/)

    Anyone currently running them on their rig? I'm interested in them not just for the rim protection, but the ability to tune the air volume (lower pressures than the ~26/28 that I'm currently running. Really enjoy lower pressures (22ish) but can't stand all the flats that seem to happen.

    I ride just about all the terrain I can, and put some good mileage in.

    Anyways, would appreciate any insight! Shred on :-)

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    "I just got back from the Psych ward...OBVIOUSLY i am sane!"

  2. #2
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    Dec 2004
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    Buddy I ride with quite a bit is using them on his 2 29ers. He has very nice wheels on both. He also tips the scale (hard) at 250 fully decked out.

    He says they are a game changer for him.
    Ooof!

  3. #3
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    I'm 195ish with gear on, the trade off of moving to carbons then adding cush core will likely end up being close to what I'm running now with aluminum S35's.
    "I just got back from the Psych ward...OBVIOUSLY i am sane!"

  4. #4
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    Never tried CC, but have been pretty happy with Rimpact. Kinda like a Huck on steroids. Better protection, better damping and doesn't get chewed up as quickly as Huck.

    I've torn three sidewalls in the couple years I've been using inserts, something I hadn't done in years. Potential downside, or could have been bad luck.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    Never tried CC, but have been pretty happy with Rimpact. Kinda like a Huck on steroids. Better protection, better damping and doesn't get chewed up as quickly as Huck.

    I've torn three sidewalls in the couple years I've been using inserts, something I hadn't done in years. Potential downside, or could have been bad luck.
    Thx! Will take a look at Rimpact.
    "I just got back from the Psych ward...OBVIOUSLY i am sane!"

  6. #6
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    I run it sometimes. For me, it doesn't really let me get away with running lower pressure, mostly because I'm limited on what I want to run by how the tires hold up in corners, more so than avoiding flats. I do only weigh about 165lb, so there's that. For reference, I'm running something in the ballpark of 27f/30r in Exo and Double Down casings for trail bike / endurbro duty. Cush core, especially in the rear, does mute impacts to the rim a bit and helps prevent pinch flats and rim damage some for sure, but it doesn't really offer all that much extra sidewall support, and if I run much less pressure than usual, with or without inserts, I just find that the tire feels squirmy and like I'm folding it over under hard cornering.

    If I were heavier/more of a hack/was charging harder and felt like I needed more tire to rim impact protection, I'd probably be more fully stoked on it.

  7. #7
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    Agreed with HAB. I've used it, have some sitting in my basement, but ultimately prefer how the tires feel without CC installed. I don't really get flats running DH casing tires (usually something a little lighter in the front), and the weight penalty in roughly a wash. If we're talking about DH bikes where weight doesn't matter much, then yeah, I'd run them.

    I also have a friend who owns a company that sells carbon rims. He's convinced CC leads to premature rim failure. His reasoning is that while large impacts are more protected, there are far more medium impacts that are transmitted directly into the rim that otherwise would only affect the tire. Not sure if I buy that or not, but he says they've had a lot of problems with rim failures with CC installed.

  8. #8
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    Interesting perspective and appreciate the insight.
    "I just got back from the Psych ward...OBVIOUSLY i am sane!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    I also have a friend who owns a company that sells carbon rims. He's convinced CC leads to premature rim failure. His reasoning is that while large impacts are more protected, there are far more medium impacts that are transmitted directly into the rim that otherwise would only affect the tire. Not sure if I buy that or not, but he says they've had a lot of problems with rim failures with CC installed.
    I... don't think I buy that from a load distribution perspective at all. It seems more likely that the people who want to run cush core are, broadly speaking, the same people who are more inclined to smash rims in general.

    I am on my 5th beer of the evening and did not stay in a Holiday Inn last night, so grains of salt and whatnot.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2008
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    Realizing I’m now jinxing myself but I run 27.5x2.5 on i9 305 and have always used exo+ (which is to say not DD/DH) with occasional exo, I run around 21f/23r on average, I’m 200 lbs fully loaded, past 29x2.5 I ran around the same,- only cut one maxxis tires in the 8 years since I’ve become more serious about the sport (4+ in dry Colorado and 4 in the east coast, and now out to the PNW full time). A couple of burp flats when I didn’t pump up at the TH. Never used a cushcore.

