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Subscribed to this thread because I’m strongly considering inserts for at least the rear of both bikes, especially my hardtail.

My biggest goal is to be able to ride packless and no longer carry a spare tube. I did not get a single flat on my enduro bike last season despite riding very technical terrain. However, most of ultra-tech stuff is relatively slow speed because it’s so steep— I think there’s just not enough energy in those slower conditions to pinch flat. I just want it flat-proof so I don’t have to carry so much on my rides.

I ruined a brand new Maxxis Ardent Race riding Captain Ahab in Moab last spring. I knew the trail had some square edges so I ran about 37psi in the rear, but ended up slamming one axe-edged rock way too fast and it pinched one hole in the tread and another in the sidewall right next to the bead. I plugged and patched it later but I could never get it to hold air again at the bead. I think if I’d had an insert, it might have saved the tire.

At the moment I run a double-down Aggressor out back, and it’s a fine tire, but damn it’s heavy on the long rides. I keep thinking about how fast that Ardent Race rolled and how light it was, and then start thinking about one of those with an insert...🤔
I've gone back and forth many times between EXO and DD casings in the rear, and pinch flats have always been a problem for me on both. I could always just add more pressure to prevent pinch flats, but I really prefer the damp feel of lower pressures.

I originally added CushCore for pinch flat resistance, but I found the other main benefit is ride feel. The bike just feels way more damp, as if the suspension is working much better. There's way less harsh feedback coming through the hands and feet - You hear that nice pitter patter as the tires roll over and conform to all the little bumps and rocks on the trail, but you none of the vibration and harshness transfers through. For that reason, I'll always run it on the front in addition to the rear.

I'm a lightweight at 130lbs running 16f/21r on one bike with Maxxis 2.5's and regular CC, and 17f/22r on the other bike with Maxxis 2.3's and CC XC. -1psi in each tire when it's wet. I typically descend ~40-60k ft per month in a pretty rocky home park and haven't had a single pinch flat since I started using the inserts a year ago. I even managed to break a Santa Cruz Reserve rim without any damage to the tire.

Inserts won't help you with cuts, but if you're like me, the problem pinch flats from hard impacts. I do still carry a Tubolito S-Tubo (44g) just in case.
 

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^^^I agree 100% on the ride quality, the damping effect is very noticeable. If you browse CC web site they state that the purpose of their inserts were for this reason not rim/flat prevention. I guess that turned out to be an added perk...
 

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Discussion Starter #63
So I decided to give the Tannus inserts a go. Installing them was relatively easy, need a couple regular tire levers for the last little bit. After putting the tires back the bike, I gave them a spin to make sure there were no wobbles, the tire spun a lot longer than normal.

My primary reason for trying inserts was for rim protection and increased traction, the foam seems very dense/supportive. I was initially concerned about the "add weight", but after holding both inserts in my hand, I started to laugh, these things are light!

So far I've had 3 rides on them, so far I'm liking them. Climbing I didn't notice the "added weight", traction was better(reduced psi). On the descends I definitely notice improved damping(due to lower psi), sidewall support was great in the corners. Improved traction and I slightly notice decreased in rolling resistance(I don't understand why), but an added benefit. I dropped my psi by 5psi front and rear, no rim strikes so far.

Don't let the "weight" of these inserts deter you from trying them, you won't notice it. I was going to purchase a doubledown(DD) casing, but I'm glad I went with the Tannus inserts, The weight for a DD tire vs an EXO+ with Tannus insert is the same.
 

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So I decided to give the Tannus inserts a go. Installing them was relatively easy, need a couple regular tire levers for the last little bit. After putting the tires back the bike, I gave them a spin to make sure there were no wobbles, the tire spun a lot longer than normal.

My primary reason for trying inserts was for rim protection and increased traction, the foam seems very dense/supportive. I was initially concerned about the "add weight", but after holding both inserts in my hand, I started to laugh, these things are light!

So far I've had 3 rides on them, so far I'm liking them. Climbing I didn't notice the "added weight", traction was better(reduced psi). On the descends I definitely notice improved damping(due to lower psi), sidewall support was great in the corners. Improved traction and I slightly notice decreased in rolling resistance(I don't understand why), but an added benefit. I dropped my psi by 5psi front and rear, no rim strikes so far.

Don't let the "weight" of these inserts deter you from trying them, you won't notice it. I was going to purchase a doubledown(DD) casing, but I'm glad I went with the Tannus inserts, The weight for a DD tire vs an EXO+ with Tannus insert is the same.
Sounds like our experiences have been nearly identical. Although, I didn’t notice any real change to rolling resistance. But other than that you may as well have written my review for me.

