There was a time when you were fearful of running carbon rims in gnarly terrain, when you couldn’t finish a race run due to a flat tire and when the trail chatter just rattled through your entire body. Those days are over, Cushcore has certainly made massive head-way in each and every department and it’s fair to say it is pretty impressive. For the last three months the team at Brakes Wide Open has been testing out Cushcore tire inserts for the gravity application and our review needs to be read to be believed….
The team at Brakes Wide Open had heard about Cushcore, had read about Cushcore and were curious about Cushcore. So we decided to jump on into the testing domain and give the top of the line tire inserts a good, hard test. For three months we strapped them to a Giant Reign and sent the beast down some of the gnarliest terrain, through rock gardens, over jumps, down steep rocky chutes and across road gaps; to our surprise they held up their end of the bargain and delivered unbelievably.
What is Cushcore?
RRP $268 AUD (For 2 inserts and valves)
If you ask Cushcore themselves, Cushcore is a new suspension system for your tires that not only improve ride feel but prevents tire and wheel damage. The tire insert acts as the damper whilst the air in the tire itself behaves like a spring, improving ride quality, small bump sensitivity, decreasing vibration and improving sidewall stability in big hits. Sounds pretty good right? Well there is more, Cushcore not only does all this, but it also prevents flats by improving sidewall stability, eliminating pinch flats and protecting your rims in the event of a flat.
As you can see by the diagram below, Cushcore’s ability to maintain sidewall integrity prevents sidewall rolling in corners and burping as a result. Due to all of these factors, Cushcore allows you to run lower pressures in your tires, giving you more grip, more stability, puncture protection and rim protection. This all sounds pretty good, but does it really work and will it hold up to a long term test?
One of the hardest parts about choosing Cushcore for your steed, is fitting Cushcore to your bike. Whilst most forums will shout blue murder and scream at how impossible it is, they may be completely incorrect. Don’t get me wrong it did takes us a while, primarily because we chose not to follow the instructional video provided by Cushcore correctly; but once a pause was taken and the video was re-watched things got a whole lot clearer. Don’t get me wrong it will still take you a while the first time you fit them and it’s not the easiest to get the tire off the rim too, but if you follow the video in the link here, you’ll have it dialled in no time flat.
Cushcore Test Results
The bottom line is that Cushcore really does transform your ride, it made the bike feel more lively, it was smoother over rocky chatter and the bottom-out was never harsh. We slammed a set of Cushcore through their paces on everything from smooth groomed bike park trails with epic jumps, through to loose, rocky technical single track. After three months of testing, one has to wonder how you go back to riding without Cushcore.
We dropped the pressures down to 22psi in the front and 26 psi in the rear for an 85kg rider, with the Cushcore in place there was not a whisper of tire squirm or burping in the whole three months. Not a mark was found on any of the carbon rims used and the only flat we got was a sidewall cut which could not have been avoided. Just to really try the inserts on for size we rode down the rest of the trail with a rear flat with Cushcore inserts, no rim damage and safely to the bottom.
The Final Word
After three months of riding Cushcore on a long travel trail bike, it is going to be hard going back. Honestly the difference it makes is incredible, you can’t compare Huck Norris and other tire inserts to Cushcore because in our eyes at least…. they are totally different products. One prevents punctures and rim damage, whereas Cushcore truly is suspension for your tires and changes the ride all together. If you want to transform your ride and protect your rims at the same time then in our opinion you can’t go past Cushcore.