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I’ve run Cushcore in the rear only on several bikes for Phoenix riding. I think it’s a net positive if you’re riding pinned on big terrain.

I’m 180 pounds and generally run tubeless at ~30 psi rear and 25 front. Any lower in the rear and I’m on the rims in our terrain. I don’t find I reduce much pressure with the insert, but I like the feel of the damping and how it reduces the chatter frequency coming through the tires. That and the peace of mind are worth the weight penalty on bigger bikes.

I don’t, however, run inserts on my Tallboy.
 

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If they're tight against the rim channel, did you have to modify the insert where the valve is?
I cut the length of the foam to be about an inch shorter than the circumference of the rim, so when I zip-tied it together there is a small gap for the valvestem.

Full disclosure-
It works in theory, and is generally OK in practice; but I’ve had the foam migrate around and block off the valvestem, which made pressure adjustment a hassle. It’s ok when adding air, but can make taking PSI out a bit of a faff. Kinda like when sealant gums up the valvestem.
If I’m fully deflating- After core removal, I had to use a small hex key to push the foam up off the valvestem.

I don’t claim it to be a good setup, I only claim that for less than $25 I got to ‘try’ inserts and see if they work for me. So far, they’ve worked well enough that I haven’t stopped using them, but someday, when these are dead, I’m going to pony up for something like a Vittoria AirLiner.
I have no interest in CushCore style inserts that are near impossible to remove trailside. I will say I can get my ghetto liners on and off with a single tire lever.

Despite my relative success, I won’t likely be re-purchasing Backer rod.


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This will be on my enduro bike, I'm curious about rim protection. I've dented my previous rims and finally got a set of DT Swiss EX 511, the other rims I had have a history of being soft (E13, Raceface AR). Maybe with the Ex511 I don't need inserts?
They help with rim protection but I'd still say you should run the appropriate tire casing and sufficient pressure first. If you're running 15 psi with EXO tires and denting rims then inserts shouldn't be the first thing you change.
 

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I will say that one of my rear rim dents this year came when riding outside the PNW, in Utah. I was running ~30psi, in with a DD class casing (Michelin Wild Enduro).Yet landing from a ~4ft drop, I just landed in the exact "right" place, and got a rim bead dent. Hard to say if a better rim wouldn't have bent. But I'd say broadly speaking, that I was using the right tire and pressure. But if I was living/riding there regularly, I wouldn't be dropping pressure even if I kept an insert (unless it enabled me to run ~30-35psi, instead of something crazy like 40psi).

Generally around here, the PNW is more rooty than rocky, and there aren't a huge number of square edged hits. So here, in the winter when traction is more at a premium, I have been using them to reduce pressure.

I will say, at lower pressure, they do feel a bit like someone "lowered the volume" on the trail noise that comes through. Its noticable, but not huge. And I think "some" of this would still be there if the pressures were higher, as the insert goes ~1/3 - 1/2 way up the side of the casing, and so even if you're not getting constant rim hits at non-insert air pressures, I'd wager that a fair number of them would still be slowed down/reduced by hitting the insert.

Also, I've never run cushcore, but I did appreciate that the Tannus tubeless inserts weren't that big of a deal to put on, were lighter, and were "more" reasonably priced ($50/wheel). Also, I have confidence that I could remove the insert trailside with tire levers, as I put them in without levers. So I could pull out the insert trailside, and throw in a tube if needed.

I will say though that Cushcore is probably much better to ride out on with zero air pressure. Its a much more substantial product.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I cut the length of the foam to be about an inch shorter than the circumference of the rim, so when I zip-tied it together there is a small gap for the valvestem.

Full disclosure-
It works in theory, and is generally OK in practice; but I’ve had the foam migrate around and block off the valvestem, which made pressure adjustment a hassle. It’s ok when adding air, but can make taking PSI out a bit of a faff. Kinda like when sealant gums up the valvestem.
If I’m fully deflating- After core removal, I had to use a small hex key to push the foam up off the valvestem.

I don’t claim it to be a good setup, I only claim that for less than $25 I got to ‘try’ inserts and see if they work for me. So far, they’ve worked well enough that I haven’t stopped using them, but someday, when these are dead, I’m going to pony up for something like a Vittoria AirLiner.
I have no interest in CushCore style inserts that are near impossible to remove trailside. I will say I can get my ghetto liners on and off with a single tire lever.