Sounds like I can probably step down to the next lighter casing in the future. The Exo+ DHR might be my next rear tire (Wild Enduro rear is what I’ve got at the moment).

I was also impressed with the type of foam they used. It really is quite firm. I definitely couldn’t bottom it out using my hands, at all. I also don’t think it will absorb any sealant/etc. I’ve got a new wheel coming in the next month though, so I’ll have a chance to check then.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Sounds like our experiences have been nearly identical. Although, I didn’t notice any real change to rolling resistance. But other than that you may as well have written my review for me.

Sounds like I can probably step down to the next lighter casing in the future. The Exo+ DHR might be my next rear tire (Wild Enduro rear is what I’ve got at the moment).

I was also impressed with the type of foam they used. It really is quite firm. I definitely couldn’t bottom it out using my hands, at all. I also don’t think it will absorb any sealant/etc. I’ve got a new wheel coming in the next month though, so I’ll have a chance to check then.
Noticed the rolling resistance when pumping through stuff, seems like my speed increased from my norm without inserts.
 

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My experience is pretty much = full suspension they are meh. More helpful for square edge hits then anything. I had CC Pro when I went to Moab with GG (Hi Vikb. I miss GG campouts). Removed them when I got back and never missed them on my local trails.

I started riding a hardtail a bunch more. They are amazing on hardtails. I have a Tannus armor tubeless in the rear and Cushcore XC in the front. I run 20ish psi rear and 13.5 psi front on my 2.6s. Huck into a rock garden and oops and I am okay.

I think they are worth the hype and live up to it on a hardtail. But, on a FS I haven't had the same experience.
 

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Just though I'd add this as a benefit of using inserts. Yesterday my rear valve decided to die, letting all air out of the tyre. Bead got unseated on both sides of the rim and there was no way I could make it seal again on the trailside. That was just before entering the last trail for the day.

Luckily I had Rimpact installed on the rear wheel and I managed to pedal back home, 12km from where the valve failed. Pedalling with an airless tyre and the Rimpact insert is more effort than normal, but certainy doable and abviously preferable to walking. I chose to return from paved roads, but rolling on dirt would have been fine too as long as there was no hard braking.
 

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Just though I'd add this as a benefit of using inserts. Yesterday my rear valve decided to die, letting all air out of the tyre. Bead got unseated on both sides of the rim and there was no way I could make it seal again on the trailside. That was just before entering the last trail for the day.

Luckily I had Rimpact installed on the rear wheel and I managed to pedal back home, 12km from where the valve failed. Pedalling with an airless tyre and the Rimpact insert is more effort than normal, but certainy doable and abviously preferable to walking. I chose to return from paved roads, but rolling on dirt would have been fine too as long as there was no hard braking.
I have this cool thing called a "tube" to avoid those 12km crawl of shames home. They are pretty cheap (under $10) re-seat beads trailside , weigh less than a hamburger, and easily strap pretty much anywhere on the bike or body.

They are also great for first aid emergencies (I have immobilized broken collarbones on 3 occasions so far) and they also get you free beer (from people on trail who don't have one I supply mine for a case of beer later).
 

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Guess what - I had a tube with me and didn't bother. I always carry at least one tube unless it's a ride very close to home. I also carry a first aid kit. Thanks for chiming in though.

I have this cool thing called a "tube" to avoid those 12km crawl of shames home. They are pretty cheap (under $10) re-seat beads trailside , weigh less than a hamburger, and easily strap pretty much anywhere on the bike or body.

They are also great for first aid emergencies (I have immobilized broken collarbones on 3 occasions so far) and they also get you free beer (from people on trail who don't have one I supply mine for a case of beer later).
 

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I was [maybe still am] an insert skeptic. I've been on more than one ride where someone had to fight to the death to remove a cushcore insert from a damaged tire/rim and wear the sloppy wet insert bandolier style in shame for the ride back to the parking lot. Given I can ride my FS tires at 20/21psi without frequent flats nothing I saw or read about inserts seemed appealing.

Then I started riding hardtails a lot more and I found myself having to really pay attention to that rear tire/rim. I was still doing okay, but I couldn't ride at full fury...taking every drop without checking it out, etc... So I read about the new Tannus Tubeless insert over at NSMB with some interest.


Lighter and easier to install than CC with most of the benefits. I built up a new aggressive HT this year and decided to put a Tannus Tubeless insert in the rear tire.


I wanted to be able to charge on this bike and not have to worry about that rear tire/rim a lot. Well install was easy and the insert has delivered. I am running 17/18psi in the rear now and even down to 12/14psi for special conditions like snow. No flats or rim dings. Tire feels stable [I'm not a berm smasher and we don't have flow trails] on natural terrain. I don't notice the weight when riding.

