Do I need dh casing or inserts in my tires?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do I need dh casing or inserts in my tires?

    Hello.
    First off, some details: I am 16 and a mildy lightweight rider at 142lbs. I race enduro/dh on the same bike (a Giant Reign). I haven't had a single puncture to my Specialized butcher grid blck dmnd 2.6 tire or the same specced eliminator tire. I have broken one rim from actual riding and another from the back washing out and hitting a tree. But the one from riding/not-crashing was me over jumping a gap in an enduro and landing on a small collection of rocks which only gave the rim a flat spot and a hairline crack. But all that to say, do I need the blck dmnd casing on my tires or just dh casing in general if I haven't even gotten a single puncture when I run 21.5psi F and 24.5psi R? (I have punctured before but that was on a tire at like 50% life left) The broken rim from actual riding takes away my confidence and willingness to charge the the rocks but my tires give me confidence on punctures. My rim breaks before my tire does even when I hit that tree at 20mph with all my weight hitting the seat. I was wondering if I should opt for the lighter duty grid casing and maybe get tire inserts with them. I've read about people saying if you don't have a problem with broken rims or punctures then you don't need cushcore but I don't really want to break a rim and then have to buy a new one to find out if I need it.

    Sorry for a long message but the question in short:

    I dont get punctures but am lacking confidence to charge through rough sections fearing I will break my rim, wondering if I should get a lighter duty casing and install cushcore with that.

    Thanks for taking the time and appreciate the help.

  2. #2
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    I've tried both ways and greatly prefer the lighter duty tires with a lightweight insert such as Pepi's or Tubolight.

    Like you, I don't damage tires very often but I do smash rims on the regular, so this solution works better for me, but it's probably more expensive as inserts are a wearable item.

    Also, DH casing tires have a lot of rolling resistance because the sidewalls don't conform as well to the trail and move the entire bike up and over instead, plus the extra weight. So standard casing with an insert rolls much better.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    That makes sense, I've never thought of it that way how it conforms more to the trail. I mean obviously it makes sense but just never put it together. I love the feel of light tires that absorb impacts so I might give them a try. My bike has so much rolling resistance and weight on its wheels. I dont have any feeling of the bike jumping foward when I pedal like you do on xc bikes. But yeah I'll definitely check it out. Thanks a lot! This helps a ton.

  4. #4
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    I generally agree with Suns_PSD.
    Use of a lighter insert will provide a lot protection. I like the Vittoria air-liner for this purpose.

    DH casing tires are no fun for trail riding, although there's value in using a mid-weight casing tire such as seen in Maxxis EXO+, Maxxis DD or the Bontrager "SE" lineup - there are others as well.

  5. #5
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    Also worth mentioning is that inserts allow you to drop tire air pressure a bit as they protect the rim and support the tire sidewall, further reducing rolling resistance.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Also worth mentioning is that inserts allow you to drop tire air pressure a bit as they protect the rim and support the tire sidewall, further reducing rolling resistance.
    And they reduce air volume in the tire and make the spring curve of the tire more progressive.

  7. #7
    Nat
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    I have both setups and I have more confidence in my wheel with Vittoria Airliner and Maxxis DD casing attacking rocky sections than I do with my wheel on which I have a Maxxis DH casing sans liner. I haven't flatted either tire but I did get a rim strike with the DH tire.

    The DH tire seems less likely to get a sidewall cut, which is pertinent to where I ride (lava rock) but it sounds like maybe not pertinent to where you ride.

    They both were a major pain to install. I ended up just paying a bike shop to do it. Even so, the LBS guys breathed a sigh of relief when I brought them the Vittoria instead of the Cush Core.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I have both setups and I have more confidence in my wheel with Vittoria Airliner and Maxxis DD casing attacking rocky sections than I do with my wheel on which I have a Maxxis DH casing sans liner. I haven't flatted either tire but I did get a rim strike with the DH tire.

    The DH tire seems less likely to get a sidewall cut, which is pertinent to where I ride (lava rock) but it sounds like maybe not pertinent to where you ride.

    They both were a major pain to install. I ended up just paying a bike shop to do it. Even so, the LBS guys breathed a sigh of relief when I brought them the Vittoria instead of the Cush Core.
    Having used both Vittoria and CushCore, without reservation I can say the Vittoria is infinitely easier to install. In fact, I find it marginally more difficult than mounting a tire wtihout a liner, whereas CushCore involves some practice and frustration
    Last edited by The Squeaky Wheel; 09-06-2019 at 12:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    I’m also fan of Vittoria Airliners. They’re one of the more durable liners as well as being easier to install than some.