Despite my relative success, I won’t likely be re-purchasing Backer rod.


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Thanks for the info, just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
They help with rim protection but I'd still say you should run the appropriate tire casing and sufficient pressure first. If you're running 15 psi with EXO tires and denting rims then inserts shouldn't be the first thing you change.
Still running the Stock EXO tires, PSI @ 25 and weigh 185. Trying to decide on EXO+ with insert or just go with a DD without insert.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I will say that one of my rear rim dents this year came when riding outside the PNW, in Utah. I was running ~30psi, in with a DD class casing (Michelin Wild Enduro).Yet landing from a ~4ft drop, I just landed in the exact "right" place, and got a rim bead dent. Hard to say if a better rim wouldn't have bent. But I'd say broadly speaking, that I was using the right tire and pressure. But if I was living/riding there regularly, I wouldn't be dropping pressure even if I kept an insert (unless it enabled me to run ~30-35psi, instead of something crazy like 40psi).

Generally around here, the PNW is more rooty than rocky, and there aren't a huge number of square edged hits. So here, in the winter when traction is more at a premium, I have been using them to reduce pressure.

I will say, at lower pressure, they do feel a bit like someone "lowered the volume" on the trail noise that comes through. Its noticable, but not huge. And I think "some" of this would still be there if the pressures were higher, as the insert goes ~1/3 - 1/2 way up the side of the casing, and so even if you're not getting constant rim hits at non-insert air pressures, I'd wager that a fair number of them would still be slowed down/reduced by hitting the insert.

Also, I've never run cushcore, but I did appreciate that the Tannus tubeless inserts weren't that big of a deal to put on, were lighter, and were "more" reasonably priced ($50/wheel). Also, I have confidence that I could remove the insert trailside with tire levers, as I put them in without levers. So I could pull out the insert trailside, and throw in a tube if needed.

I will say though that Cushcore is probably much better to ride out on with zero air pressure. Its a much more substantial product.
Can never have enough traction for winter time riding, definitely intrigued about increased grip with inserts.
 

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I can second this this experience. I've also used Nube inserts and frankly, they're exactly the same as cylindrical foam backing rods you can get from hardware supplier.

Pros: I can run up to 5psi lower pressure. Secondly, as I have a couple times before, last night I rode home 20 minutes on a flat tire, with no rim damage.

Cons: They do drink sealant, that's unfortunate. However it's cheaper than damaged tires and rims.



I have never used CushCore, but I can tell you that 2.5” backer rod in a 2.35 tire is snug to get on, but works well for providing sidewall support. I have not damaged a rim or had a flat since installing it last spring. I think it probably ’traps’ a fair bit of sealant in the pockets where it was cut, but to my observation does not absorb it- I weighed one once during a tire change and it was like 10g heavier than new.
I have re-used my ghettoCore inserts in 2 different rear tires on my FS and 5 total tire changes on my SS. There was some evidence of the edges being beat up, but no holes or cuts.

I sized my inserts the way huck Norris and AirLiner suggests-tight to the rim channel.


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I can second this this experience. I've also used Tannus and frankly, they're exactly the same as cylindrical foam backing rods you can get from hardware supplier.

Pros: I can run up to 5psi lower pressure. Secondly, as I have a couple times before, last night I rode home 20 minutes on a flat tire, with no rim damage.

Cons: They do drink sealant, that's unfortunate. However it's cheaper than damaged tires and rims.
Which Tannus have you used?

My Tannus Tubeless don’t feel anything like any backing/filler rod I’ve ever seen or used. It’s much more dense, and less porous than the stuff I have at my local hardware stores.

I can’t confirm any sealant drinking though, as they are still pretty new.

The NSMB review of them is pretty good, and if I recall they do briefly talk about its texture/etc. just can’t remember if they say they have any problem with sealant absorption.
 

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I apologize, not Tannus, Nube inserts. Exactly the same as foam backing rods. I have used Tannus solid tires before, but that's another subject.

Which Tannus have you used?

My Tannus Tubeless don’t feel anything like any backing/filler rod I’ve ever seen or used. It’s much more dense, and less porous than the stuff I have at my local hardware stores.

I can’t confirm any sealant drinking though, as they are still pretty new.