So if I were to build up a new aggressive HT I'd throw another Tannus Tubeless insert in the rear tire. I have a second insert as I bought a pair and I have not rushed to throw it into the front tire on that bike. I haven't bothered with inserts for my bikepacking hardtail. On my FS bike I don't see myself using an insert for our normal BC/PNWet riding. That said if I was doing a Moab/Sedona desert road trip I could see myself throwing a Tannus insert in the rear of the FS bike for that kind of riding. Lot's of square edge smashing.
After reading this I researched the Tannus Tubeless and I will try one in the rear of my HT build. Thanks for your feedback, vikb
 

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I had the opposite experience with damping on Cushcore, it made the rear feel harsher and the lower my air pressure the worse it got. It felt like I went from a 2.5 tire to a 1.8 tire, with the lower air volume the tire has less "suspension" so I feel small bumps that I didnt feel before. I also noticed a major increase in effort for pedaling.

The positive is that it got rid of harsh rock strikes which lets me let go of the brakes more.

I think Tannus would have been a lot better since its significantly lighter (and cheaper). I like the protection but the pedaling efficiency is awful with all that weight and I think the tire feels worse with all the volume being used up by hard foam, so getting a lighter insert that still has protection would have been ideal.
 

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I had the opposite experience with damping on Cushcore, it made the rear feel harsher and the lower my air pressure the worse it got. It felt like I went from a 2.5 tire to a 1.8 tire, with the lower air volume the tire has less "suspension" so I feel small bumps that I didnt feel before. I also noticed a major increase in effort for pedaling.
What pressure did you run?
 

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What pressure did you run?
23 without Cushcore, but 23 with it as well. I tried going as low as 18 as an experiment but it felt especially dead and hard, and the rolling resistance was killing me.

I was expecting Cushcore to feel like a layer of memory foam but it feels more like a plastic, not as harsh as hitting your rim but still harsh. I think because cushcore removes so much air volume there are a lot of times where you are hitting cushcore when you normally would have just been hitting air, making it feel harsher in situations that wouldnt have been full on rim impact.
 

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23 without Cushcore, but 23 with it as well. I tried going as low as 18 as an experiment but it felt especially dead and hard, and the rolling resistance was killing me.

I was expecting Cushcore to feel like a layer of memory foam but it feels more like a plastic, not as harsh as hitting your rim but still harsh. I think because cushcore removes so much air volume there are a lot of times where you are hitting cushcore when you normally would have just been hitting air, making it feel harsher in situations that wouldnt have been full on rim impact.
Which rear tire are you on? I'd bet that your rolling resistance increase at low pressure, is due to cornering lugs being engaged while just riding along. So

I've never tried cushcore, but my tannus insert is definitely not plastic feeling. Given, its not like your garden variety memory foam either (its hard to push/indent more than a few mm by hand), but its definitely not like hitting a chunk of plastic.

But, I think the main benefit of the insert is to not have to go "too high" in air pressure for any given conditions and yet keep cornering stability/help prevent damage from square edged strikes. So if you were at 23psi before, and 23psi afterwards, that is likely totally fine. Just with that you likely aren't having any bad rim strikes/getting less squirm in the corners with that same pressure.
 

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Yep. I normally run Ikon's at 18f/20r psi and with CC-XC if I went lower, they just got slower. More stable and really muted the trail buzz even at 18f/20r.
Slower climbing with the extra weight though.
I'd like to try them with a Fasttrak front and Renegade rear some time.
The Fasttrak + CC-XC would be slightly heavier than the naked Ikon and the Renegade + CC-XC would be about the same weight.
Should roll quite well.
 

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From what I've read (although I cannot see any full clarification on the website) cushcore is made from closed cell foam. Probably why it feels so hard. The cells in the foam don't contort easily with pressure. Something like memory foam (which is an open cell foam) is designed to manipulate easily that's what makes it feel squishy
 

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From what I've read (although I cannot see any full clarification on the website) cushcore is made from closed cell foam. Probably why it feels so hard. The cells in the foam don't contort easily with pressure. Something like memory foam (which is an open cell foam) is designed to manipulate easily that's what makes it feel squishy
Yea, cushcore is NOT 'squishy'. It's hard and certainly is a closed cell foam.
 

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Running the Tannus on my HT now (Schwalbe RR), but I am wondering what may be a good pressure to run. So many have posted, but no references to their weight. I am 230 geared, usually run upwards to 28 psi or so, same pressure seemed excessive, especially on techy stuff. Think I can get away with like 25?
 
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