  10. #10
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    Ok good to know. that's what I'll most likely do. Thanks

  11. #11
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    Now that I 'get it' installing Pepi's and tubolight is super easy. The trick (hard part) is dismounting the tire once it's been on there a while.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Suns_PSD; 09-07-2019 at 04:17 AM.

  12. #12
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    I say shit happens. You hit a rock and cracked a rim. Yep. Thats riding.

    Re, dh casing v standard casing. If its your everyday ride that you pedal up/down on then dont go dh casing. The suck for pedalling.

    But DH casing allows you to slam through rocky rooty sections with ease. So.... if you are shutling then descending without climbing then dh casing is the business.

    PS I wreck tyres but not rims.....

  13. #13
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    Well I ride 6 days a week on my 32.5lb bike with dh casing tires so it's like a slug. I mainly want it to have low resistance but speed up time isnt the biggest issue it's more rolling resistance I seem to have a ton of I mean my brother (who races pro motocross like actually. His name is Isaac Teasdale if you want to see for yourself he has a scott spark rc world cup 900 which is like 21.5 pounds or so but it has the maxxis ikon tires and we were riding, there's a little dip-gap-drop and then a stretch of coasting and he was about 2 seconds behind but I got back into pedaling like half way through the flat and coasty section and he didnt pedal the whole thing and caught up to me so that long story was where I knew I need less rolling resistance.

    So in short: what would be the best setup for 1# Low resistance tires, 2# tire inserts, #3 less weight but little sacrifice in the rubber realm.

    You might know what I mean but that sort of warp effect you see in gopro videos when you speed up really fast like when you hit a certain speed or speed up when landing down a drop. But I dont feel that or see that on my videos haha maybe I'm just that slow but even when I'm off the brakes and trying to speed up I have to put so much effort when other guys are having to put on their brakes. My fastest speed ever is 34.8mph and that includes me speed tucking down a 8-10% grade for a quarter mile but only got up to 32mph that time) maybe tire pressure is something I need to experiment with but 21.5psi F and 24.5psi R, that feels perfect but resistance is bad so I'll just shut up and wait for your guy's thoughts. Thanks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    But DH casing allows you to slam through rocky rooty sections with ease. So.... if you are shutling then descending without climbing then dh casing is the business.

    Yeah, using lighter tires so they confirm to the terrain doesn't make sense for DH or enduro racing. Violently smashing your bike into rock gardens like DH racers do is going to cause your tires to conform regardless. I'd avoid inserts and swap tires between riding park (DH or DD casing) and riding trail (lighter casing).

  15. #15
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    I experiment with tires all of the time and it's just about achieving the best compromise between traction/ reliability/ low rolling resistance for your terrain/ bike/ rim width/ priorities.

    What happens is that on fast tires, you go faster everywhere, then you start sliding, so you add more grip, which slows you back down. And so it goes.
    Ultimately, I go way faster overall on the bike on fast rolling tires.

    On inserts: they are absolutely required front and rear with trail tires if you slam your bike through turns (95% of trail riders won't have this issue). The trail tires fold under hard turning and the rims get smacked otherwise. I've been running Pepi's noodles and they have been great but I recently switched to Tubolight as they are lighter and more dense.

    Rear tires in order of my favorites: 1) Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2, 2.35 Soft snakeskin is a completely rad tire. It's very fast, killer traction. However the knobs will eventually tear off and they are expensive. Can order from Europe for considerably less money 2) Schwalbe Rock Razor is just silly fast. As long as your rear rim isn't too wide (over about 29mm ID) it bites in turns great. It only sucks when it's wet or you are doing a very steep chute and you desire to slow down, but you won't be able to. 3) Aggressor 2.3 Dual is a darn good all around tire for like $45, but doesn't roll like the Schwalbe tires. Basically it doesn't roll as fast nor provide the traction of the HD2. It's also heavier and smaller. But it is way cheaper and probably more durable.

    Front Tires: I'm torn. The Eliminator 2.6 rolls well and has good traction but it begins to push just a hair earlier than I like. Off the current info I have, if I had to choose a front to run for the next 2 years, I'd choose this. It's my current fave but just... The Schwalbe MM is really good and rolls well. I need to experiment with it again now that I run inserts up front. (problem with 2.35 Schwalbes is they don't work really well with wider rims which I have up front) Inserts completely change the character of tires. So now I feel like I need to retest several tires that I tested before I discovered inserts. I like the MSC Gripper 2.3 but it rolls pretty slowly (not as critical on the front but it still matters). Pretty sure my next front to try will be the Tioga Edge 22 or the Maxxis Dissector.