The NSMB review of them is pretty good, and if I recall they do briefly talk about its texture/etc. just can’t remember if they say they have any problem with sealant absorption.
 

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Thought I'd chime in as I'm about two months in running Rimpact on the rear of my hardtail.

Bit on of info: I'm around 68-70kg, ride a trail/enduro ht exclusively and many of our local trails are full of sharp edged rocks. I'm not a fast rider, probably middle of the pack. I used to run rear tyres in the 750-850gr range at about 28psi, but as my riding progressed they proved to be too susceptible to cuts between knobs and sidewall slashes. My first remedy to this was WTB Tough casing Trail Boss rears, which were so hassle free at 25psi that I've worn through 6-7 of them over time. I kept, however, experiencing rim hits which everynow and then resulted to dents. I try to ride light and pick lines, but sometimes and especially when I'm tired I make mistakes.

Lately I've been riding Magic Mary Supergravity soft front and rear, mostly because I enjoy the extra traction, the peace of mind that the sturdy casing provides and he fact that I can rotate tyres (move old front to the back, install new front). These have been great at 24-25psi with only one snakebite in 2 years where I was to blame.

A very fast and heavy hitting friend was very happy with his CC setup, so I got insert curious. So recently me on my ht and a mate on his 160mm enduro bike installed a pair of the regular Rimpact on the rear wheels of our bikes.

Installation was not hassle-free, but I didn't have to resort to foul language during the process. It was a bit more complicated and a harder effort than just installing a tyre, although bead seating was faster and much easier with just a floor pump. Lower part of the casing (close to the bead) feels very stiff with Rimpact inside. I made sure to add a bit more sealant as per instructions. I decided to test using 22-23 psi instead of my usual 24-25.

Climbing I didn't notice the additional 90gr (+30-40gr of extra sealant). On loose trails going up I did notice the extra traction. My first ride consisted of the faster and rockier trails close to home and from the first go I noticed the difference. It's not night and day, but it's certainly there. The rear wheel feels a bit more "quiet", tracks the ground a bit better and doesn't bounce all that much. This is mostly an effect of the lower pressure of course. However, I've had the occasional misjudged line that lead to a hard hit on a square edge and there I was glad to have the insert. No new dings and the hit was more muted. On trails with high frequency hits the bike is overall more controllable. It's a feel similar to changing from an alu ht to a quality steel one, but with rim protection as a bonus.

My friend on his enduro bike also noticed the difference despite the 160mm of travel. Recently he took a wrong line and hit a very sharp egde that made a small cut between the knobs. He finished the trail after a couple of mins with only 15psi on his rear tyre. No dents thoguh and later when he took the tyre off to inspect the insert had a small cut.

So far I'm vey happy with Rimpact, on a ht and our terrain it's a great addition, certainly worth the cost and effort. Mate says the same too.
 

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So not really worthwhile for a FS?
For me personally [190lbs, BC Coastal riding] I can ride my FS bike 160/140mm with reasonable tire pressure and light casings [EXO in Maxxis] without inserts and not have issues "if" I religiously check the rear tire pressure before each ride. The only times I get pinch flats or dented rims is when I let the rear tire pressure drop and I don't add some air. As an example I got a new FS bike in 2018 the rear rim has not got one dent in it. So for me adding even the relatively light 150g of the Tannus tubeless insert in the rear isn't particularly motivating.

That said if I was headed down to the UT/AZ desert on a long road trip I could see myself putting an insert in the rear of my FS bike. Lot's more square edges and faster riding speeds down there vs. where I live.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
For me personally [190lbs, BC Coastal riding] I can ride my FS bike 160/140mm with reasonable tire pressure and light casings [EXO in Maxxis] without inserts and not have issues "if" I religiously check the rear tire pressure before each ride. The only times I get pinch flats or dented rims is when I let the rear tire pressure drop and I don't add some air. As an example I got a new FS bike in 2018 the rear rim has not got one dent in it. So for me adding even the relatively light 150g of the Tannus tubeless insert in the rear isn't particularly motivating.

