They aren’t just puncture preventors. Read on...
CushCore is one of the original tyre inserts. Those foam rubber looking things that protect your rim and tyre from pinch flats and dents.
CushCores are one of the more expensive inserts out there (£80 per wheel, all in) but they aren’t just puncture preventors. Let me explain.
Like most CushCore users I suspect, I got these inserts to help with puncture prevention. Like most CushCore users, I’ve ended up really, truly appreciating them for their other qualities. Sure, I’ve not experienced any pinch flats since installing CushCore – which is great and everything – but the real takeaway here is how they can improve the actual ride of your bike and, in the process, how much energy they can save you.
What am I on about? CushCore-d tyres offer the best of both worlds: supple on the small stuff, supportive when you need them. It’s a bit like putting volume spacers in your suspension to achieve a soft initial touch with a firm, ramp-up deeper into the travel. These inserts enable you to ride with normal trail tyres (ie. not downhill casing) and have the top half of the tyre super supple whilst retaining sidewall support for when turning aggressively. The suppleness helps improve traction on certain surfaces for sure but the best thing about it is how much rolling resistance is improved. The top of the tyre crumples so easily that it noticeably saves on physical exertion.
A lot of the ‘draggy’ feeling of DH casing tyres is not actually drag from the knobbles or sticky rubber compound, it’s energy lost into the constant crumpling of the stiff tyre carcass. It’s like having a 120TPI XC tyre when you want one and a 60TPI Dual Ply DH tyre when you need one. With these CushCores installed in a set of 2.6in Schwalbe Apex-carcass tyres has been amazing. Less sketchy. Less tiring. More miles. More fun.
Installing them is not easy but neither is it ridiculous. Read and watch a few tutorials online and you’ll be fine. Don’t attempt to install them without research. My tip: ‘lube up’ the inside of your tyre first with soap sud spray or such.
When it comes to giving them a rating, it’s tricky. Even after experiencing their wonders, the £80-per-wheel price still looks high.