    Ultimately, I find that Schwalbe Addix are the best performing tires for their respective traction, but I feel like they have some gaps in their front tire options.

    Good luck.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Suns_PSD; 09-08-2019 at 01:34 PM.

  16. #16
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    If you want improved efficiency then don't use dh casing or inserts. I rode a 130mm 5010 with cushcore yesterday. If felt about halfway to dh casing tire for roling resistance. My slayer 165mm had noticably better efficiency.

    Also consider a different rim. Some rims are made of cheese and dent and crack easily. Others can take a beating. A buddy and I hit a step up recently, little did we know that someone lifted the landing ramp up but adding a slab of wood to the face since we last jumped it. We found out as we were flying through the air!... Anyway we both landed hard on the square edge of the wood. My rim was undamaged. His was cracked and wrecked. I'm about 5kg heavier too......

    You may just have cheese rims.

    Ultimately strong carbon rims are best. They can take way more beating than an alloy rim could ever withstand.

  17. #17
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    True. I want some stans flow ex3 rims but haven't used my dt ex471s up yet. Might get carbon on my next bike but for now I'll stick with the alloy but stans seems wayy better than dt swiss just by watching videos about them. I mainly want to race as fast as I can or go downhill in general as fast as I can because I find that fun and I'm thinking of going with tubolight inserts for my current "cheese" rims with dh casing but light casing for general use. Tubolight apparently weighs 17 grams so I'll definitely try that out.

  18. #18
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    I don't know why riders still consider inserts based solely on the question "will I avoid damage to my rim?" as Cushcore and similarly shaped inserts (ie. Rimpact) provide several advantages over running just tubeless including:

    + Increased sidewall support
    (less squirm, enables lower tyre pressures & most likely mitigates burping)

    + Dampening tyre rebound
    (increased traction as the tyre maintains better contact with uneven surfaces at speed as well as reducing lower arm fatigue)

    Of course you have downsides in terms of cost, weight and installation but on the other hand inserts help the bead pop into place by spreading out the tyre.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uuno1 View Post
    I don't know why riders still consider inserts based solely on the question "will I avoid damage to my rim?" as Cushcore and similarly shaped inserts (ie. Rimpact) provide several advantages over running just tubeless including:
    Because in the context of what OP is talking about (racing enduro and DH) they don't provide that much sidewall support and damping. I have Rimpact inserts on both my bikes. On my hardtail (29x2.6) I pinch flatted the front tire then installed Rimpacts. First I tried running the same pressures and I couldn't even tell the inserts were in there(no extra damping or anything). Then I tried lowering the pressure and found it did help with damping a bit but felt squirmy and I started feeling rim strikes so I ended up at the same pressure as before installing the Rimpacts. I'd say at most, I could get away with 1 psi less.


    On my enduro bike I dinged my rear wheel causing it to leak air. After I got that fixed I installed a Rimpact insert in the rear tire. I played around with pressure (tried dropping from 29 psi to 27) and found the same thing, that the tire just got squirmy. I ended up back at 29 psi which felt pretty much like it did before the insert. I actually found DD casing tires to improve the support and damping more than the Rimpacts.

    I think at high speeds the Rimpacts don't provide a significant handling improvement. If you're the kind of person that can get away with normally running sub 20 psi on non-plus tires then I could see Rimpacts helping but if you're already running around 30 psi then I don't think the Rimpacts are going to do a whole lot. An EXO casing Minion inflated to 30 psi is a lot stiffer structurally than the Rimpact insert.

  20. #20
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    Rimpacts are silly and useless for anything besides a small bit of pinch flat protection. Just look at them. Buy Tubolight size large and your perspective will change.

    Proper inserts provide sidewall support like DH tires without all of the negatives. W/o proper inserts you can't really turn hard on trail tires unless you really crank up the air pressure.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Because in the context of what OP is talking about (racing enduro and DH) they don't provide that much sidewall support and damping...

    If you're the kind of person that can get away with normally running sub 20 psi on non-plus tires then I could see Rimpacts helping but if you're already running around 30 psi then I don't think the Rimpacts are going to do a whole lot.
    ^ This is true, and in this context Cushcore is better option as it is much denser. My comment was a bit more on a general level, should have made that a bit clearer.

  22. #22
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    I've cracked rims with DD tires, which IMHO are tougher than black diamond. With cushcore inserts I've had no issues. They also keep your tires from bouncing off and back at you which makes them more efficient.

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