That said if I was headed down to the UT/AZ desert on a long road trip I could see myself putting an insert in the rear of my FS bike. Lot's more square edges and faster riding speeds down there vs. where I live.
The review from NSMB, Cam states;
"They are easy to install* and they provide excellent sidewall support for cornering, excellent tire and rim protection, and they allow outrageously low pressures without any vague feeling or squirm. I regularly run 14 front and 16 rear when conditions are nasty and I'm riding steep trails that require lots of grip. And the traction is off the charts. Wet roots begin to look like velcro, and slimy rock faces become islands of safety. The reduced volume in the outer air chamber even makes your suspension work more effectively,"

Did you have the same observation about greatly improved traction? With all the rain we've been having this winter, more traction sounds good!
 

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Did you have the same observation about greatly improved traction? With all the rain we've been having this winter, more traction sounds good!
Yes as we have all experienced the more you drop tire pressure the better the traction gets. The problem without an insert is you start to run into other problems below a certain pressure - like getting pinch flats, rim damage, burping the tire, rolling the tire in a corner, etc... What the insert does is lower the pressure at which you start to notice problems so you can enjoy the higher traction without the downsides.

On my hardtail it's particularly important because that rigid back end has less traction and is more likely to damage a tire/rim vs. a FS bike.

With Cushcore my mental calculation was always that the extra weight, install hassle and cost were not worth the benefits. With the new Tannus tubeless insert the extra weight is a lot lower and the install is easy so that swayed me to trying it.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Yes as we have all experienced the more you drop tire pressure the better the traction gets. The problem without an insert is you start to run into other problems below a certain pressure - like getting pinch flats, rim damage, burping the tire, rolling the tire in a corner, etc... What the insert does is lower the pressure at which you start to notice problems so you can enjoy the higher traction without the downsides.

On my hardtail it's particularly important because that rigid back end has less traction and is more likely to damage a tire/rim vs. a FS bike.

With Cushcore my mental calculation was always that the extra weight, install hassle and cost were not worth the benefits. With the new Tannus tubeless insert the extra weight is a lot lower and the install is easy so that swayed me to trying it.
I get the lower pressure, traction and the problems with too low PSI. My question was strictly about improved traction with the Tannus inserts, making it worth while for the extra 160gr? I'm going to be replacing my rear tire shortly (worn), so I'm debating whether to use and EXO+ and Tannus or just go with a DD casing. From the reading I've done the last couple of days, I'm not interested with CC.
 

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I get the lower pressure, traction and the problems with too low PSI. My question was strictly about improved traction with the Tannus inserts, making it worth while for the extra 160gr? I'm going to be replacing my rear tire shortly (worn), so I'm debating whether to use and EXO+ and Tannus or just go with a DD casing. From the reading I've done the last couple of days, I'm not interested with CC.
I'm not sure how to answer that question for you beyond what I have said above. The lower pressure is what gives you the increased traction. The Tannus insert let's me run lower pressure.
 

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I get the lower pressure, traction and the problems with too low PSI. My question was strictly about improved traction with the Tannus inserts, making it worth while for the extra 160gr? I'm going to be replacing my rear tire shortly (worn), so I'm debating whether to use and EXO+ and Tannus or just go with a DD casing. From the reading I've done the last couple of days, I'm not interested with CC.
Choose you casing based off of if you damage tires. Inserts won't save a tire. Thicker casing does increase rolling resistance and reduced traction to some degree since they are conform less to the terrain. Inserts are better if you want more support or damping from the casing you are running.
 

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Choose you casing based off of if you damage tires. Inserts won't save a tire. Thicker casing does increase rolling resistance and reduced traction to some degree since they are conform less to the terrain. Inserts are better if you want more support or damping from the casing you are running.
This.

Inserts "fix" support related issues with the tire casing, but doesn't really help with puncture related issues (although, probably will help to some degree with punctures like pinch flats).

I punctured a EXO DHF straight through the center of the tread area previously. I don't think I'd go "down" that light in casing again. But I'm also "EXO+ (or equivalent) curious" because of the insert, where I've been running the ~DD equivalent Wild Enduro rear previously.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I'm not sure how to answer that question for you beyond what I have said above. The lower pressure is what gives you the increased traction. The Tannus insert let's me run lower pressure.
You stated that you wouldn't use inserts on your FS, so I was inquiring that you didn't think an insert was worth the increased traction for you personally on your FS.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Choose you casing based off of if you damage tires. Inserts won't save a tire. Thicker casing does increase rolling resistance and reduced traction to some degree since they are conform less to the terrain. Inserts are better if you want more support or damping from the casing you are running.
Thanks, that makes sense.
 
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