As a rider that enjoys a wide variety of terrain (NOT just going down), I frequently toy around with different setups to enable me to enjoy the broad range of riding. Riding a heavy 6″ travel bike just isn’t that fun to me on smooth and fast trails. I tend to lean towards better rolling and lower weight over max grip and durability. This tech Tuesday Cush Core XC tire inserts and Maxxis DHF alternative don’t really fall into that camp but are interesting options that I’ve been enjoying!
Cush Core XC Tire Insert | $149 for a set of 2 | 156 grams/tire
My thoughts on Cush Core are starting to change. The main reasons for being hesitant to use Cushcore were added weight and difficult installation. After learning the proper technique, installation is not an issue. It really isn’t much harder to install a tire with the XC Cush Core.
I’m currently just running Cush Core in the rear for now. This enables riding a few psi less (18-20psi) with a slightly smoother ride. Other than that I can’t honestly notice a huge difference. I don’t feel like I have better traction or less tire roll like some claim. Without running the insert I’m confident that I would have felt the rim contact rocks and roots riding at this low of pressure.
My thought on using the insert only on the rear is that’s where I’m most likely to bottom out my tire on a rock or root and risk damage. I don’t find that my front tire rolls (sideways) under heavy cornering or bottoms on the roots and rocks like my rear does. With that in mind, I believe I’m getting the most out of Cush Core in the rear tire.
My normal terrain isn’t the hardest on tires but there’s plenty of rock and root that will find fault in low tires pressures or sloppy riding. The heavier and more aggressive rider you are, the more you will like these tire inserts. I’ll likely continue to run the insert in the rear only. Aggressive tire shredders might want to run both front and rear.
If this review was helpful and you’d like to help support what we do, please consider purchasing here: Cush Core at Jenson USA
Maxxis Minion DHF Alternative —> | e*Thirteen TRS | 29×2.35 | 1017 grams
Maxxis does make great tires, but so does e*Thirteen and the prices are a little more reasonable at around $69. Currently, I’m riding the classic TRS Race on the front and it feels as confident in its abilities as the DHF. There is an updated version of this tire called the “All-terrain/Gen3 TRS“. The tread design and casing has been slightly updated but side knobs appear the same.
The e*Thirteen TRS is slightly heavier than the Maxxis DHF. If I want to balance out this slightly heavier front tire I do so with a little lighter and faster rolling rear. One of my current favorites is the Bontrager XR4 but I’ve also been reasonably happy with the e*Thirteen Semi-Slick.
Why I like e*Thirteen TRS+ Tires:
- Reasonable cost at $69 retail although the “classic” version shown here can be found for much less – see details at the end.
- True 2.35 size – this is about the same size as a Maxxis DHF WT 2.5
- Durable – I’ve had a few sets now and believe they last as well any Maxxis I’ve owned
- Seems to grip and roll just as well as the popular Maxxis Minion DHF
- It doesn’t have a big yellow logo. :)
The bottom line is that compared to the DHF I believe the TRS Race offers similar traction and longevity at a little better price. All else feels very similar even though one company overstates their tire sizes.
The TRS model I tested can be found for some great deals at the moment if you’d like to give it a try. Here’s one place that currently has some great deals: e.thirteen tires at Jenson USA
Please feel free to share your thoughts and let me know if you have any additional questions. We do get a small percentage from Jenson at no added expense to you.