    So in sum, maybe I just suck, maybe I’m doing this riding thing wrong, but apparently I’m not gnar because I don’t have flat/tear issues despite not using inserts. Yet every forum or website I read everyone chews up about 3 tires a year without them. Me no get it,

    I consider myself now jinxed and permanently fucked with tires
    Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?

    fuck that noise.

    gmen.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2005
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    I run CCs in an older I9 Gravity wheelset on a Spartan. With the majority of the trails I do, I run 2.4 Ardents-it’s either hard or sand around here and I like the lower knobs. I’m heavy at 230ish and like low 20s for PSI. Pretty lame combo for Ardents, I know. I haven’t felt a rim hit since I put them in. I also haven’t blown a bead. I still cut a sidewall a season or so. I do like the ride but Ardents are pretty soft without.

    Never ran them in Minions and thinking about putting a set of those back on. Not sure I would or I’d least try with and without. I’m not too concerned about bike weight as I am ride quality.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2017
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    I'd like to try it but am concerned about the additional time taken to install a tube trailside when the sidewall gets torn. Running "Summer" WTB Tough & EXO + Winter Maxxis DH/DD & Schwalbe SG

  13. #13
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    I've got them in my DH bike, my Ebike and the rear of my trail bike. My wife is also rocking them the same.
    Between us we've had one flat with CC. It was the wife actually, running 14psi in the rear of her Ebike with a 2.8" DHR. She's 125lbs kitted up. She pedaled uphill another mile + 200' vertical, then down 2 miles of chunky rocky steep trial for about 1000' vertical ......... on the flat. The rim looked fantastic when I pulled off the tire. In fact, the tire looked fantastic except for the slash from what must have been something very sharp.

    If you're charging through rocky terrain at high speed, the Cush Core makes a very palpable difference in how the bike feels/handles/tracks. If you're a delicate rider, or you're all jibby/flicky, it's probably a detriment. They're a pain to get on and off. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. But the new CC tire lever is baller.

    In contrast, Huck Norris is kind of garbage. You'll probably get less flats, but you'll still flat. You'll definitely still destroy your rim.
    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  14. #14
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    I've never tried any of these inserts, but am considering one for the rear on a hardtail.

    For those who have tried both: preference for insert vs burlier sidewall tire, and why? I don't typically cut open tires on rocks, so Exo has been fine - but if Exo+ or Silkshield or whatever would let me use a lower pressure, that'd be nice. Or if an insert is a better way to go....?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    I've never tried any of these inserts, but am considering one for the rear on a hardtail.

    For those who have tried both: preference for insert vs burlier sidewall tire, and why? I don't typically cut open tires on rocks, so Exo has been fine - but if Exo+ or Silkshield or whatever would let me use a lower pressure, that'd be nice. Or if an insert is a better way to go....?
    I think it largely depends what you're trying to get out of it. If we're talking sidewall cuts, or punctures through the tread, burlier casing, no question. Both help with pinch flats, but I'd probably give an edge to Cush Core for that. Both help with sidewall support a little bit, but not enough to change the pressure you'd want to run by more than 1-2psi, IME. Cush Core does a better job of keeping the bead seated and stopping you from burping the tire, so might be a better call if that's an issue for you and you're trying to get away with super low pressure, but for me at least, the tire feeling squirmy in corners becomes a problem faster than burping does if I don't have enough air in the tire, so that's less of a concern.

  16. #16
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    Feb 2014
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    652
    Never used it, but I only weigh like 165 and the local trails don't have much in the way of rocks. I never flat, run about 19F/21R in Michelin enduro casings, 1-2 PSI higher for Maxxis EXO casings.

    A local skills coach that I've taken a few classes recommended to me to try Cushcore XC in the rear only. He said that for our weights (he only weighs like 150 or so) we won't flat, but CC XC helps stabilize the sidewall, so you can run very low pressures without the tires squirming when you aggressively load the tire into a berm. I haven't gotten around to doing it, but have considered it a few times. I do notice after the fact on runs when I've ridden well the typical XXXX pattern on the sidewalls from rolling tires, but haven't noticed burping them. I definitely find the tires borderline squirmy right now, so it might be something to try next time I swap tires.

  17. #17
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    I think the best solution is highly dependent on a ton of factors and requires experimentation to determine what works best.

