CushCore XC Tire Inserts [Rider Review]

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for. 

Cushcore can provide riders with serious peace of mind when sending it, and while the XC CushCore is a lighter duty version than its CushCore Pro cousin, it still provides great rim protection. Our friend Drew installed a set on his Yeti and has been loving it. Read on for more!

CushCore XC Rider Review


As per the CushCore installation official video, the key to getting the tires with CushCores onto your wheels is to roll the bead opposite to where you will finally lever your tire onto the wheel as deep into the center channel as possible. If you use your fingers to vigorously roll the bead to the center while you work your way to the opposite side it should be 'relatively' easy to get the opposite bead over the rim. I used the Park Tool steel tire levers to finish up the job. Liberally applying soapy water spray to the rim and tire bead is very helpful also. The XC inserts, due to their smaller size vs the Pro, are much easier to get the tire bead under and into the center channel.

Rear rim and tire have been pretty bomb proof since installing the CushCore XC.

I did encounter one problem installing my XC inserts however. After watching the video I aggressively rolled the opposite bead into the rim channel and in the process peeled my rim tape towards the middle channel, where I had spoke holes, causing a slow leak; the tire would not hold air more than a day. I tried installing new Stans 21mm (all I had available) rim tape and more sealant and had the same issue again. Riding the next day the leaking tire ended up running low and burping out most of the air pressure but the CushCore enabled me to be able to ride back to the parking lot. Only on my third try, wrapping the 21 mm tape around 3 times, once left, once right (both up against the side of the rim a bit) and once down the middle with a lot of arm pressure, was I able to get the tire to stay sealed. Obviously using rim tape that is just a bit wider than the inner diameter of the rim as recommended would probably get that job done the first time.

CushCore XC Rider Review
Rear rim and tire have been pretty bomb proof since installing the CushCore XC. I have done a lot of super rocky descents here on the Colorado front range without a single problem running 22psi in the back with Maxxis DHR II EXO tires (170lbs rider weight). Do definitely notice the reduction in rotating weight vs another bike I have with the original cushcore (Pro) installed on the climbs. On a super twisty high speed descent the rear tire stayed glued to the trail while the front tire drifted, guess I need to put a cushcore up there also.

Final Thoughts

I have been running the XC CushCore on my Yeti sb5 with 27.5 dt swiss m1900 25mm inner diameter rims. Overall I am very pleased with their performance. They are much, much easier to install than the the full cushcore inserts, now called the Pro.

CushCore XC CTA


September 23, 2021

CushCore › CushCore XC › Rider Review › tire insert ›

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