CushCore debuted two years ago with the intention of helping riders run lower tire pressures and protecting their rims at the same time. Turns out, it was a welcome solution for some gravity riders. Now, CushCore has figured out that there might be something more to the tire inserts, and they’ve been busy testing the product to find out what that is.
At Sea Otter, CushCore came out with updated tire inserts for wider applications along with data that says some interesting things.
CushCore PRO is the performance-minded insert, made for aggressive riding. It fits inner rim widths from 22-35mm, tire widths from 2.1-2.6″, comes in all three wheel sizes, and weighs between 245g and 260g.
CushCore Plus has all the same performance benefits as the PRO, but is made for plus size tires from 2.6-3.0″. They weigh from 290 and 330g.
Lastly, CushCore XC is made for rim sizes between 22 and 32mm, and tire widths from 1.8-2.4″. They’re much lighter at about 140-150g.
About the testing
Motion Instruments, an independent testing group, fitted test bikes with travel position sensors, accelerometers, and data recording devices to measure suspension use, velocity, and acceleration, as well as G-forces from bumps and vibration. Motion Instruments tested bikes with and without CushCore.
The test track was a 15-mile descent that lasted about an hour, located near Downieville, California. Two testers used their personal bikes and tried to produce identical runs. The tester from Motion Instruments said that the long runs with continuous data acquisition would even out inconsistencies between runs, although it isn’t a perfect measurement.
The tires, tire pressures, and suspension settings were the same in both runs and afterward, the two different tests were only six seconds different from each other, they say.
Here are the numbers they came up with: The ride feels 12% more plush, by which they mean the rider experiences 11-12% less G-force from bump impacts.
CushCore increased sidewall stiffness by 35% and reduced tire roll by 25%. This is said to allow faster cornering, more traction, and a consistent feel.
CushCore claims their inserts allow bikes to use less travel to absorb bumps and help suspension work 16% more efficiently. To put another number on it, they say a 150mm travel bike feels like a 173mm travel bike. More simply, a bike will need to use 16% less travel than it typically does because the tire absorbs more of the impact at the ground before forces reach the suspension.
The tests also showed that the inserts reduced rolling resistance, and of course increased tire and rim protection, which is what the inserts are already known for.