    I think the added sidewall support of most inserts is part of what increases the chances of sidewall cuts, at least in the case of thin sidewall tires (EXO). For me, a decent insert virtually eliminated pinch flats and allowed me to run lower pressure (lower than I was running, but not really low) with EXO, but came at the expense of sidewall cuts. The solution has been a burlier casing, which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place. My current stance is that the best scenario for me is a DD-level casing with a medium density (Rimpact) insert, but I'm still experimenting. YMMV, etc.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  18. #18
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    I destroyed a carbon rim once, and got a pair of Cushcore inserts on here for cheap. I like running pretty low pressure (~18-20f, 20-25r) in Exo casing tires and never worrying about rolling the tire off the rim in corners. I only weigh 135lbs, so I could probably get away with running these pressures without inserts most of the time, but the damped feel when smashing through rocks is also pretty great. Don't really worry about sidewall damage, but then again the trails are pretty forgiving on tires in Western Washington.

    My only experience with a flat after installing CC was a puncture in the tread after months of not adding new sealant, and it was nice to be able to limp home without worrying about destroying another rim.
    Last edited by Toddball; 06-11-2020 at 10:53 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    My current stance is that the best scenario for me is a DD-level casing with a medium density (Rimpact) insert, but I'm still experimenting. YMMV, etc.
    I think this is what I'm leaning towards. When I was riding Martis Peak last week, had the same discussion about tires/CC/etc with a couple of the guys there. They ride that rowdy stuff pretty often and he says he's pretty much fully switched to the DD casing. Sounds like I may try that option first, prior to investing in CC.
    "I just got back from the Psych ward...OBVIOUSLY i am sane!"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    I run them front and rear on my trail bike with DD casing tires. Don't carry tubes anymore unless im a long long way from home. Would be faster to just walk out 90% of the time any way then try and pop off CC sealed tires. You can also grind your way out on a flat with cush core without completely totalling the tire. Survived lots of Whistler bike park EWS practice (switched to DH on the back for the race) and nearly a half season on top of that.

  21. #21
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    Mar 2012
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    I don't run them personally, but most of my friends do. SWCO (low and high country)/Utah desert riding mostly. I have to run 26/28 on my pressures while similar build friends (180-200lbs full kit) with CC can run down into the low 20s and even teens with little issue, which I envy. Couple of friends only run them in the rear which seems to be the ticket for longer mileage days where the extra rotation weight on the front wheel can make those tight switchbacks and steep, long ascents more strenuous. Very little, to no bike park experience, but I can hardly see the downside if all you're doing is hucking your meat in the park all day long.

    I know I will likely upgrade to CC in the rear on my next wheelset/bike. I have managed to put multiple dingers in my rear rim due to either flats or not checking my pressures before rides. I learned my lesson on that, but my current rear wheel will never be perfectly true again lol. I did upgrade to a DD casing on my new tire after popping my last one on something stupid sharp and putting what I thought was a totaling level ding in my rear wheel half a second later. Gotta love the ability to bend aluminum, but with CC I could have probably ridden the mile home instead of walking.

  22. #22
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    Interesting perspectives on CC and similar products. All my riding buddies use them but I donít feel the need too. Most of those dudes ride on 160mm+ bikes and have pricey carbon wheels.

    Iím not too hard on rims and maybe get a flat a season. Also running alloy rims and regular casing 2.5/2.4 Minions at about 25ish psi. Love the ride - super damp and supportive.

    I donít like the fact that with CC if I do flat while a ways from my car the options are not fun. The added weight is also a deterrent.

    That said, if I was running carbon rims on a longer travel bike, Iíd look into it but CC solves a problem that doesnít exist for me.


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  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    652
    Food for thought: CC XC generally weighs less than going from a Maxxis EXO to DD for the same tire in 29. As a never-flatter, I just ordered a single XC to run in the rear for sidewall stability. I'll try to remember to post again in a few weeks after I've ridden them a bit.

  24. #24
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    After looking at the plethora of options like this I keep returning to the Huck Norrises. Lightest protector out there, cheap, adds maybe 20 seconds to tire install, and seems to work. I guess I can't really prove it works since, if it does, you don't know it. I just know I don't get pinch flats or break carbon rims. And I'm a DH guy in steep, sharp, rocky terrain.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxtar View Post
    After looking at the plethora of options like this I keep returning to the Huck Norrises. Lightest protector out there, cheap, adds maybe 20 seconds to tire install, and seems to work. I guess I can't really prove it works since, if it does, you don't know it. I just know I don't get pinch flats or break carbon rims. And I'm a DH guy in steep, sharp, rocky terrain.
    But you don't get sidewall support with Huck Norris, right? Not a big deal with heavier casing tires I guess.
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