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Cush Core – What is it and what do users think about it?

Cush Core Cutaway View

Cush Core cutaway view showing the positioning of the insert tight against the rim leaving a tunable air pocket between the insert and the tire tread. Photo courtesy of Cush Core

Cush Core is a relatively new product designed to aid in the reduction of sidewall roll during hard cornering, increase traction, eliminate pinch flats, reduce vibration and eliminate rim strikes. It’s made of engineered low density but impact resistant foam and shaped to fit inside your tire against the rim. It stabilizes the casing while allowing the tread patch to remain flexible.

Rear Tire Casing

Phil’s rear tire casing stays solidly inline with the rim despite hard cornering and only 9psi! Without Cush Core this would usually lead to a burp, ripping the tire off the wheel or at the very least tons of sidewall roll and a decidedly ungroovy feeling as you exit the berm.

But does it work? Is the extra weight noticeable? Does it make the bike feel differently when out on the trail? All of these questions and more have been answered by Skills with Phil. As a well-known hardcore shredder and DH racer, his opinions hold weight with tens of thousands of YouTube viewers. It is important to note that Phil purchased these inserts with his own money at full price to test them out.

Rear Tire

Phil’s rear tire at 9psi smashing against a square-edge rock with Cush Core installed to prove a point. Would you do this with those wheels? Me neither.

It’s safe to say if Cush Core can protect his fancy carbon NOBL rims from really bad line choices and ludicrously low tire pressures it could work for you BUT watch the following videos and check the MTBR forums for member’s opinions before you break out your credit card. You may also want to download a guided meditation app to help control your anger and center your chi before you pry that tire lever out of the drywall and try yet again to seat that tire bead…

Table Clamp

Phil full on broke out a table clamp to help him mount the tire with the Cush Core installed. You know frustration has set in when you break out tools used in The Woodwright’s Shop!

The consensus is this is a solid product and once you learn the tricks to assist with installation the only drawbacks are the extra weight and for some, the price tag. But for many of us it’s hard to put a price tag on confidence in your gear. And come race day Cush Core can mean the difference between a stage completion with points or a DNF (did not finish) with a flat or broken rim.


Skill’s with Phil “This is Why I Love Cush Core.”


My Cush Core Install Experience; can’t be that hard right? WRONG!!

A few handy tricks of the install are:

  • protect your hands and use gloves
  • have a spray bottle of slippery detergent solution handy
  • use a tire stand to get the ideal position and leverage
  • use a very sturdy plastic tire lever
  • always center the tire into the deepest part of the rim
  • use rim tape that is not very too thick


Cush Core’s installation instructions.

Not cheap at $149/pair, installation can be a bear for the tubeless non-initiated or with certain tire and wheel tight fit combinations. But like all things, the first time is hard and subsequent installs are easier as one picks up tricks and experience. And it should outlast your tire or next several pairs of tires.

Do they work for you? Let us know in the comments below or join the discussions on the forums.


Cool Background info on who and what Cush Core is by Fanatik Bike.

For more information, visit

Rear Tire Table Clamp Rear Tire Casing Cush Core Cutaway View

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