France-based Slicy started out making fully customizable mudguards, and the team of cyclists has expanded their product line to include custom frame wraps, tire inserts, and other bike-protection goods.
I recently tested the Slicy Smooth tire insert in the rear rubber of my XC and enduro bikes, and I am pleased to report no broken or dented rims nor flat tires with the foam strips mounted up. That’s more than I can say for some other rims I rode this season with only the tire to protect them. Several of those have their fair share of stone-shaped impressions.
The Smooth inserts are far simpler to mount up than many of the round, “tube-shaped” options out there because they don’t push against the bead as directly. The insert’s slightly higher position inside the tire makes the process of mounting the tire similar to doing so without an insert. The holes cut along the center of the insert allow air and sealant to move around freely and seal punctures as intended. Additionally, since the insert doesn’t sit against the valve head you don’t need special valves to inflate or deflate your tires.
Simply cut the insert along the designated lines for your rim diameter, strap it together with the provided velcro strip, and wrench the bead in place. Done. With the tire seated, the insert’s center cutouts make it easy to check the sealant level and add latex as needed.
I competed in a number of races on my 160mm enduro bike with the Smooth insert protecting my rear tire and experienced zero issues. I expected the high density, closed cell EVA foam to be cut throughout the season, and start absorbing sealant, but its weight is surprisingly similar today to the original 132 grams when I first mounted it up. There are a few cuts in the foam from rim strikes, but fortunately, the foam seems to have saved my tire and rim alike.
At €44.90 each, the Slicy Smooth insert is a valuable way to save rims and tires while you focus on enjoying the trail.
Check out the Slicy Smooth install video below.
Other Slicy gear
Slicy also makes a full range of mudguards, top caps, and frame wrap with custom or pre-printed graphics. If you prefer clear frame wrap, they have gloss and matte options that can be cut to fit most bikes.
We would like to thank Slicy for sending this gear along for review.