Tire inserts for XC racing

I tend to run lighter tires than most people for trail riding, so inserts would work well with them.

That said, I’m pretty careful/precise with my line choice, so don’t often impact my rims. And have only had 2 pinch flats in years of riding MTB - both that I deserved because I wasn’t paying attention.

Also, I don’t often do drops like in the pic above, and if I do, I make sure the landing is good first.

I’ll probably be a holdout until the day I flat, and then I’ll become a convert😆

I held out because I knew the install would be a bit of a pain. Benefits go beyond rim protection, I run as little as 19-20 PSI out back with a XC Cush and it’s nice. I need more when I visit a bike park but for general trail riding it’s so grippy. The Cush version supports the sidewalls enough to get pretty low PSI sans folding etc. long story short, give em a try.


I can’t believe I just paid ~$130 to have some fancy pool noodles shipped to me from Italy…


I keep holding out for USA noodles :slight_smile:

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Not a ton of info, but they look promising. More rim protection than tire tuning maybe? There’s a US eBay seller.

Or run higher PSI on your lightweight casings.

Your front suspension is close to bottom out, but your rear suspension is not. What’s interesting is you’re about to ding the rim with about 1/3 to 1/4 suspension travel left. If you take enough hits to squash the suspension, I’d gather your rim is done, cracked or you’ve already snake bitten the tires and dented the rim.

Either suspension is too hard, or tire PSI is too low. Enduro riders run higher PSI than XC, for instance, without inserts. Guys in the 90kg range run 30psi on wide tires, without inserts. I run 23/25 on 2.5WT with 35mm rims and no inserts. I could probably run lower, but would want inserts to not crack my carbon rims (just in case).

I’m not sure what you are looking at in the pic, but the rear suspension bottomed out on that drop.

I don’t do a lot of drops like this, so not a frequent occurrence. That’s why I can get away running Trail/XC tires instead of heavier tires. I’m also pretty careful with my line choice, and generally avoid taking big hits on front and rear.

There’s only a few times a season when I notice a rim strike, and I’ve pinch flatted only twice in almost 10 years of MTB.

I rode in Sedona this past weekend. That’s a lot rockier than my normal riding, and I increased pressure in both tires by 2psi to compensate. 23 and 21. I’m 160 lbs.

Oh - and FWIW, my technique going off the drop in the pic above wasn’t the best. It was a slow speed drop after a right angle left turn, so couldn’t just use momentum to clear. I hopped off the ledge which meant my center of gravity was higher. I should’ve just pushed the bike off/manualed. That would’ve meant less impact on landing.

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The shock stroke is not bottomed out.

On this bike, the shaft of the shock is longer than the stroke. So looks like there is travel left, even though the shock is at full compression.


I’ve been running the Rimpact Inserts on my 26" Hardtail this season. My HT is more of an “enduro” HT, with 170mm fork & 64.8 degrees HA. The inserts have totally transformed how it rides! Not getting rim strikes or pinch flat is only part of it. What I appreciate more is:

  • Can run much lower pressure, which gives a lot more grip for cornering & climbing
  • The vibration/chatter damping is incredible. I no longer feel like a broken man after a solid session.
  • Adds 85 grams per wheel (which is less than the added weight I used to get from using DD casings, now I can get a way with EXO)