Huck Norris Inserts

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Huck Norris Tire Insert
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Huck Norris

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Rim protection, additional sidewall support at low pressures, not heavy.

The Bad:

Will not prevent burping, does not allow one to run a lighter casing as company claims, no damping effect, wears quickly.

Overall Review:

Tested: Squamish, BC (8 Months), Durango, CO (2 Months), Phillipsburg, MT (1 Month). Ridden on steep rooty jank, all-day alpine grinds, flow trails, XC trails, and a bit of bike park.

Rim: 27.5 DT Swiss ex471 (25 mm inner width) on 160 mm travel bike. Run only in the rear with a 2.3 Maxxis DHR2 DD, 21-27 psi.

Rider: 6'1, 170 lbs. Flat pedals, upright/slightly off the back style. I hate (read: am terrible at) pedalling so pump/jump whenever possible.

Huck Norris was one of the first companies to offer a foam insert to help mitigate some of the problems with tubeless tires, such as burping air in corners, rim damage from running lower PSI, and pinch flatting casings. Compared to other inserts such as Cushcore and Flat Tire Defender, Huck Norris is a much lighter and less substantial option,

Overall Review:

Tested: Squamish, BC (8 Months), Durango, CO (2 Months), Phillipsburg, MT (1 Month). Ridden on steep rooty jank, all-day alpine grinds, flow trails, XC trails, and a bit of bike park.

Rim: 27.5 DT Swiss ex471 (25 mm inner width) on 160 mm travel bike. Run only in the rear with a 2.3 Maxxis DHR2 DD, 21-27 psi.

Rider: 6'1, 170 lbs. Flat pedals, upright/slightly off the back style. I hate (read: am terrible at) pedalling so pump/jump whenever possible.

Huck Norris was one of the first companies to offer a foam insert to help mitigate some of the problems with tubeless tires, such as burping air in corners, rim damage from running lower PSI, and pinch flatting casings. Compared to other inserts such as Cushcore and Flat Tire Defender, Huck Norris is a much lighter and less substantial option, and as such is not for the rider who wants the most protection possible for their rims. I think that Huck Norris exists in the middle ground between a traditional tubeless setup and heavier duty inserts; If you are interested in an insert but can't fathom adding 250 grams of fancy pool noodle to your wheels, Huck Norris could be worth a look.

At about 80 grams, the weight of a Huck Norris is barely noticeable if you are already pushing around big rubber. If you ride a trail or enduro bike and prioritize climbing performance, Huck Norris could be the best compromise between weight and downhill ride quality. 

In my experience, Huck Norris excels at preventing rim damage and stabilizing the sidewall at low pressures to some degree. When pinned down chunky sections, there may be a slightly less of a 'ping' when slamming heels-down into square edges, but I didn't notice any significant difference in impact damping that other inserts offer. After 6 months, I replaced my rear tire and saw that about a third of the insert had been cut by the rim during harsh impacts; though it may not damp impacts in terms of a perceived quality to the rider, it certainly dissipates the direct forces on the rim and helps prevent damage. Previous to running the insert, I had put a few small dings in my rims, but no such damage occurred during the testing period, even when running pressures as low as 21 psi. 

Before using the insert, I ran about 27 psi to protect my rim from harsh impacts. With the Huck Norris I ran as low as 21 psi, but settled at 25 psi as my ideal pressure in the rear tire, which both conformed to the terrain better and had slightly more sidewall support than my previous insert-less setup. At less than 25 psi, the tire would fold too much in corners and which leads to a vague, squirmy feeling. While this product provides some additional sidewall support at low pressures, if you primarily want an insert to try out absurdly low pressures (less than 23 psi) look for a heavier-duty option then the Huck Norris.

While the Huck Norris protected my rim from impacts and allowed me to run slightly lower pressures, it certainly is not a perfect product. First of all, Huck Norris claims to prevent burps, but I experienced burping in hard corners at up to about 27 psi. To be fair, when I burped with Huck Norris, it felt like a more gradual and slightly more controlled collapse of the sidewall then when burping without the insert. A good burp can be immensely satisfying (Who doesn't love sound and feeling of a proper burp in a perfect corner?), but a company should not make claims about a product which are not true. If preventing burping is a high priority for you, an insert such as FTD or CushCore which actively locks the tire against the bead is a better option than the floating Huck Norris.

Additionally, the claim Huck Norris makes about being able to drop down a casing strength (for example, from Double Down to an EXO) only applies if you primarily kill tires by pinch flatting. I do not typically pinch flat, so I can not accurately assess this claim. If, like me, you primarily rip tires through punctures directly through the tread, Huck Norris will not allow you to drop down to a lighter casing as it will not provide any protection for these types of tears, and I have experience 2 of such punctures while riding Huck Norris. No insert can actually allow the rider to run a lighter casing if tread punctures are their primary mode of flatting, so this negative is not exclusive to Huck Norris. 

Lastly, the Huck Norris is certainly a wear item. After a year, mine was cut up to the point where it was not offering much protection, and the attachment point where the insert velcros together ripped, rendering it unusable. 

Overall, I see Huck Norris as an excellent option for the 'insert-curious' crowd. If you want some of the benefits of heavier inserts without the stout weight penalty and high price, Huck Norris could be worth a try. If you are a big/fast/hack rider, are curious about the damped ride quality of inserts, or simply want the most protection possible for your wheels, look to CushCore or FTD. 

Positives: Rim protection, some sidewall support, lighter than other insert options. 

Negatives: Doesn't stop burping, may or may not actually be able to run lighter casing w/insert, no damping qualities on harsh impacts, wears quickly. 

Overall: 3 stars

Specifications

Product Huck Norris Inserts
Type Flat Prevention/Insert
Features - A closed cell foam insert that floats inside your tubeless tire protecting you from snakebite punctures and rims dents.
- Save on weight, use lighter tires with Huck Norris and get better damage resistance.
- More damping between the ground and the wheel helps rims last longer and saves money.
- Choose your insert based on internal rim width and trim to fit your wheel diameter.
Weight
  • 0 lb 2.6 oz (75 g)
  • 0 lb 2.8 oz (80 g)
  • 0 lb 3 oz (85 g)
  • 0 lb 3.9 oz (110 g)
  • 0 lb 4.7 oz (134 g)
Miscellaneous Choose the right Huck Norris size by measuring the internal width of your rim and using the chart in the images above to make sure you get the right one.

The Downhill version of the Huck Norris is designed for the more extreme trails. It works for DH riders, Enduro racers, or riders looking for a little more protection. The inserts use a higher density and heavier foam for harder impacts.

The E-bike version of the Huck Norris is designed for heavier bikes or extreme trails, it also works for wide rim DH riders, Enduro racers, or riders looking for a little more protection.

Fat bike version for 76-90mm (3-3.54 inch) inner rim widths.
Price
  • $70
  • $40
  • $45
  • $45
  • $65
More Info

For more info, visit the Huck Norris website.

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