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.
Do you suffer from constant flat tires? Will your friends not stop making fun of you because of it? Well, it might be time to give foam tire inserts a shot! In this review, our customer Mark gives us his thoughts on both the Huck Norris and Cush Core. Check it out!
I broke my first carbon rim a couple of years ago and was pretty gutted when I found out the crash replacement plus wheel rebuild costs were going to be around $500. On top of that, there are a few weeks off your bike while you're waiting for the back-and-forth from the rim company and the rebuild time.
So right after that broken rim was up and running, I decided to run tire inserts from that day on. I went with Huck Norris because of its low weight, easy installation and low cost. While this isn't a review for Huck Norris, I will say that I never broke another rim and I've had almost no flats since using inserts. In fact, many of the flats I used to get (which I thought were from punctures) were probably all from pinch flats. So that's been a big relief. However, the Hucks for me had a couple of flaws which I needed to find a solution for.
First, the Hucks absorbed too much sealant. For me, they sucked up much more sealant than the reviews and company said they did. So this increased rotational weight and although it wasn't too crazy, I could definitely feel it. Second, and this may have been in my head, but I feel like the Huck was moving around in the tire which gave the wheel an odd feel when trying to rapidly accelerate or decelerate.
Enter the CushCore XC. I shied away from the original CushCore DH version because it was heavy, pricey, and difficult to install. Buddies of mine dreaded changing their CushCore tires and I felt like I didn't need that added aggravation in my life. However, I did know that for all the cons aside, the pros were that the CushCore was probably the best in the business for eliminating pinch flats and as an added bonus, a lot of people touted its damping feel elevated the quality of their rides. Cush Core XC solves the (theoretical) problems I had with the DH version in that they are now much lighter, less expensive, and a lot easier to install.
Having been so used to the super simple installation of the Huck Norris, when I had the CushCore XC in front of me and my rim, I was pretty overwhelmed. I couldn't see how physically this thing was gonna go between my rims and my tires...there's just no space! But after I calmed down a bit, I watched some YouTube instructional vids of the original CushCore and after that, the install was a lot more pleasant than I thought it would be. The extra time it took me to install a tire with these inserts was around 5-10 minutes. I think that's totally worth it when you consider how much these will protect your expensive rims and keep you from getting a large majority of your flats.
I don't feel much at all of any damping properties which is kind of a bummer. I was hoping to experience some of that feeling, but at least it does not make the ride feel any worse like I think the Hucks did.
I can strongly recommend these inserts to anyone looking to get pinch flat and rim protection while not increasing rotational weight by too much.