How To: Cush Core Install and Removal

Riding your mountain bike with foam tire inserts is becoming more and more popular these days. Tire inserts offer a variety of benefits in both performance and reliability. When you are riding on rough and chunky terrain, the inserts help protect from rim and tire damage and will help prevent flat tires. When you are roosting hard packed corners, the insert helps give you tire sidewall support and helps stabilize the contact patch of the tire. There are a variety of different inserts out on the market and Cush Core seems to be one of everyone's favorites. In this MTB How To, we are going to walk you through step by step how to install and remove your tire with Cush Core tire inserts. First we are going to walk you through the install. When it's time for a new tire or you want to remove the Cush Core, pick up on step 7 and follow the removal process from there. Let's get to it.

Cush Core Tire Inserts - Worldwide Cyclery

What Tools Do We Need? 

For starters, you will need a full kit from Cush Core that includes their tire insert and signature valve stems. Cush Core sells inserts for a variety of different wheels sizes and can be purchased either as a pair or just a single. The Cush Core Valve set is specifically designed to be paired with their inserts. Because the insert sits directly over the valve, a traditional valve stem would be immediately clogged by the insert itself.

  • Tubeless Tire sealant: All Cush Core inserts sit inside a tubeless tire system so make sure you have your tubeless tire sealant of choice. We will be using the original Stan's NoTubes Sealant, but we do carry a full range of different tire sealants from Stan's, Finish Line, Orange Seal, Joes No Flats and more. 
  • Tire Levers: Having a good set of tire levers will make things much easier for you when trying to either install or remove a Cush Core tire insert. We have used a lot of different tire levers over the years and right now we have settled on a few different options from Park Tool. We will likely end up using all three of their most popular tire levers out right now, the Park Tool TL-6.2, the Park Tool TL-5, and the Park Tool TL-4.2. Be careful if you are using metal tire levers that you don't damage your rim tape. 
  • Plastic Trash Can: Having a trash can isn't 100% necessary but it will make your life so much easier when it comes to changing tires with Cush Core! A round plastic trash can is the poor mans version of tire changing stand and might be something a lot of you already have in the garage. A 32 gallon will do the trick. 
  • Soap and Water in a Spray Bottle: Using soapy water is the best way to get the tire to slide more easily on the rim bed. Using any kind of bike wash is also a good trick. We want the bead of the tire to be lubed up to make removal and install that much easier. 
  • Valve Core Remover and Floor Pump: Since we are setting up these tires tubeless, removing the valve core will help you seat the tire bead much easier with a floor pump. We will be using a Stan's Valve Core Remover and a Topeak JoeBlow Pro3 Floor Pump. If you have a compressor, that will most definitely do the trick as well.

How To: Installing and Removing Cush Core - Worldwide Cyclery

How To: Installing and Removing Cush Core - Worldwide Cyclery

1. Install Cush Core Valves

  • The Cush Core valves are designed to let air pass around the sides of the valve instead of directly out of the top. Cush Core sells their unique valve stems in either a black, red, or green anodized finish.

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

2. Wrap Cush Core Around Rim

  • Unlike both the Flat Tire Defender and Huck Norris inserts that are best installed on to the rim after half of the tire bead has been mounted, the Cush Core inserts are easiest to install on the tire first before the tire. Stretch the foam insert around the tire and get ready to throw the tire on next. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

3. Place Rim With Cush Core In Tire

  • With the Cush Core stretched around the rim, place the wheel into the bottom of the tire. This may seem a little tough, but keep working the wheel and tire insert into the inside of the tire keeping the bead of the tire outside of the rim. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

4. Work One Side Of The Tire On Rim

  • Before adding any tubeless tire sealant, start working one side of the tire bead on to the rim. This will probably be easiest with the wheel sitting on top of the trash can but don't be afraid to take the wheel in your hands to get the bead started. Work your way around the rim using your hands as long as you can before grabbing any tire levers. 
  • As the tire starts to get tighter and tighter, backtrack and make sure the bead is sitting as far in on the rim bed as possible. This is where your soap and water comes in handy. Spray down the bead of the tire to make it easier for the tire to slide over the rim. 
  • Once the tire bead feels too tight to install with your hands, grab the Park Tool TL-4.2 plastic tire levers and work the rest of the bead on piece by piece. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

5. Start With Other Side Of The Tire

  • Flip the wheel over and spray down the bead of the tire with soap and water. Start with the same approach and work the bead of the tire on the rim. Once you get about half way around with the tire, it's time to add tire sealant. 
  • Add the appropriate amount of tire sealant for your wheel size and tire volume, 4 ounces is a safe bet for a 29 inch tire. If you are having problems with sealing or the tire seems to be extra porous, don't hesitate to add a little more sealant through the valve stem. 
  • I've found using the Park Tool TL-4.2 tire lever to work best when installing the tire because the flat leading edge on the lever stays clear from the rim tape. The last thing you want to do is damage the rim tape with a tire lever because that could lead to air leaking out underneath the tape. Work your way all the way around the tire and make sure the bead is sitting down in the rim bed so you can get the last of the tire bead stretched over the rim easily. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

6. Air Up The Tire

  • Now that you have the tire completely on the rim, it's time to fill the tire with air and seat the tire bead. We will be removing the valve core and using the Topeak JoeBlow Pro3 floor pump to seat the tire. If you are having trouble getting the bead to seat on to the rim, the best thing to do is release all of the air in the tire and add some more soap and water around the bead and try again. Make sure you don't exceed the maximum tire pressure written on the side of the tire.

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

7. Removing The Tire With Cush Core

  • When it's time for a new tire, removing your tire with Cush Core installed can definitely be a little bit tricky. First we will take the valve core remover and release all of the air in the tire. Next is where the trash can really comes in handy. Place your wheel flat on top of the trash can so you can start unseating the bead of the tire. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

8. Unseat The Bead Of The Tire

  • Laying the wheel flat on top of the trash can allows you to push down directly on to the bead of the tire. Using either a Park Tool TL-5 or Park Tool TL-6.2 tire lever, press down on the tire as close to the bead as possible to unseat the bead. This may take a little bit of muscle but work your way around the tire until the bead is as low in the rim bed as possible. If you don't have a trash can, this will feel a little more like a wresting match.
  • Remember that your soapy water is your friend! If you are having trouble getting the bead to come down off the rim, spray some soapy water around the bead. Once you have one side unseated, flip the wheel over and give the other side of the tire a try. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

9. Remove One Side Of the Tire

  • Make sure the bead of the tire is pressed down in the rim bed as much as possible before trying to remove the tire with a tire lever. Using either the Park Tool TL-5 or Park Tool TL-6.2 levers, insert both tire levers underneath the bead of the tire about 4 inches apart.  Pry both tire levers back at the same time to pull the tire out from the rim.
  • Be careful using the metal tire levers. The last thing you want to do is damage your rim tape. If the tire is super tight, double check that the bead of the tire is completely underneath the Cush Core. Remember to use a little soapy water if you need. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

10. Remove Cush Core

  • Once you have one side of the tire off of the rim, if you can pull the Cush Core out then go for it. If you need to remove the other bead of the tire off the rim, you can also do that to pull everything off at one time. 

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

11. Remove Tire Completely

  • Once you have the Cush Core pulled out, remove the tire and start from the beginning! Hopefully this step by step MTB How To has helped you with your Cush Core install!

How To: Cush Core Install and Removal - Worldwide Cyclery

If you want to learn more about the different tire inserts on the market, check out our Mountain Bike Tire Foam Insert Comparison!

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Check out our review of the CushCore here:

 


May 28, 2019

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