Running tire inserts is complicated. The insert itself is simple enough, but I mean it’s emotionally complicated. Ask the most die-hard foam fan what they like about their high-tech pool noodles, and they will sit you down and detail the merits of compression damping, tire air-spring progressivity and, of course, pinch-flat resistance. Then, ask them about installing them, and watch their mood shift. It sucks. And it sucks in the most maddening way possible. It’s just foam. How can it be so strong? How can the most advanced species on the planet be outdone by a marshmallow? 

It’s because the marshmallow has help. Rims are designed to keep the tire bead locked up on a shelf. It’s the main reason why tubeless works at all. You can shralp a corner and the tire still holds on to the rim, and that’s when it’s held to the rim with nothing more than air. But air is different. If you push the tire bead off its shelf, that air moves out of the way and there’s nothing stopping you from releasing the rest of the bead. Not so with tire inserts. As you try and push the bead off the shelf, the gentile constriction of the insert won’t let it drop. It needs force. The kind of force you may have wanted to exert the last time you installed a tire insert. Violent, stabbing force. And that’s exactly what the Cush Core tire lever is meant to do.

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